Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I'll have to see

I've been very open about having an autoimmune disease and what changes I've had to make to my life. One of the biggest things is I can't make commitments. I hate letting others down. So I had to give up my position with the volunteer committee I was a board member of, and always say I'll have to see when ask to do anything.
Last year I participated in an amazing Halloween event for seniors and adults with disabilities. Something I'm very passionate about. I was undergoing treatment for a flare, still trying to figure out what was wrong with me. It was difficult but I did what I could. When asked this year, I said "I'll have to see." Leading up to the event I was confident I'd show up and surprise the organizers, ready to volunteer. Unfortunately I had another flare, a bad one. I'm actually writing this from bed, where I've spent most of the day. Unable to move because of pain, swelling, weakness and more.
On Thursday my new book, The Climb is releasing. I decided to have a book release party, both on line and at my home. Well o had a young family staying with me for the past six weeks. They just got possession of their condo today. I need to do a little extra cleaning. I haven't had a toddler around in many years, fingerprints and sticky doorknobs come with the territory. I need to prepare for a wine and cheese party, organize door prizes, online prizes, author take overs and still market my book on release day. Yet here I am bedridden and feeling as if I took on more than I can handle.
This right here is the biggest effect that autoimmune disease has had on my life. I'll have to see. I invited another autoimmune warrior to my party, she said "I'll have to see".  I want everyone to understand that we do want to participate, we do want to come out, have you over, volunteer and even work. This isn't always possible and we aren't making excuses. We do love you and want to see you, we just can't always. This is why I don't make commitments anymore.
I'm excited for my release party, bit also stressed because I don't know if it will be as perfect as I'd like, because I have a disease that dictates how my day will go. If you know someone that also uses the catch phrase "I'll have to see", give then a gentle hugs and your understanding, that's all they really want.

Xoxo
Charlotte

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dreams

We all have some kind of dream for our lives, some big, some small but each one is important. I have dreams for myself, my career, my life, my kids, everything in my life I have an ideal dream for it. Some may say I live with my head in the clouds, but I say I live my life with goals. Lets face it, that's what dreams are, goals. I bet if we examine our dreams, we all have very similar dreams.

Family, there's many dream we have about family. Some dream of having a family, some dream about a loving or happy family and others dream about what they want for their family. I'm no different. When it comes to my family, I dream about happiness. I want each of my kids to have success and happiness, I want them to find love and enjoy life. I dream that my husband gets the recognition at work that he deserves, that he doesn't have to work so hard to provide the life we want for our family.

Health, I dream about health for myself and my family. As some of you might know, I have a autoimmune disease. This has made me make some major changes in my life. I take the good days when the come and the bad days when they come. I dream of having more good days than bad. I dream that my kids won't suffer the same disease as I do. Health is something we take for granted. We usually don't think about it until something is wrong. Health is something I've dream about all the time and from a young age. I dream of the day when people won't have to suffer anymore, when cancer will be cured. I dream that my children will never have to face any further health concerns.

Financial Stability, this I think is something everyone dreams about, and it's okay. We all dream of a day when we don't have to worry about bills. A day when we can take a vacation if we want. I dream of the day I beat the odds and win the lottery, I mean who wouldn't like that. Mostly I just dream of making a living with my writing. I dream of financial stability with writing, so I can pay it forward, I can afford to use paid blogger services, help others live their dreams. 

So as you can see dreams are really just goals, things we want to achieve in life. It's important to follow your dreams. Believe that you can achieve them. What are some of your dreams?



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Birthday's

Today is my birthday, what does that mean? Not a whole lot. Although when it comes to my books, it means a lot. In The Embrace Series today is also Sophia and Alexander's birthday. I also released all my books in print today. So that is super exciting. I know lot's of people have been asking when I was going to do print copies, and I'm sorry it took so long. Anyways just a short post today sharing the links with you. The best part is you can order my newest title, The Climb in print today and have it before it officially releases on November 1st. So go ahead, I can't wait to share it. 

Immortal Embrace https://www.amazon.com/dp/199941800X

Forbidden Embrace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1999392434
Mystic Embrace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1999392450
Everlasting Embrace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1999392477
The Climb https://www.amazon.com/dp/1999392493

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Climb, Cover Reveal

I know I said I was going to focus on Mental Health for my next few posts, but in all honesty I need a break from that... for my mental health. So I decided what better way then to reveal to you my new book. The climb has been my romance project for about 7 years. It started as erotic, but I took all that out. Don't get me wrong, I love reading a hot and steamy book, I just can't write it. So The climb has become an amazing love story. I love this novel and hope you will too.


The Climb

Sometimes fate brings two people together to create a perfect love, but then life has different plans, so we must decide to trust that fate will prevail and our lives could be better than ever imagined.
Trista Smith is from San Francisco, she struggles with her self-worth. Deciding it’s time to take her life back, she makes the trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, hoping that climbing Africa’s tallest mountain will give her a new outlook on life and the courage to live it to the fullest.
Wealthy New Yorker, Phil McKay lost his wife to brain cancer. He’s finally fulfilling her dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. With her ashes in his pack, he is ready to close this painful chapter and move on with his life.
Both Trista and Phil hoped to ‘find themselves’ on the mountain; they never expected their lives to change forever. Unfortunately, they live on opposite ends of the country. It’s hard to be drawn together and then torn apart in such a short time. However, life throws even more curve balls at them and the risk of tragedy brings them together again.

 
Cover Art by CJ Strange




The Climb releases on November 1, 2018 on Amazon world wide. I am having a face book release party, so make sure you join and try to win various prizes from myself and other amazing authors. Don't forget to like my face book page for up dates and other fun stuff.  

XOXO
Charlotte




Thursday, September 13, 2018

Insecurities

Recently I've done a few posts talking about my insecurities as a writer and my physical appearance. I've decided I want to go even deeper. I'm hoping sharing my thoughts with you will help myself and maybe someone else.

