2011 in Review

As I sit here and think of how quickly 2011 came to a close—albeit we still have a few hours left—I reminisce on what happened to me and my writing this year. Come, sit by the fire, and let me share with you a couple of this year’s highlights and insights.

I started 2011 filled with hope and determination. I had an agent who believed in my work and I was preparing my manuscript for submission to a list of editors belonging to pretty big publishing houses. I was confident and happy. I thought to myself, this is it. My agent will send out my manuscript and gain an offer from a publishing house. At the time, I was naïve to think you needed an agent to get published. I thought it was part of the step program. Write a novel. Edit it to kingdom come. Share it with your critique partners. Edit it again. Query. Get an agent. Get published. These are the steps, and I believed I needed to take every one of them to get to where I needed to be with my writing career.

As one rejection after another came in, I told myself it was part of the process. Hey, J.K. Rowling was rejected by twelve publishers before one said “Yes, we’ll take a chance.” Like many writers who faced rejection, I sought comfort from the countless success stories out there. I kept reminding myself I needed to stay patient. So, to distract myself, I began writing another novel. Inspiration actually hit while I was watching Deathly Hallows Part 1, oddly enough. Like every time I start a new project, I was excited. I was writing furiously. Little did I know, this novel would change my life for the better. I shall elaborate shortly.

The agent I was with at the time believed in having two rounds when it came to submitting novels to editors. There would be a first round with five editors and a second round with another five. I knew this was a solid plan. If the first round didn’t work out, we would move on to the second round after editing the manuscript. When all five editors rejected my manuscript, I got a call from my agent. We talked about our options. There was only one problem with the novel: Voice. At the time, I was at a loss as to how to approach editing because voice is a subjective aspect of writing. So, I decided not to go into the second round (much to the dismay of my mother). This was around the end of May.

During this phone call, I described another novel to my agent that I’d been hesitant to write because I didn’t think there was a market for it. But my agent was actually excited. He said he could sell the novel right then and there if he had it already. Of course, I’d only written about a chapter of it. I told him I’d finish writing the novel I’d started at the beginning of the year first then begin the new project in June. I actually gave myself one month to write this novel and two weeks to edit it. Ambitious. But I was determined.

So, upon finishing the first novel, I’d sent it to my agent excitedly and while he was reading it, I turned my attention to writing this new novel. I girded my loins and told myself I would write a chapter a day, so by the end of the month, I would have thirty chapters. In actuality, there were some days when I managed two chapters, which was a totally awesome feeling. I held my own NaNo, but in June. As motivation, I had Post-Its stuck above my laptop with phrases like “Follow your instincts,” “Trust your gut,” and “Do something different.” And on my pen holder, I had an index card with the words “Show the story” stuck to it. These were the things I looked at when I felt my resolve to finish the novel waver. Even on days when the novel I was writing scared me because it was something totally darker than anything I’d tackled before, I kept on writing.

By July, I’d finished the novel, took two weeks to edit it, and sent it out to my agent and critique partner. Hitting send on that new manuscript changed everything. First, my critique partner really loved the manuscript. Second, my agent judged my manuscript before even reading it yet. That marked the beginning of the end for our relationship. Remember the manuscript I was writing at the beginning of the year that I had previously sent him? Well, that’s where his judgment came from. That manuscript was total crap, or at least, that’s how I would condense the content of a very lengthy email he’d sent me. I’d asked if he’d already read the new manuscript I’d sent him, the one I was working on in June. He said no, thinking that because I only wrote it in a month that it wouldn’t be any good. That was the straw that broke my back.

The end of July saw me breaking my relationship with my agent. And like any break up, I was devastated. But instead of wallowing inside my sorrow, I turned that broken-hearted energy into action. With the help of my critique partner, we’d put together three new query letters. One for each manuscript I had. Around this time, I’d had four completed novels. The one I’d written at the beginning of the year was shelved because I realized it needed more work before it saw the light of day again.

