” I sat at the kitchen table staring at my plate, wondering why I was there. It crossed my mind several times that no one could see me. They were all carrying on, eating, conversing, as if I had left the room, because I had made myself evaporate into thin air.

God, please, give me some wine and a bed, and I could make it to tomorrow.

Force me to sit and smile and listen and be, I would only cower away like demons to light.

“Mom,” Karter whispered. He gestured toward some dinner guest – a man whose name I had forgotten.

Mom. I hated that word.” (Like Shards of Glass)

 

Like Shards of Glass

Like Shards of Glass:

Beauty, pain, drugs, sex: repeat. Monroe Song, who considers herself nothing more than the wife of a terrorist, is struggling, failing, and drowning, trying to find her place in a world that has left her at the brink of insanity: Her husband, Carter, has opened fire at a mental health facility, before turning the ruthless gun on his sons, then himself.

Emptied wine bottles, and pills which bring her no relief or comfort, drive Monroe into the arms of Dominique, a man half her age, who offers her the perfect anecdote for her brokenness.

Monroe’s oldest son, Karter, once idolized his father. Karter is now haunted by his father’s face, words, and the massacre that is now his family legacy. 

If Karter’s hero is a monster, a terrorist, who brutally murdered innocent people, what does that make Karter? 

How can Monroe and Karter move forward when life has forgotten them? Then, again, with everything so distorted, why not spiral with the storm?

Like Shards of Glass is now available for pre-order! (The release date in late August.)

Please be sure and stop by, again, and also visit my Facebook page, as I will be sharing excerpts and more!

Shards promo 5

 

 

 

Are you ready to pre-order your copy of Like Shards of GlassYes? Click here!

 

 

Every now and then, I have to go back to the root of it all.

Why do I spend so much time on something that most would deem silly? How can I put so much into something that may not be … meant to be? Who do I think I am, to believe I could make it as an author, when no one knows who I am, there are so many writers just as, if not much more talented? Who do I think I am, the quiet girl, the introvert, with only less than a handful of people who have time to support this dream that I call my purpose? Just what type of person is crazy enough to put it all out there, keep trying, seeking feedback, hitting doors, hitting walls, picking herself up, and going right back into the unknown — that would be me. And any author (any artist, really) will tell you, it is so difficult, so humbling, so easy to quit, so easy to believe the naysayers, and those who say nothing at all as they, behind smiling eyes, wait for you to plummet.

I have to go back to the root of it all. Why do I spend so much time on something that very well could be … a dead end?

For those who feel caged in, and believe there is no way out, that it will never get better. For those who wake up every morning bruised, and go to bed sore, and out of shame, they don’t say a word to anyone. For those who live a silent battle that no one can see, that no one would believe. No one would believe that their life slips away with every moment … every invisible wound. For anyone who’s said no one understands, no one cares, no one is coming to save me. Anybody who’s been told, either aloud, or through the whispers of their own inner demons, that no one is coming to help. For that girl who has typed “lol” with tears in her eyes. For that girl who’s joked about it, but no one knew, she’d thought about it on lonely nights. She’d planned it all out in her head, and even as she joked, she meant it. For that guy who’s searching the bottom of an empty bottle — hurting himself, hurting others, breaking down, falling a part, giving in, but still fighting. For that guy who has replied “fine,” then gone home, and ended it all.

I have to remind myself, that although I may not reach millions, I might reach a few. That it’s bigger than likes, follow, comments, and shares. I have to remind myself. I have to remember why I am that type of person who is crazy enough to put it all out there, keep trying, seeking feedback, hitting doors, hitting walls, picking herself up, and going right back into the unknown. And I can never say never, but for now, I won’t quit.

landonmeme

Just Beneath the Surface: Landon’s Story, now available in digital format: Amazon

Excerpt

His heart raced as he looked into his bedroom. Just as he had suspected, he found Nova, sprawled across the bed, her eyes fixed upon the ceiling.

Landon leaned down and waved his hand in front of her face. Then, he snapped his fingers and clapped his hands. He picked up her hand and watched it fall, then examined the fresh scarring, from none other than a needle, along her arms. He sat down on the bed and checked her carotid artery. “Not again,” he murmured. “Nova, can you hear me?”

Landon ran his hands over her face and closed her eyes. He went to the bathtub and turned on the water, then jogged into the garage, where he grabbed a space heater and large bucket. He talked to himself as he plugged the space heater into the wall near the bed.

He knew moving in with her, both of them only eighteen years old, would not save her, yet he went against his mind, and followed his heart. But what good did hearts do if pain left both of them with no pulse?

