Brandyn Blaze

Life Between The Scenes

Month: April 2017

“Snared” Update And Giveaway!

It’s that time again! Book three is well on it’s way to completion and you know what that means: another giveaway!

It’s been a slow process this time around, between bouts of writer’s block and bursts of inspiration for other books in the series, but we are finally nearing the release of “Snared”, the third book in my “Instruments of Life” series.  It will be hitting Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iStore on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, and of course those links will all be available through my “Books” tab.

I am beyond excited to share this next installment of Maggie’s saga with you and to bring back all the characters you know and love.  This particular volume is quickly becoming my favorite!

 

Snared Instruments of Life volume 3 romance series rockstar romance novel giveaway

 

 

With the end of the project drawing ever closer, I thought I’d put together a little giveaway to celebrate. Enter today and you could win signed paperback editions of the first two books in this series series, “Broken Strings” and “Lo-Fidelity”.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it is a romance centered around a young record producer named Maggie Hawke and follows her story as she struggles to find her place in the fast-paced rock-n-roll scene of the 1980s. Torn between two long-haired bad boys and facing a world full of doubts, she has some tough choices ahead. If you’d like a little taste of what’s to come, you can check out some deleted scenes here and here.

To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below! The contest will be closed for entries at 12 AM (CST) on May 3rd , and one lucky winner will be randomly selected. I will contact the winner directly via email to confirm shipping information.

Be sure to share this with your friends and to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more goodies like this!

Best of luck and happy reading!

 

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Confessions Of A Sh***y Wife

Every now and then, I get the feeling that I’m not so great at this whole being a wife thing.

The other day, I decided to write something to articulate these thoughts and I realized that they usually arise from stress.  We ladies have a tendency to get down on ourselves and feel as though we don’t do enough.

Originally, this is a piece I wrote just for my husband and I. As I reread it, I realized that it was something a lot of women I know could relate to. With that in mind, here’s my confession.

confessions of a shitty wife, marriage

Photo via VisualHunt.com

Today, you came home from work at 4 o’clock, like you always do. You told our daughter to get dressed and come outside with you, and asked me to join you. I rolled my eyes and told you I had things to do.

“Sorry, I just wanted to spend time with my family,” you said.

I sighed as guilt overtook me, then threw on my hoodie and followed you out.

As we sat around the fire pit,  I watched you interact with our child and our dog, and I smiled. We wouldn’t have a wonderful backyard oasis if it wasn’t for your hard work and sacrifice. We wouldn’t have a family full of love. Our child wouldn’t have an amazing dad. I wouldn’t have the freedom to go after my dreams.

Cue more guilt.

The thing is, I don’t do affection well. I’ve always been a solitary individual, and letting others into my space is hard. While I try to make it a point to tell you I love you and show you I care, I often prefer to do my own thing.

I’m not good at flowery language, unless I’m putting the pen to paper. Hell, I can barely manage to give more than a requisite “that’s great!” or “that’s too bad!” most of the time.

Instead, I show my love for you through the things I do.  The meals I cook, the hours of cleaning, the managing of the funds, are all ways I show I care. Every time I nag you to take your vitamin or schedule an appointment for you, I’m thinking of how much I you mean to me.

Still, I know I could do more. Say more. Show more.

At the end of the day, I’m exhausted. I know you are, too.

It’s not an excuse, but by the time you get home I’ve given so much of myself to so many people that I have nothing left for you.

I give myself to the friend who’s marriage is going through a rough patch. To the sister in law who’s in the throws of her first pregnancy and needs advice. To the other sister in law who needs an ear to bend. To the best friend who is at the end of her rope. To my mother, your mother, and whoever else sees fit to give me a call.

I give myself to our daughter, who is still so very small. I provide three meals, god-knows-how-many snacks, and more drinks than I can count. I help her with her clothes, her bath, and the occasional trip to the bathroom. I give out snuggles and kisses like they were going out of style. I assess boo-boos and read stories and do my best to keep her happy.

I give myself to my work, churning out pages upon pages of text in a day. I spend hours, answering emails, responding to messages, and promoting my work online. Even more time is spent brainstorming new ways to make this dream of mine a reality.

