Jack Frost in Frostbitten Hearts – USAToday Bestseller

Frostbitten Hearts featuring Jack Frost - a Bonded By Blood NovellaJack Frost is HOT!!

I am THRILLED to announce that A Very Alpha Christmas – the boxed set that includes my Bonded By Blood Novella Frostbitten Hearts about the legendary Jack Frost – made #40 on the USAToday Bestseller List!! *Arial jumps up and down and throws confetti* This is a wonderful accomplishment for all the authors involved. I’m proud to say this is the second set containing one of my books that has hit this prestigious list of high-selling books – the first being Highland Shifters (with Midnight Hunt, Book 3). By the way, A Very Alpha Christmas is still on sale for 99¢, so BUY IT NOW while the price is still low!!

Jack Frost as You’ve Never Seen Him!

So what is Frostbitten Hearts about? In short, it’s my own version of the Jack Frost legend – who he is, how he got his name, and the woman who melted his heart! WARNING: This is no Disney storyline of snowflakes and children’s rhymes. Uh-uh! Jack Frost is a sexy alpha male who will stop at nothing to find the woman he loves!

For those of you who read my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, there are a few pieces of this storyline that might be familiar. Jack is an Elemental – a witch or mage who wields the power of the elements. Monika Konrad, the heroine of Midnight Hunt (Book 3), is a fire witch and that’s the first book where I introduced this race of magic users. At the very end of Midnight Eclipse (Book 4), I invented the “nurseries” the Elder Vamsyrians (aka vampires) created to breed these magic users in order to produce a Spirit Elemental – a rare witch or mage with powers over the dead…powers Prince Jesse Amir needs to defeat his father, the King of the Vamsyrians. Dah-dah…DAH! Continue reading

A Very Alpha Christmas – New Bonded By Blood Novella

a-very-alpha-christmas-iTunes-coverPreorder A Very Alpha Christmas NOW for 99¢

Over 25 Paranormal Holiday Tales of Werewolves, Dragons, Shifters, Vampires, Fae, Witches, Billionaires, Magics, Ghosts, Demons and More! Preorder it now and lock in the 99¢ price. A Taming the Alpha Big Box Set of Spicy Paranormal Romance Tales featuring OVER 25 ALL NEW, NEVER RELEASED stories from New York Times, USA Today and Bestselling Authors

PREORDER NOW

RELEASE DATE: November 17, 2015

Collection Includes Brand New Stories by:

  • Heated Holiday © Copyright 2015 by Mandy M. Roth
  • Stirring Up Trouble © Copyright 2015 by Michelle M. Pillow
  • Baby It’s Cold Out Bear © Copyright 2015 by T. S. Joyce
  • Hunted © Copyright 2015 by Chloe Cole
  • Vampire Games © Copyright 2015 by V. M. Black
  • When Darkness Falls © Copyright 2015 by Terah Edun
  • Christmas Past, Christmas Presents © Copyright 2015 by Carina Wilder
  • Wrapped Up © Copyright 2015 by Cathryn Fox
  • An Impossible Gift © Copyright 2015 by Cristina Rayne
  • Thief of Souls © Copyright 2015 by Jaycee Clark
  • A Glint of Light © Copyright 2015 by JC Andrijeski
  • The Clockwork Dragon © Copyright 2015 by Tasha Black
  • Blitzen’s Fated Mate © Copyright 2015 by R. E. Butler
  • Star’s Fall © Copyright 2015 by Jaide Fox
  • In Good Spirits © Copyright 2015 by Michele Bardsley
  • Midnight Before Christmas © Copyright 2015 by Renee George
  • Winter Blues © Copyright 2015 by T.J. Michaels
  • Wish Upon a Werewolf © Copyright 2015 by Elsa Jade
  • A Christmas Caroline © Copyright 2015 by Allison Gatta
  • Frostbitten Hearts © Copyright 2015 by Arial Burnz
  • The Lady And The Dragon’s Holiday © Copyright 2015 by Mandy Rosko
  • Not a Gentleman’s Christmas © Copyright 2015 by Candice Gilmer
  • Claimed by the Dragon King © Copyright 2015 by Dawn Michelle
  • The BBW and the Beast © Copyright 2015 by Sylvia Frost
  • Reindeers, Elves, and Cookies…Oh My! © Copyright 2015 by Lissa Matthews
  • Santa Shifter in Manhattan © Copyright 2015 by Lexy Cole

I am SUPER excited to be a part of this holiday collection of paranormal romance stories. OMG get ready to bundle up into your jammies, sit by a warm fire with cup of egg nog or hot chocolate and grab your eReader for a COZY session of holiday tales and tails! You will NOT be disappointed at this…yet another…installment of the Taming the Alpha anthology series!