Close to twenty minutes later, after filling the bath tub with ice water, Landon lay beside Nova as she slept. Landon remembered meeting her when they were young, becoming best friends with her, and promising to never leave her. But as Nova became dependent on escaping the pain of their childhoods, she, without realizing it, had been the one to leave Landon – time and again.
Tears fell from his eyes and wet her skin. He removed her dress from her body before standing to his feet. He scooped her up into his arms and said: “This is the last time you do this to me. You hear me? The last time.”
Landon carried her to the bathtub, then closed his eyes. He kissed her forehead and whispered: 

“Fifty-five.”

Landon set her down in the bathtub and waited  …

***

What is attraction?

What is control?

Are things ever truly as they appear?

Today, find out what happens when secrets are revealed, nightmares bring paranoia, and the horrors of the past come to the surface.

***

Just Beneath the Surface: Landon’s Story

Download UNDONE and read the first two chapters of Landon’s Story

Just Beneath the Surface

Mystery character thoughts

My wrath is a nightmare. But when she comes back to me, it’s like a dream.

She came to me with suitcases, holding a box, and the end was in the air.

But I knew it wasn’t over. Her eyes were red, weepy, avoiding mine, as if staying with me made her weak. I wanted to know who had been in her ear. I wrestled with my own anger.

This woman had managed to make me feel like a criminal. Me. Me?

I kissed away her tears, fears, the lies – the lies she tells herself about me.

She forgets the role she plays in who I am. My tone, my anger, my reaction – I am a reflection of her.

She behaves like a child, and I, her husband, corral her. Is it a crime to mold a child until he reaches adulthood? Is it punishable to curse and “handle”  the childish husband who tiptoes through the front door at midnight?

One midnight too many. Her broken promises, her disrespect, push me over my limit. She knows it. That’s why she’s here, holding a box, trying to hurt me, trying to convince herself that its over.

I look at her, and I see more than a box, more than a nervous woman, more than tears.

She belongs to me, and she doesn’t have to say a word – not a single word – I feel what she feels: We have a love that they would never understand. Its a force – a power most wouldn’t condone. But who are they?

She’s mine. I’m hers. And together, we will sleep – we will dream.

And like an unruly child, she summons my wrath.

Then comes the nightmare.

Then … she will come to me, again

like a dream …

Just Beneath the Surface

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lets-Laugh-Together/350498361721607

Funny … this is the way I felt about starting a website/blog.

Up until last year, I knew very little about blogs. I still don’t know a lot about blogging, and I actually wouldn’t call myself a “blogger.” Maybe that is because there is a lot of information I am lacking. I’m sure I’m not the only one … I’m so excited to share this interview with Sonia, who will be sharing some awesome information!

 Hello and welcome, Sonia! Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

My name is Sonia and I am the creator and founder of LogAllot.com. My website can be found at http://www.LogAllot.com where I help new bloggers with Blog Tips with Common Sense. I believe in always being straight-forward and tackling issues some bloggers just won’t address. My goal is tell anyone new trying to build an online presence to use their own head and think for themselves.

What is the number 1 tip – the first thing you would advise business owners, artists and new bloggers to do before publishing that first post?

Ask yourself: Is this post going to actually help someone or is it a post of me just ranting? What I have found after 3 yrs. of blogging is there are different types of blogs out there. They all don’t have to solve a problem, but a reader should walk away knowing he or she learned something or it evoked enough emotion inside to leave feedback.

If you blog about pets, are you blogging about all kinds of pets or just dogs? The more “narrow” your niche, the easier it will be to focus on topics related to problems that matter to others.

What mistakes do you most often notice in the blogs of newbies, business owners, authors (or artists in general)?

Blog design. When you are new, you really don’t have any type of design expertise, but newbies are so quick to want to throw up a website that they forget how it really looks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in the blog world, it’s not as forgiving.

Before you take a dive, sign up for either WordPress.com or Blogger (whichever you prefer) and learn how it functions. This gives you the opportunity to play around with it, how to create a post, and add image etc.  Use the Free themes first and teach yourself the ins and outs of how using a theme works.

Once you are serious and have an idea of what you want to blog about, then invest in a WordPress self-hosted (like BlueHost or Hostgator) and buy your WordPress theme or stick with Blogger and design it slowly.  If you buy a theme, shop sites like: Elegant themes, Themeforest or StudioPress for reputable themes. If you use a theme that is free, remember, there is NO SUPPORT when problems happen down the line.

Some Free themes have gotten better, but why would a developer spend a lot of time helping people for free? Maybe some will, but you get what you pay for. And last, keep your banner ads to a minimum: Do you want readers to focus on your banner ads or your content?

