The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -- Part II

In my last update, I told you all about the birthdays we have that fall within the Christmas season. Speaking of is my beautiful Mama's birthday!! Happy Birthday, Mama! I promised I wouldn't say how old you are, so my lips are sealed on that one! But nevertheless, you're strong yet tenderhearted, fierce yet loving. I'm so thankful to be your daughter and to come from a long line of tough Southern belles!

Happy Birthday, Mom! <3 <3

In the last post, I told you Deek and I had been busy doing Christmas-related events, and now I'm here to share those with you!

Main St. Christmas

The little town I lived in before I moved to the Pacific Northwest with Deek has an annual Main St. Christmas. It's not a big affair, but it's quaint and fun. has a hayride. I'm a TOTAL sucker for all things hayride related, so I'm there. Deek's heard all about it, but this is the first time he's gotten to go.

Happily, Deek has been saving his vacation days, so he's able to take every Friday off leading up to Christmas. On Main St. Christmas Friday, we started the day by chillin'. We watched Home Alone, ate popcornand did some writing. Just hanging around, enjoying the day off. 

Gus sleeps during chill day

To avoid mad traffic, we went early and ate a local restaurant with THE BEST fries and ranch eva!


OMG! I'm so excited! I love the hayride!!

This pic of Gus CRACKS me up! He's like "I'm the man."

Deek snapped a shot of me waiting for the mayor to light the tree!

The Parade

The next day, Deek and I had the chance to march in the local parade. In the South, you never know what kind of weather you'll encounter in December. I've been to the parade when it's 75, and I've been to the parade when it's 27. This time, it was 32! Brrrr!! That's chilly for this Southern blood. So, we wrapped up in multiple layers, donned some Christmas gear, and marched!

Ready for da parade!


Surprise...I'm talking. See my lovely friend Denise indulging my gift of gab?? :)

Post Parade!

Wait, Erin's in trouble...

Yep, she did it.

Rogue One

This time last year, we went to see The Force Awakens on pre-opening night. Well, history repeats itself because we went to see Rogue One on pre-opening night as well!

The Force Awakens-- a year ago

Rogue One this year!

We tried to copy Jyn Eros's serious face, but we accidentally turned her into Voldemort! 

Light Show

This past weekend, Deek and I decided to go to a local lights show. I went there when I was a little girl, and it's changed a lot since then. And we went again with my friend Kathie and her family two years ago when we came back to the South to visit and had a great time. 

Riding the train at the lights two years ago.

So, we trucked back there. The actual lights themselves are only 45 minutes away. Except...from the time we got off the highway until we reached the lights took another hour!!


When we finally got there, the line for the train was almost 3 hours!! Since we didn't feel like waiting around for 3 hours (and since standing in one place for a long time is a no-no for my physical therapy right now), we decided to walk around instead. You can't actually get inside the lights without going on the train, but we saw most of them. AND to top it all off, out of those hundreds of people in attendance, we bumped into my high school bestie and her husband. We had so much fun chatting with them, so it made the whole night worth it! We laughed on the way home that our adventures may not always go as planned, but we always find a way to have a good time anyway!

My high school bestie. Years and years of friendship.
PS. Everyone called us "The Twins." We *do* have exactly the same birthday...

Lights from afar

3 hour line for the train ride?

We picked a bad day to come!

 Snowman Poop

Then, to continue with the festivities, we watched a Christmas movie and made snowman poop for Deek's co-workers! You can read all about our Christmas traditions and get the yummy recipes from Deek's blog!

Snowman Poop -- YUM!! It was a big hit at work!