So let's start at the beginning. I've dealt with mental health issues since I was in high school. I never admired it, and when given medication, I was convinced I could handle it myself. I'd take the meds for a short period and then stop.

In my mid twenties I met my husband James. I'm so lucky to have a man like him in my life. I was very open about my mental health issues and insecurities. He accepted me for who I am.

When I would go off my meds and things would start heading downhill, James would calmly tell me it was time to seek medical attention. He kept me in check.

After my seconds child I suffered PPD. Medication helped. I stayed on it for years, until my third child. At this time my doctor advised me it wasn't recommended during pregnancy. So I stopped taking it. Although because if history I went back on after, until I felt "good" again. Then it was on and off for years.

A few years ago I hit rock bottom. I didn't tell anyone, but it was bad. Finally after some traumatic experiences, almost ending my marriage and really wanting to end my life, I sought help again. At this point I made a promise to my doctor to never go off my medication again. I haven't. I still struggle, but it's usually related to normal life stresses.

Thankfully, James stood by me through everything. My kids all understand my struggles and I understand theirs. Unfortunately depression and anxiety is a trait they inherited from me. Together as a family we deal with it.

Depression isn't curable, but it is treatable. We can't treat it like a virus. Mental illness is a life long struggle. Just like thyroid disease, diabetes or anything else that requires daily medication. You wouldn't quit taking heart disease meds, so why would you stop taking meds for a nuerological disease? Please don't be like me and think you can handle your depression on your own. You don't need too.

I've seen the bad and the ugly side of mental illness. I've experienced it. I've seen the effects on loved ones. I've thought that they would be better off without me, but I know better now. I've seen those that have lost people to mental illness, and they are not better off.

If you suffer from mental illness, know your not alone. Message me, message a friend's or family member, call a help line. People care and although that can be hard to believe, they really do.

Over the next few weeks, leaking up to world mental health day (October 10), I'll be making very personal posts. I'll share the crazy mixed up thoughts in my head. I wasn't to be accountable for my feelings, my insecurities and my faults. I want to heal and be a better person. Most of all, I want to do it with you. I want you to join me on my part of self discovery, self healing and self acceptance.

Xoxo
Charlotte

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Back to school

I'm pretty sure I'm the only parent that dreads back to school. We are now over a week in to the new school year in my area and the struggle has already begun. Usually as summer comes to an end, parents are cheering. They no longer have to deal with fighting siblings all day, everyday, no longer have to plan and transport to various summer activities. Don't get me wrong, I know we all love the time and memories we get to create with our kids, but lets face it, school is six hours a day where we don't have to pull fighting siblings off each other, clean up messes and entertain. School can mean a little break. Not for me!

My kids are 15 and 12, ( my oldest 19, is on her own now) they are very independent and kinda tend to stick to them selves. I rarely have to deal with them fighting. They easily help with chores when asked. I'm pretty blessed. Until school starts that is. See my kids deal with low immune systems, they get sick very easily, they suffer from migraine headaches and the area we live in, I'm pretty sure is the worst possible city for pressure changes. This causes frequent migraines. My 15 year old also deals with severe social anxiety. So school for me means, fights and arguments to get them out the door. Tears and yes screaming. Constant calls home from school because one or both have a migraine, are not feeling well or whatever. It mean constant visits to the doctor, just to be told "let's wait and see". My 15 year old has been chronically ill since last December.

So school started last week, week one went great for my 12 year old. For my 15 year old the anxiety kicked in hard, but she made it through. Week 2, Monday my 15 year old had a sever migraine, complete with vomiting. Tuesday was a fight and a few threats to get her to school. My 12 year old son, crawled into the car Tuesday after school, in tears because of his head. He came home and laid down with his migraine. Both didn't eat much dinner. Now today Wednesday, my son still isn't feeling well, he begged to stay home. So right now, he's back in bed trying to get rid of the nasty headache he's plagued with. My daughter doesn't start school until after noon, we have gotten accommodated programming to try to help her succeed in school past her anxiety and illnesses. So I'm not sure if today will be a fight with her. 

So this will go on the entire school year, we will have specialists from the schools get involved to try and make education easier and a priority for them. I will stress for the next 10 months. I deal with more tears than either kid should have. I will worry what will become of them as they grow, how will they hold a job, will they learn to fight through the illness or migraines as I am doing right now. Will they be productive members of society?

As you can see, school doesn't bring a break for me, it brings added stress and frustration. As parents we all have our "things" we have to deal with, work through and manage. This is mine and although I feel like I'm failing 90% of the time, I look at my 19 year old (who also dealt with health issues as a kid) and see her as a successful and hard working young woman. Yes she moved away to a climate that is better for her health. This makes me hopeful that the other two will get through this as well. It also makes me sad that I genetically predisposed my kids to all my health ailments. Hopefully they won't become severe.

So to other parents that struggle, I feel your pain. It doesn't matter if it's autism, ADD, any other medical or mental disorder that adds to your struggle. Know you're not alone. To those of you that don't have to deal with any of this, that have happy, healthy kids that love school, remember that other people have other struggles. Teach your child to be compassionate of those that miss lots, don't judge because you have no clue what their struggles are. Mostly, please befriend these kids. It's hard to make and maintain friendships when away ill and they need to feel wanted, it may help them heal.

XOXO
Charlotte

Monday, September 3, 2018

Body Shaming, Don't judge a person on their cover

Me at 18 as a model. 
This week there has been a lot of body shaming going on. Some people say it's not just about being obese, it's about health. Well let me lead you down my story. I was a hundred pounds, soaking wet, I was a model, I even did a swimsuit shoot just months after having my first child. Flash forward a few years. I was in nursing school, I was constantly told that I was too thin. I did't try to be thin, I didn't work out, I ate what I wanted and just lived life. Less than a year later, I had my second child. I was up to a hundred and sixty pounds. I walked my eldest to and from school everyday. I was a very active mother. I couldn't lose the weight if my life depended on it. I sat around this weight for many years. Even after my third child, I didn't gain or lose.