August saw me querying again. I thought to myself, why am I in this situation again? Why did I take a step back after taking all those steps forward? I call these months: dark times. My hope dwindled a little, I will not be afraid to admit this. But, through the help and support of my family and friends, my determination remained firm. And because of their positive thoughts, I received the largest number of requests for partials and fulls I’d ever garnered since I started a year before. It renewed my hope. It was liberating to some extent because these requests said I was on the right path. But, of course, inside I still hurt.

The balm to the ache came in the form of an email from my former agent. He’d said that after reading my latest manuscript, it was my strongest writing so far. I showed this email to my critique partners and they told me we would show him. And like many break ups, I was primed for revenge. But I immediately pushed those thoughts aside and continued on my path. I didn’t have the time to focus on the negative when there were so many good things in life, like all those requests.

September and October had me enduring rejection after rejection. And during this time, I’d come to the decision that if nothing happened by the end of this year, I would self-publish. I gave myself that ultimatum.

Galvanized, I slowly prepared myself for the ins and outs of self-publishing. I made a list of the things I needed to learn: making book covers, book trailers, marketing the book, where to publish the book, etc. While I was reading everything I could about self-publishing, I was also submitting my manuscripts (remember, there were three) to smaller publishing houses. Basically, I was open to any and every option in front of me, and I wasn’t afraid to explore them all before my deadline. And to make ends meet, I’d decided to freelance my editing and proofreading skills. While I was waiting for feedback from my submissions, I wanted to help other authors get their manuscripts ready. Thankfully, there were those willing to take a chance on whatever help I had to offer.

Come the end of November, my life changed once again. TASTE had found a home. I received an email from Crescent Moon Press, and after informing everyone who had the manuscript about the offer, I’d made my decision to sign. A whole month before my deadline, I was getting published. I was on my way, and without an agent. And I couldn’t feel happier. Crescent Moon Press, I believe, is the right place for Taste.

It’s funny how life works sometimes. You start off having preconceived notions about a certain path you want to take and you forget that to get to your destination you don’t necessarily need to continue on the path you’re on. Like the great Robert Frost once wrote: Two roads diverge in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood, and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.

At the end of Road Not Taken, it basically says that no matter which road you take, the destination is the same. And because of everything that happened to me this year, I’m happy to say I have emerged a better person. I still have much to learn, but I’m optimistic about my outlook no matter what happens. From the ashes of a devastating break up, I rise up knowing more than when I’d first started. And that is something I can’t be more thankful for.

So, as 2011 draws to a close:

I look onward to new possibilities.
To making new friends.
To keeping old ones.
To solidifying old relationships.
To creating new relationships.
To surrounding myself with loved ones.
To forgiving those who have hurt me and my loved ones.
To being kinder.
To being more patient.
To being more loving.
To discovering new things.
To rediscovering old things.
To finally being comfortable in my own skin.
To loving unconditionally.
To appreciating blue skies more.
To smiling more.
To laughing more.
To judging less.
To never be afraid of making mistakes.
To take a step back before making decisions.
To see the bigger picture.
To be more humble.

To remember that just because the path changes it doesn't mean the destination isn’t the same.

And to continue to do what I love: to share the stories of the characters in my head with the rest of the world. Or else, they’d get annoying and scary and stage a mass protest for not listening to them. Which might land me in the loony bin. So, in the interest of keeping my sanity intact, I resolve to write and write and write some more.

If I only had one goal, it would be to write and to keep writing until my very last breath leaves my lungs. If the fast ending year has taught me one thing, it’s that time is too short. No matter how much we wish for an extra hour in every day, it’s a mere sixty minutes. What would you do with those extra 3600 seconds if you could have them?

*smiles* I know my answer.

And if asked if I knew the manuscript I wrote at the beginning of this year would change everything, would I have still written it? Would I have sent it to my agent?

Yes. And yes.

Today, that manuscript has actually evolved into a totally different story. One that I will put together this January. I’m already five chapters deep. And I believe it’s so much better this time around.

I know this post has run a little long, and thank you for sticking with my soliloquy. I want to end with this:

May your new year be fruitful.
May it be filled with love.
May it bring you continued health.
May it grant your wishes, fulfill your dreams.