Having a poorly designed website is the #1 factor for losing potential readers.

Does size matter? As an author, I know that when writing, I can be wordy and ramble. Should posts be long and informative? Should they be short and sweet? In your opinion, where is the happy medium?

Bloggers debate this all the time and at the end of the day: it’s your blog, write the way you want. This is where I stress to new bloggers to “blaze their own trail” and do what works for them. You can’t make everyone happy, but if your posts are short, make sure your content makes an impact. If you don’t want to write, create a video tutorial to shake things up.

Don’t get inundated with all the advice given by so many bloggers. Learn to think for yourself and use common sense. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge because some blogger said it’s the right idea for your blog would you? Use your head and make decisions that are right for YOU.

Do you have any favorite author blogs, websites or Facebook author pages that newbies could browse to gather ideas? 

When I first started, TheSitsGirls and Kikolani.com was my muse for a long time. TheSitsGirls really hits home with a lot of “women bloggers”, while Kikolani breaks it down further and gives you the real “meat on the bones” type of posts.

 What about pictures? What is your advice/what are your go-to websites for free images?

This is a touchy subject because some bloggers don’t give credit where it’s due. I use either free images from Flickr Creative Commons (free) and credit back to the photographer. Another site I use is iStockphoto.com. They aren’t free, but once you buy the image, it’s yours to do whatever you wish.  If you see images from sites you frequent a lot, send them an email asking if you can use the image and link back to their website. Its good manners and it’s the right thing to do.
 

Off topic, what are some things artists and entrepreneurs can do on Twitter and Facebook? What would you suggest regarding drawing people in, instead of incessant marketing and plugs?

Twitter It’s a fast conversation. The second you tweet something, more tweets have surpassed yours in seconds. Keep the conversation lite and use it to share other content (not just your own) and network. Don’t run after bloggers like a lost puppy trying to belong, but a simple hello or sharing their content always works. Give it time to build a following and don’t BUY followers.

There are websites out there for unsuspecting bloggers looking to build a following and you will look like an idiot with fake followers. Follow people in your niche or like-minded bloggers and read their blog. Don’t just follow people to get a follow-back. I see mom bloggers do this all the time and professional bloggers don’t ever do this. Read other blogs, comment and share their content. It’s that simple.

Facebook – Facebook is another animal all its own. I can’t say I have mastered mine, but it depends on where you focus your time on Social Media outlets. On Facebook, share your content, but get in the practice of sharing other posts, your readers might find useful. Talk to them, about life and not just about blogging or social media.

If your blog niche is about Cupcakes, share recipes, pictures of unique cupcakes, run a contest for the best cupcake photo etc. If you sell something, offer it for free to a few lucky winners to get honest feedback. They can give you testimonials about its content and they will be your best salesman without you saying anything.

 What is SEO and what tips or references do you have? 

I was never an expert in this field, but use plugins like Yoast SEO (WordPress) to help optimize my website. Use alt-tags for your images (use keywords: seo-for-newbies). Newbies don’t know that your images also come up with in searches and is another source of driving traffic to your website. Or you can use plugins like ScribeContent.com to help you with keyword selection (not free).

 Heartfelt posts, limited views and nonexistent comments – have you ever found these things discouraging? What do you say to those who find themselves on the brink of giving up?

I feel your pain. Been there done that. Some bloggers will go on and on about how to get blog comments, but they don’t tell you the meat and potatoes on how to actually do it. For myself, I joined a Secret Blog Comment group on Facebook 1 year ago, joined Triberr and I started networking like crazy. The blog comment group was a group of like-minded bloggers that visit each other’s blog in the group daily (time-allotted) and comment on every blog in the group. You leave a comment, share and tweet after. Come back to the group and write done and move on the next. What this does is put your content on other blogs and when they comment on your blog, they SHARE YOUR CONTENT TO THEIR READERS.

With Triberr, I didn’t understand it for a long time and the creator finally broke it down for me. You sign up, join a tribe (type in keywords and join a tribe that interests you). You tweet other posts that your readers will appreciate and the blogger sees that your shared his or her content.

You are free to comment (doesn’t hurt), but the point here is that when they RETWEET your content, your post is shared with their readers. So your “Reach” starts to build and before you know it, your post has been retweeted dozens of times. Hence: if the tribe you join has a lot of members. If there is only 5 members in the tribe you joined, it might not get tons of retweets.

