The Beautiful Now is LIVE and FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

The Beautiful Now is LIVE, y’all!  Get it for the release price of $3.99 while it lasts, or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!  Grab your copy here.

 

✩¸.•*´¨)✩ ¸.•*¨) ¸.✩´¸.•*´¨)✩ 

Dane James worked my stepfather’s fields. He was the boy next door.

Strong.

Hardworking.

Forbidden.

From the moment we met, we were star-crossed lovers—always wanting, never having. We loved each other for most of our lives, but right from the beginning destiny had other plans. She knew we would fall in love. She knew we would fall apart. Over and over again, like the curse of a recurring nightmare. Or the hope of a familiar dream.  

Our past was tumultuous. Our future was bleak. But the one thing we always had was the beautiful now.

Until that was taken from us, too.

✩¸.•*´¨)✩ ¸.•*¨) ¸.✩´¸.•*´¨)✩ 

 

Get it for the release price of $3.99 while it lasts, or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!  Grab your copy here.

Here’s what early readers are saying:

✩ “This is the best book that I have read in 2017 yet!!”  — Heidi

✩ “I truly wish I could give this one more five stars, I would definitely give 10 if I could. This is one of those books, you just know from the beginning is going to pull at your heartstrings and it really does. I’ve read of ton of books this year and this one just moved to the top of my favorites list.”  —  Catherine

✩ “The Beautiful Now is exactly that – Beautiful. It’s love story of epic proportions.”  —  Courtney

✩ “What I loved was that their story transcends the span of 22 years and shows that love can last forever even when all the odds are stacked against you. That there is always a way even when we think all hope is lost. That even when we do what we think is best and hurt the ones we love that their is forgiveness to be found and second chances are a blessing not to be taken lightly. And when faced with the harsh realities of life, love can still prevail over all.”  —  Jennifer
 
 
✩ “I started reading – and I kept on reading. I couldn’t stop. It was all so heartbreakingly sad and beautiful and sweet and frustrating and I just could not stop.”  —  Bianca
 
 

The Beautiful Now is live on iBooks for 2 DAYS ONLY, Sept 24-25

*clears throat*  May I have your attention please!  The Beautiful Now is LIVE right now on iBooks for 2 DAYS ONLY, Sept 24-25.  After 8pm EST on Monday, Sept 25, it will no longer be available except on Amazon.  If you’re an iBooks lover, get your copy now!

BUY HERE

Dane James worked my stepfather’s fields. He was the boy next door.

Strong.

Hardworking.

Forbidden.

From the moment we met, we were star-crossed lovers—always wanting, never having. We loved each other for most of our lives, but right from the beginning destiny had other plans. She knew we would fall in love. She knew we would fall apart. Over and over again, like the curse of a recurring nightmare. Or the hope of a familiar dream.  

Our past was tumultuous. Our future was bleak. But the one thing we always had was the beautiful now.

Until that was taken from us, too.

BUY HERE  

The heart of me

I could write a tome about what I believe the heart of me is and what I’d like for it to be.  This…existential journey I’ve been on has been one big, long bout of soul searching.  Some of what I’ve found isn’t pretty, but everything I’ve discovered will eventually make me a better person, if not now then someday. In the end, I realize I’m a work in progress. What else can I say? :)

Today I’m going to tell you about my new book.  Well, sort of.  But not really.  I will tell you absolutely nothing about it other than how it has affected me and how I now view it.  Where to start, though?  Hmmmm

 

via GIPHY

Let me tell you a little about my history in writing.  When I began, all I wanted from this adventure was to have a job that I loved. Or even liked. I just didn’t want to hate doing it every single day. LOL  And in those early days, God granted me all that I prayed for.  Even though He saw, even then, what would become of me, what kind of road of self-discovery He’d set me upon. He knew that, eventually, after gallons of blood, sweat and tears, I’d come out better for having walked this road.

I, however, did not.

I didn’t see it. Not any of it.  From about six months in until now, which is about a 6 year journey, I’ve been continually surprised by this path. Sometimes in a great way, other times not so much.

 

via GIPHY

I’ve never considered myself to be a particularly proud person. Insecure, yes.  People pleaser, sure.  Competitive, absolutely.  Ambitious, oh yes.  But never really proud.  But what I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks is that, for me, all roads lead to pride.  

Are you shocked?  

I WAS!  OMG

 

via GIPHY

I was like, “Wow!  Who’da thunk it?”

Not me.  

Clearly.

Since my books started to become popular way back in 2012, I’ve managed to convince myself that my ambitions were pure, my reasons selfless, and my goals healthy.  Never once did I see them for what they were—pride at its worst. It crept in insidiously, like many awful things do.  I couldn’t see it for what it was, couldn’t see myself for what I’d become.  

Boy, do I see it now!

The Lord had granted me some measure of success and I totally ran with it.  I craved more, and called it ambition.  I sought the approval of others and called it a healthy desire to want to put out good work.  I began to derive my self worth from my career success and called it competitiveness.  I chalked all this stuff up to the way I’m made or my personality type, but all of it is nothing more than pride.  I felt as though I’d achieved X in this business and had fallen way back down to Y, and I did everything I could (making myself quite miserable along the way, I might add) to get back up to that place.  And the place itself wasn’t bad. What I let it turn me into, however, was.

