KINETIC REBIRTH Cover Reveal!!!

Here you guys go; today as promised! Here’s the cover to KINETIC REBIRTH::

KineticRebirth_promo

AWESOME, RIGHT! I owe this beautifully perfect cover, and the matching one for the KINETIC TRAGEDY prequel eBook short, to Designed By Starla. She is always a joy to work with, and it’s almost like she can read your mind sometimes!

Alright, so, I know I promised a surprise along with this cover reveal. Here it is::

[Kindle Preorder]

Yep, you read the hyperlinked-text correctly! KINETIC REBIRTH is now available as an eBook preorder on Amazon! And, if you venture over to that page, you’ll notice the release date says “September 19th, 2017”. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I am serious. The Kindle version of this, the first book in my KINETICS series, will release a month before the print. Print copies still won’t be available until October 19th, as I have advertised before, as that day is so important for my life and my friendship with JV.

20883020_10212703497198936_6822857052902535667_nSpeaking of which, a few hours ago, my wonderful Boyfriend drove me 30 minutes to the cemetery to visit JV. This will have been the first time I’d been to see her since the day she was buried there. We bought some yellow flowers, as they are the symbol of life-long friendship. As it rained last night, we brought a trash bag to lay under my towel, so I could sit and talk to her, like old times. Boyfriend even just wandered around the cemetery to give me and JV some alone time. I played some new Peter Hollens music for her, showed her my new re-branded covers, and introduced her to JV Jr. I told her that I would give up anything, even my skill and ability to write stories – my passion and life – if it meant I could bring her back. I kinda felt her wanting to slap me for that, because she knows how important my writing is to me, and would never want me to give that up. L20915445_10212703496518919_842195955544002829_n.jpgots of tears were shed, but I felt her right there with me. When I headed to the car, Boyfriend (he told me this later) went to her resting place, put a hand on the stone, and said to her, “I know I’m not as great a listener as you are, but I promise I’ll take care of Christine for you. She’ll be looked after, I promise.” Then, he followed me to the car, hugged me, and I proceeded to sob like a baby. I had never felt so close to JV before, but it finally hit me that she wasn’t coming back.

This new series, this new universe of KINETICS and magic, has made me feel so much closer to JV. I’ve gotten a handful of compliments from my select ARC readers, some of them who knew JV, and said she was the best character, and the ones that knew her said my portrayal of her was spot on and perfect. Every compliment I get on JV’s character brings me closer to tears of happiness. Every. Single. Time.

If you are even remotely interested in how special JV was to me and everyone she interacted with, go preorder a digital copy of KINETIC REBIRTH, and, in the meantime, head on over to Instafreebie for the short eBook prequel story (KINETIC TRAGEDY) to tide you over until the Kindle release in September.

If you are a physical copy kind of person, follow me on Twitter, or Like my Author Page on FB, so you can see my posts and be reminded when the print book comes out. Trust me, I know a lot can happen in two months, and I wouldn’t want you to forget about this ultimate dedication to my best friend.

I know she’s still near. I can feel her.

And, the only thing I can say to her, is summed up perfectly in my last words at her grave site today:

“Jessi, you were my best friend, my coauthor, pretty much a sister to me. You made me a better friend, a better writer, a better person. I am so lucky you were a part of my life, no matter how few years our friendship was. I am so grateful God put you in my life, and I will make sure your energy, your personality, your passion, and your life will remain immortal within the pages of my books. And, for everything you’ve done for me, I cannot explain in few enough words. So, simply put, Thank you, Jess. For everything.”

Keep Faith, everyone. And keep love in your hearts, because that is the sole thing that beats despair. Love will always win.

Wild News Wed – T-Minus 3 days until COVER REVEAL WITH A SURPRISE!

So, Vikans, Guess what?

KINETIC REBIRTH’S COVER REVEAL IS THIS SATURDAY!

THIS.

SATURDAY.

*insert excited squealing here*
*deep breath*
Okay, I am calm. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Time has flown by this year. After losing JV in late January, I felt broken and lost. A part of my heart had been ripped out and torn into millions of pieces. She was my closest friend. I could tell her everything and anything, and she wouldn’t judge or criticize. She was the purest, kindest, most supportive friend I could’ve asked for, and was one of those people that you’re lucky if you meet one in your entire life. A diamond, a gem, an angel on earth that had to return to Heaven WAY too soon, life cut short in the blink of an eye.