Now a little more history, I was sixteen when I started losing my hair. I tried everything to stop it, doctors said it was "just" female pattern baldness and there was nothing I could do. This was a huge blow to my confidence. I had to learn different ways to style my hair, ways to cover it up. By the time I was thirty, I had my three children and had now gain sixty pounds. I almost always live in hats, for years I wore wigs, but don't like them. I continuously beat myself up. I'm extremely shy, I lack any kind of self confidence and consistently beat myself up over my appearance.

Now I'm over 40 years old, my weight yo-yo's between one-sixty and one-eighty, it's even gone close to one-ninety-five. My hair is so thin, I can't do much at all anymore. My husband and I always joke that we will go bald together instead of grow old together. I don't feel comfortable in any clothes, I don't feel pretty, like ever. I beat myself up more than anyone else could. I've tried to work out and eat healthy, it doesn't help. Yes I get toned, but my size stays the same. So as I sit here and write this, I want you to think about what others go through without your mean and hurtful words about their appearance. 

Me a few years ago, with my wig 
I recently found out I have an auto-immune disease. The specialist believes this is the cause for some of my aliments, such as my hair loss. It also has lots to do with my weight as there are long periods of time I'm bed ridden. My point to this is you never know what someone else is going through. Stop judging others on appearance and start judging on their heart and what they do for others.

The past few years a "plus" size model has taken the world by storm, Ashley Graham. God I love this woman. She has done talks about body positive and just being true to you as a young, strong woman. Her lessons to young woman is what we all need to hear. This is a true example of inside outside beauty. Her confidence is something I wish I could have a fraction of. Bless her for being a role model to all of us. Can we all take a lesson from her.

This week I saw an article where a "curvy" woman was told her husband is too hot for her.
My son and I, blonde hair to cover how thin it is
Seriously?? Now it's not just good enough that she is beautiful in his eyes (and she is gorgeous), that they love each other and are happy. Why because society says they both need to fit into a certain mold. This is more than a little outrageous.

Cosmo featured a larger woman on the cover and people all over are shaming her. Okay here is my tip, if you don't like it, don't buy that issue, don't look at it. She is beautiful to someone. She is confident and gives people like me just a little more confidence. She encourages young people to love themselves. We don't know if she has a medical condition causing her weight like me. People assume that if you are over weight that all you do is eat chips, pop and take out. And yeah sometimes it's true, but what business is it of yours? How about we start judging people by who they are and not how they look. body shaming can go both ways but, I think it's time to learn to accept people for who there are instead of how they look, what they wear or anything other than their personalities.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My biggest struggles as an Author

I like to think of my self as a positive person. I don't like to complain (much), I like to think the best of others and situations, and I love to help others. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that stress doesn't help anyone. Be positive, think positive, believe positive. Now with that said sometimes this is hard as hell. Life has ups and downs and sometimes things will be harder for us than others. I do believe we should learn from our troubled times. This is just life. Well it's the same being an author. We have ups and downs, times of empowerment and times of doubt. Today I want to share some of my biggest struggles as an author with you, I want you to know that no matter what you do or face, you are not alone. 

First and foremost as a author and a person I am not good at asking for help. I am a help and a people pleaser. I want to help others, but don't want to bother others when I need help. As an author this is detrimental to my career, we need help, we need a street team, a promo group, people to review, and share our work. Word of mouth is the best promotion. I am terrified to ask others to help me, and when I do and they say yes, I'm terrible at directing them. So I tend to do everything myself. Yet with that said, I hate promoting myself because I don't want to seem spammy. So I guess this leads to my next struggle Insecurity.

We as humans all have things we are insecure about. Now I'm going to be very vulnerable and honest here. I am insecure about almost everything. My weight, my hair, my age, my disability, my knowledge. Anyone that knows me personally, knows I am in a constant battle with myself and very judgmental of myself. This also takes part in being an author. I don't want to "bother" others, I don't know why a blogger would want to bother interviewing me or reviewing my book when there are so many amazing authors out there. So I very rarely reach out to them. I'm blown away every time someone reads my books and even more so when they take the time to review and especially like them. I write for me, I write what I like, not whats popular, not what will sell, but whatever story I have in my head. I am very proud of myself for putting my books out there for others because it faces my insecurities head on. 

Now this leads to marketing, I really struggle with marketing. As I said above, I don't want to seem spammy, I don't want to "bother" others and i'm scared to approach bloggers for help. Marketing is a huge part of being an author. It doesn't matter if you are traditionally published or independently published, we need to market ourselves and our books or else no one will even know we exist. I don't have a huge advertising budget, but I do run AMS and Facebook ads every now and then. I know I need to do more, but I just don't know how. So this is probably my biggest struggle as an author. Everyday I watch how to videos, I do research and try to learn more. After all learning is how we grow and improve ourselves. One day I will figure this all out.

Now for a few things that I have learned as an author, because I want to have a few happy thoughts in this post. Although I'm a self proclaimed people pleaser, I have learned you can't please everyone. As an author, you will get bad reviews, not everyone will like your work and you know what, that's okay! I appreciate even "bad" reviews because I can learn from them. I recently revised and re-released the Embrace series. After I got my rights back from my publisher, I went through every review. I learned that I was too formal in my writing and now I make special note of that when doing my rewrites. I have also learned that there are some really amazing people out there that will help and support us authors. I've learned that it's okay to be vulnerable like this post, because we can grow fro our vulnerabilities. 

My eldest daughter, is a very smart young woman and she is very good at lecturing me on life and trying to help me improve myself. I think she might have been the mom in our past life. She encourages me to take charge of my situation and put myself out there. I think that's what this post is really about, about putting myself out there. No matter what you do for a living, a hobby or are going through in life, know it's okay to put yourself out there too. We are not alone and we all have our own struggles. Thanks for reading and helping me to admit and accept mine.
My daughter Jorden, in NYC living her best life. 

