Evernight Publishing’s Readers’ Choice Award: Final Voting

Cuffed-and-Collared-evernightpublishing-JayAHeer2016-finalimageFirst I’d like to thank all the readers out there that voted for Cuffed & Collared. I’ve made the cut in the suspense category. Thank you, wonderful readers, for the nomination. THANK YOU! (I can’t get enough of saying that!) I am truly humbled. I absolutely loved writing this one and once college hell settles down for me, I do have a sequel in mind just as dark as suspenseful as the first.

Now we’re in the final stretch and it’s time to vote for your favorites in each category. Good luck to all my Evernight peeps. When you enter, you’re automatically eligible to win a $50 Evernight Publishing gift certificate. Just think of the books you could hoard with that!

Voting ends November 30, 2016.

Click here to vote.

Passive-Aggressive Neighbors Getting Their Douche On

img_6208.jpgWhile I’m a cat person, my younger sister has two dogs. Pit bulls, to be exact. Two darling girls that are so loveable and, even though I smell like cat, are happy to greet me when I visit her down in North Carolina. It’s been I guess about a year since I was there but when I treated myself to Bojangles, all I ever got was sad puppy eyes because I wasn’t sharing. Never did Lulu or Nala try to snatch my goodies away though the yumminess was in range.

I’ve seen countless pictures of them laying on her big couch snuggled close to her. I have no doubt if anyone attacked her, they’d defend to their last dying breath. So activities like a late night run in the park near her house really aren’t cause for alarm. These dogs live for a good jog and obey her commands.

So fast forward to this past Sunday. She has a friend over–a mutual one from our high school days–and is cooking up some food on the grill. The friend is outside when this all goes down.

Let me say this before I go on. Nala is a playful girl. My sister takes her often to this place called Lucky Dog Bark & Brew where *gasp* dogs play with each other.

img_7775.jpgNow back to the story: My sister is going out while Uber Douche Neighbor is walking in the back alleyway between homes. Seriously, this is a road people use to access their garages so why walk through there in essentially someone’s backyard? Nala runs out because “YAY! Other dogs!” One of the Uber Douche Neighbor’s dogs goes after Nala. My sister is stunned and speechless but runs over to get her dog off Uber’s dog which was super easy because they listen to their momma. Lulu is out too but a mere spectator because she has knee problems.

No blood was drawn and Uber says to my sister “I think she’s okay” and goes on her way. My sister wanted to check her dog but Uber refused.

You see, my sister is a nurse. While we’ve always had our spats, I know she has the biggest heart in the world which is why nursing was the perfect profession for her to pursue. She also has steady hours which the dogs love because, you know, those walks are their favorite. We often have a three-way conversation with our mum that ends with my sister saying “Got to go. The girls are waiting for their walk.” Lucky her. She’s got a shorter commute than me. Those dogs are the first thing on her mind. Not dinner or what’s on the television–taking care of her babies.

Just like me, our animals come first. Even during my visit, she showed me how to chain the girls for them to go potty outside and which treats to give them when they did a good job. They were patient when I did this always and never tried to bully their way out. These are her fur babies and loves flows unconditionally both ways.

So imagine her shock when she came home to a note crammed in her door:

img_8187.jpg

“We could have reported your neglected dogs several times by now.

If I was inside all day & my only exercise was being chained to a 10×10 plot I’d attack too.

We have 2 elderly bulldogs & your unsecured dogs have caused problems on multiple occasions.

I’d report you but I don’t ant to see the dogs put down.

If your dogs attack my dogs b/c they are unleashed one more time there’s going to be an issue.

Exercise your dogs. I never see them walked! What the actual fuck is wrong with you?”

img_8092.jpgNow let’s break down this passive-aggressive note, shall we? My sister has never seen this woman before yet she claims my sister’s dogs are neglected. I mean, is she video taping my sister’s every move to know her schedule? Then she claims the only exercise is being chained to the back yard–which is only done for them to use the bathroom (hint: that 10×10 plot). These dogs are walked daily but I guess she never sees this because my sister doesn’t take them down back alleys and sticks to main streets and the awesome trail park a hop, skip, and a jump from her community.

Uber wants to report my sister’s dogs but the problem is my sister has a witness that her dog attacked first … soooo …. kind of hard to report something when it’s false, right? My sister has had zero instances where her bogs attacked anyone. She had them in obedience school for a reason. People fear pit bulls because of ignorance.

Then, after claiming the only exercise they get is being chained to the 10×10 plot, Uber bemoans that the unsecured dogs better not attack again (except her dog was the aggressor), there will be trouble! Perhaps Uber’s last phrase should be turned on her.

What the actual fuck indeed.

Pit bulls aren’t a bad breed. It is the humans that make them horrible. Do this pictures look like the faces of neglected dogs?

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Rome at its Best and Inside the Colosseum

DSC_0168

This tour made up for the previous day. Our guide, Elizabethetta, was very friendly along with her partner Paulo. The highlight, for me, was the Colosseum. We got to go inside and imagine what it was like. The seat where the emperor sat along with the senators was above us, which of course was a hole above since that platform was made of wood. Anything wood was gone. The floor, for example, where the gladiators fought. You see the underground tunnels instead. We had a nice sunny day. As a gladiator buff, I pointed out the areas for my sister. I could imagine the roar of the crowd, the sandy soil covering the wooden planks that made up the pit where they fought. How the sand had to have vibrated through the cracks and onto the people below. I took countless pictures so the two I have here are but a sampling.

The labyrinth beneath.

The labyrinth beneath.

There was the Circus Maximus where chariot races were held but that was more of a drive-by than walk. Rome is definitely a city to spend weeks in.

After that, we went to St. Peter’s Basilica. Since the Pope had spoken there today, we had a long wait to get in. My sister and I joked that it was like Space Mountain. An hour wait for a three minute ride. The worst part was the rude people pushing and shoving or just plain jumping the line to enter the Sistine Chapel. When groups got caught doing that, they were escorted out to the cheers of others waiting in line. Our guide told us Wednesday was the worst day to visit. Once inside, it was a sight to behold. I have to say it’s kind of gross to see the body of one of the popes preserved with wax. Just an eeww moment for me. Otherwise, it’s so beautiful. The souvenirs weren’t what I was hoping for but I did find some nice things later on while visiting the Trevi Fountain. Out guide said the first coin is to visit Rome again. The second is a personal wish. The third is to marry an Italian. LOL. You turn your back to the fountain and toss the coin in over your left shoulder. Loved this.

 

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Pickpockets are a real problem and seeing the crowds, it’s not surprising. Throngs of people just milling about.

One of the best parts is the food. While Palermo was a huge disappointment, Rome made up for it. Nothing beats a traditional meal. The great thing is all the wine in the world is free. You want a soda or beer? You pay for it. I had wine, of course. Very tasty.

Seriously I have so many photos!

Seriously I have so many photos!