As I sit here on release day for my second novel, I’m in awe. I have two books published. It’s surreal.
Three years ago, almost to the day, I began this journey. I finally gave in to my sisters’ urging (The none too subtle or gentle urging. More like shoving me off the cliff!), and sat down to start writing a book. I hit the keyboard with no idea what I was doing, no concept of how to get where I wanted to be.
I just wrote.
I stopped overthinking, let my fingers fly, and out poured the story that had been churning in my gut.
I was scared. Terrified, really. Putting so much of my own life into the tale was…exhausting, nerve-wracking, embarrassing, crazy-making, eye-opening, gut-wrenching, and so much more. I poured my blood, sweat, and tears onto those pages. Quite literally at times. I worked through my issues as Liz worked hers out on the page.
I faced my fears.
I unearthed those hidden hurts I’d buried so deep.
I confronted the rage inside me, rage I thought I’d conquered.
I walked through the agony, despair, and abandonment.
I met myself in those pages.
The self I’d tried to forget and pretend didn’t exist. The self with her heart still isolated, cut off and determined not to really let anybody in. The self that never fully let herself trust. The self who raged at the world, at those who had hurt her, and yes, a little at God, for “letting” some of those things happen to her.
The self who had yet to forgive, and had no idea she was poisoning her life, holding herself back, limiting her own potential and hurting the ones she loved.
And as I climbed up in the middle of all that mess, as I waded through to find the true me, the true Liz, the whole story underneath all the debris, a miraculous thing happened.
I began to heal.
I cried. I laughed. I threw things. I laid into the heavy bag and split my knuckles open several times. (Don’t forget gloves.) I shivered and screamed and begged God. I opened myself up, every dark recess, every secret corner, and I looked that broken girl who had no idea she was still broken right in the eye. I begged her to forgive. To laugh. To love. To fight. To trust, like she’d never been capable of before.
Though the battle rages on, she continues to stand tall. To face her fears. To step into the hot zone and eliminate the threat.
And every time I write another installment of this story, my story, I pick up my sword and I face down those demons.
But I don’t go it alone.
They say it takes an army. I’m convinced that is true.
The army behind me and my story? Second to none.
The only way I’ve gotten to this point is because they’ve been with me. No way could I have undertaken this mission on my own and succeeded.
It’s overwhelming when I really think about it. The sheer number of people I have supporting me is unreal.
My husband. My kids. My sisters. My brothers. Aunts and uncles and cousins. My friends. My publishing team. My Realmies. My loyal readers. There are too many to label individually, unless I wanted this post to be three days long.
These people have fought countless battles with me. They’ve guided me, cried with me, laughed with me, held me, taught me, encouraged me, and kicked me in the butt when I needed it. This series would not exist if not for them, and I am forever grateful.
So as I celebrate another release, another piece of my story out in the universe, I think of these people. I think about the army that surrounds me. The Realm Warriors. They’ve got my six and I’ve got theirs.
As this battle continues, I know I will never fight alone.
Today is a big day around here. We are revealing the cover and blurb for Reconciliation! Since you’ve been champing at the bit, I won’t make you wait any longer.
I have to warn you, though, this story is not for the faint of heart! In this second installment, Liz and Ryland face an even more brutal enemy, and challenges they never saw coming.
Challenges that may tear them apart.
If you think you have what it takes to stay in the fight, read on.
Some ghosts from the past refuse to stay dead.
Finally. Finally everything is coming together for Liz Brantley. She’s marrying Ryland Vaughn, the man of her dreams. She’s embraced her calling and battles the minions of hell bent on her destruction. And she’s left her dark past far behind her. Or so she thought.
A secret she holds close, stuffed down deep, surfaces at the wrong time for everyone in Liz’s life, leaving a trail of devastation. Left reeling, Liz wonders if she made a mistake, putting her trust in God, her guardian Arie, and Ryland. And the demon Kade capitalizes on her shaken faith. With a vengeance.
Torn between her tortured past and the future she craves, Liz is desperate to defeat every demon that stands in her way. Before all hell breaks loose and swallows her whole.
