Happy Birthday to Mom!!!

Happy Birthday to the Woman who taught me Responsibility, Integrity, and how to stand on my own two feet. Anna Mae Nichols was born in Harlem, New York and had a heart of gold but was tough as nails. She raised 3 boys (Gregory, Jeffrey and Stephen) in the South Bronx during the hardest times in New York City History. Moving from an abandon building on the Grand Concourse to Patternson Project in the late 1970's she did whatever it took to take care of her 3 boys. In the midst of Gangs, Prostitution, Drug Dealers, and Drug abusers she was determined to see that each of her boys recieved their High Schoold Diplomas and become productive citizens. I will forever be grateful to this woman because she never would let me quit or give up on myself or on my dreams. I remember when I was 19yrs old in Boot Camp and I was having a hard time adjusting and wanted to quit and come back home. After two weeks the Navy finally allowed me to call home and I told her that I was quiting and was tired of those white people telling me what to do. She told me that day.."There was nothing for me to go back for or to". She reminded me that day that she didnt raise "Weak Ass Kids or punks"..lol..4 Real. She told me that day...If I could deal with the street of the South Bronx and Harlem...there was nothing in the world that should be able to stop me. And I have to tell you "She Was 100% Right". Because of Anna Nichols I am the man I am today...I never bowed, feared, or felt less than any man. Thank you Mrs. Annna Mae Nichols....You will never be forgotten! R.I.P Mommy......I love you with all my heart. 10325766_10203905241538512_1280943631689819954_n

Do local public TV/Radio stations need someone with working html/css/js/web accessibility skills?

Last week I posed a question: do local public TV/Radio stations need someone with working html/css/js/web accessibility skills? The question was deliberately ambiguous, because after all what are "working" skills? (I know someone who still uses tables for page layout.) I wanted to provoke a (respectful) conversation and I still want to do that. So it's only fair to say what I think about this question. I think it depends. A radio station with a staff of four is not going to have a full-time webmaster (outdated as the term may be, you know what I mean). A joint licensee in a top market probably needs to have a digital team with specialized skills including actual developers, if it wants to compete strongly in that market. I frequently look at the SCPR, OPB, and KQED sites and it's clear each has a strong web team with high-level skills. (BTW Tim Olson, nice new responsive home page!) Stations like mine are somewhere in between; we can't afford multiple positions, but most of us have at least one full-time digital staff member with skills that are somewhat wide, but probably not extremely deep. Some of us are better with design, or coding, or managing a CMS, and it shows when you look our websites and apps. I tend to collaborate most effectively with this category, because we can easily learn from each other and improve on our weaknesses together. The iMA has been extremely helpful in this collaboration, and I would love to help build on it however possible. But my concern about webskillz extends beyond online staff. I see a basic lack of digital literacy among our staff and management. They are smart people who are experts in their areas, but the times they are changing fast. I think you can't make good operational decisions about the interweb, let alone strategic ones, without understanding how it works. We should know about the anatomy of a website, especially the one used by our station. We should know how a browser works, how a server works, how a database works, and how they work together to serve content. We should know that a url returns resources, hopefully in a structured and usable form. We should be able to look at a url and know basically what it means. We should know the difference between http and https (and ftp and sftp) and why it matters. We should know something about how web pages and sites can get broken or slow to respond. We should know that every web page has two faces, one for humans and one for machines that crawl the internet. We should know about good metadata practices, and how this now plays into everything. We should know what it takes to author online content, construct views, and build and support web applications. We don't have to know how to do all these things, but we need to know the concepts and language. We should know what an SLA is with a web service provider, and how to protect station interests. This usually requires understanding the nature of the service to be provided. We should know how easy some of this stuff is, and which parts are hard. We should have some appreciation for how fast things are changing, and the need to keep learning. By "we" I mean someone at the local station and it doesn't have to be the web person. If we were to work on expanding our basic online literacy at the local level, we'd be in better shape to talk about the right mix of shared services and local resources. I will not be offended if you argue with any of this. I'm just interested in understanding where we are, and how we can best move forward. Thanks, Jack

Why Batman is Not a Vigilante

I’m a comic nerd and Batman is, hands down, my favorite superhero. It’s been argued that Batman isn’t a superhero, but an anti-hero or vigilante. I think it’s a totally crap argument. A vigilante is any person that takes the law into his own hands to avenge a crime. Well, this isn’t Batman. He works with law to fight crime. Sure, he often disregards what the Gotham Police tell him, but most of the police in Gotham happen to be criminals. An anti-hero is any person lacking heroic attributes such as nobility or attitude with purpose. Well, this isn’t Batman either. He’s called the dark knight for four great reasons.