When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, I used to surprise Deek a lot with coffee at work. Since have access to a 24/7 Starbucks and he gets a big cup of it each morning, I don't often have the opportunity to do that anymore. But I did today, so I took it! :)  

Physical Therapy Update

In this season of good news, I've got good news of my own. To catch you up, because of the horrors of my past (you can read the blog posts I wrote about that here and here), I've been on pain medication for many years. Without it (and sometimes with it), I'd lie in bed and cry because the damage done to me hurt so bad. So, Deek and I worked really hard to do research and get me into the right physical therapy. And boy, have we. My physical therapist is AMAZING. Not only is she used to working with abuse victims and is very understanding, she's super knowledgable in how to fix even the worst of damage. Thanks to PT, I stopped taking medicine last week, and I'm doing really well. I felt like the physical therapy we did with medicine was the minor leagues, but without it, we're in the major leagues. Everything we do now is an actual, real, tangible step toward total healing. I am stoked by the progress we've made, and I'm ready to put this last part of my old life behind me.

So, that's what Deek and I have been up to! I'm kinda shocked Christmas is at the end of the week. WUT? But I'm excited to celebrate with my Southern family. I missed our big shindigs while I was away in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm excited to share this special tradition with Deek. He is SUCH a joy in my life. My family adores him (of course they do, what's not to adore?), so it's a cool collision between my childhood and present. I am more thankful than I can ever express that I get to spend this Christmas and every other holiday for the rest of my life with my beloved Deek. He spreads joy and laughter wherever he goes! All I want for Christmas is him. <insert heart eyes>

All the ladies love Deek! LOL!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

InHuman -- Kama Post -- Release Blitz

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Kama Falzoi Post for the release of her Young Adult sci-fi thriller, InHuman!

Keep reading for a chance to win $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!

Author: Kama Falzoi Post
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Release date: December 13, 2016
PublisherBookFish Books
Cover ArtistAnita Carroll at Race-Point

About InHuman

Mira’s mother sizes up bodies at the morgue like she’s rifling through the sales rack: this one’s too big… this one’s too small… ah, here it is. Just right. The perfect vessel for the one they’ll

call Adam.

Since Adam’s survival is the key to drawing out the Conduit—a slippery sort bent on evacuating souls from their human bodies—Mira must help him pass for a typical teenage boy. That means showing him how to talk right, walk right, chew with his mouth open... blend in.

Ironic, because blending in is has always been a challenge for Mira, especially with hair the color of a Dorito. But at their small, secluded prep school, blending in is a matter of life and death.

Because the Conduit is watching.

About Kama Falzoi Post

Kama Falzoi Post is a functioning member of society, a part-time introvert, a pinnacle of contradictions, the mother of a hurricane, a step-mother, and an author. She enjoys drinking red wine and then drinking more red wine, listening to music that moves her, and taking things too far.

She developed a love of books and writing at a very early age. Her stories have appeared in a handful of literary magazines including Inkwell and SmokeLong Quarterly, and most recently in the anthology Outliers of Speculative Fiction. She lives in a small town outside a small city with her husband, son, and too many cats.

Here is the link to entering the contest to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card: Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -- Part I

Season Greetings, friends!! Whew, it's good to be back to blogging. For the past little bit, I've been working on a hard deadline for work, and now it's done! Woot! I shouldn't have any more big projects like that until 2017, so FREEDOM!

In addition to the cray-zee-ness of the work stuff, I was also planning Deek's birthday party and doing a bunch of Christmas related events. So, I've been a little insane in the membrane. BUT the party was a smashing success and all the Christmas shopping is now done, so I can sit back and enjoy the upcoming holidays. YAY!

The Molly Ringwalds

The day before Deek's birthday, I saw an offer on Facebook for free tickets to the Molly Ringwalds concert. My friend Denise had them and couldn't attend, so I scooped them up. I thought it would be a fun start to Deek's birthday weekend, even though I knew nothing about the band. was an AWESOME start to Deek's birthday weekend! Wow, wow, wow! We had the best time at that concert!!

Rock out!

Such cool decor!


The Molly Ringwalds!

We're loving every minute of this concert!!

Deek's Birthday

So, for the first part of Deek's birthday, I arranged a scavenger hunt for him to go on. It was related to a story he'd been given on his birthday last year. Of course, he followed the clues like a boss, got his presents, and won the Starbucks date prize for having successfully done the hunt!  

He figured out his birthday lunch location based on the first clue.

He followed my random hunt into crazy stores.

And secured his gift.