Today I have another special guest on Guts on the Page, author S.D. Grimm. Plus, a giveaway!
S.D. just released her latest fantasy, Scarlet Moon, Book One in the Children of the Blood Moon series. I’ve just started reading and, trust me, you’re going to want to get your hands on this book!
I took this opportunity to ask a few questions and find out exactly what makes this promising author tick. Here are the results.
First, I got the scoop on the real S.D.! You know, all those important, burning questions.
~What’s something we wouldn’t know about you just by looking?
Well, I do like Brazilain jiu jitsu, kickboxing, fencing, and shooting. Archery is next.
A woman after my own heart. This chick is dynamite in a small package. Don’t set her off!
~If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Invisibility. But that’s not the superpower I’d want. I’d want to be telepathic.
Hm. Not sure I’d want to know what most people are thinking! If I had to choose, I think I’d go for telekinesis. Who wouldn’t want to be able to move things with your mind?
Now let’s get to what we all know is one of my favorite topics, in addition to fighting. Which we covered. 😉
~Do you listen to music while you write?
YES! But not while I edit. I need to hear the cadence of the sentences when I edit.
I can see that. Myself, even if I’m doing an out loud read, I gotta have the tunes. It’s like oxygen for me.
~Name one song/artist you’re embarrassed you like.
Haha! “Call Me Maybe”
Wow. Okay. So maybe I’m wishing I hadn’t asked that question! But, sometimes there are no explanations for why a song resonates with you. Or just gets stuck in your brain.
~Here’s the question that really tells us a lot about someone. What’s your favorite fandom?
I have way too many. I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, a bunch of anime, the first seasons of the Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, DC and Marvel, Harry Potter, some 80s cult classics, Buffy. I mean, I’m pretty well-rounded when it comes to this kind of thing.
I am right there with you on LOTR, Supernatural, and Buffy. Now I understand a little more of why we get along so well!
Now on to a little more serious type questions.
We all know I live and breathe speculative fiction. I read it, watch it, write it, and sometimes, live it. I’ve always been drawn to the strange, paranormal, and wonderfully weird. So I gotta know,
~Why do you write speculative fiction? What draws you to it?
Magic. I love the endless creative possibilities of fantasy and sci-fi. Something about this genre sparks to life the kid inside me that makes me want to share the wonder I experience in believing and hoping and knowing the impossible is somehow possible. I like to encourage others to embrace that inner child and believe it too.
It does have unlimited potential, doesn’t it? Nothing is too far outside of the box. The only limit is your imagination.
~When did you start writing?
In elementary school. I wasn’t serious about trying to get published until seven years ago, and that’s when I started writing Scarlet Moon.
~What’s a normal writing day like for you?
I’m not sure normal is the right word, but when I write I sit with my laptop somewhere or in my little cubby in the basement, and I turn on some music and I write. Prepping for that includes thinking about upcoming scenes, which I do while I do chores, or take a shower, or right before I fall asleep. I have been caught brandishing a wooden spoon in the kitchen while simultaneously cooking dinner and “head-writing” a fight scene. *blushes*
Yay! I’m not alone! Why is it that the best scenes, especially fight scenes for me, come to you at the weirdest times? And, then there’s the fact that I can’t seem to just think them, I have to act them out.
~What was your inspiration for writing Scarlet Moon?
I love animals. The novel I wrote prior to this one (which sits in a proverbial dark, secret drawer) was about animals. All the characters were animals. And one day I decided to get serious about publishing. Then I decided I was going to write about people. I still wanted animals to be a big part of the story so I chose to write about a race of people who can commune with nature. These people basically get certain talents or abilities from animals—and they reciprocate, giving animals certain abilities too. Then I researched some really cool animals, including mythological ones, and the story world really grew from there.
~What is Scarlet Moon about? Told from multiple point of view characters, Scarlet Moon is a young adult fantasy about Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan who can save the race of people known as the Feravolk from a sorceress queen bent on annihilating them. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed Jayden’s family.
It’s sounds amazing. I can’t wait to dive in deeper.
Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain today!
If you would like to win a signed copy of Scarlet Moon, all you have to do to be entered is like mine and S.D.’s Facebook pages! Her link is above, mine is below. Once you’ve liked, comment here to let us know so you can be entered.
If you would like to know more about S.D. and her stories, check out the links above and below. And definitely get your hands on a copy of Scarlet Moon!
S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and her debut novel, Scarlet Moon, is slated to be published in October 2016. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), making clay dragons for her Grimmlies store on Etsy, practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and doing anything outdoorsy with the family. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.
Two friends and a Jeep. Loaded to the gills. Headed to Nashville, Tennessee for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. They had plans to take their first year at the conference by storm, learning all they could, meeting new friends, and hugging those they’d only met online. They were determined to make their presence known in the best of ways.
Their brilliant plan was nearly sidetracked, and their song of joy partially transposed into a melody of sorrow in a minor key only a couple of hours after they arrived in Music City.
As they sat down to lunch, a short text that seemed innocent and sweet and the two minute phone call that followed changed everything.
“Hey, Mom, I just wanted to say I love you.”
This picture was taken seconds before my son sent the above text. I showed that text to everyone at the table. It was just like my sweet son to send a loving note like that. The call that followed cast his message in a whole new light.
One of my friends was on the other end, wind screaming in the background, panic squeezing her voice. She told me there was another tornado plowing through our neighborhood. She was on the way to get my son, who was home alone. My brain shut down. My body went numb. I looked at the friend sitting to my right and said,
“I can’t do this again.”
When the last tornado hit in November 2013, it was bad. This time was worse. My seventeen year old baby was all alone. In the middle of the monster. Was he okay? Did he make it to the bathroom for shelter? Was that text his way of telling me goodbye? All these thoughts boiled my brain as it went into lock down mode.
I don’t remember much of Wednesday evening. Numerous calls and texts. The girls praying with me and holding me. Being kept off of Facebook and away from the news. We went to eat at a local restaurant. I remember the music. I remember standing on the balcony and watching the water below. I remember I did eat something, at my friends’ orders.
Then finally those words came I’d been dying to hear all afternoon.
Everyone is okay. All the kids are accounted for and safe.
I wanted to go home, but was instructed by my husband and friends to stay put. There was nothing I could do, and my husband didn’t want me to have to deal with the mess at home a second longer than I had to. I fought them. I was two seconds from jumping in the Jeep and breaking the laws of the land and physics to get home to my husband and babies.
Then I met Dineen and Heather.
They found me roaming the lobby, I’m sure looking lost and pitiful. They prayed with me. They spoke peace and common sense into me. Both of them felt what I already knew but wanted to deny anyway: I was there for a reason. They refused to believe the timing was a coincidence. Looking back, I agree. I have no idea how I would’ve handled being in the middle of another storm, as I was still dealing with emotional issues from the first one. They convinced me, albeit begrudgingly on my part, I should stay and get what I could from the conference. Gain strength to take back home and share.
For once, I obeyed, and stayed put. I’m so glad I did.
I crawled into bed Wednesday night weary and hurting. It took me hours to fall into a fitful sleep. Finally Thursday morning dawned. It was then I noticed something I hadn’t the night before in my hurry to hide under the covers and wish it all away.
A concierge named Vincent had sent a basket of goodies and a note expressing his sympathy for what had happened at home and his hope my weekend would improve. In that basket, among other things, were two treats I adore and rarely get. One you can’t buy up North where I live now, and the other is hard to find.
GooGoo clusters and Moon Pies.
His simple act of kindness, added to the love and prayers of my friends, were what propelled me out of my stupor. As I enjoyed a GooGoo Cluster for breakfast, I prepared myself anew for the conference. I became determined to milk every last drop out of the weekend. To fortify my armor. To be stronger than ever.
I began to push aside all the depressing, crazy-making thoughts and focus on where I was. It wasn’t hard. Being surrounded by friends, sisters and brothers, made it easier to shove my troubles back and find my joy. Throughout the weekend, especially Thursday, I had my moments. Ups and downs. But there was always someone by my side to pull me up and out of the down times. I am forever grateful.
Then came Friday morning. I’d signed up for a class I knew would be highly beneficial to me. As I sat down, the instructor immediately gave valuable information I could use to better my manuscripts. But something felt off. Not with her, with me. I had a nagging feeling despite what I could glean from this class, it wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
After about 10 minutes, I left. I roamed the halls, trying to decide where to go. Looking for answers. I passed a room with the doors wide open and heard the speaker, Allen Arnold, say something that demanded my attention.
Okay. I sure needed a miracle. One I didn’t want to need. Hmm. I had to hear what he said next. I rushed inside and chose a seat. That’s when he said he had something for us. Notebooks he’d prayed over and written messages in. There were no names on them, and he handed them out randomly. He was confident they would go to the right people and be the exact message they needed. When I reached up to take mine, our eyes met and he grinned and nodded. In that moment I knew. I was in the right place. That was only confirmed as I opened my notebook to read the message it contained. Tears flooded my eyes and I instantly froze. The first line said:
My toes began to hurt from being stepped on. Yep. He’d nailed it.
The confirmation that this class, this conference, was precisely where I was meant to be just kept coming. That note? Only the beginning.
With each keynote, each class, I was challenged. Challenged to write with God. To see things from a different perspective, whether it be a storm I’m going through or the people and things around me. To become one with God, with the universe, and let myself be used as a conduit. To discover myself as I write. To write for the sake of my own transformation. That the only way to change was through a shake up.
I had to step out of the boat and into the turbulent sea, having faith He would hold me.
Another class that really resonated with me was called “Soul Care for Authors”. Boy, did I need that one! They talked about four aspects: Spirit, Soul, Body, and Community. I learned that God is not a teacher who fathers, He’s a Father who teaches. That He wants that deep communion and intimacy with each of us. That sometimes things would be beautiful and messy, but we had to be willing to say yes to the invitation. We had to be ready to jump on that ride God was inviting us on.
So many crossed my path, some unknown to me before the conference, who became close friends. Allies. They saw the light when all I saw was darkness. My roommates Michele, Jebraun, and Terri. My friends Lauren, Ralene, Sara, Sarah, Morgan, Dawn, Naomi, JC, Ronie, Amy, Elizabeth, and Cynthia. So many others. Their paths collided with mine in what could only be these special God moments. People sent to me, to love, encourage, and hold me up. They were my Aarons and I am so thankful for them.
Aside from having my soul, mind, and spirit fed by a sumptuous buffet of instruction, and gaining strength from all I was given, there were multiple lighthearted moments that infused my heart as well. From the genre dinner to the awards gala, to dinners out on the town, to hanging out in the lobby talking about everything and nothing. These precious hours of fun recharged me. They steeped me in joy I would need when I went back home. Not all God appointments are serious and somber. He knows we need the levity to balance the heaviness. And He provided for me in spades.
Yeah, my trip didn’t go according to plan.
Really, when does everything go exactly how we planned it? I would’ve certainly preferred not to have to go through this particular storm and deal with the things I faced once I returned home. But I wouldn’t trade the rest of that weekend for anything. If I had to do it all over again, I would still make the choice to stay. God knew where I needed to be and when, and He put me there. He knew I needed these people, the teaching I received, the fellowship, the strength He gave me through them, and the conversations that forced me to think differently and stretch beyond my limits.
Yes, God can truly use anyone, anything, any situation, to do some amazing stuff and bring incredible good to us. It’s mind boggling how He knows each of us so well, and knows exactly how to nudge us along.
Fire purifies. It transforms. I will allow it to transform me, to change my perception. I will be the Phoenix, rising from the ashes, stronger than ever. My greatest hope is that you will do the same.~
It must be the week of cover reveals! And I have the privilege of introducing you to yet another!
This offering is from debut author Deanna Fugett. I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of this tour. I’ve had the opportunity to read Deanna’s work through several stages and I absolutely cannot wait to see the finished product.
She has created an intriguing, gritty, and sometimes too real and cruel world (in a good way!), drawn me in, and made me yet again doubt my resistance to YA.
You girls are killing me with the amazing YA stories!
Without further ado, let’s find out a little more about Deanna and then we can get to the gorgeous cover and a peek into the story!
Deanna Fugett’s heart belongs to writing. Author of edgy YA Dystopian fiction with an underlying message of hope, this stay-at-home mom of four focuses on writing as much as humanly possible. She was published at the young age of six in a local newspaper and is excited to be published again. It only took twenty-six years. She enjoys the thrill of writing fiction that deals with intense topics and prays it will impact people for the better.
Are you ready for the cover? Are you sure? Okay, here it is…
The cover for Ending Fear!
Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Running from her abusive Downer family, Fear discovers a new family. One who knows how to love. But then her new little sister is kidnapped and sold to a harem. Fear must go against her namesake and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever. Can she save Happy in time?
Want to stay connected and up to date on everything Deanna’s got going? Then be sure to follow her online!
Today I have a special guest: Author Michele Israel Harper from L2L2 Publishing Inc.
Before we get into the interview, though, I’d like to tell you a bit more about her and her latest novel, Zombie Takeover.
I was the bravest, fiercest warrior, single-handedly stopping the zombie apocalypse and earning the respect and admiration of those who fought with me.
I pretty much peed my pants and wasted a ton of ammo. At least everyone else shot what they were aiming at.
Me? Not so much.
This is my story—me, Candace Marshall, the world’s biggest scaredy-cat, facing my biggest fear. Zombies. It was awesome. (As in, not at all.)
Candace Marshall hates zombie movies. She hates anything scary, in fact. In his usual, not-so thoughtful way, her boyfriend surprises her with advanced screening tickets to the latest zombie flick, complete with interactive features and a tour. She refuses to watch it, but it doesn’t matter.
Horror becomes reality when an experiment gone wrong transforms her peaceful town
into a mess of slathering zombies. Thrown together with the only other survivor, Gavin
Bailey, her favorite actor and secret crush, she somehow fights her way through the mess,
making plenty of blunders and surprising herself with…courage?
But, just when Candace thinks it can’t get worse than zombies, it does.
Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a stay–at-home mom and her nights typing
away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… A member of the Heartland Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as the treasurer for the Indiana chapter of ACFW, Michele has her bachelor’s degree in History and can most often be found with her nose in a book when not chasing her two rambunctious boys or cuddling her new baby daughter. Visit her website at http://www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com to learn more about her.
I recently had a conversation with Michele that started out as a serious interview. You know, hard-hitting journalism at its best.
Okay, so I’m kidding. But I did try to be serious.
It just wasn’t happening.
This book and Michele herself are just too much fun! And if you know me at all, you know I just can’t seem to help myself when it comes to cutting up and asking off-the-wall questions.
So here it is, burning questions and sometimes hilarious answers from Michele Harper!
A:Michele, thanks so much for joining me on Guts On The Page. (Funny, since we’re talking all things zombie-licious!)
M: Thank you so much for having me today, Amy!
A: On to the questions. Zombie Takeover seems to be a bit of a variation on the types of stories you normally write. What prompted you to write a zombie story? Do you have a secret love of all things zombie that we don’t know about?
M: Zombie Takeover was actually the second book I ever wrote. (The first was a historical romance I trashed. Believe me. It needed to be. It. Was. Awful.) I hate all things scary, all things zombie, and all things gross, so it blew me away I had this burning story I had to tell—about zombies! What on earth?
A: Candace says she’s the biggest scaredy-cat in the world. So tell us, what’s your biggest fear? And, are you a fraidy cat or is there a bit of daredevil hidden in you?
M: I don’t like the dark, being alone in the dark, watching scary movies, being alone after watching scary movies, Halloween, or anything else scary. Period. Candace Marshall is probably the world’s second biggest scaredy-cat, come to think of it… But tell me I can’t do something, and I’ll just about kill myself trying. I have this crazy competitive streak that just isn’t healthy for me. But I must win! 😉 So…daredevil when it comes to non-horror-ish things!
A: ZT is next on my to-be-read list. I’ve heard there are some hilarious moments. I love a good laugh. I especially love pranks. The bigger the better. I’ve been known to design a few in my time. Like… short sheeting my church camp dorm mom’s bed, eggs included! (No proof was ever found to nail the culprit, so as long as she never reads this, I’m still in the clear!) Have you ever been one to pull pranks on people, and if so, what’s the biggest prank you’ve ever gotten away with?
M: Oh, yes. Pranks all the time—but in high school. I was way more fun back then. Every once in a while I get struck with a “Let’s move all of so-and-so’s furniture out of their house and do an Ashton Kutcher-worthy prank where they think their house has been sold or robbed” idea and my husband just looks at me. “Do you know how much time that would take? Where would you put the furniture?” And I have to back down. Sigh. Can’t think of something small. Of course.
A: So, say there’s a zombie apocalypse. What five fictional characters would you want in your group and why?
M: Doctor Who (but the eleventh). Because I’ve just discovered him, and I’d desperately hope he’d choose to whisk me away instead of investigating. Thor. Because lightning bolts would surely do some damage, right? Uh, Wolverine. He could hack them to pieces. I think that would stop a zombie. Gavin Bailey (if I were Candace). Because who wouldn’t want her biggest crush/movie star/guy who would do absolutely anything to save her and was pretty darn good at it? Ryn from The Faerie Guardian. Because he could write a door to a faerie path with his stylus and take me to a zombie-free part of the world. Okay, I’d take anyone who could keep me away from the creatures and make it so I wouldn’t have to look at their faces. I never, ever, ever want to see one in my entire life. Ever.
A: Do you think you’d survive long? What would you do to ensure your survival? Would you be a hunter, or try to hide out as long as possible?
M: Are you kidding me? Running, screaming, crying? No way! But I did take martial arts, I’ve always been a fighter, and I love guns and weapons…so maybe? When I paintball, I’m extremely aggressive (and have won a few battles being the only remaining member of my team) and have no problem holing up for hours as I pick off members of the enemy team. Mwahahahaha. So, yes. I’ve changed my mind. I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
A: How many books do you have planned for this series? This is assuming Candace the scaredy-cat survives the initial onslaught and we see more of her. 😉 What kind of track do you see this story taking?
M: Spoilers, sweetie. (Sorry, couldn’t resist! I am a way bigger Doctor Who fan than I thought…) It all depends on whether Candace survives. I make no promises.
A: Zombies seem to be the “it” story line right now. Any thoughts on the current zombie craze, like maybe why the theme is so popular?
M: Nope, none at all because I avoid it. All of it. Scaredy-cat, remember? Maybe because they’re so deliciously creepy and people like to be scared? I don’t get it. (Maybe one of you can help me out with this one? What do you think?)
A: And finally, aside from all the laughs, screams, jump out of your seat moments, episodes of spontaneous shouting as we cheer on the heroine, and all around zombie fun, what do you want readers to take away from this story?
M: Fun. Just good, clean, edge-of-your-seat fun.
A: Now Michele has a few more words for you, the readers, and a question!
M: Thank you for reading this article! What about you? What uber-creepy creature is your fave lore, or you just can’t seem to get enough of?
Now, the fun doesn’t stop here! No way. This is just the beginning of what promises to be a blog tour full of fun, craziness, and laughs.
First off, be sure and check out the Facebook party on July 14th. There will be prizes galore! Here’s the link so you can save it to your calendar. I highly suggest you get right on that. You won’t want to miss this!
Release week for Rebirth surpassed my expectations, my hopes, and my dreams.
So many bought the book, reviewed it, shared, and practically screamed about it from rooftops. I felt the love! I never imagined that it would blow up like it did. To say that I am grateful is an understatement. My heart is overflowing.
