Helping Toxic People Even When They Didn’t Help You – Be Brave Friday

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Helping Toxic People Even When They Didn't Help You - Be Brave Friday
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It’s Be Brave Friday where Shaun or I (from Dogs are Smarter than People and Loving the Strange and just being an author in Maine) share people’s unedited, unfiltered stories, so we can all celebrate the big and little brave things we do all the time.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re being brave.

Here’s Jordan’s brave story and we are so grateful, Jordan, for you trusting us and sending it in. So much love to you.

So I don’t know how long this is going to take me to put this together. I’ve really thought a lot, back and forth, about whether or not to even reply with this, but I think I’m going to, just for a sense of talking to someone outside of my normal circle.

I know this isn’t probably what you were looking for when you mentioned a story, but this is something that’s just been weighing on my mind for a little while now.

Back in 2014, when I was still a freshman in college, I made the decision to start coming out to my family. My mom had been estranged for reasons that is a whole other story. She’s not the same person she was when I was growing up, so it’s hard to really gauge who she is as a person at any given day.

When I wanted to open myself up a bit and come out to her, she responded in a way I assumed she would, being married to a southern church-going bible-thumper–she told me “I don’t agree with that” and to not bring it around my sister (who was 10 at the time).

I was very disappointed and went on with my life. I kept my mom at a distance because if she didn’t want part of my life to be highlighted, I wasn’t going to filter that. She just wasn’t going to get any of it.

I went through my college career. Struggled, thrived. Made friendships and experiences that have changed my life completely. I reluctantly invited her to my graduation, not even knowing for sure if she’d come–simply because that meant that she would actually have to make the trip.

Cut to 2020, where it’s the hell year for everyone. I’ve moved back to where I grew up to be closer to a few family members of mine. My mom begins communicating with me to inform me that her marriage has fallen apart due to infidelity and other personal things going on.

My concern only lied with my sister. She’s a young adult now but she still has no skills of being able to navigate the craziness that will surely come about with my mom. My mom never knew how to do anything for herself, and she always burned any bridges she made with people, so no one was ever at the ready to help her if she needed it. I knew that if I didn’t step in, my sister was really going to have an even worse time than she was already.

I took time off of work to get my aunt (her sister) to help me find a place where my mom could live. Having no income and no job experience in the last 18 years was going to be extremely tough, but time was of the essence. I managed to find a place and help her get moved in.

Honestly, I wanted either two things to happen. I wanted her to just leave it at that, and not communicate with me any more, or I wanted her to change back to who I knew she was when she was someone I looked up to.

I find it hard to find that kindness inside myself and have to go out of my way to constantly help her when she chooses to not help herself. I don’t know if its actual “trauma” but there are so many hurtful things and happenings that she doesn’t acknowledge or anything.

In her mind, she may believe that it never did, but the things she said, she still said. My mom has never accepted any kind of responsibility for herself and that just takes a toll after a while.

My mom has shoulder surgery next week and I’m dreading it more than anything because I know she’s going to need help and the only one who can offer it or is even remotely even willing to, is going to be me. It’s hard enough working in the public during an ongoing pandemic, in a southern state where the government could care less about the constituents dropping like flies.

Now I have to find a balance of keeping my income at a steady rate while also babysitting my impossible mother.

The past year and a half or so, I made a vow to myself to try and keep a positive outlook and not to lurk so much in negativity. This situation kind of makes me feel like I can’t do this without kindness but it’s so hard for me to feel like I can put kindness forward in this. I know this isn’t your problem, and this may be heavier than what you expected in any kind of responses to this?

I’m not even 100% sure that this message is a solid, coherent thought. At times in this scenario, I feel like I’m a bad person, but at the same time, I don’t care if it does. Even growing up, I always felt like the kingpin of my family. Like, if I wasn’t there to hold everyone together, it would all just fall apart and the damage couldn’t be undone.

To the point where, now, I would rather be isolated and alone than have to worry about it. I guess my question through all of this is how can you put forth kindness in a situation that just constantly drains you? I know it’s not really a comprehensible question but a part of me just wanted to type these thoughts out because I feel like if I mentioned it to anyone close to me here, it would make me seem (for lack of a better word, this really isn’t the right one) like a sociopath.

I think you’re a wonderful person, Carrie, and I’m very sorry if this was exhausting to read or just too impersonal in any way, but thank you for even just presenting me with the idea of being able to just send a thought out to another person, whom I weirdly I feel I can trust with that thought. I hope life is treating you properly, and I am wishing you all of the peace and joy that I can. 

– All the love,

  Jordan

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

I’ve got a new book baby because Seamus and Rosie are back!

Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .

When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.

Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?

What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.

So yeah . . .

I have a new book coming out in the beginning of October! It’s the fourth book in the Bar Harbor Rose series and . . . well . . .

Rosie has been getting in trouble again.

And I’m super excited about it and hope you’ll check it out!