Frostbitten Hearts – A Bonded By Blood Novella

For those of you who have been waiting for the next BBB story, this is a little tie-me-over until my new release (to be announced VERY soon), Book 5 in the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles. Here’s the blurb for the novella included in this boxed set:

Frostbitten-Hearts-bundle-coverHer ability to wield fire didn’t give Aideen the power to make Jack stay…

Jack was Aideen’s very breath. As a cusper Elemental, he was the air that fed her fire and the waters that cooled her soul. Born and bred in captivity by vampires for their magic, they sought shelter and love in each other’s arms. But when Jack’s family escapes the “nursery”, Aideen is ripped from her young lover’s arms. Her family refuses to risk the wrath of their captors, and she is forced to stay behind. Though Jack vows to return and free her, his promise is not easily kept. He and his grove liberate several nurseries in retaliation and, still, she cannot be found.

Ten years later, Aideen unexpectedly stumbles into the grove’s compound and back into Jack’s arms with news they have a child…and she is the bait for a trap. Time is of the essence. If they don’t return by sunset, their son will fall victim to the vampires.

Jack must return to the prison he risked his life to escape, but he will do anything to save his son and he is not about to lose the only woman who has possessed his soul and can melt his frozen heart.

Author Notes

This story takes place about 25 years after the end of Midnight Eclipse, Book 4 of my BBB series. For those of you who read Book 4 – remember little baby Jack, the Cusper Elemental? Well, this is Jack’s story and he’s all grown up now (Yup! That’s him on the cover! RAWR!) and he’s learned to use his air and water abilities to wield ICE! I’m really excited about this tale of witches and vampires and fiery love that will melt Jack’s heart!

So preorder your copy now while it’s at the low price of 99¢! AND PLEASE SHARE!! Use those share buttons below or do a search for #AlphaXmas on Twitter and Facebook and just RETWEET and SHARE the hell out of our posts! THANK YOU!!!!

Mwah!

Arial 😉

Day 6 – Snarkology Halloween Hop & Drinks

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015Last Day &
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Yay! Candy day is here! And we have TWO drinks today!

Welcome back to those of you participating this week!!! Welcome to those who have just stumbled upon this spook-tactular Blog Hop and a message to hustle! This is the last day of the #SnarkologyHalloweenHop where almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in a Blog Hop hosted by the Ghostess with the Mostess, Melissa Snark!! Here are the big prizes:

 

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner above OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate.

Don’t forget to enter my drawing below OR do more sharing to earn more entries. TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format at the end of this week, just in time for Halloween!! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Halloween Day Drink #1 – Bloody Brain Shooters

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Day 5 – Snarkology Halloween Hop & Drinks

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015Only Two Days Left!!

Welcome back to those of you participating this week!!! Welcome to those who have just stumbled upon this spook-tactular Blog Hop! This is Day 4 of the #SnarkologyHalloweenHop where almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in a Blog Hop hosted by the Ghostess with the Mostess, Melissa Snark!! Here are the big prizes:

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner to the right OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate.

Don’t forget to enter my drawing below OR do more sharing to earn more entries. TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format at the end of this week, just in time for Halloween!! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Friday’s Halloween Drink – Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

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Day 4 – Snarkology Halloween Hop & Drinks

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015The Ghoulishly Delightful Party Continues!!

Welcome back to those of you participating this week!!! Welcome to those who have just stumbled upon this faah-BOO-lous Blog Hop! This is Day 4 of the #SnarkologyHalloweenHop where almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in a Blog Hop hosted by the Ghostess with the Mostess, Melissa Snark!! Here are the big prizes:

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner to the left OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate.

Don’t forget to enter my drawing below OR do more sharing to earn more entries. TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format at the end of this week, just in time for Halloween!! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Thursday’s Halloween Drink – Black Devil Martini

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Day 3 – Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop & Drinks

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015Keep On Participating!!!

Welcome back to those of you participating this week!!! Welcome to those who have just stumbled upon this faah-BOO-lous Blog Hop! This is Day 3 of the #SnarkologyHalloweenHop where almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in a Blog Hop hosted by the Ghostess with the Mostess, Melissa Snark!! Here are the big prizes:

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner to the right OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate.

