Instead of the normal few paragraphs on my characters, their various allures, and why you should read my book, I’m instead going to take this time to tell you to take a deep breath, and relax. Yes, really. Breathe in, hold it, and then let it out slowly. There…don’t you feel a bit better?
This time of year is blessed with holiday preparation, fun gatherings with friends, rediscovering old memories, and also enjoying oodles of good food and drink. Hopefully, we also include a few minutes of relaxation to fully enjoy this time of the year and the people or creatures we love. But I admit right here and now that it’s been a good while since I zonked out in sprawled abandon like the little cat who is currently snoring loudly on my lap. It’s been much, much longer since I settled down with a good book without a pen in hand to record pages of excerpts that I plan to quote in a review, or a highlighter to mark passages to use in my own writing projects. We all hear about how we need to take some time for ourselves each day, but how many of us workaholics actually do it? There is too much to do, comment on, tweet, write, email, or blog. And that’s just on the internet! Pile on the regular day job, family responsibilities, and home upkeep, and you’re lucky to maintain sanity.
The downside of this is usually either a meltdown of epic proportions which could have some lasting consequences on whomever is with you at the time, or sickness which can range from a simple cold to a super-virus that puts you out of commission for a week or more. At best, even if you get everything done and remain healthy, all this busy-ness is sure to make you grumpy. When there is N amount of time and N+100 things to do, something has to give. Make sure it’s not your health or your sanity. Take a little time each day for yourself. Make time for things that are important to you, even if you’re the only one that thinks they are important.
Yesterday, I put some more glow in the dark stars up on my bedroom ceiling. They weren’t expensive…and yes, likely the kind of decoration Martha Stewart would frown on. It didn’t take long to put them up…maybe ten minutes for total prep, application, and putting the adhesive and step-stool away afterwards. But I felt pure joy while I was putting up those little stars, thinking about darkness falling, and going to bed and seeing them glowing up above me. Later that night, when I beheld them glowing above me, I felt that same simple joy again.
Take some time to relax this holiday season. Your family might not care so much that you didn’t make all seven of their favorite cookies, that you didn’t hand-make all the Christmas gifts, or that you got the cards out late. They will care that someone they love is sane enough to spend time with them, and love them in return.
Web of Memory
by Tara Fox Hall
Sarelle’s return to her loved ones brings a brief measure of solace, even as she mourns all that changed in her absence. Rene’s presence and Sar’s pact with Shaker add as much tension as comfort, as the delicate balance of Sar’s life threatens to collapse under the weight of all she endured as Michael’s prisoner. Determined to reclaim her life, Sar fights back, inadvertently sparking Danial’s memory as an unseen ancient enemy prepares to strike a fatal blow.
God, this was all I needed. This is not my problem, none of it. “She’s your wife. Try harder with her. She is trying; she’s just trying to find out who she can be. I wasn’t the greatest mother, even though I tried.”
“Maybe,” he said, his eyes of that rich cherrywood color fastened on me. “Or maybe I just should have tried harder with someone else.”
I thought about leaving. I didn’t want to discuss this with him. But this conversation was long, long overdue. It’s time we have it out, once and for all. “Tears, even if it had worked between us, which it probably wouldn’t, that doesn’t mean it would be as great as you think it would’ve been. Look at Theo and me. We tried so long to make it work. It didn’t, because we’d made a mistake.”
“You didn’t make a mistake,” Terian interjected. “Theo and you had the purest form of love there is. That shared dream doesn’t lie. You can’t dream with just anyone, the chances are something like one in a million—”
I don’t care, I don’t want to hear it. “Maybe he and I did have something once,” I interrupted. “But what I have now with Lash and Dev is better. And you’re way off subject here, Tears.”
Terian’s eyes flashed red. “So you’re saying I should cut her loose?”
“No. I’m not your marriage counselor. But I can tell you to stop comparing her to me. I’m just a woman who makes mistakes like everyone else.”
“You’re the reason I fell for her,” he said abruptly. “Because she looked like you and she wanted me, where you didn’t no matter what I did for you.”
For all Terian had done for me over the years, I made myself stay there and not tell him he was full of shit, though I thought I was going to drown in his BS and self-pity. “That wasn’t all there was to it. You stayed faithful to her since you met her, even years after you broke up. There was more than just her looking like me. What is wrong with you that you can’t see that?”
“She was funny and sarcastic, like you, but she didn’t have your hope. I wanted to give her hope, because I wanted her to be happy. Because with her, I first felt like I had a chance to be happy.”
Okay, that’s it, I’m leaving. “Then go home to her and tell her you want to try again, that you love her. Tell her you want to make her happy. Start treating her as if she was me, if that’s a more of a clear goal for you. If you do that, consider yourself forgiven.”
“Okay,” Terian said, nodding. “I’ll try, Sar. And I am sorry.”
You had fucking better be. “Don’t do it again, Tears. I ever find you in my dreams again and someone is going to come looking for you as soon as I wake up. Maybe several someones.”
Surrender to Me (PM novella + excerpt from Immortal Confessions)
#1 Promise Me
#2 Broken Promise
#3 Taken in the Night
#4 Taken for His Own
#5 Immortal Confessions
#6 Her Secret
Promise Me Anthology #1
#7 Point of No Return
#9 Dark Solace
#10 Eye of the Storm
#11 Tempest of Vengeance
#12 Sundown Serena
#13 Hope's Return
#14 Fate's Prison
#15 Web of Memory
Tara Fox Hall's writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children's stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama 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. All of her published children's stories to date are free reads on www.childrens-stories.net.
Vampire Cat Bed