Here’s what people are saying about the series

THE PLACES WE HIDE combines the best of two worlds: Carrie Jones and suspense. The characters are fun, the storyline is interesting and it kept me engaged til the end. It’s rare that I don’t guess who did it, so I appreciate that wasn’t the case here. Highly recommended. – moi

Thoroughly enjoyed this mystery with plenty of twists and a strong sense of atmosphere. Would love to read another mystery starring Rosie! – 417writer

This is a great tale of suspense set in Downeast Maine. It’s full of great characters that you’ll wish you had as your own friends – mix in the excitement and nervousness of new love and perhaps a killer on the loose and it makes for a super read! – Laurie E. Flood

I’d intended to draw reading “Places We Hide” out because Carrie Jones is always a fantastic read, but sadly, I could not put this one down. Well-written, engrossing story line, and the characters are immediately relatable. Carrie Jones has a talent for really drawing you into her universe and by the end of the book, you can’t help but care about her characters even after the story is over. I’m hoping we’ll get to hear more about Rosie, Seamus, and the rest of their crew in the future. – countessdekay

You can order/preorder here.

And here’s an excerpt! I hope you’ll check it out!

As with all my work, this novel’s story and characters are fictitious. Certain long-standing institutions, towns, states, species, agencies, and public offices are mentioned, but the characters involved are wholly imaginary.

Chapter One

A bonding experience, Seamus calls it, the fun of going on a treasure hunt created from a small book that you can download off the internet.

            The whole island has been buzzing about it honestly: the possibility of finding a tiny treasure going off eight pages of pdf-clues that legitimately make absolutely no sense. Illogical rhymes, random words, and a couple of drawings on one page with arrows connecting different parts of images.

            Seamus, Lilly, and I are scouring the foundation of the old Dorr mansion up in Cromwell Cove, also known as Compass Harbor. People around here seem to use the words and labels interchangeably, so I’m not sure what is the proper proper noun for this little peninsula run by Acadia National Park where there are trails and an ancient foundation and floor of one of the old summer mansions of one of the park’s founders.

            George Dorr has another title, Father of Acadia National Park, and he’s one of the reasons the park actually exists.

            As I stick my hand into a hole in the brick foundation of his home, I wonder if I would have another title if I was famous and if it would be Reporter Who Attracts Danger.

            “Mommy! Find any treasure?” Lilly yells over. She’s covered in dirt. Mud has soaked through her leggings. She wipes her fingers on her face and scampers over to me, holding out her hand. “I found the most perfect stone ever!”

            “Wow.” I stand up from my squat and admire the tiny pebble in her palm. “Look at how smooth it is.”

            “I think it’s a beach stone.” She turns from me and yells to giant man we love. “Seamus! Is this a beach stone?”

            Seamus strides over. There’s no dirt on him anywhere somehow. His dark gray fleece is immaculate. His jeans don’t even have a wayward pine needle stuck to the denim.

            When I think about the bad men of my past—and the bad women—I always wonder if there was some sort of hint or clue that I initially missed about them, a warning or inkling that should have tipped me off that they were capable of massive evil and hurt. Do I gloss over the signs?

            Seamus is good, I remind myself. People can be good.

            “It’s a beautiful stone. It’s lucky.” Seamus taps Lilly on the end of her nose with his giant finger and she giggles. “Just like you.” He redirects his gaze to me. “My two beautiful, lucky ladies. Actually, no–I’m the lucky one.”

            “Yeah, you’re messing up your compliment, silly.” Lilly arches one of her eyebrows, a new trick that she’s mastered and doing constantly. She wipes her messy hand across her cheek, smudging even more dirt on her skin and in her other hand she keeps the stone. Her palm is flat and the stone stays in the center, almost like an offering to the sky or the trees or the world.

            “You can keep it,” I whisper.

            “That’s breaking rules! You can’t take anything from the park.” Lilly’s eyebrow falls down.

            “Yes,” I say, “but this is a special stone. A fairy stone. They brought it here for you as a gift.”

            An eyebrow raises, but her voice quivers and suddenly she’s so young again, a girl without all the evil in her life, no killers, no bad dads, no broken moms, just her and her goodness. “Really?”

            “Really.” Seamus closes her fingers around her fist. “I promise I won’t arrest you. The fairies wouldn’t take too kindly to that.” He pauses and winks at me over Lilly’s head. “Your mom wouldn’t take too kindly to that either.”

            I snag Lilly in a big hug, “Nope. Nope. No arresting my baby girl, Sergeant.”

            “Never.” He winks. “Unless she does something horribly illegal like snagging the last samosa and not sharing.”

            “What? Me never.”

            “You just did it with a corndog.”
            “You ate five of them!”

            “I’m a big man. It takes a lot of corndogs to fuel me.”

            I let go of both of them. “Wait. You fed her corndogs?”

            Seamus pivots Lilly around so her back is to him and she’s facing me. She’s smiling in a huge way that takes up her whole adorable face. His hands stay on her shoulders.

“She fed them to me,” he says. “Tell her, Lilly. How you insisted. How you told me that you’d never let me marry your mom if I did not give you the scrumptious, decadent sausage on a stick.”

“Breaded and fried,” Lilly adds. “So bad for us.”

“A fine, gourmet highlight of American cuisine,” Seamus adds. He gives her a fake false shake and continues in a ridiculously over-the-top imploring tone, “Tell her, please! Admit to this treacherous act of gluttony.”

Lilly does a thumb point backwards. “Totally him.”

“I am betrayed!” Seamus says reeling backwards dramatically, arms flailing and plopping on one of the different brick walls that made up the foundation of the estate. “All is lost!”

“You are such a dork,” Lilly says, hands on her hips as she stares at him. She turns back to me. “Mommy, you are marrying a dork.”

