Monday Musings – How do You Address a Crisis?


This winter has been hard on everybody. In my little neck of the woods we’ve been hit with massive amounts of snow and ice, power outages, and broken water pipes. We have a really big hill on our driveway so ice and snow are a problem, making it difficult to get in and out of our property. We’ve spent a lot of time walking up and down that hill this winter, spreading salt so we could use the drive without sliding down hill.

It’s been a challenge.

Then we went right from winter to spring, temporarily, and a huge thunder storm came through, knocking out our power for 12 hours. Yeah, I’m giving Mama Nature the middle finger salute right now.

What a bitch.

So when we got a call from the water company the other day, telling us that our water usage had spiked and that we most likely had a leak somewhere, we were thrilled.

What else could go wrong?

Wait, scratch that! I didn’t say that. No I did not! You’re hearing things.

Anywho… We’ve had some challenges this winter, for sure. But have they been show stoppers? Or just breaks in the action? I guess the answer depends on how you handle them. Any one of them could be a major problem, dragging on for weeks and causing no end of angst. Or it could be a minor hitch, quickly fixed and easily put in the rear view mirror.

In my house, we’re the type of people who look a problem in the eyes and dare it to take us down. We might cringe at first, maybe even do a little “woe is me” shtick, but then we close down the pity party and look for solutions. By contrast, people like our neighbors will go for days, even weeks without solving the problem. They’re currently on about day 10 without water, and no end in sight. They greet each new day hobbled by the effects of their inaction but still seem unable to address the crippling issue.

I’m just not built that way.  To me, a problem is just a solution in disguise. It’s like a game of Clue, wherein my search for the murderer ends not only in his discovery and arrest, but also in the knowledge of how it was done that I can file away for later use.

Every challenge becomes a learning experience. Each success increases my determination not to be defeated in the future.

So bring on the challenges. Don’t expect me to thank you for them. #:0) But in the end I’ll be glad for the chance to beat them back. Because it makes me stronger as a person…keeps me growing. And isn’t that what life is all about?

 

 

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The Walking Heart Attack


Good god! I’m a little behind the rest of the viewing public and I’m just watching Season 3 of The Walking Dead.

I might not survive it.

Glenn and Maggie are two of my favorite characters. Of course. They’re wonderful and so cute together. But now they’re captured and being tortured. My palms are sweaty. My pulse is pounding around my ears. I’m just telling you right now they’d better survive.

They’d better!

And now the rest of the crew is at the barricades, zombies all around them in the dark, anticipating fighting off a bunch of crazy men and breaching the town to save them. And my tortured mind is filling with questions.

Who’s going to die next? Will Merle and Daryl have a heartwarming reunion? Will Merle choose Daryl over the Governor?  Will Daryl be able to kill his big brother if it comes down to that? Will Andrea get a flipping brain?

Deep breaths.

I might not survive.

I. Just. Might. Die.

Well, at least then my question will be answered. Who will die next? ME!!!!

Oh! Hoaley Night! Meet Dirk and Adam


ohhoaleynight_510

Sometimes going home is clarifying. Sometimes it’s just plain deadly!

Adam travels to Candlelight, Indiana to visit his parents for Christmas. When he arrives he discovers somebody has killed a man and dumped him in the manger of the living crèche at the local church. Unfortunately, all signs lead back to Adam’s father as the murderer. A Sheriff with a grudge and a small town more interested in gossip than reality, convince Adam that it will be up to him and the gang to clear his father’s name.

 Tina, The Novel Approach: “…these are some of the funniest, most colorful and sexy characters around. If this was what Declan Sands could do with them in 75 pages, I can’t imagine how great a whole novel would be.”

~~*~~

Walter met them at the door when they got back. He snuffled their hands looking for goodies and then turned back around when he discovered they didn’t have anything and headed back out of the kitchen. The house was dark and quiet but Adam found a note on the kitchen table from his mom.

Gone back to the station. You and Dirk can share the bunks right? Mink’s in the guest room. Love, Mom.

Adam thought about going to the station too, but Dirk seemed to read his mind and took the note out of his hands, settling it onto the table. “She’s doing what she needs to do, Ads. Let her be.”

Adam briefly considered arguing but weariness got the better of him. “Yeah. I’ll get a couple of hours of sleep and spell her in the morning.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Dirk told him, pulling him out of the kitchen. “Was your mom actually talking about the bunk beds?”

Heat suffused Adam’s face and he wasn’t sure if it was because of memories engendered by Dirk’s question, or embarrassment that his mom hadn’t changed his room a whit since he was twelve. “I’m afraid so,” Adam admitted.

