The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it's a subject that really resonates with me. You all know about my wonderful life with Deek, about our intense love for one another and how truly amazing he is. But I haven't always lived like this. I haven't always been loved, cherished, and protected. Before Deek, I was in a terrible relationship and lived a nightmare every day.


I debated about writing this blog. Deek and I have discussed it, and he 100% supports me telling my story, especially if it will help other women. But like many women who've experience domestic abuse, I'm reluctant to talk about it. Yet this reluctance leaves the door open for more men to abuse their girlfriends, wives, and partners.

Ironically, when I went on Facebook this morning, a friend of my had posted this meme. I took it as a sign, so I'm speaking out.

I could go into the nitty gritty details of my life with my ex, what he did and all that, and one day I might. But our whole relationship was based on him--what he wanted, what he liked and didn't like, what he thought, and the lengths he'd go to in order to force me to do what he wanted. So, I'm not going to talk about him. It's not revenge or spite; it's freedom. One of the awesome things about not being with him anymore is that I'm free to do what I want, talk about what I want, and think what I think. And what I want to talk about is you.

You know who you are.

You probably look a lot like me.
A regular girl with sad eyes and a sad smile.

Domestic abuse takes many forms--physical, emotional, sexual, and even spiritual. Maybe you're a women who gets slapped or beaten for putting the dishes in the dishwasher the wrong way. Maybe you're a woman who's told you're stupid and worthless for long enough you start to believe it. Maybe you're a woman who's forced to endure someone else's sexual depravity, even when you've said you don't want to. Maybe you're a woman whose partner throws misrepresented religious texts in your face in an attempt to use your faith to control you. I'm talking to all of you and to all the other women who live somewhere in between these spectrums.

I know you're afraid. I know you don't feel good about yourself. I know he's done everything he can to beat you down so you'll stay. But you don't have to stay. 

I know what you'll say. "He was nice in the beginning." or "He has good in him somewhere, I know it." But that's just a cycle. My ex was really great in the beginning. He had all the makings of a nice guy, and then one day, it flipped. And just when he'd pushed me to the edge and thought I might bolt, he turned back on the nice again. It's an abuser's pattern. It's how they keep you there, under their thumb. Don't let them. Don't fall back into the cycle.

If you stay, you're risking your life. I know you're terrified to leave. You worry about what he'll do. You worry about finances. You worry people will judge you. You're worried about a lot of things. But you're not worried about the most important thing: YOU. No one, and I do mean NO ONE, should live that way.

If you're worried about your safety, seek help from lawyers, friends, family, and law enforcement. If you think there is a chance he might try to kill you for leaving, work out a plan to just disappear. 

If you think you can't afford to leave, confide in close friends and family. I think you'll find them very supportive and helpful. I tried to keep what was going on in my life a secret, but everyone knew. My friends and family saw how abysmally he treated me and how awful he was to them. Even though I never said anything, they KNEW. And when I finally got the courage to confess the truth about my life to a select few, they cried and said they'd been waiting for me to say it. They'd been watching me suffer for years and had wanted to help but didn't know how. I promise there are people who love and care for you, people who would help you. Trust them. Turn to them.

There are many, many agencies set up to help women get out of domestic violence. They can point you in the direction of lawyers and law enforcement to protect you. Here are some (but be sure to check the ones in your local area):

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Battered Women's Justice Project:
Futures Without Violence:
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence:

I thought I was done with tattoos (Deek and I have 6 each), but I'm thinking about getting just one more. You see, I'm done being silent and ashamed. I'm a survivor. And other women need to know there are survivors out there. They need to see us, see our lives now, and have hope. So, I think I'll soon be getting one of these tattoos. And maybe a woman who's living a terrible life like I used to will see it and know she can escape. You can be free. You can be happy. You deserve it!

If you're being abused in any way, you don't have to stay. Get help. Be smart and safe. Be strong. There IS a better life out there.

Good men do exist. I promise.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

All the Rhews Down In Rhewville

Haha! I probably should have saved that title for Christmastime, so be forewarned, you may see it again! But honestly, whenever fall rolls around, I can't fully enjoy it because it's the harbinger of winter. And as a summer girl, I abhor winter. Cold, coats, ice, snow...blah! Give me beaches, sunshine, shorts, and bathing suits any day.

Da beach! Da beach! Ahhhh, so gorgeous!

Don't get me wrong, I do like fall. I like the lovely colors and the crisp-but-not-too-cold chill in the air. And always symbolizes that summer has gone and winter is coming. I love me some Game of Thrones, so you KNEW "winter is coming" had to be said! And for the record, #KingoftheNorth (if you've seen last season, you know what I mean)!!!

