Category Archives: Family

Quick Note

No, I haven’t forgotten about the blog. Okay, that’s a lie. I do forget. Life is busy, but then that’s why it’s life, isn’t it? Otherwise, it’d probably be called something like ‘limbo’ or ‘stagnant animation’.

There have been quite a few changes since my last post. Some of them were good, some were horrible. Because I want people to understand that I’m not just an author, but also a person, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of what’s been going on since my last post in March 2015.

April 2015 – My dad passed away after a year long struggle with cancer. It happened the day before Easter, to be exact. We knew it was coming, but how can you possibly prepare for losing someone you love? You can’t. There’s always that question people ask, “Would it be easier if you had time to spend with them before they die, or would you prefer it happen fast?” Okay, maybe people don’t ask that until after the agony of loss begins to dull, but I have been asked it. And my answer is neither. They’re both terrible. I lost my stepfather unexpectedly and I lost my dad after a lingering illness. They both hurt. They both leave you with regrets.

When Dad died, I lost all interest in writing. I’m not sure what I did those first few months besides cry and sleep and hug my pets, but writing was the last thing on my mind.

September 2015 – I released the third book in my Crushes to Cravings series, Kiss Chase. And ended up getting myself put on probation with Amazon. I missed my download deadline which means my book didn’t come out when I said it would and I got a year’s probation. That means no uploading of books for pre-order. That sucked!

November 2015 – I moved into my new house. I love it, by the way. I no longer have to battle with neighbors to get onto my street or into my driveway. When I go outside at night, I see stars because we’re far from the city lights. Yes, I moved out to the country. Or swamp if you want to get technical. The Atchafalaya basin is pretty much in my backyard. To date, I’ve several raccoons, possums, armadillos, woodpeckers, eagles, snakes (of course), and deer. In my backyard. Seriously. When you wake up in the morning and stumble outside to let your dog out and a massive buck starts running away from you, for a minute there it kind of looks like they’re coming at you.

The snake… Well, I had a very close call with one of those. As in it was right behind me in the crevice of my screen door trying to get to the chair I was sitting on. I almost fell down my stairs (again). But I managed to gather my composure and be a good neighbor by using a very long stick to pick it up and move it to the yard where it took off for the ditch. No doubt it’s where hundreds of its brothers, sisters, and cousins are hanging out. As long as they stay there and away from me, I won’t have to get physical with them.

December 2015 – I released the second book in my Reindeer Games series, Blitzen’s Savior. That was fun. Christmas was fun. My godson and his wife came home from Florida and announced they were expecting their first child. I cried. Yeah, yeah, I’m a big baby when it comes to my godson. What can I say? He’s my baby and his having a child is like me getting my first grandchild.

January 2016 – My full-time day job duties changed. I won’t go into it, but I’ve taken on more responsibilities. Sort of like Peter Parker and that whole ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ thing, I now have to do things that I swore I’d never do. No, I’m not doing anything unethical. I just have to forget my squeamishness about some things and power through it. So far it hasn’t been too horrible LOL

February 2016 – I released the third and final book in my Southern Sin Series, Sinning to Win. I kept telling myself, and everyone else, that I was going to finish my sci-fi series. Mind you, I started that series while Dad was sick so I think part of my writer’s block has more to do with how I associate that story with the sorrow of losing him. Other ideas came to me while writing Sinning to Win and they were strong enough that I knew a new series of stories had to come from them.

March 2016 – I started working on my brand new series. The Band Nerd series is dear to my heart. Hello? I’m a band nerd and I would’ve adored having a guy like the heroes I’ve dreamed up falling in love with me. Who wouldn’t?

May 2016 – Steady, book 1 of the Band Nerd series came out.

Summer began and it was hot as balls. Just sayin’.

September 2016 – September 2nd to be exact, I put my sweet baby, Mia Isabella Von Hapsburg down. After fourteen and a half years of love, cuddles and puppy kisses, she went to wait for me at Rainbow Bridge. Letting her go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But she was tired. As the vet said, Mia took good care of her people for a long time and deserved her rest. I still can’t help but get choked up when I think about her. I even dream about her, or expect to see her following me around the house.

I realize now, that Mia was a bridge for me. I got her only a couple of months after my stepdad died and lost her a year after my dad passed away. She helped me cope with two of the biggest losses I’ve experienced, and then I lost her too. It’s been an adjustment for us in the Avet house. My cat, who was raised with her, has become far more affectionate than she ever was before. She’s even sleeping with me. In the same spot Mia would sleep with me every night. I’ll admit to feeling lost without her. Hurrying to get home so I can let her out. Looking for her as I’m getting ready for work. *sigh* It’s been a rough month.

