Once and For All

“How hard must I try
To put my dreams aside
And open your eyes so you’ll realize
Once and for all

That the fear, the Fear is worse than the fall…”

-“The Fear is Worse Than the Fall”– Leauxco

Two local bands are featured in Running on Empty when Grace and Gabe take a road trip to Lafayette. Those bands are Destination Sanity and Leauxco. When it came time to plan a release party for ROE, I asked Neil Ray if his band would like to come play for the party. And they did.

All the Boonie books are titled after songs, “Tangled up in You” is a song by Staind. “Running on Empty” is a popular song by Jackson Browne. I had already started the third novel in the series, but had tentatively titled in “Everything Changes”. That’s also by Staind, and I was definitely feeling like two songs by the same artist were a bit overkill.

During the evening, Neil Ray, the lead singer, says, “Alisha, you need to name one of your books after this song. When he started singing, I knew then that “The Fear is Worse Than the  Fall” would be the inspiration for Carly and Joey’s story. It describes perfectly what is keeping the two lovebirds apart. Fear, plain and simple. It also plays into Carly’s constant search for her fairy tale ending. Will Carly get her happily ever after, “once and for all”? Well, we’ll just have to see about that.

Once and For All 

Chapter One

Excerpt

Saturday September 27th
4 days until landfall
Bon Chance, Louisiana
Carly Devereaux rolled over in bed, one eye opening to see the time on the clock on her nightstand.

The red light shone 10:00 a.m.

She groaned and started to get up. Sammie, her fat and ancient weenie dog thumped a heavy tail under the blankets. Probably hoping to get another half hour or day of sleep.
Carly pulled the sheets back, “Come on lazy. We have to get up. We have a party to get ready for.”

Carly managed Snapper’s, the bar and grill that she owned with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Joey. They had opened it a couple of years ago, after their younger brother, Benjamin had been killed in an oilfield accident.

Tonight was a big birthday party for Tessa, one of the bar’s regulars and Carly needed to be there to make sure everything was ready. She had already decorated, but there were a few last minute things to take care of. Jello shots to make. Extra beer to stock. The food, her roommate Joey would make. She was a hot mess in the kitchen. But, Carly would need to make sure there was adequate plates, silverware, etc.

As she thought about food, she smelled bacon cooking. Her stomach growled. Sammie, who was still half under the blankets, flopped around and stood up.

Carly laughed and patted her on the head, “Yeah, that bacon gets you going every time, doesn’t it?”

A hearty ear flop was her answer.

Carly picked the dog up and placed her on the floor. She did a little dance around Carly’s legs as they walked to the door.

The tip tap of the dog’s feet accompanied Carly’s footsteps as she walked through the house the she and Joey had shared since she returned from Biloxi.

She reached the open kitchen that Joey and her brother, Noah, had remodeled recently, and her heart started doing that weird flutter thing it had been doing for the past few months.

Her friend, her best friend, Joey, was at the stove wearing only pajama pants. His hips swayed slightly to the Cajun music playing on the streaming radio station. His hair dark hair was rumpled. When he turned and he flashed that dimpled smile at her, she had to look away to keep herself from throwing herself in his arms.

Instead, she crossed the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee.
Sammy, that bitch, trotted over to Joey and placed a paw on his bare foot. She rolled over on her back, kicking her tiny legs up in the air. She was rewarded with a tummy rub and piece of bacon.

“C’mon Sammy, let’s go out,” Carly said as she walked over to the door. She opened the door and the dog pranced out. Carly carried her under one arm and held her coffee in the other hand down the steps of the raised house. She plopped down on the bottom step, and looked out at the gulf while Sammy sniffed around the grass.

Carly couldn’t see the water from where they were, but it was a short walk.

“C’mon Sammy,” she said, and the little dog took off, ready to go on an adventure.
Reaching the beach, Carly plopped down, her coffee mug still in hand. She continued to sip while Sammy along the water’s edge, nose to the sand, looking for something. Carly had long ceased wondering what the dog was on the hunt for.

The heavy clouds were shades of gray and navy blue. It was hard to see where the clouds ended and the water began. White surf churned and splashed against the sand.

A storm was brewing.

Carly frowned and took a sip of her coffee. A cold breeze blew off the water, and she shivered.

She thought of Joey and her reaction to him in the kitchen. The same feelings she’d been fighting for months now.

The ocean wasn’t the only thing in turmoil.

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Tangled up in You

“How long has it been since this storyline began…”

“When did you start writing?”