And may we all look at the New Year and scream: 2012, here I come!

Review Request: Angel Evolution by David Estes

Doesn't the book up for review today have a great cover? Read the blurb. If you feel like you want to review Angel Evolution, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so that David can contact you right away. Happy Reading!

Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.

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There's no limit to the books you can get from the authors willing to offer them up for review.

Please leave a tip on your way out by following me on Twitter or "liking" me on Facebook, or if you already have, I hope that you encourage your friends and followers to do the same. 

Thank you!

PERIGEE MOON by Tara Fuller

I wanted to take this time to introduce a fellow Crescent Moon Press author. Her novel, a YA Paranormal Romance, is being released this January. Tara is awesome. Check out the blurb of her novel and the book trailer. Perigee Moon is definitely going into my To Be Read list. I hope you'll add it to yours as well.

Release Date: January 2012
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

After a horrific fire claims the life of her mother, seventeen year old Rowan Bliss finds herself in the miniscule town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. It’s here that she meets Alex, a deliciously mysterious boy who holds the key to unlocking her family’s dark secret.

As Rowan falls helplessly over the edge for Alex, the secrets that he insists on keeping refuse to be contained, and the truth that she uncovers challenges everything she has ever believed. Alex is a witch. And now he’s awakened something within her she never even knew existed. But out of all of this, the one thing Rowan won’t accept is the fact that Alex is destined to die.

Now Rowan must unearth the buried power she harbors within to escape a deadly prophecy, defy the very laws of time, and prevent the hands of fate from taking yet another person she loves.

About the Author:

Tara Fuller writes novels. Some about grim reapers. Some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novles and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.

You can visit and follower her here:

Stalk Me:!/Tara25Fuller

Review Request: The Corridors of the Dead by Jonathan D Allen

Sounds like an interesting novel we have today, folks. To grab a copy for review, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so that Jonathan can contact you right away. Read the blurb and see what I mean. Happy Reading!

One Can Always Alter Their Destiny….

Long ago, a mysterious being known as The Lost Aetelia crafted an elaborate series of Watchtowers, along with their resident guardians, the Aetelia, to watch over the Universe. In time, they sent a select group of their own to Earth, tasked with watching over the fledging human race. This group used humanity to challenge the established structure of the Universe. A bitter war ensued, and these rebels, who had come to be known as Watchers, disappeared from history.

The time of the Aetelia – now known as angels – is returning. After a fateful night of violence, Artist Matty DiCamillo finds herself drawn into this world by a mysterious savior, who becomes a driving force in Matty’s new life.

Both driven by and fighting the words of prophecy that lay out her destiny, Matty, her lover Kristy, and her best friend Daniel, follow this mysterious savior on a journey from Northern California to Las Vegas on a path that crosses through the boundaries of time and space.

As Matty struggles to understand her destiny, she discovers that her savior may not be what she seems, and that even the denizens of this twilight world have no idea what lurks behind the stage dressing of reality. Matty finds herself not only racing to rescue the woman she loves, but learning that she herself could be the cause of the Universe’s day of reckoning.

Want more books to review? Just check back here at Reads, Reviews, Recommends.

There's no limit to the books you can get from the authors willing to offer them up for review.

Please leave a tip on your way out by following me on Twitter or "liking" me on Facebook, or if you already have, I hope that you encourage your friends and followers to do the same. 

Thank you!

Shoes, oh shoes

I was surfing the Net one day and stumbled upon this website:

As I was browsing around the online apparel store, I made my way to the shoe section and never looked back. I was mesmerized by the sheer number of selections and was totally blown away by the prices.

Now, normally, I stay away from purchasing anything online because I like walking into a store and trying things on. But when I saw a certain pair of wedges, I thought to myself: Would you like to come home with me, little one?

So, without thinking about it much--I mean, the wedges cost $12--I made the purchase. And I eagerly awaited for them to arrive. One week later, here they are:

I was concerned they wouldn't fit even if I know I'm a size 38. But after trying them on, they fit like they were made for me! So here they are on my feet:

I can't wait to pair them with an outfit and take them for a spin.