But the good thing about writing, is that sometimes we can channel that grief into a story.

I’m releasing the 2nd book in my Band Nerd series next week. Root comes out September 30th.

Now for upcoming news:

I’m feverishly working to finish Dasher’s story for the Reindeer Game series which I’m hoping will be released in December in time for Christmas. After that’s sent off for acceptance/rejection, I’ll finally put word to paper on Taming Hels, the third installment of the Caressed by Starlight serial. Yes, you read that right, I’m going to push those sci-fi stories out as soon as life allows me to. I’m not letting those characters boss me around anymore! Once those two books are out of my hands and with my editor, it’s back to the Band Nerds.

Also, I’m in the process of requesting rights backs from Ellora’s Cave. There will be some books re-released in 2017 with new covers and prices. Check back here, or at my website for more information. By the way, if you want to keep up with new releases, or re-releases, sign up for my newsletter!

That’s all I have for now. I’ll try to communicate more here in the future. I forgot how freeing it can be to just spew out whatever’s in my brain without worrying how many characters I’m using, or if FB is going to give me trouble for posting it.

Talk to y’all soon,
Danica

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Breaking Free

There’s so much going on right now. Book ideas flying out at me from all sides, family drama, work, things to look forward to and things I’m dreading that sometimes I feel as though I’m being buried alive. No, this post isn’t all depressing and “poor me”. I’m actually okay with all the chaos that’s become my life. Apparently I’m the kind of person who thrives on pressure even as it gives me panic attacks.

I’m not entirely sure what this post is about to be honest. I started to go into my DJ spiel talking about the song I’m going to play when I began listening to it. Tool is one of my favorite bands of all time. I’ve loved their music since I was 16 and it never gets old. In fact, I find that as I get older, their songs mature with me giving me a different perspective and meaning. I used to love it just because it was kick ass and melodic and heavy. As I aged, I dug deeper into the lyrics and the meaning behind them and discovered a whole new reason to love them. I know, that makes me sound shallow, that I just liked them because they were different from the usual and heavy, but aren’t all teenagers about the surface anyway? Most of them at least.

But there’s a line in today’s song that just reaches out to me and it has been for several weeks. I don’t talk much about my very personal life because I try to keep everything on the light side, but without darkness there would be no light. Almost a  year ago, my dad went into the hospital to have a tumor removed from his stomach. While he was recovering from surgery, he had a heart attack that landed him in CCU for fourteen days. We nearly lost him and then it was discovered he has stage 4 stomach cancer. Without getting into all the details, he isn’t taking any kind of chemo or other treatment. He’s doing okay for now, but we all know it isn’t going to last. It’s been a roller coaster my sister and I have been trying to cram as much time with him as we can.

So when I’m listening to this song and hear the line, “We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion”, it reminds me to live in the now, to accept everything as it comes and remember that this isn’t the end. All the stress of real life, writing life, family life, work, etc., all of it means nothing if I can’t appreciate the good that comes from all of it, to understand that the physical isn’t all we are. Yes, even my dad’s illness. The good is that it’s helped to brush aside a lot of negative things that have been stewing for a while, it’s brought me and my sister closer and us both closer to him. I think one of the hardest things for us all is to remember that each difficulty in life brings us one step closer to being the people we were born to be. Does that make sense?

Enough of all this rambling. I love Tool. I love this song. Hope you can appreciate it as much as I do!

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Meh is for Monday

I’m sure everyone is having that Meh feeling today. Not just because it’s Monday, but also because it’s the first Monday after the time change. Ugh, time changes. I hates them, precious. Why can’t they just leave well enough alone already? We’re nearing summer which means the days will be longer anyway, but no, they have to go and mess with our clocks too. I do not like leaving my house at dark to drive to work, y’all. Makes me feel like an overachiever.

*sniff*

But since I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother is complaining about the time change, I’ll leave it be.

