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Old paper, faded lines
marred by rusty paperclips
Scrawls made in lead 42
Blocky figures and colours
Applied outside the lines

These are my journals

Fragments of childhood
Moments captured
Memories framed
Pieces of heartbreak and joy
Shaped into words
Entrusted to the paper

Fragile

A match would destroy them
A deluge render them useless
But still they exist
Proof of survival
Of an ordinary childhood

What is “ordinary”?

Loving parents
Being teased
Playmates, companions
Bullies stealing possessions
Excitement entrancing
Let downs crushing

Like yesterday

Old pain, faded little
Eased by time and experience
I see myself at 9, 11, 13
I wish for a time machine.

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time travel, through non-fiction

A few days ago, I started cleaning out my bedroom, and that involved shifting a large number of paperbacks and notebooks around. I found a small stack of old diaries and school journals and couldn’t resist flipping through them after I was done playing Furniture Tetris.

It was remarkable how the years fell away. How the joys and pains of the past — how powerful those pains — echoed within me. I think I’d underestimated, despite my efforts to understand how childhood events can have an impact on adults, the true measure of past incidents on the present.

I read about being lonely after moving to a new school, and having to cope with having few friends.

I read about the births of cousins, and gifts received from relatives who have since passed away.

I read my accounting of a conflict that developed during a babysitting gig, the response of one of the parents involved, and felt the anger, resentment, and confusion rising in my chest, not as clearly as though it had just happened, but very familiarly.

It’s intriguing, seeing the development of my handwriting over a period of months — the transition from measured to concise, and then in the following years, to sloppy. (Oh, my poor grade-school and high-school teachers!)

And, of course, the sentiments of the school diaries are much different than those of my private journals. Both are honest, both are detailed, but the ones I wrote for my teacher are surface thoughts. The few pages I completed in the books that were for my eyes only — those are my heart.

I am deeply tempted to go through and transcribe them, in chronological order. After all, my grandmother always told me never to lose any of my writing; what better way to preserve it than in a virtual cloud? Or scan it, save the original imagery as well?

I think, for now, the journals will stay as they are, but I might transcribe an entry, here and there, just for something to contemplate. For laughs. For inspiration.

After all, this life of mine is an ongoing story.

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Book Review: Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft

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There are so many things I loved about this book. I loved Audrey, of course. She’s very believable, gaining my sympathy immediately. I loved the depictions of magic, they’re exactly how I might picture magic to be in the real world. I loved the visuals, the snarky narrative and dialogue, and the poignant parts. I couldn’t put it down, and that’s definitely the measure of a good book in my humble opinion.

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008G7L6TS/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

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Author Spotlight: Tara Fox Hall

Tara’s take on the paranormal genre — specifically vampires and were-humans — is entirely refreshing and very, VERY erotic. Enjoy the guest post below, and tell us what you think!

The Thin Red Line Part 4: Immortal Desire

Part of the vampire’s allure in fiction is immortality: that inability to age. Along with youth, the creature of darkness retains his zest for life and love. He is a creature of desire and wanton cravings. We want him to want us forever. And because he will live forever, we think that he can.

Normal love goes through several stages. According to http://www.ericrobersonmusic.com/2013/02/14/9-stages-of-love-all-couples-go-through/, there are 9: infatuation, understanding differences, disturbance over differences, opinion-making based on knowledge, molding one another into personal ideals, being content, doubt, sexual exploration, and complete trust. These are pretty self-explanatory, and I believe that any long-term relationship that is successful does go through these stages. Looking back in the ten years of my married life, I can remember each one.

There is an argument that most vampiric love in novels stops at stage 6, if it ever gets that far. To be fair, most romances and romantic novels end with a couple marrying or committing in some way, which makes this logical. And the whole point of reading something romantic is to enjoy the romance of it. Who wants to hear the terrible word “doubt” when that tall handsome stranger is whispering that he’ll love you forever? The real question here is the wrong assumption that a vampire’s ability to look the same extends to all facets of his personality, including emotion. He will not change in appearance, not if the legends are true. But inside, the vampire will change with the passage of time. He didn’t always love you, right? So if he can fall in love, he can fall out of love as well. So why wouldn’t a long successful relationship with a vampire lead to all 9 stages of love? My reasoning says it would.

Part of the allure is that we want the vampire to remain just as he is that first moment he loved us; to lock that mindset forever in place and have it remain as unchanging as he is. We want the intensity of infatuation, the adventure of new romance, the life-and-death feeling of living moment-to-moment waiting for the next encounter. We want immortal desire, literally. But the truth is that if we could manage to stay in that exciting, romantic stage by some magic, we will never get beyond to the stage of happiness, or better yet, the stage of complete trust. Is that what we really want…forever?

Author Bio: Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara at Letchworth 2012

Author Links:
Website: http://www.tarafoxhall.com
Email: tarafoxhallATgmailDOTcom
Tara’s Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286654.Tara_Fox_Hall/blog
Tara’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Fox-Hall/151813374904903
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TerrorFoxHall
 
Taken For His Own is Book #4 of the Promise Me Series.