Like anything I love, I thought I'd share here with all of you. So, if you're looking for shoe heaven, click on the link below. I'm happy I made the purchase and will do so again in the future.


They have clothes, accessories, and all manner of apparel too. :-)

Proofreading and Editing

I've recently started a Proofreading and Editing service and I would like to help you and your novel in any way I can. I believe in maintaining the integrity of the written word and enhancing the style of the author. If you want to know more about my qualifications, you can visit my Hire Me page. And if you're interested in contacting me or if you have any questions about my service, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments section of this post or send me an email at kateva11(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)ph

Here are some testimonials from the authors I've worked with so far:

"Thank you so much for your help with Dashing... I love all the suggestions you made and think they will make the story stronger. I especially like the "man flesh" part, lol!"

-- T.M. Souders, Author of Dashing Through the Snow

"Kate Evangelista did an amazing job proofreading my publication proofs. Though others had proofread the manuscript prior to submitting to the publisher, Kate found many mistakes that everyone else missed. She was fast and economical. Recommend her highly."

-- Mike P, Author of In the Darkness

"I don't know that I could have asked for a better proof reader than Kate Evangelista! She was prompt, professional and pleasant to work with. It made me feel good to see she was excited to work on my manuscript and while all the red marks made me cringe at first, there wasn't a bad suggestion or correction in the bunch. She polished and shined my novel, making it into something I was secure to move ahead and publish. No doubt I will be using her for future projects!"

--MB, Author of Near Death

Thank you so much for your time and Happy Holidays!

Review Request: The Gods Among Us by D.C. Belton

Hi, folks! We have another outstanding book up for review. Read the blurb. If you feel that you want to read and review this book, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so that Dave can contact you right away. Happy Reading!

Pallas is a friendless teen from a backwater village on a forgotten shore. Born a slave like everyone around her, people hate her clothes, her parents… especially her strange name. Pallas doesn’t believe in the gods except to blame them for drowning her mother. But she’s forced to shelve her moody cynicism when she accidentally rescues an obnoxious cat. Suddenly caught in a celestial war, Pallas must do the unthinkable – champion the very goddess she hates. Masquerading as a mythic princess, she convinces everyone she’s a child of Atlantis. Jealousy hounds her at every turn as she battles dangerous fanatics, a boorish prince, and a stunningly beautiful princess. Yet nothing can save her from certain doom, when the Volcano god reaches out to slay her. For how can a mortal fight a god?

Want more books to review? Just check back here at Reads, Reviews, Recommends.

There's no limit to the books you can get from the authors willing to offer them up for review.

Please leave a tip on your way out by following me on Twitter or "liking" me on Facebook, or if you already have, I hope that you encourage your friends and followers to do the same. 

Thank you!

Review Request: Lust on the Rocks by Dianne Venetta

I think we have a hot and steamy one on our hands today, folks! Read the blurb to see what I mean. And if you want to review Lust on the Rocks, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so that Dianne can contact you right away. Grab your copy now! Happy reading!

She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.

# # #

One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...

Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.

Until Vic walks away.

Want more books to review? Just check back here at Reads, Reviews, Recommends.

There's no limit to the books you can get from the authors willing to offer them up for review.

Please leave a tip on your way out by following me on Twitter or "liking" me on Facebook, or if you already have, I hope that you encourage your friends and followers to do the same. 

Thank you!

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Review Request: The Pineville Heist by Lee Chambers

Hallu, everyone! I have another review request for all of you. This time, it's from author Lee Chambers.

Will Aaron Stevens survive the night of the Pineville Heist? Seventeen year old Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a five million dollar bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron partially catches the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos he sneaks away with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to Amanda Becker, his drama teacher, but it doesn?t take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up. In the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence. The Pineville Heist, based on the award-winning screenplay by Lee Chambers and Todd Gordon, "is a young adult thriller with a slick plot, believable characters, and a breakneck pace that will no doubt appeal to adults as much as teens," noted Walleye Magazine's Amy Jones. "An enthusiatic five stars!" Follow movie and book news at

Lee needs at least five more people above the 27 already posted. After reading the blurb and you find yourself interested, please leave your name and email address at the comments section and Lee will send you a copy. Happy Reading!

