The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


There's the old saying, "The only thing that never changes is that everything changes." Well, that's true. Another one I like is, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Last year, a lot of things changed--my dad had bypass surgery, my beloved PaPa died, we bought a house and moved, friends and family from the PNW came to stay with us, and my biological father died. It was a mixed bag of good and bad. More bad than good, so I was happy to see 2017 go. Buh-bye.

Some days life feel like this...

And this year is starting out with changes too. BookFish Books, the small press I've worked for since 2013, is closing its doors. It's a bittersweet thing for me. On the one hand, I'm sad for the authors, sad the business wasn't able to stand the test of time, sad because these beautiful books won't be in the world, at least temporarily (I hope some of the authors will sign with other presses or self-pub). And on the other hand, it gives me more time to focus on my writing, build my editing business, and work with new authors at Tenacious Books Publishing.

But still, it's hard to say goodbye. Some of the BookFish people are like family to me. Thankfully we live in a digital world where everyone is just a text or email away. And'll never be the same.

In general, I would say I roll with change quite well (except for the season changes because I abhor winter), so I consider myself pretty adaptable. But I still haven't accepted PaPa's loss, and I'm still puzzling out the situation with my biological father's death. Deek always says I'm a deep thinker with a huge brain. While I suppose that's good in a lot of ways, it can make letting go of deeply important things that much harder.

His BabyDoll forever...

At the same time, change reminds us to be thankful for the times we had and the things that are the same. I'll always have my memories of PaPa, and I'll be his BabyDoll for the rest of my days. I'll always be proud of the BookFish team and the amazing books we unleashed upon the world. Some of these things may fade in my mind over time, but the imprint they leave on my heart will last forever. 

So as things go away, I'm focusing on what's still here. While Deek and I will grow and changes as people and as a couple, we'll stand the test of time. That knowledge brings me great comfort in these moments when changes overwhelm me. I glance at my husband, and a peace comes over me. He's my rock, my happy place, my calm in the storm. When my heart aches over PaPa, or when ponder life because of what happened to my biological father, or when I choke up working on the final paperwork for BookFish, Deek is there. He's there to hold me when I cry, discuss my many random and varying theories, and tell me everything is going to work out fine. He's full of life, joy, passion, and humor. I adore that about him!

This man, y'all! This man makes my world so bright!!

In times of change or uncertainty, grab on to what is real, loving, and tangible. Remember the good times from the past, but step boldly into your future.

Erin and Deek forever!

Molly and Ryder, my YA sci-fi novel

Thursday, December 21, 2017

So This Is Christmas...

Hey y'all!! Deek and I have been crazy busy, so the blog is a little lacking. I got a last minute, end-of-the-year editing project, and I'm been heads down focusing on that amidst the normal Christmas fray. Meanwhile, Deek has bee busy editing my still nameless Molly and Ryder story!

But I'm happy to report that we are completely done with our Christmas shopping (and came in *under* budget--YAY Dave Ramsey)! So, now we can relax and enjoy the holiday festivities until the Big Day arrives.

We went on a holiday lights tour and had a blast!

This will be my first Christmas without PaPa, and I must admit, I'm having trouble getting into the jolliness of the season. See, not only is PaPa gone but things are changing because of it. Our annual family Christmas Day gathering will be no more. Thanksgiving and Easter will be at someone else's house, if they continue at all. All these traditions which so defined my childhood, my life, are slipping away. I've always partially defined myself by the big ole, loving Southern family I come from. Without spending time with them at every holiday, a big part of me is changing, forever altered. I know I'll still see them, but it will be different. I'm usually one who can roll with change pretty well, but I'm having trouble adjusting to this particular one.

Add about a hundred more people, and that's my family...

I hope and pray that the generation before me (my mom's generation) will keep the family gatherings and traditions alive. I'm thankful to my Aunt Tammy and my I-don't-even-know-what-level cousin Marion for offering their homes to ensure the family celebrates Christmas Eve together as we always have. They're stepping up, and I'm beyond grateful that not everything died alongside PaPa. He would be proud of his baby girl for keeping the family together at Christmas. So, a big PaPa thumbs-up to Tammy! <3

Isn't my aunt purty? And my PaPa...oh my PaPa...

Deek and I set aside a budget for Christmas adventures, and we've been enjoying that random sprinkling of fun inside the holiday bustle. We've been keeping up regular traditions and adding news ones as we find them. This is wonderful time of year for traditions, and we're big on that! :)

We miss Portland, so we're trying to get a downtown experience in the South.
It's so not the same, but it'll do for now.

