Writing Roadblock

Roadblock

How do you come up with the ideas you want to write about? Do you read a book and get ideas? Do you listen to music for inspiration? Do you use your own life events?

For the last two years, every time (and I really mean every. single. time.) I went for a run or I worked out, I would fantasize about the same scenario. It sounds silly to me and maybe this whole thing is silly. Recently I told a friend a little bit about this reoccurring fantasy and they told me I should start writing it down and see if I could turn it into a book. This is one of those friends who is perpetually optimistic and thinks you could conquer the anything because he believes that much in you. Everyone should have a friend like this!!

It wasn’t long before I started writing before I came to a huge roadblock and felt completely stuck. All weekend I have been stuck with this one aspect of my book. Thinking it over, I realized I had a HUGE plot hole. For days, I have tried to figure out a solution and nothing came. Finally I gave up and went for a swim and the darn solution jumped out at me. Ha! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner and in retrospect, it kind of makes sense. The book idea came to me via endorphins and working out. Why wouldn’t solutions come the same way 🙂

Typwriter

Now that I have the solution, I am at a lack for words. And the more I try to pull something onto paper, I worse my writing becomes. And to me, that’s the worst. I hate how I have this great (at least to me) idea and I am unable to explain it well enough. So what do I do when I can’t write… I read. I read a LOT!! I have read three long books in three days. And I fear the longer I don’t write, the worse it will be.

Searching the web, I found some hints for overcoming the dreaded Roadblock.

Exercise: Surprise, Surprise, this one came from me. Endorphins help everything look brighter and better. It would only make sense that endorphins help give you a better outlook on something you’re not feeling confident on. Give it a try, what’s the worse that can happen. My favorite is running. I do my best thinking while I’m running 🙂

Just Write: Write anything and everything, but just write. I like the saying that if you don’t use it, you lose it. I have read that if you write a little bit every day, you will become a better writer. I think that’s true but I also think you can get burned out easily. During one of my creative writing classes my teacher would set the timer for ten minutes and we were required to write continually for that period of time. It didn’t matter if you write, ‘what am I going to write. I don’t know what to write. Just write.’ over and over for ten minters. Although I truly doubt that will happen. I remember doing this and some days, it really worked to getting the creative juices flowing. Give it a try and it might help!

Move: Maybe a new location would help. Sometimes when I get stuck on a character- what does he/she look like? Mannerisms? I will go to a new location, usually a coffee shop, and I will people watch. I found the mall to be over stimulation and too loud to concentrate. But a coffee shop not only provides inspiration but also smells delicious!! Just an idea..

Read: The suggestion is to read something you have already written. I think this is a great idea but what if you are a first time writer?? Well, I think just reading can help in many cases- It helps you see how other authors phrase things, the structure they use, and even how detailed they get.

Writing Exercises: Write something that has nothing to do with your story. Look up a fun writing exercise topic and just attempt to write. An old teacher of mine once had me pick up a book, open it randomly to any page and point to a line. I was supposed to use the line I pointed to and write something completely new using that line. I ended up picking a line from George Orwell’s 1984 and I had so much fun writing it. I think the same thing could be done with using your favorite quote or song lyric.

Blog: I guess this is the route I am going today. Write in your blog and hope for the best. And I do kind of feel better about my writing.

Get Support: I think it is easy to get down on yourself and wonder if you are wasting your time or if this idea you are writing will ever turn into anything. Sometimes all we need is acceptance and someone to tell us that you have a great idea or this chapter is awesome. Maybe just enough encouragement to keep moving forward.

I have no idea if any of this helps but here it is. Hope you have a great day 🙂

Gifted Thief (Highland Magic #1)

Gifted Thief

Author: Helen Harper
Published: January 29, 2016
Pages: 348

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Orphan. Runaway. Thief.

Since the moment I was ripped from my mother’s womb, I’ve been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don’t want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I’ve never looked back. I don’t need a Clan. I’ve got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.

Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I’m going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it’s just as well I have sense of humour. I think I’m going to need it.

