Pinterest is no longer a place to just sit and click blindly through thousands of fan pictures, it’s also a marketplace. If you’d like to follow me over there click below.
I have tons of boards – including ones for each of my books. I use Pinterest as a tool, collecting information and photos of my characters and things they wear and use, where they live, what they drive… and so on. (There’s a lot of fangirl stuff there too!)
Please stop over and follow me, follow some boards… whatever you’d like!
Some story ideas come together nicely – much like every one of my other books – but not Falling for Sacrifice. Sacrifice was my sacrifice. I had a smidgen of an idea and started writing without forming the whole plot. Many times I had to stop and start again… I wrote and rewrote, tore up pages, deleted huge chunks; I hated and struggled with everything I was trying to say. My biggest problem was not focusing. I had very little time to write so when I did sit down, I’d reread what I wrote from the last time and then hate it and had to rewrite. I swear I stayed in those first 100 pages for a year!
Working a day job that didn’t involve children’s nap times that allowed me to write throughout the day, wasn’t an option anymore. My family needed me to have a steady and secure paycheck. My sacrifice was pushing my writing to the back burner. And even though I love my day job, I hated not writing. It’s my passion, my love, my career… and for that first year on the day job, I felt like I was failing my books. Falling for Sacrifice was not moving forward and frustrating me to pieces.
It wasn’t until I sat down with several different friends that I finally could focus on where I wanted this story to go. I learned how to plot systematically. I studied other working authors and how they scheduled their time, and truly made the time for writing on a daily basis. Even if I felt pretty crappy from being on my feet all day, I still sat and wrote something.
I’m so grateful for these friends – GP Ching, Janice Croom, Mary Hart, Kate Larkin, MJ Schiller, Dawn Taylor, Megan Timms, and Ann-Marie Zammit. Ladies, you saved this book from the burn pile and I’m so grateful. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be in love with this book. You helped me turn this chunk of worthless rock into a diamond.
I really hope everyone likes Falling for Sacrifice. It encompasses many of my passions from nature and survival, to movies and suspenseful drama… and of course, love and a hot couple!
Falling for Sacrifice is now LIVE! And waiting for your click to add it to your collection.
And because my readers so awesome, I’m going to introduce you to Evan and Isabel, my newest main characters right now! Please enjoy Falling for Sacrifice’s Prologue.
“Uhh.” Evan groaned, falling from his bed and landing smack on his backside.
Nothing was still. Books, pillows, his suitcase, his body flew around the tiny room, tossing back and forth with the violence of an earthquake. But it wasn’t the earth beneath his feet… it was water.
Crawling, sliding, clawing, slipping again… kneeling, gripping and holding on for dear life, Evan finally made it to a stand looking out the port hole window below deck of the Alicia Maria. Up and down, back and forth the waves crashed furiously battering the boat. Purple lightning lit up the sky, highlighting the black clouds swirling overhead. A crack of thunder shook the walls.
Her words cut through the rumble. “¡Hijo de puta!” Isabel, the woman who volunteered to sail him to the Azores, yelled.
Son of a bitch, Evan somehow still knew from high school Spanish class. “Isabel!” He scrambled to his feet, using anything to steady himself as he climbed to the upper deck.
One glimpse above the doorway and he wanted to crawl right back down to the cabin. Hard, sharp slices of water pelted him in the face; sea and rain stung his eyes.
“Evan! Help, I need help,” Isabel shouted over the storm.
“What do I do?” he yelled in return, slipping along using the railing for support to her at the helm.
“The wheel! Help me with it!”
He was on her in a second, locking his arms around her body at the wheel. She had two hands in a horizontal hold. Evan took the vertical, using all his strength against the vicious battle between sky and sea.
Another crack of thunder, another strike of lightning and the sky lit up. It happened a second time and a third, one right after another. Salt water coated his eyes and breached his mouth. Evan spat but didn’t dare let go of the wheel, or Isabel for that matter. His arms and body sheltered her, protecting her from the lashing storm while he took the brunt of it against his back. He had more skin; he could grow it back… if they lived.