This just in: Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater) in the Twilight Saga has officially signed on to play Aaron Stevens in the Pineville Heist movie when it shoots in 2012.

The News

Readers, it's time to share what I've been keeping inside for so long. Seriously, I don't know how I held on to this little life-changing tidbit. Actually, to be completely honest, I've told several people already, but I haven't made any official announcements until today. So, before we get into it, I would like to offer you some munchies. I've been doing a serious amount of baking of late just to keep my nerves in check. Lots and lots of baking. So I offer you several choices:

Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Buttermilk Biscuits

So, grab a virtual snack and gather around. I'm about to share the news.

No, I'm not pregnant. Charlie Hunnam and I aren't at that stage of our relationship yet. He doesn't even know I exist. Sigh. 

Anyway, my news involves another baby, come from the creative places within me. Years of growing pains and pimping has paid off. She has found a home. 

Yes, folks, TASTE is to be published by none other than Crescent Moon PressThey have taken my baby out of the rain and offered her shelter. She is now plunging into the moonlight. 

I've heard from my editor and edits are on their way. I can't wait to start making TASTE as beautiful as she can be for her debut--the date of which, has yet to be announced. 

So, while you're munching on your baked goodies, please head on over to The Coffee Bar and indulge in the first three chapters. They will be taken down soon, so this is your chance to sneak a peek before then. And while you're there, share the love by following. 

Thank you so much for your continued support and stay tuned for more updates. I can't wait to share this next stage with all of you.


Review Request: Curbchek by Zach Fortier

We have a cop drama today, everyone! Please read the blurb below. And if you feel that you want to review Curbchek, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so that Zach can contact you about your review copy right away. Grab your copy now. Happy Reading!

Curbchek is the story of a damaged cop, Zach Fortier. Fortier worked in the police department for the city where he grew up. One foot in the world of the cops, courts and legal system. The other in the world of gangs, drugs, thugs and street violence. Where the laws and rules are made by the strongest, the schemers and the most brutal. Read about the transformation of Fortier from a green rookie to a damaged paranoid veteran seeing danger in every situation. Follow along as as he walks this tight rope. Trying to make difference, breaking the laws he promised to enforce. This is a story of law and order uncensored.

Want more books to review? Just check back here at Reads, Reviews, Recommends.

There's no limit to the books you can get from the authors willing to offer them up for review.

Please leave a tip on your way out by following me on Twitter or "liking" me on Facebook, or if you already have, I hope that you encourage your friends and followers to do the same. 

Thank you!

Another New Testimonial

It takes a great deal of trust having someone read your work. And it takes a great deal of courage to ask for help. I love to write. And just as much, I love proofreading and editing. This is why I've decided to freelance my proofreading and editing skills. Here's another testimonial from one of my clients:

"I don't know that I could have asked for a better proof reader than Kate Evangelista! She was prompt, professional and pleasant to work with. It made me feel good to see she was excited to work on my manuscript and while all the red marks made me cringe at first, there wasn't a bad suggestion or correction in the bunch. She polished and shined my novel, making it into something I was secure to move ahead and publish. No doubt I will be using her for future projects!"

--MB, Author of Near Death

MB was awesome to work with. I loved reading her work. She had me laughing and wanting to be friends with her characters. So, MB, thank you so much for trusting me with your work and for not giving up no matter how many red marks there were.

