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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Guest Post: Rachel Jonas YA Paranormal Author


Hey, all! I wanted to share a post with you today from debut YA Paranormal author Rachel Jonas! Check out her post below!


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Release day is fast approaching! October 26th will be here before we know it! My YA Paranormal Romance, "The Genesis of Evangeline", is already up for preorder, but I thought I'd share a sneak peek here :) Are you a fan of:
  • Shifter Romance (Dragons and Werewolves/lycans)
  • Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance
  • Magical Powers and Supernatural Creatures
  • Alternative Reality and Alternative History
  • Tales of forbidden love
  • Fiction involving lost princesses and fallen or ruined kingdoms
If so, I think you'll enjoy this one!
*What others are saying*
"An intriguing mix of romance, fantasy, and heart-pounding action. I love Evie. She's a fighter, but it's her kind heart I adore the most. And the boys ... don't even get me started on them! Too many book boyfriends to choose from here. I can't wait for the next installment in this series. I need to know what happens. Five fantasy stars from me." --Jaymin Eve, USA Today bestselling author of the "Supernatural Prison" series. "This book is a wild ride of fun, adventure, and magic! It's like nothing I've read before and everything I didn't know I was craving!" --Ashley Gallegos, author of "Last Chance Baby" and "The Houseboat"; founder of Indie Book Connect Subscription Box. Check out the inspiration board for TGOE, then CLICK HERE to dive into chapter one.
*DESCRIPTION*
A past she can’t recall. A destiny she’ll never outrun. Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town. She wants to trust her instincts—about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls—but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible… and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity. Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become. Evie’s much more than your average, seventeen-year-old girl. And this is her genesis. Check out the first chapter now!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cherished by You Cover Reveal!

Well, guys, because I'm just a little extra I did a video reveal of the cover! Ah! Check it out below. :D



Also head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cherished by You Update & Chapter One!

Reader's Corner Post!


Today's post focuses on my lovely readers and all the information surrounding the Cherished by You: A Found by You Finale Novella release! Please watch the following video for more information and when you're done....


CHAPTER ONE OF THE BOOK IS POSTED BELOW!

Hope you enjoy it <3





Chapter One


Roxie


A light illuminated the cab, my awareness going off with that first flash. Another followed, and then another and my head rushed at the influx. Even though expected, they shocked the system. They always did.
Tense, I held my arms, watching as photographers piled on top of each other. They climbed, clawing over the most aggressive who’d made their way to the front of the pack. Those few got the first uninterrupted shots, what I knew to be nothing but tinted windows captured by their active shutters.
I swallowed, trying to breathe. The beading of my violet gown gave me something else to focus on as the limo came to a stop.
I patted around one with my fingertip, following the weaving strand. It swooped and turned, ending in a line just across my stomach. I held my hand there, sighing, feeling, and a larger hand slid between mine and the dress.
Griffin’s fingers laced through mine, my own digits finding every space and groove between his wide ones. He squeezed, his other hand coming to rest on my neck, and using the tip of his thumb, he lifted my chin.
A flare of blue was what I got to see first, ocean-esque and calm in their gaze. His jaw relaxed, Griffin’s mouth turned up in the corner, the freckle near the V of his upper lip moving with his smile.
“Nervous?” he asked, closing the space and touching our foreheads together. I felt every ounce of his warmth.
“Mmmhmm.” The word breathed through my lips, my nerves a simmering cesspool. “Very.”
The pads of his fingertips brushed across my neck, and then followed his lips. His mouth was warm and covered mine in everything that was ever wonderful.
Sighing, I fingered his collar, wanting to melt into him, wanting him to melt into me. Using our laced fingers, he brought me closer, nearly on his lap, and the swell of my breasts pressed firmly to his chest.
His taste consumed me, the smell of his aftershave surrounding me, and I let him take me to a far off place, one of him and his comfort. All too soon, he was the only thing. He was always the only thing.
“Just me and you,” he said, pressing a kiss, and then another. He mouthed my jaw. “Only us, Roxie. No need for the fear. I’m with you always.”
I closed my eyes, understanding with my nod. He told me to focus on him. I would focus on him, and I wouldn’t be afraid.
“Only us,” I told him, pulling away, and when I did, I got a final kiss, one in which he turned my cheek in the direction of his lips.
The door of our limo opened, and by my hand, he took me out into the fray, his six-foot-six inch frame covered in a black suit. It fit him in all the ways a suit should fit a man, close at his thighs and tapered at his long waist. The jacket stretched over his broad shoulders and wide chest, and he turned, revealing his flaxen hair smoothed back for tonight. Griffin Chandler… he was beautiful.
He brought me to him by my hands and then placed one on his arm.
The paparazzi surrounded us.
The minute we hit the red carpet, they took their position directly in front, and Griffin’s people were the only thing holding them back. His name sounded in high alarm, the point guard for Miami a popular photo opportunity, and though Griffin responded to them, he never left me. As he said in the car, he was always with me.
He held me, positioning me with him while they took their photos, and they loved him for every ounce of attention he gave. They loved him.
Over four years of what I had. Over four years of being Griffin’s wife and part of his world, and each time he amazed me. He allowed them to take photos like this was the first time, gave them his patience, and then left them like he couldn’t wait to see them again. This man was a rarity, magnificent.
After the last round, we went to head down the rest of the red carpet, but then my name was said. In fact, they chanted it. They chanted: “Roxie!”
“What are you wearing?” came at me. “Show us the back of the gown, Roxie! It’s gorgeous!” came more, and I did, my mouth a bit agape at the attention.
Griffin’s fingers loosened from mine, but he didn’t let go. He simply extended me over to them, and their attention with a smile on his face, and I posed in front of the stamped board, trying not to be overwhelmed as the photographers captured the silky train of my purple gown. After a few seconds, Griffin placed me back on his arm, and that’s when something else shouted my way.
“Congratulations on your achievement, Roxie!” they said to me, and my heart well…
It swelled.