The only grateful thought I have is that she went almost instantaneously, no pain whatsoever. That is at least a blessing. But, it’s still not coping, and it’s still not closure.

But, KINETICS is both.

I went on my Smoky retreat, only a mere three weeks or so after losing JV. My Smoky companions were supportive and gentle, which helped knowing what weight I’d put on my shoulders by starting KINETICS. If you want more details on this adventure, read my previous posts from this year. I should be updating my Index tab this weekend as well, just FYI. But, in a nutshell, almost every character in this KINETICS series is one that they two of us came up with while roleplaying online together. All but one. The only character we didn’t create together is JV herself. I have inserted her as one of the heroes of the series. I had hoped that I could write her as accurate and true to JV in real life, but wasn’t quite sure if I’d captured it. I got this from my editor when I got the edits back:

KatNotes-JV_Compliment-Cropped

… And my happiness shot through the roof. Still, as my editor had never actually met JV, I knew I’d written JV’s character well to be liked, but there still wasn’t substantial proof that I wrote her accurately. However, I sent the short story prequel, “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, to three of JV’s closest friends, as well as JV’s husband/widower. All four loved it, and told me, “Yup, that was perfectly Jess.”

Side note real quick. “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, as of this AM, had just reached 100 downloads! This free short is now more successful than “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, which has been out since November 2014! I am so excited about the response to this story, so download the e-story and share the link like crazy!!
Proof?

KineticTragedy_2017-08-16_midday

 

*ahem*
Okay, Back on topic.

However, it wasn’t until last weekend that I felt almost certain JV had been written exactly realistic and true to JV in real life. I talked to JV’s mother, who told me JV’s grandmother had read one of the ARCs I gave the family, loved it, said JV was so realistic and honestly her, and also that she guessed I was the main character. To which, I joked with JV’s mom, “Trust me, I wish I was half as cool as Jaden.”

As of hearing that, I knew I’d succeeded on preserving JV in print for all eternity. And I can’t wait to share her awesome bubbly-ness with the world.

If you want to see the cover reveal when it happens, go like my Facebook page, or follow my Twitter, where the news will drop early on Saturday, August 19th (THIS SATURDAY!). I WILL ALSO BE EMAILING MY Instafreebie subscribers, so if you download KINETIC TRAGEDY off there, you’ll get word that way too.

I am so excited to share this adventure with you. I can see JV smiling down on me, patting me on the back, telling me, “You got this.”

Keep Faith, everyone, and STAY TUNED!

THREE DAYS TO COVER REVEAL, BABY!

(Oh, and there’s a surprise announcement that will come out that day too. Hint: has something to do with “digital” books. 😉 lol)

 

Social Media Links:

Instafreebie (KINETIC TRAGEDY short + email list subscription) Link: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/cmcdonnellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

#WildNewsWed (2017-08-09)

Hey, everybody! Welcome to another #WildNewsWed blog post!

So, a few updates, along with a short snippet from KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series, which, if you’ve read any of my blog posts since May/June, you’ll remember it’s releasing October 19th this year. LESS THAN THREE MONTHS! EEEP!!

Anyway, I noticed I got a lot of people reading my blog when I posted [this post] about my communication difficulties. I got an overwhelming response to that, so I want to open up again, just a little bit. And, it partially has to do with my writing journey too.

So, for KINETIC REBIRTH, I had written it in a month. Granted, half of it was written during my Smoky Writers retreat week…

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but I still felt so accomplished finishing it within 30-ish days. As this series is my ultimate dedication to my best friend JV, I felt extremely proud of my output, and was super eager to release it as soon as edits and covers were done. However, I wanted its release to mean something to me, as this series would never have existed if I never met JV. I needed a way to honor her, and by picking the date of October 19th, the day we first met via Hyndon roleplaying with mutual friends (see [this] video that talks about this forum-based RP in more detail).

However, as of last week, everything was done. I had finished with my professional editor at the end of April, gotten a cover by mid-June, and finished reediting my proof copy and uploading updated, final draft for release. However, as Createspace doesn’t allow pre-orders for print books (which seems counter-intuitive in my business-oriented half of my brain, as trad-Published authors get that chance, but Amazon won’t do it for their own authors? Seems odd, but that’s Amazon for ya), I can’t hit that “PUBLISH” button until October.

