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Tomorrow Emerald City ComiCon begins. Well, there are activities going on tonight, but the main events at the convention center start tomorrow.

There are many things to see, do, and experience. I’m particularly looking forward to the Women of Buffy panel with Julie Benz, Charisma Carpenter, and Clare Kramer. Well, sort of.

I have been looking forward to this since I purchased the passes during the fall of 2014. I’ve been excitedly talking about the possibilities every time a new guest was announced.

Starting this week, as the first day looms closer, a heavy knot of dread has begun pressing on my stomach. I have felt nauseated. All of the muscles in my body have been tensing, causing some painful spasms. When I casually think about the Con, I feel like throwing up, and my mind wanders to “valid” excuses not to go.

This is the reality of social anxiety.

I don’t necessarily fear being around a large group of people. The best way I can describe it is that when I think about being surrounded by the thousands of people who will attend, I feel a crawling sensation under my skin and going seems like more effort than it’s really worth leaving my home.

But, I do want to go.

The conflict is aggravating. Sometimes the anxiety wins, and I miss out on things that I would actually enjoy…if it weren’t for all of the people. Other times I’m successful at WILLING myself into these situations, and I try my best to focus on what originally drew me while trying to mentally separate myself from those around me. This practice is actually physically and emotionally exhausting – which is why I begin thinking that it’s not really worth the trouble.

I had my first major panic attack at ECCC last year. I didn’t know it was a panic at the time. In the middle of it, I sat down to rest, and came close to losing consciousness. I actually had to call my husband on his cell phone, and all I could say was, “Help me….please help me. I’m going to fall.”

Thankfully I didn’t faint, but the episode made my body feel so terribly weak that we had to leave the Con. When we got home, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and slept for several hours. When I woke up, I felt like I had spent the whole day running a marathon when in reality, we had only spent two hours at the Con.

This is the reality of social anxiety.

I plan on going tomorrow. I’ve caught myself trying to rationalize going tomorrow, but maybe skipping one of the other days, although I have paid for the entire weekend. We’ll see.

I will be posting on my Facebook page throughout the Con – this will help to distract me from any uncomfortable feelings. Wish me luck.



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I’m serious this time. I will read the classics that I didn’t read when I was young. I will also read contemporary books that I enjoy as sort of the condiment of my 2015 reading super-stack sandwich.

I am now following the list on Goodreads for the 100 books you should read before you die.

For those of you who are interested, here is a list of the books that I’ve read so far this year. Just an FYI – I didn’t start reading the classics until last month.

1. “Styxx (Dark Hunter World Book 22)” by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I started this one at the end of 2014 and finished in 2015. I give it 4 stars.

2. “The Reluctant Vampire (Argeneau Vampire Series Book 15)” by Lynsay Sands – 4 stars. This series is good for a quick paranormal read that focuses primarily on the romance side of things. What’s most intriguing about this series is the mythology that Sands has developed to explain the existence of vampires.

3. “The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jenson Guardian #6) by Keri Arthur – I REALLY like the Riley Jenson series. Think of an Anita Blake type character, only she is a vampire/werewolf hybrid, most emphasis on werewolf. Also like the later Anita Blake series, there’s quite a bit of sexual content. However, UNLIKE the later Anita Blake books, the Riley Jenson books focus primarily on the action of the store – there’s lots of sex, but it doesn’t get in the way of the plot. I highly recommend this series for anyone who is a fan of paranormal romance.

4. “Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau Vampire Series Book 16)” by Lynsay Sands – 4 stars.

5. “The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Book 12)” by J.R. Ward – 4 stars. This is actually a low star score for me to give a BDB book. I liked the history that she gave, but not all of it seemed relevant to the ongoing story. Plus there was not enough action with the Lessers. Still, an overall good book. I will say this – if there is anyone who could take the reins of the vampire genre from Anne Rice, it’s most definitely J.R. Ward.