XOXO
Charlotte     

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book Recomendation

August Book Recommendation 
My goals for my final year at university were:

1) Kick ass at my internship
2) Keep hiding from my family
3) Stop frying my phone battery by accident with my powers.
Then I walked into the first day of my internship at a hot indie record label to find that my old life had collided with my new one.

Five hot guys in a band called Phoenixcry, I’m supposed to manage them, and oh yeah, PS, they’re werewolves. I’ve left the magic world behind, but I’m still a witch and witches and werewolves don’t mix.

But doing the wrong thing was always my M.O., so now I’m out on the road with a band full of sexy, growly werewolves. But the magic world is one step behind us: there are hunters on our trail, and if they catch us the boys are dead and I’m back at home under lock and key.

Oh, one more thing, I think I’m falling in love with them. Not just one of them, all of them, and to make it super complicated, I think they feel the same way.

So I had to revise my goals for this year:

1) Kick ass at my internship
2) Don’t fall in love with the band
3) Stay alive
Sounds easy, right?

==========

Meet Darcy Llewellyn, fourth year university student, music intern, and secretly a witch. This is the story about how she meets and falls in love with the werewolves that make up the band Phoenixcry: Finn Gunner, Elias Gunner, Charlie Gage, Wesley “Ace” Rivers, and Cash Legend.
This steamy Reverse Harem Romance is over 80,000 words in length, and is the first in a series about Darcy Llewellyn and her pack of werewolf lovers.
Simple Book Review 
This is the first reverse harem book I've read and I have to admit I loved it. Darcy is a relatable  character that is well written and well thought out.  The author KT Strange pulls us right into Darcy's life. We get to know the characters, we get to love them as we enter their world. Yes this is a 18+ novel, but it isn't over the top. It gets the blood flowing but doesn't use language or scenes that make you blush. The romantic components are well written and planned out.
If you like music, bands and want to learn what life on tour is like, this is a great book. KT Strange has first hand knowledge of the music industry making everything real and believable. Go inside and enjoy the life of a rock band as they find love.
I give Pheonixcry 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A little piece of happiness

Throughout our lives we go through many ups and downs. We experience nearly every emotion and strive to find true happiness. But what do true happiness mean? I believe it's little pieces of life that bring you joy and in turn give us happiness. Things that make us happy change over time. As a child a prized toy, a friend to play with, a day at the park, praise from a teacher or loved one can all bring happiness. As an adult our needs and expectations change. We want a good job, money in the bank, a nice home to live in, and what ever else we think will make our life happy.

Lately I have been reflecting on what makes me happy, I have a few good friends that I love and appreciate, my mother who is my best friend, I have an amazing husband that loves me through all my flaws, I have three amazing child that yes can drive me batty but also make me proud to be their mom. The list can go on and on some little things some big things and could be completely different than what someone else may need to make them happy.

Everyday it's important to wake up and be grateful for the things we have, take a moment and think about it. Don't think about anything else, put your problems aside and be truly grateful for what is good in your life. I've been doing this more lately and what I've noticed is I'm happier! I don't dwell on things that make me unhappy or stressed, I've always maintained that stress doesn't solve anything, action does. So if we are unhappy, we need to change things. Finding the little things is the best place to start.

This week my youngest turned 12, it's the last year before all my children are either teens or adults. I have taken them and the memories with them for granted. I'm watching as my eldest turns into the most amazing woman I know, my middle child is making plans for her future and rediscovering her passion for art. Shes also teaching herself new things like the guitar, which I heard her playing tonight. Then my little one, he is the most caring person ever. He is mama's boy and so many times I was to busy or preoccupied to enjoy his hugs. I'm sure they will stop soon, but for now I have found a new happiness in his cuddles.

Today I had a friend send me a quote, she said it made her think of me the minute she saw it. Reading it made me remember that I'm worthy, I make a difference, I love and am loved. Although my life has it's ups and downs, I know that this is my happiness. Knowing that I have all this in my life. I encourage each one of you reading this, take a moment and think of what you're grateful for at this moment. Find a little piece of happiness no matter what is happening in your life.

The quote my friend sent me
Many blessings to you all. I think you are all amazing.
xoxo
Charlotte

Friday, August 3, 2018

Parenting - How did I get it right?

When thinking about becoming a parent, we think about many things, including but not limited to,  what it means, how our life will change, how we were raised and how we want to raise our kids. When I decided to have kids I knew there were a few things I wanted to do differently.

I was raised in a very traditional sense, mom stayed at home until i was in school (the last of 3 kids). Dad worked hard and was strict. We had to have manners and show respect to our elders, we had chores and once mom started working, we had to help with things like cooking dinner. We were loved, but not spoiled, we had rules to follow and we were spanked if we disobeyed or misbehaved. I wasn't allowed to date till I was 16, I wasn't allowed to wear make-up until my mom thought it was appropriate. My parents didn't include us kids in decisions, they didn't talk about finances around us and we did as we were told without talking back. I had a great childhood with lots of fantastic memories and I think my parents did a pretty good job, because I like to think I'm a decent human, not perfect but pretty decent. Thanks mom for making me a caring, somewhat responsible and giving adult. 

When I had children I didn't want a bunch of rules. Why? because I was a little shit that broke almost every rule I was given. I rebelled and my mom is still learning about some of the crap I pulled as a teen. I wanted to remove to rebelling option from my kids. I wanted them to know about our financial struggles, so maybe they wouldn't make the same mistakes. I wanted to tell my kids about all the BS I pulled as a teen. After all I was once their age and remember what they feel and think. So I have a 100% full disclosure policy with my children. I am completely honest with them. 

