The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Adventuring With The Rhews!

Deek and I have less than one month before the BIG move! We're rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything set up in the South and closed down here in the Pacific Northwest. AND we want to be sure we squeeze in some of our "must see" items. Hence, every weekend is now booked with friends, family, and adventure!!

Two weekends ago....

Deek has been to the Redwoods, but only in passing, and he always wanted to get out and actually explore them. I've always heard of the Redwoods but never been, and thus we elected to put the Redwoods on our "must see" list! We took Highway 101 along the coast for our trip to see more of the Pacific Northwest's gorgeous shoreline along the way. Join us for some amazing scenery!

Coffee and kisses to start the journey

Stopping to walk along the boardwalk and stretch our legs

There was this huge sign pained on the street that said "Ocean View." We decided we HAD to check it out and see if it actually warranted paint on the ground.
It did!


More smooches

We came to a whole other state to eat...fajitas. LOL!

We made it!

The HUGE Paul Bunyan

Got our stamps to visit the Trees of Mystery

We found a tree named after our cat!! She's famous!

View from the gondola! We're riding up into the trees!

You can see the ocean from up here!

Hanging out amidst the trees...

More kisses on the ride back down, with the ocean and trees as a romantic!

I see the theme...kissing at the cathedral tree where they hold weddings! How cool would that be?? Maybe we need to get married a third time, Deek?? ;)

The trees have tenacity! Woot! We can respect that and represent!

More kissing by the "I Love You" rock! <3

Then, we headed south to do the Tour Thru Tree! Don't call it the Drive Thru Tree because that's copyrighted by another tree in California!

Following the advice of some locals, we drove to a nearby state park for some Redwoods hiking. And we elected to do the South Fork Trail (hello, Dallas!). But...we didn't check the hiking guide until AFTER we finished the 7 mile round trip. Turns out, this one is labeled "strenuous." Haha! No joke!

Over trees, under trees...this was more of an obstacle course than a hike! LOL!

We are INSIDE this tree!

Deek's arm span is 69" (yes, we measured). When we go to the zoo, his arms are almost the length of a condor's wingspan. So, you can imagine just how big the base of this tree is!

Just some out-of-this-world views!

Since wandering around in the Redwoods for 7 miles on a strenuous hike wasn't enough, we decided to take a mile-long high to a beach known as "Hidden Beach." Here's a bridge to get there. Just stunning!

Breathtaking views!

Etched our names on the remains of some old lava!

On the way back home, we stopped by a restaurant Deek's been eating at since he was a little boy. It may be our last time eating there, so we wanted to take the opportunity.

Wow, this post turned out to be longer than I thought, so I'll write a separate one about our next adventure...Astoria (aka: the Goondocks!). 

Thanks for taking a walk through the Redwoods with us! Next time, we'll show you around the Goonies hangout. "Goonies Never Say Die."

Regardless of where we go or what we do, I'm always thankful to be with Deek. We can be adventuring to the top of the Redwood trees in a gondola or watching a movie while eating pizza in bed. It doesn't matter so much what we do, as long as we do it together. I love you, my Deek. #Always 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Let's Talk Books!

It's time to talk about those little packages that transport us away from this world, introduce us to new friends, and leave a permanent impression on our hearts--books!

Let me start by introducing you to a story that does all three. It's called She Laughs In Pink, and it's written by my good friend Jessica Calla.

Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place—dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben's heart.

Then she meets Ben's roommate, Chase.

On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he's ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he's never been more inspired in his life. 

Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.

About my buddy, Jessica Calla

Jessica Calla is a lawyer by day, author by night. Her favorite time is the kids’ bedtime, when she's free to open the laptop, battle with the blinking cursor, and pour out the contents of her heart. 

Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She recently became the oldest marketing intern ever at BookFish Books, and was named a Team Member for the inaugural FicFest writing contest. She also mentors unpublished writers as part of the Young Adult Romance Writers' mentoring program.

Besides reading and writing, Jessica enjoys movies, yoga, coffee, and chocolate, but has a serious addiction problem when it comes to Diet Coke, Twitter, and Netflix. Always a Jersey Girl, she lives in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and her dog. 

Jessica's first book, The Love Square, an adult contemporary romance, was published by Limitless Publishing in January of 2016 and continues to receive positive reviews. She can't wait for Book 2 of the Sheridan Hall Series, She Runs Away, to be released in November 2016 by BookFish Books.

Now, for some exciting updates about the books Deek and I are working on!

Deek: He FINISHED 122 Rules Redemption (Book 2 in the 122 Rules Series)!! This weekend was rainy and yucky, so we couldn't do the adventuring we'd been hoping to do. Instead of chalking up the weekend to a loss, we spent it writing. And at the end of the day on Sunday, Deek turned to me with a HUGE grin on his face. He pointed to the words "The End" at the bottom of his manuscript and said, "It's finished!" 

If you want to jump on the 122 Rules train in preparation for the second book, here's a link to the first book-- 122 Rules

In case you missed it, here's Deek's 122 tattoo!!