Don’t forget to enter my drawing below OR do more sharing to earn more entries. TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format at the end of this week, just in time for Halloween!! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Wednesday’s Halloween Drink – Morgue-A-Rita Cocktail

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Day 2 – Snarkology Halloween Hop & Drinks

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015Get You Some Prizes!!!

Welcome!!! This is Day 2 of the #SnarkologyHalloweenHop where almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in a Blog Hop hosted by the BOO-tiful Melissa Snark!! Here are the big prizes:

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner to the left OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate.

I posted this info a little late in the day yesterday, so if you missed it, now’s your chance to catch up:  I invite you to visit AJ Nuest’s Tattered Pages blog where I’ll also be hosting MORE drinks all this week and she has some prizes as well. Yes…brave girl. She’s let me hijack her blog. Such a trusting soul. *rubs hands together* Mwuahahaha!

Don’t forget to enter my drawing below. TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Tuesday’s Halloween Drink – Zombie Slime Shooters

Original_Andrea-Correale-Halloween-Cocktails-Zombie-Slime-Shooters_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1707For those of you who are Walking Dead fans or just enthusiasts for the coming Zombie Apocalypse, here’s a drink you might enjoy!! As I said yesterday, these drinks are courtesy of the HGTV website!! Who doesn’t like a good cocktail after working their butt off decorating or doing some construction on their house, huh? LOL Thanks to HGTV for posting their drink series.

Zombie Slime Shooters Halloween Cocktail

Ingredients

For cocktail:

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce peach schnapps
1 ounce sour apple schnapps
1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce sweet and sour mix

For blood slime:

3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

Rim Instructions
1. Mix corn syrup with red food coloring.
2. Dip the rim of martini glass into the mixture, and slowly spin the glass to coat it.
3. Turn the glass upright and the blood will begin to drip slightly. Set aside.

Cocktail Instructions
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes.
2. Shake well and pour over ice cubes into slime-rimmed martini glass.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe for today! Check back tomorrow when I’ll post another drink recipe AND you can earn more chances to win!

Post Your Own Experience!

I’ll try to see if I can make some of these this week and post pictures on Pinterest! If you try out any, please post your comments on your experience here and leave any links where you posted pictures – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc!!

That’s my two pence…

Arial 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Help spread the word! The more you share, the more chances you have of winning.

 

Halloween Cocktails & a Blog Hop

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Woo hoo! We’re ramping up to celebrate the spook-tacular holiday of the year – All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain or what is more commonly known as HALLOWEEN! To blast off the festivities, almost SEVENTY authors, including myself of course, are participating in the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop – hosted by the BOO-tiful Melissa Snark!! Here are the prizes:

(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

If you click on the banner to the right OR CLICK HERE, you can follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes! Below is also the link list to all the participants. The hop is happening OCTOBER 26-31st!!! You have all week long to participate. UPDATE: I invite you to visit AJ Nuest’s Tattered Pages blog where I’ll also be hosting MORE drinks all this week and she has some prizes as well. Yes…brave girl. She’s let me hijack her blog. Such a trusting soul. *rubs hands together* Mwuahahaha!

Each of us have our own posts and giveaways on top of the main prizes listed above, so stop by as many places as you can for more chances to win! So, let’s start with today and the drawing I’m having for this week is for TWO winners to receive Books 1 & 2 of my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles in audiobook format! Scroll down to enter the drawing AND participate in the rest of the hop spots!! Good luck!!

Monday’s Halloween Drink – Liquefied Ghost Cocktail

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October – Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because of my own background. And I wanted to share this with my readers because someone out there might be in a similar situation and this article might help them break free to begin a new life OR give someone the tools to help someone they may know who is being abused. Please share this post with as many people as possible. We need to help build awareness on this issue that affects both men and women. And be sure to click on the pictures of Princess Ariel and Prince Eric to see the Battered Disney Princess and Prince campaign.

beat-up-princessMy Story

I come from a very dysfunctional and abusive childhood. For those of you who have read my books, you might now be saying, “Ah-ha! Now I understand why she had those scenes in there!” Ian Russell, one of the villains in Midnight Conquest, was my literary revenge against my father, who also beat and raped my mother. Fraser Campbell is another version of my father in Midnight Eclipse, but now the villain is through the eyes of the child instead of the wife/mother. Fraser orders the young boy Angus to stand and wait while Fraser eats a succulent meal before his hungry step-son. This scene and the beating that follows were taken from my own childhood experience and my father’s sick idea of discipline. “Write what you know,” we authors are often told. And so I have done.