“I know,” I tell her, reaching a hand out to Seamus to help him up. It’s my good arm. The one that hasn’t been shot and doesn’t ever ache or remind me of bad things. “That means your bonus dad is going to be a dork too.”

She does the eyebrow wave and spirals off. “I’m going to go check this wall over here!”

Seamus pulls me down to his level on the mossy brick floor. For a few moments we just sit there, happy beneath the sunrays coming through the canopy of oak and ash leaves. I try not to think about ticks and spiders and about how we’ll have to change clothes when we get back home and inspect each other for ticks, try not to think about how too many corndogs could hurt Seamus’s cholesterol levels and heart health. I think the rule is something like every hotdog you eat takes thirty-five minutes off your life expectancy. How much would corndogs take?

“You’re worrying again, aren’t you?” he asks as he tucks me into his side.

I lean my head against the front of his shoulder. “Maybe.”

“About what?”

“Unseen threats. Mainly ticks and cholesterol.”

He pulls away a bit. “You aren’t going to lose us, honey.”

“But I’ve come so close to—”

“And we’re still here.”

“True.” I let his words comfort me for a minute and we yell back when Lilly yells about things like how she’s totally going to find the treasure or says ‘ick’ really loudly. It’s all lovely and calm and it does—it feels safe.

After a minute and out of nowhere, Seamus starts talking about George Dorr again.

“The thing people don’t know is that Dorr died without any personal fortune left and nearly blind,” he tells me. “He spent almost all his money making sure that this park was preserved. He kept buying more and more land, adding it to the park.”

            “That’s sort of sad,” I say.

            “I think he was okay with it. He got his wish. He made an entire park, preserved all this land.” He pauses. His hand strokes the top of my arm and the good kind of goosebumps rush through me. “Do you know that he swam in the water every single day of the year to prove to Congress that it was not too cold in Maine to have a national park?”

            “I did! Lilly wrote a paper on that!”

            “A paper?”

            “It was more of a project,” I admit. “Because you know—grade school.”

            He laughs. “Well, did you know that he didn’t really swim every day? Instead, sometimes in winter, he just dipped in his toe. So he just told them ‘I go in the water every single day of the year.’”

            “That’s sneaky!”

            “So sneaky,” he admits. “But that’s part of what life is, right? Reality is manipulated. We believe what we want to believe.”

He takes a moment and grabs my hand in his. This is when I know Seamus is being all serious. It usually terrifies me. But I swallow down anything I want to say and try not to imagine worst case scenarios like his divorce didn’t actually go through, he’s fallen in love with the gross firefighter who always talks about being naked; he’s leaving me; he has a terminal disease; he’s decided I’m not worth it.

            There are so many possibilities . . . horrible possibilities.

            “Baby?” His voice is a strong whisper. “What are you thinking?”

            “Nothing. What were you going to say?”

            “You’re a horrible liar.”

            “I know.”

            He smiles. “It’s a good trait.”

            “Harrumph.” My harrumph sounds like my long-dead nana, all frustrated and annoyed even though I’m not. I’m just feeling too studied, too known.

            And then to make it even worse he says, “I know you’re having nightmares. I know you’re still scared.”

            “I’m working through it.”

            “You don’t have to expect the worst all the time, Rosie. You can depend on people. Michelle, me, Gunner, Hannah, Summer. We have your back, you know?” He pauses. “You can quit your job at the paper. I know you hate it.”

            “I like it.”

            “You’re lying again.”

            “I kind of like it?” I offer. “I like learning new things and meeting new people. I just don’t like taking pictures of accidents and stuff. And I don’t like that people think I’m biased because of you and because I dispatched.”

            “People will always think things. You can’t care about that. You just have to be you.” He pulls me into a hug even though I’m dirty and he’s not very pro-dirt. “That’s not what I wanted to say. I just want to say that Gunner thinks you might need to get a little help with the nightmares.”

            “Therapy.” I sigh. “I’ve gone to therapy.”

            “Medication?”

            “I am fully functional!” I object, pulling away, but managing to resist the urge to stomp off. “My brain is just working through things.”

            “I’d lift an eyebrow at you if I was capable.”

            I grab onto his belt loop and pull myself back towards him, trying to be sexy. “I think you’re capable of a lot of things, Sgt. Kelley.”

            He kisses the top of my head and murmurs, “Just you wait and see.”

Want to read more? Just want to support a random author? Here’s the link to the ebook and you’ll be able to order paperback and hard cover too.

Things I’m Up To – Books and Poems and Podcasts and Interviews, Oh My?

I realized that I tend to never give update blogs — or at least I don’t in the way that marketers would want me to.

This is because I’m bad at talking about myself and my work.

But that changes for a hot second right now, my friends, and this is what I’m up to.

Feeling short is the #1 thing I’m up to
Still feeling short (but in a TARDIS).

WRITING BOOKS

I still have some books that will be coming out this fall/winter. And that’s a frantic/frenetic frenzy (look at that alliteration) of work.

What books?

Well, thanks for asking! Just kidding. I’m only pretending you’re asking.

October

THE THINGS WE SEEK

Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .

When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.

Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?

What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.

November

ALMOST DEAD

This is an adult paranormal about a young woman who sees people’s deaths

Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.

Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .

But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.

Join New York Times and internationally bestselling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.

December

WHEN YOU BRING THEM BACK

This is a YA paranormal about a secret necromancer dealing with a family

Some secrets should stay buried.