They hit the stairs and started to climb. “Yum,” Dirk said, leaning in to nibble Adam’s jaw. “I still have wet dreams about those beds.”

Adam laughed, feeling his own wet dream coming up. “It was probably the Astronaut Eddie comforters.”

“Nope,” Dirk shook his head. “I’m pretty sure it was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle posters on the walls.”

Adam laughed. “I totally wanted to do Donatello.”

Dirk snorted against his neck. “I was a Raphael guy myself. Punch first and ask questions later always made me hard.”

They stopped laughing as they passed the guest room door and heard a high-pitched whistling noise.

“Good god, what is that?” Dirk asked.

The whistling was quickly followed by the sound of whinnying and Adam suddenly grinned, realizing what they were hearing. “Oh, that’s Mink. He snores like a girl.”

“Or a horse.”

The door to Adam’s room was open and there was an entirely different kind of snoring coming from inside. A quick look around located the source. That was when they realized that Walter had commandeered the bottom bunk.

Adam tried to move him off the bed but he was like a lead-filled pillow with slippery covering. When Walter slept he was pretty much in a coma state.

“I guess we’re sharing the top bunk.” Dirk lifted an eyebrow and Adam’s stomach did a little flip. In a blink, the weariness that had been dogging him slid away. He stepped closer and Dirk’s arms were suddenly around him, pulling him into a full-body press that stole his breath.

Their lips touched and heat flared between them as it always had, from the earliest days fumbling and exploring in the dark. As Dirk’s lips parted and his tongue slipped into Adam’s mouth, memories slid over him like melted chocolate—sweet, dark and addictive.

The years sloughed away under the power of their mutual attraction, just as strong in that moment as it had been fifteen years earlier.

Buy eBook  Apple iStore  Buy Nook  Buy Kobo  Buy ARe  Buy Kindle  Amazon.uk  Amazon.ca

Other books in the series:

A Hoale Lot of Trouble
Hoaley Ill-Manored
Hoaley Inexplicable 

Cover Reveal – Bright City Lights


I just got aspankin’ new cover for my dark and sexy paranormal, Bright City Lights and I wanted to share it with you. Yummy!

brightcitylights

City of Lights – Book 1

Paranormal Romance

Sometimes it’s harder to be together than it is to be apart.

Rabb is an alpha shifter, a werewolf, who likes to defy both the odds and authority. He prefers the city lights over the open spaces most shifters enjoy.

Brant is a politician with a secret that’s becoming harder and harder to contain. As mayor of Bright City, he’s determined to keep the city free of shifters to protect his secret.

The two men share a fair amount of distrust, along with a smoldering history that threatens to drag them under again. But when shifters begin to die in Bright City, Rabb and Brant need to find a way to work together again. Especially when one of them inadvertently steps right into the murderer’s deadly path.

Redz World Reviews gave Bright City Lights 5 Shooting Stars!  “The wonderful story telling and heat between Brant and Rabb made this a book I just couldn’t put down. This is my first book I have read by Declan Sands, but I look forward to reading many more in the future. If they are anything like Bright City Lights, I know they will be stories to remember.” 

4.5 Stars from Sensualreads.com! “Exciting and passionate, Bright City Lights will capture your imagination and have you dreaming of two very sexy alphas.” 

~~*~~

The bike’s single headlight swung over trees and flared against open land as Rabb turned onto the dirt road leading to the running grounds. The trip to the forest had taken two hours. Two hours of feeling Brant pressed against him. Two hours of smelling the other man’s incredible scent—the scent that still permeated his dreams every single night.

Two hours of a raging hard-on he couldn’t possibly ignore.

Brant’s hands resting lightly on his thighs didn’t help. Or the soft wash of his breath bathing the back of Rabb’s neck. At least Brant couldn’t hear the embarrassing thud of Rabb’s heart beneath his ribs. The husky roar of the bike saved Rabb some serious embarrassment on that score.

He pulled the bike alongside a line of cars, trucks, and bikes and stopped. The silence that met their ears when he killed the engine seemed almost louder than the throaty rumble of his Yamaha.

Cricket song throbbed through the velvet black night, driven past on a soft breeze that carried the scent of shifters. Lots of them. Rabb looked at Brant. “Whatever happens, stay close to me.”

Brant’s handsome face looked ghostly in the moonlight. “That isn’t exactly reassuring.”

Rabb shrugged, grinning wickedly. “Maybe I’m trying to keep you close for other reasons.”

