Life Updates

Wow, I have a lot of stuff to talk about in this post. So much has been going on. Things have been crazy for a while, but especially this month (More on that in a second). However, it’s all been a good crazy. A very good crazy. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get into the post.

If you guys follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard me in my stories talking about big changes coming up and a big announcement. Well, I can finally talk about that big announcement… I moved! I was planning on posting an IGTV video talking all about it the day before I moved, but things got super hectic super fast, so I haven’t had time to do that. I’m still going to post it eventually (Sooner than later, hopefully). So, for now, I’ll just give you guys the short version. I have moved an hour outside of Vegas, to this teeny tiny town called Sandy Valley. When I say ‘teeny tiny’, I’m not kidding. We have a population of 2,300 people here. I’ve been here in my new house since November 5th, and I am loving it. My parents bought a two-acre property, and I have so many plans for this place. I really want to start a vegetable garden. It was kind of hard in our townhouse because everything had to be grown in pots. I also really want a goat or mini pig, but my mom isn’t letting that happen anytime soon. We are planning on getting a couple of German Shepherds, though. My parents bred German Shepherds when I was younger, and they are such great dogs. There’s also a horse living across the road from us. I can watch it all day from my bedroom window. Penny wasn’t sure what to think of it at first, but she’s used to it now. Moving to a small town wasn’t nearly as big as an adjustment as I thought it would be. In fact, I’m doing really great here. I watch the sunrise every morning and I watch the sunset every night. And the stars? They are amazing! You can’t really see the stars in Vegas, but there are no lights out here at night, so the stars are on full display. I’m not sure if this is just a coincidence or what, but my pain has pretty much disappeared since moving out here. Sometimes I’m a little sore at night, but it’s nothing like the pain I’m used to. I could go on and on forever about how much I love it here, but I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to do that later on, so that’s all I’m going to say about moving here for now.

Another thing you guys may have noticed if you follow me on Instagram is that I haven’t been posting pictures that show up on timelines. Instead, I’ve been posting everything to my stories, and occasionally a long video on IGTV. The reason for this change is because I want to dedicate my TL photos to book promotion, and those who are interested in my personal life can watch my stories. I’m still trying to decide if I should delete all the personal photos from my TL. Honestly, the only thing holding me back from that right now is the fact that it’s a lot of work. I’m also posting IGTV videos because I miss doing Youtube. I loved filming the videos, but I hated editing. And I don’t know, IGTV just seems a lot more casual. So, if you guys haven’t followed me on Instagram yet, you really should.

This next announcement is an important one. I will not be releasing any more books in 2018. I was trying to release a short story every month and a new book once every three months, but that led to a burnout pretty quickly. Don’t worry, though. I’m currently working on six different books, and I’m hoping (the keyword here is hoping) to release one of them by next May. Maybe even April. I haven’t written anything at all this month. In fact, this is the second time I’ve even touched my laptop since I moved. I’ve just been insanely busy, and haven’t had time to sit down and write. I just spent this entire weekend finally getting my room organized. So, yeah. I’m hoping that maybe this week I can get some writing done, but I’m not counting on getting a whole lot done. I’m definitely going to get back on track in December, though.

My next announcement kind of explains why I’ve been super absent from this website for the past few months. I’m working on building a new website on Wordpress. You guys, I forgot just how much work goes into starting a new author site. Now that I think about it, I worked on this one for about five months before launching it. I have no idea when I’m going to finish it because I’m doing so many other things right now. I can’t wait for you guys to see this new website, though. With that being said, I’m going to try to get back to posting on this website in December, because I miss you guys. And of course, there’s my monthly email newsletter, which you guys can sign up for by following the “get emails from me” link at the top of the screen.

This next announcement is a fun one. I’ve done something I’ve wanted to do for a few years. I started a book review blog! It’s called Sunshine Reads, and the URL is sunshinegbreads.wordpress.com That’s Sunshine G. B. Reads. not Sunshine G. Breads. Yes, I know I need to come up with a new URL. I don’t know what’s stopping me, but that’s my URL for now.

This is my last announcement. You guys may have noticed that I’ve deleted all my lifestyle posts from here. Well, that’s because I’ve started a lifestyle/crafting blog as well as my book review blog. My lifestyle blog is called Desert Stars Studio (Named for my Etsy shop of the same name). The URL for that site is dessertstarsstudio.wordpress.com I haven’t posted very much on that site yet, but it’s because I’ve been so busy with moving. Now that things have calmed down, I plan on posting on there a lot more.

