Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teen DV Month Has Come to an End

Thank you all for helping me raise awareness this past month!

It's now time to announce the winners of my ebook giveaway....(drum roll, please)

Okay, here's the deal. I couldn't pick just one winner because everyone help me so much in raising awareness on teen dating violence, so I decided to choose 4 winners. Yep, you heard that right--four.

Here goes...

And the winners are: Leigh Covington, Casie Hartley, PK Hrezo, and Susan Deuel Schleicher

Congratulations to everyone. Thank you all!
 (I will email with your prize...but please, if you don't hear from me, email me. I may have your address wrong.)

Although February has come to an end, raising awareness on teen dating abuse definitely doesn't have to. Help me to continue to spread the word.

Stand up and Speak Out

A few final words...

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship it is import to get help.

Please make sure you are safe.

Do not isolate yourself.

Go to a trusted adult or friend.

Get in tough with a trusted organization. These organizations have professionally trained staff to listen, understand, and help.

Other places/people to go to include: religious leaders, school nurses, teachers, school counselors, doctors, and other health professionals can be sources of support and information.

Make sure you find a support system.

Get legal help. Assault and rape is illegal.

Help others. Chances are someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

Some great organizations...
loveisrepsect is selling (really cute) t-shirts to continue to spread awareness and to raise money to continue to train peer counselors and provide in-person healthy relationship training to students. Check the tees out!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dating Violence Knows No Boundaries

It does not discriminate.

It runs across all race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, nationality, geography, age and social-economic lines.

No one is above it.

No one is immune to it.

And no one deserves to be abused.

Did you know that the prevalence of dating violence among LGBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning) adolescents is similar to that of heterosexuals?

The truth is that 1 in 3 teens and young adults (straight, gay, bisexual...anyone) experience some form of dating abuse.

In many ways, domestic violence in LGBTQ relationships is the same as in opposite-gendered/ heterosexually-paired relationships and includes but not limited to: emotional abuse, sexual abuse, digital abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse, and stalking.

It is a myth that LGBTQ battering is mutual.

Resources for LGBTQ is limited, and gay/bisexual/transgender men who are in an abusive relationship have much more difficult time finding support than those in a heterosexual relationship.

Because the LGBTQ community is small in many areas, anonymity is not an option for many.

There are many obstacles that LGBTQ individuals face such as: Shame and embarrassment--an abuser may use this against his/her partner to exhibit control and power. Fear of not being believed--a victim may worry about not being taken serious if he/she reports the abuse because of common stereo-types like abuse is mutual, it just doesn't occur, or can only happen to a female in a heterosexual relationship. Fear of retaliation, harassment, rejection, or bullying. Lack of knowledge of legal protection--many victims may not be aware that they have legal options for protection -- including obtaining restraining orders.

Regardless, everyone deserves a healthy relationship and everyone needs to know that there is help and resources out there.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or has questions about their relationship please contact:

The hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE

or text "loveis" to 77054

Resources:,, National domestic Hotline

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Excerpt from Break From You and Giveaway

Break From You 
(ya contemporary, literature & fiction, romance, tough issues)

He took a step forward, and I took a step back, so he stopped. “Please,” he said. “Please, I am so sorry.”
I let him walk up the stairs. I wasn’t sure why. I was still furious with him. But I was also in love. Sometimes love has a way of winning.
He wrapped his arms around me, and I leaned against his chest. I could feel his warmth radiate through me, but I didn’t feel safe. “I love you,” he said into my hair. He kissed me on the top of my head before he lifted my chin and kissed me on the lips. When he pulled away, he said, “I love you more than I have loved anyone. You mean everything to me, and I don’t want to lose you. What we have is amazing, and we can’t let what happened tonight overrule all the good times we’ve had.”
What he said hovered in the air as I remembered back to our first date, how he picked that rose. I remembered the torn-out magazine pictures, the drawings, the hugs, the kisses. I remembered the soft words, the strong embraces. He made me feel wonderful, incredible. It was hard to forget. It was hard to let go.
“Please, give me another chance. I won’t let it happen again,” he said as he touched my face and kissed me again.
And even though I knew I shouldn’t, even though something deep down told me not to, I did. I gave him another chance and I believed him. I believed him when he said it would never happen again.
“I love you,” he said.
And I believed that, too.
Because sometimes…love has a way of winning.

Don't forget about the giveaway!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Giveaway to Raise Awareness on Teendvmonth

February in Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

and to raise awareness on teen dating violence I am giving away

an ebook copy of Break From You

Love shouldn't hurt this much...