And won the Starbucks prize challenge!

Later that night, we had a murder mystery party (is there a better party to have for a thriller author?)!! We had tons of friends over, and we spent the evening solving crime, talking, and laughing. SUCH a fun group of pals to spend such a special day with!!

Deek and my soul sista in character.
He was the villain actor (he loves villains), and she was the starlet!

A few of the "suspects" in the case.
Deek was the villain actor, Kim was the co-star, I was the director, 
and Carolyn was another actor (who loved to photobomb--she rocked that character even though she doesn't like to photobomb in real!)

Friends, I just want to say how incredibly blessed I am to have Deek in my life. He's truly the best person I know, and he enriches my life--and the world--exponentially. I'm so thankful to have gotten to spend this special day with him, celebrating the man whom I adore more than words could ever express. Happy Birthday, baby! Here's to many, many more. You know one lifetime with you just isn't enough for me! <3

PaPa's Birthday

My grandfather (PaPa)'s birthday is the day after Deek's. So, after a fun evening with friends, we packed up the next day and headed east to spend the evening with my family to celebrate PaPa. If you'll remember, he got sick last year around Christmas. Since then, he's been sick off and on until it culminated this summer. The doctor's performed surgery, and he's been recovering since. I'm thankful to be back in the South so I can spend as much time as possible with my grandparents and my family. And I'm uber grateful to have gotten to celebrate PaPa's 84th birthday with him this year! 

84 Years Young!

I've always been my PaPa's BabyDoll, and I've always thought he hung the moon! 
Love him so much!


Three generations--PaPa, my mom, and me
And my dad giving me bunny ears because...that's my dad for ya! LOL!

Dude, this post is already longer than I expected, so I'll stop here. BUT stay tuned because soon I'll be putting up another post about the local Christmas tree lighting, the Christmas parade (which Deek and I marched in), and Deek's work Christmas party!! 

Until then, stay warm! Live and love out loud!! <3

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Release Day Blitz -- On the Way to Simple by Jennifer Acres

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of hosting Jennifer Acres (one half of another husband and wife author team) for the debut of her novel On the Way to Simple!

Title: On the Way to Simple
Author: Jennifer Acres
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

About On the Way to Simple

Dakota Ames had everything under control, or so she thought.

Ever since her father's accident on duty as a fireman, she promised herself she would always have a plan. Life couldn't throw her a curve anymore.

That is until her best friend Alex enlisted in the Navy.

This couldn't happen. It wasn't part of her plan. She hadn't even worked up the nerve to tell him she loved him. 

Alex was wrong to go and she was going to prove it. But when she meets Will, one of Alex's fellow recruits, she finds that things aren't always so simple.

About Jennifer Acres

Jennifer Acres' writing experience began back before she attended Houston Baptist University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition. She wrote three screenplays both during her time there and after, all of which received awards from the Houston International Film Festival. After working as a script supervisor in Houston and L.A., she discovered that she was in love with story and wanted to pursue writing novels.

So now, Jennifer is a YA and NA author who loves complex characters in emotionally moving stories. She writes to encourage empathy and understanding of one another. When she is not writing, she is often reading, crafting, and following her fandoms. Jennifer and her husband have made Houston their little corner of the world.

Find Jennifer Online!

Full Name: Jennifer Acres Dailing
Twitter: @JenniferAcres

Read the First Chapter!!
(sneak peek)


