L.B. Simmons

Hold on tight…life is definitely a thrill ride…


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Butterflies

Wow!  Let me just start of with what an AMA-ZING week this has been. I never dreamt it possible to have had the response to Running on Empty that I have received.  The feedback has been…well, overwhelming.  Just a couple of months ago, I started this journey, not even sure if I would even publish.  I wanted to give my daughters something to have always, and as I kept writing, it turned into a beautiful love story.  A story that seems to have resonated with a lot of people out there, and I am so happy about that.  I always said, I don’t care about the reviews.  I just want all of those people who have supported me from the very beginning, hoping to get something out of this story, to get what they need from it.  And in my heart, I feel I have accomplished that goal.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart, for not only taking the time to read the book, but also leave your kind feedback with me.  I love hearing your favorite parts and your favorite quotes.  Absolutely love it.  So thank you for allowing me to share in your experience when reading. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now, I wanted to give you all a little insight about the use of the butterfly in my story.  I was extremely close with my Great Grandmother…Lucy Bell Simmons.  (Familiar?) She was an incredibly strong woman, who lost her husband at a relatively young age.  Strong, independent, hard-headed, stubborn…but I loved that woman with all my being. She died when I was eighteen years old.  Ever since she passed, ANY time I would see a butterfly, I couldn’t help but think of her.  Every single time. I would always think that she was just fluttering through…checking on me and making sure all was well.  To this day, I still think of her when I see one.  Which is why I chose to include a butterfly in my story.  The beautiful butterfly.

One day, when finishing my edits outside…I walked away from my computer to help my neighbor.  When I came back, there it was on my keyboard.  And I just smiled. Because I knew at that moment, she was proud of me and she approved of my book.  And for those who might not believe me…

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So right then…I decided to add a butterfly to my cover. It’s very small, but I think it’s perfect…

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I hope you all like the new cover. And I am excited to share it with you. My readers. I hope that you all enjoyed the book. Please feel free to contact me anytime…with questions, with thoughts, anything. I owe you all everything…and I want to always be there for you! Again, thank you for sharing in this journey with me. You all mean more to me than you could ever imagine.


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Merry Christmas to all…and to all…Stay up until 2:00 no matter how much we threaten that Santa won’t come…

Wow…what an amazing year. So much has happened over the last couple of months, it’s been kinda overwhelming. But I’ll tell ya, I’ve made some amazing friends. I am so lucky to have met the most amazing women, who are truly good people, with beautiful hearts. I’m so blessed.

With the holidays coming up, I feel as though I should share some of the lessons I have learned over this last year. So, here goes:

1. You are never, ever to old to start living your dream. Remember that. When something calls to your soul, you have been given a gift. Follow it. So many people have a gift, a talent, something that they love to do. Don’t be afraid to explore that gift. Life’s too short. And you don’t want to end up one day regretting that you didn’t follow your heart.

2. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t let negative, mean, nasty people bring you down. Keep those around you who will support you, protect you, love you, and believe in you. And do the same for them. Those relationships will get your through the hardest times in your life. Hold onto to them.

3. Establish priorities. This one has been very difficult for me. I have found myself stretched extremely thin this year, juggling a full-time job, trying to be a good mother and wife, writing and promoting a book, keeping my house clean-or not so clean. There is so much I feel I need to do. I have broken down in tears, knowing that something will have to give. And I know this year will be full of difficult choices. But I refuse to let my family fall on my priority list. I won’t let it happen. And neither should you. Remember, family first. Always.

4. LET YOUR HUSBAND HELP!!!! This one is the MOST problematic for me. I am a control freak. Yes, I know. Who knew. But I am. And I find myself frustrated with my husband because he can’t read my mind. I totally love the line from The Break-up. The one where she says, “I want you to want to do the dishes.” I think every woman who has seen that movie knows what she meant. But unfortunately, men just don’t get it. Seriously. No man understands that line. I have learned this last year instead of being angry that my husband doesn’t get that things need to be done…that I walk into the house and want to turn my ass right back around because I am so overwhelmed…I just need to let him help. I would be so upset with him when he didn’t take intiative and just help. But after 10 years, I have finally figured out that I just need to tell him what is bothering me and let him take care of it. Instead of doing it myself and being mad at him that he didn’t know it needed to be done. I think a lot of women struggle with this. We HAVE to let them help, and unfortunately, that means sometimes we have to tell them what we want. Eh, they’re men. They always need us to tell them what to do.