“Evan! Look!” she exclaimed.
Blinking away the burn, he opened his eyes to a swell of ocean, rising high above the tiny boat. “We’re dead,” fell from his mouth.
“We don’t have time to die. Come on!” Isabel yanked him away from the wheel. “Let’s go!”
Frozen in place, Evan did as he was told, seeing the wave cap with white as it crested a mile above them.
“Come on! There’s a raft!” Isabel dragged him to the back of the boat to what looked like a giant pill capsule.
“Fast. We need to pull this until it pops.” She detached a rope from the thing and handed the end to him. “Pull!”
Going as fast as he could, he drew yard after yard of nylon until his hand felt like hamburger on a grill.
“Keep going,” Isabel turned to say, but in that one pause the boat jolted. She flew backward. The sound of her head hitting the floorboards was worse than the crack of thunder coming from the sky.
“Isabel!” Evan was on his knees, gathering her in his arms. “Come on, honey. Wake up. I don’t know what to do.”
The boat pitched and rolled, whipping and splintering pieces of the helm everywhere. Panicked, Evan searched and found a couple of life preservers and slipped one around Isabel’s body, then his. With shaking hands, he linked the two vests together and held her limp body to his.
Without a thought, he pressed his lips to her bloodied forehead. “I’ve got you,” he said, whether she could hear him or not. Hell, he could barely hear himself as another massive wave roared above.
Pulling hard, Evan popped the capsule. A raft expanded in the water below. He jumped overboard with Isabel in his arms into the vessel and held the vinyl wall as tight as he could. A second later, the wave crashed down with the force of an atomic bomb, pummeling him until all his senses were lost.
Most of the time I base my book characters on famous people because they are the ones in the public eye and well-known by many. But sometimes I base these make believe characters on people who live and breathe without being seen on television or movies, such as: Cameron Carmel, Xavier Delgado, and in my upcoming book, Lindsey McKay.
Dean Cain and Lindsey McKay Martin
Lindsey, Ernie Hudson, and Me
Lindsey McKay Martin is a friend of mine that I met on Facebook. I followed someone in a Dean Cain group and through that person, Lindsey found out I was an author. That led to lots of questions, chats, and a new reader of mine. This was back when Falling for Shock first came out and we’ve been friends ever since. Over the years, Lindsey’s job expanded from being a veterinarian assistant to working with actor Dean Cain as his handler during conventions all over the world. Soon she branched out working with other stars, like Ghostbuster, Ernie Hudson. So when I began writing Falling for Sacrifice about another movie star in the Falling world, I immediately thought of Lindsey as the strict manager to flighty Evan Corbett.
Over the last year, I really got to know my friend and tried to capture her personality the best I could in character of Lindsey. Next to the main characters of Evan and Isabel, Lindsey is definitely my top favorite. I can’t wait for you to meet her. In the meantime, please welcome the original Miss Lindsey McKay Martin, live from Wizard Con Chicago 2019.
Thank you so much Lindsey for taking a moment from your day to meet YOUR biggest fan. I can’t wait for you to meet your doppelgänger.
This was sent to me by OncerCser0712 on Fanfiction.net. It’s a cute piece of fluff about the daughters of Killian Jones and Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time.
It was bedtime in the Swan-Jones residence. Killian was upstairs helping his three-year-old twin girls Leia Hope and Evelyn Grace get ready for bed while his wife, Emma, was finishing up the dishes from dinner. Killian loved this time with his daughters,
and was so blessed to have been given the chance to become a husband and father. He thanked the gods every day for them, little Leia who looked more like Emma, with her blonde hair and facial structure, but had big blue eyes like Killian, and Evelyn
who had Killian’s dark hair and blue eyes, and was every bit the spitting image of her father. After their hair was combed and teeth were brushed, Killian snuggled down on Evelyn’s bed, with one girl on each side. Killian loved this part of the night.