Now as a parent, we never know if we are doing it right. We do what we think is the best and hope it turns out. Once my oldest daughter came to me, she was about 14 at the time. She told me she really wanted to try sneaking out, because her friends were doing it and it sounded fun. She then proceeded to tell me how there was no point because I'd let her go anyways and that removed the fun from it. (I removed the option to rebel like I did as a teen). I took this as a score. Another time she asked to go to a bush party. I said sure, I'll drop you off, but wear runners because when the cops come they will charge whoever they can catch, so make sure you're not the last one there. She decided against going.. Another score in my books. Situations like this went on through-out her teen years. Her friends would call me if they were in compromising situations, I'd go pick them up, no questions asked and take them home. Other parents knew the kids felt comfortable with me, and trusted that I would help take care of them if they didn't feel comfortable going to their own parents. It takes a village! 

Fast forward to today, 2018. I have a 19 year old daughter living on her own in another Country, in one of the party capitals of the world, Las Vegas. She also went to school by herself for a year at 15 in New York. I also have a 15 year old, who suffers from sever anxiety and fights it every day to go to school and dance. She's a beautiful soul and likes to insist she was switched at birth and not related to our crazy family. Then there's my little man, he's 12 next week. He loves computers and is way under-active for his age, but is the most caring loving kid a parent could ask for.

Grand Canyon Easter 2018

Are my kids perfect? oh hell no! Am I proud of each one of them? Hell yes! As parents we do what we think is best for our kids, for me it was being honest and hoping they could learn from my mistakes, trust me enough to come to me with anything, be respectful of others and be productive members of society. Now my son is still young, and my one daughter is a typical teen. My oldest is killing it at life though and I like to think that this is because of how I raised her. I ask myself everyday how I got it so right with her and hope it turns out just as good with the other two. Jorden is 19, living on her own, she bought a car, took driving lessons, rented an apartment, working full time and doing other odd jobs, she just got a promotion at work, is attending collage and traveling the world. All of this on her own dime. I couldn't be more proud. Shawnee wants to follow in her big sister's footsteps, and Lucas is even saying the same at his young age. I love that they look up to and admire each other.

Now of course every parent thinks their kid is the cats ass, but I'm going to introduce you to my eldest and let you form your own opinion. Jorden started a blog a few months ago. She is amazingly insightful and far more talented at blogging than I am. So please go check it out, leave her a comment and send some encouragement for a young girl doing her best at life. Just click HERE.

Most of all remember as a parent you do the best you can, we all do what we think is best and what works for one, might not work for the next. So if you were looking for advice, all I can give is to tell you to give love, receive love, do what you think is best and lock the bathroom door so  you can have a moment to breath.

XOXO
Charlotte

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Forbidden Embrace Cover reveal

As some of you know, I like to write books. Seven years ago I published and released the Embrace Series. This year I regained my rights from my publisher and decided to revise and re-release them. It's been fun reliving this journey and I can't wait to continue the story. During my years away from writing, I received many emails from you, the fans asking when the next book would be out. Well we are finally approach that. With the re-release of the first four books, I will be releasing at least two more books in the series. Best of all they will be here before the end of the year. Thank you for being patient as I was a mom and dealt with my on-going health issue. I'm back and ready to share this story with you all again.

First was Immortal Embrace which went live on July 2, you can get the e-book via amazon or print at most online book stores.


It’s been three decades since Sophia’s brother left, and she is unsure if she’ll ever get over it. That is until her family moves to Wenham, MA. She and her siblings have been given orders to protect their littlest sister, and must return to a High School existence. This is where Sophia meets her soul mate, Nathanial, and life as she knows it is about to change...
  
As a vampire, Sophia always kept to herself. As a student, will she start to step out of her comfort zone? She’s found a best friend in a powerful, young witch, and a love to call her own. But when tragedy occurs and blood is spilt, will Sophia be able to resist the sweet scent of her beloved?
 
This breathtaking introduction into Blackwell’s paranormal romance book saga wraps mortals, vampires, witches, and other supernal themes into a dramatic tale of passions versus pitfalls, love versus loyalty, and the essence of family.
 
This is Sophia’s story — the story of a girl who finds herself when she thought all was lost.



Tonight I want to share book 2 Forbidden Embrace's new cover with you. I'll be honest revising book two was an eye opener for me. I always loved the Embrace Story, but Forbidden Embrace was my least favorite. At least until I started working on it again and totally feel in love. I'm excited to share it with you all on July 31, 2018. Tonight, I'm happy to share the amazing cover that graphic artist and author CJ Strange has created.


Just when Sophia Pierce thinks her eternal life will be happy and peaceful, something else happens to turn it upside down. With rogue vampire approaching the town she has learned to call home, the Pierce family must prepare for battle. With some magical help will they be able to save Wenham?

Even more trouble arises when Danika, the newest vampire of the family decides this might not be the right place for her. The Pierce family has already lost one love, Caspian, when he felt he was no longer worthy of their family name. Will Danika follow his footsteps and will he be able to save her from a fate far worse than his own? 


***





I hope you all fall in love with these covers as much as I have, as well as the amazing love story within them. 

Charlotte 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The good, the bad and the ugly cry

We all have them, good days, bad days and ugly cry days. It's healthy to have them, but don't dwell on the less than perfect days. Take them and learn from them. I have never been the healthiest person, but I tried to be the best I could on the good days. It wasn't until this past fall when I became seriously chronically ill and no one really knew what was the matter that I kinda just gave up. I spent about eight months in bed and at doctor offices. No clear answers. This happens to more people than we realize. Now the important moment is ones life is the realization that bad days don't define us. It doesn't matter if it's from physical illness, mental illness, being overwhelmed in life or anything else. What matters is how we handle it.

I'm one of the lucky ones, I have a very supportive family. They encouraged me to get back into writing when I could no longer hold down a job outside of the home. My mother, husband and children all wanted me to be happy and productive. The thing that I didn't realize then, that I do know is that if I push myself, I become more productive, and I'm happier. This leads to more good days than bad days. I still have bad days, today as I write this I am having one. Dealing with lots of pain, a headache and emotional stress. Yes I even had a little ugly cry. To pull myself out I decided to push through and write. We need to recognize when we need a break and when we need to push through.