He has rules.

Okay, only two rules. No killing and no guns. Sure, he’ll break eighty-six bones and destroy your property, but he won’t kill you. A vigilante breaks bones because he can. Batman breaks rules because he has to. There is a higher purpose behind every person he lands in the hospital, and as such not anti-hero behavior.

He doesn’t avenge his parents.

The only reason Batman fights crime is because he hates crime. Crime isn’t a person; it’s an ideal. Sure, his parents getting gun downed in front of him was a motivator, but he set down his desire to avenge them and took on a higher calling.

Superpowers aren’t all that.

Oh, please. I hate this argument. Some think superpowers is a superhero requirement. Batman can master any skill he sets out to learn. A superpower simply gives someone the ability to do something no one else can. Batman does things not even the rest of the JLA (Justice League of America) can do, such as think of everything. Good enough for me.

He is a symbol.

All superheroes share in common the ability to become something more. More than a man, in Batman’s case. He is an idea. That idea is that anyone can fight against corruption. Batman inspires. Often, Commissioner Gordon would turn on the bat signal for no other reason than to remind everyone that Batman exists. Narcissist and jackass are better words for Batman than vigilante and anti-hero. He is in fact, the textbook definition of a superhero. He always does what is right over what is best. Yes, he might punch a woman in the face but he’ll only do it to serve the greater good. ————- Twitter: Paul Wetzig Why is you article titled 5 reasons? You seem to be implying that Vigilante and Anti-hero are the same. Why not also define Anti-Hero? An Anti-Hero will fight for what’s right as long as it can coincide with there own convictions. Unless you only know the adam west batman from the 60’s, how can you say that batman isn’t a vigilante? He does not work with the law. Sure occasionally Jim Gordon has asked him for help, and are you really using the bat signal as an argument? There have been many times batman has refused to help when the police have called for him. Jim Gordon protects Batman not because they are really friends(though they do have mutual respect for each other), but Gordon would rather keep him close because of how dangerous he could be. All Cops are ordered to arrest Batman on sight for taking the law into his won hands, or in other words he’s a vigilante. Batman is an Anti-hero because he does this to try to achieve his own idea of what Gotham should be, so he is always trying to achieve his ideals. Also to avoid working with cops he started up his own team of other caped crime fighter. Yes he is a symbol, but he is trying to inspire the people to take control of the city. He understands that people need something strong to believe in to get strength. So batman is wanted by the law and does not work for it or with it, but sometimes their paths do cross and at that point Gordon will keep the law away. Facebook: Charles O’Keefe Hi Tasha  I agree with you, I love Batman dearly as well. I submit though in several issues of “Legends of the Dark Knight” he does uses guns, though they are loaded with rubber bullets so they don’t kill. He is an ideal and a symbol of hope. His hatred of crime and corruption defines him and I enjoy comics the most when it’s just him, Alfred and Gordon. Newer ones with many Batmen (Batman Inc) just don’t have the same appeal to me, though I did enjoy for the most part a graphic novel I just read called “Battle for the Cowl”. I think Frank Miller and Grant Morrison have done some of the very best Batman stories but I’m rambling. I really enjoyed your post, I hope Batman is in the JL movie (if it ever comes out!)  great post, talk to you soon! natashalarry I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I l like your point about the rubber bullets in the gun. For me, that’s the same thing as no guns. We can amend it to, no guns that kill people. I hope he’s in the new movie as well, I’ve been waiting for that for quite some time. Thanks for your comment!