"You have to say something, Dakota. Tonight. The world will end if you don't." Kaylee's big, dark eyes were wide and excited as she followed me into my bedroom.
"It will not." I looked for a change of clothes to switch into before heading to Alex's house. I wouldn't be caught dead on his doorstep looking as grungy as I was after a full day of classes.
There was a long pause. She headed back into the living room of our little campus apartment. I almost stupidly thought she was done fighting this, but Kaylee always got her way and somehow made you grateful for it.
"My world will," she pouted.
"Your world cannot possibly be small enough to care whether Alex and I hook up."
"Yes, it can." I heard the grin in her pout.
I checked myself in the mirror. Somehow, no matter how girly the clothes I wore, I still looked vaguely like a boy. It's the only reason I kept my brunette hair long, so people would be able to tell the difference. Like when people put a bow on a bald baby's head so you'd stop calling her a 'cute little fella.'
Kaylee popped her head back in my bedroom door. She, on the other hand, had no problems looking like a girl. Not a girl, a full-fledged woman. She was an Amazonian goddess with a crown of natural curls and curves no plastic surgeon could ever sculpt. It almost made me more jealous than I was willing to admit, but no one could truly hate Kaylee. She had a way of making every single person feel like they were her favorite person on the planet.
Since she was my roommate, I had a slightly higher claim than the others.
I gave up my search and started changing into jeans and a tee. Alex couldn't care less if I was a girl or not. That was the thing about being best friends since kindergarten; the history made it impossible to hide anything right down to our deepest faults. That is, except the fact that I liked him as more than a friend. Otherwise, Alex knew all there was to know about me. There was no prettying up the wizard once he saw behind the curtain.
"Why is this so important to you?" I asked.
"Because I want you to be happy."
"I am happy."
"Mmhmm." She pursed her lips like I did when she said something stupid.
"I'm serious. Happy."
In a grand sweeping motion, she tossed herself down on my bed. She couldn't do anything without a little dramatic flair.
"Dakota, you're in love with him. Can't you just say it?"
Her words made me jolt. There was so much she didn't understand. I couldn't just come right out and say it. It would ruin everything. She knew I couldn't tell him. I had told her a million times before. I could name hundreds of reasons why I couldn't, but I only needed one.
I couldn't lose him as a friend if things didn't work out.
"It's not part of the plan," I said quietly, pulling my t-shirt over my head.
"Oh, screw your plan. What has your plan done for you lately?"
It hadn't done anything for me yet, but it would. Plans are for the long term, not what feels good in the moment. I had worked too hard to throw everything away. I had to graduate Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Business Marketing, which would get me a good, stable job, and then I could think about superfluous things like dating.
Alex certainly wasn't superfluous. If I tried to add him into the equation now... Would it be such a bad thing?
I grabbed my purse and backpack off of the floor next to the door.
"I have to go," I said.
"Wait, wait." Kaylee followed me to the front door. "Are you gonna tell him?"
"Not tonight."
Her eyes widened. "So, another night?"
I paused. I had to be careful what I said, or it could spell high pitched squeals of glee and another victory for Kaylee that I personally didn't need.
"I'm considering devising a plan for a later encounter. Possibly."
She seemed to deflate. "You know, you better say something soon or he's gonna stop waiting for you. He's a good guy. You keep pushing him away, and he's gonna stop trying."
I opened the front door. "Noted."
I closed the door behind me as fast as I could without being suspicious. The idea of Alex with someone else made me physically shake. He had always been my Alex, ever since the first day we met when my dad and I moved into that tiny house around the corner from his. It was a maddening thought, and also completely ridiculous. At least, that's what I tried to tell myself.
He would always be my Alex. My best friend. Telling him I loved him would ruin everything, plain and simple.
But could she be right? Was I pushing him away? No, he was an adult. He could say what he wanted whenever he wanted. He didn't need an invitation from me to speak. It was much more likely he wasn't interested in that way. Which was fine. I didn't need him to like me.
I needed him to be my friend.
The drive out to his house was a bit precarious. My crappy little Honda was already on its last legs when I bought it, but it was all I could afford. Luckily, Alex was a mechanic, so he kept it limping along the best he could. But I could feel it. My car was about to give up. It usually left me high and dry at the worst possible moment, like a no-show prom date, and it was about to leave me sobbing on the curb in a big poofy dress yet again.