Self-trained necromancer Snow secretly sells her services to raise the dead so that she can someday raise enough money to get out of her dead-end Maine island and away from her dead-head mom and her assortment of criminal friends.

But when she’s out raising Colonial Buck, Silas, the sexy golden boy of her high school tries to save her and is killed by a demon contained to cemeteries and who is collecting souls for his return to the world of the living. Distraught, Snow mourns Silas only to find him reanimated and trying to figure out how he could possibly be . . . dead?

A family curse.

An angry ex-girlfriend.

And Snow’s increasing desire for Silas complicates finding Silas his answers and stopping the demon.

If they can’t stop the demon from killing more people, it won’t be just their hearts that are broken, but the barrier between the living and the dead . . . forever.

January

THE PEOPLE WHO LEAVE

Jessica “Dude” Goodfeather’s mother walked off and left her and her kind stoner dad when she was just a little girl, but after a mysterious email leads to some serious questions, Dude and her friends realize that her mother might not have willingly abandoned them after all.

The third book in Carrie Jones’s exciting Maine mystery series forces Dude to grapple with the ghosts of her family’s past so that she can finally head towards a hopefully brighter future.

POEMS

My writing life started off as a poet. Yes! I know! Weird, right?

But poetry is what I first published and poems are where I express my anger and wonder and where I witness this world and try to find little, resonating truths.

So for August I started what I call a “fun project” with no expectations and started posting poems on Medium every day. It turned out to be terrifying and so much fun.

Getting poems back in my life earned me a whopping $5 on Medium, lol, but it gave me new friends and a new focus and outlet that I’ve missed so much.

If you want to go check them out, please do. I’m right (or write) here!

PODCASTS

And talking about MEDIUM, one of my new friends there is Martin Vidal and he’s going to be starting off our returning bonus podcast interviews for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE this week! I’m so excited to introduce him and his marvelous mind and writing to you.

Martin’s going to be kicking off a series of new and established writers (of a bunch of genres) interviews. I hope you’ll check them out and give the authors some love.

Oh, That Florida Man

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Oh, That Florida Man
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Hey, Welcome to LOVING THE STRANGE, where we celebrate the weird and embrace the heck out of it.

This week, in honor of Shaun Farrar, our own Florida man, we are talking about Florida men.

In ancient times, so back in 2013, Florida man became a meme because there were just so many weird and bizarre news articles (mostly police beats) about Florida men doing weird and criminal and often dumb things.

Both CNN and the Miami News Times claim that Florida men aren’t that naughty or bizarre compared to their equivalents in other states, but it’s just because the freedom of information laws in that state make it pretty easy to peruse police beat.

The  Columbia Journalism Review says that Florida Man is “one of journalism’s darkest and most lucrative cottage industries”, because “stories tend to stand as exemplars of the mythical hyper-weirdness of the Sunshine State, but more often simply document the travails of the drug-addicted, mentally ill, and homeless.”

Here are the links we reference during our talk.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Man

https://www.vice.com/en/article/7bmp8a/weird-florida-news-america-florida-man

https://nypost.com/article/crazy-florida-man-headlines-that-made-the-meme/

https://www.boredpanda.com/hilarious-florida-man-headings/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

It Isn’t Too Late to Be There For Your Kids Our Most Personal Be Brave Friday Ever

So all of us need to reach up, reach out, be responsible. Inaction is often just as horrible as bad actions, but we can always climb our way out of the hole we’ve dug by making those good choices, those kind choices (even when they are so damn hard).

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
It Isn't Too Late to Be There For Your Kids Our Most Personal Be Brave Friday Ever
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It’s Be Brave Friday where Shaun or I (from Dogs are Smarter than People and Loving the Strange and just being an author in Maine) share people’s stories, but this week, I’m sharing ours. It’s the first time I’ve talked publicly about this and it’s kind of hard.

Trigger Warning for parent issues (not us).

We have an adorable kid who has autism and ODD and ADD. And here’s the thing. They are funny and creative and have big emotions about their world.

That isn’t the easiest thing to handle for some people.

And we get judged about them all the time. Their ADD manifests in wanting to do a project all night long when they’re really into it. Their ODD manifests in not dealing well when we tell them they need some sleep. Their psychiatrist has said on multiple occasions, “This is not the bridge worth dying on.”

They’re right.

But people don’t get that.

And they judge. A lot.

And whatever. I’m fine with that because though I’m self-deprecating to the point that I tend to drive other feminists crazy, I’m confident that I’m a parent who is full of love and appreciation for her kids. The judging doesn’t matter because what matters is the human who is growing and learning and becoming.

That’s not what this post is about though. This post is about our kid’s other mother. The one who gave up on them two years ago. The one who has to get texts from the kid in order to even think to visit with them. The one who is trained as a teacher but didn’t even send a text to their own child to ask them how their first day of school in a new school system went. And two weeks later, still hasn’t.

This post is about anger, honestly, because I am so angry on behalf of our kid. And I not usually brave enough to talk about this or my anger. I’m a pretty conflict averse human except when it’s about things that hurt others.

But this post is also about hope. We all have moments every single day to do the right thing. To reverse the path that we’re on and actually be responsible and good, to reach out with kindness and with love.

That’s hard sometimes when you’ve sucked for two years. But it’s going to be a lot harder after you’ve sucked for twenty.