Me: So, I finished my revision on Restore to Me and turned it in to Anya to edit. I also sent copies to my Dream Team members to get their thoughts. And I got really great feedback--not in the "pat me on the back" sense but in the "here are great thoughts to make your work better" sense. I am happily incorporating their suggestions, and I'm loving the direction of the story now. After seven years of research and rewrites, it's easy to get lost in all that. These notes gave me back my clarity regarding the characters. 

So, my biggest advice: utilize beta readers, critique partners, and professional editors! And be prepared for MAJOR notes, even if you think your piece is perfect like it is. They'll offer you excellent suggestions, and it WILL make your work better. 

The Dream Team

My critique partner turned husband. <swoon>

Anya Kagan at Touchstone-Editing

I hope to finish the edits for Restore to Me in time for #PitMad on June 9! I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for an agent on this one. 

Fun factoid: One year ago, Deek and I started our cross country trip by train. If you missed out on that adventure, check it out here!

Oh, in other happy news, a fan sent us this picture of 122 Rules at the beach! WOOT! 

Until next time, friends! Happy reading! Live and love out loud!

From our second/Southern wedding! 
I love you beyond, beyond, my Deek! <3 <3 <3

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Tattoos -- FINALLY!

So, it happened! FINALLY! Deek and I got our long-awaited book tattoos, and I'm here to give you the scoop on it.

I have been planning my book tattoo since 2013. I knew I wanted it to be the Vanguard symbol from my trilogy The Fulfillment Series. My friend and Dream Team member Danielle designed the symbol, and I loved it from the first moment she showed it to me. It's rich with meaning because Danielle spent hours and hours researching and creating the perfect blend of this and that to truly capture the Vanguards. For an explanation behind her choices for the Vanguard symbol, check out this post she wrote.

But...I'm so glad I didn't get it in 2013 because my cover underwent a revamp from the lovely and supremely talented Anita from Race-Point! I knew I wanted to incorporate her design with the blue ball behind the symbol and the swishes of light surrounding it, much like you see here on my work computer (the hubs had this symbol made for my birthday--LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!).


Deek says he's been planning his book tattoo for almost as long as I have, but he had no idea what he wanted it to look like. So, last year, we hired Anita to design him a tattoo that he could also use as a blog banner for his upcoming release 122 Rules (thanks for the Christmas money to do that, Deek's parents!). We gave her the idea for what we wanted, but our drawings were truly atrocious. I mean, they were THAT bad. LOL! Somehow, brilliant Anita took our scribbles and created a visual masterpiece. 

This past Saturday, we went up to the tattoo parlor to discuss our designs and ideas with our tattoo artist, Karla. She's one of the best y'all. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, look her up. She's award-winning and certainly deserving of it! She said she could definitely make these images into amazing tattoos. But when we asked when she could book us, she said she was booked until mid-July. 

OMG! We won't even BE in the Pacific Northwest anymore by then! Karla had done all of our tattoos up to this point, and we didn't want anyone else to do them. Lo and behold, someone called to cancel and appointment while we waited. She looked up and said, "Can you be here Tuesday?" We were like, "Tuesday, Tuesday? As in 3 days from now?" She said we could have the whole day to ourselves, so we agreed. Deek took the day off from work, and we had a date at the tattoo parlor. LOL!

We'd been planning to get these tattoos to celebrate the one year anniversary of our second, Southern wedding, so we just had that celebration about twenty days early! LOL!

Southern Wedding
May 30, 2015

So, we headed to the tattoo parlor on Tuesday, ready to get our long-awaited book tattoos as well as a special message to one another on our shoulders. A whole day dedicated to repeated little bee stings. Nothing quite like that kind of celebration! LOL!

I went first. Deek always lets me go first so I don't have to sit there and anticipate. He's such a thoughtful guy! <3

After several hours, Deek got his turn.

See Anita's design hanging from Karla's station? These tattoos were a group effort from two very talented ladies!

And we FINALLY have our long awaited book tattoos!!!

I love how Karla incorporated the themes of Anita's work while adding her own artistic flare to it. The kick-bootae nature of the tattoo really goes well with my happy socks, don't ya think? Haha!

Deek and I could not be more pleased with his as well. Same thing--Anita made an amazing drawing and Karla added her own interpretation. And we ended up with something inspiring!

That night, Deek and I walked to have an early anniversary dinner at our favorite haunt (and to reward ourselves for enduring a whole day of pain--LOL). As he talked, he kept gesturing with his newly-tattooed arm, and every time he did, I thought how totally awesome it looked on him. 

Karla was even amazing enough to post a little promo piece on her Instagram for us. She really does rock! We're starting a new hashtag to add to our #AnitaIsAmazing one. This time, it's #KarlaIsKool! ;) 

Happy early 1 year anniversary of our second, Southern wedding, my Deek! I loved marrying you so much, I just had to do it again. But you know what I love more than marrying you? Being married to you. You're THE most wonderful man I've ever met--kind, thoughtful, funny, hard-working, involved (I could continue, but then this post would wrap around the world a mazillion times). Thanks for celebrating our special day with me, in the unusual way we do things. Thank you for loving me and choosing me to be your wife. And thank you for being you. I can't even begin to express just how much I love you and love our life together. It's a dream from which I hope to never wake. Now and #always, my love. Now and #always! <3