 

Example: Let’s say you join a tribe about Food. There are 50 members in this tribe called: Food Bloggers. Your blog is about food so it’s a perfect fit. See what I mean? You wouldn’t join a Marketing tribe because no one will retweet your cupcake recipe to other readers.

Wow …

You’ve been amazing, so much information to look over!! Thank you so much for your insight. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Networking – I can’t stress this enough, but if you start networking: Be genuine. People can smell “fake” a mile away. Some bloggers I want to slap on the forehead because they come off cheesy or only about their own blog. I saw one blog that stated if you don’t comment on my blog, I won’t comment on yours. Don’t be that guy or girl.

If you see content you like and it compels you to comment, then do so. If you like their blog and want to subscribe to their posts, then do so. Don’t do anything for the sake of getting something back. Some bloggers get butt-hurt when a popular blogger didn’t respond to their comment. Really? Just be yourself and if they don’t like you, keep it movin’.

Thanks, again, Sonia!! For more information, tips, or to connect with Sonia, visit:

http://www.LogAllot.comSonia 2013

Just Beneath the Surface I and Into the Atmosphere are now available in print!into the atmosphere full

(Although Into the Atmosphere is available, it will not be sold online). For details, feel free to

contact me at ari.r.james at gmail.com!                                                                                                    

Into the Atmosphere is a book about letting go: releasing our fears, doubts, pain and scars into the atmosphere.

Moving forward means letting go and handing our burdens over to God. Releasing our hurt is much easier said than done; this book is the first step toward identifying, releasing and moving forward.

Just Beneath full

Here are 7  facts about a few of the characters for this 7th day of March:

1. When her mother is distracted, Diamond, one of the main characters, will find herself in a dangerous relationship.

2. The ending has been considered quite suspenseful, and death will come to one of the characters

3. Kendall finds herself questioning the strong-willed woman she once was; she doubts herself as a wife and mother.

4. Diamond’s high school experience becomes very complicated, filled with vicious gossip.

5. Diamond’s younger brother grapples with feelings of hatred toward his sister and resentment toward his parents.

6. Kendall finds that everything she once believed about domestic violence is a myth — it could happen to anyone.

7. Diamond asks: “Is any attention better than no attention at all?”

When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her; but she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous.

After the demise of the family unit she once knew, a distracted mother, and being forced to accept a new stepfather, Diamond finds herself knee deep in a multitude of mistakes. When Diamond finds herself more lonely than ever before she crosses paths with Bobby Lidell; a teacher’s aide with a dark side. Just as Diamond realizes that she is in over her head, her mother and father have already been notified, and will do everything in their power to protect her.

But what is lurking in the shadows will not stop until a vow has been kept; what is lurking just beneath the surface will come seeking revenge.

Print: http://www.amazon.com

 

Here is my new Just Beneath the Surface II book trailer! I hope you enjoy!

In Just Beneath the Surface II, new characters confront what has been buried and laid to rest – or so they thought.

Landon, a mysterious engineering student has learned to treat his past as though it belongs to someone else. He has learned to control every thought that enters his mind: everything from his memories, to his smile, to the tone of his voice. Anyone who believes that they have begun to understand Landon is sadly mistaken. He is a man impenetrable.

His own brother, Peter, refers to Landon as a robot. Landon’s mother fears that he will soon self-destruct. Landon only wishes that everyone around him would accept and understand one thing; Landon has unlocked what he considers his most prized possession: the gift of control.

Seven is a peculiar beauty whose temper, harsh tongue and violent tendencies often get her into trouble. After meeting Landon, Seven finds her way into unchartered territory: his heart. Soon, Seven’s perception of herself is challenged. She is frequently urged to step away and reevaluate herself, as the handsome young man who is wise beyond his years gently coaches her into finding her best self.

As secrets are revealed, and an unspoken bond is formed, Landon and Seven grow to be inseparable.

Before long, the horrors of the past bring Landon full circle. As his soft stoic surface faces intrusion, his old self is relinquished to paranoia. In time, Landon’s world is threatened by the recurring nightmare he thought he had left behind.

Inside the mind of Just Beneath the Surface ‘mystery’ antagonist

 

It stays between Kendall and me

 What happens between Kendall and I is just that — between me and Kendall. Not one person could look me in the eye and tell me I don’t love my wife. That woman knows how I feel about her. Should it matter what anyone else thinks?

 

 

Women are peculiar creatures

 They have peculiar needs, peculiar wants, peculiar attitudes and peculiar ways of expressing gratitude – they simply never do it.