So all of us need to reach up, reach out, be responsible. Inaction is often just as horrible as bad actions, but we can always climb our way out of the hole we’ve dug by making those good choices, those kind choices (even when they are so damn hard).

We can all do this. Every single one of us. In order to make our families, our communities, our nation and our world better? We have to.  

Here’s the video where I don’t stick entirely on script because I suck at that, honestly.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

I Wish I Could Explain To My Kid . . .

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

Do you remember being in middle school?

I do. I remember many variations of middle school because I went to at least three of them in different cities in Florida. The demographics of each one were vastly different and I am quite positive that my middle school experiences played a large role shaping me into the person I am today.

But, overall, all twelve years of my public school experience were not a huge deal for me. I would rather have been doing something other than attending school of course, but wouldn’t most of us?

Carrie: Cough. No. Learning is fun!

So, with that tiny bit of backstory in hand, I pose to you this question.

Which did (or do) you hate more?

Having to get up for school when you were actually the one attending or having to get up for school because you are a responsible parent and you have to get your child prepared for the day and then to school?

I know that question makes me sound like a horrible, selfish and unloving parent, but that is just not true.

It is really the fact that now that I am an adult, some things are so much harder!

I mean, it sucks having to get up and attend school when you are a kid.

It sucks having to get up and attend class when you are a young adult and going to college.

And it really sucks to have to get up and go get an education when you are well into adulthood, already have a college degree (probably a job and possibly kids) and just want a better degree because you actually care enough to try and make your life better.

Why then do we do it?

We do it because we want to live the best life possible and we want our kids to have an even better life than us in the end.

I wish I could explain all of this to my kid. I wish they would accept the fact that while adults don’t necessarily know everything, we damn sure know more about most things in life!

I wish I could explain to my kid that yes, in fact, you are growing up in a totally different world than I did, but that damn sure doesn’t make your fairly cushy life any harder than mine when I was your age!

I wish I could explain to my kid that yes, I do love you and care about you and I damn sure know what’s better for you than the people online!

Some day people! Some day they will appreciate us and most of what we have done for them. That is what we can hope at least. But if they don’t? Well, if they don’t, we were successful because they are better people or have better lives because we did our jobs as loving parents then so be it. We are all still winners!

So, take this convoluted blogpost to be nothing more than a reminder that you are doing a good job. You, parent, are doing what is right and all of your sacrifices, hard work, and lack of sleep is the job you took on when you decided to procreate and you are doing one hell of a good job!

Pat yourself on the back and have some “me” time when that little hellion is sleeping. You deserve it!

Remember, it is easier when You Love Your Way Through It!

Peace,

Shaun


NEW BOOK ALERT!

I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.


What would you do to make a difference?

After his best friend Norah was almost abducted, Cole Nicholaus has spent most of his childhood homeschooled, lonely and pining for Norah to move from best friend to girl friend status. When birds follow him around or he levitates the dishes, he thinks nothing of it—until a reporter appears and pushes him into making a choice: stay safe at home or help save a kidnapped kid.

Cole and Norah quickly end up trying to not just save a kid, but an entire town from a curse that has devastating roots and implications for how exactly Cole came to be the saint that he is.

Can Cole stop evil from hurting him and Norah again? And maybe even get together? Only the saints know.

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the NEED seriesSaint is a book about dealing with the consequences that make us who we are and being brave enough to admit who we love and what we need.

BUY NOW! 🙂 I made a smiley face there so you don’t feel like I’m too desperate.

The cover. Creepy, right?

You can read an excerpt right here.

Writing With Dogs Who Slobber: The Three Secrets to Awesome Characters

So, you’re probably looking at the blog post title up there and thinking, “What?”

Stay with me a second; I’ll explain, I swear. I’m going to boil down the basic elements of crafting a good story by using my rescue dog, Gabby.

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Gabby is the sort of dog who people love or hate.

Gabby is the sort of dog that lets children climb all over her and hug her and kiss her nose.

Gabby is also the sort of dog who judges people by smell.  

If you have alcohol on your breath, she will sneeze and then bark at you. If you are male and have ever had a serious time taking cocaine and you are in my house? She’ll bark incessantly at you and never stop even if your cocaine use was over a decade ago.

So, why am I mentioning this?

Gabby is a conflicted character. You want a character like Gabby in your story.

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A conflicted character is a dog or person with a goal. There is a motivation for that goal and a conflict.

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Gabby’s goal is to keep me safe. She is super focused on making sure nothing happens to me or her dog brother Sparty or her cat sisters, Marsie, Cloud and Koko.

Her motivation? Probably because I feed her or because she’s a Great Pyrenees, and that breed’s instinct and training is to keep her charges happy and safe. We are basically her sheep.

IMG_9899Marsie insists she is nobody’s sheep, but I have seen Gabby carry her around the house. She is totally a sheep. 

And it might be because Gabby was abused as a puppy and spent her first year chained to a tree, always chained to a tree, never off a tree. She came to us small, terrified, malformed and malnourished. This is her backstory. All characters have backstories, the what happened before we meet them, the what happened that made them who they are when the story begins.

When Em and I picked up Gabby in Cambridge, Gabby was beyond terrified.

