What The Heart Needs :
* The Stars Landing books are fully independent novels, loosely linked. For those who would like to read them as a series, this is book #1 *
HANNAH CLARY left her comfortable life in her small hometown to chase the corporate ladder. After three years, a string of odd jobs and a long stint on unemployment, she gets the opportunity to work at one of the city’s largest companies led by the mysterious and demanding ELLIOTT MICHAELS.
She spends long hours catering to every need of her rude, condescending, and distant new boss finding that, despite her better judgment, she feels a growing attraction to him. Just as she is contemplating all the possible reasons an affair with him would be a terrible idea, mysterious letters start showing up threatening her to stay away from him.
As the threats start permeating every aspect of her life, Hannah is thrown into a dangerous situation and is faced with a difficult decision: run back to her hometown and into the arms of her high school sweetheart Sam Flynn, or stay with the smoldering Elliott Michaels despite the mysterious tormentor getting ever closer.
What The Heart Wants
* The Stars Landing books are fully independent novels, loosely linked. They are numbered for those who would like to read them in order, this is #2 *
When ANNABELLE GOODE gets the news that a distant aunt has died, leaving her in charge of her estate and thriving farm business, she decides to leave her safe little life behind and start a new chapter in the small town known as Stars Landing.
She quickly finds how unprepared she was for the job, her gorgeous next door neighbor SAM FLYNN, or the disturbingly sexy ERIC O’REILLY.
Caught in a seemingly impossible love triangle, Anna also finds herself obsessed with finding the answers to the puzzling life of her aunt, and being taunted by an unknown and destructive enemy.
Will she choose the warm and steady Sam, or the heart-meltingly charming Eric? Will she ever learn about who, exactly, her aunt was… or who was trying to send her running out of her new found home?
Cece finds her life uprooted, forced to attend a new school full of strange, new-agey teenagers and inattentive teachers. Despite feeling out of place, she forms a strong bond with her new roommate Jade.
But when Jade suddenly goes missing, and school officials seem unconcerned, she decides to take matters into her own hands.
She quickly finds herself trapped with the condescending and insufferable Jasper and the aloof and charming Doyle as the venture into some strange realm known as the green to find the missing Jade who, as it turns out, was actually not quite human afterall.
So on this second novel, I have written about 56,000 words with little worry… this story has just been flowing out of me. I barely started it two weeks ago and I am more than 2/3rd of the way done.
But today and yesterday, I haven’t been able to get out more than 1,000 words. Part of me feels like I’m entitled to a day or two off, but the other part knows that at any “real” job… I would need to be there and producing work no matter what. I am trying my best to get out of the “artist mindset” and remember that above all else, writing is a profession to me and I cant allow imagined ideas such as “writer’s block” to get in my way.
So in the interest of being a good employee(?) … I am going to sit my butt down at get out a couple thousand words before bed. (Did I mention it’s already after 11:30 at night?) Eek.
Anyone who thinks being a writer is easy is just plain wrong.
Hey, we could all use some support. Let’s add each other and share trade secrets!
Is there anything more stressful for a writer than trying to construct the perfect query letter that at once makes you seem: funny, charming, witty, professional, and experienced in 300 words or less.
When the air loses its sea-salt and sand scent and the leaves begin to molder, the Tree stands barren, naked with an unabashed honesty that makes a shiver of embarrassment shoot up the spine and work its chord around the heart. The mind begins to wonder how in the world can humans, with all of their pretensions and defenses and inability to be completely open feel superior to the simpleness of nature. Like the Tree who openly screams “I have lost all that is dear to me: my love, my warmth, my beauty. Come; watch me cry as I see all my dreams dead at my feet. Come. I am not afraid for you to see me grieve.” And the Winter comes and freezes him, quaking him and reminding him of all the cold emptiness of his life. But, somehow, as the thaw begins and the world warms, the Tree says, “The pain of the past is passed. Today the Sun is gracing up with his lovely smile and I am ready to begin again. Come, new dreams. Let’s grow and create love again.” Yes, the steady, stalwart Tree does this Spring after Spring, knowing full well how way always leads unto way- how Summer always leads to Fall and Fall to Winter. It is unafraid. It is everything we should aspire to be.