 A woman can call a man fat, lash out after a long day, make jokes about ‘training’ men, even laugh at his package. But the moment a man retaliates or admits to ‘training’ his woman, he’s abusive. Someone explain it to me, because apparently, I’m too ignorant to understand. I work all day. I work with incompetent fools, and I refuse to come home to an insubordinate woman. It’s the principal. It doesn’t change my love.

 

Looking back at all of our fights

 Deep down, I know I haven’t handled myself the way I knew I should have. Neither has she. I apologize to her in every way possible: Roses, my apologies, when we make love — nothing makes up for the moments where I take it too far, but the closest thing to making it up to her is the love we make.

 I give her everything I have, and I think that the problem with women is their inability to get rid of their walls. They’ve got walls around their hearts, and it causes them to do and say the most horrible things, as though men don’t have feelings too. I’m here to tell you — we, men have feelings. Maybe in your opinion it doesn’t excuse my blow-ups, but in my opinion, blowing up is the only way to get results with a woman as stubborn as Kendall. I know it’s wrong, and I want to handle her differently, but just when I think we understand each other, I’m apologizing all over again.

 

As time goes on, I see improvement, but I also feel her drifting away from me

 Nights like these I sit, I wait, I wonder, I hurt and I want her to feel what I feel.

 Nights like these, Kendall leaves me no choice.

 When she finally shows her face, and I’ve been here sitting alone, when I’ve got a business trip in the morning, and she’s out with her kids all weekend, I could crush her with my bare hands.

 Before I know it, I don’t even see her. I only hear her, which makes it worse. The sound of her crying when she’s the reason I’ve broken my promise yet again is like this trigger. I’m the loaded gun.

 She makes the mistake of telling me she doesn’t know if she can do this any longer. Did she think that would make things any better — was this the time to say that to me? No.

 Doesn’t she see me standing over her? Does she think this is the way I want it to be between us? Doesn’t she know I try?

 Yet I’m a monster for having feelings?

 

Watching her sleep, looking at what I’ve done to her

 People would think I’m the monster. They would think she deserves better. Well, they’re wrong, because once this passes over, we’ll grow stronger. And if she doesn’t change, and I can’t change, and if she leaves me like she says she will…

 

I don’t know

 

Honestly? I dream of a place where Kendall and me can just be. That place isn’t here. This isn’t where we belong. If she won’t submit to me here, I know for a fact that she will submit to me there.

 

 

 

 

 

 Just Beneath the Surface I

Just Beneath the Surface I Excerpt:

“His eyes saw so deep into me I could hardly stand it. He knew I would stay. It scared me to think that he had this hold over me. I had never in my life been the type of woman who would endure something like this. But I was so connected to him that I could not see clearly.”

Inside of the character ‘Kendall’ of  Just Beneath the Surface I

I am haunted

I can hardly sleep. I have no peace. I am afraid at every moment of every day. I don’t know me, and I don’t know him – not anymore.
To think of my family and the way things were – Michael, my children

God what have I done, and how did I get here?

I love him so much, but I feel that deep down, he hates me

I sense that I will die convincing him that I can be the woman he craved for so many years. I thought that I could be the woman who could show him the true meaning of love, and to cherish him; the woman who could love him with patience, and be everything that he needed. But every time he loses his self, he makes it go away -

Yet each time he screams at me, my heart stops, because I know what is coming next

Every time he looks at me that way, with such cold eyes, I know what will come next – my heart pounds, I lose my breath, and I want nothing more than to disappear.

Each time his hand raises, my life flashes before my eyes

Worse and worse
Each time he goes further – he finds new ways to hurt me, and when he tells me he will kill me if I leave, I believe him.

I’m embarrassed to think of what people will say if they find out

I think of the way I felt about women in the situation I’m in, now – I can hear myself so clearly. The way I talked about the things I would put up with, the things I would never tolerate – and being hit was one of them – now I hardly recognize myself. I am so ashamed as I think of the way I haven’t been there for my family. I think of the way Diamond needed me, and I was never there – I was so selfish. Maybe I really do deserve this. Maybe he’s right: I am selfish, and I don’t know what it means to put someone else first.

and now

I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I’m starting to believe he will never change. I’m starting to think that I will never be what he wants me to be. Things are starting to become more than I can take – each time, I feel as though eyes – those unfeeling eyes – are searching for more than love.  Each time it happens, I see death – I sense death – I feel it.

I once wondered what was just beneath the surface — and now

As he stands over me – blade glistening, I no longer have to wonder…

broken mirror 1

smashwords: purchase

amazon: purchase

collage by laura

***

“If it were that bad, she would just leave.

  • There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
  • Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

Some people deserve to be hit.

