How to handle success when you're not a social person.

I have no idea where this is going. It's just something that I feel I need to write.

I'm not a social person. I'm so incredibly introverted that I have to aspire to Hobbit most days. Unlike many introverts I'm also incredibly shy....mostly it's a deep seated feeling that I'm not good enough to talk to anyone that I've never been able to rid myself of. I was told that I was worthless and that nobody wants to hear what I have to say. For twenty years. That does not go away. Ever.

I have a fear of being around people that is so intense that there are weeks that I never leave my house. I used to work in the service industry. I've seen the worst of humanity. I'm happier this way.

I get to write my stories. I make a decent living on my stories now. So that I don't have to go work with the masses of people who look at me like I just fell off the weird wagon.

The part about being a writer that terrifies me is promotion. I don't know how to do it. I have Facebook and Twitter. Twitter leaves me shaking my head. 98% of what I see on twitter is from people I've never heard of sending disjointed messages out into the world that I can't follow. Or it's retreets or ads....so really I don't go there often. I check to see if I have any notifications a few times a week. Mostly I see my name linked to pirate sites, or reviews for goodreads, or there's that person with the same name who doesn't speak English. I see maybe one tweet directed at me personally. Sometimes days after it was sent because it wasn't sent to my twitter handle.....so yeah, I pretty much leave Twitter to the ones who can follow that. It's noise to me.

I have a presence on Facebook. I post a great deal. I move on. I comment sometimes if I know the person and here's the thing....if I actually see their posts scroll past on my timeline. Some days I see the same ten people all day long. And nope it's not on Top Stories. Other days I see not one single person that I recognize. Not one. Some of those people aren't even friends with me. I get the random this person was tagged by that person posts. I see kids birthday parties. I see strange things. Posted by people who don't talk to me and I don't talk to them.

I have around 1200 friends. I'm not sure I know that many people in real life. Some of those 1200 are real people in my real life, some are even family....and I feel like I've lost touch with them having therm right there where I can find them.

I post my randomness. I go somewhere else. I write. Or watch a movie. I have dinner with my family. I go out with my family. On vacation. Just random drag me out of my cave days so that I don't actually turn into a piece of the decor.

I come back to dozens of red flaggy things. Messages. Friend requests.

And for the most part it's likes and the random game request or attend my release day party things.

So here's the thing, most of the things I post are usually long gone by the time I get back to them. Most of the time unless I see something that says there's a comment I keep going....sometimes FB doesn't even tell me there's been a comment. It tells me all about the great conversation someone else is having all the time, but rarely about my own.

Most of the time I feel like I'm alone in a tunnel shouting into the wind.

But there's this other part of it that scares me even more.

People talk back. I mean for awhile at least. I'm not really great at knowing what to say. I try to say thank you when I get a direct post. I try to answer emails. I try to pretend like I know what to say to people who love my work.

But in reality, I have no idea what to say.

I have no idea how to handle attention. ANY attention.

I just want to get my books out there.

The rest of it....scares the shit out of me.

Uh hi, yes thank you....I'm happy you like my stories. Thank you. I have no idea why you like my stories. But thank you. If I don't answer you on FB or Twitter or in email....I apologize. I try to get to everything. But this is moving so fast most of the time I'm lucky to get to anything at all.

And then I feel horrible because I don't answer every thing. Or that I'm not what people want me to be. I'm not glamorous. This isn't glamorous. My bathroom needs to be cleaned and there's no one to do it but me. The dog needs a bath. I still need to clean the windows in back where the animals press their noses and bodies. There's a layer of cat hair over everything in my house.....or I put on headphones and close the door and let my imaginary friends dictate their stories to me. I talk to myself. I actually don't speak much. I have four kids. Life is school and homework and dinner and take your bath. Please don't back talk me....for the love of all that's holy do we have to watch Caillou again for the nine millionth time......this is what I know. This is what I do. I'm boring. I'm insecure. I'm neurotic. I have depression anxiety issues that keep me bouncing around like a balloon.

I can't cope with the idea of conferences. I've been to a few. I can't even fathom why anyone would want to have one of my books. Much less have me sign it.