6. “Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth” by V.C. Andrews – 3 stars. I admit, I expected a lot more from this one. I had really hoped that the book itself would be more focused on the diary itself, almost reading like the format of “Frankenstein” or “Dracula.” However, the main part of the story focuses on Kristin, a teenage girl who is a distant relative of the Dollanganger’s. She and her father find the diary, and it’s her reading of it that is the basis of the plot. For what it is, it’s a good story, but not a great one. I’m always a little hesitant about the newer V.C. Andrews’ books since they’re written by a ghost writer. However, they are still simple, easy YA reads.

7. “The Home and the World” by R.N. Tagore – 5 stars. This is an absolutely fantastic book. I would even give it more than 5 stars. The book focuses on many themes, mainly human nature and how it plays out not only in public life, but in relationships. The political strife of Maharaja India is juxtaposed with a love triangle, layered with personalities depicting the various perspectives of Self. If you can imagine a discussion between Buddha and Machiavelli, then you can imagine the greatness of this book. A particular note that this eloquent prose was written by a man who was a high school drop out – actually, he abhorred formal education. This is definitely one of those books that I will read again to learn even more those things that I might have missed the first time. Highly recommended!

8. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee – 5 stars. This is my favorite book of all time. When the story came out that Lee wrote a sequel set 20 years later, with Scout visiting her father, I just HAD to read it again. It’s just as good now as it was when I read it the first time.

9. “The Three Musketeers” by Alexnandre Dumas – 5 stars. I have made a commitment to read some of the classics that I didn’t read when I was younger – “The Three Musketeers” is the first. I absolutely ADORE this book. I should have read it much sooner! Action, intrigue, mystery, romance all liberally sprinkled with tongue-in-cheek comedy. I can definitely say that this is now, by far, one of my favorite books of all time! If you haven’t read it, do so – you won’t regret it!

10. “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien – 5 stars. I love this book. And I have read it before. An embarrassing confession – I decided to read it again because I’ve never read “The Two Towers” or “Return of the King…”..or “The Hobbit” for that matter. My re-reading of “Fellowship” is my commitment to read these other works by such a wonderful fantasy author. The world that Tolkien creates is magical and easy to disappear into – just what is needed for a mental vacation!

11. “The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau Vampire Series Book 17) by Lynsay Sands – 4 stars. This one is just as enjoyable as the other Argeneau books. I liked this one in particular because it introduces the circumstances of a nuclear mortal family and what the turn and immortal laws mean for life mates.

12. “The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye” by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore – 5 stars. If you love the show, you’ll adore the comic. Great story telling, awesome art – better than the T.V. show in my opinion.

13. “The Walking Dead, Volume 2: Miles Behind Us” by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn – 5 stars. As great as ever. Love going back over the original story and seeing the differences with the T.V. show.

14. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9, Volume 3: Guarded” by Scott Allie – 4 stars. Love Buffy, love that the story has continued in comic form. The comic is good, just not “The Walking Dead” great.

15. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9, Volume 4: Welcome to the Team” by Andrew Chambliss – 4 stars. LOVE the appearance by Illyria. And Willow’s back!

16. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 9, Volume 5: The Core” by Andrew Chambliss – 4 stars. Wow. Just…wow.

17. “The Sandman, Volume 1, Preludes and Nocturnes” by Neil Gaiman – 4 stars. Brilliant storytelling. The level of imagination rivals that of Clive Barker.

18. “American Vampire, Volume 1″ by Scott Snyder and Stephen King – 4 stars. I admit, I’ve never really enjoyed Stephen King’s books, but this is definitely an exception. Love the subtle humor around horror vampires – no romance or sparkles here!

19. “Batman Eternal #1″ by Scott Snyder, et al – 4 stars. I’ve never been the biggest Batman fan – in the DC universe, Superman and Wonder Woman were always my go-to super heroes. But I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed “Batman Eternal” and will look to read more.

