Mental Health Monday–Unintended Consequences

For those of you who missed yesterday’s Ephemera post as part of Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE WORLD TOUR, click HERE to check out my reviews of her short story series and who I’d cast for the main characters in the JUST BREATHE series. 😉

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Shifting Pride is up for Sizzling Read of the Month! Please vote!

http://sizzlinghotbooks.com/poll-sizzling-read-of-the-month/

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A few weeks back, I entered the cover art for NEW PRIDE and SHIFTING PRIDE in the Houston Bay Area Romance Writers Association’s Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest. JABBIC is a fun way to share cover art and have readers vote on what attracts them to buy a book.

I’d totally appreciate some votes, if you’re so inclined!

Click HERE to go to the JABBIC website. Click START JUDGING, then select YOUNG ADULT, and rate each book based on if you’d buy it based on the cover (5) or if you don’t have interest in the cover (1). (There’s choices between too. 😉 )

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Now, to get to unintended consequences. I think about this concept often, particularly when I see outcomes that are in direct opposition to what was planned.

The biggest example that comes to mind is the flurry of gun control laws spreading across the United States. New York prides itself in having the strictest of all of them.

I’m certain the intention of these laws is to limit the access of firearms (particularly assault-type rifles) to “The Bad Guys.”

A good idea, yes?

BUT, as a result, more guns than ever are being purchased and more ammo than ever is flying off the shelves. Many gun retailers are getting cleaned out–they’re literally selling ALL of their stock and going on back order for guns and bullets.

I’d call this an unintended consequence.

I’ve personally seen several people (who have NEVER before wanted a gun or even thought about having a gun) become OBSESSED with owning a gun.

JUST BECAUSE THEY THINK IT’S NECESSARY TO KEEP THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILY SAFE.

Another unintended consequence, I’d say.

YIKES.

Lemme repeat that:

YIKES.

Taking this post in a different direction (because this forum is for writing purposes only)…

Unintended consequences can have HUGE impacts.

What if we applied this concept to our writing?

How thrilling would it be to have a character do something that they think will work out for the good of others and then twist it, focusing on the unintended consequences. Wouldn’t that cause some conflict and tension? Maybe even a disaster?

It would be totally mean.

And PERFECT.

In NEW PRIDE, Richard joins up with a rogue pride. On the one hand, he needs a group of shifters for safety. On the other, the danger of allying with them quickly becomes obvious and potentially impacts everyone Richard cares about.

Have you guys seen unintended consequences in books that you’ve read?

Just Breathe Blog Tour–Ephemera Reviews/Dream Cast

Kendall Grey has crafted one of the best trilogies I’ve EVER read. If you haven’t read INHALE, EXHALE, or JUST BREATHE, you must do so NOW.

I’m thrilled to take part in this WORLDWIDE Blog Tour to celebrate the release of Just Breathe, the final book in the trilogy.

CONGRATS TO KENDALL!!!!

Ok, so not only has she pubbed the trilogy, but she also has short stories from the point of view of various supportive characters. I get to review those today.

Dictionary.com defines Ephemera as: items designed to be useful or important for only a short time.

Kendall uses this definition in the beginning of each short, I suspect as a means of expressing her witty humor. 😉

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Vexxed

WARNING: This JUST BREATHE short story contains EXTREMELY graphic sexual content and explicit language. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

When Fire scorches Air, Vexx has no choice but to embrace the burn…

Free-spirited Aer Elemental Vexx finds herself in an ironic predicament when her boss pairs her up with Byrn, a brazen Fyre Elemental, to complete an undercover mission at a BDSM club. She’s been secretly crushing on him for months, so playing Domme to his arrogant, snarky sub is a dream come true. Not only that, she can finally turn the tables on him for the all the suggestive taunting he dishes on a regular basis. But one small problem prevents Vexx from fully embracing her role. If Byrn touches her, she’s dead.

For those of you who like things hot, you won’t be disappointed by this little short. Air elementals are known for their level headedness, but when confronted with a sexy, seductive Fire elemental, Vex is quite, well, Vexxed! I totally got scorched reading this. Check it out–I dare you! 😉

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Letting Go

Twelve-year-old Zoe Morgan has always felt out of place. With no friends, an overbearing mother, and a broken brain, it’s no wonder she’s a walking disaster. Trapped in a world dominated by backward letters that don’t make sense, she struggles through each day by clinging to the one thing she does understand: whales. On a life-changing trip to Australia, Zoe comes face to face with her demons and learns that fitting in is sometimes a simple matter of letting go.

LETTING GO is the second installment of the JUST BREATHE Ephemera series, a companion collection of shorts that supplement Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE urban fantasy romance trilogy.

This was a super sweet glimpse into what makes Zoe Morgan tick. I loved getting to know Zoe better by seeing her past and how it formed her into the powerhouse we see in the Just Breathe series.

