Two New Releases on June 5!

The last few weeks have been hectic. The Ghost of Second Chances (Book 17 in the Haunting Danielle series) was sent off to the editor and scheduled for a June 5, 2018 eBook release.  Also coming out that day is the audiobook of The Ghost and the Muse, which is the 10thbook in the series, published by Tantor Media.

The question I usually hear about now—will there be a Book 18?  The answer is yes. The Ghost Who Dream Hopped, Book 18 in the Haunting Danielleseries, is scheduled for release the end of August, 2018.

The paperback versions of The Ghost of Second Chances—regular print and large print—should be available by mid-June.

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The library is a little like safe sex.

Did that headline catch your attention? Actually, it is an apt analogy. Just hear me out…

Readers, like all other consumers, love a deal. That’s why websites like BookBub are so popular with eBook readers.  Each day in your email inbox they send you what’s on sale or free in the genre you love to read.

But what happens when you discover a new favorite author or series—and the other books by that author or in that series aren’t on sale? I suppose you could wait around for them to go on sale, but you may be waiting a long time. And it’s possible some of those books will never go on sale.

Some thrifty readers turn to pirate websites or shady Facebook groups where pirated copies of the book are passed around.

The most obvious problem with that, it is stealing.  Yep. People who do that may not think of themselves as thieves, but that’s what they are. Some may try to justify it by saying eBooks are too expensive anyway. I knew a woman once who used to steal makeup (when I say woman, I mean a woman in her sixties, no teenager) because she insisted it was too expensive—not that she couldn’t afford it, but she didn’t agree with the prices charged.  Whatever her justification, she was still a thief. Just like those people who pass around pirated copies of books.

There is another problem with downloading from pirate sites—and this gets back to the headline of this article. Viruses.  Yep. Pirate sites are often not about giving you a free book as much as it is about giving you a virus or trojan.

And for the record, while a Trojan might protect someone having sex, it means something completely different when it comes to downloading files.

So, what do you do if you just can’t afford to buy that book that you would love to read?

The library.

Just today I received a message from a fan who has read all the books in the Haunting Danielle series, and she hasn’t bought them. She downloaded the eBooks from her local library. She told me when the library didn’t have one of the books, she requested it and they got it in for her!

It’s relatively easy to check out free eBooks from your library, and much safer (and more honest) than downloading them from a pirate site. Plus, it makes the author—you know, the one who is entertaining you with the story—smile knowing his/her books are at the library.

First, you need to get an old fashion library card from your local library. When you do this and tell them you want to check out eBooks, they will typically give you a pin number. The great thing about checking out eBooks from your library, you can do it from the comfort of your home.

I use OverDrive to check out eBooks from the library. It’s an app I downloaded to my devices. When I open the app, I first select my library. It then gives me a login screen where I insert the email address and pin number my library has on me. Once you log in, you can start checking out books.

If the library doesn’t have the book you are looking for, request it, just like my reader did.

Oh, and don’t thank me, thank Ben Franklin. The lending library was his idea.

Real Life Character Development

I suspect authors who write successful stories involving relationships tend to be people watchers or amateur phycologists—the kind of person who tries to figure out what factors shape people or as the cliché says, what makes them tick. Or what makes them tick in a certain way.

Our relationships with others shape who we are.  Take marriage for example. Two people get together and marry, and it’s a good bet that ten years later each person from that marriage will be a different person from who they were before they met their spouse—even if the marriage dissolves before the ten-year mark—different from how they might have been had they married someone else.

I can see it in my own children. I see ways my daughter is a slightly different person because of her relationship with our son-in-law, and the same is true of our son and his wife. I am sure their spouses have also changed, yet from my viewpoint it’s impossible to say how.

What we hope for is that the spouses complement each other—or bring out the best traits in their mate. Unfortunately, some couple combinations are toxic, and they bring out the worse in each other—like Bonnie and Clyde.

When young and in-love we don’t always see the potential for a toxic relationship—such as one that might turn abusive down the road—yet those signs are probably there.

When I dated one of my first boyfriends I remember him saying, “A girlfriend of my will never own her own car.”  I was about 14 at the time and remember thinking to myself, “Well, I guess we won’t be dating in two years when I get my license.” I didn’t argue with him or debate the subject. I simply kept quiet and figured when that time came, we would not be together anyway.

However, an older and wiser me realizes that was a major red flag. This was a person who wanted to control his girlfriend. Had I foolishly fallen hopelessly in love with him (or imagined I had as girls do at that age) could I have allowed him to shape me into a submissive version of myself?

There was another red flag in that relationship. I remember once he overheard a conversation I’d had with one of my parent’s friends. The friend had asked me about my plans for the future. I went on to tell how I was going to college and spoke of all the things I wanted to do—none of which included this boyfriend or any relationship for that matter.

Later, my boyfriend scolded me for what I had said, telling me I was too boastful—over confident. I will admit I felt embarrassed and asked myself, “Had I spoken out of turn? Spoken too freely of my dreams?”

Fortunately, we broke up by the end of that school year, and the next year I changed high schools.

Had I married someone like that, I suspect I would be a very different person today. Although, I would like to think I wouldn’t have stayed with a controlling man. Yet, can I really say that? Can anyone?  Other circumstances surrounding us at the time we come to that road might have more to say about the outcome or how we respond than what’s in our hearts.

I never thought about it when I was a young girl, but I do believe we should be diligent in our close relationships. We need to look for those red flags and avoid going down a road we may later regret.

The man I married is worlds apart from my first boyfriend.  I married a man whose ego does not require me to be less so he can feel like more. And for that, I am every day grateful.

The writer in me probably thinks about these things a little more than the non-writer, because I am always mindful of what shapes those characters chattering away in my head. But, it might be a good idea for teenagers to be more aware of those red flags in potential relationships. It might save them a world of heartache. Of course, that probably won’t happen, because teenagers—and adults alike—like to imagine they can change someone. Yet they forget, in the process they too change.