*

The lights in the wide auditorium dimmed later that night, the attendees of the awards ceremony zeroing in on a single presenter. So much had happened tonight, so many celebrities and pop stars both presenting and earning awards. I used to watch the ceremony at home from my couch. The BET Awards were big everywhere, even in my small neighborhood. I enjoyed getting to see the glitz and glamor while so far away, the flashing lights and star power. Never in my life did I think one day I’d be here.
Nor have anyone acknowledge me.
The presenter’s lips moved, and I zoned out, watching as the second African American woman to ever win Best Actress directed the audience’s attention to the massive side screens in the room.
“She’s chair of the Chandler Foundation,” she said, “an organization she founded with her husband and business partner, Griffin Chandler, which has provided the advancement of after-school programs to inner-city youth. These programs have kept children off the streets, and the organization itself has sent over a hundred young black women and men to college.”
The audience applauded, the actress letting them with her pause, and I forgot to breathe. I forgot to think, everything.
I braced my hands on the armrests of my chair, my entire body shaking, but an arm coming around my shoulders lessened the quake, and the depth of a Texan drawl surrounded me in tranquility.
“You’re okay,” Griffin said, rubbing my shoulder. “You’re fine. I’m proud of you.”
He was proud of me.
I looked up at the presenter, trying to keep the anxiety in. The camera was on me at that time, my reaction on the screen.
You can do this. You can.
“She’s done so much,” the actress went on, tilting her head. Even from there, I could feel her eyes on me. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me.
“But she still finds the time,” she said, pointing at the room. “She’s still there for any rising athlete or bright-eyed kid who hasn’t even thought that far yet, for a personal meet up or even a midnight phone call to discuss their futures. Her consulting firm has matched dozens of professional athletes to respectable industry professionals all over the country, and that was only in her first few months post law school. The future is only bright for this girl, and let me tell you what, Roxie, the world can’t wait to see what you do next. I present this ceremony’s Humanitarian Award to Ms. Roxie Chandler!”
Her applause had everyone standing up, but the first, the very first, was my husband.
Griffin’s applause boomed, leading the standing ovation, and I think that’s what got to me.
My eyes watering, I couldn’t breathe, and I reached up so far to hug him, his wingspan engulfing me in the best way.
“Go get your award, baby,” he said to me, pressing a kiss to my mouth before wiping a thumb underneath my eye.
I nodded, his hand on my back as I turned toward the aisle. But before I could make it out, I received yet more warm hugs.
Kerry Donavan squeezed me, my friend and confidante since coming to the crazy excitement of this town. Her own husband transferred teams, passing down the torch to mine long ago. The Donavans had been family friends of the Chandlers since the beginning, and I had a feeling for many years to come.
“Get it, girl,” she said, giving me one last full body hug before letting me out. Her husband, Kendrick, wrapped a brief hug around me as well, wishing me his congratulations on the other side of her.
Somehow, someway, I made my way to the front, the silk of my gown hiked in my hands. My vision blurry, every step I took was shaky, and an attendant had to help me up the stairs in the wide room.
The actress came forward, taking my hand to lead me the rest of the way. Together, we made it to the podium, and she handed me something insane.
She handed me an award.
My name was embossed in gold lettering on a plate at the bottom of a glass statuette, its crystal hands reaching toward the sky. So heavy, the actress helped me take it back to the podium, laughing a little while she hugged me and said congratulations. After a pat on the back, she left the spotlight. I faced the audience, the moment such a blur. I think I heard my name. I think I heard congratulations, but I know I heard him. I heard Griffin out there amongst the crowd. Perhaps, because I was looking at him, his large frame stood out from the many as I watched him cup his mouth and call out to me between rounds of applause. Eventually, he lowered his hands, using just his mouth.
“Only us,” he mouthed, and I read him all too clearly. We’d talked to each other that way so many times before. He was right. It was only us, but soon, we’d make that even better.
I breathed, moving into the mic. “Thank you.”
More applause and I covered my mouth, the experience so much to take in.
Bracing the podium, I concentrated on blue eyes, my rock.
I parted my lips. “You all have been so supportive of me and Chandler Foundation.”
Sniffing, I had to collect myself for a moment, thinking about all those financial contributions, that support, and positivity I got for my little dream. I wanted to do something with my education, help people, and the ones in my community allowed me to do that. The connections Griffin made over the years garnered initial influence, but many, if not all, pushed on with me well past the life of their financial donations. Together, we made the Foundation happen, and I was grateful for each one of them.