My father pretty much beat every woman he had in his life – all of his wives, me and my sisters, even our babysitters! And he was more than physically abusive. He was sexually, mentally and emotionally abusive as well as neglectful. I remember afternoons when I was playing outside with my sisters at the age of seven when my father walked up to us and said, “I’m just going to run up to the liquor store and grab a pack of cigarettes. You girls stick close to the apartment and don’t go anywhere.” He left when the sun was high in the sky and didn’t return until it was dark. We eventually ended up in a foster home because of his neglect, where we were sexually and physically abused for two years there as well. Life wasn’t easy and I’m one of the lucky ones who survived.

But coming from an abusive past led me to make very poor choices in men. My first husband – God love him, he really was a sweet man and generous of heart – was a control freak. Everything had to be in agreement with him and if I didn’t agree with him, he worked on me until I finally gave up and let him have his way. My second husband was worse and I even ended up in a religious cult with him, where not only was my second husband controlling, our “minister” was, too. My second husband tried to raise a hand to me and the “minister” was encouraging him that a heavy hand was the right way to discipline his wife. I was outta there! But it was a nightmare when he tried to run me over with a car and then pressed charges against ME for battery and vandalism. I had felony charges against me, luckily reduced to a misdemenor, and all because I was trying to defend myself. This world is hardly fair when it comes to domestic violence, and that’s why we need to build awareness. The third relationship landed me with a man who ended up locking me in my apartment for three days before I got lucky enough that his mother called while he had stepped out. Thank the gods she talked him into leaving me.

Did I ask for this? Absolutely not! But I certainly got tired of the repeated pattern. I also had to finally admit that I was the common denominator here. All three men were from completely different backgrounds (Hispanic, Italian and white-bread southern boy) and even locations (Virginia, New York and Georgia). The point I’m making here is not that I asked for this, but I was unconsciously attracted to AND attracted men who were controlling. Since I came from a background of controlling men, on a subconscious level this was familiar to me. Maybe not what I wanted, but still something my subconscious gravitated toward. I learned that I needed to change my way of thinking and raise my standards. Learning to love myself was the start. Read my recent post, “Romance DOES Exist” if you’d like to know how I was able to overcome my personal issue and find true love. In the end, I finally got out of my own way and made better choices. Today, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life, so I’m living proof you CAN break away from an abusive relationship.

Domestic Abuse - Men...don't be ashamed to ask for help!Men Can Be Abused, Too!

As I stated above, this is an issue that affects both men and women. My husband is another example. Though his wife was not physically abusive, she certainly was mentally, emotionally and verbally abusive. No one deserves to be manipulated emotionally through their children or cut down consistently due to never-ending judgment. The guilt trips were endless. Any attempts to stand up against the way she treated him were met with emotional manipulation, belittling and even using their daughter against him by calling him a bad father, etc. Because my husband is a nice guy, he frequently gave in, thinking he was the one who was wrong because he lacked confidence in himself as a person. If the role was reversed and it was a woman in his shoes, many people would be in an uproar. Most men, however, are looked at as weak for not standing up to the abuse or leaving. He stayed to for the sake of his daughter. However, the truth of the situation made him leave: staying in the relationship was hurting his daughter. He also realized how the built-up resentment was causing him to lash out verbally to his wife and behaving in a way he never wanted to. So he finally left.

There are many men out there who have to deal with the same abuse and even men who ARE being physically abused by their wives as well as the above, but like the verbally and emotionally abused man, they’re too embarrassed to admit it. Not only that, both abusive men and women often use children as pawns or threaten their spouse with custody of their children to get their way. Anything I’ve mentioned above can be applied to any relationship, be it a man abusing a woman, a woman abusing a man and gay partnerships as well! No one is immune to domestic violence and the ONLY judgment that should be made such situations is against the abuser. The victim is NOT at fault. NO ONE deserves to be treated in such a way. I think not. The goal of a bully is to get their way by being unreasonably forceful, whether it’s through manipulation, physical, emotional, verbal or mental abuse.