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Dirty

WARNING: This JUST BREATHE short story contains explicit language and graphic content. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Mild-mannered veterinarian Jetta Briggs wrestles with humiliation and self-hatred after someone she trusts brutally betrays her. But when an enigmatic woman shows her the world through the calming Element of Earth, Jetta uncovers inner strength she never knew she had. As everything she believes in flips upside down, Jetta is forced to trust the part of herself she doubts the most—her broken heart.

DIRTY is the third installment of the JUST BREATHE Ephemera series, a companion collection of shorts that supplement Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE urban fantasy romance trilogy.

Ever wonder how an elemental is born? Follow Jetta’s journey of becoming an Earth elemental and you’ll definitely be cheering for her along the way!

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Stifle

WARNING: This JUST BREATHE short story contains EXTREMELY graphic sexual content and explicit language. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Sinnder is a hotter-than-blazes Fyre Elemental who thrives on the Fire of sex, and Scarlet, his partner in crime, plans to hook him up. Charged with “occupying” headstrong Zoe Morgan’s attention at a local music club while Scarlet tries to get back in rock star Gavin Cassidy’s bed, Sinnder walks into Shaggy’s with zero expectations. But meeting Gavin’s dream lover Zoe face-to-face arouses addictive heat he never anticipated. Captivated by the promise of the fiery passion lurking beneath Zoe’s good-girl exterior, Sinnder will do whatever it takes to go down in flames with her – and Gavin if he has to.

STIFLE takes the reader on wild ride through the twisted mind of an Elemental consumed not only by Fire but by the ashes of his past.
Who doesn’t love steamy Sinnder??? If you want more of him, check out this short story. It took my breath away!
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Now that we’ve covered these fab shorts, why don’t we fantasize about the DREAM CAST of JUST BREATHE!!! There are SO MANY FAB characters to choose from, but here are my FAVORITE FOUR.
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Naomi Watts = Zoe
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Colin Farrell = Gavin
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Scarlett Johansson = Scarlet
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Johnny Depp = Sinnder
YOUR TURN! Who would you cast in the Just Breathe series?

INDIEpendence Day Is Coming Up!

The Indelibles are hosting an INDIEpendence Day blog hop (July 2-5) celebrating Indie authors. Lots of bloggers have signed up, so be sure to see who they’re highlighting as their favorite indie author.

I’ve got THREE indie authors that I look up to…mainly because of their great writing AND their perseverence to keep going NO MATTER WHAT!

Kendall Gray

She is the author of the JUST BREATHE series. It’s FAB!!!!!! The characters are hot, the scenes are hot, the action is…well, it’s hot. Seriously though, Kendall weaves together an intricate plot flawlessly while developing unique, fallible, and breathtaking characters. (Pun INtended.)

February Grace

She is the author of GODSPEED, a steampunk romance. I love the tone of Bru’s writing. It really creates an irresistible “mood.” I could totally picture myself being THERE with the characters. Actually, I’d kind of like to hang out with them sometime.

Christine Fonseca

She is the author of the Requiem series. I “met” Christine a while back and she’s helped me improve my writing by leaps and bounds. I love the TENSION Christine creates in her writing. She just doesn’t LET IT GO! Makes me literally feel what the characters feel.

NICE JOB, LADIES!!!!!!!

Who’s your favorite indie author?

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

I am randomly picking Kendall Grey and February Grace, who are amazing authors who recently debuted with their Indie novels! Kendall just published INHALE, the first in her urban fantasy Just Breathe trilogy, and February just published GODSPEED, a steampunky romance with a lovely victorian, literary tone.

Do you know someone special that you’d like to randomly acknowledge?
Don’t be shy–come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. 🙂

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Flake-out Friday–Wrapping Up Kendall Grey Week With A Cover Reveal

JUST BREATHE Cover Reveal & Behind the Scenes Pics

 

JUST BREATHE, the final book in Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE urban fantasy trilogy is coming soon to a book seller near you! Kendall enlisted photographer Teresa Yeh to shoot a custom cover image of Gavin and Zoe’s clasped hands. Check out these pics from the photo shoot:

 

Awesome body painter Vonetta Barry goes to work on model Bradley Nethercutt’s “tattoos.”

 

 

Vonetta paints a whale.

 

 

The crew sets up.

 Models Hope Danielle Smith and Bradley Nethercutt posing as Zoe and Gavin.

 

 

Photographer Teresa Yeh goes to work!

 

 

The whole crew!

 

 

And the winner is…

Once Kendall chose her favorite picture, she turned it over to the talented Claudia McKinney from Phat Puppy Art. Claudia added an ocean backdrop and a whale fluke, then mixed in a little of her creative magic. Here’s the final product:

 

The first book in the trilogy, INHALE, is available now in paperback, Kindle, and Nook versions. Book 2, EXHALE, should be out in early July. JUST BREATHE is scheduled for release in August.