Every car was about to run her down. Every person was about to hit her. I sunk to her level and she pushed herself against me. Her ears were infected and full of pain. Everything about her was pain. But there was something else there. It was fear and want and need. She wanted to be loved so badly. She wanted to love back.1930658_10154095751489073_788625899982421964_n

The entire time we were in Cambridge she didn’t bark once.

The entire car ride back and the whole first week? She never barked.

“I have a miracle dog. It is a silent Great Pyrenees,” I told everyone.

The vet laughed.

The rescue organization people laughed.

I was so wrong.

Gabby started being able to sleep with both eyes closed. Gabby’s ears got better. We got her surgery on her knee. She took walks without being afraid that trees were going to fall on her, without thinking that every car held a monster inside of it that would hurt her.

She ate, but she would never fill out.

And she barked.

She barked at everyone who reminded her of where she used to be. She barked at dogs she didn’t know. She barked and jumped and tried to be as threatening looking as possible when she is easily the dog least likely to ever bite a human and most likely to snuggle. You know when experts say dogs hate hugs? Gabby would let you hug her all day.

Actually, Gabby’s dream day would just to be constantly hugged. 

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So, she’s got a lot of back story there?

What’s the conflict for Gabby or for your characters?

The conflict is the struggle. The conflict is how the reader engages with the character. It’s why the reader keeps reading. It’s how empathy is built. It’s how story is built.

So every character has this trifecta of things: 

Goal

Motivation

Conflict

As a writer, if you muck this up? You’re story will be flat.

As a dog friend/owner, if you don’t realize that your dog’s goal might conflict with a happy silence that comes with a life without barking? You’re going to have an unhappy dog.

So, Gabby’s trifecta of character is:

Wants to stop threats by barking (goal) because she wants to keep her happy home and the creatures within it safe (motivation we all understand), but everyone gets a headache when she thinks squirrels are threats and barks too much at them (conflict).

Meg’s in A Wrinkle in Time is:

Wants to get her dad back (goal) because who doesn’t want to get someone awesome back (motivation that is pretty understandable if your dad rocks), but dude, she has to travel through time and deal with this great darkness, basically like all the evil in the universe because why not (conflict).

But what makes a character conflicted?

Basically anything that stands in the way of her goal.

This can be herself (Gabby wonders if barking is her true calling and doubts herself – an internal conflict).

This can be others (The neighbors call the police because of Gabby’s barking – an external conflict).

This can be the environment (Gabby is in space and cannot bark because there is no sound. Horror! – a conflict caused by setting).

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Writing Tip

Make sure your  main character has that trifecta of conflict, motivation, goal.

Writing Prompts- 

Write about wanting to sing when you have to be quiet.

Write about wanting to tell a secret.

Write about being a zombie who is allergic to meat.

Do Good MONday – 

So, I wrote a lot about Gabby being a rescue dog. All my dogs have been. If you have the money, consider donating to a dog rescue. If you have the time and space and need and love, consider adopting. If you have the time, find a rescue near you and be a volunteer. I’ve done home visits and photos for rescues. If you don’t have any of these things, but have social media, share a rescue’s site or a post about a dog (or cat or gecko). You could be the step that helps bring a dog like Gabby to her forever home. Even the smallest things help.

Here are the rescues where I got Sparty the Dog and Gabby the Dog.

New England Lab Rescue

National Great Pyrenees Rescue

And this rescue is possibly my favorite one.

Big Fluffy Dog

 

Random Marketing Things

 

NEW BOOK ALERT!

I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.


What would you do to make a difference?

After his best friend Norah was almost abducted, Cole Nicholaus has spent most of his childhood homeschooled, lonely and pining for Norah to move from best friend to girl friend status. When birds follow him around or he levitates the dishes, he thinks nothing of it—until a reporter appears and pushes him into making a choice: stay safe at home or help save a kidnapped kid.

Cole and Norah quickly end up trying to not just save a kid, but an entire town from a curse that has devastating roots and implications for how exactly Cole came to be the saint that he is.

Can Cole stop evil from hurting him and Norah again? And maybe even get together? Only the saints know.

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the NEED seriesSaint is a book about dealing with the consequences that make us who we are and being brave enough to admit who we love and what we need.

BUY NOW! 🙂 I made a smiley face there so you don’t feel like I’m too desperate.

The cover. Creepy, right?

You can read an excerpt right here.

Growing Older and The Sex Stuff, Too

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s or Captain Pontification. And no, we don’t always agree. 🙂

best podcast ever

Tomorrow is my birthday and I will be the ripe old age of 53. My younger brother and I share a birthday, but we are not twins amazingly. In fact, we are thirteen years apart which means he will be celebrating his fortieth birthday, one of many milestones which I have already surpassed.

I figured this out yesterday after thinking about our birthdays and whipping out my Texas Instruments calculator for some advanced math.

Then I got a little jealous! Oh, to be forty again. Or hell, even fifty!

I remember the younger days when things were so much easier.

I used to say, “I have to run upstairs for something,” and I would dash up the stairs and be back in a flash. Now, I don’t run up the stairs and as a matter of fact, I don’t go up the stairs for “something.” I wait. I wait until I need to retrieve multiple items or do multiple tasks, or a combination of both.

Stairs are not so much fun when a joint feels like it might just stop supporting your body weight at any minute or you can hear one or more of those precious mechanisms clicking and clacking as you go up or down. Climbing those stairs has to be worth the effort damn it!