For those who want help proofreading or editing their labors of love, you can visit my Hire Me page by clicking on the tab above. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

Guillotine 12-05-11

Chapter 4
The Exorcist

            Zander endured three hours of nonstop editing; two of which was spent ignoring his team’s many protestations. Nate insisted the footage was too intense for viewers to watch. He warned that the audience had never seen a possession so deep before. Zander or one of them usually had some control over themselves and managed to get out of it when something tried to take over. He reminded Zander of the times the Net buzzed because one of them was possessed. This time, it was definitely different. Too real. Too in your face. Unapologetic in any way. Nate talked and talked until he started repeating himself, which succeeded in grating at Zander’s nerves. Adam, on the other hand, was freaked out—enough said. He was a simple boy. He didn’t want the world—particularly his seven brothers—witnessing him practically peeing his pants in fear. He kept grumbling about having his ass handed to him come Thanksgiving. But that was his usual excuse for anything, and Zander never listened.
            By the third hour, Zander had reached his limit of their whining. It took a snap to shut up and a reminder that he was the leader of their team. Ultimately, it was his call. Nate and Adam shared another concerned look, which they’d been doing way too much in the span of a few hours. Zander was beginning to suspect a deep bromance blossoming between the two. He wanted to yell at them to get a room, but he knew Adam and Nate were only concerned for his wellbeing. They were thinking of his reputation as an investigator.
            The team experienced their share of criticism. Skeptics believed Paranormal Investigations was all a sham, a scripted reality show like all the others. The footage at Miller House looked staged, even to Zander’s trained eye, but he wanted the world, especially those who believed, to see the dangers that came with their job. Already there were too many idiots risking their lives “investigating” the existence of the paranormal. Some of them went to places Zander and his team hadn’t cleansed yet, which meant the possibility of amateurs getting possessed was very high. He didn’t want anyone going through what he had experienced. And he had a feeling, the scratches on his forehead and the dream he couldn’t remember weren’t the last of what he’d brought home from Miller House. It was one of the reasons why he joined IPA in the first place. And why he’d stayed single for so long. He’d dated a girl once who couldn’t handle the shit that followed him home. She fled into the night and never looked back. Since then, Zander knew what he had to do: protect the innocent, allowing them a glimpse into the paranormal without altering their lives. More than anything, Zander wanted to educate, to open the minds of the public that the things going bump in the night were as real as they were and could actually cause them great harm.
            Halfway through their third hour, Adam stepped out for a bathroom break when Nate opened his mouth to speak again.
Zander was splicing together Adam’s cam shots and lifted a hand, saying “If what’s about to come out of your mouth has to do with convincing me not to show the footage, zip it. You’re better off trying to brainwash me into dating a dude. I’ve made up my mind.”
Nate leaned his elbows on the console and rested his chin within the cup of his hands. “The network wouldn’t mind showing a marathon again, you know. It’s not like we need the ratings. Holding steady every week and increasing by the month.”
Zander heaved a deep breath, sitting back to stare at a screen shot of his face before Adam had dropped his camera. His features were unrecognizable, like he wore a Japanese demon mask Samurai warriors used to wear into battle to intimidate their opponents on the field. He grimaced. “It’s fine. We’ll just add a viewer discretion disclaimer at the beginning of the show.”
“You know that’s not what I mean.” Nate squeezed Zander’s shoulder. “You’re my bro, I’d do anything you ask. I just don’t want you looking so vulnerable in front of our audience, Z. We’ve cultivated a reputation of fearlessness for a reason.”
“Tell that to Adam.”
Nate barked a sad laugh. “He’s special.”
Zander tore his gaze from an expression that would haunt his dreams for the rest of his days to face his best friend. “Nate, you have to trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
“It’s not that.”
“Then what? Why are you so against this?” Zander was near the end of this patience. He couldn’t understand why Nate wouldn’t let it go. This was the first time his second was so adamant about not showing footage. Normally, Nate would bitch and moan, and Zander would humor him for about an hour, but at the end of the day, Nate still followed his call without question.
Something akin to a mix of concern and deep sadness entered Nate’s brown eyes. “When I was calling out to you that night, and you weren’t responding, my heart stopped. I literally felt it stop beating for a second.”
“Jeez.” Zander frowned. “You’re not going to start crying, are you?”
Nate punched him hard in the arm. “Let me finish, man.” Tears brimmed. “Shit!” He covered his eyes with a forearm, rubbing furiously.
Uncomfortable, Zander reached out and rested a hand on Nate’s shaking shoulder, praying Adam wouldn’t choose this moment to walk in on them. The last thing he needed was the big guy teasing the both of them for being too chummy. “Come on, bro, pull yourself together.”
Nate looked up, red-eyed and angry. “I was so worried, Z! Seriously! I thought you weren’t coming back to us…that you’ve reached your limit and was finally possessed by something too powerful for you to resist. Scared can’t even describe the feeling.” He rubbed the last of his tears away with the sleeve of his shirt. “Then when you turned around and I fell to the ground, you know what I was thinking?”
Zander waited, not removing his hand from Nate’s shoulder. Something told him his friend was hanging on to his composure by his teeth and the physical contact between them was what tethered him to the present.
