Good morning Heaven & The Demon Side fans! Welcome to my blog and first give-a-way. So what am I giving away and how do you win? Ahh, that is simple my friends. I am giving away two free E-Book copies of The Demon Side. All you have to do to win is comment below. Please be sure to leave your email address, so I may notify you if you've won. It would be great if you clicked follow on the my blog page but not doing so, will not hinder your chances of winning. The winner must respond within twenty four ours of being notified. The winners will receive their E-book (format of their choosing i.e nook, kindle, kobo, ect.) copy on October 21st, 2011!
Recently some good friends of mine, told me I needed to write an Author Spotlight, telling everyone a little more about, myself and what got me writing. *Thank you Benjamin Russell ( incubuschronicles.blogspot.com/) & Katie Harper ( http://katieharperwrites.blogspot.com )* It sounded easy enough to me, until I sat down at my computer.
Who would have thought, the hardest thing for an author, would be to write about myself. Unsure what people would want to know and what I would want them to know, I just covered the basics--age, marital status, mommy status, yadda yadda. My first draft was one paragraph, short and simple. After a lashing from Benjamin I added a few more paragraphs.
Having to dive into who I once was became slightly frightening. What would people think of me? Would they see me or only my past? One week and a few tongue whippings from Benjamin and Katie, I now have more than just one paragraph and my heart in my throat. To be honest I am terrified to share this, but one thing I have learned is I need to embrace what I was and realize it is not who I am. Hopefully, as you read this you can do the same.
Heaven grew up in a home with a workaholic father, alcoholic mother, and two older siblings, where violence was not only the norm, but condoned. Craving positive recognition from her mother, by age eleven, she built a ruthless reputation. Shortly after, she found herself living a dangerous, gang affiliated life.
At the age of twelve, Heaven started down a rough path, when she was introduced to drugs. The drugs masked the physical pain caused from bumps and bruises acquired from her home life and street life. Suspension after suspension for fighting, Heaven dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen. With a lack of education, she saw no other options than to fall deeper into her drug induced existence.
By nineteen, she tired of the life. Ready to call it quits, she began making her rounds to unknowing friends and family, saying her good byes. Having escaped death multiple times, she knew to get the job done right; she would have to take herself out. Saving her mother’s house for last, she sat in the garage, unaware that before she could complete her task, she would meet a man that would turn her world upside down and right side in. That day she met her future husband, who not only helped her quit drugs and the gang life, but taught her what she was worth.
At age twenty-one, Heaven accomplished a feat beyond her wildest dreams. With scores in the top five percentile, she received her general education diploma. Confidence skyrocketing, she knew she wanted to do more than work the register at a gas station. With a deep love for the innocence of animals, she assumed she had found her calling in a veterinary tech class. But the dry, monotone ramblings of text books failed to grasp her interest, and again, she found herself dropping out of school.
Feeling defeated, she turned her back from education completely and settled into her jobs as a mother, house wife and part-time cashier for the following eight years. During this time, she took up reading true crime novels during her free, time in between mopping floors, cooking dinner, and playing with Legos. Weekly trips to the library became small vacations from her duties, and soon she was reading six to seven novels a week.
Every holiday, Heaven would receive the gift of a new tale of terror, until on her twenty-ninth birthday, when she received a vampire novel from her sister-in- aw. Far from her genre, she was reluctant to read the book. Six months and fifteen vampire stories later, Heaven was ready for something knew than the barrage of fanged, supernatural tales. After expressing this to her agitated sister-in-law, a challenge was made. “Like you could do better?”
With her ‘Oh yes I can!’ attitude, determination not to fail again, and support from her family, the challenge was accepted. Drawing on the story telling skills she acquired during her troubled youth, Heaven sat down at her computer and began weaving a saga that would forever change her life.
A task began out of spite, swiftly turned into a deep passion, previously unknown. Writing became a drug with a high no drug or adrenaline rush could compare to. Spending every free moment at the computer typing away for two months, her first manuscript was completed. Believing her hard work would go no further than family, she distributed copies printed from her home for friends and relatives. The positive response and feedback became overwhelming.
With a push from her husband and parent-in-laws, Heaven began submitting her manuscript to various publishing companies. It didn’t take long before replies poured in. Pulling on her fighting spirit she wasn’t going to let the denials get to her, and decided to fight back by educating herself.
Once again, with library card in hand, Heaven took to reading. This time, she checked out technical books on topics ranging from ‘How to Write’ all the way to ‘Grammar and Punctuation’, shrugging off the embarrassment of starting in the children’s sections. Four months and one revised manuscript later, Heaven began her assault of inquiries and pitch letters. Seventy-eight rejection letters later, she received an acceptance letter from Decadent Publishing.
One year later, at the age of thirty, she completed the editing stages of The Demon Side, releasing this October. Knowing now she has a future far beyond her past, Heaven continues her weekly trips to the library to further her self-education on the art of being a writer.
When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook page, you can find her at the computer, revising or editing one of her five works in progress, or with her nose buried in a text book. Eleven years later, still clean, sober, unaffiliated, and happily married, Heaven reflects on her past, using her experiences to inspire her writing. Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son and a betta fish named Barry.
“Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!
Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic.
One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down… “
Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervor and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.
“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.
“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”
“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.
“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.
“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”
“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.
“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt.