Saturday, December 7, 2013

You Ruined Christmas!

SS and I recently made the mistake of telling our family that we would not be putting up a Christmas tree this year. Before you gasp in horror, let me just say that we're not opposed to Christmas trees or anything. When the Keeper and kiddos lived with us, we had trees all over the place. And we enjoyed putting them up. But this year, we made the decision not to do so because we now spend the holidays elsewhere. We have a cat and very curious dogs, so we don't put gifts under the tree anyway. And neither SS nor I feel particularly motivated to spend hours decorating a tree that we won't use, don't have time to fuss with, and will then have to spend the next month guarding from the dogs and cat.

But when we made the statement that we were opting out of a Christmas tree this year, you would have thought we announced the end of the world. Everyone had something to say, and most of the comments sent our way were less than supportive.

We were labeled Grinches.
We were ruining the spirit of the holiday.
We needed a tree to celebrate.

And so on and so forth until I wanted to flip everyone the bird.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is our house, right?

I mean, unless I've just been living in a fantasy world, I'm pretty sure the house is full of our things. I'm also pretty sure we moved those things into said house on our own. We pay the bills. We do the cleaning, maintenance, repairs and all that fun stuff. And I'm also pretty sure we live here alone.
 
So, I don't feel bad for not putting up a tree. I do, however, feel more than a little irritated that so many thought it necessary to try to guilt us into doing so. I mean, people who have never stepped foot inside our house suddenly decided they had a say as to how we decorated or celebrated the holidays!

What the heck?

Has the world lost its dang mind?

Has a Christmas tree really become such an important factor that the holiday season will be ruined if we don't have a tree that, more than likely, these people would never see anyway? Is a tree really that big of a deal?

It is?

Oh, well then. Forgive me for thinking the holiday season was about something far more important than the presence of a fake tree. All these years, I've thought it was about family and love. I thought the season was about faith, whatever your faith might be, and celebrating the amazing gifts we've been given. I thought it was about creating new memories and cherishing those we've already made. I thought it was a time for hope and happiness and a celebration of the generous spirit of giving. A time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and compassion.

Gosh, how wrong I've been all these years! 

To think I wasted all these years spreading love and cheer and good will to friends, family, and those less fortunate during the holiday season. Had I known that all I needed to do was put up a tree, my life would have been so much fuller.

Oh, wait. No! I really don't think it would have been.

I actually think my life, and that of my husband, has been pretty dang great even though we don't usually spend hours putting up lights or a ton of decorations this time of year. I think we've made some fantastic memories by instead spending that time doing things for others… like shopping for a less fortunate child, adopting an elderly person, sending cards to soldiers, cooking for the homeless, volunteering to work so others could enjoy a day with their families, snuggling up to watch silly movies together, spending time with friends and family, or searching out the perfect gifts to put a smile on the faces of the special kids in our lives.

And I think this year will be just as fabulous, even if we don't put up that tree. Because a tree just isn't that damn important in the grand scheme of things. Really, it isn't.

The world will continue to spin.

The Universe isn't going to implode if it happens to peek into our home and see a treeless living room.

God, whichever God one might believe in, isn't going to decide we're crappy humans because we didn't bow to a tradition of some else's choosing.

Santa isn't going to turn his sleigh around and race off to the North Pole in tears because there wasn't a tree.

In short… nothing bad will happen if we don't have a tree! So stop being jerks, folks. Your holiday won't be ruined by our lack of a tree. And neither will ours. I promise.

xoxo,
Ayden

 *And before anyone flames me for saying holidays more often than Christmas in this post, I'd just like to remind everyone that this season does, indeed, contain multiple holidays from many different cultures, all of which I hope you and your family enjoy equally. :)

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 4: Ravished - The Teplo Files

Happy, #GivingTuesday!

I hope you are all recovering from a fabulous Cyber Monday. I know I am! You guys are completely awesome and sent FADE and FALL soaring through the ranks on Amazon yesterday. It did my little heart good. Thank you!

I would give you a teaser from FLAME to celebrate, but, well, I haven't made much headway with it yet. I've been wrapped up in getting Ravished revised to my liking so I can send it off into the world. Soon, hopefully. :)

I hope you'll accept another teaser from this story instead.


"God, I am so stupid."

"Lillian, you aren't stupid." Tristan pushed away from the door, his arms crossed over his chest to keep himself from reaching out for her. "If you don't want to do this, you can still say no. I meant what I said in Jason's office. I'll make sure you won't be in danger if you stay here."

"That's not the point, Tristan." She shot him another frustrated look.