I’ve been keeping myself busy working on Book 2. In fact, I’m already 30,000 words in! My productivity has spiked instantly, and I utilize my free time the best I can, whether five minute waits, lunch breaks, or most nights tapping away at my keyboard. Boyfriend puts up with the transcribing every night, and I am VERY grateful to have him in my life.

HOWEVER, that “Publish” button is a tease. I want to push it right now, and release my best work to the world, so JV can live on forever in the written word. I keep telling myself, “Only three months. That’s all.” While three months is cake compared to the time that passed since I started it in late February, it’s still a pressure I live with every day. I hold onto the meaning behind the release date, reminding myself that this series is ultimately for Jessi, so her spirit, happiness, and energy will live on forever within my writing. And THAT is what makes it worth it. Knowing the meaning, and remembering the fun we had in Hyndon, makes it worth the wait.

I do have a surprise for y’all though. My cover reveal is August 19th, exactly two months before the print release. The surprise will be revealed then.

Also, I have rebranded myself as “C. McDonnell” from now on. As such, I updated all of my previous short stories by adding the new pen name AND, in the case of the Tales of Terrara Vikos stories, BRAND NEW COVERS! I will update the covers here on my website this coming weekend, and you still can’t search “C. McDonnell” on Amazon for some reason, as my stories won’t show up with that. Unfortunate, and hope it’ll be fixed soon.

If you don’t want to miss out on the double reveal, Like my Facebook Author Page!

Well, that about wraps it up. See ya guys next #WildNewsWed!

Keep Faith!

Wild News Wednesday (2017-08-02)

Howdy, Vikans!

So, life’s been stressful lately, but I won’t bore y’all with details. However, I will update you guys on my writing endeavors. I owe you guys that much for reading coming over here to my slice of the Interwebs.

So, we have less than 3 months until the official print release of KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series. You know, the one I’ve been talking about non-stop for months? Yeah, that one.

It’s due to release October 19th, 2017, and I have NEVER been more excited in my life! HOWEVER, some reveals are closer. I’ve decided to do the official cover reveal on my social media on Saturday, August 19th, exactly two months from the print book’s release. Along with it will be a surprise pertaining to KINETIC REBIRTH’S release, which I’m sure will make some people super excited.

Or, at least, I hope.

Anyway, if you want to make sure you get notified of the cover reveal, Like/Follow/Subscribe to the following pages, so you’ll see everything when the news goes live.

One way is Instafreebie. When you download KINETIC TRAGEDY, the eBook short story prequel to October’s novel release, your email is added to my e-Newsletter subscribers list. You’ll get pertinent information, and I promise I won’t be sending too many emails to my list. At least, not yet. To download the story AND be added to my subscribers list, go [here] to download it! If you just want to be a Newsletter subscriber, but don’t need the eBook short for whatever reason, you can directly sign up [here].

You can also Like my Facebook Author page. Either search C. McDonnell on the FB search bar, or just click [this link]. Yes, I did change the title of my author page. This is because I learned back in 2011, when I released my first short story, that there is a children’s book author that also has my name. So, all upcoming and future projects will be under author C. McDonnell, to stop confusing searches on Amazon, B&N, etc.

Another place to keep up with me is Twitter. My user is @discoverywritin, or you can click [here] to go to my Twitter page. Don’t be afraid to say Hi! I don’t bite, I swear.

Okay, one last update.

As of the beginning of June, I have been working diligently on Book 2 of my Kinetics series. Yep, the sequel to the above aforementioned October 2017 novel release. (Sorry, mouthful). As of now, title is TBD, as is completion date and release date. From June 1st until yesterday, I have written over 24k words (24,000 words, for those of you that don’t understand the abbreviation). YA Fantasy generally has an accepted 50k minimum word count, but I’ve never had a problem surpassing that in my other 7+ completed manuscripts that I’ve set on the back burner. So, essentially, I’m halfway to the least I can publish. While it is just an objective minimum, it gives me a calculable goal, and I know this book will surpass that easy peasy.