Tuesday Tips And Tidbits: Speed-Dating Your Stories

Love at first sight.

It’s a given that people who are looking to fall in love will look at the first one that comes along, hoping he or she is the one. Why? Because then there’s no need to look further. No need to make choices. No need to second-guess. Some folks end up with the first person they meet – the high school sweetheart, the teen crush. Sometimes those matches work out. But a lot of times they don’t. And when they don’t, it’s hard to look back with regret at years spent with what turns out to have been the wrong person and judge that investment of time – of life – as a wrong turn, a waste. Authors face a similar situation when they are tempted to take the first idea that pops into their head and flesh it into a story without first testing it to see if they have the right fit for plot and characters and theme. If they don’t think about it, they will dive in and invest a lot of time and work to develop what oftentimes turns out to be a bad idea. Bad because it’s hard to make believable. Bad because it just doesn’t make sense. Bad because it turns what could otherwise be good writing into a book that stalls or doesn’t gel – a book readers won’t want to read. How can authors avoid this writing heartache?

Try a little story speed-dating.

  Set up the room and invite your participants. First, prepare the setup for your story speed-dating convention. Invite all your ideas and whispers of unique characters to come together in one room – a brainstorming computer file or a notepad page reserved for writing down random ideas. Got a multitude of ideas, maybe some of them with similar themes? Great, you’re ahead of the game. Authors who don’t have any story ideas will be staring at a blank screen/page, so they’ll have to do a little more background work before holding their story speed-dating convention. But in any case, type some makeshift headers on your word-processing document page or write them on your notebook page, leaving enough area below each header to add some detail lines. Headers should be whatever you fancy, but to start out should be something like…   Plot Lines / Story Ideas … etc.   People / Characters / Players … etc.   Setting / Situation / Place … etc. Book Titles / Title Words   The last heading, ‘Book Titles’ may be a little ahead of the game, but it will come into play once you start finding potential match-ups among your various other idea categories.   Start writing down appropriate entries under each header. Or, to get some random ideas that appeal to your interests, peruse news stories. Ideas will pop out as likely suspects. People who want to write about animals in their stories will grab ideas from stories that feature stuff like ‘mule saves rider by killing mountain lion,’ or ‘housecat makes alligator back down,’ or ‘dog rescues owner by dialing 9-1-1,’ or ‘parrot foils home-invasion by imitating police siren.’ Other storylines about movie stars, serial killers, people involved in oddball situations like ghost-hunting, or long-lost love reunited will appeal to authors based on what their innate interests are. So take a little time and jot down typical ideas that you find of interest to you in particular.   If characters start popping into your head, write a few sentences to describe their background or key elements that made you think of them in the first place. It may be as simple as a clever or weird name. But write it down.  

Let the speed-dating begin.

Once you have all your story and character and incidental ideas together in one ‘room,’ reserve a separate ‘room’ (another page) to detail each potential match-up of your various story components categorized under the headings above. Now you are ready to guide the interaction of all these story components you’ve assembled.   Try copying two or three different elements together in a mix-and match style to see how they fit. OK! You’ve got your first speed-dating participants together…   Plot – Man meets woman who claims her dog is psychic.   Character – Joe Evermore is a man unlucky in love. He’s dated many seemingly wonderful women over the years, but none of those relationships lasted, and he hasn’t figured out exactly why.   Setting – Saint-Tropez, French Riviera   The first thing to do is to look at how the various aspects of your story components fit together. The first listing, a plotline where a man meets a woman who claims her dog is psychic has a lot of potential for humor and psychological twists. You like it. (Of course you do, because you want to write romantic comedy and love dogs – what better combination could you come up with?)   Next you look at your potential character ‘Joe Evermore.’ You think his name could somehow be worked into the title of a book, like ‘Looking for Love Evermore’ or something like that. This is an encouraging development, especially since Joe is unlucky in love. You write down the title under your ‘Titles’ heading, and jot it down for this story combo too.   You haven’t yet worked out the details of why Joe is unlucky in love, but given the fact that he’s just met a woman who claims her dog is psychic, you’ve got a pretty good idea now. He gravitates toward women who possess some kind of weird quirk that makes a real relationship impossible to maintain. If you stick with Joe as a main character in this romantic/psychotic romp, you will have to work out some reason why he always gravitates toward woman with whom he can’t stay in a romantic relationship. Maybe he’s got commitment problems because his mother was a bit ‘off’ and drove his father away when Joe was young. But that remains to be seen. Remember, you’re just trying out these various ideas together to see if they have potential.   Last, you take a look at the setting you’ve chosen at random to match up with your plot and character. You chose the scenic seaside resort town Saint-Tropez for this first speed-dating match because you’ve always wanted to visit the celebrity playground of the French Riviera. Plus it has rich historical significance as the first in the coastal area to be liberated from German occupation in World War II. And it’s where 60s sex-symbol actress Bridgette Bardot was discovered. But then you start thinking about the logistics of a woman with a supposedly psychic dog, and a man unlucky in love visiting the jet-setter French Riviera – plus the fact that you’ve never been there, and you don’t know much about it. So you scrap it for this potential match-up.   However, you do like all the rest of what you’ve come up with for a potential story, and so you copy that part of the scenario to another page so you can save it for further consideration as a viable story.   Keep going. Mix and match all the rest of your various component stories. Don’t worry about whether or not they appear to be good matches. Sometimes the most unlikely match creates the most inventive story that’s so unique, it could break into the market and become a winner.   Once you’ve looked at everything you’ve got and have eliminated the obvious non-workable scenarios, you’ll find yourself rich with ideas for stories. So rich, in fact, you’ll be wondering which one to start on first. Just don’t make the mistake of trying to write them all at the same time. Choose one and focus on developing it to its full potential, then move on to the next. Step by step, story by story, you’ll build a body of work that hopefully will be well thought out and well developed so your readers will be flocking to buy your books.

This weeks email from Elder Lisonbee is awesome

"Dear Family, Wow I do not know how to describe how amazing this week has been. To start we were able to go and had four meals we got fed every meal plus one more. It was hard to finish all but was an awesome thanksgiving. We had an amazing turn out this week we went to share with Nick he already started to invite people to listen to our message. He invited his friend named Royce and he really looked up to nick a lot. he already introduced the restoration to him and he was reading it when we walked in the door. They were so opened to learn more. He also invited this lady named Janet to come hear of the message, and she was a recovering alcoholic. We had a bible study we than referred Janet to the sisters and they went to visit her and said they had an amazing lesson with her. When Janet left we really felt like we needed to teach Nick and Royce the law of Chasity and the word of wisdom. He than right after the lesson we made a promise with nick that he would feel more of the happiness that he was already feeling if he made the sacrifice to give up smoking. Nick got rid of his cigarettes right on the spot he didn't even want his lighter he even agreed to give up drinking. He said he would just stick to his herbal tea. He made it a goal to be ready to enter the waters of Baptism in December Nick wanted to be baptized as well. We came back the next day and nick told us it has been hard he was eating a lot of lolly pops to take his mind of smoking. He said it has been weird changing his routine. We introduced the stop smoking work shop to help he said he has quit before he is going to end his addiction. It was a really cool experience to see the great desire Nick has to grow closer to his father in heaven every assignment we have given him he started reading. He has been such a cool example and given up so much so that he can grow closer to our father in heaven. If yall could pray for Nick to help him continue to stay away from his addiction to smoking so he can be baptized in December. It was such a cool experience to see how our Father in Heaven will guide us to his children who are ready to hear of the gospel for he has a plan for all of us. I love my father in heaven so much. I know that as we strive to grow closer to him we will find a happiness greater than we have ever had. I love you guys and pray for nick and Royce so they can overcome and be ready to enter the waters of Baptism. love you guys have an awesome week Elder Lisonbee"