Though a bit overwhelming at times, it was one of the greatest weeks of my life. To have so many show their support for me and my story was something I hadn’t even dared hope for. The bloggers on the tour, the readers, my family, my friends, my fellow authors, and most of all my publisher. Everyone stepped up and got behind me. I’m so thankful for all of you. There’s no way I could’ve gotten through the week without you!
(Me signing my first autograph!)
Friday night, we had a launch party at Boondocks. We had an amazing turn out. Again, I got my mind blown. Friends, family, and perfect strangers showed up and showed out, making the night a fantastic success. I’m still flying high! Thank you to all who were able to make it out and see us. It means so much.
(Me and my publisher on the left, my handsome hubby and I on the right.)
(My first two autographs, who happen to be great friends!)
Again, thank you to everyone who had a hand in making Rebirth’s first week out in the world an amazing one!
This is only the beginning of the adventure and I absolutely cannot wait to see where it takes me.
Liz hates the fact that she can see the angels and demons in our realm no one else can. When the demons stopped simply observing and started attacking, Liz took off in the middle of the night. She didn’t say goodbye, and only left a note saying she was sorry.
Determined to protect Ryland and everyone else she loves, she’s run far and fast, trying to put as much distance between them as she can. Ryland won’t accept what she’s done until he hears it from her, so he’s set out to find her. Liz knows him well and has moved again, assuming he’s on her trail.
You’re good. I’ll give you that.
It’s been two months now since you left and I’m no closer to having you back in my arms. No closer to having answers. I’ve come so close to you so many times, but every time you blow town before I can get a hold on you, barely leaving a trace that you’ve been there. Either you know somehow or you’re guessing that I’m on your trail, or you’re just trying to stay ahead of anyone who might be looking for you. Knowing you, I’m gonna say it’s a little of both.
Well, I guess it’s a good thing I can work from anywhere, because I have a feeling this could go on for a while longer than it already has. Least I won’t be hurting for money. But that’s actually not at the top of the list of my worries about now.
These places I’m finding out you’re staying, working. Liz, what are you thinking? It’s like you’re deliberately putting yourself in danger, tempting fate. You say you wish you didn’t see the things you do, then you put yourself right in the middle of some of the worst situations you could possibly be in! I mean, do you have a death wish? Are you trying to throw me into some kind of breakdown? Or are you making a point that you can do whatever you want? I don’t get it. This isn’t like you. And it’s killing me. I know you’re hurting and I know you’re scared, but, baby, this isn’t the way. It’s about as far from the right way as you can get.
Just know that I’m not giving up. You can try as hard as you want to scare me away, try to make me think you’re a hopeless cause. It’s not going to work. I will never give up on you. I can’t. I love you too much to not at least try to talk some sense into you. I have to try to help you get back on the right path. Try to get you back home. Even though I’m starting to wonder if you ever intend on coming back. Still, that doesn’t matter. I will find you. I have to hear what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, from your mouth. I won’t rest until I do.
We’re not over, baby. Not by a long shot. I’m going to prove how much I love you. Prove that you can trust me. That we can get through anything together, because I know in my heart that we can.
Sometimes, you can have a freaking awesome idea. Something that you think will solve all your problems, make life so much easier. This whole me leaving thing? Yeah, not my brightest decision. I admit it. Things have NOT gotten better. If anything, they’re worse. I’m staying in this nasty motel, because even though I make good tips at the restaurant I work at, it’s not enough to get a place of my own. Maybe I shoulda thought of that before I left with hardly any money.
Being low on cash is the least of my worries right now, though. In the past couple weeks, I’ve been jumped four times by demons. So I started practicing some more fighting moves like the ones you taught me, pulling videos up online since I can’t afford to go to a class. It’s weird, I’m even stronger than I was when I mentioned it in my last letter. I’ve been holding my own. No major injuries. But I don’t know why or how. None of this makes any sense. Why can’t they just leave me alone like they did before? What changed that caused them to come after me all the sudden? The only good thing is that they’re not coming after you. So if I have to live in this crap hole and fight every day to keep you safe, I will. It’s worth it. If I could just find a way to get rid of this, whatever it is, I would do it in a heartbeat. Then we would all be safer, right? I can’t believe God would do this to me. Why? What could possibly be the purpose in this? I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this.
