The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All The Bookish Things

Hello, friends! There have been several exciting bookish things happening in Rhew-ville (haha, with Christmas only 10 weekends away, I couldn't resist the Whoville reference--haha). Hey, I've never claimed to be anything but a total nerd. ;)

The Fulfillment: So, The Fulfillment released on Oct. 15. I hope you checked out my blog tour. Big shout out to all the amazing bloggers who participated. And congrats to my giveaway winner, Jess! She won signed copies of all three books. If you missed out on that chance, Deek and I are offering a joint giveaway which ends on our wedding anniversary (Nov. 7). You can check out the deets on his page or mine.

The Prophecy: Meanwhile, in the middle of my tour for The Fulfillment, I found out The Prophecy won a Readers' Favorite 5 Star Seal! OMG! SQUEE!! I may have jumped and danced around our bedroom while Deek laughed from the bed. LOL! You can read the review here:

"Birth of An American Gigolo": First off, I can never spell the word gigolo. I want to put an "a" in it. Sigh. LOL! Anyway, this is Deek's short story, and it's totally awesome! Here's a taste of this delicious tale...

An old party girl turned domestic diva, infuriated by her husband's cheating and his holier-than-thou, tree-hugging, no-tits and no-hips girlfriend, inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god, start a gigolo business  as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove.

The lovely Anita at RacePoint will be doing the cover, and we're SO totally thrilled about that. She's the bestest in the business, people! In case you didn't know, she's the brains behind the beautiful covers in my trilogy. I'm so stoked to see what she does with a dark piece like "Birth."

Deek and I were talking one night, and he grew very concerned that my readers would be surprised at how much darker his writing is compared to mine. So, I promised him I'd alert everyone. I posted this on my Facebook page, but now I'm posting it again here: 

Friends!! Deek's short story "Birth of An American Gigolo" should be out at the end of this year or early next. He's such a talented and FUNNY writer. I can't wait for you to read his work.
Last night, we were talking, and he thought I should point out to my readers how different our writing styles are so you don't go into it expecting Erin Rhew Books.
So, here's my assessment of his style. My husband writes darker stories than I do. He's more literary, and he's far more clever/witty than I could ever hope to be. So, when you go to read his stories, expect to be in a world tinted with a Gotham City style grittiness. Expect to be blown away by the eloquent way he phrases things, and go to the bathroom before you start reading so you don't pee yourself from laughing. wink emoticon
I am so proud of my husband!! I embrace the fact that we're different writers, and I'm proud to be one half of the Rhew team!

Coffee news: This actually does relate to writing. Haha! I've wanted to force myself to like black coffee for years. In the winter, I get so cold, but I don't want to waste calories on drinks like hot chocolate. So, when I moved to the Pacific Northwest (the birthplace of Starbucks--I actually went to the original Starbucks when we visited Seattle), I decided the time had come. I started off slowly with fru-fru drinks like caramel macchiatos and salted caramel mochas (thank you, Starbucks, for using coconut milk for the lactose intolerant). I also drank, and still drink, Califia Salted Caramel almond milk coffee. And then the moment came for me to try black coffee. I made myself down a cup of it one day and then the next. Suddenly, I started having some every day (thank goodness Deek keeps a pot ready). Then...the weirdest thing happened. I began to PREFER it! The night I found out about the 5 Star Seal from Readers' Favorite, I got a salted caramel mocha, and it felt heavy in my stomach. I'd much rather have the smooth plainness of black coffee. Wut the wut? Mission accomplished.

Deek and I spent the afternoon working in the arts district--it's fitting.

 Deek Rhew: Deek is in negotiations over two books he's written, and we are SO thrilled! More to come on that as soon as the details are worked out. Every day, I think I'm so proud of this man that I couldn't be any prouder. And then I am. It's the same with how much I love him. It's ever-expanding, like the universe and Santa's waistline!

Mega swoon

In other news

We visited a pumpkin patch and ate yummy apple cider donuts.

My favorite Ninja Turtle is Michelangelo, but I'll get a pic with Donatello if I have to... ;) This pose is a shout-out to all my ninja ladies at the MMA gym where I used to train! Love you, fierce ninjas!!