  • No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
  • Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.”

http://www.domesticviolence.org/common-myths/

“ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.”

http://www.domesticviolence.org/who-are-the-victims/

  • On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.2
  • In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.3
  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.4

http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/action_center/detail/754?gclid=CLyQz_Tp1rACFSKhtgodbROG1A

As I prepare for the August 21 release, I am really grateful for those who have take the time to read and let me know what they thought of Like Shards of Glass. Today, I will be sharing a few of the advanced reviews … Don’t forget to preorder your copy here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/444442 **

Like Shards of Glass

Ava Easterby

“Shards of Glass is Ramsey’s most beautifully written novel to date. But don’t let the beauty of her prose fool you – this is not a happy novel full of happy characters. The word that comes to mind is “volatile.” The characters are volatile, their pasts are volatile, and the situation is volatile. These elements combine to create a roiling cesspool of emotions that leave the reader wincing as they wait for it all to boil over.
I have to admit the characters in Shards are not likable. Monroe and Dominique have a constant push-and-pull relationship that will make you want to slap them both, and Karter, Monroe’s son, stubbornly conceals his feelings about everything. But it wouldn’t be a RH Ramsey novel if you didn’t go through an array of grunts, sighs, and face-palms, and, at this point, I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

***

Barbara Goldie (formerly a reviewer with ‘The Kindle Review’)

  R H Ramsey can certainly tell a story.  Her characters are so well drawn and I really thought Munroe and Dominique and the other characters came to life on the page.  Issues that are normally skirted around are dealt with head on but sensitively, and the storylines show that she has carried out wide ranging research before embarking on the novel. The plot lines are well written and very true to life.  The descriptions are very detailed and capture the scene vividly in the readers head.  Lines like ‘The silence was cold, creating an ice surface on every wall, giving myself, my boys, and anyone who visited, frostbite’ stay in the mind long after the story has ended.  The descriptions also create a great sense of time and place and combined with the gritty dialogue, which splits up the text nicely, present a well crafted story.   Best wishes Barbara Shards promo 4 ***   Like Shards of Glass by R.H. Ramsey   Publication Date: TBD   In one fell swoop, Monroe’s husband devastated her. In a shooting rampage he took several innocent lives including three of her sons. Involving herself with a 24-year-old is perhaps not her best option especially when her surviving son needs her so desperately. “Like Shards of Glass” is a tale of love, loss, betrayal and murder.   shards promo 1 The author, R.H. Ramsey, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.     Ramsey said that “Like Shards of Glass” was a short story that took on a life of its own. In reading this story, I wondered where she planned to stop. Any missing piece of this emotional and tragic tale would have been a loss. Ramsey alternates POV between Monroe, the twenty-four year old Dominique and Monroe’s surviving son, Karter. The first hand tale of each player gives us his or her perspective on his or her past and present and soul deep fears and sorrow. As usual with Ramsey’s work, the inner workings of the characters are profound and perhaps rather inevitable. “Like Shards of Glass” takes Ramsey into the thriller genre illustrating that this author clearly owns whatever she wants to write.   Monroe is a deeply complex character. She was trapped in a relationship with a man on the edge and when he cracked, he did it in the most devastating way possible. Monroe’s curse is that Carter left her to live. She, in a lot of ways, has given up and Domnique is her enabler in the quest of forgetting. She’s on board for alcohol, drugs and sex. Whatever makes her forget works for this character. Monroe skates the thin line between sex, drugs and danger for the rare chance to feel something. Dominque describes her as a butterfly, which is descriptive of her characters interaction in the story itself.   Karter is bred in a family whose daily life is violence. His father, Carter, lost mental footholds and Karter knew early on that he was losing himself. In a flashback scene, Carter humiliates his son in front ofrelatives and friends and Karter punishes those bystanders for being there when the embarrassment happens. Monroe is horrified by Carter holds her back laughing off the violence. This scene especially defines what the character becomes for the reader and what he struggles to fight. Ramsey sets a character for us that could truly go either way and in so doing sets a tense feel. This is an author who writes for her story and takes drastic risks that won’t appeal to all audiences but readers cannot deny are brilliantly reasoned and plotted.   In common with Ramsey’s other work is that this story provides character studies of its subjects. These are wholly developed characters with defined dysfunction.  None of the focal characters are good for each other and within their experiences together they either grow of refine their inability to come together as a viable support system.   As always, Ramsey gives us characters that we could be passing in daily life. It is not difficult to imagine Keith Morrison of Dateline giving the background of this story in his dramatic cadence and intonation. I have always been a fan of this author but the development of the plot is an uncharacteristic delight.  I love psychological thrillers and “Like Shards of Glass” is such extremes of the human experience and general engaging dysfunction that I would mark this novel at the top the genre. Rabid Readers Reviews  *** Shards promo 5 LIKE SHARDS OF GLASS RH RAMSEY (READ MAR 15, 2014) Beauty in pain is how I would briefly describe this novel. Tragedy clouds the entire story and I found myself on edge trying to figure out how all of these characters were going to cope or explode. The lead character of Monroe haunted me from her first scene and continues to haunt me long after I read the book. How do you survive the worst thing that has ever happened to you? That is what I constantly asked myself as the book and her pain was laid before us like a beautiful tapestry. So many aspects of her are shattered and although she is trying to pull them together you can easily see that the deck is stacked against her. The characters of Dominique and Karter remind me of two sides of the same coin. Both trying to prove themselves in very different ways. Both labeled by the women that influence and control them even though they are desperate to be their own men. Dominique appealed to me because even though he is strong he has a vulnerability you don’t often see in men. I gave this book 5 stars because even the satellite characters were interesting and an integral part of the plot. I was left fulfilled and sated with this tale and hopeful that if there is a continuation it will further project the mastery that the author has displayed in this first foray into these characters lives. Author Andrea Cunningham   ***   “Life runs rampant and parallel to fragile in another thoughtful read by RH Ramsey. Its a slow walk from edge of insanity and back against the wall fight for control and power. How do you pretend all is normal when you are the family of a murderer? Like Shards of Glass is essentially the story of two surviving members of a family, torn apart by the mortally destructive act of one selfish person. They must try to find love and respect for each other as the fragments of what remains, crumbles around them. Ramsey, as usual, adds so many layers to her tale, and dark tunnels to climb out, that you are constantly entertained and surprised by the weaving together of each character’s representation in the drama. A highly recommended read.”– Ey Wade *** The scariest aspect of this book is not the glimpse of the horror that sent this woman and all in her periphery spiraling out of control, it is not the documented abuse that made her doubt herself, her sanity or her self-worth. It is the intimate look at the ever-linked travelers on the path to self-destruction, examining their links, their choices, even the cobbled moments which define that path. Three will go down that road of despair, obsession and addiction. How many will return? ~ Inknbeans Press Like Shards of Glass now available for Preorder