“Alright lasses ready for a story?”
“Yes!” both girls squealed with excitement
Killian wrapped his arms around the girls and started his tale.
“Once upon a time a beautiful princess and her mother had fallen through a portal from our land to the Enchanted Forest, and embarked on an adventure to find their way home. It had been a difficult journey for not only were they away from home, the princess
had also been separated from her son. They tried everything to find a way back to him, but for days they had been stuck in the strange land”
“Daddy, what was the princess’s name?” asked Evelyn, sweetly.
“Well my little lass, her name was Emma.”
“But that’s mommy’s name,” Leia said, smiling.
“Aye,” he replied, giving his daughter a kiss on the head.
“So, as they were searching for a way to get home, they heard someone yelling for help and went right away to see if they could assist the stranger in distress. Emma brought him some water and the stranger told her that he had pretended to be dead because
it was the only way to survive. She told him she has this superpower of knowing if a person were lying, and that she could tell he was not being entirely truthful.”
“Daddy is this story about mommy? Because she has that same superpower,” Leia asked.
Confused Emma, who had come into the room just as Leia was asking the question, sat at the edge of the bed next to Evelyn.
“Aye, little love, it is,” he said smiling over her head at his beautiful wife.
“It’s the story of how daddy and I met,” Emma added, giving Killian a soft kiss on his cheek.
“Keep going daddy!” Evelyn said excitedly. “What happened next?”
“Well, the princess had not believed me, and for their safety she and her mother had me tied up to a tree. She informed me that we weren’t going anywhere until I told the truth, which is, of course, the right thing to do. I finally revealed my name as
Killian Jones, but told them I also went by Captain Hook,” he said. The girls giggled as he tickled both their bellies, doing his best pirate
“After I finally told the truth, I offered my help so that Emma and Grandma Snow could get back home to Henry, as I had also been on a quest to find the Land Without Magic. First we had to find a compass which was located at the top of a giant beanstalk.
I lead Snow White, princess Emma, Princess Aurora and Mulan to the base. There was an argument over who would climb it with me, but of course your beautiful mommy got the honor. She was very brave, and I… well, let’s say I wasn’t as nice as
I am now. Your mom and I didn’t see eye to eye, but eventually we overcame our differences.”
“But daddy, you’re always nice. You’re the best daddy in the world,” Leia said moving onto his lap.
“Thank you little lass,” he said giving her another kiss on the forehead.
“While we were climbing up the beanstalk. I asked your mom if she had ever been in love, and she told me that no, she hadn’t. But to me she was an open book, and I could tell there was more to her story. Once we finally got up on top of the beanstalk,
I realized the beautiful princess cut her hand, so I poured some of my good rum on the cut to clean it and wrapped it with my scarf. She saw that I had been honest with her and told me she had been in love once, but I could tell she had been lonely.
And that, my loves, is where your mother and I truly connected for the first time.
“We devised a plan to use a sleeping powder on the giant, giving us time to search for the enchanted compass. We searched his treasure trove but couldn’t find the compass,
and rather quickly, the sleeping powder wore off and in came the giant, yelling Fe Fi Fo Fum!” said Killian in his best ‘giant voice’.
“Your mother was quick as lightening and trapped the giant under his own security cage, and found out he had been holding the compass. She convinced him to give it to her to find her way home. I was very impressed by her and was eager to get on with our journey. Unfortunately, back then your mom didn’t trust me yet, and was afraid I would betray her, so she handcuffed me and left me up there while she returned to her family.”
“Mommy, why did you tie up daddy? That’s so silly of you.”
“Well, like your daddy said, I didn’t trust that he was going to help us get home. Later on, after your grandmother aunt Aurora, aunt Mulan and I had gotten locked up by Cora, I realized we should’ve trusted him. Your daddy would have kept his word, but
it took me a while to accept that.”
“Did you end up going home?” Evelyn looked up at her daddy.
“Eventually, but not until after they figured out a way out of that jail cell. We all met up again at Lake Nostos, and had a thrilling sword fight right before opening the portal.”