Also, to give a bit more details, this second book will encompass more of me and JV’s friendship, going back to our roots, back to when we first met and became friends back in October 2011. We met through mutual friends, through a forum-based fantasy RP they’d created. If you want more info on our journey through our five and a half year friendship, go to [this video] on Youtube, where JV and I discuss how we became friends. Part Two (found [here]) delves into our transition into coauthoring a series together.

And, for clarification, the KINETICS series is NOT the one we were coauthoring. Currently there’s a snag in getting her writings for it, but once that snag is untangled, then I will pursue that series as well.

Anyway, back to my information on Untitled Kinetics Project #2.

It goes back to our roots, in a little town called Hyndon. We created characters about 1-2 months in that were in a relationship together. Even after the RP site went inactive, JV and I continued those characters’ story within private, shared Google Docs files. That led to multiple different Google Docs of varying role-playing, each with their own sets of characters, settings, magic systems, etc, etc.

My Kinetics series is my ultimate dedication to JV, and the friendship we had together. This series will get crammed with so much of our writing together, that you will hopefully know her as well as I do.

Monday marked 6 months since she passed from this world, and I cried all day and all night, and didn’t sleep well that night. When I woke up the next day, my boss asked me, ten minutes into the work day, if I was okay, and that I looked like I was in bad shape. Have I mentioned how awesome my boss is before? Well, I am now.

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However, within a few hours, I looked at my JV Jr doll, who I’ve taken to work every day since the funeral, and also looked at the photo on my desk, and realized crying won’t bring her back. To be honest, I’d give up my creative mind if it meant bringing her back, but since that isn’t a possibility, I have to utilize my gifts to make sure she forever lives on through my writing. So the world can see how pure, creative, fun, and amazing a person she was. This is our friendship’s legacy, and I hope you’ll get copies when KINETIC REBIRTH is released, so you can see for yourself how much she meant to me, and to everyone else she cared about.

 

So, links are in brackets where each social media platform is mentioned. You can also locate me on the links on my “Contact Me” tab [here].

And, my new sign-off for Kinetics related stuff…

“Assume nothing.”

Also, Keep Faith, guys. Life may be hard now, but, at a certain point, you can only go up from there.

Hugs to you all.

Wild News Wednesday (2017-07-26)

TWO BLOG POSTS IN A WEEK? WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?!

To kick off this Weekly update, I want to remind y’all of my current giveaway. If you subscribe to my e-Newsletter list, whether via Instafreebie [here] (which gets you an eBook download of KINETIC TRAGEDY for FREE! It’s only available there) or my direct sign-up link [here] from now until August 31st 23:59 EST, and then contact me, either by FB [here], commenting here on this post (or on my previous post [here]), or PM my Twitter [here], then you’ll be put in for a drawing for a FREE, AUTOGRAPHED, ADVANCED COPY of KINETIC REBIRTH, that you should receive prior to its release date this October. For more details, see that blog post [here].

Next up, cover reveal!

I have picked August 19th as my big cover reveal day for KINETIC REBIRTH. At that time, I will also reveal the back page blurb/summary, and I have a little surprise in store that day as well, which has related news I cannot disclose until that reveal day. Mark your calendars, though. If you want to make sure you remember, I will be posting reveals and reminders all over social media, as well as to my email subscribers.

(BTW-All links are on my “Contact Me” page [here])

Final topic: my writing progress. I have submitted final files to Createspace, and they’ve been approved! Now, while I ride out the two-and-a-half month wait for the release date, I have been working on the sequel. I started it at the beginning of June this year, and, as of last night, I had reached just over 19,000 words on it. Title is TBD, but the story picks up soon after the ending of KINETIC REBIRTH. Also, this story is taking me back to the origins of me and JV’s friendship, with a roleplay about a town called Hyndon. It’s how JV and I first met and became fast friends. As she is not only one of the heroes in my KINETCS series, but I am incorporating as much of our friendship as one series can hold. Book 2 goes back to our roots as friends, and you’ll be in for a wild ride.

That’s all I can say about it right now, simply because 19k might seem impressive, but the acceptable minimum word count for a YA novel is 50,000. So, yeah, got a ways to go.

