The Moment Everything Changed Forever

The Moment Everything Changed Forever

Before The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos came out, I made a deal with my readers: if the book got 200 adds on Goodreads, I would write and post a flashback of when Max first finds out about Chloe. The book is now up to 600+ adds! Thank you so much to everyone who added it! There are more vignettes coming. Enjoy!


Max slouched into the cafeteria, his backpack trailing on the floor. The last forty-five minutes seared into him. He was completely, totally, indefinitely screwed.

“What’s wrong, Maxi Pad?” Riley, his best girl friend, nudged him with her elbow. A ripped section of the bottom of her bootcut jeans dragged on the floor behind her like a tail. She veered toward the line.

He shuffled over to a table.

“Wait, you’re not eating?” Casting a longing glance at the food, Riley slipped out of line and joined him.

He put his head down on the faux wood, its cool facade seeping into his forehead. His backpack plunged to the floor.

“Talk to me, Houston.” Riley poked his arm. “It can’t be that bad.”

He groaned. It was that bad. At the rate he was going, he was never going to finish high school, never mind get into a good college. Forcing himself to sit up, he took a deep breath. Just as he was about to explain what happened, his girlfriend Nicole walked into the cafeteria. He swallowed hard. “Here we go.” Continue reading

Do You Feel at Home?

You’ve got to fight for what you love and build your home
—Nico Vega, “No Home”

I’m working my way through Oprah’s “20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself, Part 2″ (I missed Part 1). I knew it might be hard, but I had no idea how much the very first question would trip me up.

Do you feel at home?

“Do I feel at home?”

The short answer is no. Fresh flowers accompany my writing desk along with the Buddha and photos of people I love, but I am also mentally buried alive by the towering stacks of boxes that surround me. I am grateful for the roof over my husband’s and my heads, but we have long outgrown what was supposed to be a temporary situation. I long to unpack our wedding gifts, to put them to use in our own space. My parents have kindly and lovingly allowed us to stay in their dining room, but space is a commodity. Mike and I are ready for our own space.

Several things have tripped us up over the years: the economy, my health, and my expectations of myself vs reality. My pride is my own worst enemy. For years, I held a picture in my mind of brand new furniture purchased from months of saving. Every time we had to dip into our savings to cover car repairs or take the cat to the vet, I dug into myself.

The truth is that, just like everything else in life, you have to jump in feet first and figure things out as you go. No amount of planning can save you from reality, and nothing is perfect—nor does it have to be.

Our first home together may be a studio, living areas separated by area rugs and Japanese bamboo screens, filled with secondhand furniture. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it will be our home, a sanctuary to nurture the life we are building together.

Stock Photo © Michael Smith | Dreamstime

13 Songs That Inspired “The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos”

13 Songs That Inspired "The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos"

Music is my refuge, my solace when even my own mind has become my enemy. It’s also my inspiration, the force that drives my fingers to fly across the keys. When I need to set the tone for a particular scene so that I can convey an emotion, I turn to the songs of today and yesterday.

Here are the 13 songs that helped me write The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos.

Which are your favorites? Tell me in the comments!

PS: Have you read the first 5 chapters of The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos yet? CLICK HERE!