The rancor of the human mind is a detestable thing, how it holds on so firmly to pangs long ago felt as if a wound no longer tangibly bleeding is still being felt. The heart does not shrink nor become brittle or closed because a wayward and betraying lover once trod on your faith in them. It does not blister when harsh words are hauled carelessly. It does not fear being accepted and adored by a new partner. No, the mind convinces us of the heart’s refusal to love again. Ah, the human mind, the lowliest of all tricksters, apt at slight of hand and illusion wants us to believe that the heart, not the mind (the ego of all egos)- is at fault. And we, so needlessly frightened to try again- to step out on that shaky limb of chance- accept the bluster the mind feeds to us, a nourishment of sorts that somehow still leaves one feeling empty and starved. We take this bitterness and let it run through us, to wrap around us like a cloak to protect us from the cold. But the coldness, oh the coldness, comes all from within and we will suffer until the heart finds the mind idle for a rare moment and screams to us that it has starved long enough. We have starved long enough.
But will we listen?
All too often the insistent urging of the logic overpowers the longing of the feelings. We become so frightened for, afterall, the past always repeats itself and pain is certainly guaranteed around every corner of emotion. So we allow ourselves to act as masons, building up walls five feet thick and ten feet tall around us, making sure every eventual crack and crevice is repaired so our shield remains impenetrable. And we go home and wash the plaster away, scrubbing skin red and scraping under fingernails- pretending the satisfaction of hard work on guard is enough to fill us up with accomplishment. But, at the end of the day, accomplishment is as empty as our hearts.
And why be jaded for the sake of being jaded? Why tell someone who wants to love us that we are (as we have convinced ourselves all evidence points to) unloveable. Why not break down the fucking walls once and for all? Why not settle down for a picnic under that lovely Tree and sit and feel the leaves falling around you and learn a thing or two about letting go- about moving on- about trying again.
“Stream of Consciousness Writing”- jessicagadziala
The summer heat is sinking
in beneath my skin and I
remember how I used to need to keep
a notpad right next to the pool-
how I would drink a pot of coffee
and my pen would race over
page after page with the love of
a boy whose touch I had never
but now with heartbreak after
heartbreak worn on my sleeve,
stiched into my skin,
and spread across my bed-
I drink a pot of coffee,
cuddle close to air conditioners
and my pen cant find the courage
to create a poultice and draw out
the poison of things buried deep-
like how I couldn’t sleep for two years
because he should have been there,
arms unfolding around me and
kissing memories into my neck
instead of three-hundred miles away
pretending to be faithful even after
I uncovered the truth-
like how I let someone leave
bruises on my throat-
like how I should have pushed
him away when he pulled me down-
like how I wanted so badly to
love someone who was
and would reach for my hand first
that I allowed him to lock me away
like a dirty little secret and
remind me constantly that I could
never (despite not eating until I felt
faint, despite changing my clothes, my hair, my views)
be his type.
And I find myself missing a time
when my pen sang of longing
and star-crossed lovers
because bitter is a look I have
been wearing for far too long
and the summer has stripped
away the layers I have used to
hide it all away in.
maybe she can love you better
since she learned as a child
were a safe place to land
because her daddy hung the moon
while mine was too busy looking
for messages at the bottom of
empty bottles and
passing out with me and my sister
on a boat
when we were one and two years old-
and he let us go without a fight-
and hasn’t seen us since-
maybe I learned that men were
and if I wasn’t a strong swimmer-
I would sink and never be seen again-
so I learned to always swim away.
Maybe I cant trust you
because you have eyes like his
and your hands look so strong
but I’m sure that they will
always reach for something
more important than me-
so maybe she can love you better
like you put the stars in the sky
because I am always too busy trying
to keep my head above water
to see that you drew my name