Deek and I got coffee and had a walking Christmas lights date!

Got to sit on the Big Man's lap and make my Christmas wish.
I asked him to keep my whole big family together for the holidays, and he said he'd do his best!
Thanks, Santa!

My hubster surprised me with a lunch date.
I LOVE spending time with this amazing man, y'all!

And we've been checking out Christmas lights at all the local "best spots."

We saw some that have been featured on TV!

Even Shakespeare got in on the lights action!

I don't know if I'll post again before Christmas, or even the week after Christmas since Deek has the whole week off (SQUEE), but I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!! If you lost someone precious this year, I feel your pain and sorrow. I really and truly do. But gather those you still have into your arms and squeeze them extra tight. Because when you strip away the tinsel, lights, and gifts, Christmas is about family and love. So love on that family of yours with all your might.

And I'll be over here loving on mine. My parents, my Mema, my immediate family, my big ole extended family, and my beloved, beloved Deek! Despite the pain of losing PaPa, I know I'm epically blessed to have my family and Deek's family so full and present in our lives. And that joy will glow inside me--past the pain, past the hustle and bustle--forever!

This man, y'all. This amazing, astounding, out-of-this-world man!
No matter what's going on, we always find a way to laugh.
I love you, my Deek. Now and #always!

Until next time...Happiest of Holidays from our family to yours! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

The First Birthday Without PaPa

Today would have been PaPa's 85th birthday. It's weird because he always said he'd never make it to 85, and he didn't. But I always thought he would. To me, he was invincible. He could do anything--move mountains, climb skyscrapers, anything. He was my PaPa, and I, his Babydoll, adored him.

It's been almost five months since he passed, and I still can't utter his name without choking up. I still can't stand to look at pictures because it still hurts too much. Even though I know he's not coming back, I find myself gazing at "his" chair in his office and at his house and wishing he'd just magically appear there. In fact, I get a little ruffled under the feathers if someone sits there because it's PaPa's chair.

Deek and I were talking recently about when people die and how the people left here are keepers of their memories. And I cried wondering when my generation and the one after me--those who experienced the greatness of PaPa--are gone, who will remember him? I don't want the wonderfulness that is him to fade. And Deek told me that every time I show love, mercy, gratefulness, and generosity, I'm spreading PaPa's spirit to the world. They may not remember him personally, but he'll still leave his mark when I'm kind because he was and someone else is kind because I was. In that same way, PaPa himself spread the light and love of his parents and grandparents to me even though I never knew them.

It's not the same, but it's something. It's a way for me to keep PaPa's memory alive past him, past me, past the generation behind me. I'll tell a few more jokes. Try to live in the present more rather than focus on the future. I'll hug my people every time I see them. I'll pursue my passions and dreams with more gusto. I'll put my nose to the grindstone and work even harder. I'll do my best to show the traits I learned from PaPa, and in doing so, you'll know him a little too. And maybe after I share joke, you'll tell it at a get together, and when people laugh, PaPa will be there. And someone else will tell that same joke, and the cycle continues. Man, PaPa did love a joke. I can still hear his laughter in my head and in my heart.

PaPa had five wonderful brothers and a lovely sister. I can still see each one of their faces and hear their voices in my mind. They understood the meaning of family, and they taught it to all of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I don't want any of them to fade. So, I'm going to post a picture and list all their names so there's a record. And when you see them, I want you to think of your own family--your mother, your brother, your wife, your child--and I want you do something today that shows them you love them. And when you do, these seven people will be there, smiling and laughing because family was everything to them.

Top row, left to right: Stacy, Ed, Harold
Bottom row, left to right: Darwin (PaPa), Wendell, John (aka: Bunky), and Eldred

I love you, PaPa. I miss you, and I always will. I know they say "time heals all wounds" and all that, but I don't think I'll ever really get over losing you. I will, however, do my best to make you proud and keep your spirit alive now and in the future.

Happy Birthday! 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Looking For A Gift?

Would you sacrifice everything for love?

A life must be lost. Who will make the ultimate sacrifice? 

Lawson lives a simple life: a job at a brewery, and his basketball and hockey leagues. Even his eccentric lifelong friend and roommate—who is intent on discovering time travel—doesn’t complicate things. Then Jory appears. Lawson feels an immediate attraction to her, yet their attempts at dating end with him thinking it just isn’t meant to be. But Jory refuses to give up. 