I know I made a vow somewhere about blogging regularly. I really did mean to. Life just gets in the way and honestly, I don’t think y’all want to hear about my boring life, right? I mean, the most exciting thing to happen to me is my 2-year-old nephew claiming I’m the reason he’s cute. Which is totally true. *snort*

Oh, or how about I’ve been so enamored of my current characters that the minute my head hits the pillow I’m bombarded by scenes I want to write with them? They follow me into sleep and wake up with me, yet when I sit down to write, they won’t talk to me. That isn’t exactly true. I do write because they talk to me but I have to end up removing scenes because I only have 25k words to put their story together. If I went with their pace, we’d be looking at a 100k book. That actually might come later for another book in that series, but for now they need to buckle down, fall in love and get busy. Y’know?

What else? *think* Nothing else really. I’m just struggling to find enough time in the day to handle the evil day job, the writing, family time and sleep. Although that last part isn’t so hard to accomplish. It’s the getting up again in the morning that does it LOL

Anyway, how is everyone else? Ready for Spring to arrive or what?

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Monday, Why Oh Why

I woke up this morning thinking…it really should be Sunday. Because there’s no way I’m ready for Monday to be here already. Not just because it’s the start of the work week, but because I’m still not ready for RomantiCon.

Okay that’s a lie. I’m mostly ready. I have everything I plan to wear put to the side waiting to go into the suitcase. I’m waiting to make absolutely sure I don’t change my mind before putting them in the vacuum packs and sealing them. By the way, if you travel and don’t want to lug around ten bags, those vacuum packs are lifesavers. I can fit my whole wardrobe in them. I’m hoping I can fit everything in one bag this year. With the still iffy shoulder, I don’t want to have to drag two big suitcases through the parking garage *shudder*

The rest of the weekend went well. I got my hair done on Saturday and then ended up shopping with my sister. She’s the worst sort of influence on me. Was it really necessary for me to buy another pair of shoes? Forget that the soles are made of memory foam and therefore are guaranteed to be comfy at the conference, did I really need another pair? Honestly! By the time I got home that afternoon, I was numb with fatigue and passed out for a couple of hours.

Did I feel guilty about that? Not really. Just like I didn’t feel guilty for watching football all day yesterday. All. Day. Why? Because on Friday evening, I wrote “The End” on “Touched By Lightning” (Working title) and sent it to my critique partners. And it’s probably a damn good thing I was book free this weekend. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy my nephew or realized that he’s the good luck guy for Saints games. When Bennett was at my house, we were kicking it. When he left, we weren’t. So my brother brought him back. And we won.

Yup, good luck guy.

So that’s my weekend. I’ll be mostly quiet this week because of the conference but I promise I’ll have plenty of stories to share when I get back!

How was your weekend?

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The Army Ants Did Well

A few years ago my sister-in-law introduced me and my brother to this wonderful thing called Trivia Night. It’s a charity event where teams of 6 compete against one another in 10 trivia categories. Since that time she invited us to join her team, I don’t think we missed a single one. Then this year, we expanded to a new trivia night…and this weekend, we went to yet another, driving an hour out of the way to attend. We went as the Army Ants (of Big Bang Theory fame) and the team was me, my best friend since Jr. High, sister, brother, sister-in-law and my godson.

In all the trivia nights we’ve done, we do well. As in we’ll get anywhere between 76 to 89 questions out of 101 correct. Of course that always puts us in the middle of the pack. So this weekend at the new trivia night, when they asked our team how many questions we thought we’d get correctly, we wrote 83 on our little paper. Oh and because my friend who signed us up for trivia night put me as the team captain, when they made everyone announce this number, I had to shout out “83”…Which wouldn’t have been bad if everyone else hadn’t said 47…56…60….get where I’m going with this? When I oh so innocently said we were going to make 83 points, the other teams around us turned to stare and there was a collective “ooh”. I wanted. To. Die. And what does my team say? “You should’ve said 50!” Hello! You put the number on the paper. I just went with what the group agreed upon.

Needless to say we were confused, but we decided to use our whopping 83 as intimidatoin tactics. Those professors at the back table were shaking in their loafers. (not) We’ve always done well. But as soon as the first question was asked, we realized the err of our ways. These questions were hard. Questions about presidents’ dogs kicked off the start of a trivia night that ended with us making 55 points. 55! But it still put us at number 4 out of 11 teams.

It was a lot of fun, but then we always have fun at these things. We’re nerds. I know eventually we’ll end up having two teams of 6 because everyone’s going to want to play. Which is awesome as far as I’m concerned. It raises money for good charities, puts all our useless knowledge to use and gives us a chance to do something together for a common cause. Sure, there’s a lot of “stop shouting the answers” or “write it down” or “I’m 110% sure” going on, but it’s all in fun. I really can’t wait until the next one.