Deek and I participated in Back To The Future Day by watching Part II on 10-21-15, despite having an extremely hectic week. Plus, that day was my parents' 20th wedding anniversary, and I blogged about how awesome they are and how hard it is to be apart, especially during big events.

Deek and I spent the evening in Portland supporting local art. This studio was amazing. It's covered from floor to ceiling with paint splatter!!

Working out is a huge part of our lives, so here I am post-workout. I'm trying to finish up a few last minute work items. LOL!

After a LONG day of editing and working on novels, Deek and I donned some hats and coats and took a lovely walk. We discovered the first set of Christmas lights of the season! Yes, already. They're on an old church, which has been revamped to house artisan work, and it's quite beautiful.

My husband and I *may* have slow danced in this little gazebo, oblivious to the rest of the world as we swayed in one another's arms. 

Don't forget about our "snicked" giveaway (link at the top of the post) where you can win signed copies of The Fulfillment Series AND a signed copy of 122 Rules by Deek when it releases early next year! Thank you, friends, family, and readers--from the bottom of my heart. You've made my dreams, and Deek's, come true by supporting us and our writing. You're the best! Hugs!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana

Today, I'm pleased to host Sara Elizabeth Santana and OfTomes as they reveal the cover for The Awakened! This debut novel releases on Dec. 1, 2015 and will be available in Kindle and paperback (Kindle will be available for preorder soon). And good news, you can go ahead and add it to your TBR list on Goodreads now!

The details on The Awakened!

Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take and avoiding Ash Matthews.

That is, until the Z virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They're faster, smarter, and they work together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh.

The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with the awakened.

Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country.

The details on Sara Elizabeth Santana:

Sara Elizabeth Santana is a young adult and new adult fiction writer. She has worked as a smoothie artist, Disneyland cast member, restaurant supervisor, nanny, photographer, pizza delivery driver and barista but writing is what she loves most. Her first story was written at age nine. She runs her own nerd girl/book review blog, What A Nerd Girl Says. Her favorite books are a tie between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling and Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce. She lives in Southern California with her dad, five siblings, and two dogs. Her debut novel is The Awakened.

You can keep up with Sara on her website:

And now, for the moment you've been waiting for... 

The Awakened cover

Kindle Cover

Full Wrap Print Cover

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary!!

Today is my parent's 20th wedding anniversary. Wait...I see you doing the math in your head. Yes, technically my dad is my stepdad, but to me, he's my dad. I'm blessed to have been raised by these very special people. The older I get, the more I realize just how blessed I am.

Mom and Dad

My mom: My mom has always been a hero to me. When she had little to no money, she left an unhealthy situation and took me with her. She could have left me and escaped to her own freedom, but that's not who my mom is. Thanks to hard work and some help from my amazing grandparents, she set us up a little home in a one bedroom apartment (and eventually in a small home). She worked herself to the bone as a single mom. Every day, she got up and went to a job that barely paid the bills. But I never went hungry. There may have been times when we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for days, but I never went hungry. I attended early-morning care at school at 6 AM and left after-school care at 6 PM every day because my mom worked that hard for us. She's a rock.

Being poor and watching her struggle taught me the value of a dollar and the value of hard work. I am a work horse because she showed me how to be one. I am a mad budgeter because I know what it's like to scrimp and save every penny. And she always put me and my well being first--the quintessential component of motherhood. If I needed new shoes, she'd wear ones with holes. In this and other ways, she taught me about life. If I had a question, no matter how lame or embarrassing, I could always ask her, and she would always give me the most frank, upfront answers. But most of all, she loved me. I am grateful to my mother for all of these lessons and for her unfailing love.

Me and my Mommy

Mom and Me

My dad: My dad came into our lives when I was seven. Actually, scratch that, we knew him earlier. When I was three, he was my mom's boss. I remember going into his office and drawing all sorts of crazy pictures on his whiteboard. For my fourth birthday, he gave me money to go buy my own whiteboard. Sadly, the store we went to didn't have any, so I bought a doll that I named Sasha. Fast forward a few years, and I pointed him out at a store saying, "That's the man who bought me Sasha!" My mom went over and said hello, and they hung out for a while. They started dating and eventually got married. When they wed, I gained a brother (who has since provided me with an awesome sister-in-law and four amazing nieces and nephews), which is really fantastic for an only child.