5. Take time for yourself. Every woman who manages a household burns out. Women that work, women that stay home, all of them. Make sure to take time for yourself to recharge. You need it. Your kids need it. Your husband needs it. So take it. It works wonders.

Well…that’s it for now. I hope some of you can relate to what I have written today.

LIVE AND LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!! ❤


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Teaser Alert!

“Ha. Ha. Ha. Get over here and entertain me, damn it.”

“Will do. I’ll be there in ten. Wear something comfortable,” he adds mysteriously and hangs up.

Jeez – if this were a real live date I’d be pissed. No wonder he doesn’t date anyone. Ten minutes to get ready. Seriously?

I jump up out of my seat, catching it before it falls backwards onto the kitchen floor, and make a mad dash to the bedroom. I throw on my yoga pants, the ones that make my ass look good, not that it matters, my favorite purple tank top which reads “National Sarcasm Society: Like We Need Your Support”, Harlow and I made it together, and my black blinged out flip flops, because every woman needs a little bling every now and then. I brush out my hair and put it in a ponytail, ahh…how I’ve missed you ponytail, and throw on my NY Yankees baseball hat. I add a bit of mascara and some lip gloss to my face and poof…I’m done. Giving myself a last appraisal in mirror, I’m satisfied with the outcome of my appearance.

Ha! Take that Blake Morgan with your ten minute ready requirement.

Walking into the living room, I hear the rumble of his motorcycle coming up my driveway. I open the door and watch him get off his bike. He removes his sunglasses and shakes out his windblown hair, which of course looks sexy as hell. The ends of his hair turn up around his ears and fall to the collar of his very well fitting v-neck black t-shirt. His blue jeans, frayed at the bottom, just barely drag the ground over his black boots.

Mmmmm-mmmmm.

He turns around to take the keys out of his ignition and my breath hitches as I drop my glance and note (privately of course) that his bottom looks very nice in those jeans. Very nice indeed. Turning around to face me, he gives me a sexy lop-sided grin while he tucks the sunglasses into the front of his shirt so they hang from the “V” and runs his hand through his hair.

I try to swallow, but my throat is really dry…probably because I have been watching him with my mouth wide open. I immediately start to cough.

“You okay, Alex?” he asks with a knowing smile.

“Yeah,” I say, trying to breathe through my coughing attack. “I think I swallowed a gnat. Gross. I’m gonna go get some water. Come on in.” I whip around and head into the house as fast as I can so he won’t be able to see that my face has turned a new shade of red. So embarrassing.


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Dirt and Tiny Toys

So, I decided to clean a little on this lovely Friday night while my wonderful husband took the kiddos away for a while.  I also decided to take a break 2 minutes in to discuss a couple of things…quite possibly because I’m extremely unmotivated to clean. LOL! And this is why…

Dirt.  Dust.  What the hell and where does it come from?!??!? I don’t get it.  I just dusted on Wednesday and there is a layer so thick on my entertainment center I can write my name.  And I did.  Twice.   Just for the fun of it.

I just swept, but evidently there are little dirt elves that run around my house at night while I’m peacefully sleeping placing unnoticeable amounts of dirt all over my floor.  Because I don’t see it at all.  But when I sweep, there is a mound of debris as tall as I am once I’m finished.  Okay, not really. But still…I find this very frustrating.  

Okay…so I have swept and dusted. Check.  Then I enter my bedroom.

 My children are human tornadoes.  Literally.  I can leave them alone for five seconds in there and the room…completely demolished. So much so, that I’m considering hiring them out as a demolition team.  And I should, because they are freaking expensive and I’m keeping a tab.  Anyway…back to the room…

It’s quite ridiculous.  I leave them alone, to play, and I smile as I’m in the other room…listening to them giggle and have fun.  I think, “Ohhhhh, it’s so nice.  They’re all getting along for a change. I love that.”  Okay…I’m an IDIOT.  Because when I walk into the room, I figure out they aren’t laughing because they’re bonding, or because they have discovered a new found love for each other…no….they are laughing because they have completely torn the room apart.  Stuffed animals on the ceiling fan, pillows used to make forts, blankets used for zig lines, popcorn ALL over the floor because my middle child shoves it in her mouth like she hasn’t eaten in a decade (she’s 7 by the way)…all of this is the source of their happiness.  I walk into the room and I can only say one thing…”Why?”  Why?  I don’t understand.  When I ask them who did it, all I get are batting eyelashes and innocent smiles.  Seriously considering a nanny cam. But why clean it then, I’ll leave it for Friday night…