It’s one of the questions I get asked most when I tell people I’m an author. The real answer, is that I started writing when I was in the ninth grade in Linda Riggs’ class. I’d sit in the back and write my stories after I had finished my English classwork. My first novel? A really, really, bad story I called Summer Love. It was about a girl going to summer camp and finding her first love. I kept that manuscript in a box for I don’t know how long. But after a few moves, it’s history.

I wrote off and on after that. I never finished anything. I’d start one idea, play with it, work on it, and then another idea would hit and I’d abandon that one. One day, I just simply stopped writing altogether.

About ten years ago, I met someone who would become a great friend of mine. I was hanging out one night at a place I used to like to go to. We talked about writing, and he wrote me a poem on a bar napkin. I told him I’d write a poem back, and I did. A really horrible one, I’m sure. Today, I don’t even remember what it was about.

It did spark something in me and I started playing with words again. I found out about this thing called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I set out on a journey to write a novel in thirty days. I didn’t make it. But, I did start this wonderful story about this girl named Carly, this guy named Joey, and the Redbird Inn.

I set that story aside, but I never really forgot it.

A couple of years later, I was bartending and a friend of mine brought me a newspaper clipping about a story contest for a writer’s conference. All I had to do was write the opening scenes of a novel. That seemed easy enough. It was only a couple thousand words. So, I did it. I started the story of a woman who was tired of her alcoholic husband and the damage he was doing to not only his life, but hers as well.

I sent it off. Went to the conference. And won third place. I was ecstatic.

And motivated enough to finish the novel. I titled it Crossroads.

I finished this one, but it wasn’t the end for this story. I re-wrote it. Submitted it. Recieved rejection after rejection. I eventually put it away and started the second novel.

In 2014, I decided to give it a try one more time. If nothing happened this time, I was going to quit. I dusted it off, literally, and read through it again. I sent it out to some readers who had some pretty tough words for me. I was going to have to rework it. Again. Determined, I learned everything I could about story structure and mapping. I made a huge poster on my wall and moved the scenes around until it flowed. That poster is still on my office wall.

As I worked on it, I would listen to music. Every time that Aaron Lewis’ “Tangled up in You” came on, I would think that if Emily and Noah had a song, that would be it. When I started submitting the novel again, it not only had been completely redone, it had a new title as well.

I participated in PitMad on Twitter that summer. A publisher I’d never heard of before, Limitless Publishing, liked my Tweet, and I guess you could say that the rest is history. The story that started so many years ago, finally found a home.

And I haven’t quit writing since….

Cheers!

I’m out!

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/0d6mJGU

 

Against All Odds

Music always plays a big role in my novels. It inspires scenes, lines, and even entire story lines sometimes. One day while I was driving, “Against All Odds” came on the radio and I got the chills. This was Grace and Gabe’s song. I knew I had to incorporate this song into my book. This excerpt is that scene. I’ve also included the YouTube link to the song for your listening pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!

from Running on Empty

Back at the Redbird Inn, later that afternoon, Gabe slid the piano cover open and ran his fingers along the smooth, worn, black-and-white keys. He had learned how to play music here with Grams looking on and listening. He played a few notes to get a feel for the instrument again. As he played, his mind drifted back to high school when he and Grace would sit here practicing whatever song they were working on at the time.

Automatically, his fingers started playing the old Phil Collins song “Against All Odds.”

He sang softly as his fingers traveled over the keyboard. He had convinced her to sing the song as a duet for the prom, hoping she would see how badly he was crushing on her. But she never had. She had left for New Orleans soon after that to attend the University of New Orleans on a music scholarship. He and Bennett moved to Austin, where there were more opportunities for musicians trying to make it big.

He sang quietly, still playing the old song, hoping Grace would take a look at him now.

“You’re still hung up on Grace, aren’t you?” Glinda asked from the doorway.

Gabe stopped singing, but not playing, his fingers still as restless as his mind.

“I am.”

She smiled and came to sit beside him on the stool. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I saw her on the beach this morning while I was fishing.”

“And?”

Gabe thought of the dark circles under Grace’s eyes. “I don’t know, Grandma. Something seems different.”

“Like what?”

“It’s a look in her eyes. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it.”

“Grace is a tough girl. She’ll make it through whatever it is. She does have that soft side though.”

He laughed. “Grace? Soft?”

“She is, Gabe. Look at her with Ryder, or Joey, or that crazy dog of hers. She doesn’t love easily, but she loves with all her heart when she does.”

He nodded and, suddenly feeling uncomfortable, was quiet.

“Gabriel?” Glinda asked, patting him on the knee. “Since you’re here, how about you help me out with some repairs around the place? A little hammering and nailing might be what you need to keep that mind of yours occupied. We can give Noah a little break.”