I was so. freakin. stupid.

via GIPHY

Okay, so I began writing The Beautiful Now two years ago and, as is my habit, I got distracted with another project. Probably something I thought people might like better based on what everyone else was writing.  Oh my word, I was so stupid!  

(refer to above giphy–it applies to me a lot)

So, fast forward to now, two years later, and my world has been turned upside down in just about every way possible, some of which I’ve recorded in blog posts.  Bless your heart for having to read about my struggles. hehe  I feel for ya.  I really, really do!  But I really hope that someone, somewhere along the way will be helped or encouraged by my struggles.  Otherwise I would never air my personal growth dirty laundry this way.  But this, too, is a way for me to overcome pride because I know this doesn’t paint me in a flattering light.  You know what, though?  I’m flawed. Deeply flawed.  But I have a God who loves me and thinks I’m pretty cool, and He won’t give up trying to make me into the person He created me to be. I’m just trying to learn what I need to learn to be that person, too.  I need to get out of this crazy mess I’ve made.

 

via GIPHY

Anyway, sorry for that other squirrel up there.  Trying to follow my train of thought is probably like trying to watch a hummingbird, isn’t it?  LOL

So TBN.  Started it two years ago and just got inspired about a month or so ago to finish it.  I love the story. There’s no question.  It has caused me some pain, though.  I lost a week’s worth of work on it at one point, which set me back…well, a week. Then I had a rewrite to do.  And then another one.  Anyone who knows me at all knows that a rewrite to me is like waterboarding to some people–a particularly effective kind of torture if you’re trying to make me miserable.  

 

via GIPHY

It even got so bad, y’all, that about a week ago, I started looking for a job. Like outside of writing.  I seriously just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.  I’d become so obsessed with writing THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL and selling a bazillion copies and being treated like I’m special that I’d stressed myself into what was probably dangerously close to a nervous breakdown. How dumb am I?  Over a book. Or a few books. All books.  THAT is how much pressure I’ve been putting on myself over the course of the last handful of years.  

(Refer again to idiot sandwich giphy above.  See? Told you that’s me a lot)

So what happened next?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Well, I can tell you in one word.  A name to be specific.

God.

I had literally hit my knees and was begging for help and guidance.  Like BEG-GING.  I was just beside myself.  In those 48 hours, I questioned every decision that led me to being an author.  Every single one.  I even regretted them all at one point.  

But then…

But then…

I got a spiritual slap upside of the head and guess what I realized.  

You got it.

All this–all this misery, all this stress, all this pressure–was totally, 100%, psychotically, neurotically self-induced.  I had let pride so completely overtake my life that I’d beaten what I used to love right into the dirt.  

(I’m going to put this in here again just because it needs to happen, like, A LOT.)

via GIPHY

Over those 48 hours, and many hours and days since then, God has little by little showed me that all the things I’d labeled a pretty name and all the things I’d painted a pretty face on were nothing more than pride. I’m telling you all this for two reasons.  

Reason number one, and most importantly, is that so that if you find yourself in utter misery, ask the One Who created you to show you WHY you’re so miserable.  I’d be willing to bet that it’s something you and He together can fix. It might not be easy, or pretty, or painless (all my growing pains seem to be like pulling teeth), but I can tell you that it’s SO. VERY. WORTH. IT.  

Reason number two is that, henceforth, I hope you see a difference in me. You may see it in my work itself. I’m not sure.  You’ll likely see it in the way I handle selling my work.  You may see that I talk about my books in a different way, like the children that they are, not as means to feed an addiction I wasn’t even aware I had.  I hope you’ll notice that I’m more relaxed and happy.  I hope you’ll see the kind of change in that comes when something toxic has been exposed and swept away from your life.  That’s how I feel–like I just realized I’d been drinking poison for the last few years and I woke up one morning, confused, disoriented and unhappy, and tossed it in the garbage.  

This is me, taking back what should be an amazing life.  One where I should love crafting stories that touch my heart and speak of things that are important to me.  One where I should focus more on lifting up however many readers I have, showing them love and hope and making them smile, rather than writing something that appeals to the masses.  One where I don’t find my value in a book ranking or a sales figure or a number of post likes. <—– If a fact like that surprises you or you find it shocking as it applies to your own life, I strongly encourage you to do some soul searching. I’m here to tell you that LIFE is so much more important than what others think your worth is.  The world may grovel at your feet and tell you you’re exceptional and amazing, they might like every post you ever post and every outfit you ever wear and every book you ever write and every breath you ever take, but it means nothing.  WE are not special in and of ourselves. We are bags of flesh and blood and bones and organs that God gave different talents and abilities and strengths so that we could shine a light on HIM, not hog it for ourselves.  I say this because it is something I am determined to remember every single day. This will be a struggle for me. Clearly it’s a weakness of mine, but I’m determined to keep it in check.  I don’t want to be that person. Never again.  My purpose here is to show you how special God is through my words and my actions, not deceive you (or me) into thinking *I* am something special. The only thing special about me is Who my Creator is and what He gave me.  

So, The Beautiful Now comes out September 26. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and give it a read. And I hope if you do that you consider it time and money well spent.  I hope your life is a little better for having read the story of Dane and Brinkley, the love they share and the obstacles they overcome.  We all have a bit of them in us. And we all have a beautiful now that we could be missing. Let’s go seize the day, shall we?

Also, I never got back around to tying the title into this post.  I guess maybe I’m hoping that, by this, you’ll know what’s at the heart of me—Jesus.  Jesus and love and hope;)