Me, who lacks any vanity whatsoever, find myself constantly stopping in front of the bathroom mirrors to check for extra-long eyebrow hairs or any ear or nose hairs long enough to grasp. I promised my younger self long ago that I would not be one of those old men with stray hairs popping out from every orifice on his head. I am going to honor my word until I can no longer raise a pair of tweezers above shoulder level!

And then there is bed.

It wasn’t very long ago when I could get into bed and still be awake for an hour or two. Now I am pretty much asleep before my head even hits the pillow. Shoot, Carrie had to wake me up the other night to tell me to get my other leg into bed. Not back under the covers, just onto bed for the first time!

Being a male, I still love the loving and still believe in my head that I am seventeen and it is the driving force for even being alive. But, I don’t remember any of the following phrases from when I was a teenager or, well, up until a few years ago.

“Ow! You are on my hair!”

“What, I am not even fully naked yet.”

“My knee, my knee!”

“Sorry, I lost my balance.”

“Oh crap! I have to stop for a second.” 

“Are you okay?”

“Aggghhhhhhh! Yes, I just have a cramp in my hamstring.”

“I can’t wait to get to bed, I am going to ravish you like never before!”

Later in bed, “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!”

Both of those were me by the way.

And lastly, “Holy crap, that was amazing!”

“What, I couldn’t understand you.”

“Let me catch my breath and get my heartrate back down, please.”

“Are you okay? Are you having a heart attack?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Good because the commercial break is just ending!”

I purposefully did not put any identifying markers on that dialogue, but I think you can figure out what lines belong to the old man.

In reality, I am very thankful for my physical and mental condition at my age and even more thankful for my life in general. One of the beautiful things about growing older is that you can compare yourself to some of your peers and realize just how lucky you are. I consider myself (and Carrie as well) very lucky and blessed to have all that we have!

So, don’t sweat the years, rejoice in them and appreciate the miles gone by and look forward to the road ahead.

As always, remember to Love Your Way Through It!

Peace,

Shaun

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

Imposter Syndrome – You Kick Butt. Believe It.

My imposter syndrome is about a society where truth is never good enough because truth is not pretty enough. My imposter syndrome is about a society where people ridicule your heart, your kindness, your vulnerability and other people applaud that.

So, for my Wednesday Writing Wisdom post, I’m going to partially reblog something from 2016 with some new content because I still deal with this monster all the time.

What is this monster?

IMG-2457

Not Marsie the Cat.

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Not Gabby the Dog who looks like she’s about to eat her brother’s head. 

It’s Imposter Syndrome

How I Battle Imposter Syndrome

So, recently I was having a big period called, “I Suck At Everything.” It’s pretty much a variant of the dreaded Imposter Syndrome.

What is Imposter Syndrome? It’s when you feel like everyone is suddenly going to realize that you are:

  1. A big fraud.
  2. You suck
  3. Basically a big, sucky fraud that’s about to get called out by the YOU TRULY SUCK YOU LYING FRAUD PATROL WHO HAVE EXPRESSIONS LIKE THIS
goat (1 of 1)

And lots of amazing people have Imposter Syndrome. What kind of amazing people? People like Maya Angelo who has said,

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

So, yeah, Maya Angelou, THE Maya Angelou has it, which kind of only makes mine worse because I think,

“Um… I’m not that cool. I’m not even worthy of having imposter syndrome.”

This is even though I logically know that I’ve been on the NYT bestseller list, some of my books were bestselling books in other languages and I’ve even received awards for writing and I get happy reader email. And even though I just looked up “Carrie Jones Quotes” and found all these things I said that someone put to pictures/photos.

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(Yes, I did just google myself). My mom always used to google me, but she’s dead, so I can’t rely on her to tell me things about myself – or all the other Carrie Joneses in the world – any more.

Anyways, here is the thing:

Logic does not matter when you have imposter syndrome.

Some people think Imposter Syndrome comes from feeling like you’re more important than you actually are. This might be true for others, but – ohmyfreakingword – seriously? I barely think I am doing anything halfway good enough to make this world a tiny bit better. This is so not my problem. It’s totally okay if it’s part of yours though.

My personal Imposter Syndrome is linked to my I DO NOT DO ENOUGH syndrome. For instance if I don’t make a TO-DO LIST and strike things off each day, I will feel like I accomplished nothing all day. If I accomplish nothing all day, I hate myself, feel guilty, and go to bed depressed. So, I always try to make to do lists like this:

IMG-2483

This visual representation, PLUS the advice of a friend on Facebook (Yes, they do exist), made me realize that I had to do the same thing with my imposter syndrome. I had to start collecting visual evidence to convince myself that I don’t completely suck.

I remind myself that I have been called out before and I have survived.

As someone who was connected to our local, mostly volunteer fire department, I witnessed our community come together a lot.

It is a beautiful and glorious and sometimes harrowing thing to see firefighters leave their families, dinners, jobs and go out and help other people.

I blogged about this once and a large, pedantic man caught me off guard less than a week later and berated me for writing schmaltz. That schmaltz was my heart.

I was devastated. I was irate. I survived.

You can survive trolls and bigger baddies, too, like your skirt falling in NYC in front of a line of people waiting for a taxi, or a bad review or even a bad spouse or the school calling crisis response because you’re kid (who has autism and tends towards hyperbole) whispers, “I hate math so much, I’m going to kill myself.”