While cleaning up popcorn from the floor, I notice something else.  Tiny toys.  Everywhere.  Tiny “Victorious” microphone, tiny rabbit dude from “The Rise Of The Guardians”…whose bow and arrow thingy doesn’t work, because I tried it out. Tiny little Polly Pockets that I REALLY hate because the clothes are virtually impossible to get on, tiny Green Lantern guys because the high school empolyee at McDonald’s doesn’t hear me when I tell him I have GIRLS at the drive-thru…which is unfortunate because then I have to listen to them cry the WHOLE WAY HOME because they wanted the tiny My Little Ponies.  But they keep them anyway… 

Yeah, a bunch of tiny tiny toys that serve only one purpose.  I really think my children strategically place them so I have no choice but to step on them in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom.  But when I step on them, do I actually pick them up?  No.  I curse them and then kick them to the side…only to step on them again when I’m coming back from the bathroom.  I hate them.  And I kinda hate happy meals. 

Anyway…this is my little rant for the evening.  I hope at least someone found it humorous…because then I can feel better about the dirt and tiny toys that seem to have taken over my house!   

LOVE YOU GUYS!

 

 

 


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Running on Empty – How and Why

I wanted to post a little something for my future readers regarding the how and why Running on Empty came to fruitition.

Running on Empty.  Wow.  Where do I even begin?

I am a mother of three adorable little girls.  This is where it really started.  I have so many ridiculous stories about these children.  They make me laugh continuously.  Never a dull moment.  I am constantly telling stories about them and laughing.  It was suggested to me that I should write them down.  So I did.  And when I did, I found myself writing a beautiful love story.

Running on Empty is not a true story, but more of a story of what I would like to see happen to someone who had children and suddenly found themselves in a position of being a single mother.  It’s really what I would like to see happen for that person who experienced so much heartache and devastation.

The situations that Alex finds herself in as a result of her children, yeah, they happened to me.  First scene of the book, happened to me. Almost everything in the first chapter happened to me.  Actually, pretty much everything in the book that revolves around the children is true.  Whether it be their personalities, their actions, the conversations…all true.  I love my girls more than anything.  And I really wanted them to have a piece of their childhood to remember.  So I wrote the book really for them and I figure if I have readers that enjoy the story, then that’s just a big cherry on top of everything else.

Another thing that I hold very dear to my heart is friendship.  I love my friends.  All of them.  Enter Harlow.  Harlow is Alex’s best friend.  She is hilarious and outspoken.  But there is a very tender aspect to Harlow.  She is Alex’s rock.  Always looking out for her.  And I love that.  I really believe that you should hold your friends very close to your heart, because true friends will get you through the darkest parts of your life, and probably make you smile in the process.  That is the very definition of Harlow…and I can’t wait for you to meet her.

Blake…Oooooooh my Blake.  Blake has tough exterior.  But he also has a very sweet side. His interactions with Alex’s girls…well, they will make your heart melt.  I love him. A little too much probably…especially if you ask my husband.  😉  He was Alex’s best friend growing up.  And I love their chemistry. I hope you do as well.

Alex.  Wow.  There is so much in Alex’s character that is me.  That is probably why I love her so much. LOL! She is tough. I mean, she’s a single mother of three little girls, she has to be.  And her heartache causes her to safeguard herself.  Maybe a little too much for her own good.  But I think a lot of people will relate to her…or I hope so. She is definitely the type to over think things.  And that is very evident in the book. A lot of hilarious inner monologue.

As I said earlier, I started to write this book for my babies.  But as it developed, it completely took over my thoughts and I became slightly obessed with the story.  I would be “listening” to someone talking to me…but not really…because the whole time I would be thinking…how is this conversation between Blake and Alex going to happen?  How is such and such going to lead to this part?  It was ridiculous!!!! It literally took over my brain from the moment I started writing until I finished the last chapter.

I get it now. I get what it means when writers say that there is just a something in their soul that needs to get out.  I understand that now.  And my soul spilled ALL over into this story.