Review:

Wow, normally as I read a book I will stop to take notes. But this book was a perfect mix of adventure, loss, romance, nerdy jokes, and all wrapped up within a great heroine!! Before I knew it, I was at the end of the book and had written only three sentences. Did I mention I read this book in a day? I really didn’t want to put the book down. If you are a fan of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, then you will love this book.

Integrity is the lead heroine and I absolutely loved her character. She is feisty, strong, smart, and tells the worst jokes. You would think someone who has gone through what she had would be jaded or looking for revenge. Instead, she is a pacifist with a huge heart. Her friends are the perfect side kicks and give her strength when she needs it most.

It’s a little difficult to figure out Byron. By the end of the book I think I have him pegged but I’ll let you make up your mind on if he’s a good guy or bad. Byron is attractive, cunning, and dangerous. I enjoyed the mystery behind him and loved the banter he shared with Integrity. The humor in this book is great! I’m not sure I would say Byron and Integrity were playing a cat and mouse game. But whatever game they were playing with each other I couldn’t get enough of! In fact, I am a little more than sad I have to wait for book two to come out.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell I really enjoyed this book. For once, I couldn’t predict the ending until it was upon me. The characters were fun and the plot was right up my alley. I can definitely see this series becoming one of my favorites.

Raw and Dirty (Bad Boys MC #1)

Raw and Dirty

Author: Violet Blaze
Published: February 1, 2016
Pages: 324

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Make nice with the President of the Alpha Wolves Motorcycle Club. Yeah right. It was what my job description called for—I just never realized exactly how nice I needed to be. I certainly never expected to find myself twisted up and tangled in the raw, dirty world of an outlaw motorcycle club … or in the sexy, tattooed hands of the man in charge.

Royal McBride is a jerk—but a jerk with a swoon worthy accent, a big bike, and big … well, other things. I didn’t think falling in love with him would threaten my life. His life.
That we’d both risk losing everything we hold dear.

The mayor’s daughter … an outlaw MC president.
It’s a match made in heaven … a match tested in hell.

Review:

This isn’t your average boyfriend book. The tough, alpha male isn’t pretending to be dangerous and intimidating. He is and I’m pretty sure that adds to his sex appeal. Royal has an English accent with a raw and dirty attitude. Did I mention he is dangerous? Woman fight over him and where he is concerned, they aren’t able to keep their clothing on. His world isn’t perfect and his job is definitely not legal. This in not one of those books where the bad boy is actually a good guy or that he ends up changing who he is at the end of the day. What you see is what you get.

The romance between Lyric and Royal is intense, hot, and not always welcomed. Lyric works for the Mayor and did I mention he is her father. While Royal is the president of a motorcycle gang. Their worlds are miles apart and yet they always find themselves coming back together. So what logic could possibly come from them being together.. besides the instant attraction they feel, my guess is the idea of it being forbidden fruit.

Lyric is miss prim and proper. On the outside she is plain Jane, always hiding her true self from the world, from her family. She struggles to be the perfect daughter and is constantly fighting for her fathers attention. But underneath her frumpy clothing is a sexy woman who wears lingerie. She is feisty and confident. The only downside to her character (and I guess Royals) is that she falls head over heals for Royal far too quickly. Everything that happens in this book happens within a week to just over a week.

This book is a fun, light read. The author did a great job of catching and keeping the readers attention. You really do fall in love with these characters and I can’t help but wonder what will happen next. One thing that bugged me about this book was how the author described Royal’s smell. Maybe this is just me but a guy who smokes as much as he does, does not smell wonderful and nice. This story has corrupt FBI agents, corrupt family, lies, pain, love, action,romance, and adventure. If you have a thing for bad boys, naughty and dirty sex, and feisty personalities, read the book! I promise you will enjoy it 🙂 Besides,with a cover like this book has, there’s no way you can go wrong.

Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl #1)

Becoming Alpha

Author: Aileen Erin
Published: December 17, 2013
Pages: 267

Stars: 1 out of 5

Synopsis:

Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind.