I spread myself thin. Too thin. In the midst of it all, I don’t even take the time to properly care for myself, let alone give you all you need.

I know I’m a wreck. I know I bombard you with to-do lists, fears, and a flood of complaints and less than crucial information the second you walk in the door.

I know it’s not fair. To either of us.

I just want you to know I see you. I see all you do. And I appreciate it all. I want you to know that I’m trying. That one day I’ll find that balance. As I work towards simplifying our life and our budget and our time, I’m also working to make you more of a priority. To make us a priority.

Until then, remember those piles of folded laundry, the food on the table, and hot coffee I bring you each morning are the best way I know to tell you how much you mean to me.

I love you.

 

Deleted Scene: Aries Meets Maggie (Broken Strings Outtake)

***Disclaimer: May contain spoilers and material not suitable for all readers.***

Ever wondered what was going through Aries’ mind the first time he really met Maggie?

At one point, I had intended to write from multiple points of view throughout the “Instruments of Life” series, but somewhere along the way I stuck with just Maggie. However, I have tons of stuff written from the other character’s perspectives that didn’t make it into the books.

The other day I ran across this piece I had written from Aries’ POV and I just had to share it here! This outtake is from the first book, “Broken Strings” and gives us a look at the effect Maggie had on Aries from the start.

For those of you who are not familiar with this series, here’s a little taste of what you can expect. If you like what you read, head on over to my “Books” tab and grab your copy of “Broken Strings” for just 99 cents!

 

broken strings deleted scene, book outtake Aries meets Maggie

 

Maggie Hawke. Of course, I knew who she was. Everyone around here did. She was quickly growing to be one of the most coveted producers around, and with good reason. Between her reputation in the field and the astronomical success of her brother and her husband, she was damn near bullet-proof.

I had assumed she’d be a bitch. Or a druggie. To be honest, in this town, I had anticipated both. If what I had seen tonight was any indication, neither of those things were true.

She was also drop-dead gorgeous.

And she’s not wearing a wedding ring.

I chuckled at the thought. It wouldn’t have made a difference if she was.

I have to have her.

I’d seen Logan a few weeks ago. He was with some trashy little blonde and wondered if they had separated or if he’s just as big of an asshole as I am. Either way, he traded down.

If she was mine I wouldn’t need anybody else.

The thought took me aback. Monogamy had never been my strong suit. Hell, relationships in general had never been my strong suit. I kept trying with Vanessa, though. When things were good, they were great. When they were bad…

I sighed. I didn’t even know this girl, but there was something about her I couldn’t resist. The conversation we’d had earlier sparked something within me that I’d never experienced before. The party was dying down and Danni was still nowhere in sight as his sister and I sat on the couch. The longer we talked the more it felt like we were the only ones who existed. It took everything in me not to drag her into my room right now.

For all intents and purposes, she’s your boss now. Don’t fuck this up, Steele.

I’d have to take it slow with this one.

Or stay away from her entirely. This could be the one to break your heart.

I pushed the thought away. I’d have to have a heart first.

Still, the way her eyes sparkled when she laughed, the way she tilted her head when she was listening to what I had to say, the way she fired back sarcasm as if it were her native language…in a few short hours I’d already come to love these things. There was something so pure about her, and I felt an overwhelming urge to keep her away from the ugliness of this world.

The sun was beginning to come up when her brother finally reappeared. I regarded him with something akin to amusement as he swayed before us.

So much for getting clean.

“Let’s go, sis,” he mumbled.

“Can you get us home?” she asked, clearly evaluating his state. The look of sadness in her eyes was enough to make me want to deck the guy.

“Fuckin’ right I can get us home!” He boasted.

She shook her head slightly, resigning to her fate. She finished what was left of her beer and rose to her feet, turning to me with a smile. “Well, it was nice talking to you, Aries.”

I smiled back. “The pleasure was all mine.”

She waved and turned to walk away.

Tell them to stay here. He doesn’t need to be on the road…

“Hey, Maggie,” I called as she neared the door.

She pivoted to face me. “Yeah?”

Damn it, I can’t ask her to stay…

“Tomorrow at 3, right?”

“Yeah,” she replied, a smile creeping onto her lips.

That smile warmed me through and I couldn’t wait to see it again. She didn’t know it yet, but she’d signed on to do more than make an album. By the time this thing was over, she’d be mine.

 

Want more deleted scenes from this series? Check out another one here ! Be sure to subscribe to the blog or follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date!

What Fuels Your Soul?

With me rockin’ this work at home gig, and my husband working for four 10 hour days, Thursday is my family’s Friday. It is also payday, so I spend the morning ordering our groceries and taking care of bills, then I prep and freeze as many  meals as possible for the week ahead. After that, I catch up my housework and try to squeeze in some writing. By the time my husband gets home I’m  more than ready to start our weekend.

We usher in the break with a few adult beverages and hours of good tunes. We sing and goof around, and just relax. Until our daughter’s bedtime rolls around, she rocks out with us. It’s my favorite part of the week and makes me think of my own childhood.

Music has always been a big part of my life. My passion for music began at home. My parents always had the radio on, and my dad is a musician. My mother was passionate about it as well, and we spent many, many nights dancing together in the living room. Those memories are priceless and I love creating more of the same with my child.

As I was sorting through some old posts from my now-defunct mommy blog, I ran across a post that perfectly summed up how I feel about the role of music in my life.  I smiled as I read about the way my daughter reacted to music at such a young age and I couldn’t resist sharing it here today.

passion for music, set your soul on fire, my daughter and I

*Originally published on December 19, 2013 at Life, Motherhood, And The Pursuit Of Happiness*

My daughter’s favorite song is “Hold On Loosely” by .38 Special. Every morning she picks up her daddy’s cell phone and hands it too him, watching expectantly as he puts on her song. She immediately snatches it from his hands and begins dancing. Watching her react to the music fascinates me and always puts a smile on my face.

Even in the womb she reacted strongly to music. At 7 months pregnant I went to Beatlefest in Chicago (which I guess is now called The Fest For Beatles Fans, but I refuse to make the switch), like I have every year with my mother, my aunt, and my best friend. Every night that child would kick my insides until I was sure she’d come bursting through my belly.

She did the same thing when I was 8 months pregnant and went to see Kiss and Motley Crue. I must note that she kicked more to Kiss than she did to the Crue, which disheartened me a bit and delighted her uncle.

She was born to a Beatles playlist and the instant she entered the world she was greeted to her father and I singing “All You Need Is Love”. Since then we’ve exposed her to a variety of music and there isn’t much she doesn’t like, although she is definitely starting to show some preferences.

What amazes me the most, however, is that it can just be the sound of one of us drumming on the table and she will stop whatever she’s doing and dance. It’s like some primal instinct that she just can’t control, something inside her just tells her to move. I know that feeling well. That divine moment when the music enters your being, touches you to the core, and everything else just falls away. All your worries, all your inhibitions, gone in an instant.

I live for that feeling. The rush that I get from certain songs and certain artists is beyond measure.It’s helped me through the worst of times and it’s enhanced the best of times. If I am to be entirely honest, it’s the only thing that makes me feel truly alive.  It’s been that way for as long as I can remember, and although it has caused me great joy, it has also brought a degree of pain. I found it hard to relate to other people from a very young age, which pushed me further into my obsession with music, which made it even harder to relate to others. Music was my salvation. Songs can’t judge you, they aren’t going to suddenly change, they can’t leave you.

Over time, music has become as essential to my well-being as air or food or water. Singing has become like a reflex to me, a lot of time I’m not even aware that I’m doing it. I’m sure it gets annoying for the people who have to be around me on a consistent basis, and I’m grateful for the people who choose to put up with it anyway. I’m even more grateful to the few people who really get how important it is to me.

Denied the release that immersing myself in music brings me, I turn into a whiny, nagging ball of stress. Almost-Husband has likened the phenomenon to a wild animal kept in captivity that needs to be let out to run. I think he nailed it.

I’m sure everybody has something that affects them so profoundly. I wonder what it will be for my daughter. While I hope that my daughter shares my passion for music at least to some degree, I also will never push her to it or try to divert her from whatever her passion may be. My only wish is that she finds fulfillment and happiness in life, and that she can put up with her crazy mother with an understanding smile.

Whatever it is you love, embrace it. Enjoy it. And don’t ever let anyone take it away.

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