Blarg...gotta drink more hot tea and wear a hoodie because I'm ALREADY freezing in fall.

Okay, okay, enough whining about the cold weather (although, my hands ARE little icicles while I type this), let's move on to another of my favorite topics: my hair! LOL!

The blonde had started fading fast, but my hair isn't healthy enough to withstand another round of bleaching yet. So, I talked to my hairdressers (the one in the South and the one in the Pacific Northwest), and we decided to do an ombre look.

But, a few days before my appointment, I decided ombre wasn't "out there" enough for me. I spent last winter doing a hair experiment for my hairdresser in the PNW, which resulted in a slightly blue-greenish look, so I really wanted to love my hair this winter. And ombre just seemed too...plain. So, I talked to my Southern hairdresser, and we decided to go for a dark brown with violet highlights.

Bye-bye blonde!

I love how Google photos does collages!

Hello, purply brown! 

Deek and I just can't be serious. LOL!

Headed out to a book signing. I love how you can see Deek's hand on my leg in my sunglasses' reflection. He always puts it there when he drives. It's a little thing, but it's a big thing to me. <3

However, the purple is held in place with a red-violet. Well, my hair LOVES red. I have a lot of natural red and a significant number of redheads in my family. Soooo...the purple faded quickly and gave way to the red. I'm headed back to my stylist to get more dark brown and a blue-violet put in instead. Fingers crossed it works because I head off to Comic Con two days later! EEP!

Red invasion
Actually, I'm making this face because I'm peeved I just spent time flat-ironing my hair only to discover it had started pouring down rain outside. GAH!

Deek and I are still on our primal/paleo eating plan and loving every minute of it! Turkey bacon at night for a snack? Yes, please! Sign this girl up! And we've been doing primal fitness as well. I can already feel myself getting stronger, and Deek's muscles...hubba hubba! <3

I'm also trying to incorporate some primal lifestyle changes as well. For example, I try to do an eastern-style squat each day while I'm working on the computer. I haven't quite gotten my back strong enough to sit like that for too long (and my feet fall asleep), but I'm building up to it. 

Doing the "grok" squat while I format the print version of She Runs Away by Jessica Calla.
 Hmmm...I like how my hair looks darker here.

Oh, here's something exciting! The e-version of Deek's book Birth of an American Gigolo is currently on sale right now for only $.99!! You should run over there and get you a copy. My husband is a totally BRILLIANT writer. I can guarantee you'll laugh your socks off when you read this masterpiece. 

I so dig his promo pics too! If you haven't seen them yet, check out his Twitter account!

And right now, I've got my historical fiction, Restore to Me, out on submission. I'm stoked to report that several agents have requested the full, so major fingers crossed on that one!! And while I anxiously wait for word on that one, I'm keeping busy writing my futuristic thriller, tentatively titled Number 25598, although I usually just called it the "Molly and Ryder story."

Restore to Me
Historical fiction -- on submission with agents

Number 25598
Futuristic thriller--WIP (work-in-progress)

I also had a book signing recently. Deek and I traveled out east where we met some cool authors, including Chrissy Lessey, and got to have dinner with some of my family members afterward. All in all, it was a really great trip! 

Bless Chrissy's heart, she said she practiced making crazy faces in the mirror because she knew she'd get Rhewined. ;) 

In a few weeks, I'll be headed out to Crystal Coast Con! Tickets are on sale now, so get ya a few! ;) Guess who will be there?? A bunch of cast members from The 100 (I LOVE this show!) and Lost Girls, but I'm super excited to meet Atreyu from The Neverending Story!

The amazing Anita at Race-Point created a kick-butt banner for me, and I can't wait to use it! I will be SO proud to sit in front of this beauty!! Thank you, Anita! You rule! #AnitaIsAmazing

The whole thing

The banner set up! Deek and I approve! Two thumbs up, Anita!

I hope to see you at Comic Con! I'll be the one with (hopefully) purplish brown hair and a coat on. LOL!

And, as with all things, Deek will be at my side. I know a lot of you would like to meet him--I don't blame you; he's a hottie! But he'll be there with me, so it will be double the fun! I am so thankful to have this wonderful man by my side, through all the ups and downs of regular life and author life. No matter what happens, he keeps me laughing and smiling! Thank you for being the wonderful man you are, Deek! I love you beyond beyond! 

From last year's anniversary celebration. Eeeeeeeee!! Our anniversary is coming up! Can't wait to celebrate my amazing marriage to this blessing of a man!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Release Day for REX!

Today, we are excited to announce the release of Rex, by Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, and Cody Stewart.