Nate sniffed, his nose turning as red as his eyes. “I was thinking of what I would say to your mother if you didn’t survive that night. Damn it, man! Don’t ever do that to me again. I swear, the next time, I’ll slap you silly just to get you back. Believe me, I will. Let’s see if you’d want to show that footage.”
“Oh, I believe you.”
“You have time to joke about this?” Nate shrugged off Zander’s hand.
Zander let a smirk spread across his face. Whatever mushiness that had passed through Nate in that moment was gone, replaced by righteous indignation. He loved his teammates, but he wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it to them. He appreciated Nate’s concern. He’d feel the same way if it were Nate or Adam going through what was happening to him. But how Nate felt wasn’t enough to bend his will. The footage will air. No one short of the network president could stop him, and he was about to say so when Adam burst into the editing room short of breath.
“Guys!” He panted like he’d sprinted from the restroom. “You have to see what’s going on outside. Come quick!” Like a child unable to wait for his parents to reach the Christmas tree before opening presents, Adam disappeared through the door again, prompting Zander and Nate to follow.
The tall, bald boy may be the more excitable member of their team, but when he said something was up, Zander and Nate were inclined to believe him. One thing about Adam, he never cried wolf. Whatever got Adam excited was definitely worth checking out.   
Nate and Zander were met with a wall of their colleagues blocking the entrance to the Paranormal Investigations office. Adam towered over all of them, which was why he remained at the back of the group. He didn’t feel the need to elbow his way to the front the way Zander and Nate did.
“What’s up?” Zander asked Morgan, who’d position himself closest to the glass doors.
His assistant spoke without taking his eyes away from the elevator doors. “The Pres is bringing in the newest Exorcist.”
Zander sucked in a sharp breath. He stared at Morgan in abject disbelief.
“What happened to Bishop?” Nate asked the question Zander couldn’t find the wits to form on his own.
Something big must be up for a new Exorcist to be replacing Bishop. It didn’t feel right to Zander. The old priest was like a father to him. He’d taught Zander everything he knew about the art of cleansing and keeping spirits at bay. Going on another investigation without Bishop was unacceptable. He would do anything short of killing someone to get Bishop back. Morgan’s reply to Nate’s question pulled him away from formulating a plan.
“From what I heard, Bishop got recalled to the Diocese because of a case he’d handled when he was younger that’s still open. It’s all hush, hush. I don’t know any more than that.”
Zander cleared his throat, finally finding his voice. “And where’d you get your information from?”
Morgan shrugged. “Barbie.”
“The Pres’s secretary?” Zander flicked Morgan behind the ear. The young boy squealed and covered his stinging ear. “She’s ten years older than you, kid. What were you thinking?”
“It’s not like that.” Morgan rubbed his ear. “God! All I can hear is ringing. I think you’ve damaged my ear, Z!”
Nate slapped Morgan’s hand away from his red ear. “Don’t be such a baby. And stop hanging around Barbie. Am I making myself clear?”
“Or what?” Morgan challenged.
Before Nate could threaten the boy with bodily harm, the elevator dinged and its doors opened. Everyone at the office breathed in, causing a hush to greet the network president as he stepped out of the elevator. Despite the salt and pepper of his hair, he looked no older than his mid-thirties. The coal lounge suit was perfectly tailored to his body. The indigo tie complemented the deep, piercing blue of his eyes. Zander had only spoken to the Pres a handful of times, but during every one of them, he’d left feeling awe and respect for the man. Logan Winters was said to be the first paranormal investigator for IPA. In fact, he was one of the founders of the institute. He’d been given the presidency of the channel when he’d retired from investigating not only because of his dashing good looks. He was the best man for the job. He could be the face of the channel while still handle the grittier aspect of ridding the world of the paranormal. His aura alone was enough to intimidate even Zander, who considered himself possessing steal cojones. Logan was a hero to all investigators after him.
A glimmer of red was what distracted Zander enough to notice the person who’d followed the Pres from the elevator. The black cassock she wore, even with its sharp lines, wasn’t enough to hide the curves of her body. Exorcists from the fairer sex weren’t unheard off. Bishop told Zander once about a legendary Exorcist who’d been a woman. The one with the Pres was a tiny thing, standing 5’3” at most by Zander’s estimation. And that blood red pixie hair cut wasn’t doing anything to disguise the fact that she was a she. But what reason would she have to hide herself? The stiletto boots she wore certainly exposed her femininity. A large Gothic cross hung from a chain around her neck. And Zander counted five piercings on one ear while leaving the other bare. Her lips matched her hair and dark liner brought out the paleness of her eyes. He’d never seen anything like her. Well, maybe except in graphic novels. She seemed to float rather than walk, so light were her steps. The marble didn’t even click from the contact her heels made.
“I’d wipe that droop off your face, if I were you,” Nate whispered into Zander’s ear.
Zander lifted a hand and shoved Nate’s face away from his. Again with the personal space violation. His second should have known better. His claustrophobia was already acting up because of the press of bodies behind him. Everyone wanted to get a good look at the new Exorcist. She barely looked old enough to leave high school, let alone be fully fledged.
Great, that was all Zander needed right now: an inexperienced chick. If he was really possessed by a demonic entity, he needed Bishop, not some wet behind the ears girl who had a penchant for anything Goth. And as if reading his thoughts, she locked gazes with him. Zander’s heart sputtered like a dying engine before revving up again.