Interview and Giveaway With Author Jaidis Shaw

Hi all. Today I am excited to share an interview with Jaidis Shaw, author of Destiny Awaits. Enjoy! Q:  Who are you, and why should readers read the rest of this interview? A: I’m Jaidis Shaw; a quirky author who is trying to get the word out about my newest release. Readers should keep checking out the interview because it would make my heart happy, I’d love them for eternity, and I’m offering a giveaway. Q: Tell us a little about the work you are here promoting. A: I’m here today to promote my new paranormal romance Destiny Awaits. It takes a look at the life of Alayna Scott who moves to Juniper Grove after the death of her parents. Unaware of the dangers in her new town, she catches the eye of a local vampire who wants her to be his next meal. Through a series of events, she is brought into a world that she never knew existed and struggles to not only survive, but to understand what she has become. Q: As a writer, do you have plans for world domination, or do you have a day job as well? A: I’m not going to lie…world domination is on my to-do list. However, while I’m plotting my next move, I do have a day job. I am the Book Tour Coordinator for Nurture Your BOOKS™ so I spend my day helping other authors promote their work. J Q:  How do you handle bad reviews? If you haven’t had one…would you be willing to grant me permission to trash your writing, just to see if you cry? A: Well since it is a new release, I have not received a bad review yet (thankfully) although I know they are there waiting, just around the corner, eager to strike when I’m least expecting it. That being said, I would prefer you didn’t trash my writing because I know that when I do receive a bad review (especially ones that make me cry) I will just mope around the house all day and my diet will be replaced with a ton of chocolate and junk food…lol. Bad reviews, so long as they are honest and nice, are always welcome. J Q:  Do you blog? If so, don’t you wish you were as cool a blogger as I? A: I do have a blog, Juniper Grove, and yes I do wish that I were as cool as you. Do you have any tips for how I can achieve this greatness of which you speak? Please? Q: I think I could actually take some tips from you  Are you planning to give something away (if not, good luck getting anyone to read this thing) and if so, what are your demands for winning (I assume, your book because why else would you stop by?) A: Yes I would love to offer a giveaway! Two lucky readers will have the chance to win an eBook copy of Destiny Awaits! The winners can choose between PDF and Mobi formats. There are no demands although it would be super nice if the winners would consider leaving a review of the book on Amazon and/or GoodReads. Q:  Any advice for aspiring writers? A: RUN! Get out while you can! Just kidding…maybe…well…not really. It takes a LOT of work to be a writer but I say that if you love writing and you want to write a book…then do whatever it takes to make that happen. Q: Alright, where can readers find you on the web? Juniper Grove Blog Author Amazon Page Author Goodreads Page Author Facebook Page Jaidis Shaw on Twitter Author YouTube Channel  Author Bio:Jaidis Shaw currently resides in a small town located in South Carolina with her husband and beautiful daughter. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.   When not reading or writing, Jaidis fills the position of Book Tour Coordinator for Nurture Your Books™, maintains the Juniper Grove blog and loves encouraging her daughter to let her imagination run wild.     The Giveaway    Destiny Awaits Cover Twenty-year-old Alayna Scott receives visions around water, but even her foresight couldn’t prepare her for the tragic accident that claimed the lives of her parents. With everything she loves gone, Alayna packs up and moves to the small town of Juniper Grove in hopes of starting over. Jayden McKnight can’t explain the attraction that he feels whenever Alayna is near, but he does know that he will do whatever it takes to win her heart. When a vampire selects Alayna as his next victim, Jayden will stop at nothing to ensure her safety – even if that means bringing Alayna into a world that she never knew existed.     Love blossoms, challenges are made and Alayna will find herself fighting not only to survive, but to understand what she has become. To Enter: Required: Leave a comment on this blog including your e-mail address and what ebook format you require so that the author can send out your copy. If you decide to participate in the below (optional) activities, please state that you have done so in your comment. Optional:  Follow Jaidis on Twitter: Here Like Jaidis on Facebook: Here This giveaway will end on May 31st. Good luck!

Darwin’s Children (#1)

“You know a great book when you can easily be captivated by the characters and setting alone and fall in love with it before the plot even really kicks in, and Darwin’s Children is definitely that book. Super powers and super humans done in an incredibly different way, Natasha Larry combines the best of all the paranormal and supernatural world coupling it with a characters whose stories will pull at your heart strings, Darwin’s Children is a book that I know will be stuck on my mind for a very long time,” Black and Blue Ink
Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts! Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Her family’s special – in more ways that one. Her mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And her godfather John can literally convince anyone to do anything. But, as far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love her pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of… Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie and her family, until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!