Title: Rex
Author: Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, Cody B. Stewart
Genre: Middle Grade
Release date: October 5, 2016


When eleven-year-old TJ finds a weird looking egg in the Florida Everglades after a tropical storm rips through, naturally he takes it home for identification. It could be the egg of a mutant duck or something, which would be awesome. Problem is, the egg doesn’t look like it came from a mallard, even a mutated one—it’s too big and heavy and…strange. So he hides it away in his closet and continues on with his life as usual, doing his best to ignore the creepy men constantly banging at his front door and the significant rise in military helicopter sightings in his typically quiet neighbourhood.

Then one day he comes home from school and it’s as though a hand grenade has gone off inside his bedroom. Suddenly, TJ knows he’s dealing with something a little more interesting—and a little more deadly—than a duck.

About the Authors

Cody B. Stewart

Cody B. Stewart was born in the Adirondacks, in Upstate New York. His love of stories began in those mountains as he vanquished trolls, fought in the American Revolution and discovered his latent mutant powers. Stories have continued to consume his life, but he now plucks them out of his head and puts them down on paper in the form of novels and comic books. He left the Adirondacks to grow into a man, did so, and has since returned with a wonderfully supportive wife and two sons.

Adam Rocke

Adam Rocke Slutsky never met an adventure he didn’t love. From swimming with great white sharks without a cage, to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, Adam’s adrenaline junkie tendencies play a major role in his writing. Throw in a secondary degree in CryptoZoology and it’s anyone’s guess where Adam’s literary travels will take him.

Mark Rogers

Mark’s career as a travel journalist has brought him to 56 countries and counting. These trips have fed his imagination while at the same time provided authentic experiences and sensory detail that find their way into his novels and screenplays. Mark’s won multiple awards for his travel writing, including an award for his Hurricane Ivan coverage in Jamaica. His work regularly appears in USA Today and other media outlets. Mark lives in Baja California with his Sinaloa-born wife, Sophy, where they recently built a rock house overlooking the sea.

We hope you love the book as much as we do!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Place, New Adventures!

So, I think I mentioned how Deek and I had been spending a lot of time chillaxing after our move across the country. When you travel across the nation at break-neck speed, live in a hotel for a month, interview like crazy, and search for a place to live, you get a bit worn out. And that's the state we've been in for about two months. But we're finally starting to get that familiar "let's adventure" itch. Naturally, it started with ziplining!

Did you say ziplining? Why, yes, I did. When we decided to get back into the adventuring saddle, we didn't start off small. LOL! In fact, we chose to go ziplining over a waterfall!

Here's a pictorial view of our amazing weekend!

Friday, I picked Deek up from work for a dinner date.

And we immediately started laughing. We LOVE our time together and cherish each precious second.

The next day, we lounged in bed talking, laughing, and writing until it was time to go ziplining. Rules: Close-toes shoes, comfy clothes, all long hair pulled back

 I don't know why we decided to do this pose, but it's adorbs. LOL! 

Deek is ready to rumble.

Half excited, half scared.

On the practice line

Me on the practice line with a photobomber...

We're ready to go. Geared up, we know how to zip, and now it's time to do this thing!

Deek was brave enough to let go.

I wasn't. LOL! 
But I did make sure to hold a tight plank while going through the air to get an additional ab workout. That counts, right? Haha!

And we climbed bridges. This ziplining wasn't just fun in the trees; it required a quite a bit of strength and cardio too!

Case in point--look at how steep that bridge is!

High up in the sky and about to climb higher!

Our guides were awesome! They took good care of us, made sure we were safe at all times, told us interesting stories, and made us laugh!

The waterfall. It was so gorgeous! First, we walked on a suspended bridge to get a good view, and then we ziplined back across that baby!

Stopping for a moment to enjoy the view!

And to sneak a kiss!

We had a total blast with our awesome guides and with each other!

A little celebration and mediation on the way back to our car. LOL!

And now that we're back in my home state, we have opportunities to meet up with old and new friends as well as participate in more author events. Recently, we traveled a little farther east and attended a Q&A session and book signing with our buddy, Chrissy Lessey! Deek will be writing a blog on that, so stay tuned for more Deek and Erin Adventures!

I am beyond thankful to have a partner who chooses to be involved in all aspects of my life. We chill out, adventure, write, attend writing events, and just "do" life...together. Together. That's the key word. I've lived a life of loneliness before, where I did all things by myself, and I'm just tickled pink to have a partner to do them with now. And more over, I'm blessed that partner is Deek. :)

Be sure to check out Deek's upcoming post about Chrissy and our book adventures!

Until next time, live out loud!