I braced the stand. “We’re all together in this. We’re all helping to get these kids in school and keep them there.”
I got a breath in during another round of support, more applause.
“I’m just a girl, a woman from Wisconsin,” I said, shaking my head at that. “I’m a woman who met a man and found her everything in every way and all at once, and I thank him so much for that. I thank him for his love, and I thank him for his constant support.”
I found him in the audience then, smiling at me as he always did.
“Griffin…” I said, swallowing. “Griffin, I love you. I love you so much.”
The applause went out to him this time. He deserved that much and more.
His hands to his mouth, Griffin kissed his fingertips, opening them out to me in response.
“Every day I look at my life and wonder how I got so lucky,” I said, not breaking eye contact with him. These words were meant for him. I lifted the award. “This goes out to him, the man I love. Griffin, you always say it’s only us. It’s us against the world, and I always loved that.”
I returned the award to the podium after that. I had to in order to tell him what I wanted to next.
I stepped away from the stand and placed both hands on my dress, framing my stomach.
I looked up, leaning into the mic. “But I’ll love the three of us even more.”
Sound amplified around me, reverberated quite literally off the auditorium walls, but from where, I couldn’t have determined at all. My focus was held to the man who gave me everything, who gave us our everything.
Griffin’s gaze took hold of me as well, his attention traveling across the vast space to me on stage. Nothing could break it, people shaking his shoulders and his hands, and though he did reciprocate, his gaze didn’t leave me.
His lips parted, a flush painting his cheeks that could be witnessed even from a distance. The large screens around the stage only confirmed that as the cameras zoomed in on him.
From somewhere music played. An arm went around my shoulders, and my award was slid into my hands—the actress. She placed it there, squeezing me.
I blinked, and Griffin did, too, my time was up on stage. He watched from all angles as I traveled offstage with my attendants, and I asked if I could go back down the way I came. I needed to get to Griffin.
“We’ll have someone take you back to your seat from backstage, Mrs. Chandler,” someone said to me, and “Congratulations on your new addition,” came another. I was surrounded, and I barely got a chance to catch one more sight of Griffin. He had his hand on the seat in front of himself, craning his neck to see where they were taking me. I lost him behind the curtain.
“Um,” I said, trying to fight my way out of the mass of people. Soon after I received one last hug from the woman who presented the statue to me, I politely escaped, trying to get back to the velvet barrier between my husband and me.
A male attendant touched my arm. “Mrs. Chandler, are you ready to go—”
“Just one second.” I held up my finger but didn’t make it to the curtain.
Backstage, screens had been set up to see the auditorium and a zoom over the crowd displayed a calming audience. The people had gotten themselves together, went quiet, nearly, and when the cameras passed over my seat, my seat next to Griffin’s, I noticed two vacant chairs. Only Kerry and Kendrick sat in theirs, and a blast of anxiety shot through within me.
Where is he?
The attendant held out his arm that time. “I can take you back to your seat, Mrs. Chandler. If you’re ready?”
But I wasn’t ready. I…
“Roxie?”
His hand touched the small of my back, covering it, and his fingers twisted in the material of my dress, gesturing me to turn around.
I did, the attendant taking the award from me for a second, so helpful when he noticed me fumbling. Or maybe he just knew I needed my hands, that Griffin needed my hands.
He took them, his face really so flushed and eyes like a wave of crashing blue. He used to be so calm, but not anymore. It’s clear by the way his nostrils were flaring. He was also out of breath, his broad chest rising and falling with his exerted breath.
He gripped my hands, running his thumbs over the tops of my wrists. That’s how long his fingers were.
“Is it true?” he whispered, his gaze never leaving me, and I nodded, the tears stinging my eyes. I didn’t know why I was fighting tears. Perhaps the hormones were already starting to have their way.
And then he did something stupid to me—he made the tears fall from my eyes. He made them fall by raising my hands, kissing the backs of them like they were the most beautiful thing he ever held, and I cried. I cried so hard.
A sheen misted his aqua blue eyes while he did. He kissed my hands again, blinking. “I’m going to be a dad?”
The tears touched the tops of my breasts when I nodded again. I was going to ruin my pretty dress, and I knew that when he touched my cheek. His other hand went to my belly, touching lightly, delicately, though I knew him to be so much stronger.
He put gentle pressure on my back, closing the space between us, and dipped to my level, touching our foreheads together.
“Thank you,” he said, and I laughed. He did as well, chuckling as he shook his head. “I mean, I love you. I love you and me.”
He placed both of his hands on my stomach, feeling him and me. I loved us both, too.