Also, on the grieving front, it’s been almost 6 months since JV left this world. It’s hard to believe. We were so close, almost like sisters. And then, in one freak accident, her beautiful life was cut short. I miss her like crazy, but she’s still here with me, with every she cares about. Want to know how I know? When I listen to music (which is every day for hours at a time), I have my entire library on shuffle. Driving home yesterday, my shuffle played this song (below), right as I was thinking about how much I missed her. She loved Peter Hollens just as much as I do, and this song always gives me chills. I know she played that song, to let me know she’s still there, still watching over me.

Keep Faith, guys. ❤

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojt0eiFX1K4

Freebie and Giveaway Madness!

So, early blog post! WOW!! Go me! But, I’m hoping to have a regular Wild News Wednesday post tomorrow as well. We’ll see, though.

However, my reason for this spontaneous extra blog post is for a giveaway. All links pertaining to the steps on this giveaway will be throughout the post AND located at the end of this post as well.

So, KINETIC TRAGEDY, my prequel short story to my October release of KINETIC REBIRTH, has been up on Instafreebie for just barely over a month. This story is currently exclusive to this site, so as to build up an e-Newsletter list and give away the story as a taste tester for new readers. Did I mention it’s FREE?!

I don’t spam with the e-Newsletter, and I hope to not default to that in the future. However, this email list will receive updates on releases, as well as news and progress reports on various other projects I might be undertaking.

Now, to the good part: the giveaway.

So, if you download KINETIC TRAGEDY [here] off Instafreebie, next step is to PM me on Twitter (@discoverywritin) or comment/message my professional Facebook author page [here]. This will allow me to cross-reference your name from the message with names on the email list, just to ensure you actually downloaded the story. Once I confirm you did download the story as well as messaged me, your name will be added to a list. From that list, I will randomly draw a name to receive an EARLY RELEASE COPY of KINETIC REBIRTH, prior to its actual release on October 19th. IN PRINT. AND AUTOGRAPHED. This is an opportunity not many others are getting, so if you’d like to be a part of the advanced reader crew, follow the above instructions, and you might get to be one!

Also, share the Instafreebie link and instructions to your social media if you can. Word of mouth is my promoting’s best friend right now, and the more people spreading the word, the better! ❤

Also, this is only until September 1st, 2017, so do this while you still can!

 

As always, guys,

Keep Faith.

 

Links:

Instafreebie: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christinemcdonnellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

Communication Confession

So, not much news today, but soon, I swear.

However, I’m going to ramble a bit, as certain things have appeared into my view that I need to talk about. It’ll be short, simple, and to the point, with no pictures to distract.

Ever had a moment when you question something you felt firm and secure? It could be anything: relationships/friendships, day job, career path, self-publishing details. If you’ve ever felt that about ANYTHING, then welcome to my current boat. Because I’ve got a LOAD of those doubts, or, at least I had.

Those curveballs life throws at you can hurt and debilitate, right? Make you question every decision you’ve ever made?

Well, that’s been me within the last month or so. Every choice I second guess, and the ones I don’t second guess come out wrong. I’m going to admit a mental problem I have, because I need to get it off my chest.

Communicating has always been a struggle for me, since I was a child. If I spoke without thinking, the wrong words would come out. I’m still like that, and it’s frustrating. Poor word choice, joking around too soon, and describing something I really know a lot about is a daily struggle. It’s not a condition or disability, but rather a disconnect in my vocabulary and common sense departments. Someone could be talking with me about a topic I know really well, and I still struggle to use terms and logic and phrasing that normal people could understand. I’ve learned over the years that, even if something I say aloud makes sense to me, 9 times out of ten, it’s confusing as $h!t to the general public.

This has impacted friendships and relationships, and God bless my parents and family for getting me to a debatable level of communication, and my poor boyfriend for having to deal with it full-time in the present day.

The written world is fine. I can spin a yarn and tell fantastic stories with the written/typed word until kingdom come. It’s more so expressing my opinions and instructions in the verbal word that I struggle with. For example, I could do mental math, and if you asked me to explain how I got it, you’re better off having me write it out, because all you’ll hear will be the “womp womp” of Charlie Brown adults.

I know most of y’all don’t have this kind of issue, so you can’t relate, but I’ve had to train myself to think over anything before I say it. As such, either I wait too long to contribute, speak too quickly and cause problems, or remain in silence until the person I’m communicating with thinks I’m doubting things or feeling conflicted.