Well, those are all my announcements! If you’ve read this far, congratulations (And thank you!)! Things have been crazy lately, but I’m excited about the next chapter of my life.

Sorrow and Regret Preview

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Hey guys! It’s been so long since I posted on here. I’ve been super busy with all kinds of career related things, but I’m finally getting around to posting the first chapter of Sorrow and Regret. Sorrow and Regret came out last week, so if you enjoy the fist chapter, you can buy the rest of the book on Amazon or Draft2Digital.

  I stood at the end of the driveway with Michael, as we waited for the school bus.

  “Aren’t you excited?” I asked. “It’s the first day of our senior year!”

  “It’d be a lot better if we were going to school in a car.”

  I shrugged. I didn’t really mind. A lot of my friends rode the bus.

  “What are you wearing anyway?”

  I looked down at my outfit. I was wearing a lace off-the-shoulder top, a tulle skirt, and ankle boots, as well as a lace bow in my hair. “The same thing I wear every day. Why?”

  “Madonna hasn’t dressed like that in two years.”

  “I know.” I adjusted my “Boy Toy” belt and lace gloves. “You have no idea how hard it was to find a belt like this.” I smiled as I asked, “How would you know what Madonna wears anyway?”

  “I watch MTV just like everyone else.”

  I rolled my eyes. Michael was always so serious. “Loosen up, will you? Have some fun for once in your life.”

  “There’s nothing fun about school.”

  I didn’t say anything as I watched the bus come up the road.

  “At least this is the last first day of school,” Michael said as we got on the bus.

  “Exactly. So, cheer up, because it’s the last year we have to spend with these assholes,” I said as I high-fived the people that I knew. I smiled as I walked to the back of the bus, where Ian and Angela were sitting.

  “Hey, guys.” I sat down and kissed Ian.

  “Ew,” Michael muttered.

  “You’ve got that right,” Angela said.

  Ian grabbed my right wrist, which was wrapped in an ace bandage. “It’s that bad?” He asked.

  I nodded. “My aunt’s taking me to the doctor after school. So, I won’t be on the bus.”

  “Lucky you,” Michael muttered.

  “Aren’t you cheerful today?” Angela said.

  “Isn’t he always?” I asked.

  Ian and Angela laughed, but Michael didn’t say anything.

  Angela leaned in closer and lowered her voice as she started to say, “So about last night…”

  “What’s up?”

  “Do you think anyone’s going to suspect us doing something to Clay? I mean, you were hanging out with him in the last few days before you killed him. In public. People probably noticed.”

  “Oh my god,” I said.

  “What?”

  I couldn’t believe that Angela was talking about this now. The bus was crowded and even though it was pretty loud, when people started talking about someone who was missing, you never knew who was listening.

  I grabbed a notebook and pencil out of my backpack.

  Are you seriously going to bring this up in public? Drop it. We’ll talk about it later.

  Angela looked at what I had written. “Sorry. I’m just worried. About you, I might add.”

  “Thanks. But talking about it where people can hear is only going to make it worse.”

  “Are you getting paranoid?” Ian asked.

  “No, but we haven’t gotten into any trouble yet and I don’t plan on getting into any.”

  It was true. So far, we had never been considered for having anything to do with the disappearance of any of the vampires. We didn’t interact with them very much. We had no reason to. Vampire hunting was very much an in and out thing. As in, we go in and kill them, then we get out as fast as we can. Because they were vampires, their bodies disappeared in a matter of minutes. The cops really had no reason to consider us. We were nobodies. In fact, they usually didn’t come up with any suspects at all. They didn’t even know if the vampires were dead at all. They usually decided that these “people” just left town.

  I asked Ian, “Are you working today?”

  “No. Your aunt gave Angela and I the day off.”

  “She gave me the day off too.” I turned to Michael. “Your mom gave you the day off, right?”

  He nodded.

  That didn’t surprise me. Aunt Mary usually had the four of us working together. She knew that we were all inseparable.

  I leaned back in my seat as I asked, “What are we going to do today?”

  Michael shrugged. “Be normal teenagers? Watch tv?”

  “Sounds good to me,” Ian said.

 

  When we got to the school my friends and I were the last ones off the bus. We were in no rush.  We stood in a circle by the front steps of the school, watching everyone greet each other.

  “Why do people always act like they haven’t seen each other all summer?” I asked. “At least half of these people have to have seen each other sometime in the last three months. Everyone saw each other at the bonfire last week too.”