Me and my bro, Lance

My dad jumped in alongside my mom to teach and guide me. Like her, he kept the lines of communication wide open and never made me feel weird about asking any questions. In fact, he encouraged my questions and intellectual curiosity, and we often engaged in lively debates. My dad shaped my view of the world. He taught me to think for myself and not accept any information without first fleshing out the details. Whereas some people want their children to be mini copies of themselves, my dad encouraged me to be a critical thinker and discover the me I wanted to be. He also taught me an invaluable lesson--don't whine and complain. When I was a teenager, I used to get so mad when he'd tell me I couldn't come complain to him about anything until I'd come up with a solution first. He'd listen to me whine and moan for however long I needed as long as I had a solution or potential solution at the end of my rant. By doing so, he taught me to be a problem solver.

Always a Daddy's girl, no matter how old I am!

But the biggest thing I can't get over is that he chose me. When he met my mom, he could have run the other way because she had a seven-year-old in tow, but he didn't. And not only did he not run, but he loved me and accepted me as his own child. Heaven forbid you refer to me as his'll get the holy heck rained down on you. I am his daughter, and he chose to be my father. I can't express how much that means to me.

A song that reminds me of my Dad

My parents: I'm going to miss their 20th anniversary because I'm 3,000 miles away. I last saw them in June, and I won't see them again until the summer of 2016 (that's the longest I've ever gone without seeing them in my whole life). Here's how I feel about being away from them on their big day:

But I can wish them a happy day and tell the world how much I love them, even when we're 3,000 miles apart.

So, Happy 20th Anniversary to two amazing people. I'm beyond blessed to be your daughter, and I love you to the moon and back!

Mom and Dad flew all the way across the country (and my mom hates to fly as much as I do) to visit me and see Deek and me get married last year.

Two of my three best guys! The other is my grandpa, PaPa, in case you're wondering. ;) 

It's always a hoot with our family!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Fulfillment Releases--A Happy/Sad Day

Today is the BIG day!! The Fulfillment is out, and The Fulfillment Series is complete. I'm having happy/sad moments over here. Years of work, years of blood, sweat, and tears...over. Gone. Just done. It's weird, and I don't even think the full reality of it has hit me yet.

I'll miss Layla, Wil, Nash, Vespa, Grant, and Samson something fierce. For years, they allowed me into their world, into their minds, and into their hearts. Now that their story has come to an end, I no longer hear them clamoring around in my mind. My friends have moved out and made room for a whole new cast of characters who want their story told. 

But I think this crew will hold a special place in my heart forever. They're my first book babies, and no matter how many books I publish, they'll always be the first ones. The ones who made me a published author. 

So, I raise my bottle of Coke Zero to you, Layla, Wil, Nash, and the rest of the gang. Thanks for the laughter, the tears, and the adventures. Thanks for everything. I'll miss you, but I hope you and your story will delight the world for years to come.

You can read my wonderful husband's review of The Fulfillment here (and scroll on down for some giveaways)! He's always the first to order my books and leave a review. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing, involved partner.

The Fulfillment Tour

If you'd like to check out some interviews, reviews, and guest blog posts for my tour of The Fulfillment, here is the list of amazing bloggers who've agreed to host me!

Jen Streck10/15/2015
Teen Book Reviewer10/18/2015
Tracy Beth10/20/2015
Erin 10/21/2015


The first giveaway involves the saga of "snicked." If you've not read about that one, you can check out the details here. Find that dastardly word in The Fulfillment and be entered to win BIG!