I just kinda wanted to rant on this Wednesday’s blog post, as it has a BIG factor in my day-to-day life, and one I fear might mess me up someday.

My advice? If you doubt something, TALK TO SOMEONE. Even though I have communication problems, I have a good amount of people that know of this problem and can nudge me in the right direction to communicating better with others. Find a small group like that, a group that you can talk to about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Trust me, getting doubts and fears off your chest makes the burden easier to carry.

Until next week, Vikans:

KEEP FAITH.

#WildNewsWed (2017-07-12)

Wow, Vikans. This last week has been a rollercoaster for me. Personal stuff, but we’re pushing on through.

I received my proof copy of KINETIC REBIRTH a little while ago, and currently going through it for one final edit sweep over. I am taking a red pen to it. A RED PEN. I AM WRITING IN A BOOK. THE HORROR!

Joking aside, I’m picking up on phrases that don’t flow that I didn’t realize before, even when reading aloud to Boyfriend. Marking up this copy is painful, but it’ll be worth it in the end to have a perfect book in my hands. Or, at least as perfect as I can make it. ^_^
So, yeah, I have a physical copy in my possession. It was so surreal opening that box and seeing the cover printed, to see my hard work with learning how to do layout on my own, to see the dedication in big, bolded letters; it made all the frustration worth it.

No, I am not changing the release date. The importance of releasing to the public on October 19th is the ultimate testament to my and JV’s friendship, as that day, in 2011, was the first time I met her, kickstarting a friendship I was extremely lucky to have. I will time it as close to day of as Createspace will let me. Still haven’t been able to analyze timing between hitting “Approve Proof” and listing appearing on Amazon.

KineticTragedycoverThat all being said, like my author page on Facebook [here], so you can see when I announce more news and status, etc, etc for KINETIC REBIRTH. This is the first book in a YA Fantasy series, and I have a prequel short story (called KINETIC TRAGEDY) that takes place a few years before the novel (KINETIC REBIRTH), that is currently on Instafreebie. Go grab that free ebook of KINETIC TRAGEDY [here] on Instafreebie, just to see if the ending intrigues you. Because, that short story… It’ll give you more questions than answers. This is probably the best way to determine if you might be interested in purchasing post-release. Also, when getting the short on Instafreebie, you get signed up for my e-newsletter, so that my emails can remind you closer to publication date. You can also directly sign up for my e-Newsletter [here] without downloading KINETIC TRAGEDY, but that seems like the less-worth-it option. I mean, FREE STORY. Doesn’t get better than that. 😉

Well, that’s about everything. I’m planning a cover and summary reveal in early/mid August. So, if you want to keep up to date, or get a heads start with KINETIC TRAGEDY, look into the links below, which are also scattered throughout this post::

KINETIC TRAGEDY on Instafreebie: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christinemcdonnellauthor/

Newsletter Sign-Up Link: http://www.subscribepage.com/a5h2b9

 

Keep Faith, Vikans. ❤
-C

FEED THE MACHINE: aka, The Concert That I Desperately Needed

Howdy, Vikans!

So, this post may get a little emotional, but I feel I need to let this out, at least at the beginning.

So, last night, Sissy (my little sister) and I went to Virginia Beach for the Feed The Machine tour. This included Shaman’s Harvest as the opening act, followed by Daughtry and then Nickelback. We bucked out early to avoid traffic, because we had a long drive home anyway. I have to say this though. I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!

I started a bit bumpy though. We decided that we wanted to get to the area early, so we could walk along the beach for a bit. It took us about 30-45 mins just to find a parking spot, which we paid $40 to use a lot for a little over an hour. Guess they gotta make money somehow, huh? And, to add on to that, it was drizzling the whole time. about 15-20 mins after hitting the beach, thunder sounded, and everyone had to clear the water. A little more time later, and the rain got a bit heavier. By the time Sissy and I got back to the car, we were pretty wet. We sat in the car for twenty mins before heading toward the venue for the concert.

We stood in line for merchandise before the concert, and while there, Shaman’s Harvest started opening the show. Sissy and I actually thought they were pretty good, so I’ll be looking up their music soon and see how studio version sounds compared to live.