  Ian shook his head. “People are stupid, that’s all.”

  Angela sighed. “At least you guys only have to deal with this for nine more months.”

  “Students, please make your way inside and find the table that has a sign with the first letter of your last name on it!” A woman yelled. “If you are not in your homeroom classroom in twenty minutes you will be considered tardy!”

  I rolled my eyes at my friends and I started walking up the steps. “I swear, we are the only school in the world that gives out detentions for tardiness on the first day.”

  “See you guys at lunch, right?” Angela asked as she and Ian started walking towards the table that said A-C on it.

  I nodded. “Of course.” I kissed Ian before heading off towards the J-K table. “Michael, try to not be such an asshole today!” I called over my shoulder.

  Michael flipped me off, and I grinned. I had finally gotten some kind of reaction out of him.

 

  I got my schedule three minutes before the bell for homeroom rang. I hurried down the hall to Mr. Spor’s classroom. Although the hallway was nearly empty, it was littered with wads of paper. I wasn’t surprised. Even though we were all high schoolers, a lot of my peers still thought it was funny to throw paper at each other.

I sighed. I was surrounded by morons.

I walked into Mr. Spor’s classroom just as the bell rang.

  “Hey, Jones! I saved you a seat!” Stacy Jordan yelled.

  I gratefully rushed to the back of the classroom and sat down at the desk next to her.

Stacy Jordan and I had the same homeroom every year since our last names both started with JO. She had moved to White Grimm in seventh grade. We hit it off and ever since then we had been friends and saving seats for each other in homeroom.

  Mr. Spor was looking at something on his desk, so most of the students were still talking.

  “I didn’t see you at the bonfire last week,” Stacy told me.

  “Oh, I left early. I wasn’t feeling too good,” I said.

  “What happened to your wrist?”

  “I fell down the stairs.”

  “Does it hurt?”

  I nodded. It hurt like hell.

  Mr. Spor stood up. “Good morning everyone, welcome to the first day of school. If you’re new to White Grimm High, it’s nice to meet you. If you’ve attended school here before then we probably know each other.”

  I zoned out and thought about the two lies I had just told. I needed to make sure I remembered what I had told Stacy, so I could remember to tell anyone else who asked the same questions. Sometimes I got scared of how good I was at lying. It came so naturally to me. I had to be a good liar, though. When you do something like hunting vampires you have to be able to say anything to get you out of trouble. That was why I had made Angela, Ian, and Michael take drama with me when we were in middle school. For us, acting lessons were lying lessons.

  “Jenna.” Stacy hit my arm.

  I looked up. “Huh?”

  She pointed to the kid in front of me, who was holding a piece of paper out to me.

  “Oh.” I took it and looked at it. It was a list of rules for the class. I rolled my eyes. Teachers gave out these papers every year even though they all had the same rules.

  “Alright, let’s go over the rules now.”

  I sighed and slouched down in my seat. It was going to be a long day.

Announcement: Sorrow and Regret

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  Hey guys! If you're a part of my email list (click the link in the navigation bar to sign up), then you already know this. If you aren't a part of my list, well, I'm releasing a new book next month! It's the second book in the Jennifer Jones: Vampire Hunter series. It's called Sorrow and Regret. The book takes starts right where the last book left off... Well, more like twelve hours later. Jennifer is struggling to deal with the events that took place during the last slaying. And then she discovers that one of her new teachers is a vampire. That's really all I can say about it for now. But believe me, you don't want to miss this book. As usual, I will let you guys know when it is available for pre-order. It will be soon, since the release date is September 4th!

Used Books Monthly Unboxing (July 2018)

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  Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with subscription boxes. I cut back on subscription boxes about a year and a half ago, but I'm starting to order a few more. One of the newer (to me) ones that I've ordered is Used Books Monthly. This is my July 2018 box, and it's also my first box from them. Here's what I got.

  So, Used Books Monthly sends you four used books every month, for less than $13. It's a pretty sweet deal. This month, I got Dragon Wing, Elven Star, Split Second, and House of Cards. I have never heard of any of these books, but that's part of the reason I wanted to get this box. I wanted to explore new reading options.

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  A blistering narrative account of the negligence and greed that pushed all of Wall Street into chaos and the country into a financial crisis. 
 