This was the same when my kids were little. Not a single one of my three kids liked to sleep through the night. I like to joke that between pregnancy, babies and toddlers, I didn't sleep for twelve years. Truth is, that was no joke. If you're a parent, you understand how hard it can be to care for a colicky baby off an hours rest. Yes at times I wanted to run away. Actually one time I did. My husband had just got home and I left, without saying a thing. I walked around the block for about 90 minutes. I calmed myself and returned to my responsibilities. Several years later my now adult daughter has told me how that affected her. I didn't mean to hurt my children, we never do. As a mom, as a human we all need to escape sometimes. I've now learned that I can get the same escape by taking time to myself and doing something I love.

So next time you are having a bad day, an ugly cry or the urge to run away. I'd like to remind you that you aren't alone and that you deserve that mini melt down. It will get better and the good days will return. Find what helps you have more good days, remember to see the good in your life, the smile on your kids face, the encouragement from your loved ones. Everyday I try to remind myself of all the things I have to be grateful for. Today, I'm grateful to have the ability and courage to write it down and share it with you.

I hope you are having a good day and please feel free to share what you're grateful for in the comments.

Charlotte
xoxo

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kindness Matters

So often these days I see the changes in humanity. When I was growing up, we would always offer our seat on the bus to an elderly, an expectant mother, even mother with a young child. I rarely see this done anymore. It's so much more than that though. With a heavy online presence taking over, people can hide behind their keyboards and attack others. It seems so many people are out for their own agenda and don't so much care who they roll over to get to it.

Today while my husband and I were out, we saw a tire in the middle of the road. It was too far for us to get, but my husband said " I wonder if anyone will get that?" A moment later we saw a man get out of his vehicle and begin to roll the tire to the rightful owner. This isn't something we see frequently anymore and it saddens me. A video I saw yesterday, showed a man losing his shit on a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt, the police did nothing and the man was right up in her face. Like since when can we treat people this way because they are proud of their heritage? She was a citizen, she had the proper permit to be where she was, who cares what she was wearing?

Another thing that is common lately is anonymous comments online. This is where the trolls come out. I've seen it for years. It used to be common with teens throwing hate to each other, but now I see it with adults. My question is, what are we teaching our children by showing so much hatred to others? Why do we as adults have to be so consumed with other peoples lives? Can't we just be nice to one another, and if you don't like someone...stop following them on social media. It seems pretty simple to me. I don't look at someones facebook and then start complaining that they bought a new truck or decided to have another baby. I don't criticize them for every little choice they make. Why? Because it doesn't affect my life. The lady across the street having a baby, is not my concern. I congratulate her and move on. Do I want to have another child, nope...3 is enough for me. Did I have them all at the perfect time, HELL NO. Did I raise smart, polite, caring , independent young adults? You bet I did! I will save my bragging for another post.

My point is that kindness matters, so often people complain about how entitled kids are today, how they have zero respect. Well guess what, we are the ones teaching this to our kids. So the next time you see an elderly person trekking through the snow with their cane, stop your car offer to help them, maybe give them a ride. When you see a child fall off their bike, stop and make sure they are okay. A lady at the store who is a dollar short for her bill, well pay it forward and give her a hand. Most of all stop hiding behind the computer screen tearing others apart. You never know when you might need someone's kindness, so do your best to be the kindest person you can be. Most of all remember kindness is contagious. Spread love not hate and the world we become a better place.


 XOXO, Charlotte
     

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Time to get a little personal

I've made the decision to blog every Wednesday, Although today is Thursday. Why did I wait an extra day? Well I wanted to share some personal things I've been dealing with and it had to wait till today. As mentioned in a previous post, I've been dealing with some health issues. Lots of blood work, diagnostic tests and specialists. Well the good news is I'm getting closer to a diagnosis. I want to share my last year with you.

Well I thought it all started in August, but have since learned many of my health issues even from childhood are relevant. In August I got this god awful rash (I thought it was an allergic reaction), someone compared it to vacuum suction marks. It was painful and I could hardly move. I spent nearly every day in urgent care or the doctors office. I was put on oral steroids for 6 weeks. At the end of August I saw a specialist who did what's called a punch biopsy of the marks I had. The results came back positive for  leukocytoclastic vasculitis (LCV). This is an autoimmune disease of the vascular system, there is no cure. LCV is commonly a secondary diagnosis to other autoimmune disorders. So we continued with more tests. Everything was coming back negative, yet I was in so much pain, I was exhausted, like couldn't even lift my head. I'd sleep for 18+ hours a day and couldn't function. We knew something was wrong, but couldn't pinpoint it. I saw my PCP, a dermatologist, an internist, a resident that specialized in rheumatology, a cardiologist and had a referral for a rheumatologist. My PCP, the intenist and resident all thought it was fibromyalgia. Well I have a nursing background and just didn't feel that was it. I still thought there was more to my story.

Finally in June I saw the Rheumatologist, for those of you that don't know they specialize in autoimmune disorders. Well after one hour with me, she went over signs and symptoms, looked over photos and said she's convinced it's Lupus. So back for more blood work I go. She also informed me she saw signs of it in my blood work from August. Now I will admit, this is the exact diagnosis I suspected. Most people it takes years to get diagnosed, but it looks like less than a year for me. So I feel very lucky. If you don't know, Lupus is a disorder where your immune system attacks your own body. There is no cure only treatment, which isn't very pleasant either. Lupus can also attack your organs. I already have suspected kidney and heart involvement.