He smiled and mentally shook off the past. “Of course, Grams. Just let me know what you need.” He slid the piano cover shut and followed Glinda into the kitchen.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/32Ea9P3

 

Your Angel, Me–Cora Kenborn

corak

Your Angel, Me by Cora Kenborn

COMING OCTOBER 25, 2016

What do you do when your dream job becomes a nightmare?
When sassy, entertainment writer, Phoebe moved to NYC from the south, she never dreamed being coerced into ghostwriting bad boy rocker, Julian’s autobiography would make her the target of a deranged stalker. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, but rock stars also have obsessive fans. When Phoebe and Julian start to fall for each other, their public romance risks both their lives as obsession is unleashed.

Phoebe Ryan has a dark past she refuses to share, but the scars she bears tell the story without her permission. They reminded her of terrifying moments spent with the monster that haunts her. Ability to trust destroyed, Phoebe tries to maintain focus on her dream of becoming an author despite the attraction she feels for the sexy rocker and the baggage that comes with him.

Julian Bale is metal’s hottest new front man. His world was shattered one drunken night and it almost ruined him. Weighted down by guilt, he blames himself for an accident he could’ve prevented. While any emotional attachment is out of the question, Julian will play the media’s game. However, his hot little ghostwriter will never get that story out of him. As much as he wants her, if he has to choose between his dream and hers, it’s no contest.

After futile bouts of resistance, they give into a forbidden attraction too strong to ignore. Now the secret’s out and it’s made them both targets. A psychotic stalker is determined to have Julian for herself, even if she has to reveal the skeletons of their pasts and eliminate obstacles to do it…including Phoebe.

On the brink of stardom, two careers are on the line, and the stakes are high. Can Phoebe and Julian overcome the past and fight for what’s theirs—or in the end, is the price of fame their own survival?

Personal FB page: http://www.facebook.com/Cora.kenbor
Author page: http://www.facebook.com/CoraKenborn
Email: cora@corakenborn.com
Blog: https://www.facebook.com/tbbookblog/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/corakenborn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/corakenbornauthor
Website: www.corakenborn.com
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15178303.Cora_Kenborn

A Supernatural Soundtrack

 

super

Supernatural is one of my absolute favorite television shows. The writing is witty. It’s filled with one-liners and snarky comments. And I just love snarky humor. The main characters are cute, to say the least. But, what I love the most about this show is the MUSIC! The music in this show is phenomenal. To me, this show has one of the best soundtracks on television.  Check these out. 

1. “Carry on My Wayward Son”, Kansas

2. “Crossroad Blues”, Robert Johnson

3. “Rooster”, Alice in Chains

4. “Renegade”, Styx

5. And my favorite, “Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor

If you haven’t watched an episode yet, you definitely should check this show out. The story line and writing is just as good as the music. 

Peace!

I’m out!

 

Musical Bucket List

As a music lover, I have been extremely lucky. I have been able to see many of the bands I’ve wanted to see. I have sang (and sometimes screamed) along with most of my favorite artists as they’ve played my favorite songs live. I told someone recently that I had a musical bucket list and they asked me who was on it. I was actually stumped. I had to sit and think about what bands I wanted to see that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see yet. And I came up with five (and one bonus).In true Alisha fashion, they’re all over the musical genre. 

 

1. KISS (In full make-up and costume)

A friend of mine was able to attend their concert just this last week. I am absolutely green with envy. 

 

2. Jimmy Buffett (on a beach or in a boat)

Great music, the beach, and a drink in my hand. Life wouldn’t get much better than that!

 

3. Mumford and Sons

One of my new favorite bands, I haven’t been able to catch them in concert yet. Love their energy!

 

4. Sarah McLachlan

Love her voice and her lyrics. She is an excellent songwriter. 

 

5. Alice in Chains

Wish I could have seen them when Layne Staley was still alive. But, definitely still a band I will see one day. 

6. Staind/Aaron Lewis

Okay, okay, so I have seen Staind and Aaron Lewis multiple times, but it’s always a great show and one of my absolute faves.

 

I think that’s pretty good for a musical bucket list. Will definitely have to see how many of these great shows I can cross off my list. 🙂 

For now, I’m out!

Peace!

It’s Criminal

Image

Criminal Minds is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Hey, what girl wouldn’t love a show full of eye candy like Morgan, Rossi, Reid, and Hotchner? One of my favorite debates with other female fans is “Which one is the hottest?” I don’t think it’s ever been decided. 🙂

Not only is the cast easy to look at, the show is superbly written. Rather than being a show just about evidence, clues, and motivation, Criminal Minds delves deeply into the psychology of the criminal. It’s a roller coaster ride through insanity.