And you can enter to win signed copies of The Prophecy, The Outlanders, and The Fulfillment

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Purple Hair, Purple Hair

Hello, friends! I hope you enjoyed Danielle's posts on the crests! She did an amazing amount of research, and I'm so stoked she finally got to share her genius with you. If you missed them, you can check them out here:

But today, I'm here to talk about my purple hair! LOL! For the release of The Outlanders, I did purple hair with blonde streaks. I had it during our PNW wedding, and it fit the whole PNW life perfectly. But this time, I decided to go with purple and black for the release of The Fulfillment because it's so essential to the theme of the series. I feel like I'm wearing an Ecclesiastic on my head. LOL! 

Last year, I had to go in stages. First, my hairdresser added the purple. Then, a week later, she added the blonde. Adding the blonde beside the purple without waiting a week would have led to gray hair. As it was, I still ended up with a bit of silver in my hair. Deek and I joked that my weird hair is the only reason the tattoo parlor we went to allowed us to get our ink done there (they were turning away people they didn't consider weird or tatted up enough). 

Stage One--purple but no blonde

Stage Two--purple with blonde

This time, I only had to go in for one appointment, but it took 4 hours. YES, 4 hours! First, she had to put in the black, and then she had to add the purple. It's like getting your hair dyed twice time-wise. Good thing I like my hairdresser! Haha! We chatted, showed Facebook pictures, and had a grand ole time. When she left me alone under the dryer to go mix the next batch of hair color, I snapped a selfie. She laughed and said she couldn't even leave me alone for 10 minutes, or I'd get into mischief. That's about right...

Making the new hair happen

So this time, I started with really blonde hair.

And ended with really dark hair.

I told my hairdresser I wanted to do the dark hair, pale skin thing to make my blue eyes really stand out. I love that dark hair with piercing blue eyes look.

Whaddya think? Do they stand out?

Then, as we do, Deek and I got silly...

Deek wanted an "in the sunlight" picture. It almost looks blue here. But blue is my favorite color (not purple, contrary to popular belief), so that's fine too. ;) 

And I wanted to go out into the world with my new hair (hey, I didn't get this hairdo to stay in the house), so we went to Target to find the last bits of additions to our mobster Halloween costumes. And...we couldn't resist playing in the costume section. It's just who we are...

Attacked by sharks. It's not far from the truth given how many shark attacks the South experienced this summer.

Hillbilly Deek. Ah-hahahaha!

The Blues Brothers, on a mission.

Lord have mercy, he's a supremely hawt man! <swoon>

Every time, Deek and I say "purple hair," we bust out singing "Purple hair, purple haaiirr" to the tune of Prince--no wait, symbol--no wait, Prince's song, "Purple Rain." This happened last time I dyed my hair too.

In case you've never heard the song...

As cool as purple hair is, there are some drawbacks. For example, you have to wash your hair in cold water for at least a week to keep the color from fading. The water in the tub becomes deep purple. And if you're not careful, you'll spray purple all over the bathroom when you flip your wet hair around. I believe there are still remnants of my last dye job at our old rental (the Victorian). Ironically, one of my hairs ended up on the wall in the shape of an "E." So, there's a purple "E" to mark my time along with all the others who lives in the 120 year old beauty!

I have to be careful not to wear white for 2 weeks, and if it rains (or if I work out at the gym), I risk having purple run down my face--or worse, stain my face! 

Another hazard of purple hair. Purple fingers when you are drying your wet hair. 

Is the purple hair worth all this hassle? Yes. Totally. Deek says my wild hair colors accentuate my personality. LOL! He says I look like a badarse rocker chick, which is a huge compliment since he loves badarse rocker chicks. In fact, our hairdresser (who's known him for many, many years) said, "Deek is so going to love this rocker chick look you've got going on." Hahaha!

I'm fortunate that I'm able to express myself with crazy hair colors. My husband is totally on board, my family (though my grandmother and her twin sister prefer my blonde) is supportive, and the area of the country where we live accepts all kindsa weird without batting an eyelash. 

I hope you join me in celebrating The Fulfillment release on Oct. 15. Is there a hair color you've always wanted to try but haven't? What's holding you back? If you have done the wild hair thang, I'd love to see pics! You can hit me up on social media with them! 

Until next time...

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Outlander Crest and a Secret Reveal!