I'm a nobody. I'm a nothing. I'm just this person who writes stories. Everything else....I don't know where it came from or what to do with it.

So to say this simply....I apologize if I'm not what you expected. I'm just me. I'm a nobody with a mental condition, I hear voices in my head.

So yeah, I guess the advice I can give on how to handle success is....not one clue....and may you have more success with it than I have.

MJ


Shift in Time is live everywhere



Available to buy at



Early Release Day: Shift in Time



I am pleased to announce that Shift in Time is now available. Early yes I know I said I wouldn't post it early but something came up and I won't be home to load the files on Wednesday. It's done. Been over and over....but I'm sure there might be something we all missed...I'm sure I'll hear about it.

Right now it's only available on All Romance ebooks. Amazon should come online sometime tomorrow afternoon...my time...central time zone. I'll deal with Barnes and Noble later.

So....

here, go.....hope you enjoy it. I had fun writing it. And no it's not angsty. No deep dark anything. Light and fluffy...like a panther.

All Romance ebooks



 

Shift in Time: Release date: July 24th.


I am doing the final proof edit on my very first shifter novel. I plan to release it on July 24th....as early as Amazon will allow. How novel an actual set release date. Haven't done that in a long time.

So are we ready for a teaser?

  Official
Shift in Time blurb
True love’s first kiss will not break a curse.
Everyone knows that. Even a Normal like Morgan Monstros knows that.
But Fane Llewellyn isn’t everyone. He’s like no one Morgan has ever met.
Small, fragile and fierce, Fane doesn’t remember who he is or where he came from. He remembers pain and loneliness. Decades of pain and loneliness. And Morgan Monstros. He could never forget Gan. Gan was his from the day he came to the island. And Fane would fight to the death to keep Morgan safe. Even if he has to fight the whole world to do it.
Take one powerless witch, a sassy Siamese familiar, a panther shifter with amnesia, a meddling wolf clan, and a coven of witches hell bent on war, swirl all together and you get the perfect spell for all out mayhem…..oh yeah and there’s chocolate cake too.




Excerpt

Tension flared at the base of his neck between his shoulders. Morgan shrugged away the sensation hoping it wouldn’t settle in for the night. The sky in the west was pale enough that he could see white fluffy clouds skidding along. Some stars peeked out, but the moonlight overpowered their brilliance. A full moon on Samhain rarely happened. The council would certainly meet tonight. At the witching hour. Morgan glanced down the hill toward the town. The younger kids were in for the night. The teens were probably on the mainland if they were old enough for a retreat. They didn’t call their community a coven. The old word not PC in this day and age. Retreats and business meetings. All things that Morgan shunned and no one seemed to notice. Just a normal. He didn’t matter.
His stomach roiled with hunger. Except he wasn’t hungry. He’d eaten earlier. The feeling was external. As was the tension. He couldn’t connect with Fane. The house was quiet. Extremely quiet. He closed the front door and turned off the porch light. The little electric candles in the pumpkins would flicker all night lighting the house on the hill but the candy was gone and the light went off. Setting the bowl on the entry table he made his way through the house to the kitchen. Fane’s shoes lay on the floor near the door. The food on the stove untouched.
“Fane?” he called, his voice echoing in the empty house.
Tension tightened his shoulders. He felt dizzy as the world outside spun around his head. He moved into it reveling in the freedom. The moon seemed so close. He needed to run with it. To howl. To be free. Hunger pains brought Morgan to his knees. He wanted to eat. To hunt. He needed to hunt. He needed to feel the heart stop. To taste the tang of blood as it cooled on his tongue. He soared with the moon landing on a balcony. Something smelled so good. Hot and sweet. He licked his lips. A heartbeat so close.
Morgan shoved his hands over his ears. He rolled onto his back on the floor. The ceiling lights the only thing he saw. Pain sliced through his gut. Hunger. Longing. This incredible need for blood. He fought the bile rising in his throat as he battled to close his mind to the threat. Fane. It was Fane. He felt his despair. His primal roar filled Morgan with fear. Magick was in the air. His cat nature was still very much a part of him. Morgan knew this. He tried to understand. He could feel him. Fane was wild. Lost inside his own head. The moon magick worked on him. Sending him higher to the widow’s walk on the top of the house. Morgan could see the world beyond the island. Dolphins out past the breakers. A tanker heading out to sea. He found no blood here. Mice scurried in the grass down below. Creatures with cold in their veins. He could sense the being in the house. The one he craved.
Morgan scrabbled to his feet. Fear overrode good sense. He locked the doors. Locking Fane out to chase the moon. He ran up the stairs locking the attic entry behind him. The windows were all closed when he went downstairs. Fane wouldn’t be able to get inside. He closed the doors to the other rooms on the off chance he’d missed something and locked himself into his room.
Anger roared in his head. Nearly blinding him. He fell to his knees searching for balance. A thumping sound came from the window, the curtains blowing in the breeze, the moonlight framed him, crouched on the floor as if ready to spring.
“I smell you,” he said, his voice lower than Morgan had ever heard him speak. He felt the timbre caress his skin. “I’ve smelled it all day, for several days, I just didn’t know what I smelled.”
“You scared the hell out of me,” Morgan climbed to his feet. He felt silly now for letting his imagination run away with him. Fane hadn’t reverted to animal form. He was just the same as he was downstairs. Maybe a little more intense but that was about it. “How in the hell did you get all the way up here anyway?”
Fane didn’t answer he rose to his full height, his nose flared as if he were tracking something…delicious. His long fingers clawed at his clothes pulling and tugging in that graceful feline way he had about him until he strode across the room in all of his glory. The moon seemed to love him, she bathed him in her light making him appear to be on fire. Morgan reacted. Violently.  Angry that anyone could elicit such a response from him he shoved the man away from him as soon as he drew close.
Fane smiled, his eyes flashing in the pale light, he moved sinuously around Morgan almost as if he were stalking him. “Don’t you want to play with me, Morgan? I want to play with you.”