 

Bookworm’s Nook

an avid reader’s perspective

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Hello&welcome, Nicole of Willows Author Love

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

My name is Nicole Dunton. I live in Lafayette, Indiana with my amazing boyfriend, Dustyn. I work part time at the fast food restaurant known as Burger King. When I’m not working for Burger King, I’m running The Book Club (a Facebook group my mother and I created a few years ago), blogging, reading, or working for Moira Keith (I’m her personal assistant). I’m also spending every spare moment with Dustyn. For the most part, I stay pretty busy, but I’m very happy. Here are the links for The Book Club and my blogs (and their Facebook pages):

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBookClub2014/

https://www.facebook.com/WillowsAuthorLove

https://www.facebook.com/WillowsBookReviews

https://www.facebook.com/WillowLovesBooks

http://willowsauthorlove.blogspot.com/

http://willowstarbookreviews.blogspot.com/

 

 

When did you fall in love with reading?

When I was a kid, I hated reading. Well I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it very much. I preferred watching movies over reading. So my mom came up with a rule. I couldn’t watch the movie unless I read the book first. At first I hated this rule, but as time went on, I started loving it. I wound up preferring reading over watching movies. To this day, I still pick reading over watching movies or television.

 

Do you remember your favorite places to read throughout the years?

I would have to say my favorite place to read is curled up in a huge chair. I don’t really have the opportunity to do this much. It’s amazing when I am able to though.

 

Do you remember the first e-book you purchased?

 

I didn’t remember it honestly. However, I looked it up. The first e-book I ever purchased (in 2011) was called How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire. I got my first Kindle as a gift and one of the first things I did was grab a ton of free books.

 

I read a great meme about “e-books versus paperback” … do you have a preference, or do you think it is silly that people can’t simply agree that both are great in their own way?

Honestly I can go either way. I love my Kindle. It’s so amazing and convenient to have around. However, there is something about reading from a physical book that’s just euphoric. I try to go back and forth between the two. I honestly think everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I feel that both have their strong suits.

 

Do you have a favorite genre, or do you like to explore any and all books?

I like to explore any and all books. I tend to stick with paranormal, suspense, and young adult though.

 

What book has most inspired you, brought you to tears, or changed your perspective?

