Backup Ribbon Project

So the biggest con of the year has come and gone, but there are still more to come. One huge one coming up is DragonCon (arguably the birthplace of BRP). Oh, I’d love to go to that one!

Anyway, much has been discussed lately about safety at Cons, specifically safety against harassment in all its nasty, mean forms.

Harassment in public settings is a tricky thing, for the victim that is. There’s so many people around, everyone’s laughing and having a good time, costumes are everywhere and the mood is just so high you might float away, and then something happens. Maybe you spent weeks and weeks putting together the coolest cosplay costume ever, maybe it’s a little revealing, but that’s okay because we’re all mature adults right? Wrong. Your awesome, bouncing mood is shattered by some creepy comment or lewd gesture or maybe someone even touched you. You want to say something, but you’re nervous, or even a little scared. That’s okay, that’s perfectly normal. But maybe you braved the Con alone and you don’t know where to go? Or maybe you do, but you don’t want to go alone. Or maybe you don’t feel like you can get out of this horrid situation alone.

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Photo credit: Emmie Mears

Now you don’t have to be afraid, not anymore. Now there is the Backup Ribbon Project.

This amazing thing was started by two Con attendees and basically it’s a battle cry to all people who think you should be able to go places, in costume or not, alone or in a group, and be safe in your space.

If you need help, anyone wearing one of these beautiful purple ribbons is your new best friend. They will intervene, they will walk with you, they will find help for you or with you.

Let me tell you, if I am ever at a Con again, and I will be, I will be wearing one of these ribbons. I hope you will too. And if you see me, and you want one of these ribbons, I will have extra and I will pass them out.

Hot Paranormal Nights Blog Hop

Woman vampire bite

Hello everyone and welcome! I’m very excited to participate in this blog hop! Today I’m offering an excerpt from the 7acef-aircenteredsecond book in my Elemental Series: Air. Leave a comment below for your chance to win a free ebook copy of Air! And be sure to check out all the other awesome blogs participating in this hop!

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The day had been stolen from us and, with a chill in the air, we realized the sun was sinking below the horizon, casting long shadows through the orchard beyond my window. Jodi and Steven climbed down the tree, deciding to walk home and leave Jensen and me alone. I needed warm comfort that went beyond what friends alone could offer with just platonic affection. I needed heat and to feel grateful to be alive.

As soon as the trapdoor was shut behind them, Jensen reached out and carefully gathered me into his arms and pulled me into his lap. It was awkward for me at first, being cradled in his crossed legs like a child in a parent’s lap. Bracing myself on his shoulders, I pulled myself up enough to wrap my legs around his waist and sit in his lap, facing him.

I laid my hands on the swell of his chest and looked into his blue, blue eyes. His fingers massaged the small of my back, careful of the bruise on one side. I breathed in the scent of him, the wonderful combination of musk, cinnamon, and something sweet I could never figure out the name of.

“I know you said dating one of you means dating all of you, but I’m glad I only get to do this with you,” Jensen whispered into my hair, breathing against my ear, sending chills up my back, over my arms and out my fingertips, making tiny sparks of light flicker between our bodies. This might not be a committed, full-blown relationship, but we were the only people we were intimate with. And thank goodness, because I don’t think I could’ve shared.

“Jensen, I’m not sure we should,” I whispered, pushing on his chest to distance myself from him, if even only a couple of inches.

“Shay, we’ve talked about this,” he said, leaning toward my neck again. “I know we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend. You’re not taking advantage of me,” his breath was hot against my skin, making me shiver again.

He chuckled quietly and lowered his lips to my collarbone, kissing lightly. I tilted my chin up and felt the shift in energy around us; it was suddenly alive and swirling, playing with the locks of my hair, caressing my skin just as he laid feather light kisses on my shoulder and neck. I felt the sap trapped beneath the bark of the tree that broke the line of the walls run faster, in time with my pulse, as if the faster and hotter my blood ran, so did the life in the tree.

I felt a warm summer breeze come to life outside and rush in around us, heavy with the scents of grass, salt, and moist earth. I caught my breath just as Jensen’s teeth found the muscle in my neck and bit down, just hard enough, and the wind paused in time with me. When I exhaled, the wind rushed around us again. My skin was alive with nerves and energy waiting to be released. Jensen’s fingers pressed harder into my back, as if he would claw into my skin and I would have welcomed it. My back arched, pressing me against him, and I felt him catch his breath, his chest trembling under the pressure of my fingers as I clung to him. My thighs tightened around his waist, bringing a small sound from his parted lips. I felt his body swelling in answer to my body pressing against him.

He turned his face up to mine and I found his lips, pressing them gently into a kiss that grew almost immediately into something fiercer, almost desperate, as if the very air we breathed was locked in the other’s mouth. The energy around me built subtly and I felt it press against us. One of his hands slid up my back, tracing a tingling line of power dancing on my skin, until he found the back of my head and twined his fingers into the richness of my hair. He held it tightly against the base of my skull, just this side of painful, causing me to whimper against his mouth.

The energy that was building around us was almost too much for me to ignore as it became like a second pressure on my body, separate from his arms and chest, making it difficult to breathe. I broke from our kiss, gasping in a deep breath. Before I could exhale, I was suddenly moving, Jensen lifting me and turning our bodies until I was pressed into the floor with the weight of him above me.

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Photo Tour Week Five: Spirit

Well, here we are, the final post of the series. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peek into the Elemental Series. Today’s post is the last stop, featuring photos of places featured in Spirit!

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IF YOU HAVE NOT READ FIRE AND SPIRIT YET, BE FAIR WARNED: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Okay? Good? Everyone still here not afraid of the spoilers? You sure? Good. Let’s continue.

In the beginning of the book we’re at Shayna’s memorial service. A couple of weeks ago we visited this are when I showed you all the pictures of Water, but let’s see the beautiful, fitting place once more.

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From there, Shayna travels as a wraith, trying to figure out just what the hell she should do. She decides to try to make contact with Steven, who is at his boyfriend’s apartment. Before successfully making it to Anthony’s home, Shay is drawn to a park across the street, which turns out to be Cemetery Park.

This is a real place in Ventura. For decades it was solely a cemetery, then in the ’70’s the city turned it into a dog park. It’s very beautiful, but creepy because a few graves remain. You could be strolling along, on the green grass and under the Willow trees and then you’ll stumble across a grave marker.

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Isn’t that beautiful? I know, right? And then you’ll find these:

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When you first walk up to then entrance of the park, this is what it looks like:

Cemetary Park

 

It’s lovely and tragic all at once, kind of fitting, I hope.

Anthony’s apartment building isn’t quite as beautiful, but at least he has the beautiful views of the park.

Anthony's apartment building

 

Now, I warned you all that this would be a short post because so much of this book takes place in the Otherworld, in the land of the dead and the Sluagh. But when I was leaving The Cross, after taking pictures for the Fire post, I saw this and it struck me as the perfect depiction of the land that Shay found herself in.

Underworld

 

So, there you have it! Five weeks of pictures and now, should you have the urge, when you re-read the series, you might have a deeper connection with the books!

I hope you all enjoyed this, I know I did!