When one date ends tragically, Lawson turns to his best friend and the experimental time travel program he’s invented. But, no matter what he does, each time the reset ends with a loss. 

It’s clear…a life must be lost, and Lawson is prepared to give his for Jory. But he isn’t the only one playing with time. 

Will he spare Jory by forfeiting his own life? Or will someone else make the ultimate sacrifice?

Buy now:


Chapter 1
“So you’re going for the stalker approach, I see.”
Lawson sighed and shifted his gaze to the table. Der- rick was a jerk, but he was also right.
“She just moved here from Washington.”
Despite himself, Lawson raised an eyebrow and prompted for more information from his boss. Their boss. “State or DC?”
“State. Some small town east of the Cascades. I don’t remember the name.” Derrick took a big bite of his ham- burger and only half chewed it before continuing. “She at- tended Central Washington University, but didn’t graduate. She was going for a B.S. in Craft Brewing. That’s the main reason she got the job. She’s qualified. The fact that she’s smoking hot is just a bonus.”
Lawson cringed. “Pretty sure admitting that you find her attractive is verging on illegal, dude.”
Derrick shrugged. “Probably. Hell, not finding you at- tractive could probably get me in trouble these days.”
Lawson snorted. His gaze wandered to Jory one more time. He’d barely said three words to her in the few days she’d worked at the brewery. Her beauty intimidated him, making him stammer like a pubescent teen. He seemed to be the only one having that problem. She sat at a table with three guys from bottling and a girl from the office. The guys looked like total vultures, with beady eyes and hunching postures as if ready to pounce. But Jory appeared oblivious. She laughed at their stories and seemed to share her own.
Why the hell was he sitting with Derrick instead of at that table? He should have sat down with them when he came into the break room. It would’ve been natural. Instead, he slumped his big, bulky body into the corner like the stalker Derrick accused him of being. The light that glinted off her auburn waves when she tossed her head back to laugh made his fingers itch. The long line of her neck taunt- ed him: I know you want to taste me.
Curling his hands into fists, he tipped his head forward so that his chin length hair made a curtain between them and focused on his plate of food, deciding to finish his lunch fast and get the hell back to work.
Derrick took a healthy swig of his beer and slammed the pint down on the table with determination. “I’m gonna ask her out.”
Lawson’s throat went dry, and he almost choked. He forced his bite of food down before replying. “You can’t, dude. You’re her boss. You can’t date her.”
“We just won’t tell anyone.” “You just told me.” “Are you gonna run to the big wigs and tell them?” “Well, no. But...” He wanted to come up with a compelling argument against Derrick asking Jory out. Derrick was good looking and made more money, and he had some weird charm that girls seemed to fall for all the time. If the risk of losing his job wasn’t threat enough, Lawson was screwed. “Dude, I’d hate to see you go.”
Derrick laughed. “I guess it would be pretty stupid of me to put my job in jeopardy. It’s a sweet gig.”
Lawson nodded, hopeful.
“Maybe I’ll fire her.”
Buy now:

About the author:

***Straight to the heart***

LA Dragoni isn’t too particular about who falls in love or where they fall in love. She simply considers it her job to capture the story about their love. Whether it’s paranormal, mythical, or time travel, LA will be there to divine their story for you. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband and children, but haunts ghost towns and cemeteries up and down the west, in search of the next adventure to sift through her storytelling brain. Learn more about LA and her work at

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving and Loss

This year has been a pretty tough one. First, my dad had quadruple bypass in January and struggled to get off the breathing machine. In July, my beloved PaPa passed away unexpectedly. He'd been sick the summer before but had been feeling really great lately, so his death caught us all off guard. And again in November, someone else in my family passed away very tragically.

So grateful to have my dad still kicking and healthier than he was before the surgery.

This girl will always have a PaPa sized hole in her heart.

This year has taught me a deeper understanding of thankfulness. I've always considered myself a thankful person. I'm not constantly striving for something new or wishing I had something I don't. I'm content in my life and so incredibly blessed by the people in it.

This is just a *small* sample of the people in my family 
(and these are only the ones on my generational level)

But I've kinda drifted along thinking the people in my life were invincible. My daddy and my PaPa have always been there. But this year, for a while, I really thought my dad might leave this world, and for reals, PaPa did. And it's weird to think I'm old enough to have the people in my life go, but I guess I am.

In truth, I was fortunate to have known my great-grandparents and grandparents. It wasn't until my 20s that my great-grandmother passed away. In fact, in my family, we had five living generations at once. A lot of people don't get that opportunity. I *know* I'm fortunate to have gotten the years I got.