So why am I happy to get diagnosed with this? Well simple, the sooner I start treatment the better it is for me. People with Lupus are now living full life expectancy with proper care and treatment. I also spent the past nine months in bed, my memory failing, couldn't get my thoughts straight or even out at times, no will to go on, no motivation and depression took over. I was one 12 different medications (I hate taking meds). I'm ready to face my disease head on. So I said enough is enough, I started writing again and here we are, release week for the revised version of Immortal Embrace. I vowed to not let my disease win over my life. I have my drive back again and so excited for what the future holds.

Today I had a MPI Stress test. This is a test of the heart, I had to walk on a treadmill until a target heart rate was met. I was injected with a special dye and the MRI photos were taken of my heart. I returned 3 hours later for more MRI photos to be taken. I won't have any results for a few days, and have five...yes five more heart tests coming up between now and October. I see the Rheumatologist at the end of this month and will hopefully start treatment as well as further investigation into my kidney's.

So that's my story, I want you all to know that no matter what it is you might be going through, you're not alone. reach out to me on social media, email, whatever. I'm here to listen. I'm writing again, and have like 7 books coming out before Christmas (including the revised Embrace Series). I will keep everyone updated on my progress in both writing and health and thank you for standing by me. I love you all.

Charlotte           

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Immortal Embrace (revised edition)

Just a short post tonight. It's almost time, Immortal embrace will be re-released on July 2, 2018. This comes 7 years and 1 day after the original release. There are some minor changes, and some big fixes. I'm so excited to share it with you.


Currently you can pre-order the kindle edition. Now for the big moment, the amazing new cover!



I hope you all love it as much as I do. Who's ready to get Embraced for the first time or all over again?


All my love,
Charlotte

Monday, June 25, 2018

My jump to Indie Publishing

If you didn't already know, I recently left my publisher (who was amazing) to try out the indie author arena. At least five times a day I scream "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?". Okay, so indie publishing isn't for the faint of heart. It is a LOT of hard work and long hours.

You might be asking yourself, why did I leave my publisher? Well The Embrace Series has been with World Castle Publishing since 2011. I feel it did very well. I learned a lot and even traveled for book signings. I hard tons of fun and loved my job. My contract has been up for several years, but I remained with my publisher. I had the worst case of writer's block, I couldn't even go over edits for another book I'd finished. It was okay, I started a new career, working with special needs children, got sick, had surgery and returned to work. I ran for city office and then got sick again, although this time I'm not getting any better. So now I'm jobless, sick, and have lost all direction. 

Jump to June, 2018...I GOT MY MOJO BACK! After months of pouting and not doing anything, I started writing again. This got me excited and I decided to get my rights back for The Embrace Series, re-write and re-release it. I still have such a good feeling about this story, I just think I released it at the wrong time and want to do even better by my fans. I am doing this via self publishing. I can't even explain how excited I am to re-release my first series to you as well as a whole new audience. As I write this, I'm awaiting the proofs for my new covers from my amazing cover artist. I have to admit, the wait is killing me. 

So, although I left the comfort of a publishing house, I am learning so much about becoming an indie author. I'm pretty sure some of the other indies are getting sick of my questions. I do like to have all the control, I don't like depending on or waiting on other people. Self publishing makes me accountable and no one else.  I feel good, I feel accomplished, book 1 Immortal Embrace is uploaded and just waiting on the cover. I hope to release it July 1, exactly 7 years after it's first release. It looks so pretty, and I love some of the changes I've made to the story. I can't wait to share The Embrace Series with you all, as well as The Climb, my stand alone romance novel. 

As for my health, yeah I'm still sick, but I'm making huge leaps and bounds to getting a diagnosis and proper treatment. I will survive and I will continue to write. I hope to have you all standing beside me through it all. 




    

Friday, May 25, 2018

Where have I been?

It's been a long and exciting 4 year break I took from writing. Yes life got in the way, I lost my drive for writing, my muse. Well I'm back and I'm sorry it's been so long. I've been receiving lots of emails and messages encouraging me to write more, to come back to what I love. Well I want to start by sharing the last 4 years with you.

So much has happened in such a short time. Here's a brief break down of my life the last little while. Near the beginning of my lets call it a sabbatical, my eldest daughter at the age of 15 moved to NYC on her own to attend Joffrey Ballet school. It was a dream come true for her, and for us. We were so proud. A few months later I went to work for the local school board as a special needs learning assistant. My nursing background help immensely with this rewarding and challenging job. This is where I really lost my drive to write. Working a full time job, taking care of the other two children and the household was enough for me.

About a year into my job I began suffering some health concerns. Nothing major, but I was bedridden for several months and had surgery. Jorden was now home from NYC and finishing her senior year of high school.  She helped me so much with her younger siblings, but was still busy herself. Anyways, once healed from surgery, I returned to work. I transferred schools at the end of the school year.

Now I loved my job, I love working with kids. I just felt that I needed to do more. So being very interested in politics, I ran in the civic election, increased my volunteering and ran my ass off. It was an exciting year. Until I got sick again. During the election I became really ill. I struggled to keep up with my obligations. I basically stopped campaigning the last two weeks, when everyone else was out in full force. Now I didn't withdraw because I wanted to follow through. I did very well, but thankfully I did not win a seat on our city council. Everything happens for a reason. I really do believe that.

That brings me to the last seven months. I have left my job with the school, been trapped in bed and seeing so many doctors and tests. We still don't know exactly what is medically wrong, aside from it being some kind of autoimmune disorder. I have been learning how to live my new life. A life with chronic disease. I'm not sharing this for sympathy, because none is needed. It is just a new way of life.

So what better way to heal the mind and body than doing something you love? For several months my mother (yes even at my age she still tells me what to do) has been telling me to start writing again. Well lets just say after being the stubborn child that doesn't listen, my mom was right. The moment I picked up my computer and started writing again, I felt a sense of relief. I found myself again.