Along with the witty dialogue, the psychos, the cast, and the drama, there’s incredible music.  The lyrics and the music that goes with some of the scenes can be downright haunting at times. I could create a whole playlist simply based on tunes I’ve heard on this show. And probably will.

What are some songs I would include? Definitely these three awesome songs. Enjoy!

“Far From Home”  by Five Finger Death Punch

“Broken” by Lifehouse

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

There’s so many more I could list, but these three have to be my favorites.  🙂

Here’s to great shows with great music!

Peace!

I’m out!

Rock the Halls

I’ve decided to have a little fun this morning and talk about my second love, music. I’m taking a little break from all the serious novel writing. I’m putting the revisions, the query letters, the revised synopsis aside for a moment.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Or Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” But, where are all the really rockin’ Christmas songs? Mariah Carey is no Aaron Lewis. Sorry Mariah.

I did some research this morning and I’ve come up with some Christmas songs that would put any rock fan in the Christmas spirit.

1. Metallica “Carol of the Bells.”

(This song actually has been debated as to whether or not it is Metallica. Me? I just love it. And since it’s my blog it stays.)

2. U2 “Baby Please Come Home For Christmas”

3. Weezer, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

4. Weezer, “O Come All Ye Faithful”

5. Aaron Lewis, “Silent Night”

Of course I had to fit Aaron Lewis in there! So, that’s a few songs for rock fans like myself to enjoy this holiday season. Know some I didn’t list? Feel free to add them. I’m always excited to listen to new music.  Want more ideas? Check out the links I have below.

For now, stay tuned. A hair band version of Christmas songs is coming up soon!

Peace and love this holiday season!

I’m out

http://www.ranker.com/list/hard-rock-christmas-albums/christmas-music

http://rock.about.com/od/top10lists/tp/BestChristmasRockSongs.htm

http://mikesyrsutton.hubpages.com/hub/The-10-best-rock-and-roll-Christmas-Carols-ever

Play It Again Sam

Like most people, I am not a fan of remakes when it comes to music. If the original was good, leave it alone. However, every once in a while, a band will remake a song and it’s as good (if not better) than the original. Here are some of my favorites.

1. “Bad Company” Five Finger Death Punch

2. “Come Together” Godsmack

3. “Turn the Page” Metallica

4. “Behind Blue Eyes” Limp Bizkit

5. “Sympathy for the Devil” Guns n Roses

There’s just a few of my favorites. Check them out! And please, post some of your favorites, I can always do a part two!

Thanks readers, I am now over 16,000 views! Keep reading!

Cheers!

I’m out!

5 Great Love Songs for Rock Fans

Nothing melts my heart like a good love song. Especially a good ROCK love song. I’ll take  a good guitar solo and a rough-looking rock and roller over some Justin Beiber pop cheesiness any day.  Must be the lingering hair-band loving teen that’s still alive and well in my psyche.

So, what songs would I include if I were compiling a “Rock Love” CD?

1. “Everything Changes” by Staind

“Say that forever is more than just a word.”

Aaron Lewis is my favorite vocalist right now. I could listen to him all day long. The man has some pipes. That’s probably why he’s on my list of next ex-husbands. Which brings me to number two.

2. “Tangled Up in You” by Aaron Lewis

In this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you
I’m Still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you

You’re the fire
That warms me when I’m cold
You’re the hand I have to hold
as I grow old.
You’re the shore
When I am lost at sea
You’re the only thing
That I like about me.”

Come on, what woman wouldn’t want a man to sing this to her?  It’s pure poetry.

3. “Far Away” by Nickelback

“Cause with you, I’d withstand all of hell to hold your hand.”

This is definitely a quality I’d want in a man.

4. “Broken” by Seether

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain”

You get two great vocalists on this one.  Would definitely like to see these two do more duets.

5. “Lifeline” by Papa Roach

“We tore down the walls I built around myself
I was struck by the light and I fell to the ground”

Definitely not your traditional love song here, but who ever said (or thought) that I was traditional.  🙂

So, there you have it. Five great love songs that melt my ever hardening heart.

Need some more great love songs? Check out the links below.

http://waldo2010.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/top-14-hard-rock-love-songs-for-valentine/

http://www.top-lovesongs.com/Songs/hard-rock-love-songs.php

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-i/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/you-might-want-some-wine-with-this-cheese-part-ii/

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/play-it-again-sam/