I have to admit, it's been a bit stressful the past few months. I have a few new projects ready to go that I'm researching suitable homes for, and a few others that are floundering out there temporarily as I transition them to a new home. The journey has not been an easy one, especially for my readers who want the books but aren't sure at the moment where to find them. Rest assured, everyone. I have tidbits of good news, which I'll share in a moment.
We've had a lot of struggles going on around here over the last year or so. Some of these struggles have been more like blips in our routine that simply requires a bit of readjustment to our regular routine. Others have been overwhelming difficult than I had originally anticipated, requiring alot more of my attention, focus and care. What this has meant is that my writing has often had to take the back burner to deal with and cope with these other areas. But as frustrating as it can all be some days, I try to take a more positive perspective on the entire situation and simply do what I can when I can. That being said, my writing is very important to me. For me, it isn't all about selling books or articles, although that certainly helps. Writing is therapeutic for me and so is reaching out to those who share some of the issues I write about. So I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your support over this difficult time. It has meant the world to me, even if I don't always post about it. Knowing you are still with me, reading and enjoying my work, inspires me to keep going, even on the most tiresome and roughest days. I would still write regardless, but knowing I have an audience for my words is an amazing blessing. So, thank you.
That being said, I am happy to announce that The Watcher Series (Dark Water) is now in the hands of the fantastic team over at Loving, Healing Press. The series should be re-released early fall under the fiction imprint of Loving, Healing Press. I'll keep you posted on updates as we get them in. To celebrate, I'm sharing a sample from the first book in the series, Dark Water.
This scene shows the relationship among the main character, Freesia, and all of the people most important to her. Freesia has had a tough time with losing her father when he was on a Military assignment, then coping with her mother going missing a year later and, through it all, having to help care for her younger sister, Sage, who has non-verbal SPD. That's a huge pile for any teen to have to deal with. Here, we see a few moments where she gets to just be herself. And it also introduces her long-time crush, Rick.
Enjoy the sample and remember to stay tuned for more updates as they happen for the book's re-release.
Just as Freesia put the lunch tray on the dock, she heard a robotic command from Sage's tire tomb. 'I'm hungry. Sandwich, please.'
Freesia hated the fake, monotone voice from Sage's keyboard. It reminded her of the same voice that answered calls at customer service centers only to be put on hold for hours. It drove her nuts. The worst part was when Sage would get mad and blast the volume so it sounded like she was yelling.
"Chicken or roast beef?" Freesia asked.
Slight pause for a decision.
Tapping of keys. 'Roast beef. Chips too, please. And cheese. And iced tea.'
What am I, the maid? Freesia thought. Some days it seriously felt that way.
She grabbed a napkin, loaded it up with Sage's order and walked through the obstacle course of objects spread out on the dock. As she handed everything down to Sage and waited for her to arrange it all in her small space, Granddad shouted out to someone next door.
"Mornin', Rick. Didn't think we'd see ya up here this year."
Freesia's heart fluttered. Her face flushed when she realized she was sporting her new tankini and Rick was going to be around to see it.
The Oakleys had three boys—Brian, Billy and Rick. Even though the boys, Sage and Freesia had all grown up together, there was a huge age difference between the older two Oakley boys and Freesia, so they never hung out or anything. In fact, they weren't up at their cottage very much. But Rick was only two years older than Freesia. He'd be there every summer.
Freesia was never a girlie girl and liked a lot of the things other girls she knew didn't, like fishing and water sports. So she and Rick hung out quite a lot. And he was so sweet with Sage, letting her tag along. He once told Freesia he wished he'd had a little sister to tease and protect. She thought he was pretty awesome.
Even though they'd become great friends, Freesia secretly had a crush on him since they were both in their single digits. How could she not with his beautiful, wavy blond hair that he kept just long enough to look cool, but not so long he'd be teased about it? He was a smaller guy, kind of like Johnny Depp—wiry but not skinny. And his eyes…those ocean-blue eyes she melted into whenever he talked to her that seemed to grow iridescent over the summer as his skin darkened to a deep
She startled out of her thoughts when she realized she was bending over, her butt facing his direction. She stood up quickly, blushing, and adjusted her suit.
Rick waved. "Hey, Mr. Freisen. Yeah, I know. I was supposed to work back home in Dad's shop with my brothers, but I was offered a job out here to work over at the marina for the summer. Pay's better and I can be outside."
Granddad wiped sandwich crumbs on his bathing suit. "Sure. And I'm guessing your boss is easier to deal with too, right?"
Rick laughed. "Yeah, right. Don't tell him I said so. Hi, Freesia."
She waved. His voice sounds deeper this year. Wow.
"Where's your cool little sister?" Rick said, his hands on his hips.
Sage popped her head up over the inner tube.
"There you are." He grinned. "Hey, I can drive the boat around anytime I want this year, so get ready for a boat ride soon. Okay?"
Sage smiled and waved.
Freesia never saw Sage smile that big except when their dad would come home from work. His death was so hard on her.
Freesia's chest ached for a moment as she suppressed the tears trying to pool in her eyes. She watched as Sage disappeared back inside the tube.
Rick ran his fingers through his hair. "So…uh…Freesia. I gotta go over to the marina to check in, see when I start, get my work shirt—all that jazz. You wanna go for a ride to the main beach? You know, check things out?"
She looked up at Granddad, who had a hint of a teasing grin pulling at the corners of his mouth. He handed over her cover-up and a beach towel. "Go ahead. Ask the boss first, though."
Freesia leaned around Granddad. "Gran?"
Gran, already in her favorite sunning chair, with Rudy snoring underneath her, pulled her sunglasses halfway down her nose. She looked at Rick and then Freesia. "I suppose so. But be back before
supper. And put that cover-up on. And wear a life jacket."
Freesia rolled her eyes and pulled her beach cover-up over her head.
Rick gave a thumbs-up and untied the boat from his dock. He jumped in,
started it up and floated over to the Freisen's dock. Rick grabbed the dock while Freesia went over to say goodbye to Sage.
"I won't be long, Sagey," she whispered in her ear. "Have fun, okay?"
Sage reached for her keyboard. Freesia glanced back at Rick and Granddad making small talk while Sage typed. The boat's motor sputtered a cloud of light-gray smoke, wafting the smell of gasoline
around their dock.
'I'll be okay. I don't want to go, anyway. I feel good here.'
Freesia hugged Sage's head, pushing her too-big sunhat over her eyes. Sage pushed her away, adjusted her hat and gave a thumbs-up.
"Ready?" Rick held out his hand.
He put one foot up on the dock to keep the boat steady as he helped Freesia in. He wore sporty flip-flops. She loved that.
She settled into the seat beside him and he handed her a life jacket, under Gran's watchful eye. Freesia slid it on and Rick pushed away from the dock. He looked down at her with a smile and lowered into his seat—his left knee on the seat, his right on the gas pedal. As he gave the boat a
little gas, they rode away from the dock, her family waving and getting smaller the farther the boat zipped away from the shore.
Freesia closed her eyes, the wind blowing her long tresses in her face. She breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the sweet, clear air. When they disappeared around the bay, away from Gran's overprotective eyes, she took her life jacket off and threw it in the back. Rick glanced down at her and smiled. Butterflies exploded in her stomach.
No matter what other things were thrown at her, she was pretty sure this would be a summer she wouldn't forget.