All posts tagged ramblings

Renewed and Recharged

Published July 31, 2019 by LS Murphy

I’m back from my short weekend vacation. It was glorious.

Recently, I listened to The 3-Day Effect by Florence Williams on Audible. (Side note: I’m falling in love with Audible.)


Now, I didn’t quite do three days camping, but we spent three days in the Great Smoky Mountains. We rented a cabin with very little outside contact. My favorite day was when we went hiking to Grotto Falls.


It was glorious. I had forgotten about how much I loved being outside in nature. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget about things we love to do. And I love hiking.

I really feel recharged and refresh. Actually, I feel like I can conquer the world.

So I made a pledge to myself to get out and hike at least once a month. This weekend, in fact, I’m planning on getting up early for a hike. Next weekend, I’ll spend my day in nature on the river for a float trip. After that, who knows.

But I do know I’ll be outside more. A lot more.



Watching the Sunrise

Published July 18, 2019 by LS Murphy

On a warm October morning, I woke my husband and daughter up while darkness covered the sky. The heat of summer hadn’t loosened its grip, but determination seated in my chest. For months, I’d been seeking my “zen” and I was going to find it any way necessary. We were going to watch the sunrise. It was a spur of the moment thing that began as a seed in my subconscious. The kind that take hold of you and occupy every thought until you submit to its demands. My husband asked why in his husky, sleep-deprived voice. I replied, “How many times do we just get up to watch the sunrise?”

He shrugged and lugged himself out of bed, waking our child in the process. Thirty minutes later (I had to have my coffee first), we were out the door.

We climbed to the top of Monk’s Mound at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL with our dog Ethan leading the way. Dawn broke as we hit the 154th step, but the sun had not yet appeared over the horizon. Pale and bright pinks, faded oranges, vibrant yellows painted the lightening sky. Naturally, I had to capture the moment with my trusty phone. The images did not do justice to the reality, but they so rarely do. I posted photos of Ethan and the glorious sunrise on my Facebook page with the caption; “Each day is a gift. Cherish them all. Watch the sunrise.”

It was ethereal, relaxing, and dare I say spiritual. Exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Three hours later we were driving like Richard Petty from St. Louis to Quincy, IL. My father was in emergency surgery. He’d had a heart attack.

The morning went from glorious to terrifying with the sound of my phone. A phone I didn’t answer when it first rang. I’d sent the call to voicemail as I finished a task. An insignificant, inconsequential task that could’ve waited. A task I cannot even remember.

My father and I haven’t always had the best relationship. When I was a young girl, he was my idol. Like all idols, he fell from the pedestal. And he fell fast and he fell hard. I discovered my father was human, and it destroyed our relationship. He was my everything. With one decision, he become nothing to me.


For three years, I refused to speak to him or even see him.

Eventually, I grew up. I saw my best friend lose her dad to a heart attack. We only get one father, one person we call ‘daddy’. Sure, I had a stepfather, a wonderful man who I called Pops. But he wasn’t my father.

Dad and I made amends over time, although hurt feelings never really go away. No matter how much we tell ourselves that they do. Sometimes we just have to push past the past and move into the future. Even if we don’t want to or feel like we can’t. I buried the feeling of betrayal that my dad wasn’t superhuman, but it lingered. It still does. Even when he proves to me again that he is human.

My family hurriedly packed and drove like we might not get another sunrise. Dad had an emergency triple bypass. By the time we made it to the hospital, he was out of surgery. By fate or coincidence, one of the best cardiac surgeons in St. Louis just happened to be in Quincy. He saved my father’s life.

I’d sent my stepmother to voicemail for no real reason other than I thought it was my dad making his usual Saturday morning phone call.

I thought of all the calls I sent to voicemail because I was in the middle of something I deemed more important. I thought of all the times I didn’t give three hours home because I had other things to do. I thought of all the moments I’d blatantly ignored. Because I was 1) too busy or 2) too self-involved.

Much like the sunrise, we can’t neglect the small things. We can’t take for granted the big things. And we certainly should never ignore family. They’re all we’ve got. Even during our darkest days and brightest nights, we need that connection. We need our family.

I don’t want to waste another sunrise.

Next time, I’ll answer the phone.

{Blog Tour} Guest Post by Tied author Laney McMann

Published September 25, 2013 by LS Murphy

I’m going to chop this list in two. 5 reasons why I write fantasy/paranormal and 5 reasons why I read it.

Why I read Fantasy and Paranormal:

5. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s always interesting to have a different perspective—to try to understand how someone else thinks. Fantasy and paranormal stories allow readers to see into other’s imagination.

4. Making friends (or not). For me, the character’s in great stories can become friends—family, even. I know these character’s. I want to live in their worlds. Who didn’t want to fight alongside Harry Potter against Voldemort, or help Bilbo Baggins climb that mountain? Who didn’t want to scream with Katniss Everdeen? We readers love our character’s.

3. Exploring other worlds. This to me is a double reading/writing reason. How awesome is it to wander around in a world someone created from sheer imagination? Too cool.

2. Getting a glimpse into the workings of other writer’s heads. That one sounds a little weird probably. But it’s fascinating to see how other author’s imaginations work. Especially if I love their books. As a reader and writer, I believe we have a few geniuses in the writing community, and it’s an honor to be among them.