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Blurb: After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Taken-For-His-Promise-ebook/dp/B00CZ4IGC8/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taken-For-His-Promise-ebook/dp/B00CZ4IGC8/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/319416
Melange/lulu link for Print, PDF and HTML copies: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/takenforhisown.html
All Romance E-books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takenforhisown-1215939-140.html
Barnes and Noble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taken-for-his-own-tara-fox-hall/1115457885

Excerpt:

I cried a few tears, turned out the light and let my mind drift. Just as I was falling asleep, I remembered the potion. Terian had said the potion would recreate the dream with Theo, but that when it ended, the dream would fade from memory.

I needed to put my feelings for Theo to rest and let him get on with his life. It was time to be done with dreams and get back to reality.

I turned the light back on and got up, rummaging around in my duffel bag. I found it and spent a few minutes removing the vial from the bubble wrap I’d taped around it for safekeeping. I uncorked the top and drank. The taste was bitter. This was it, the end of him and me. I packed the empty potion vial for Terian for reuse, then lay down. I drifted in a sleep-sort of fog and finally begin to dream.

It was my home, my farm. Again, I stood there, calling out to Theo to wait, not to leave.

Again, he stood motionless at the door for a second and then he turned to me, riding me to the floor. Kissing me roughly, as we tore off our clothes as fast as we could.

Every memory came back in full force, sweeping me away in a storm of emotion. It washed away the years with Danial, even everything I felt for Elle and Theoron. There was only Theo and I. We were one.

Theo made love to me again and again. I relished his body next to mine, his muscles holding me, moving me, pleasuring me. Soreness set in as night fell, but I renewed my efforts, knowing that the end was near. As Theo finished and reached for me, I pushed him away.

“Sar?” he said questioningly, his eyes worried, his hand outstretched.

In a few seconds, Danial’s voice would sound. This was it, the end.

In desperation, I shouted, “Theo, I love you, I love you more than anything or anyone. I’ll love you the rest of my life!”

As my words tore out of me, Theo’s body flickered. Suddenly thin scars appeared on his shoulders from a whip, the edges raised and red, then similar scars on his chest. A mass of scar tissue bloomed whitely on his hip.

I lunged for his outstretched hand as he faded before me.

I fell out of the motel room bed, landing on the floor. The room reeked with the odor of lovemaking, the odor of sex.

“God damn it, no!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

I’d fucked up badly. I’d forgotten Terian’s words to me the night he’d given me the potion, telling me about the dream it would create for me one last time.

“And he’s not here to renew it with you…”

Terian had said it, thinking as I did that Theo was dead. But Theo wasn’t dead, he was alive. I’d reached out and touched him again with another dream. Moreover, this time, he’d know immediately that what had happened was no regular dream. He’d come looking for me, remembering the scent he’d caught wind of a week ago.

God, I had to get gone as fast as I could!

I threw on some clothes and frantically gathered up my things. There was no time for a shower or food. We had to get moving!

I grabbed up my duffel and ran for the door, my keys in my hand. A footstep sounded outside my door and then the door was kicked open, flying back hard to slam the outer wall.

Theo stood there breathing hard, his eyes dark as a storm.

July 29: I’m on the V-Spot Blog

Oh, what a glorious Monday it will be! I’ll be rubbing virtual shoulders with vampire authors on perhaps the greatest vampire fiction site online!

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Join me at http://www.vampirebookrealm.com/the-v-spot-blog.html, read a fresh excerpt from Wind and Shadow, leave a comment, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for my Bloody Good Prize Package:

– a set of handmade beeswax candles (lead-free wicks),
– a signed bookmark,
– a magnet,
– a “blood”-filled vampire fang necklace from Vampirewear.com, and
– a signed print copy of Wind and Shadow

Good things happening — can’t wait to see who wins this one!

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Giveaway plus Interview equals ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!

Page Trotters is hosting a giveaway of my debut novel, Wind and Shadow — check it out, enter, and leave a comment: http://pagetrotter.blogspot.ca

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And, Indie Author Land is interviewing me this Wednesday, July 22! Make a note to stop by and say hello! http://www.indieauthorland.com

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Then, click the Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway to tell me that you visited and commented! And I’ll give away an extra copy of Wind and Shadow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pass it on!

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway is David Margetson — congratulations!

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Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy

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Buy Links:
(PDF or Print) http://www.melange-books.com/authors/torilridgewood/windandshadow.html
(Kindle) http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Shadow-Talbot-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DYCH64Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374184496&sr=8-1&keywords=wind+and+shadow+tori+ridgewood
(B&N) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-and-shadow-tori-l-ridgewood/1116138235?ean=9781612356396
(Smashwords) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/340100
(Kobo) http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/wind-and-shadow-talbot-series-1/JPwUsVxsCkqvqn_pDL1MYw?MixID=JPwUsVxsCkqvqn_pDL1MYw&PageNumber=1