I try to remind myself of all the things I have survived, sleeping in a car, witnessing a terror attack, sleeping with the enemy, massive amounts of seizures, assault, in order to realize that people thinking I’m a fraud? Calling me out for sucking? It will hurt. It does hurt. But it can be overcome. Other people have overcome so much more.

Reminding myself of the bad things that I’ve survived isn’t something I like to do because I don’t want those things to define me. I don’t let them define me. But sometimes, it’s good to realize that being a survivor is something I can be proud of.

IMG_3096-224x300

That picture up there is me being super classy after my graduate school gave me an award for being an outstanding alum. Katharine Paterson gave out the award. Yes, THE Katharine Paterson. So what did I do? I put it on my head and giggled. So glam. So chill.

Anyway, some people have imposter syndrome that comes from comparisons. They see someone else doing awesomely (in the book world, a prize, a list, an invitation to a conference) and think, “I suck because that is not me.”

Mine doesn’t work that way.

Mine is about fear not about envy. Mine is about the fear that I will be ridiculed for who I am and how I think. Mine is about the fear that my abilities are not enough. (Honestly, I can barely tie my shoes because my mechanical skills are so awful.) Mine is about being so poor that you don’t know how you’ll survive, about the pain from being betrayed, about being hurt physically,  about public ridicule because of your political views or decisions, about cognitive degeneration, about not fitting in because you grew up outside of what society’s norms are. My fear is about things that have already happened to me and I don’t want to happen again.

My imposter syndrome is about exposure even when I have already been exposed, which is why I am doing the podcasts, “Dogs are Smarter Than People” and “Loving the Strange.” I am facing that fear.

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My imposter syndrome is about a society where truth is never good enough because truth is not pretty enough. My imposter syndrome is about a society where people ridicule your heart, your kindness, your vulnerability and other people applaud that.

My imposter syndrome is about fear.

That’s all it is.

Fear.

So I remind myself with my notebook that I have had  joys, that I have had tiny, kind interactions, where I have touched other people’s stories and gotten to glimpse at their truths and their lives and how amazing is that? It is amazing.

My notebook is to remind me that no matter what happens in the future, I have had those moments, been blessed by them, and lucky. It’s to remind me that you can’t be an imposter when all you are doing is being yourself. Your self.

Go be yourself, people.

Go write your stories! The world needs to hear them.

NEW BOOK ALERT!

I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.


What would you do to make a difference?

After his best friend Norah was almost abducted, Cole Nicholaus has spent most of his childhood homeschooled, lonely and pining for Norah to move from best friend to girl friend status. When birds follow him around or he levitates the dishes, he thinks nothing of it—until a reporter appears and pushes him into making a choice: stay safe at home or help save a kidnapped kid.

Cole and Norah quickly end up trying to not just save a kid, but an entire town from a curse that has devastating roots and implications for how exactly Cole came to be the saint that he is.

Can Cole stop evil from hurting him and Norah again? And maybe even get together? Only the saints know.

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the NEED seriesSaint is a book about dealing with the consequences that make us who we are and being brave enough to admit who we love and what we need.

BUY NOW! 🙂 I made a smiley face there so you don’t feel like I’m too desperate.

The cover. Creepy, right?

You can read an excerpt right here.

Publishing a Book a Month is Fun, I Swear

Earlier this year, I decided to do this big experiment where I independently publish one book a month for the rest of the year and everyone thought:

  1. I was depressed or something.
  2. I was going to kill my career in traditional publishing.
  3. I was going to burn out doing that on top of podcasting, editing, coaching, and just humaning.

This is going to sound weird, but it’s really hard to only publish one book a month.

Why is that?

It’s kind of addictive being in charge of your own work and having deadlines and getting it out there.

This is especially true because I’m really excited about these books and I’m especially excited about THE DUDE/JESSICA GOODFEATHER SERIES and the BAR HARBOR ROSE series and I’m working on the third and fourth books in each of those right now. And it’s so fun! And scary. And it’s getting sexier.

I also have a couple of ideas for a crime procedural and a romance brewing, but those are big steps for me. So, I’m focusing on these book babies right this second.

I just want to let everyone know that INCHWORMS (The Dude Series Book 2) is out and having a good time as Dude competes for a full scholarship at a prestigious Southern college and getting into a bit of trouble.

Here’s what it’s about:

A fascinating must-read suspense from New York Times bestseller Carrie Jones.

A new chance visiting a small Southern college.
A potential love interest for a broken girl obsessed with psychology.
A damaged group of co-eds.
A drowning that’s no accident.
A threat that seems to have no end.

And just like that Jessica Goodfeather aka Dude’s trip away from her claustrophobic life in Maine to try to get an amazing scholarship to her dream school has suddenly turned deadly. Again.

So What Is My Point?

My point is that it can be fun to take risks and do what you want to when it comes to creating. And it’s okay to do that. Once you start worrying about what people might think or that they might judge you, you start holding yourself back. Don’t hold yourselves back, okay? You’ve got this.

THE UPCOMING BOOKS

September – INCH WORMS! Second in the DUDE SERIES!

October – THE TREASURES WE HIDEThird in the Bar Harbor Rose Series.

November – ALMOST DEAD, an adult paranormal set in a Maine campground. It’s so much fun. So quirky.

December – When You Bring Them Back, YA paranormal – This title might change. 🙂

January The People Who Leave. Third in the Dude Series!

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.