At the beginning of March 2008, the monetary fabric of Bear Stearns, one of the world’s oldest and largest investment banks, began unraveling. After ten days, the bank no longer existed, its assets sold under duress to rival JPMorgan Chase. The effects would be felt nationwide, as the country suddenly found itself in the grip of the worst financial mess since the Great Depression. William Cohan exposes the corporate arrogance, power struggles, and deadly combination of greed and inattention, which led to the collapse of not only Bear Stearns but the very foundations of Wall Street.
- From Amazon

House of Cards is the first book I got. I'm not sure which genre I said I like that made them send this book, but I have to admit, it sounds interesting. I may not get around to this one for a while (I have 68 books in my TBR pile), but I will be reading it eventually.

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The Death Gate Cycle

Ages ago, sorcerers of unmatched power sundered a world into four realms—sky, stone, fire, and water—then vanished. Over time, magicians learned to work spells only in their own realms and forgot the others. Now only the few who have survived the Labyrinth and crossed the Death Gate know of the presence of all four realms—and even they have yet to unravel the mysteries of their severed world. . . . 

Dragon Wing

In Arianus, Realm of Sky, humans, elves, and dwarves battle for control of precious water—traversing a world of airborne islands on currents of elven magic and the backs of mammoth dragons. But soon great magical forces will begin to rend the fabric of this delicate land. An assassin will be hired to kill a royal prince—by the king himself. A dwarf will challenge the beliefs of his people—and lead them in rebellion. And a sinister wizard will enact his plan to rule Arianus—a plan that may be felt far beyond the Realm of Sky and into the Death Gate itself.
- From Amazon
 
On steamy Pryan, never-ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground. From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward. Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal -- not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans. Armed with little more than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction.
- From Amazon

  I am really excited about these two books. They are part of a series, and even better, it's a fantasy series! Elven Star was the first box I pulled out of the box, and I was disappointed. I thought that they had sent me the second book in a series. So, I was super excited when I pulled Dragon Wing out of the box and realized it was the first book in the series. I can't wait to read these two.

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Michelle Maxwell has just wrecked her promising career at the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight for the briefest moment, and the man whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air. Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. Eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service agent allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the candidate he was protecting was gunned down before his eyes. Now Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge.

Drawn into a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, the two discredited agents uncover a shocking truth: that the separate acts of violence that shattered their lives were really a long time in the making-and are a long way from over...
- From Amazon

  I think this is the book I am most excited about. I've been really into thrillers lately, and I'm constantly looking for a new one to read.

  So, those are the books I got in my first Used Books Monthly box. I am really happy with the books I got, and I can't wait to read them. I also can't wait for my next box!

Health Update

  Hey guys! It's been so long since I did a health update, but I have some news. So, in my last health update, I mentioned that I had made a rheumatology appointment. Well, after months and months of waiting, I had my appointment yesterday. Well, I walked away with not one, not two, but three new diagnoses. Lucky me.

  First off, yes, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After seven months of suspecting that I had it, my question was finally answered. And I'm not even upset about it. That's the funny thing about chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, and things like that. I think a lot of people know (or at least think) they have an illness before they are diagnosed with it. And by the time they get their diagnosis, they've already come to terms with having the problem. Like me. I'm not upset, I'm just relieved to finally have an answer.

  The second diagnosis I got was another one I began to think I might have. I have allodynia. Basically, it's a heightened sensitivity to pain. And it makes sense. A few weeks ago I went to get a massage for the first time in months because I've been going through a pretty bad pain flare lately. Honestly? The massage hurt more than it did good. And then there's little things that suddenly began hurting me that never did before. And I'm pretty sure I mentioned in a previous health update that I've been bruising really easily, which never used to happen. Well, now I know why I've been bruising.

  The last diagnosis I got answers questions that I've been having since I was a little kid. I have formication. Formication causes you to constantly feel like you have bugs crawling on your skin. And that's a problem I've had for as long as I can remember. For me, it especially seems to be triggered by clothes touching my skin, or people touching me. I hate being touched, it makes my skin crawl. And now I know why. I know that I've had this disease for a long time, because I remember one time in first grade I had to stay home from school because the feeling of bugs on my skin was so bad. I couldn't find anything to wear, because everything seemed to make the feeling worse.

  Formication isn't the only disease I have where a diagnosis suddenly answered so many questions. It feels like every time I'm diagnosed with something new, all these things click into place. All these little things that I've felt or thought throughout my life suddenly make sense. So, even though it sucks that I have three new health problems, I'm glad to finally have some answers.