But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves. Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems.

Review:

Tessa has the ability to see into other people’s minds. Not only their fantasies, but also their past. This sounds great, but without being able to control this gift, Tessa is outcasted as the weird girl who doesn’t like to be touched. Moving to Texas, Tessa tries to be a normal kid but only ends up complicating her life even more.

The thing that really annoyed me about Tessa’s character was how she would say one thing and then get upset when that person would do exactly what she told him to do. She constantly referred to herself as a feminist but degraded her male counter parts by saying they needed to ‘grow a pair’ when they were showing her respect instead of ignoring her wishes. Really, it’s books like this that give a bad name to feminism. I understood what the author was trying to do but in my mind failed miserably at achieving. The adolescent and immature view points in this book were extremely frustrating.

The dynamic between Tessa and Dastien was one of those instant connections, I don’t know anything about you but I love you already, kind of plot. I prefer my books a bit more realistic and not the attraction to be based off ‘something in the core’ needed the other person.

I felt really bad for Dastien. His maturity level was significantly higher than Tessa’s. And it wasn’t like she made anything easy for him but blamed him for everything. It was obvious to everyone but Tessa that he liked her and she treated him like dirt.

The book jumped to a lot assumptions that didn’t have any backing from the story. This book was missing a lot of the meat that supports the plot. The idea behind the book was fun and I did want to know how the story ended. But a lot of details were skimmed over and the overall immaturity of the heroine ruined the story for me. This book is written more for younger adolescents, maybe high school.. Maybe younger..

Overall, this is a predictable and over the top obvious book. Even with that said, Tessa was completely clueless and in denial about a lot of what was happening. The very end was better but that was probably due to the amount of action in the book. I’m sorry, this book just wasn’t for me.

Paranormal Powers?

So here is my dilemma: I am at the point in my story that I need to finalize details before I can continue on writing my book. But I’m not exactly sure which direction to take. This is where I could use some help 🙂

Simply put- my book is about three families (similar to mafia) run the town. Each family with either have one special power or a small collection of powers that similar. The main heroine will have a special power above the others- an elemental power of Nature/life. I’m not sure if she will have any other but that will her primary.

My question is: What should I have the other families powers be? Do I keep them in the Elemental power category or would it be acceptable to add sorcery?

What are your thoughts?!?!?

***Edit***

I need to add more detail about the story:

There are three families:
Blackfield: This is the family the Heroine is from, Ally. She gets kicked out of the family but they bring her back because they need help. She is reluctant and doesn’t want to help but the Marcello family changes her life and pushes her to help. I am not sure what powers this family will have. But I feel like it should be something strong. Any ideas?

Marcello: This is the tyrant, the main bad guy. The other two families team together to try to defeat this man. He kills someone close to Ally and wants her for himself. He will have Sorcerer powers and some type of elemental power. Not sure what. Any Ideas??

Frost: They will have a weather Elemental power. They will control water and air- being able to create storms, tornadoes, and whatnot.

Fighting Dirty (Worth the Fight #5)

Fighting Dirty

Author: Sidney Halston
Published: January 5, 2016
Pages: 240

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

With his preppy clothes and horn-rimmed glasses, Enzo Silva is the last dude anyone expects to find in a mixed martial arts gym. A wealthy Brazilian banker who never had to fight for anything, Enzo’s stuck in the amateur circuit—but he burns to make the pros. Maybe that explains the heat he feels whenever he’s around Jamie Lynn Calhoun. The pint-size, magenta-haired bartender with the Texas drawl is everything he’s not . . . and everything he craves.

Tough as nails and independent to a fault, Jamie Lynn—JL to her friends—works hard to pay her bills and keep life simple. Enzo is doing his best to complicate that. Even though she likes to bust his balls, he’s got some kind of a nerdy-hot vibe that makes JL wonder if she might finally be able to let her guard down. It might do the boy some good to spend some time in her world, where blood, sweat, and victory are as sweet as the first taste of real love.