Today is Danielle's last day on the blog, and she's talking about the Outlanders. BUT in addition to that, she reveals big, never-discussed-before information about the First Ones and THEIR origins in my creative process. 

Think about what you know about  Zed, Poden, and Haddey for a bit, and see if you can guess the secret before she reveals it!!

Outlander Crest

Last but not least...... the Outlanders! Any Outlander fans out there???? Anyone? Anyone?? Yeah, thought not!

Honestly, this one was the toughest of all for me to create. I had found the perfect symbol I so desperately wanted to use but no matter how hard I tried to work it, it never came together. So, with much dismay, I went back to the drawing board and started over. Just to share, I really wanted to use a caltrop, meaning one who demonstrates ingenuity and resourcefulness when faced with a stronger foe. I mean, come on, is there a better way to describe that crazy Queen Cataleen??? I even found an unbelievably awesome bracelet made from caltrops that I shared with Erin. We both decided that it would be something that Queen Cataleen would wear and adore it! Maybe if they make a movie?

What do we know about those elusive Outlanders anyway? Not a whole lot....yet! Yes, you will find out loads more on these mysterious people in Book 3 TheFulfillment out on October 15th. But, what do we already know.... I believe Erin has revealed that they are the descendants of Haddey, daughter of the First Ones. We also know they have managed to stay out of a lengthy war, their power (if they have one) is still unknown. Their queen is a nasty piece of work, and she is holding one of our favorite guys prisoner! We are all on the edge of our seats for poor Nash! Please Erin, rescue him already!!!!!

Not knowing much about our secretive Outlanders also made the crest more challenging. I am telling you, this one was tough! The end result was a crest containing 3 main parts which are the elemental symbol for fire, three entangled crescent moons, and an eye. 

The symbol for fire was used because...! Sorry, had to do it. This will be revealed at the end of this post. The rest I can tell you now! The three entangled crescents are a symbol for goddess, which makes sense because they are Haddey's descendants, and they always have a reigning queen. The symbol is typically arranged with one crescent on the top and two on the sides, but I tweaked it a bit for effect. I know it may look a lot like a hazard chemical leak symbol, but it's not.

    Symbol for goddess

Hazard Symbol

The eye was added because it seems like Queen Cataleen has a strange way of knowing what is going on, like she has an eye on everyone. She also can share visions of what is happening, as we saw with poor Nash during the infamous “tent scene.” Also, when I added the eye to the crest, it just really creeped me out which is fitting because honestly, the queen creeps me out.

The color orange was used for the Outlander crest. I once read that orange can symbolize worthwhile ambition. Orange is often considered a happy color, which may be what the Outlanders want you to think. They are happy and content to be uninvolved with the other kingdoms and out of the war. While researching I also found that too much orange causes self-centered and self-serving qualities, including pride, arrogance, and lack of care for others. Now that sounds a little more like our Outlanders.


Now, on to why I used the elemental symbols that I used for the Ethereals, Vanguards, and the Outlanders. I was given permission to reveal this tidbit as it had a big impact on the crests. As you may remember Ethereals are air, Vanguards are water, and Outlanders are fire. Have you had any guesses yet?

We need to start with a brief history. In “The Outlanders,” Volton Holt tells the story of the First Ones to Layla and Wil while Wil is recovering in Volton (after Holt catches Layla snooping in his office). The Volton shares that the First Ones (Crus and Ree) had three children- Zed, Poden and Haddey. Crus and Ree were both born in a time where no one had special powers, until them. The villagers were fearful and sent them away. They grew up in the Borderlands and had children, each with their own special power. Their children were close, and the boys looked after their little sister. But they eventually became jealous of each other's powers. Mama Ree had a vision that her two eldest (Zed and Poden) would die at the hands of Haddey, so she sent them away to different places- Zed to Etherea, Poden to Vanguard, and Haddey to the Outlands. As it usually turns out, the predicted future happens, even when you try to change it. The kingdoms began a war, and Haddey did as expected: she killed her brothers. Once that was complete, the Outlanders backed out of the war, but it raged on between Vanguard and Etherea.

