When he had made the perfect knot in the tie, Jake stared at his reflection. So long ago but it seemed like only yesterday. A small smile tugged the corners of his lips. He ran a hand through his wavy, cinnamon brown hair. Today was going to be a big celebration; the biggest in his life, thus far. He needed to look perfect. No, better than perfect – flawless.
“The queen is missing.”
I awake to whispers from a fading dream haunting my thoughts. Remnants of that other reality ripple through my body. The howls of the beasts roaming outside these thin walls have startled me from my sleep, but the world that I have just departed from beckons me to return to the comforts of its enchanted realm. When I finally recall where I am and that the horrid world that I truly belong to surrounds me on all sides, my breath becomes ragged and my heart nearly fails me. Heavy, deep sobs and sighs burst from within the tightness of my lungs. Silent screams were the worst to bear, so I allow the dark depths of my loneliness and agony to fill the air all around me. My cries are silenced by the sound of heavy banging from the other side of the wall behind me. My neighbor must have become annoyed with listening to my strangled tears. As soon as I grew quiet, so did he.
When his thudding steps, clad in heavy leather sandals, would not pause but continued onward toward his fate…his inevitable doom, she called out to him once more.
“Please,” she whispered on the heels of a raspy breath that made her lungs ache.
He stopped, but refused to turn toward her. It pained her to part with him under such terrible conditions. No husband and wife should ever separate on the wake of a turbulent disagreement. All she sought was to save his life. To keep him living…breathing…walking…existing upon this earth with her, if only for one more day. Had she been able to convince him to forestall the start of his campaign for one more night of blistering love making, one more day of heated kisses…perhaps she would be able to erase the notion of marching into certain death from his mind completely. She nearly laughed. Her mighty champion would never abandon his honor or forsake his duties…not even for her…not even for their unborn child, still nestling in its mother’s warm womb. The man Phaedra had chosen to wed, had given her heart and even her soul to, would give every drop of his warrior’s blood, even his very life, if it would save his people from slavery and annihilation.
A smiling face, halfway hidden by a fluffy pillow, looks up at me. Love beams bright in that one blue eye. A sudden stream of tears washes away the endearing vision. When my eyes open, the dream vanishes back behind the veil of thin air it was summoned from. I know I should abandon these wandering thoughts of you, but the memories refuse to budge.
Never consummated, always a seductive fantasy we danced and teased our way around. Sweet kisses, cozy hugs, tender words spoken under moonlit skies. That was our story, and it was perfection.
Kind people say that I should move on toward new horizons. They can’t see how the sun doesn’t appear as golden to me now that I’m perched up on this hilltop all alone. Lonely in a room filled with lively souls. A feeling that no one else will ever quite understand until the experience is draped around them. Their symphony of laughs isn’t nearly enough to distract me from reminiscing about the quiet giggles we once shared.
I remember a joke whispered from your soft lips paused at my ear. A small grin tugs my cheeks. It is one of very few to visit me lately, and there is no promise of another in the near future. Best friend. Confidant. Amore. Hero. I miss you.
The roaring thunder from another approaching storm calls me to sleep again. Again, with you constantly on my mind.
All Text ©2012 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
This morning happened to be one of those days.
Each time I start a new blog or begin typing a new post, I can never decide if I want to use this space as a confessional diary or free advertisement for my books. Do I want to share every intimate thought or remain a faceless set of words on the screen?
I’m not a professional blogger nor can I ever claim to have any success whatsoever in that category. Unlike the ladies and gents who have tons of followers, I’m only witty with people I have known at least a decade or more, and only philosophical with the same number of friends that I can count on one hand.
I’m not a great romance writer, and my critics can easily tell you that. I’m constantly battling with myself between wanting to compose sweet romantic literature or erotic chick lit…I can’t seem to find a comfortable spot in either one of those categories. In person, I’m über studious and practical – actually just stepped in the door from a trip to the library – and also very sly with flashing brown eyes that have gotten me into interesting trysts more than once…As much as I want my tales to have some enduring moral meaning, my wild streak always shows up to wipe away my characters’ wholesome nature.
So, all in all, I don’t have a happy home in the literary world.
Those were most of my thoughts as I opened my eyes this morning and blinked away the odd dream I was walking through. Dear girl, what in the world are you doing with yourself? Give up and go back to that corporate nest you loathed so much…at least the pay was steady and they had a matching IRA. On second thought, start a gossip column…write about what those ladies with that long dark hair are doing today…They’re always trending, so there’s tons of cash to be made. You’re fooling yourself…No one wants to fall in love anymore, they just want to keep up with the you-know-who’s.
I rolled over and tossed the blankets over my head…not defeated, but not motivated either. No second round of sleep in sight, because the birds wouldn’t stop singing and the neighbor’s dogs – as in, wow, how many dogs do you have now? – were hysterical for attention – again! Get up and get that agenda together…Write a new short story about that cute scene I was thinking of yesterday? – Nope, those suck, people want to read about sex, not holding hands in the park…A quick poem to share how miserable I feel at this moment? – Nah, they suck, too, can’t seem to balance out that whole sensual-heartbreak rhythm that grabs people’s attention.
After moping about how purposefully unproductive I wanted to be, it finally dawned on me…I haven’t asked the right question. That one question that gets me moving again, brings a bit of cheer to my cheeks, and compels me to give this crazy dream another try. What do I want?
A couple of months ago, I prayed Mother Theresa’s prayer. Catholic isn’t my official denomination, but I needed something to really revive me, to get me excited about living life again. It’s a multi-day prayer and the book tells you that something extraordinary is supposed to happen at the conclusion of the novena. Oh, boy…did it. The personal firewall I had spent yyyeaarrrss erecting around myself suddenly disintergrated…I’m mean like…Oh my God, what the *bleep* happened? A barren landscape of no hope on the horizon, no inspiration, no motivation, followed by a long series of bizarre…why me? what did I do wrong?…events one after another. When it rains it pours is no expression to be taken lightly. How about drenched with no shelter in sight.
Truthfully, I’m still recovering from my sudden absence of laughter and optimism. Even as I continue to emerge, shaking off the ash and haze as I go, I’m starting to realize that I’ve been looking at these downfalls from the wrong angle. Each time, I rise much stronger and more insightful than I once was. My personal tragedies and triumphs drive my storytelling to its peak…Every story that has zapped a reaction out of a reader has been one written after I’ve come crawling out of an emotional death valley. As odd as it sounds, when I’m immersed in my wallowing spirit, I can somehow tap into a reflecting pool of eternal truths. The flow of the story becomes genuine…a sort of pseudo-autobiography floats to the surface…bits of truth playing against dabs of fantasy, and is deeply felt by both the author, the characters, and the audience.
So, toward the conclusion of another day of tapping out my heart as an indie author, my inspirational question still needs to be answered, one more time…What do I want? Fame? Fortune? Awards? Fans? All of the above? None? After a cleansing breath, the serene truth is returned to me, one more time…I want to reach across an indefinite number of miles and connect with just one person – you, Dear Reader. If I can spark even the dimmest flicker of kinship within your thoughts and your heart, I’ve done my job and lived up to my purpose in life…Until then…one more day, one more time to start over and get it right is almost here…LL♥
- What’s Your Story? (eigeges.wordpress.com)
Giovanni, My Love by Lenise Lee
A Tale of Romance, Suspense, and a dash of international intrigue…After surviving a terrifying scene in a dark alleyway, Marissa Stiles is soon caught off-guard for a second time. Her heated encounters with an intriguing stranger set the stage for the unsuspecting woman to be lured into a curious game of cat-and-mouse…Marcello Rossi, a gorgeous man with stunning blue eyes and a heart-melting silver tongue, seems determined to charm Marissa into submission, but are his affections sincere or a deadly snare? Wherever Marco goes, a malevolent presence follows, and it has cast its cruel glare on tormenting Marissa…
Agent Marcello (Marco) Rossi has pursued a valuable treasure across international waters. His chase has led him onto a collision course for falling under the spell of a beautiful suspect. After saving Marissa Stiles from the hands of a masked villain, the covert soldier becomes inescapably distracted by a pair of lovely hazel eyes…One thought continually plagues him: Are Marissa’s seductive glances genuine? Or are they only a clever game of misdirection to keep Marcello from capturing his target?
First Sequel to ‘After the Sunset’ and ‘The Christmas Gift’
©2012 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
Tomorrow..is waiting to be born
LIVE in the moment
- Untitled (adreampreferred.wordpress.com)
- This Post Is Untitled (dannpaniccia.wordpress.com)
- (untitled) (fearless714.wordpress.com)
- Intentionally Untitled: The Only Necessary First Date Question (caterpillarcowboy.com)
I like to believe that I was born with an elegant and quiet strength. These are personal qualities that I value and I have a habit of granting my female characters these same traits. But…what about those moments when I’m weak and unable to hold up a dwindling resistance? Everyone has a limit, an absolute breaking point when only the tender touch of another human being will help us rise from the shadows. When and if we fall…who will be there to help lift us up again?
These were the questions I pondered while pulling this tale together. It presents a teasing and seemingly simple scenario…Follow your heart or allow your mind to lead the way? Both forces hold equally powerful sway on the decisions we make from moment to moment every day of our lives….Which will emerge victorious this time? Desire or obligation?
As a side note…I originally considered titling this novella ‘Broken’; however, since I strive to remain an eternal optimist, I chose the name that brought the biggest smile to my face…‘Beautiful’…with a faint hope that simply reading this word of praise would do the same for some restless heart on the other side of this screen…LL♥
pieces of me scattering
no silver halo to guide fragile eyes
Dawn treading triumphantly along the golden horizon
broken no more, Hope Revived. Rescued.
Miyah has a choice to make…Her intimate attachments to the two men in her life possess the power to draw her closer to her heart’s desire or bind her from taking a chance on true love…Which destiny will she choose?
“And, of course,” a tiny dimple appeared in her chin as she spoke, “the first taste goes to the boss.”
Miyah carefully picked up one of the fancy treats and turned to Shawn. A playful smirk ran across her mouth as she held the dessert near his face. Her impish stare locked onto irises the color of white crystal surrounded by a halo of ocean blue. Hot pink lips stretched opened and prepared to sink into the heavy whipped cream but, at the very last second, Miyah withdrew the cupcake from within his tongue’s reach. A heavy laugh rumbled from the square chest underneath Shawn Dougherty’s white linen shirt. The top buttons of his dress shirt were undone, and Miyah watched his Adam’s apple bob up and down with each deep chuckle he released.
Shawn leaned forward again. This time, the teasing woman didn’t disappoint him…
All Text ©2012 by Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
Over these past two years, I’ve spent considerable time contemplating this ‘mark’ I’m supposed to be hitting, and I keep coming up empty. I’ve seen this word pop up a few times and it never fails to boggle my mind. Perhaps this is the reason why artists make some of the worst critics for the creative works of their own hands. As I sit back and allow my memory to float over various tales I have drafted — some published, many idling away on my flash drive — I come up dry every time I try to pin point this exact mark that I should be striving for. Should I be in tune with the harmony driving the story or worried about if the characters have consummated their lusts fast enough to satisfy the roaming eyes floating across the screen?
Commercialism demands that an artist hit a specific peak to be considered successful; creativity, however, allows for growing pains and whole-hearted blunders…There’s deep meaning behind that badge of honor starving artist. After much thought — plus three websites, an abandoned tweeting account, and two blogs later — I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best never to aim for this elite mark, which dictates both the erratic pace and stifled visionary wellspring of our generational pop culture. Though I can’t say I am guiltless of trying to chase after this deceptive goal, which always seemed so far beyond my efforts, I have come to realize the soul-pinching effects of my error. I’d rather allow the burgeoning and sometimes off-beat creativity dripping from my fingertips and the shades of colorful fantasy swimming through my mind guide my romantic tales than to willingly destroy the true author budding inside of me in vain pursuit of that ever-ellusive…mark.