Review: 

Regardless that it is February, sometimes you just need a sexy romance full of spunk and alpha deliciousness. Well, sometimes I need that 🙂 And Fighting Dirty hit the spot!! Can we just take a moment to admire the cover. It is almost impossible for me to resist a sexy, hot, pretty cover.

Enzo is a successful, uptight, trust fund man who has had a very sheltered life. But that life came with strict expectations and guidelines he was required to follow. Meeting Jamie Lynn has opened him to a world of possibilities. A world where it’s safe to indulge in ones fantasies. A place where it’s safe to relax. I really liked Enzo’s character. Although I would classify him with a more gentler dominant  personality, he definitely rocks the sexy nerd look. I enjoyed watching his character grow into the man he should have always been. And he is absolutely gush worthy when it comes to Jamie Lynn.

Jamie Lynn has had a rough and tough past. She is due for some good fortune and lots of love. At first her character kind of rubbed me the wrong way because I wanted her to be different. Jamie has the image of a punk rocker with the voice of a southern bell. Once you accept this and her brass personality, she is wonderful character. Besides, her past more than makes up for why she is the way she is. Jamie Lynn is light and almost reminds me of how kids look at the world- a world that is always half full. It made me wonder, when did I stop being so optimistic about life and the small opportunities every day brings?

I will say I was disappointed with the predictability of the book and that’s why the book lost one star. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great book. But it was like watching a train wreck, a slow and painful one You knew it was going to happen, you had to painfully watch it happen, and all I could do was shake my head.

The ending was fun in that over the top romantic kind of way. The sex was exciting and risky. This book is an easy read and I can’t wait for the next one to come out. The characters in this series are wonderful and if you haven’t given this series a chance, you are missing out!

The Safe Bet (The Game Changers, #3)

The Safe Bet

Author: Shealy James
Published: December 29, 2015
Pages: 174

Stars: 2 out of 5

Synopsis:
There’s no man in the world who won’t break Reagan Anders’s heart…

At the fragile age of eight, Reagan’s life seemed perfect. But when her beloved father abandoned their tiny family, Reagan was left emotionally scarred. Now in high school, not much has changed. Reagan still won’t let her guard down. Not even for her long-time friend, Brock Anderson, who has spent years pursuing Reagan, yet never tearing down her walls.

By graduation, Brock has finally won over Reagan’s affections. They aren’t a public item, but Brock is content just being hers, even if that means going without the official boyfriend title. As usual, Reagan’s fears get the better of her, and suspicions of Brock’s commitment creep in. Surviving their relationship’s tension, they make it to college together, where their game of cat and mouse takes a darker twist.

But after a tragic car crash that kills her best friend, her mother ships her off to the one person Reagan hates more than herself. Her father. When she meets her brother she never knew, they immediately become friends. Years pass until one day when she meets one of her brother’s friends…Brock Anderson—and he’s on a mission to win her back.

When Reagan and Brock are reunited, the chemistry is stronger than ever. But when uncertainty threatens their future, will Brock be the safe bet, or will he be the heartache she always feared?

Review:
Do you ever read a book and all you can think is how perfect the timing of this book is. This is how I felt about this book.. At least the first half of the book. In a way this book is about destiny- that some people are always meant to be in your life and they keep showing back up. But mostly this book is about second, no I mean third, no wait I mean fourth chances, love, forgiveness, and opening yourself and your heart up to the possibility of love/getting hurt.

Like I mentioned, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. The first couple chapters were well written and detailed enough to provide the reader with a smooth flow of the story line. But the further you read into the book, the more grammatical errors showed up: Hopefully this is just because the book is up for review on Netgally and these will be fixed before released. This made the book at times confusing because entire sentences didn’t make sense. Near the end of the book I just really struggled to follow what the author was trying to get at.