Domestic Abuse is Not Just Isolated to Romantic Relationships

Adult siblings can be abusive to each other. Adult children can abuse their parents. Seniors are abused. Children are abused. Domestic Abuse means violence in the home and anyone is subject to it and the cause of it. Any of this information can apply to anyone regardless of the relationship. If you’re being abused in your home, you’re a victim of domestic abuse. All of the following resources can help! And DO NOT be afraid to cut people out of your life who are abusive. Cutting off all communication with a sibling or other relative because they’re verbally abusive or constantly violating boundaries is a healthy thing to do. Don’t tolerate negative or abusive behavior. If they truly want to be in your life, then they need to change the way they treat you. My philosophy is, “If you can’t respect me as a human being, then don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!”

domestic-violence-ribbonWhere to Find Help

I’m including a few links here that can help anyone who is being abused, but also friends of victims. Read these articles and apply them to your own life or to people you know. Look for the signs. Abuse is not just physical, as I’ve mentioned above. These resources can help you see the signs. A person like me who has been abused can spot it a mile away. Those who have not grown up in such an environment might not have the eyes to see so easily. EDUCATE YOURSELF so if you ever see the signs, you can reach out.

Take the Bully by the Horns by Sam Horn is an EXCELLENT book to help anyone learn to deal with bullies AND will help you realize how insecure bullies are. That’s why they do what they do…insecurity. (NOT an affiliate link, by the way)

For Women

Help for Abused and Battered Women
5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship
How to Get Away from an Abusive Husband

For Men

Invisible Victims: Men in Abusive Relationships
Help for Abused Men with hotline numbers for assistance
Leaving an Abusive Wife: Pre-Divorce Checklist

For Friends of Victims

How Can You Help a Friend or Family Member?
Help a Love One or Friend
FAQ Domestic Violencethis is an AMAZING PDF that can help everyone involved – victims, family and friends of domestic violence situations

DVAM_blog_graphic3How YOU Can Help!

You can help in a very simple way and it only takes a few moments of your time. Take the Hotline DVAM Challenge! The National Domestic Violence Hotline has created a challenge to show how people can get involved in building awareness. This blog post is an example of Challenge #1, which I’m reposting here:

CHALLENGE 1: Commit to our DVAM challenge. Do one of the following:

– Share a link to this blog post to someone via email or social media
– Share our challenge image (download here) and encourage your friends to join
– Declare boldy, “I am taking The Hotline DVAM Challenge!” on Facebook or Twitter Click To Tweet!

PLEASE NOTE: If you are in an abusive relationship, please do not post anything publicly that might jeopardize your safety.

Here are the links to the other Hotline DVAM Challenges:

Challenge 2: Information is Power
Challenge 3: Test Your Knowledge of Domestic Violence
Challenge 4: Information = Power – image share
Challenge 5: Know the Signs of Abuse
Challenge 6: Be Supportive
Challenge 7: Helping a Loved One
Challenge 8: For Frustrated Friends & Family
Challenge 9: Share a Message of Support
Challenge 10: Take a Stand
Challenge 11: The Journey of Hope
Challenge 12: Post this Handout
Challenge 13: Find Your Role
Challenge 14: Commit to Change
Challenge 15: Commit to Ongoing Wellness
Challenge 16: Remember a Victim
Challenge 17: Commit to Saying No More
Challenge 18: Evaluate Your Relationship
Challenge 19: Think Ahead
Challenge 20: Congrats!

Don’t feel pressured to do them all, but I would encourage you to do as many as you can. And there’s no time limit on this. Bringing awareness to domestic violence isn’t just for October. 😉

I hope this was helpful to those who need it and at least a step toward building awareness on this important topic. If you have questions, I am available and I’ll do what I can to help those who reach out.

With love and blessings to you all,

Arial 😉

Romance DOES Exist!

Midnight Captive - Audiobook - Vampire RomanceTrue Romance is REAL!

“Your books have changed my life!”

What author WOULDN’T want to hear that? It was the most amazing moment of my life as a writer when a local reader named Violet said those very words. I felt I’d finally accomplished a goal I set out to do with my novels. When I started writing, though, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I mean, heck…how do you change someone’s life with vampire romance? Kind of a round-about goal, right? A cure for cancer would be more direct. Maybe feeding the homeless? But I was better at writing than those other things, so I stuck with writing.

Though “changing someone’s life” was the goal I set to accomplish through my stories, the more specific method to do this…at least with my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles…was to show people the face of true love. Show them the characteristics of a healthy and supportive relationship. Show them genuine love in action! But with vampires?? Just go with me on this one. 😉

At the heart of all stories are the relationships between the characters. I happen to LOVE vampires, so I chose them as my vehicle, but the relationships between my main characters was the focal point. I’m speaking of Broderick and Davina, and more personally for my reader Violet who was touched by James and Cailin in Midnight Captive.