I'll see ya Thursday :-)



Shot Through the Heart



While the site was languishing in disuse I released Shot Through the Heart. The western historical I wrote ten or so years ago. That one. The one with the head hopping and all kinds of epic drama-ness.

Yes I know it's het.

So it's out. On Amazon only for right now. I'll get it ready for wider release soon. Until then enjoy this excerpt..............




Across town, Alayne sat on the floor in her dark room, hidden between the bed and the wall where she watched the spectacular light show going on outside her window. Rain pounded the tin roof of the house, and Alayne felt isolated from the rest of the tenants, the noise of the storm completely blocking all sound but her own breathing. Unfortunately, it completely blocked the sound of the heavy tread of Garth’s boots as well.
    She didn’t hear the scrape of the key in the lock, neither did she hear the knob turn. Alayne jumped as the door swung open and banged against the wall, her panic turning quickly to anger at the gall of the man, for she knew without a doubt that this time she had locked the door.
    “I know you’re in here, kid, so stop hiding,” she heard the weariness in his voice and felt a pang of guilt at the merry chase she had led him that night. However, the guilt was fleeting and she didn’t move an inch or bother to answer him. He deserved everything she had put him through, if not more for dragging her to that place. Breaking into her room just added to the growing list of offenses he had inflicted upon her. She wasn’t about to answer him. After all she hadn’t done anything wrong, it was all him, and she hoped that maybe he would take the hint and if she ignored him long enough, go away.
   
Garth held his lamp into the room at arm’s length, the kid’s hat hung from one bedpost, his boots lay on the floor, socks draped carelessly onto of them, but there was no sign of the boy. Regardless, he stepped into the room, closed the door behind him, and moved to the center of the room where the lamp illuminated the entire room including the boy. Garth set the lamp on the dresser and leaned against the far wall facing the boy who sat slumped against the wall between the bed and the window.