What motivates my pen is simply wanting to be understood and accepted for who I truly am and not by what everyone casually observes on the outside. Although self-publishing was not my first hope (excuse the twinkle in my eyes), years later, I am at peace with realizing it was the best path to take. I have learned to enjoy the rewards of journeying on the fringes of obscurity. The deadlines I set are under my own intense scrutiny and the limits of what I can create are determined only by the boundaries of my vivid imagination. I am free to roam about my colorful universe as often as I please or not at all. I am free to flourish or fail as an author without the beam of a microscope constantly aimed at me. I am also free to wander the thin, shaky line between living as a person and confessing my dreams as a nameless poet, between being a woman and weeping out my fears as an unknown writer.
I love the hours I spend contemplating the perfect kiss. I hate that I am absent of the power to push every emotion flawlessly across the page.
I love sharing the pure desire swimming in my heart. I hate knowing that blank eyes are scouring the lines of my precious words simply for the joy of pointing out typos.
I love pouring out a love story not defined by race or color. I hate that because this is all the world sees, most of these tales will become lost to the wind.
I love being lenise lee. I hate that I am the only one who sees her true potential.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote a story I was convinced no one would give more than a passing thought to…Hm, so wrong on that one. Equally hated and loved, ‘After the Sunset’ became my very best seller of all time (shaking my head…as if I’ve been writing for decades, but I can dream can’t I?). In between those two hundred plus pages I typed out after dragging myself home from I job I loathed, I created a pair of secondary characters who walked across the scenes of about two chapters — at most — toward the second half of the romantic suspense. Since then, I still receive emails asking me when Nivea and Pierce are going to get their own story. My reply is always the same…It’s coming…eventually.
Like most writers who have a sleeper that suddenly becomes a runaway hit, I’ve defeated myself before I can even finish the draft. My thoughts on their romance continually tease me, yet never flourish into a full body of work. I’ve written their story dozens of times…in my mind, on actual paper, and on a faux piece of blank white parchment…and it’s never, ever…ever good enough. I wondered what could be stopping me. Writer’s block? Nope. I already know what happens to them. I’ve rehearsed it countless times from beginning to end. Fear that the audience will hate the story I create for them? Nope. Bad reviews use to bring me to the verge of tears, now — no offense to my readers, whom I love dearly — for my own sanity, I just skip all of them.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my deep love for these reluctant soul mates is the main obstacle to bringing this sequel to life. It must have been a slip of my fingers, a hurried moment when I forgot to clamp down my inner desires that caused me to unknowingly pour a piece of myself into the letters floating across the screen. Could this be the secret of why their unwritten love has touched the hearts of those who discovered the brief paragraphs describing the fleeting moment of an unnerving connection? For once, did I reveal too much of myself, too much of the heart hiding behind the keys and, by doing so, succeed in pulling others into my colorful world?
Every time I return to their love story, I feel the pain of their loneliness…their desperate search for a kindred spirit. Are these intimate details that should be shared with a faceless pair of eyes…exposed for all to see…to scorn…to laugh at then hit the return button on their e-reader? If I can’t let go of my deep attachment to them, Nivea and Pierce may never blaze across the screen in a teary reunion. I must convince myself…they’re just words on a page, the creation of a wandering imagination haunted by far too many fantasies of wayward romance…nothing more…right…? Time to let go and bring them to life…one more time.
When writing a romantic tale, the inevitable question comes to mind…Which is more urgent to share, the plot of the story or the romance of the characters? Of course, both should be equally important; however, today’s world — and today’s reader — is impatient for results. We crave immediate gratification; after all, a romance novel shouldn’t feel like skimming through a confounding textbook. I, myself, was no different. Excluding my own, I haven’t actually read a work of intimate fiction in quite some time, but I do remember the craving…the yearning…the staggering impatience to get to the explosive finale that I was in search of…When, on when, will Dick and Jane finally cry out their desperate feelings to one another? Forget the coincidences that brought them together, the adventure that sealed their lives in sync for all time, or the narrow escapes that nearly parted them forever…I wanted to read about the panic button that sent clothes flying in all directions!