Anyway, I miss home. I miss my parents. Even more than that, I miss you. I know I need to let you go and get over it. I just can’t. I miss you so much, Ry. I would never tell anyone else, but I cry myself to sleep most nights. I know, that totally doesn’t sound like me. But I can’t help it. I’m so alone here. I’d give anything right now to have you holding me. That’s something I can’t ever have again. Not if things keep up like they are. I’m so afraid they’ll never leave me alone. That I’ll never be able to come home.
Would it matter, though? Do you even miss me? I had to laugh as I wrote that because, knowing you, you won’t believe I left on my own until you see for yourself. Now I’m not laughing. You’re looking for me, aren’t you? Or am I wrong? There’s a good chance you hate me about now, especially since I disconnected my cell. I just couldn’t take seeing your messages or hearing you on the voicemail. You have to be royally ticked that I never answered, then I cut you off completely.
But honestly I know better than that. You won’t give up until you hear the words from me, will you? Until you hear me say we’re done. I really hope that’s not the case. Now I’m wondering if I should move again. If anyone could find me, it’s you. What with all that computer crap you do. Oh man. If I see you I’ll break and I can’t let that happen. I want to stop you, tell you not to come, but then I’d have to talk to you. I can’t do that. Not yet.
I know you’ll never see this letter but I’m glad I wrote it. It helped me work all this out in my head. I have to move. Something in my gut tells me you’re looking for me. I won’t let you find me. Hopefully, you’ll give up and realize that I’m no good for you.
I hope someday you’ll see I did all this because I love you so much.
Okay, I’ve had a lot of time to think over the past couple weeks and I’ve come to a few conclusions. First off, I think I’ll keep up with this writing thing. It actually did help to get this crap out of my system a little bit. Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll actually read it. I can only hope.
Anyway, I’ve realized something pretty important that I should’ve known right away, I was just too ticked off to see it. The last time I wrote you, I said I doubted your love. I knew as soon as I wrote it that it wasn’t true. I know you love me. I’ve felt it, I’ve seen it. Realizing that and knowing you like I do, I’m pretty sure I know at least part of the reason you left. You think you’re protecting me from something. Saving me. Well here’s the thing, baby girl: I don’t need protecting. If you think you’ve got problems I can’t handle, or you think dealing with whatever’s got you running may end up with me getting hurt in some way, you’re wrong. I’m a big boy and I can take a lot more than you apparently think I can. Not to mention, you should know that I would stand by you through anything. I want to be the one that protects you, the one you rely on. The one you trust. You don’t have to do this alone, whatever this is. And I’m not going to let you fight it all by yourself.
I know you’d probably blow a gasket over me telling you I won’t let you do something. But you know I don’t order you around or try to control you. Like that’d even be possible anyway. You’re probably the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. In this case, you’ll just have to get over it. Let me tell you why.
This relationship is a partnership. Or it was. Obviously, we’re having a bit of an issue with that about now. Since you’re not here to be in on the discussion, I’m making a command decision. I’m done wallowing and worrying and wondering. I refuse to just sit here and do nothing. That’s not me. Never has been and never will be. I see what I want, or something I need to accomplish, then I make a plan and go after it. That’s who I am. So why should this situation be any different? You are the most important person in the world to me. I want you. I need you.
I’m coming after you.
You know me, Lizzy. You should’ve known I wouldn’t just let you leave and not do anything about it. Not gonna happen. I deserve answers. You owe me at least that much courtesy. Just like I owe you the proof of my loyalty and love; the proof that I won’t give up on us without a fight. You’re too important. We’re too important, and we’ve been through too much to throw it away so easily. You’re mine and I’m yours. I love you more than my own life. I can’t stand the thought of you being out there alone, knowing what’s following you and what you could be facing. What kind of man would I be if I didn’t at least try to protect you, try to bring you home where you’re safe? Not much of one.
So get ready, baby girl. Whatever it takes, I will find you.