From the other side of the glass, Mason watched Haylee circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening. Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place … something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think…” Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight. He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst. Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse. The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain. The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over.

Unnatural Law (#2)

The writing is fast paced, easy to read and witty as hell. The characters are lovable and their interactions are some of the best I’ve read. The heat between Matt and Jaycie is scorching hot-My Neurotic Book Affair
Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psychokinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie. As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own. The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power. So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away. Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all
Haylee sat with her best friend and watched the four most powerful supernatural beings in the world approach Mason and John. Lucy’s face glowed under the dull street lamp, her delicate fairy features savage and unforgiving. Haylee couldn’t see all the others, but she knew their unnatural and extraordinarily powerful enemies surrounded them on all sides, aiming weapons soaked in their own blood. I guess being attacked by a bunch of dead guys didn’t help our case, she thought to herself bitterly. “What is Allison Young’s decision?” a male voice boomed. Haylee resisted the urge to look around, knowing Allison was somewhere hidden from their view, fighting with every inch of her strength to protect him. All of this because of love. To defend a relationship that threatened to halt evolution in its tracks. Haylee heard Mason tell Landon of the Inner Circle that Allison was on her way. She knew he was stalling in the vain hope this would not come to a fight. She thought of all the supernatural creatures that could kill her – a vampire or even a vampire slayer – and grew angry at the idea that a fairy might end her life tonight. She could feel the fire from Jaycie itching to break lose. Hopefully Mason could get through to the Inner Circle and make them all see the truth. It was a futile hope. Suddenly the scene in Big Spring Park changed right before Haylee’s eyes. Allison was loose. The Second Tier screamed for her blood. Chaos erupted all around them, and Haylee couldn’t focus her eyes on any one thing. Her family was surrounded by anarchy. They might be dying. The last image Haylee saw before that final flash of red was Lucy grabbing Jaycie by the neck. If no one got there fast enough, the being created to protect her was going to snap her neck.

Common Descent (#3)

Eighteen-year old Jaycie Lerner’s telekinesis is finally in check—too bad levitating a picnic table is now a workout. Not to mention her previously dormant telepathy is back and raging out of control. As she struggles to relearn her frightening power, the Dey-Vah announce they will soon unleash the supernatural world on the human race. To make matters worse, people start dropping dead all over northern Alabama. Then, a mysterious new enemy emerges. Jaycie must elicit the help of the world’s only master vampire slayer and an assassin who gets her tips from the voices in her head. Strengthening the Core is the only way to protect mankind from the coming vampire army, and they aren’t even the most dangerous threat. Jaycie and her family face their darkest hour when an innocent young girl serves as a pawn to form a deadly Alliance. The perfect vampire, Lilith Bradshaw, becomes an eye-opening example of how far the Alliance will go to serve their own destructive ends. The world around Jaycie steeps into darkness, and betrayals from the past threaten to undo them all.
“Jaycie Lerner,” a girl’s high, singsong voice called out. “I don’t want you to die tonight.” When the girl laughed, it sounded like silver bells. Jaycie spun around, seeing the petite vampire’s blonde hair even in the darkness. She knew she was going to have to kill this girl. She let an energy blast rip from her body. Her power knocked Lilith backward. The ground quaked. An alien panic dug into Jaycie’s head. She gritted her teeth. Focus! she ordered, trying to fight the emotion. Cut off her brain waves! She flew across the clearing after Lilith, willing herself not to unleash another energy blast on the vampire – she’d only absorb it and gain more power. The trees in the clearing crashed to the ground all around them as Jaycie tried to shake off the terror assaulting her mind. She cornered the vampire. Another wave of terror hit her. Strong arms grasped her from behind. A sharp pain dug into her neck. Something icy from the injection stilled her blood. Her body went limp and lifeless, suspended in the arms of the man who attacked her. As her vision tunneled, she fell unconscious.