New Testimonial

As you all know by now, I've decided to go into freelance editing and proofreading. For those who want to know the details, you can click on the Hire Me tab at the top of this page. I would love to help you with your work.

Slowly but surely, I've been working with authors. And it's an honor to help with their work in any capacity they'd need me for. So, on that note, I'd like to share with all of you a new testimonial from one of my clients. Here it is:

Kate Evangelista did an amazing job proofreading my publication proofs. Though others had proofread the manuscript prior to submitting to the publisher, Kate found many mistakes that everyone else missed. She was fast and economical. Recommend her highly.

Mike P
West River, MD

I enjoyed reading his work. And I'm grateful for the chance to help out. So, Mike, thank you contacting me and letting me read In the Darkness. Best wishes on all your writing endeavors. It was a pleasure working with you. :-)

Review Request: Tom's Wife by Alana Cash

We have something different today, folks. Read the blurb. If you're interested in reviewing Tom's Wife, please make sure to leave your name and email address in the comments section so that Alana can contact you right away about your review copy. Happy Reading!

Set on a farm in Arkansas during the Great Depression, TOM'S WIFE immerses the reader into a simple way of life – and a woman’s place in it – that is long gone. Told from Annie’s point of view, the story shows what friendship, honor, and love means in a man’s world.

Annie Huckaby is almost resigned to life with Tom, who is hard-working but volatile and abusive with her. Tom works at a coal mine during the week, leaving Annie to take care of the house and their infant son while Tom’s Native-American friend Jim takes care of the farm. Twila visits every day and helps Annie make a little money of her own selling eggs to the café on the highway. And there’s church on Sunday. Annie is not always alone, but still, she’s lonely…until one afternoon, a peddler named Jake Stern wanders onto the porch wearing a clean white shirt, selling notions and tenderness. After that, everything on the farm belongs to Tom, except Annie's heart.

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