Now with all that out, I hope you will all follow along on this journey with me. Oh and start rereading The Embrace Series, because there will be a new instalment. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

What better way to bring me back to writing than a royal love story? I have been MIA from the writing world for about 5 years. Life took over, but I am back now. My first returning blog post is about the Royal Wedding. I have been a royal admirer my entire life, but the newest romance has sucked me in deep and I am officially obsessed. Why you may ask, well it's simple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are such an inspiration.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are both huge philanthropists in their own right. Long before ever meeting each half of this power couple had done amazing things to make this world a better place. Of course Harry is obligated to some point by duty, but no one made him create the Invictus games. He also continued with many of his late mothers charities. One of my favorite causes Harry is a part of is mental health. So many people are scared of mental health issue, they hide them, but the Royal family has been fantastic at bring a new light to the issue. Now Meghan, she started as age as a feminist, fighting for equality, something she continued into her adult years. Meghan has also been part of The Clean Water project. Something I personally would love to be apart of.

Now it's likely you know as much about their love story as I do, so its mute point to recap every little thing. What I will do is point out some things that make my heart flutter, as well as pieces that I personally feel are so important to our history. Everyone knows that Meghan is a biracial American actress and that Harry is the prince of England (sixth inline to the throne). Myself being a Canadian, I feel like we have a special place in their love story. After all Meghan was living and working here in Canada when they courted. I think that is a really cool way for Canadians to feel involved. Not to forget that we are also part of the commonwealth.

On May 19, 2018 I stayed up all night to watch their wedding. Of course right away there were people around the world ready to tear apart every little detail. First off I want to say to these people, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because it was their wedding and they planned it the way they wanted. They are truly the only people that matter here. We were blessed that they shared their day with us.

The dress, many of us waited with baited breath to see what Meghan would wear. I loved watching Meghan and her mother drive to the wedding in complete amazement and excitement for their special day. Mother and daughter together, soft smiles, fighting back tears of joy and still waving to all the adoring onlookers. Once arriving at the church and stepping out of the car, we finally got our first view of the dress. It looked simplistic and feminine, but it wasn't until Meghan stood atop of the church stairs and her sixteen foot viel was laid out to be admired that we got the full effect. I thought it was such a beautiful sight. The simple ivory silk gown and the long veil, which has a special touch of embroidered flowers from all the 53 commonwealth countries. I loved the simple way the dress framed her shoulders and felt she picked the perfect dress for her royal wedding and yet kept it true to herself. She also paired it with the Queen Mary tiara, one of the simpler royal jewels. Absolutely stunning!

The service, many people were surprised by parts of the wedding, such as the bishop, Meghan's mom sitting alone and more. Well here are a few little things I noticed about the wedding and what I found so amazing about them. It started with Meghan entering the church and walking the first part by herself. Her father wasn't able to fulfill this duty as he was recovering from heart surgery. Meghan a known feminist, decided to make the walk on her own. I would have done the same thing. It is tradition for fathers to walk their daughters down the aisle, maybe she didn't want to replace her father with anyone else. We will never know the true reason behind her decision. Once Meghan entered the second part of the church, she was joined by her soon to be father in law, Prince Charles. I though this was such a beautiful addition. To me it showed that she was accepting Harry's family as well as them accepting her.

From the moment Meghan reached the alter, her and Harry held hands and shared many loving looks and sweet whispers. This broke royal tradition, it isn't common, even during a wedding to show PDA. Meghan and Harry have never had a problem holding hands and being loving towards one another. I think it was a beautiful testament to their relationship and love for one another. Throughout the service you could also see the emotion in them both. One of my favorite moments was during the sermon, Harry and Meghan were holding hands, Harry slightly turned toward his bride, beaming with love and admiration. He reached with his other hand and adjusted her ring that had turned slightly (this gave me all the feels).

Meghan's Mother was seated directly across from the queen. Can we just take a moment and appreciate the magnitude of this. An African-American social worker and yoga instructor, with dreads, sitting directly across from the queen of England. We are talking about a woman, like you and me, a woman that raised a beautiful caring daughter to follow her heart and her dreams, taught her to make a difference and give back to the world. She sat across from the Monarch, a woman bound by tradition and ruled by the crown, someone who's every move is bound by duty. Please tell me I'm not the only one that took in the magnitude of this sight. A strong woman that raise a strong daughter and fought back the tears of joy while she watched her daughter become a real life princess. Most of all, she did it with grace and dignity. WOW, just WOW!

Now there are so many things we could talk about, the songs played, the people that played them, the American minister and his powerful, energetic sermon and the surprise that came with it all. So much about this wedding is thrusting the Monarchy into the future. I really want to focus on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, because its their day and their love being celebrated. Can we all agree that after the ceremony, Harry and Meghan on the steps of the church, the Royal family and Meghan's mother (who was escorted out on Prince Charles arm) standing on the steps above them. A beautiful scene with greenery and beautiful flowers. Meghan whispers to Harry, "do we kiss?" to which he responds "yes" and they share their public kiss as husband and wife.Such a beautiful moment. They even shared another during their carriage ride through The Long Walk.

Well I could go on forever about the Wedding and my admiration for this forward thinking royal couple, but I will close off with a few fun and romantic facts.
- Harry picked his mother favorite flowers from the royal garden for Meghan's bouquet.
- Meghan's shoe soles were painted baby blue (her something blue).
- Harry's gift to Meghan was his mother's aquamarine ring.
- The Bentley Jaguar (sorry had Bentley on my mind cause it's my favorite car) that they took to the evening reception had their wedding date as the plate number.
- True to royal protocol Meghan kept her nails short and neutral, as well as he make-up.
- Meghan wore her hair in her classic simple bun, staying true to herself and her style.

I just adored everything about this wedding and so glad I could see their love and passion for one another. I believe they will do great things in the future and can't wait to follow their journey in life together. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. These are obviously very down to earth people and I wish them both the best. Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

 The newlyweds pose for a picture on Windsor Castle's East Terrace.

I'll have to see

I've been very open about having an autoimmune disease and what changes I've had to make to my life. One of the biggest things is I ...