“I won that fight fair and square,” Emma said with a flirty smile.
“Aye love, you did,” he replied with a wink.
“Yay mommy!” Evelyn said clapping.
“Mommy did you and Grandma Snow finally get home to Henry?”
“Yes, we did. We jumped into the portal and came out in the well in the woods here. Your dad made his way to Storybrooke on the Jolly Roger. That was the start of many adventures we’ve had together.”
Killian got up and tucked Leia into her bed while Emma tucked Evelyn in to hers. They both kissed their girls good night.
“Goodnight, little loves. Sleep tight.”
“Night mommy and daddy. Love you” they both said.
Killian walked out behind Emma, shutting the door behind him, and crossed the hallway into their bedroom. When they walked into their own room Killian shut their door and had locked it.
“I love you,” she said, giving him a kiss. “They really enjoyed that story.” Emma wrapped her arms around him, nuzzling her head into the crook of his neck.
“I love you too,” he said softly. “Aye, they did enjoy the tale, and what a memory that was.” He smiled, leading her towards their bed “You also should remember that I enjoy other activities besides sword fighting with a woman on her back”
“Oh do you now?” She asked giggling
“Aye,” he said, leaning down to give her a kiss and switched the light off before falling in bed with his constant and true love.
To read more stories from OncerCser0712 visit her story collection at FanFiction.net
And if you’d like to become a contributor to my Fan Fiction Friday – the last Friday of the month, please contact me by email or any of my social media outlets. Most any subject accepted.
The story of Falling for Sacrifice is one of true survival. Survival in the utmost blatant form – learning to live in nature, exposed to the elements, without a modern tool in sight; to extreme changes in the familial structure. Researching people, disease and how it affects families, and diving into the two very different business worlds of Hollywood and tourism was actually the simple part. It’s nose to the screen, talking to various families who’ve experienced what I’m trying to portray, and listening to my therapist. But how to survive in the wild, that was a different story.
For years, I’ve watched nature shows and castaway stories with raw interest, but what is really going on there when the cameras go off? I remember reading a story about one TV “survivalist” who, when the show was finished for the day, took shelter in a posh ski resort, not the snow cave he’d built for himself on the show. That’s not real; and who better than to talk to about real survival than former U.S. Army Green Beret, television personality, and true survival expert Mykel Hawke.
One Man Army
Man, Woman, Wild
Thank you for joining me today, Mykel. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help with Falling for Sacrifice. Your insight added valuable information to the story.
Let’s get right to it. You were a Green Beret, an Army reservist, and a military contractor – first of all, thank you so much for your service – how did being in the Army prepare you for a future in survival, besides the obvious of not getting killed in combat?
Young Mykel – The Green BeretMYKEL: Thanks, Eryn. I served 25 years in the U.S. Army, 12 on Active Duty and the other 12 in the Guard & Reserve. The Military taught me a lot of things, but it didn’t really prepare me for survival. Surprisingly, it was the streets that taught me that as a kid before I joined. Our S.E.R.E. school does a good job of teaching soldiers the basics, but their focus is a lot more on tactics and laws of warfare and prisoners of war, than on primitive survival.
Was it the Army that taught you the details of surviving in the wild or did you learn just as you went along – trial by error?
MYKEL: The Army doesn’t really teach survival to regular soldiers, that is a bit of a myth. Unless they go to a survival school specifically, soldiers often know less than boy scouts on survival, sad to say. The Special Ops, Aviation and a few select others who actually go to Survival School, only get a few days of “survival”. The rest is spent on the other 3 letters of SERE- Escape, Evasion and Resistance, otherwise known affectionately as, “camp slappy”. And that’s only if the go to the hardcore version known as LEVEL C. The other 2 don’t even rate as a survival school.
The Air Force does have a very good program for their pilots, but again, that is all based on the assumption that the downed pilot will have his survival vest full of gear. To me, that is tactical camping.