Each turn I made got me a little closer to Alex's. I rubbed the dashboard and talked sweet to it, hoping to get close enough to his house. When I finally turned onto his street, I let out a little cheer.
After a few more knocks and a sputter, my car died.
I forced out a breath and angled my car at the curb as I coasted to a stop. It would have to stay parked there until Alex could check it. Thankfully, it broke down only about ten houses away from Alex's, so it would be a fairly short walk. I got out, shouldered my bags, and headed off. But that wasn't enough. I glanced back and gave my front tire a little kick.
"I would have made you cookies!" I shouted at my car, which was ludicrous, but I needed to tell it how much it let me down. Before anyone could spot the crazy girl yelling at her car, I ducked my head and hurried down the street feeling like an idiot.
As I stepped in front of Alex's house, I could already hear voices inside. Yelling, screaming at each other. I didn't know what to do. I walked cautiously up to the door, but before I could reach it to knock, Alex flung the door open and stepped out quickly. He slammed the door behind him just in time to block something glass that shattered on the other side. We both flinched.
"You're early," he said, surprised. His shoulders  instantly dropped. I caught a glimpse of the fury on his face before he switched back to his usual smirk.
"I always am." I tried to sound normal, but he was backing me away from the door.
"We can't study here," he said.
"What happened?" My heart raced. Had I seen what I thought I did?
"That was no nothing. Did he throw something at you?" I snapped.
"Let's just go—"
"Hell no! He can't do that—" I spun out of Alex's grip and marched back toward the door, readying my bag to use as a bludgeon. I saw red. Had his dad actually attacked him? Even the thought of it had me ready to beat that waste of a man down.
"Stop!" Alex ordered. He yanked the bag out of my hand and pulled me away from the door. "Please, just leave it alone," he said, only slightly more calm. He was trying to hide what had happened from me, and I wasn't sure I was okay with that. But this wasn't the way to get him to talk. I'd have to work it out of him.
"Fine. We can take over a booth at Burgermeister."
He nodded. "Where's your car?"
I lamely pointed down the street at my sleeping crap pile.
"We'll have to take yours." I looked around the nearly empty street for Alex's prized possession: his deep red '68 Camaro RS he'd restored himself. I knew nothing about cars, but it was beautiful. Except I couldn't see it anywhere.
"I'll get it towed to the shop and take a look at it in the morning. You need anything out of it?" Alex asked while fiddling with his keys.
"No, I'm good," I said, holding up my purse and backpack. It had everything in there.
He nodded and walked a couple houses over to a run-down blue Ford F-150. A pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on the bumper. After unlocking it, he opened the passenger door for me.
"Where's your car?" I asked.
He shifted in place. "It has a bat in it. I borrowed this from a friend."
"A bat?"
"Like a bat bat?" I made little flapping motions with my hands.
He forced away a smile. "Do you want burgers and studying or not?"
I pursed my lips at him. I knew when he didn't want to talk about something.
“Fine, but you’re not getting off that easy.” I pulled myself into the truck.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He slammed the door shut behind me; based on the sound the door made, it actually needed that much effort.
We drove in silence. Awkward tension mingled with the smell of old cigars and shoe polish. I peeked over at Alex, but he kept his bright blue eyes straight ahead. Tension made his already toned muscles stand out, the definition evidence of his success as a mechanic. His dark hair was more disheveled than usual. It normally had a natural bed-head sort of look, but now it was as if he had stuck his head out the window during a car wash. His hair seemed to be a signifier of his mood. I could tell just by that what kind of day he was having.
I hated how messy it was then. I almost reached out to settle it back into its normal, calmer state of chaos. But that wouldn't fix anything. Not really.
To kill some time, I perused the truck. Some camping equipment sat in the back seat. Loose change jingled in the cup holder. When I popped open the glove box, a few maps, a brochure for Enchanted Rock in the Texas hill country, and a few burned CDs fell out.
"Don't do that," Alex said.
"Do what?"
"Snoop around."
"You always let me snoop."
"In my car. This isn't mine. Put it back."
I huffed and started gathering the stuff from the floorboard. The CDs were all spread out, so I scooped them up, sorting them to face the same direction. I noticed almost all of them were for musicals. Carousel, Funny Face, Meet Me in St. Louis. A couple crooner albums were in there too. Dean Martin and Sinatra.
I noticed something shiny on the floor. It was silver and looked like a pin of some kind. I picked it up and flipped it over.