Me, Mom, Mema, and MaMa (great-grandma)

If I missed an Easter or Thanksgiving, Mema used to always say, "What if this is PaPa's last Easter/Thanksgiving?" And while the thought shook me, I never really thought that any holiday would be PaPa's last. Because he was PaPa. Big, loud, larger than life. 

But it was. This past Easter was PaPa's last Easter. Last Thanksgiving *was* PaPa's last Thanksgiving. 

PaPa's last Thanksgiving--2016.
Oh what I'd give to hug his neck again this year.

PaPa's last Easter
Thumbs up, Papa!

So, I'll walk into Thanksgiving with my big ole Southern family and cherish every moment, every memory just a little bit more because this year has taught me just how fragile life really is. This time, I'll experiencing thankfulness punctuated by loss, and it's something just a little bit deeper than regular gratitude.

Remember to hold those you love just a little closer. Remember to really be present in the moment with your family. Make memories you can hold onto for a lifetime. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am for this wonderful man!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Anniversary Joy

Hey, y'all! This month is an exciting one because it's mine and Deek's anniversary month! Well, one of them at least. LOL! Yep, we got married twice (once on each coast since we're from opposite coasts).

Wedding #1 -- PNW

Wedding #2 -- Southern

I was thinking today about "new" love versus "older" love, and I think older love gets a bad rap. Everyone talks about the euphoria of new love and how the butterflies are everything. Fairytales end at the wedding or final get together moment, but no one shows the after. Probably because they think watching the Prince go to work while Cinderella takes care of the kids (or visa versa or watching them both go to work), watching them pay bills or attend a concert, or watching them participate in "regular life" isn't very exciting. But by not seeing the married Prince and Cinderella, you're missing out on the best part. On the love that comes with a long-term relationship.

Erin and Deek -- the early days

You see, there's something amazing that develops the longer you're with the right person. A deep, more profound love that blows new, euphoric love out of the water.

Erin and Deek now

While it's not nearly as flashy as that falling in love feeling, there's something special about hearing someone say a certain phrase, turning to your partner, and sharing that smile because it reminds you of a joke known only between the two of you. There's something about coming home with news--good or bad--and knowing you have someone to share it with. There's something about saying, "Remember when we..." and having someone to reminisce with. There's something about having another person know exactly what you want or need and being there to provide it and being able to do that for them.

Life is in those little moments. Everyone thinks life and love happen in the big moments, but they don't. They're found in the every day. Cooking dinner together. Dancing in the kitchen. Laughing about something silly while you're getting ready for work. Sitting in bed sipping coffee and talking about the day ahead. Holding hands during a walk. Lying in one another's arms after a long day. Knowing that you have a person--your person, the person--who'll ride the ups and the downs of life by your side, hand in hand.

Our greatest desire as humans is to be known--truly known--and loved. True love comes from understanding someone at their core, at their innermost being. It's knowing all the ugly things about them, in addition to all the beautiful things, and saying, "Given everything that I know, I still love you. I still want to be with you. You, above anyone else."

The longer you're together, the more you know about each other. You can't hide your bad side, your quirks, or your faults when you live with someone and do life with them. Everything comes out. But to have all your bad parts exposed and to have your partner still gaze upon you like you're the most wonderful thing they've ever seen...that's older love. That's precious, rare, genuine, and priceless.

Given what I know about Deek, I love him more now than I did then. Every single day, I love him just a little bit more. I'm not exactly sure how that happens, but it does. He is truly the very best person I know. He's genuine, loving, witty, brilliant, hardworking, tenacious, giving, and thoughtful. I could keep going, but then this blog would be lightyears long. ;) 

But I say all that to say I understand him at his core, at the innermost part of his being, and I'm deeply in love with him. I know him. I know his good and his bad (and he knows mine). And given that, I'd still choose him--every day, every moment, always and forever. 

Happy Anniversary, my beloved! Thank you for loving me when I'm at my best and when I'm at my worst. Thank you for taking the time to see deep into my soul and for loving what you see. Thank you for treating me like I'm the most precious thing you've ever encountered and making sure I always know how much you love me. Thank you for always making time for "us," no matter what else is happening in our lives. Thank you for this wonderful life--this precious, rare, priceless love that comes after the fairytale. Because this part is the real fairytale. 

I love you, Deek! Now and always. Here's to many more in this lifetime and in the beyond! 

Being with Deek still makes me feel like dancing

He's so romantic!

This is how we look at each other, and I love that!