When Daughtry came on, Sissy and I were rocking! Standing up every couple of songs and belting the lyrics. I knew more of the songs than her, but I’m also a slightly bigger Daughtry fan than her. During songs we both knew, we’d occasionally look at each other as we were singing and broke into wide, laughing smiles.

However, Daughtry hit my emotions hard. Just barely into their set, they played “Waiting For Superman” and “Life After You“. If you can’t tell by some of these pictures I’ve already posted::

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… I took JV Jr with me. A year or so ago, I was talking to the real JV about the last Nickelback tour that I’d wanted to take my Mom to. Unfortunately, the lead singer had to get throat surgery, and they cancelled the remainder of their North American tour. Lucky for me, because I hadn’t purchased tickets yet. Also, my Mom told me she probably couldn’t have done it mid-work week anyway. When I was mentioning it to JV, she told me that she’d LOVE to come if work schedule would allow. It broke my heart, because this tour was announced two or three days after she passed, and when I heard the news, I broke down again. Well, I was breaking down every 20 minutes back then anyway, but still.

So, in some way, she did get to come with me, in the form of JV Jr. The thing is, during those two songs I mentioned earlier, and when they closed with “September“, I was a bawling mess. Those songs just triggered something in me, and the dam broke. However, during “September“, I looked down at JV Jr for a moment. I knew JV would whack me for crying during any songs. The truth is, hearing that song live had me remember the good times we had during her too short life. Then I was crying for a whole ‘nother reason.

It took the stage crew over 45 mins or more to prep for Nickelback to come up on stage. During that time, the man sitting next to Sissy asked randomly, “Hey, who are you guys here to see? Nickelback or Daughtry?” Sissy replied honestly, “Both Daughtry and Nickelback.” The guy gave her a fist bump and said, “Awesome, you guys rock. I came for Daughtry but have never listened to Nickelback. After Daughtry’s performance, I hope they can follow up just as good.” Let me note that he was dancing and hollering to their songs, and also screaming answers and comments to Chad’s between-song banter while laughing.

Right before they started, I told myself, “You know you want to stay for two particular songs. Then you can leave.” As stated earlier, we had to drive back home afterward, and Sissy and I had experience with concert parking lots when seeing Danielle Bradbury, Thomas Rhett, and Brett Eldridge in Salem, VA during their Suits ‘N’ Boots tour in October 2015. If anyone one of you have been to a concert, you’ll know: THEY. ARE. THE. WORST.

Nickelback’s opening was AMAZING! They had the machine on stage that reflected their “Feed The Machine” Music video AND Lyric video, and opened with that song too. Shortly after, they played “Photograph“. That song is one of a couple dozen Kryptonites for me, so of course I was crying, for multiple reasons. During the rock songs, Sissy and I were belting the lyrics again, along with the rest of the crowd. Chad, the lead singer of Nickelback (If you didn’t know that already), was hilarious between songs, having me and Sissy cracking up. Some songs I didn’t actually know, as most of my Nickelback listening only stretches back to 2005, but now I have songs to look up that I want to know the lyrics too.

At one point during a break for the band to get some water, Sissy looked at me and asked if we should go while they take this weirdly long break. The stage was a bit dark, but we spotted the crew bringing out a small piano or keyboard. I had a feeling I knew what they were going to play next, and I told her, “Let’s wait until after ‘Lullaby‘.”

Sure enough, that’s what they played. It was AMAZING live. I was belting out lyrics while choking on tears. “Lullaby” is a song that has been a motivator and comfort for me ever since it came out. It talks about anxiety and depression and reminds people that struggle with inner demons like that that life gets better, and hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Whenever I’ve had friends in the past that were struggling with depression or hard times, I’d play them this song, and it helped a lot of them, to the point where they are downloading that song themselves.

However, during that song, I felt a chill. Now, this was an outdoor, covered ampetheatre, and it was a humid VA day, so chill would be out of place, right? That’s when I knew.

JV was there with me.