Brant laughed. “Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past you.”

“Come on.”

They left the small spot of flattened grass that served as the parking area and moved into the trees. Though dense and claustrophobic, the forest wasn’t as uniform as it appeared from the road. They followed a narrow, path worn into dirt by shifters and their prey. Looking close, Rabb could see small signs of the packs’ passing. Small, broken limbs and mashed vegetation told a story only the most observant would recognize.

The night enveloped them. The woods seemed empty until Rabb tuned his senses to it, tapping into an entire ecosystem that was replete with warm and cold blooded inhabitants of all shapes and sizes.

The air between the trees was cool and damp and the earth beneath their shoes was rich with the scent of all the decades that had passed before.

Rabb focused on all of it, while keeping one ear on Brant, making sure he stayed close. He hadn’t been teasing the other man, or trying to score, he was worried about bringing him there. The pack wouldn’t appreciate his bringing an enemy to their most sacred place. In fact it was a pretty sure bet they’d be royally pissed. Rabb would be the only thing standing between Brant and a painful eviction.

Or worse.

Secrets lived long and prospered in the running grounds. Enemies were extinguished, soul and body, there. Mistakes were permanently obscured. And grudges were laid to rest, along with the losers.

Rabb would have his hands full keeping Brant from becoming a permanent part of the landscape.

They hadn’t gone far before Rabb smelled wood smoke. He stopped, throwing out a hand to halt Brant. “Stay behind me and keep your mouth shut. No matter what.” He turned and fixed the other man with a warning look. “Understand?”

Brant nodded but his expression held far too much arrogance for Rabb’s comfort. “I mean it, Brant. There are no laws here except pack law. You’re in our territory now. I’m the only insurance you have that you’ll walk out of here tonight.”

Brant crossed arms over chest, belligerent. “Which totally explains why you insisted I bring no guards.”

“I had no choice, fang. One look at your conglomeration of black suited thugs and this would have been a blood bath.”

Brant glared at him. Rabb could deal with that. It was the pinpoint of fear in the icy gaze that did him in. “Look, you’re just going to have to trust me. The pack is understandably jumpy right now. Someone is targeting us and when that happens we tend to contract and isolate. You’re not pack so you’ll be suspect. They aren’t going to care that we slept together once. A long time ago.”

“It was a hell of a lot more than once,” Brant offered.

“You know what I mean.”

They stared hard at each other for another minute and then Brant finally sighed. “Okay. I’m trusting you with my life, wolf. Let’s see if you can take better care of it than you took with my heart.”

Rabb felt the sting of that remark all the way to his gut. But it wasn’t the time or place to get into it. “I’ll do as well as you’ll let me. Just like last time.”

He turned away and started forward, not wanting to give Brant the chance to say anything else. Their past was their past and he really didn’t want to rehash it—now or ever. Some relationships just weren’t meant to be.

Theirs was apparently one of them.

Golden firelight danced through the trees as Rabb emerged into a small clearing. The fire raged at the center of the space, filling the sky with soft, gray smoke. Dozens of people stood around the flame, their faces blank and their muscles taut with anger.

On the ground next to the blaze was a slim form, wrapped in a blanket. Kneeling on the ground next to the woman was her mate, his head bowed. He was covered in blood, most likely some of it hers, and his big hands were clenched in tight fists at his sides.

As Rabb stepped out all heads turned in his direction. Almost immediately, faces softened, legs buckled, and several shifters hit the ground, prostrate with grief. A soft keening sound filled the night. One of the women sobbed, her head dropping back on the heartfelt sound.

Rabb was their alpha. Pack law said they showed no emotion until the time was right. Until all was in place. With Rabb’s arrival the pack could begin the grieving process. They wasted no time.

Brant stepped out behind him and the mood changed with the swiftness of a hatchet slamming into wood. Tension pulsed across the space, hitting Rabb with the fierceness of actual violence.

Slowly, in movements borne of exquisite pain, the mate of the slain woman stood and turned. His bloodied face was purple with rage, his hard eyes bright with it. His gaze found Brant and his jaw worked, the vein at the side of his throat throbbing with rage. “Good. You brought us a sacrifice. Let the blood feast begin.” He turned to the waiting shifters. “Tonight, let the woods fill with the sound of screams and the scent of death as we avenge our fallen packmate.”

Rabb’s muscles tightened, ready to fight if he had to. He’d known it was coming but even he was shocked by the swiftness with which it occurred. As the entire pack moved forward, all eyes fixed on Brant, the only sound Rabb heard was the startled gulp of the vampire standing at his back.

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