I really hope that you enjoy Running on Empty when you read it.  I hope that you can relate to the characters.  To all of the aspects of the story.  Love.  Friendship. Motherhood. Sadness. Fears. Happiness.  They’re all there.  And I hope, as you read, it touches your heart the way it touched mine when I wrote it.

Thank  you all for your support and belief in my book.  I LOVE these characters.  I would make them real people if I could just to hang out with them.  Especially Blake.  LOL!

Well…that’s it for now.  I hope you guys all stay tuned for the release. Remember…January 9, 2013 is the big day.  I have the cover.  Writing blurb this weekend for the back and then I can reveal.  🙂

❤ you all and thank you so much for taking chance on an indie author.  I hope to do you proud.


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Teaser #3

Tiny Teaser from when Alex sees Blake for the first time in years…

“Get on your bike? In this?” I move my hand, performing a perfectly executed Vanna White demonstration of the black and white striped pencil skirt I’m wearing. Does he not understand the simple design of the pencil skirt? There’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to straddle that bike seat. And I’m pretty sure I can’t side saddle it either, not with those pesky safety laws. Nope…there’s absolutely no way I’m getting on that stupid ass bike. “Not gonna happen, buddy.”

“Alex, if I have to pick you up, put you over my shoulder, and physically place you on my bike, I will. So yes, it’s gonna happen. You can either do so with dignity, or we can do it my way. Your choice.”


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Teaser # 2

“Do you really believe that seeing Blake today had nothing to do with what happened at the office today?” I nod my head, trying to end this conversation before it starts. Unfortunately for me, it seems to have the opposite effect.

“You can’t honestly believe that, Alex!” Harlow takes a deep breath, obviously trying to control her temper. She lowers her voice, but keeps her eyes on me the entire time she speaks.

“No, I don’t think you do. I think you know, deep down, that seeing Blake had an effect on you. And I think that you’re so used to not allowing yourself to feel anything that your brain didn’t know how to cope. I don’t know how long you’re going to keep punishing yourself, Alex. How long is long enough?” I continue my blank stare. Unfortunately, I think she’s on to me.

“You go on, each day, as though you’re happy and at peace with your life. Or at least trying to convince yourself that you are. But you also go on, each day, not really living. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to you and it’s definitely not fair to your children, who deserve to see their mother happy. It’s time to let him go and live your life without him. Derek has been dead for three years! Three. Years. Alex.”

Okay…now I’m really starting to get irritated.

“Really Harlow. How profound of you.” I glare at her. My voice starts to quiver as it rises.

“No shit Derek’s been dead for three years! I live with that knowledge every single day of my life. Every day, I wake up still expecting him to be lying next to me. Every day, I look at these children and wonder if they have any inkling of how wonderful, caring, smart, beautiful, strong, and loving their father really was. I live my life, every day, with a heart that is completely empty. I have a heart that unfortunately is irreparable. Yes, Harlow, every day of my life is a constant reminder that Derek is dead! Is there any other mind blowing information you feel the need to share with me?” I yell at her as the tears roll down my cheeks.


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Teaser #1

Parking my car in the drive, I look at the front door and breathe a heavy sigh. I glance down at my hands when I remove them from the steering wheel, they’re slightly trembling. I shake them in an effort to get rid of the obvious nervous energy and wipe my sweaty palms on my jeans. I run my hair over my ponytail to smooth any fly-aways and exit the car. Looking down while straightening my “Goonies Never Say Die” t-shirt, another memory surfaces.

Blake and I used to make homemade t-shirts all the time together. Mine were always way better than his, of course, but at least he tried. My favorite one of his was this army green, G.I Joe “Knowing is Half the Battle” t-shirt. He wore it all the time. So much so that the iron on letters started falling off and it eventually read “Koin is alf Bat.” God, I would laugh every time he would wear it. I think that’s why he wore it so much.

I still make t-shirts; I guess old habits die hard.

I look back at my hands. They’re still shaking. It seems even with the old memories running through my mind, I still can’t shake off my nerves. Making my way to the front door, I mentally chastise my anxiety. “This is ridiculous, Alex. You’re a grown woman. Act like it,” I mutter while walking up the porch steps. I note there’s only a motorcycle parked in the driveway, which bodes well in my favor. This is going to be difficult enough without having a parental audience.
Approaching the door, I raise my fist to knock, pausing for another second to take in a cleansing breath. Breathing out, I say a prayer and knock loudly.
I hear his heavy footsteps coming towards the door, followed by the sound of the deadbolt unlocking. I watch nervously as the handle turns, but when I look up, I’m completely unprepared for what’s standing directly in front of my face.