I teach survival with nothing but your brain. Clothing is just so folks can stay decent and the knife makes the course easy. I’ve had Green Berets & Seals who have quit my courses for being too hard. But it’s usually because they just don’t want to play, because it’s tough, and they feel they’d never be without gear, not because they can’t do it.
I teach them that the scenario is you get caught, beat, stripped, and jailed. Now, you pick the lock, and you got 100 miles of barren desert to cross, naked, with nothing but bad guys looking for you- now… survive!
Mykel (R) in Africa
The reason I teach this is because I learned the hard way over the years, a lot of stuff in books and schools didn’t work and a lot of things worked that weren’t in books or schools! That is why I began studying from every source I could find as a young man. I realized, I won’t get all my answers from one place. And what works in one place, doesn’t always work in another. So, I had to start crafting a UNIVERSAL SURVIVAL STRATEGY, and I think that is one of the main differences between my teaching and some of the others.
Man, Woman, Wild
The principles of survival never change, the tactics always change according to supplies, environment, situation and individual. On my second episode ever of survival on Man, Woman, Wild, I started off spear fishing butt nekkid except for my boots to protect my feet on the reefs while we were in Aitutaki. I actually told my producers of that show, I wanted to teach people that they could survive naked, with only the 6 inches of mush between our ears, we could dominate our environment with good skills- they later made, “Naked & Afraid”…
What is the most frightening natural situation you’ve ever found yourself in before you began working in the survival-teaching field?
MYKEL: The scariest survival thing I’ve experience on my own was surviving during a winter as a teen. I started off sleeping in dumpsters and stairwells or behind grocery store freezer units that cranked out some heat at night while I fought off rats. But the nights in the woods were the hardest when the snow turned to rain and killed my fire and meager shelter. I was driven deep into the swamp land, turned around by the crazy dismal swamp, and felt lost for a while.
The scariest thing after that, was surviving in the Amazon by myself when I was being stalked for days by a Jaguar. Fortunately, My fire kept him at bay, but each morning for 3 days as I moved through the jungle, I found his tracks, all around my new camp each morning, proof he had been waiting for a chance. But I kept my fire high and had prepared a good supply before night fall, so, I never left the fire and he never got the chance to get me!
What brought on the switch between military and television survivalist?
MYKEL: That was a total fluke. I wish I could say it was some genius plan, but it wasn’t. I started working in war zones as a combat medic after Desert Storm. That was intense, so I started a wilderness camp for kids in Costa Rica. That’s where MTV Road Rules found me in 1998. One thing lead to another, and I became producer for ABC living in L.A. as the father of 2 teen boys. Then 9/11 happened. I went off to war again and 2 yrs later when I got done, I started to get offers to be on camera since Green Berets were all in the news back then as the Horse soldiers, and I was about the only Green Beret the TV folks knew at the time. After a while, they let me create and produce my own shows. That’s it.
I was an avid viewer of Man, Woman, Wild and have followed the struggles you’ve had with survival television shows, which we won’t get into now, but can you give my readers just a little taste of what is Hollywood and what is true survival? For instance, when I watch Naked and Afraid or Survivor I tend to think these people are lazy because all they do is lay around all day. To me, that’s not true survival.
MYKEL: The ugly truth is they “produce” those shows. I wouldn’t call many of them survivalist. Let’s look at the simple fact, they cast ACTORS who want to be on TV, NOT Survivalists who want to Teach & be Tested. Look at most of their backgrounds to see the truth of what I say. Even a fellow as skilled as Matt Graham, started as a singer, dancer and actor. Yep. They deleted it off his IMDB page once he started working for Discovery, for whom I hold no love, haha! If you want to know more truth on that, check out CORK GRAHAM’s new book- “So, You Want to be a Reality Star…”
That said, produced means they feed them, they take care of them, they give them
Catching zzz’s on TV – NOT Surviving – NOT Mykel Hawke
guidance and help. However, survival is hard core, very demanding and taxing. You have to go slow, take lots of breaks, try not to sweat and burn energy unless you need to. Just getting water, boiling, cooling, drinking and starting all over again is an all day long process. Constant foraging, improving things, or making tools, clothes, etc. It should be an on-going process. If you’re laying but not sleeping nor planning, you’re wasting time.