Body Painter: Vonetta Barry — http://vonettaberry.carbonmade.com

Painting Assistant & Behind-the-Scene Pictures taken by Keston Sylvester-Carrington

Male Model: Bradley Nethercutt

Female Model: Hope Danielle Smith

Photographer: Teresa Yeh — www.teresayeh.com

Photo Assists: Abdul Khan & Chelsea Baucom

 

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Blurb for JUST BREATHE:

He sacrificed his soul to the devil he hates to spare the heart of the woman he loves…

After a terrible accident rocks the foundation of their relationship, Gavin Cassidy, leader of the Sentinels who protect humans in Australia, and whale biologist Zoe Morgan call it quits on their short-lived affair. He can’t come to terms with the trust he inadvertently shattered, and being with him is killing her. Literally.

But love is a powerful motivator, and neither biology nor misguided oaths sworn to mortal enemies is strong enough to keep them apart, despite the fact their new paths are on a collision course that can only end badly. When Gavin’s illicit alliance with his most hated foe threatens to betray millions of innocents to ruthless Fyre Elementals, Zoe vows to sacrifice everything – including the whales she loves – to stop him from making the biggest mistake of his life.

 

INHALE Flash Mob

INHALE, an urban fantasy romance by Kendall Grey, is now available in paperback and e-book for Kindle (MOBI) and Nook (EPUB). INHALE is the first book in the JUST BREATHE trilogy. Kendall is donating all profits from the sale of the trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face. Watch the video to find out why.

 

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Kendall encourages interested readers to consider purchasing an e-book instead of a paperback. E-books save trees, cost considerably less, and bring in much more money for the whales.

Thank you for supporting INHALE, and most importantly, the whales that need our help.


INHALE blurb:

Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

*This book contains graphic language, sex, and some violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.
**The author will donate all profits from the sale of the JUST BREATHE trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face.

Kendall Grey Week

Welcome to Kendall Grey Week, where you’ll be immersed in The Dreaming, tantalized by sexy Fyre Elementals, and thrilled by a HOT rock star/Waeter Elemental.

INHALE debuts tomorrow. It is the first in Kendall’s Urban Fantasy JUST BREATHE Trilogy. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a special video and see what Kendall has dreamed up.

On Friday, Kendall will share the cover of JUST BREATHE.

Check out her blog here, where she tackled April’s A to Z challenge by highlighting each letter of the alphabet from something in her series.

Mental Health Monday–Munchausen’s Syndrome

Lydia, Sarah, and I are converging to make the perfect storm trifecta of blog posts regarding Munchausen’s Syndrome.

Named after the great Baron von Munchausen, who purportedly told elaborate and fictional stories about himself, Munchausen’s Disorder is part of a class of disorders called Facticious Disorders.

The DSM-IV criteria for Facticious Disorders include:

  • Intentionally producing or feigning symptoms of a medical or mental illness
  • External motivators (as found in Malingering) (such as wanting three hots and a cot) are absent
  • Motivation for such behavior is to adapt the “sick role”

Munchausen Syndrome Factoids:

  • Individuals suffering from Munchausen Syndrome have a particularly chronic and severe course
  • They tend to have medical knowledge or even training in the medical field
  • They will intentionally infect themselves or overdose on medication such that medical intervention is necessary. Examples include: putting urine, feces, or dirty water in a wound; taking insulin to cause a drop in blood sugar; taking Warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner, to cause bruising and bleeding
  • They will often submit to or even demand invasive procedures and surgeries. A telltale sign of someone with Munchausen’s Syndrome is multiple scars over their bodies, particularly the abdomen
  • They will often move from town to town, hospital to hospital, especially when they are “found out”

The risks of having Munchausen’s Syndrome:

  • Feigning illness leads to unnecessary and sometimes risky procedures
  • Infecting a wound or overdosing on medications could be life-threatening
  • A patient often lies about real medical issues or allergies and therefore could be given treatment that will harm or even kill them
  • Because of multiple, unnecessary visits to hospitals, they are more at risk of developing iatrogenic illness
  • They often refuse corroboration with other treatment providers, leaving gaps in history that may be significant for a clinician to know

So, how do we help people with Munchausen’s Syndrome?

It’s VERY difficult. Most do not admit to their behavior and become very angry when confronted. They sign out AMA (Against Medical Advice) and seek another hospital/clinician. They are often not even remotely interested in psychiatric help. They have little insight (internal understanding) of their illness and behavior. In other words, they aren’t able to see what makes it risky or potentially harmful.

The individual in the photo below had over 40 unnecessary surgeries. Turns out, he did end up developing colon cancer. Talk about the case of the boy who cried wolf!

Remember, these posts are for WRITING PURPOSES ONLY and are NOT to be construed as medical or psychiatric treatment or advice.

ALSO, check out Kendall Grey’s blog today–I’m up for her Manual Transmission tour! 🙂