Brooke Myers wants to believe she has it all: 

the perfect guy, the perfect relationship, the perfect life.

 She wants to believe it so much that she's willing to overlook the fear, the isolation, and the pain her boyfriend has caused her. She knows it isn't right but tells herself that love isn't always easy. However, when a fire destroys the restaurant during homecoming dinner, she forms an instant bond with the boy who saves her, one her boyfriend wouldn’t like. 

With the pain of a concussion reminding her of how bad things can get, she is forced to re-evaluate the relationship she has with her boyfriend and face the ghosts that haunt her. Brooke once believed love was all it took…but is it enough?

 Is it truly love when you've lost yourself in it?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is Respect National Announcement

As part of Respect Week for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, I am joining in on and's National Youth Advisory Board's National Announcement.

Instead of just re-writing the announcement here on my site, I decided to try a video. And what fun! I spent most of yesterday taping, editing and figuring it all out. The first half of the video is the announcement from and the second half is my play on the Love is... slogan that they use for their campaign. Let me know what you think...

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Valentine's Day!

Notes and Credits:
National Announcement by and the National Youth Advisory Board

Announcement from Respect Week 2013 Guide

As part of Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Month and Respect Week

The Loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board created Respect Week as a special way for people  to raise awareness during February’s annual Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.


If you or someone you know has questions about their relationship, please go to or text "loveis" to 77054

Music- Love is Light from 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wear Orange 4 Respect

I'm wearing orange today to help promote and join their fight to help raise awareness to Teen Dating Violence.

Join me and share your ORANGE 4 RESPECT photos on the Facebook event or at!

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Peer advocates are available to support you 24/7
What is live chat? | Our privacy policy
connect connect 

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please get help. 
Go to for more information. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shining a Light on Dating Violence

A Virtual Candlelight Vigil

In Honor of
In Memory of

of those affected by dating abuse.

1 in 3 teen and young adults experience some form of dating abuse.
Each year, lives are lost due to dating/partner/spousal abuse.
Light a candle and help me shine a light on dating violence
Together we can help end this devastating issue

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Raising Awareness Through Movies and Books

It's National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. 

1 in 3 teens experiences some form of abuse in their relationships

58% of teens and young adults report experiencing abuse through some form of digital and social media

For more information go to
or text "Loveis” to 77054 to get help

I am a firm believer that when the topic is too hard, a conversation can be started through movies or books. Although many forms of media glorify violence, there are a great number of wonderful movies and books out there that delve into the tough issues with realism and sensitivity and get us talking.

Trailer for Reviving Ophelia

Written by Teena Booth (screenplay) Mary Pipher (book)

Another Announcement

Rachelle Ayala is hosting a book chat with me over at her site today as part of her Hidden Under Her Heart giveaway and tour.

Head on over and check it out.
She is giving away a e-copy of Break From You as part of a package of other wonderful e-books

Make sure you join in on the giveaway!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Welcome Rachelle Ayala

Today I'd like to welcome Rachelle Ayala to my blog. Rachelle Ayala is the author of Hidden Under Her Heart, a must read story about a young women forced to decide her fate and the fate of her unborn child after devastating and life changing events. Rachelle Ayala tackles the sensitive and controversial topic of date rape and abortion with compassion and ease.
Make sure you head on over to Rachelle Ayala's site. She is hosting an amazing Hidden Under Her Heart giveaway and tour. I will be on her site tomorrow doing a book chat on Break From You. She is also having amazing giveaways of some wonderful books, including Break From You, so head on over and sign up to win!

A warm welcome to Rachelle Ayala,

1.      Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always been a storyteller. I was the oldest of four children and my siblings gathered in my room where I made up adventures with people and pets. I visualize stories like a movie in my mind and rarely take notes while working on a novel. I’ve always wanted to write, but had a career first in engineering and management where I gathered many life experiences.

2.      Where did the idea for Hidden Under Her Heart come from?
The initial idea was a romantic suspense where the evidence for the rape was hidden in the unborn baby’s DNA, but when I started writing the story, it turned into a more character driven story exploring the difficult decision a woman has to make when confronted with rape and abortion. The kinder and gentler hero, Lucas Knight, had a lot to do with the tone and direction of the story.

3.      How long did it take you to write this story?
Five months. I drew on my own experiences to write the second half of the story so once I got through the difficult first half, the rest of the chips fell in place. Of course I didn’t have a happy outcome in real life. One of the benefits of being a novelist is that I get to invent a happy ending.

4.      What is your writing process?
I’ve written three novels and used three different processes. I believe it is unique to the story. However if I had to put a name to it, I’d say it is combination NaNoWriMo and PlotWriMo. I hastily dash off a first draft without plotting and spend a month using Martha Alderson’s Re-Vision process to identify the energy markers and throw out extraneous scenes or rewrite segments that make no sense. Then I put it up on and have my associates critique it. I rewrite two to three times during the crit process, always from start to finish, each revision. Before editing, I send it to beta readers for their general reactions and do another revision with the feedback.

5.      If you had to choose a favorite character in your story, who would it be?
Am I allowed to do this? I’m a mother to three children and can honestly say that I love each one to the fullest. It’s equally hard for me to pick THE favorite character. But since you’re requiring me to chose one it would be Michal, the princess of Israel who became King David’s first wife. After all, I lived her life from the age of fourteen when she met the shepherd boy playing the harp to her final reunion with King David in her heavenly mansion.

6.      The attention to detail and the terminology you used in regards to medical references and triathlon running was well done. Did you do research for this or do you have experience in these areas?
My husband is in the medical profession and I was an allergy patient for fifteen years. Unfortunately, I also have firsthand knowledge of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as my son lived there for three weeks after his untimely birth. I researched the triathlon by reading Chris McCormack’s book and conferring with a sister of a friend who competes in triathlons. I also watched the Kona triathlon on streaming video and reviewed youtubevideos of previous triathlons. When I was younger, I used to run 10K races and finished a half marathon, but never a complete one, so I know the feelings of pounding the pavement and being exhausted, dehydrated or in pain.

7.      You tackle a very sensitive and controversial topic with ease, was that difficult to do?
It was extremely difficult to let the story tell itself without injecting my opinions. I revised the abortion discussion several times with the help of my crit partners who included both pro-choice and pro-life women. I had to capture the feelings of a rape victim and how she just wants it to go away, pretend it never happened. I also had to balance the reaction of her boyfriend between anger at the rapist, guilt for having backed away from the relationship, and concern for the unborn baby. He came off realistically judgmental in some places but loving and overprotective in other places.Both characters change in the story and experience emotional growth. Maryanne was not the strongest character in the beginning, but once she faced her weaknesses and started making decisions, she became more accepting of herself and confident.

8.      What is the overall message you want readers to take away from the book?
That it is hard to judge another person when you have not lived in their skin, and even if you don’t agree with their decisions or choices, they will not listen to your opinion unless you truly care and accept them.

9.      What can we expect from your next book?
I’m itching to do another romantic suspense. I’ve picked two characters that are hardened against love. Danger, a mystery in the past, a debilitating injury and buried family secrets combine to ignite both firecracker passion and bone piercing pain.

10.  Anything else you want to share about yourself or your books?
I love dramatic fiction with heavy emotional overtones centered around women coping with life problems. Favorite authors are Anne Rivers Siddons and Melissa Foster. These books take you into the harrowing lives of women facing huge challenges with unexpected twists and heartrending emotions. I like to write dramatic stories with flawed characters and impossible dilemmas. My crit partners often say I box myself into a corner. I enjoy the challenge of redeeming seemingly unredeemable characters and resolving mysteries with an unexpected but plausible ending.

Thanks Rebecca for introducing me to your readers. I welcome comments and questions. Please visit me at my blog: or find me on Facebook at:

Hidden Under Her Heart, available at
 Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.

Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.

Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.

The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.

Thank you Rachelle Ayala for joining me today! You can find out more about Rachelle Ayala at her blog, here. And don't forget about the giveaways!

More books by Rachelle Ayala

It's Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. According to the CDC, Dating Violence is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and may occur between a current or former dating partner. Sexual abuse is a form of dating abuse. It is when a date forces him/herself on his/her partner and doesn't respect nor care about the consequences.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, get help.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Love Is...

Love is...

Love is...

Love is...

February is...

 Join me throughout the month of February as I help raise awareness on Teen Dating Abuse.

Starting Monday, I will be hosting giveaways of Break From You (ebook,) my debut novel on teen dating abuse.

 I will also be giving away a signed paperback of Break From You to one of my amazing followers.

On February 7th, I will be holding a virtual candlelight service in honor of all of those affected by dating abuse.

On February 11th, Orange Day, I will be wearing orange. I invite you to join me at the Facebook event, hosted by where you can upload pics of yourself wearing orange and supporting the cause.

On February 14th, I will post the National Announcement on teen dating abuse and ways to end it.

Throughout the month, I will be posting information on teen dating abuse, hosting other events, doing donation drives, and etc. Make sure you come back and check out all the things that will be happening throughout February.

Please join me

Stand up
Speak out against...