Throughout the book, the chapters skipped around from past to present. Overall I have mixed feelings about this. By doing this, the author did create secrecy around Reagan and Brock that makes the reader want to read more and try to solve the mystery surrounding their relationship. But each chapter felt like a new date and there were too many to follow. I started getting lost within the timeline of the book and it was confusing how the author responded to these moments from her past. For example, in the beginning of the book there would be three chapters- present time, a past date, and followed by other chapter of Reagan in the present. Present time Reagan often ignored what happened in the past time chapter. But later in the book, the author hinted at the past chapters being dreams or flashbacks. The execution was poor and confusing.

As I was reading through Reagans past, my heart pulled with the love, loss, and struggles she faced with Brock. It’s easy to connect with her pain because we have all been there- either recently, in high school, college, now- we have all more than likely gone through similar heartache. Not to mention her struggles with her father. Wow, the beginning chapter especially is heartbreaking. The author did a fantastic job of creating scenes where I felt a strong emotional pull towards a character/situation.

Reagan’s character was frustrating because I didn’t think she stayed true to who she was, especially at the end. I felt like there was all this build up and then she just swept everything under the rug like it was no big deal. I enjoyed her sassiness and the way she would bring humor to lighten a situation up.

I really don’t like Brock’s character. At first I loved him but by the end of the book, I just didn’t care for him. In a way I understood his actions when he was in high school and some of his actions in college. But as an adult, I found them questionable. For example after Brock and Reagan finally move past things Hailey, his ex, shows up the next morning. But it’s how Reagan finds them that irritates me. If she meant nothing to him, like Brock claims, then why was he holding onto her while her legs were wrapped around his body? And why did he wait so long to speak up?

Brock always seemed to find himself in questionable situations. And his responses or reasoning behind them seemed too simplistic. Again, I just had the feeling that issues were made into big deals just to have someone wave their hand in the air and say’ “ah, that’s no big deal”. I will admit, it was hard not to gush over Brock’s romantic jesters. But that was all ruined for me when he put all the blame on Cadence on why they didn’t get together when he was playing the games just like she was.

So why the two star rating? Simple, I think the idea behind the book was good and the book was interesting that I wanted to finish the book. But overall, the book just lacked and the ending/last 25% of the book was frustrating.

Overall, I had high hopes for this book but ultimately the book wasn’t for me. This book might be better paired for a younger generation, people closer to high school. But then again, maybe not.

The Perfect Self Image

The last couple Saturdays my cycle class instructor has asked “Do you Love yourself?” She went on to talk about the importance of loving yourself. But the entire time, I kept replaying her question in my head- over and over again. And each time I asked myself this question, my response has been simple, quick, and the same:

NO

No, I do not love myself because I don’t love how I look. I know this is stupid and I often wonder when I started associating self image with overall likeliness of who I am. I started running because two summers ago I went the entire season refusing to put on a swimsuit, refusing to wear anything at all figure forming, and just refusing to be comfortable because I worse layers and big clothing to hide my figure. Last summer, I refused to spend another swimsuit season inside and trained for a half marathon WHILE breastfeeding.

I lost a bunch of weight: I went from 150 to 137 and I was down to a comfortable size 4.  The problem was that everyone told me I was too skinny and that I had lost too much. But I didn’t see it. All I saw were my imperfections and fat. Now that I have gained some of the weight back and my jeans are uncomfortable, I am able to see how skinny I became. And I want to get back there. But I’m not sure that is an attainable goal.

So to try to get over my self image imperfections, I am laying it bare: I am 31 with two kids. I have a saggy stomach and a cesarean scar. I have always had a big chest size and I am not sure that will ever change. I wear a 34 FF and my size 4 jeans are uncomfortably tight. I’m probably a size 6, maybe bigger. My percentage of body fat puts me in the overweight category. And according to the scale at the gym, I need to lose 13.7 lb of body fat (Yikes!). I weigh 144 and I hate it! But this is me, at least right now.

Typing all of this out makes me see it a little different than the negative voice in my head sees it. It doesn’t sound as bad as I thought. Maybe I am still not seeing myself for what I am. And I know this picture is of me in a big sweater.. It’s kind of what I do. Plus it is winter in Minnesota. This picture was taken today after my workout.

me

My goal is to hopefully start seeing myself in a better light. I want to ask myself “Do you Love yourself?” And I want that answer to be YES!