When we put the names together along with the elements, do they sound familiar? Like maybe Greek mythology? The element of air was chosen because of the Ethereal ancestor Zed- which may sound a lot like the Greek god Zeus. This is also why we incorporated the lightning bolt into their crest. The Vanguards have been given the water symbol because of their First Ones ancestor Poden, whose name may remind you of one of the Big 3 Greek gods- Poseidon. And of course fire was chosen for the Outlander ancestor Haddey, which will remind you of Hades. Even the First Ones themselves- Crus and Ree are none other than the Titan parents of these gods- Cronus and Rhea.

Those of you who have read Erin's blogs know of her love of all things Percy Jackson, so this correlation should not be a surprise. She has even created a character in the series as her homage to Percy—Layla's brother Samson. You already know my thoughts on my favorite character Samson (see the first post!)

This ends my crest mania! I hope you enjoyed learning more about the crests and their origins. Thank you for letting me reminisce about creating the crests and the fun Erin and I had surrounding them. Remember, The Fulfillment release date is October 15th. The installment beautifully wraps up this crafted tale that Erin has carefully woven for all of us. You learn the fate of your favorite characters and their kingdoms, unravel all of the mysteries, unearth some wild surprises, discover if peace is truly possible, and perhaps witness the beginning of ….something. You won't want to miss it!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Volton Crest

Today, Danielle is talking about the Volton crest. I remember the first time she showed it to me, and I thought it fit the Voltons so well. 

Holt and Mars are two of my favorite tertiary characters in the series. They're men who've dedicated their lives to serving others, but they're not completely altruistic. Since they have their own behind-the-scenes situations that drive their actions, they make for complex characters whose actions help shape the three main characters.

Volton Crest

While we can safely say the Voltons are not spiritual leaders, they have a strong impact on all of the kingdoms, and they’re a group Elder Werrick would like to see diminished.

Voltons are what I consider a splinter group of the Ecclesiastics. I believe that maybe there was only one group—the Ecclesiastics—but after a time greed, power and control started poisoning the group. At this point, a few disagreed with the practices and felt they could better serve the kingdoms through five disciplines (medical, agriculture, teaching, kingdom and dark arts). As the Ecclesiastics pushed more of their agenda on the kingdoms, the Voltons stepped up and provided much needed services for all. Many Voltons even make it a point to live in the kingdoms, not just try to control them.

Through the series, we meet and hear from many Voltons, but we get the deepest glimpse into Volton Mars’ life. He is a trusted adviser, tutor, medical professional, and friend to the Ethereal royal family. We see his deep connection to everyone in the family, especially when he tirelessly saves Wil's life. This man may be a Volton, but he loves the Ethereals too.

Voltons are supposed to remain neutral, and the ones we see do a good job at that. Mars won't divulge any Outlander secrets even though he knows his “family” is heading into danger. The same goes for Volton Holt; although he does let a few things slide like when he catches Layla snooping in his study. We also see the compassion this group has as they care for released prophecy candidates and how they take in refugees like Grant and Samson's parents.

On to the crest! This crest has 3 main parts; the elemental symbol for earth, an hourglass-like shape, and a scroll. The symbol for earth was chosen because of all the groups, this one is the most grounded of all. They do not rely on traditions but study them. They do not take sides but live within all the kingdoms. Their goal is knowledge, and they use that knowledge for the good of all, not for any specific group.

The hourglass-like shape in the center symbolizes balance, which would fit in with the Voltons as they are a balancing force within the kingdoms. The specific shape I chose looks a lot like an inverted triangle balancing atop another. The scroll was added to show that they base everything in fact and greatly value knowledge. The Voltons even have dedicated wings in their main building for each discipline, and all new Volton trainees must rotate through all five before choosing their life's work.

The color green was chosen for many reasons. Green is associated with renewal and growth. It alleviates nervousness and is soothing and relaxing. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony. All of these traits can summarize the Voltons. Also, green is my favorite color!

Stay tuned, the next and last crest post will share the insights into the Outlander crest and maybe even some secrets that were instrumental in my creating the crests. Remember, the last book in the Fulfillment series will be available on October 15th. See you next time!