Once that song was over, Sissy looked at me and asked if I was ready to go. However, Chad was talking and leading up to their next song, and before he even said the next song title, I told her, “One last one. This is the last one I need to hear.” She nodded, knowing what would be next::

This song is another one of my weaknesses. Every time I hear it, I always think of JV. Her life was cut too short, but she lived her life just like the song says::

“Against the grain should be a way of life,
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight,
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try,
So live like you’ll never live it twice”

She lived like every day wasn’t promised. She was genuinely nice to everyone, never felt animosity, and always looked out for those she cared about. She was the best friend I could ask for, so halfway through the live performance, which was so well played live I couldn’t believe it, I cringed, tears streaming down my cheeks.

Then, I got that chill again. And I knew she stood there in the open spot to my left, hand on my shoulder, telling me, “It’s okay. I’m okay. So no more tears.”

After that song, Sissy and I left. I dozed off halfway home.

So, in a nutshell, it was the best concert of my life. Crossed Daughtry and Nickelback off my bucket list (Two in one night! WOW!), and had a blast with my Sister, who I don’t spend nearly enough time with.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over five months since I last heard her voice and laughter. I miss JV every day, every hour, every minute. But, thanks to that concert, I know she’ll always be looking out for me. Always.

Hug your loved ones. You never know what your future holds. Make every minute count. And live life like JV did, as If Today Was Your Last Day.

Keep Faith, Vikans.

Wild News Wed (2017-06-28)

Welcome back to #WildNewsWed!

These weekly updates posts are keeping me accountable so far, and I hope to keep it that way. Hopefully I don’t drop it like a weight when I get busy.

ANYWAY!

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So, over the weekend, I released a short story prequel to my upcoming October release. It’s titled “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, and takes place six years before the events of “KINETIC REBIRTH” (slated for an October 19th release). It’s a quick read, and leaves you with more questions than answers. Perfect fodder for this author. >:)

It is currently only available on Instafreebie, but a month or so before the novel’s release, I will be publishing this eBook prequel story on all digital retailers to prep for KINETIC REBIRTH’s release.

Get your copy off Instafreebie [here]. And PLEASE sign up for the email list! I make it optional, but if you want to make sure you get a reminder email closer to the novel’s release, I’d suggest signing up. 🙂

Everything is set and ready to hit that “Confirm” button and release KINETIC REBIRTH into the wild. “So, why wait?”, you might ask. Because that release date is more than just a book release date. It’s the day I first met JV. The start of our 5+ years of friendship. October 19th, 2011. The reason I know that is because that’s when the roleplay launched that connected the two of us through mutual friends. We’ve had a blast crafting dozens upon dozens of characters for a good handful of roleplay documents, either public or private. Since KINETIC REBIRTH includes most of those characters we crafted together, it’s only fitting to release this first novel to celebrate the day it all started. Celebrating her life and not focusing on her death.

Now, for a slightly different, but not unrelated topic: my emotional state.

I am hanging in perfectly right now. Each piece that went into KINETIC REBIRTH, from the editing, layout, to uploads and short stories, made me slightly happier and more positive. The biggest increase in positivity was when the AMAZING [Designed by Starla] create the covers for both the novel and the KINETIC TRAGEDY short. When I saw those covers, that’s when it started sinking in: THIS IS HAPPENING. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. FOR REAL.

Once I see the proof copy, I will probably burst into tears. Because, this series would never had existed if I had never met JV. We actually were in the midst of coauthoring a series together when she passed. NOTE: NOT THIS SERIES. Our series was different, and none of those characters will cross over. I just can’t handle reading her notebooks just yet. I WILL FINISH THEM. And her name will be on ALL four covers for it, right next to mine.

Dang, getting off track. Long story short: I’m doing better now than I have been in the last five months. It’s hard to believe it’s been five months since I’ve heard her voice. I will get through this. All of us that knew her will get through this. And, by including JV as one of the heroes in my KINETICS series, she will continue to live on forever in the words and stories within those pages.

Oh, and I got a haircut and color. IT’S SO LIGHT AND THIN. WISH IT COULD STAY THAT WAY.

So, summary: Short story on Instafreebie, KINETIC REBIRTH update, and hair cut.

Unfortunately, things got chaotic last night, and I never made a #TeaserTuesday photo. I’ll try posting on for Thursday. Yes, I know it’s a different day. I don’t care. :p

OH! And Cover Reveal for KINETIC REBIRTH will be in the coming weeks. GET PUMPED!!!

Anyway, keep faith, ya’ll!! ❤