Week Three

Alarm Clock

Monday: Ran 2 Miles on the dreadmill. Oh did I say dreadmill, I meant treadmill. I miss running outside and living in Minnesota makes that a little difficult!! The first mile of this run sucked. I was dragging butt and had to walk for 15-30 seconds twice. But the last miles is exactly why I run. I love hitting that point where the endorphins start to kick in, your breathing comes easy, your mind clears, and life is manageable. It’s such an addicting feeling. Looking back over this summer when running 3-5 miles was nothing, It makes me wonder if I will ever get back there again. I hate how running two miles is difficult for me. And getting up at 4:30 this morning was difficult but my body already feels much better than previous mornings and my mind feels calm. Although it’s going to suck, I think I found my time for exercise. Fingers crossed I can continue this routine the rest of the week!!


 

Tuesday: Swimming

  • Warm up 100 free style
  • Pull 6-50 meters, 15 second rest
  • 0 second rest transition
  • Kick 6-50 meter free kick, 15 second rest
  • 2 minute rest transition
  • 500 meter swim
  • 100 cool down

I think I was a little excited for todays workout. I set my alarm for 4 am but woke up at 3:15. Although during my workout I didn’t get the addictive high I get when I run, I am sore and feel like I had an awesome workout. It is a little depressing looking at what I was able to accomplish today compared to last Fall/late summer. But I will get there again. I am counting today as a Win!!


Wednesday: Ran 2.25 miles, Walked .75 miles at an incline of 12 and 4 mph, lifted weights

I was going to take today off and let my body recover. Overnight, we received 9 inches of snow and my husband decided to stay home. So at 8:30, I found myself kid free and heading to the gym. The roads weren’t great and it took twice as long to get there, but who can honestly pass up a couple hours of being kid free!! Todays workout was inspiring. I started my run and thought- man, here we go again. Another difficult two miles. But before long, I found I was in the zone and my body was moving. Next thing I know, I look down to see I’ve ran two miles. I guess seeing that number broke my zone because my mind, maybe my body but probably my mind, decided it was done. Either way, after this run today, I am more optimistic about my three mile run on Sunday.


 

Friday: 2 miles

Wow, I never thought I would say this but these two miles flew!! I just started running and next thing I know, I am already done with my workout. Fan-freaking-tastic!!!


Cycling funny

Saturday: 60 minute Cycling class- 15.6 miles

I know I say this every Saturday but I absolutely love my cycling class! This is one of the hardest classes I have taken because the entire 60 minutes are made up of sprints. And your breaks between the sprints are hills or dancing. Ha, yes that is right- dancing. Have you ever tried to dance on a bike? Well, let me tell you from the musically UNgifted standpoint, it is hard as hell and you look completely ridiculous while doing it. But then again, the entire class is doing it so we all look a little crazy.

I added the picture because I would be lying if that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. Even though the class was difficult, this is the first time I made it through the entire class without wanting to die. Don’t get me wrong, I still had to adapt a couple of the sprints but not nearly as many as I had before. And I can tell my recovery time is getting faster. All in all, a great start to my Saturday!!


 

Sunday: Ran 3 miles and lifted weights

Yes, you read that correct!! I did it, I ran 3 miles without stopping 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to stop. The last half mile was killer and I was counting down the time and milage before I made my goal. But I did it. I have been fighting for this moment for a while and I did it!

Hope you had a successful week!!

56 Challenge

This Challenge was hosted by Fredasvoice.

Rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
  • Post it.
  • Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

I will say, it was extremely difficult picking only one sentence. I really wanted to write the paragraph. But I guess a single sentence must do.

Some girls bite

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: April 1, 2009
Words: 267

Synopsis:
They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

Quote: “His chest was firm, his stomach flat and lean, dotted only by the pucker of navel and a thin line of dark blond hair that disappeared into the waist of his trousers.
– This is Merit’s thoughts after she first challenges Ethan and he is stripping down into his slacks to face off against her.