I’d have to say both books in the Wyattsville series by Bette Lee Crosby

 

Have you ever found a book so disturbing, that you couldn’t finish it, or had to leave it and come back?

Not so far. I have found books rather dull, boring, or dragging and have set them down and tried them again later.

 

What question would you ask your favorite author, if you had the chance to ask only one question?

Well after going insanely crazy and unable to speak or think from meeting them, I’d ask them how it felt to write their first book. I’d also ask them how it felt when it got published.

 

Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).

Every series that I read and got hooked on I have constantly thought about. I also think about stand alone books that I read that I felt weren’t fully finished. I wonder what happened to the characters after the story ended.

 

Have you ever absolutely adored an author, gotten to know too much about them or watched the writer in interviews, and been completely turned off? Even from reading their books?

I have many author friends that I adore. They are the sweetest and I hope with all my heart that they succeed in all they do! They deserve it more than they realize!

 

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have read, who would they be and why?

I would want the characters in House of Night to meet the characters in Vampire Academy. I know that sounds really crazy but I’ve always been curious to see how Zoey Redbird and Rose Hathaway would interact.

 

Your favorite book to movie adaptation? Your favorite book to television series? What books are you excited to see on the big screen/as a television series?

 

My favorite book to movie adaptation would have to be Vampire Academy. I guess my favorite book to television series would have to be Vampire Diaries. I’m ready to see House Of Night series already!!!

 

Thank you so much, Nicole! Enjoyed your answers, and look forward to chatting, again, soon!

Want to connect with Nicole online!?

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBookClub2014/

https://www.facebook.com/WillowsAuthorLove

https://www.facebook.com/WillowsBookReviews

https://www.facebook.com/WillowLovesBooks

http://willowsauthorlove.blogspot.com/

http://willowstarbookreviews.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Music&Inspiration

1. I was very inspired by thoughts as simple and terrifying as: We are all potentially one step away from losing it all, one bad choice from addiction, one bad day away from losing ourselves.

2. I kept James Blake, ‘Retrograde’, and James Blake,’Case of you’, on repeat. There were a handful of artists, including Miguel and Raised by Swans, but for some reason, these two songs were at the top of my list.

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3. I love TCM, love classic movies, and I watched a lot of black and white films around the time I began writing this book. Why were they inspiring? Well, because many of my more intimate scenes were conceptualized  wanting to create something that was not forced, but was felt — because of anticipation and leaving things to the imagination.

In classic movies, if there was intimacy, viewers were drawn in, aware of what happened, and blushed as the scene faded to black. Then, the unmade bed, disheveled hair, and morning after, made it quite evident what had happened. Again, this inspired me to write intimate scenes that were slow-building and sensual, but not egregious or offensive.

4. Since my first two published novels were written a decade ago, I wanted to give readers a different side of me. I was also really excited to apply what I have learned over the past two years.

I drew inspiration from one of my newer novels, unpublished, which also involves addiction and co-dependence, and planned to write a short story. As I wrote it, I realized that maybe it would be a novella. But instead, Like Shards of Glass became a novel (I think it’s a bit on the short side.)

Hop over to Smashwords, and take a free peek at the sample!! Pre-order or Sample

 

 

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Shards promo 6Pre-order Like Shards of Glass HERE

I drank more, took her in, and wanting to remember her just as she was in that moment, confounding and breathtaking, I memorized her. She had changed into a pair of silk pajamas, nearly the same shade as her skin. There was no bra, and although it was a warm August night, I could have sworn she had caught a chill.

She set her drink down on the mahogany dresser, and I exhaled.

Finally, someone had moved.

“Oh! I almost forgot. I want to pay you back.” She reached for her purse. I wanted to stop her. “How’s fifty?”

Fifty what? Fifty for what?

I set my glass down beside hers, and shook my head as she took a fifty dollar bill from her wallet.

“Use it for gas or lunch money.”

“What are you talkin’ about?”

“The boxes and suitcases. I’m not gonna let you just –”

Lunch money? What?

I tilted my head as I spoke. “I wanted to help you.”

“Your parents made you.”

“I’m twenty-three years old; they can’t make me do anything.”

Monroe looked as if she wanted to laugh, but instead of making me feel even more like a child, she stepped closer to me. Her eyes traced over me as she reached for my pocket, opened it, and slid the money inside.

You win – and in which pocket was the letter I had stolen?

“Take it, Dominique.” Her hand lingered in my pocket for a millisecond too long. She stood on her tiptoes. “Just take it.” She pressed cold, cordate lips to my cheek and whispered, “Goodnight, and thank you.”

 

 

 

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Pre-order Like Shards of Glass HERE

 

 

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