What did y’all do over the weekend?

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Hello?

Is anyone out there?

I’m actually heading to work this morning and the interwebz seem very quiet. The only thing I have going for me is the knowledge that I’m not the only one who’ll be at the office today. But then I’d much rather be home writing than going to the evil day job.

I had a nice weekend. Really. I figured out who my characters were for my current WIP and managed to get three thousand words written. It isn’t a massive word count by any means, but it was enough to inspire me to keep working. Like Dean’s List (working title), it’s going to be another experimental story. No, no, not that kind of experiment. It’s a futuristic, one I’ve been writing off and on for months. It took me finishing Dean’s List for me to realize what was wrong with my story and now it’s flowing, the characters are talking to me and the sex scenes are keeping me up at nights.

It’s weird how that happens, by the way. Not the insomnia from sex scenes, but how writing a short story can help clear the mind for longer works. This futuristic will be my first 30k or more work since July. I think I timed it perfectly, by the way. When I really start to hit my stride, football season will official be over and I can spend my weekends writing instead of screaming at the television.

Saturday night I went out to dinner with my family. It was very nice and not just because I had this really tasty alcoholic beverage called a Firefly Lemonade. The food was good, but it was wonderful to spend time with my mom, sister, nephew and his girlfriend, and brother and his family. We laughed, we talked, we stuffed our faces and it was good. It was pretty funny because before dinner, my brother-in-law called my sister to find out what she was doing and she says,

We’re getting ready to go out to dinner. Danica sold a book again.

Like it happens every day. I wish it did, but yeah, it doesn’t. It’s really weird though because I did sell a short story before the end of 2012. Cookie Bound in Fondled and Gobbled: Someone Had To Do It is something I wrote…yet it doesn’t feel like a story. Probably because writing it felt more like watching an x-rated Mel Brooks movie. It was fun.

Anyway, in case you didn’t see it all over Twitter and Facebook, I had my very first quickie for the EC for Men line accepted by my fantastic editor. Dean’s List (working title) was something I whipped up to avoid having to buy the Cabal of Hotness drinks at RomantiCon. But I found it was a very fast, hot story to write and I hope people enjoy it. If things go well, I may be exploring more story lines that aren’t suitable for my other books, but would fit in with the EC for Men line. We’ll see.

How was your weekend, my friends?

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So Excited

And I just can’t hide it. You knew that was coming, didn’t you?

Well, I am. I leave Thursday for RomantiCon and it feels as though it’ll never get here. Friday evening, we had a baby reveal dinner when we learned the newest addition to the family is…Well, first let me just say they did it in such a cute way. My nephew and his girlfriend went to the ultrasound and didn’t even know what they were having. They had the tech seal the ultrasound pictures, write the sex on a piece of paper and sealed that as well. They brought the envelope to a bakery and had cupcakes made. The inside of the cupcake would be either pink for a girl or blue for a boy. We waited through the entire dinner (which was LONG) to find out. Everyone else bit into their cupcakes. I took a knife to mine. I was the first person to go “Yay!” because the minute I opened the inside, I saw blue. We’re having a boy! Le sigh, I’m so happy for them.

I spent most of Saturday doing last-minute beautifying things like a mani-pedi. If only the softness from the foot massage lasted more than two days, I’d feel like a princess. As it is, I’m back in steel toes today and I know by the time I make it to Ohio, I’ll have scaly feet again. *pout*

Sunday was my “Oh my god, what am I going to wear” day. I tried on two outfits, asked opinions and began packing. I refused to look at my dog as I filled my suitcase. She knows something’s going on though. She followed me back and forth to the closet, watched me fill my space saver bags, slide the extra swag I’m taking with me into compartments and yeah…I feel guilty as hell. I wouldn’t say she pines while I’m away. But when I get back, she always lets me know she isn’t happy with me. For at least a day, she’ll run away from me when I call her name and give me the cold paw when I go to pet her. *sigh* The drama I deal with!

And of course, I spent time with Bennett. He’s a little music monster. I had him in my lap and pulled up Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz on my phone. The little punk took the phone away from me and did his version of a dance which is kind of a mix of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles with his hands in the air and my heavy phone dangled precariously from his little fingers. He loved it. Then I played Psy’s Gangnam Style and he went insane. By the way, my Korean aunt was at the house and she explained Gangnam in South Korea means something very classy and expensive. As in, the average person could never afford it.

You learn something new every day.

So what did y’all do this weekend?

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