Copyright © 2017 Victoria H. Smith

Monday, August 14, 2017

Motivation!

Morning, guys!

I’m coming to you today from the beautiful Midwest. It’s a sunshiny day with corn fields all around and I’m feeling pretty darn great about what the week is about to hold. I’m currently 28,000 words into my new WIP (writing in progress) and I’m ready to toss another 19,000 words or so on top of that this week!

I wanted to talk to you about motivation and the tactics I’ve been using recently to keep me on track. The last few months have been pretty crappy in regards to my word counts and I summed that up to a few things:


1. Being disorganized AF


I was seriously all over the place. I didn’t write anything down and therefore that showed.


2. Treating my business like a hobby


I think I was maybe putting in about 5 hours on the actual business side of my writing a week. FIVE HOURS A WEEK! This definitely wouldn’t do if I wanted to get my books out to my hungry and wonderful readers!

3. I was at a five when I should be at a ten


My motivation was seriously and embarrassingly crappy. It was like epic trash can bad. I needed to hike up my game in all three departments and I want to share with you what I did.


How I fixed disorganization: I GOT ORGANIZED!

A sample of a current Saturday schedule ;)

I know it sounds so simple and guess what? It totally was! I got myself on a detailed schedule (one I write down) and I follow it to the letter. Even meals and getting dressed are etched into my daily planner and it totally helps. I have a day job so each moment is very valuable. 


How I stopped treating my business like a hobby:


I put more hours in. I now schedule 20 hours a week for business related endeavors whether writing, marketing, or other wise. I also got a support team (aka my darling husband ;D) who now puts in about 10 hours a week on top of my 20. We’re really doing this thing together now and I definitely underestimated the value of good support.


How I got myself from a five to a ten:


I found I really needed to sit and figure out what shrunk me down to this horrifically bad number. After thinking, I realized I needed to take a good long look at my release schedule as well as what I was writing. After doing that, the words, but most importantly my passion started to grow again!

I’m very excited for what the future holds and for you readers out there my next book CHERISHED BY YOU will be releasing in the next few weeks! The cover reveal will be around before that so watch out!


Question of the week:



What do you find keeps you motivated throughout the week?



Can’t wait to hear from you guys and until next week!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting back into this!

Hey, everyone! Happy Monday and welcome to my blog. For those of you who follow me or my work you know this blog hasn’t seen much action lately. Before I started writing I used to blog all the time and it was a great way to not just share my journey, but get everything out of my head from what I’m working on to my process.

Things have been… interesting for me lately. I recently started a new job and moved back to my hometown. The move kept me busy and I also have been focusing on my health. Those of you that follow me on Instagram know all about the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle and some of the health things I’ve been going through. Needless to say all that has kept me busy and writing has kind of been on the backburner because of it.

Some of the changes I've made. 65lbs lost and counting!

My health and the move aren’t the only things holding me back and I wanted to start blogging again to A, keep me accountable to deadlines and things, but also B, let all of you in a bit about me and my life. Besides Instagram, I tend to stay pretty quiet on the net. When I started writing I knew exactly what I wanted to write and how I wanted to create something for people like who were looking for emotionally charged stories featuring diversity and inclusion from the cast to the themes. I started there in writing and though I’ve continued with that mission, I find lately I’ve been in my head more, which has not only halted the creation of new words, but stifled my creative energy entirely. I’ll start to write a story, then stop and find myself all over the place in my writing when I start again. I think for me I’ve pegged this down to me forgetting what I was trying to do in the first place when I started writing. I want to create good books that I FEEL and want to provide my readers with the same.

So this is me getting back into this. From now on, I’m doing what I set out to do and not only that, I’ll be more open while I do it. You’ll see more posts on this blog. The content will be mostly focused on writing/for other writers, but I hope both writers and readers can get something from it. I’m just going to be doing my thing here and I hope you’ll join me! And ending with that, I want to ask you something:


Do you ever find yourself unfocused or easily distracted? If so, what do you find helps you get back on track?



Talk to you soon,


 
   

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