1. Most important reason: transportation. Good stories have the ability to take me off the couch, out of the car, away from my surroundings, and sit me in the middle of someone else’s world—someone else’s problems. Their life. Nothing is better than that. 😉

Why I write Fantasy and Paranormal:

  1. Flow, speed, movement. Although I sometimes try to slow it down, my writing style seems to have a quickness to it. A rapidity. I like to read stories that move. And for me, young adult fantasy and paranormal stories want that speed. It’s a natural fit.

4. Creative expression, of course. Writing is an outlet. A way of seeing the crazy images and dreams rattling around inside my head on paper and then sharing them.

3. Exploring other worlds. Like number 3 above, except on the writing end. I get to create my own worlds to wander through. Amazing.

  1. The ability to let my ideas and imagination go uncontained. I can’t think of another genre that allows so much creative freedom. (Well, maybe sci-fi. 😉 Maybe.)
  2. Because it’s in me. Other writer’s hear this all the time, and I’ve given this answer several times, too. Why do I write fantasy? Why paranormal? Why YA? The answer is always the same: Because it’s in me. It’s what comes out when I sit down at my laptop to write. And I’m really thankful for that.


Thank you, Linda, for hosting me. 😉

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure you check out Tied everyone. It’s sure to rock your boat. 🙂

About TIED:

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.


About Laney: 

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.


You can find my occasional ramblings on Twitter.

Book updates on my author page at goodreads.

My Facebook Profile for inspiration and randomness.

Updates on The Fire Born Novels at my Facebook Author Page

My interests on Pinterest.

And I’m now on Tumblr ,too.

You can also contact me by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com


One signed paperback copy of TIED, 2 E-book copies of TIED, and 2 signed TIED bookmarks

Giveaway Rafflecopter:



Cover Reveal: Unnatural by J.A. Belfield

Published September 16, 2013 by LS Murphy

GUYS! Seriously, I fell in love with this cover the second I saw it. 

Besides the fact that it’s a Holloway Pack novel,

Besides the fact that I adore J.A. Belfield, 


I would totally pick this up in the bookstore based on the cover alone. 🙂

Check it out.

Unnatural_Cover_webAbout Unnatural: 

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

Release Date: April 7, 2014



Deadlines, Deadlines, Whoosh…

Published September 8, 2013 by LS Murphy

I’m on a deadline. It’s a personal deadline, but a deadline nonetheless. 

Yep, I am totally freaking out that I will miss it, which will screw up my plans for the rest of the year. 

Okay, I should calm down about it, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s a REQUIREMENT. 


My deadline is to finish this current WIP (FULL COUNT) by the end of September. I’m sitting just over 45k. Things seem to be getting in the way lately, and it’s driving me batty. If I can write every day, I’ll still make my deadline. 


I think I’ve underestimated my word count for this first draft. 

So why needlessly put myself on deadlines? If I don’t, I’ll jump from project to project without finishing any of them.

I’ve got Writer’s ADD. 

Right now, I’m sitting on a novel (NO REGRETS) I finished around the 18th of August. I really want to start rewriting it, but I need to sit on it for at least a month if not longer. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It also helps me figure out what’s wrong with it.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on FULL COUNT, which I actually started last year. Like I said, it’s at 45k and I think I’m only halfway done.

Then there’s this other awesome idea I’ve been toying with, along with another one I’ve been outlining. It’s a never ending circle sometimes. 

Why must I complete FULL COUNT by the end of September? Because the month of October will be devoted to rewriting and revising and editing NO REGRETS. I have a very structured revision process and have to stick to it. If I don’t, well … let’s just say it won’t be pretty. Come November 1st, NO REGRETS will be hitting the emails of three different readers.

November, currently, is scheduled for revisions for FULL COUNT. December is for tweaking NO REGRETS before sending to the agent. 

So, if you don’t see me online a lot lately, that’s why. I really want to get FULL COUNT finished by the end of this month. If I can swing it, I’ll have the revisions done by the end of November to send to a few readers in December. 

See, I have a plan. 

By the way, January is the month I pass out. 🙂

Cover Reveal: Forty Nights by Stephanie Parent

Published August 30, 2013 by LS Murphy

Forty-Nights.v2 (2)

Forty Nights (Neima’s Ark #2)

by Stephanie Parent

Release Date: September 2013

Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber Designs

Summary from Goodreads:

Neima, her family, and her grandfather Noah have found themselves trapped aboard an ark as a great flood destroys all life in the world. As their time aboard the ark lengthens, food begins to run out, wild animals grow restless, and family tensions become as much of a threat as the flood outside. In the second and final installment of Neima’s Ark, the stakes are higher, the conflicts are greater, and Neima finds herself facing a choice as impossible as the destruction all around her.

Forty Nights is a continuation of the story begun in Forty Days, and it’s recommended that you read Forty Days first for the best experience. Forty Nights does, however, contain a character guide to refresh readers’ memories. The Neima’s Ark series is a historical, feminist reimagining of the story of Noah’s Ark rather than a religiously oriented one, and the novels are best suited for readers who are comfortable with new interpretations of biblical stories.




forty daysForty Days Info:


 Forty Days is currently FREE!  Get your copy!




 About the Author

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended StephanieParentthe Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block’s WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.


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