As the door flies open, so does my mouth. Blake is standing in front of me, shirtless, wearing only his red and navy plaid pajama bottoms, bare feet on the floor. His light brown hair is all over the place, but incredibly sexy as it falls messily over his forehead and flips out from behind his ears. One look at this man’s stomach renders me momentarily speechless, and I have to fight to keep myself from running my hands over every single hardened ridge of his abs. So instead, I place my hands over my open mouth and start giggling like a ten year old little girl.

Mid-giggle, I notice the door starting to close. I quickly jump into action. I immediately put my foot in the doorjamb and my hands on the door, using all of my weight to keep him from being able to close it – a trick he taught me by the way.

Shaking his head at me, Blake emphatically states, “Nope. Mmm-mm Alex. It’s too early for this right now. Go home.”


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400 Like Teaser

“Alright, I’ll make you a deal. Blake can stay for one movie. Then I’ll decide if I need his help through the night. Okay? I’m not making any promises. And I don’t want any pouty, grumpy faces if I decide he needs to go home. Got it?”

“Yes, ma’am!” They all shout at the same time, each with huge grins on their faces.

I snap my head back to Blake who’s also grinning, but his smile is more triumphant.

I lean over and whisper, “Look buddy, you need to wipe that smug smile off your face. No promises have been made, so there’s absolutely no reason for you to be smiling like that. You’re lucky to get to stay for a movie. And for the record, I hope they choose something that will be extremely painful for you to watch. You deserve it.”

Speaking of which…

I excitedly turn back to face the girls. “Alright, go pick a movie! Oh, didn’t we just get that new Barney movie? I really think Blake would love that one! You should put it on for him!” I direct my eyes over to Blake and shoot him the best, smart-ass grin I can conjure up.

Blake simply glances at me and then turns his attention back to the girls. He trumps my enthusiasm with an astounding, “The purple dinosaur? I love that one! Do you guys really have a whole movie? I can’t wait! Go get it and let’s watch it!” He then looks back at me, giving me his own smart-ass grin.

Jerk.


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Play/Pause…My Favorite Bedtime Ritual

Okay…

So I’m looking down at my watch.  9:31 PM.  Are normal children not in bed by this hour???  This is a question that plagues my mind almost EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  I seriously think it’s the freaking 5 hour naps they get at daycare.  Ahhhhhh!  Anyway…

Just to give you a slight taste of my world.  I have three girls.  I have an awesome attitude-errific 9 year old.  A wonderful and loving, but often in her own little world 7 year old.  And a four year old who obviously requires no sleep.

I am literally laughing right now, thinking about my night tonight. I don’t get many guilty pleasures…but I am completely addicted to Vampire Diaries.  So, like any typical night..we started the 45 minute epsiode at 7:30 and we just now finished.  At 9:31 PM.  Cuz that’s how we roll in this house.

Play.  Pause.

Play. Pause.

Play. Pause. THREATEN.

Play. Pause. THAT’S IT!

Play.

Not only is there a lot of play/pause action, but there is also this.  How in the world do they synchronize their timing when they come out of their rooms?  It’s like military precision. One comes out.  Pause.

“Can you get me something to drink.”

“No, but YOU can get you something to drink.”

Child audibly sighs and gets drink.  Back to room.  Resume watching.  Pause. Another one comes out.

“What are you doing?”

“Going to the rest room.”

5 minutes and a lot of random noise in the bathroom later.  Back to room.  Resume watching.  Pause. Last one comes out.

“Mommy, can you get me a snack?”

“Ummmm, no. You had plenty to eat and it’s 8:45 at night.”

“But, Mommy…I WANT A SNACK!”

“Well, you’re not getting one…sorry.”

“You’re mean Mommy.”

“Yes.  I’m mean.”

“Mommy, stop saying that.”

Stomps off to bedroom after rather unfortunate 15 minutes breakdown of sanity and a lot of screaming.  Play.

Which brings me to now, where I am hiding in the office while my husband deals with them because I called an official Mommy Time Out.  AKA…blog time.  I do this because I plan on keeping written record of every single one of their RIDICULOUS actions and using them as blackmail in the future.  And you are here to experience every, single, moment with me.  🙂

Hope you all have a much more sane night than I did tonight!  xoxoxo