20. “Fathom, Volume 1″ by Michael Lane Turner – 5 stars. Wow. I’ve had this one for a while and just now read it. This is the best one I’ve read in a long time. The art is beautiful and the character development is intriguing. Definitely going to continue the series.

21. “Injustice: Gods Among Us #1″ by Tom Taylor, et al – 5 stars. Loving the story. Another one that I will definitely continue the series.

22. “Superman (2011) #1″ by George Perez – 5 stars. Superman. Enough said.

23. “Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale (Serenity #3)” by Joss Whedon – 5 stars. Love it! Love the story of the Shepherd and how it was presented in a brilliant reverse character development form.

24. “Son of No One (Dark Hunter Series #13)” by Sherrilyn Kenyon – 4 stars. I truly do love this series. Particularly how Kenyon interweaves the mythological worlds of Atlantis with the pantheons of the Celts and Greeks.

25. “The Walking Dead, Volume 3, Safety Behind Bars” by Robert Kirkman, et al – 5 stars.

26. “Angel & Faith, #5, What You Want, Not What You Need” by Christos Gage, et al – 4 stars.


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I have been reading a LOT in the past few month. And unlike what I said over a year ago, I’m serious about reading the classics that I avoided as a young person. I’ve read “The Three Musketeers” and absolutely loved it. It is now one of my favorite books. In my excitement over a sequel being released, I re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was as good as ever. And now, I’m reading “Fahrenheit 451.”

With all of these books, I have read the physical copies. I have went to the local library and selected the print edition, devouring them with much fervor. As I sat down this evening, looking at the cover of “Fahrenheit 451,” I briefly thought about the fact that I’ve would have to go to the library to return the book when I’m finished. Like with so much recently, my very next thought was influenced by my new perspective on health – “Well, it will get me out of the house and keep me active.”

Then it hit me – convenience tends to lead to sedentary existence. I don’t have to go to the DVD cabinet, I can sit on the couch and just push a button on my Roku remote to watch, rent, or buy a movie. I don’t have to go to the library or the bookstore, I can sit on my bed and download one to my Kindle. My husband has an Amazon Echo – if I want to turn on the radio, instead of getting up and finding the station, I can be anywhere and just say a command, and the music starts playing. If I need to purchase something, including groceries, I don’t have to do anything more than a few swipes on my smartphone and my desires will be delivered to my door within 1-2 business days.

All in the name of convenience. Yet we continue to have more health issues, socially deteriorate, and further alienate ourselves from the people who live next door – and yet we wonder why some cannot feel empathy for the suffering of people who are thousands of miles away.

I’m going to continue to go to the library and read physical books. I will go to the store and purchase things. I will consider it a blessing to walk down many aisles to get all of my groceries.

There was a strange foreboding in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when one of the characters said, “If you’re not jacked in, you’re not alive.” In the information age, an act of revolution is to actually go outside and not live your life from your couch.

Convenience. Is it really worth it?


That’s right. I’ve taken the dive into video.

This is me.


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My author friend S.H. Townsend is having a special cover reveal event tomorrow, March 10, 2015, on Facebook from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1569896283245239/

Yours truly will be taking over the event from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST). I will be having some awesome giveaways:

– 3 free copies of The Source from Smashwords.

– 1 free physical copy SIGNED by me of Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories (various authors).

– 1 free physical copy SIGNED by me of Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Risque Stories (various authors).

– 1 $10 electronic gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to alleviate some of your TBR pile.

How can you win? I will be posting trivia questions throughout the hour – the first to answer the question correctly will win the stated prize.

Finally, I will be unveiling my FIRST video log!

Mark your calendar and join in on the fun!


As my happy holiday greetings to all the lovers of paranormal fiction, my debut novel “The Source” is free on Smashwords from December 25 until December 31, 2014.

To take advantage of this holiday offer, purchase “The Source” using coupon code WR46G.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

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