    “What do you want?” Alayne asked sullenly. She wouldn’t forgive him for dragging her to that place…ever. He had crossed the line, even if he did think she was a boy. He still had no right to subject her to that sort of humiliation.
    “To make sure you got back all right,” Garth said, letting one leg slide out from under him until he was sitting on the floor in front of her. He looked tired, and worried.
    “As you can plainly see, I did, now get out,” Alayne said, refusing to look at him as she continued to hope he would take the hint and leave.
    “You embarrassed me tonight, kid,” Garth said, completely destroying any sympathy she may have had for him.
    “I embarrassed you… I embarrassed you. Of all the nerve…you arrogant ass. I didn’t drag you to a whorehouse. I didn’t haul you around by the collar on a busy street. I didn’t set you up with a thirteen-year-old child prostitute. I didn’t do anything wrong in running way. It was all your doing Mr. Burnett, now please leave before I really get angry,” Alayne whispered. She didn’t trust herself to speak up for fear of telling the rest of the world of her misadventures that night.

    Garth sighed, leaning his bare head back against the wall. This was a fitting end to a wonderful night, he thought in disgust. “Yeah, okay, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have insisted that you go. Hell, kid, any normal fifteen-year-old would have jumped at the chance to see the inside of a whorehouse. By the time most normal boys are your age, what goes on between a man and a woman is pretty much an obsession.” He regretted the words the second they left his mouth. Worse yet, he regretted even thinking what he had been thinking all night. To the boy’s credit, he didn’t react to the accusation and Garth began to believe the boy was simply a late bloomer and that he had no knowledge of that side of life.

    “But I’m not a normal boy, am I, Garth?” Alayne turned her attention from the window and the storm raging outside, piercing the man with an angry gaze. “Your whores think so, ‘pretty boys like me prefer other pretty boys”, I believe that is what your Lucy said after you left… I was hiding beneath the parlor window you see,” she said, waving a hand airily in explanation. “I figured you would chase me so I hid. Cowardly of me, I know.” Alayne said calmly, searching his face in the dim light for some sign of his thoughts.
   
“I don’t know, kid, are you normal?” Garth said, thinking he had found the answer no matter how much it pained him but it didn’t feel right. Nothing about the boy had felt right from the moment they’d met but damned if he could figure out what it was about the boy that nagged at him like a mosquito. “You don’t walk like a boy, you don’t sit like a boy, you don’t even eat like a boy. Damned if I know if you’re normal kid. I’ve never met anyone like you.”

    Thinking she had covered those details better, Alayne was shocked by this new revelation. “So maybe I’m not a boy,” she suggested, thinking fast to keep her secret no matter what. “Maybe just maybe I’m a fifteen year old girl masquerading as a boy. Maybe I cut off all my hair, bound my budding young breasts, and put on boy’s clothes because I had heard too many atrocities against women alone out here. Maybe I didn’t want to end up in a brothel somewhere peddling my virginity away to dirty cowboys like that child, Millie, who you wanted me to bed tonight. On the other hand, maybe your whore is right, maybe I am a freak who prefers males to females. Which is it Garth? Would you like for me to strip down right now to make your decision easier?”



Blurb 



The year is 1876 and Alayne Murray is alone. Her parents deceased, no close extended family. All she has left is her family farm and hope that her twin brother is alive somewhere out west.
Texas in 1876 is no place for a woman alone. Alayne cuts her hair and dresses in her brother’s clothes. With no one but herself to depend upon, she journeys west to find her brother or her brother’s grave.
Garth Burnett is a gunslinger with no future. He signed on to help a local sheriff keep the peace in a small town never realizing that there was nothing but peace to keep. Bored out of his mind and longing for the wilder side of life he’d left behind he plans to pick up and leave Harmony…one of these days.
Except this kid with a sob story about his missing brother lands at his feet. And the sheriff has gone missing. And things just aren’t as dull as they once were, with Lane Murray around to fight with.
Distracted and angry Garth misses what’s right in front of his eyes. The kid, isn’t just missish, he’s a Miss. One determined to get her man. If it kills them both.

From the wilds of Texas to a New Orleans mansion, Alayne takes Garth on a wild ride that is never quite what it seems.

Warning: This isn’t your ordinary girl posing as boy meets man of her dreams historical. Beware of triggers including graphic violence and sexual situations.




Shot Through the Heart is available on AMAZON