"Then what is the point?" he asked, his own discontent with the situation growing by leaps and bounds when faced with her anger. "Why did you agree to this? Christ, you're just a ballerina, beautiful. This isn't your life."

"And that bothers you, doesn't it? That I'm just a ballerina," she snapped, rolling her eyes.

"It doesn't bother me nearly enough," he retorted. "Christ, I'm trying to keep you safe. You don't know what you're getting into here, and you just fucking agreed to it anyway. And I'm not nearly stron-" He snapped his mouth closed, growling soundlessly.

"What is your problem?" she demanded. "Why are you such an ass? What did I ever do to you, Tristan?" She opened her mouth again, but he cut her off this time, incapable of stopping himself. He didn't really want to anyway. He was tired of dancing around the truth.

"I don't want you hurt. Jesus, Lillian, is that so goddamned difficult to grasp?" He raked a hand through his hair, tugging the strands. "I. Don't. Want. You. Hurt. And not because I can't keep my damn hands to myself when I'm around you either."

Lillian's eyes widened, whatever she was going to say lost as she looked at him. Really looked at him. Her shocked gaze rolled over him like a wave, sending heat and desire crashing down all over again. He curled his hands into fists against the creases of his arms in a last ditch effort to keep himself from snatching her up and kissing her.

"It's not your choice to make," she said.

"No?" He arched a brow at her. "None of this would be an issue if it weren't for me."

"Well, at least you admit that much." She huffed, and then sighed. "I barely know you, and I'm already sick of arguing with you."

"Then don't," he suggested, liking the sound of that plan a whole hell of a lot. "Just… don't."

She stared at him for a long, silent minute. A parade of emotion crossed her face, flickering too quickly for him to separate one from the next. "Tell me you don't want me to do this, Tristan," she finally said, holding his gaze. "Tell me you want me to tell Jason I changed my mind, and I will."

"Would you?" He swallowed hard. "You'd walk away right now if I asked?"

"Yeah, I would."

"Why?"

Why did what he wanted matter so much to her?


See you soon, lvelies!
 
xoxo,
Ayden
 
PS: If you haven't entered the Goodreads Giveaway for FALL yet, it ends tomorrow! You can enter via the widget on the sidebar!

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Monday, December 2, 2013

Massive #CyberMonday Sale and a Toy Drive

Hi lovelies,

I don't have a myth or monster for you today, mostly because I'm still wallowing in the sadness that was Paul Walker's passing (*sobs*) and last night's The Walking Dead ('eff you, Governor. Eff. You!), but I do have something sure to turn frowns upside down all over the kingdom.

To celebrate Cyber Monday, Curiosity Quills is having a MASSIVE $.99 sale!


You can read the best in science-fiction, horror, mystery, fantasy and paranormal fiction by authors like Jamie Ayres, Aidan James, A.W. Exley, James Wymore, Katie Hamstead, and of course, me for only 99 cents!

FADE and FALL are both representing in the Top 50 in the Mythology category right now. Woot woot! I'd love to see them squeak by into the Top 20. You can help a crazy author out by grabbing a copy of FADE here or FALL here before the sale ends tomorrow.

I mean, they are less than a buck each. :)

Already read 'em? Gift a copy to a friend or five. I promise to love you forever if you do. :)

And please don't forget to check out the other amazing CQ titles up for grabs! You can see the entire list here.

On a shopping related note, my little nephew, Aloshua, is collecting toys and gift cards for Arkansas Children's Hospital's annual Festival of Stars Christmas toy drive. One of his sweet little friends, Maddie, is doing the same for Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Both of these amazing kids know what it's like to spend time at the hospital, and how far a new toy can go in brightening the day of kids just like them. You can help these pint size heroes make a difference by donating to their cause.

You can donate any amount via PayPal or egift card to teamlosh@gmail.com and let these amazing little kids do the shopping for you, or you can send an unopened, unwrapped toy to Aloshua, P.O. BOX 982, Bald Knob, Arkansas, 72010. All physical items sent will be delivered to Arkansas Children's Hospital on December 13, 2013. If you make a cash or egift card donation, you are more than welcome to specify which hospital you would like to have the donation benefit. Donations not specified will be split 50/50 between the two receiving hospitals. :)

You can also shop at Daydream Doll Boutique for the little girls in your life to help out with Losh and Maddie's mission. Each time you use the promo code JJPARTY, you get 10% off, and Losh and Maddie get credit to help them fill gift baskets.

How's that for turning frowns upside down?

Happy Cyber Monday, y'all!

xoxo,
Ayden

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million