All of these were my eager thoughts as my eyes floated across the page or the screen…that is, until I became the brooding writer behind the page, the novelist typing behind the screen, and took on the personas of the emotional characters trying to leap into the mind of the reader. Suddenly, it all mattered…the slow build of anticipation, the colorful lines explaining the subtleties of the scene playing out around the would-be lovers, the intricate details of their reluctant first kiss. But, when does the description become too much? When do I bite my ‘tongue’? When do I hold back the imagery swimming in my head. My goal is to have the reader consumed by the bond of the characters, not stuck trying to imagine what everyone at the party is wearing.
In my meticulous mind, every word is exactly how it should be…every sentence, every punctuation mark, every hanging paragraph counts for helping this fictional universe come to vivid life. I want every page to count for the experience of entering this world I have tried to create, and not to become just another skipped handful of sentences until Dick and Jane float into each other’s arms one more time.
Perfection is what I seek…The perfect tale of love found, lost, rediscovered…And perfection is what I will find…One story at a time, until I finally lay eager fingers on the secret to a flawless romance. LL♥
Admittedly, I have written my fair share of burning words across the virtual screen, but nothing brings a smile to my face more than sharing that first sweet kiss with the reader. There’s something about imagining a gentle tap of innocent lips pressing together that stirs up my longing to delve deep into creating the perfect romantic scene. Is there a better way to begin a life-long bond than with a tender kindling of passion passed between two hesitant souls? Spicy kisses add a spark to the day, but it is the sweet ones that linger in our memories forever, even after the object of our desire is no longer near. LL♥
Is it a fiery kiss? A passionate scene near a fireplace? Or is it simply two souls desperately trying to connect with one another beyond the use of words and outside of the boundaries of a mere touch?
I’ve been thinking on this question for quite a while…off and on…whenever my fingers hit the keys to start drafting a new title…when I see a couple passing on the street, in the store, at the park…What defines their romance?
Was it the first glance one summer morning? The first note he or she passed to the object of their desire during a class? An extra special hello during a lunch meeting at the office? Where did it all begin? More importantly…How does it all continue?
That sensual spark…those passionately whispered I love you’s…How do we keep them fresh and new amongst a world breaking at the seams?
After writing over a dozen romance-themed tales, I’ve finally been led to the conclusion that…while they are definitely related…they are definitely not the same concept. Sex can be a passing urge…Romance flutters with the beat of a heart…But Love…surpasses all seasons…Once planted, It constantly swims in the soul, refusing to let go…Seeking its same in another living soul.
My first published words were “Excuse me?” from a man who saw a young woman sitting on the other side of a lecture hall and had been desperately trying to think of a way to introduce himself to her…Pure…Innocent…Pleading…Love
The moment I stepped away from these Tender Passions, I felt my words crumbling beneath me…For others, the burning touch of page-melting words may due, as for me, I continue my return home to where my personal love story lives and breathes anew…Pure…Innocent…Pleading…Love..LL♥
Where words will not come
Where shadows roam near
Where warmth of light is a dwindling, faint memory
After I touched the sky
After I crashed below
After I realized there is nowhere else for my thoughts to flow, only here
In between I had to undress, to discard who I once was
I am the Dreamer
The flame in my heart is flickering to renewed life
Across limitless oceans of midnight space, flares of desire spiral into eternity
Shades of creation, richly irradiant, answer my beacon, illuminate my spirit
Photo and Text ©2012 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.
A thousand loves to live…one breath…one word…one story at a time
Another year draws to a close with so many reasons to be thankful. I am very grateful for the immeasurable joys and inspiring moments which have been granted to me along the way, including you, Dear Reader, and also for the many creative minds and special people I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with. Wishing each of you a sincere Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and an awe-inspiring New Year filled with wonderful adventure and new love….Peace and Blessings, always and in all ways!..LL♥
Assurance…I cannot breathe as I hope and pray that my frosty ears have not deceived me. Has the time come for my wounded heart to finally be mended? Could it be possible that our great romance has finally been reawakened from a weary and worrisome slumber?