Falling for Sacrifice is set on in uninhabited island after a storm demolishes the character’s boat. One thing I tried to tap into is the mental state of these people, what would they be thinking and feeling in this emergency situation. In your opinion, how much of survival is being in the right mental state, and how much of it is being physically able to bear the stress of nature?
Mykel and wife, Ruth, in the swamps of Louisiana
MYKEL: This is the perennial question- skill vs will. Well, I will say this, will alone can get you further than all the odds and experts can say. But no amount of will can see you through if you don’t have skill. Some folks have common sense and that is the key ingredient for their survival story, others have good luck, and that is the success of their story. You might have lots of water, or food, or a lighter, or radio, or find a road or river and any of these things can be a game changer.
BUT, in a total hardcore wilderness situation where there is no luck and no easy answer, skills are what gets you through. Will is what you use when all else fails and it can buy you more time, but sooner or later, without the ability to procure water or make fire, death is the most likely prognosis.
Also, how much of survival is instinct versus knowledge? And can some of these shows on television actually teach the general public enough to survive in an emergency situation?
MYKEL: This is a super question. Instinct can be defined in so many different ways.
Mykel teaching a survival class.
I think what I just spoke on “common sense” may be a part of that. It taps into all your experiences, books read, and yes, even shows watched, and how the person can read their environment and then apply all their combined knowledge and convert it into practical information and action.
In short, I do think that one’s aptitudes as well as attitudes are critical to determining their ultimate outcome, and yes, again, I do completely believe folks can learn a great deal from TV, Shows, Videos, etc. HOWEVER, some things like making friction fire, just take time to try and fail and learn and figure out. TV gets you started in a good direction, but you need practice and dirt time for real application when it matters in a dynamic situation.
When you’re hurt, sick, tired, hungry, scared, lost, alone, and naked is not when you want to be giving yourself the first class on how to start a fire by rubbing sticks together as the rain pours and the wolves circle… enough said. 🙂
What have you been up to lately, professionally? What’s next for you?
MYKEL: Thanks for that! I’ve been dealing with my own battles against evil for a few years now, but I refuse to let it change me in any way other than make be better and stronger. I have been doing a lot of charity work with kids, vets, and animals as well as teaching a lot of folks from military, civilian, corporate, government and foreigners in things like medicine, communications, intelligence, etc and I still do shows from time to time as well as some writing of my own.
I have 3 books coming out this Fall on language, on wild edibles, and a family survival book with Ruth & Gabe (my wife & son).
You can follow Mykel on various social media outlets such as:
Thank you again, Mykel, for agreeing to work with me on my latest endeavor!
And readers, when you pick up Falling for Sacrifice on September 14th, you might recognize a familiar name in there. Hawke Jones is Evan’s personal reference for his survival information. This Hawke is named for our guest, Mykel Hawke.
I thought I’d write just a simple blog today to reflect on this being the last Friday of summer vacation. As many know, I have a gorgeous young son. He’s a eleven and growing bigger and stronger, and more like his quirky like his parents (apparently, that is hereditary). This summer, much like every summer we have been the best of buddies, and this year was no different. Morning is for work, afternoon for fun, and the evening for relaxing. And though some days I wish I had some time to myself, for the most part, I love having my little friend with me. I’m not one of those moms who just pushes their kid outside or makes comments like how much I need wine or Xanax after being with the children all day long – no way, I love playing with my kid and hanging out with him. He’s freaking awesome. The more exploring or visiting museums or playing around we do, the more I feel so blessed that I was given this boy as a gift.
By next Friday, I’ll have the house to myself while I write the next blog and will get tons done, but I will be missing my boy. Take care of him junior high school. He needs to stay as sweet as he is right now.