Just to give you a little backstory…

Midnight Captive - Book 2 - Vampire RomanceJames and Cailin were betrothed very young, their parents business partners. But it wasn’t forced on them. At the age of 17, James asks for the union. Cailin was only 12 at the time and the intention was to wed when she grew to womanhood. But James knew deep inside it was their friendship, respect and compatibility with each other that would make them an ideal match. Love is more than just the butterflies in our bellies. Marriage is a partnership that should be open and, more than anything, you should be able to completely be yourself around your partner. No judgment. So many people in the world don’t have this…but I did and still do, so I wanted to share this.

James and Cailin have some communications problems throughout the book and most of them revolve around what she thinks James wants in a wife. So, instead of just being herself – a dagger-toting hellion who wants to fight vampires and protect her family – she tries to be the dutiful wife who’s mastered the task of embroidery and running a household because she thinks that’s what James wants. Nothing could be further from the truth! Through their adventures, James and Cailin learn it’s okay to be who you are with no excuses. That’s exactly what I have with my husband. We can COMPLETELY be ourselves with each other. It’s liberating!

It’s Not Them…It’s YOU!

So, back to Violet. My husband and I walked into the local restaurant where Violet works and she said with wide eyes, “Oh, m’ija!* I have to to talk to you!” She glanced at my husband, standing beside me. “But not with him around.”

“I’ll just be over here,” my thoroughly accommodating and amused husband said, and he picked out a table for us.

After I gave Violet our food order, she pulled me aside. I said,”They’re too hot, aren’t they? My books are too hot.”

She fanned herself. “Eiye, caliente, but I love that. No, I wanted to tell you…your books have changed my life!”

Cailin MacDougal - Midnight Captive - Vampire RomanceCertainly, I was taken aback. “What? How? What do you mean?”

“The relationship between James and Cailin is just so loving.” She sighed dreamily. “All this time I was in these relationships with men, I always thought there was something wrong with me. But James and Cailin made me realize I was just with the wrong person.”

Of course I was in tears and we hugged.

“For the first time in twelve years,” she continued, “I started dressing up again, feeling better about myself. I started dating. And you know what?” She grinned. “I met someone and he’s a really nice guy.”

We hugged again and I told her how happy I was for her and was honored by her compliment. I don’t know about you, but I’m tearing up right now as I write this, and as I always do when I tell this story. 

Honor and privileges aside, what I want you to notice is what Violet did and what changed. SHE did the changing. SHE shifted her perspective from judging herself to being open to the idea that she just needed to find the person who was more suited to HER. Violet told me she felt free to be Violet and didn’t have to make any excuses. She was also free to look for a guy who was more suited to who she was, what she liked and how she wanted to spend her time.

James Knightly - Midnight Captive - Vampire RomanceMy sister Linda told me once,

“You have to stop pretending to be the person you think other people want you to be and just be yourself. Trying to be someone else is like putting on a mask. The people who REALLY love the person you REALLY are will miss you…because you’re hiding behind that mask.”

It was a profound moment in my life that helped me make the same shift in perspective Violet did. The more I act like myself, the more I attract the people who like the real me. Only then was I open to seeing who was the right guy for me…and that’s when I met my husband and romance novel hero.

Part of finding your true mate is also learning more about yourself. What do you like to do? Who are you as a person? The more you know about who you are, the more you realize the type of person you want to have in your life. It frees you up to easily let go of those people who don’t match your ideals or have the same interests. Why would you want to hang around people who criticize who you are, what you do and what you like? Wouldn’t it be more fun to hang around people who enjoy the same things? And above all, your life-partner should be your best friend.

If such a notion scares you into thinking you’ll be spending your life alone, then perhaps the truth is you don’t like who you are. Look…no matter where you go, there YOU are. You can’t get rid of you, so you might as well learn to love YOU. If there are things about your personality you don’t like, strive to change them. Strive to love YOU, though, and change for YOU…not for someone else. And when you do, when you can feel comfortable in your own skin, then you can relax and be yourself…and be okay with being yourself. Once you do that, you’ll attract the right person.

I hope this was helpful! Have YOU found your true love? Does any of this ring true with you? I’d love to hear if you have a story to share!

That’s my two pence…

Arial 😉

*informal Spanish for “friend” or “mate”