Thursday, June 23
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Pantsers vs Plotters: Battle Royale
I'll be joining Rachel Higginson, Heather Lyons, and Raine Thomas to figure out which method is truly best for writing: plotting or pantsing.
Friday, June 24
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
I will be leading a discussion about the relationship between libraries and authors. Panelists include Erin Butler, Chanda Hahn, and Courtney C. Stevens.
I will be singing books immediately following each of the panels. There will be a limited supply of titles available, so if you're wanting something specific from me, please fill out the pre-order form.
These are the events I am currently signed on to attend this year. Preorder forms should be available before each event. However, if you have a particular book you would like from me at a particular event and cannot find the form, feel free to email me at Miss_Tammy@misstammywrites.com.
Every year I send out a free short story to my newsletter subscribers. This is the one from last year & gives the details of Scout & Liam's wedding that was left out of Infinite Harmony. If you would like to read this year's story (which is kind of an epilogue for the Shifters & Seers series, so you know, there's a chance you want to read that), there is still time to subscribe. Just click on this link to get not only this year's short story, but updates on the new series before anyone else!
I am, by most accounts, a cynical person, and have always
been. According to a story my parents like to tell every Christmas, I was four
years old when I looked at my mother and said with great conviction, “This
whole Santa Claus thing doesn’t make any sense. That’s just a story adults tell
kids to make them behave, isn’t it?”
I like that story. It’s short, unlike most of my parents’
stories, and it makes me sound precocious.
The thing is, I need evidence to believe in something. Like
it took seeing a human in wolf form and doing a butt-ton of research to believe
in Shifters; it took a winter of training in a secluded cabin for me to believe
I could help overthrow a corrupt Alpha Pack; and it took years of kisses and
trust-building for me to believe Liam Cole loved me with all his heart and
wanted to be my mate and husband. I believe in some pretty impossible things,
but only because I have proof.
And minutes before I was to become Mrs. Harper Lee “Scout”
Donovan-Cole, I started believing in demons.
“Damn it!” I cried as yet another torture device was jabbed
directly into my skull. “Do you have to do that?”
“Not at all. I could just leave it alone and let your entire
updo come crashing down while you’re standing at the alter in front of a
million-bazillion important people you want impress,” Angel, who was most
assuredly the exact opposite of what her name claimed her to be, said around
the bobby pins sticking out of her mouth.
I swallowed down a growl and let my little sister continue
to take out all her frustrations on my head. It didn’t help that she looked
absolutely gorgeous in her bridesmaid gown with her perfect hair and makeup.
God had cursed me with drop-dead gorgeous siblings. It’s not that I have low
self-esteem or think of myself as hideously ugly, but when your hair, eyes, and
skin are almost the exact same shade of white, people generally don’t throw you
in the same category as movie stars, which is exactly what both of my siblings
looked like. Sometimes I think the reason Angel spends so much time and effort
in trying to force me into wearing makeup or putting product on my hair is
because she is tired of me bringing down the quality of our family portraits
with the monochromatic look I don’t even try to tone down anymore.As the Alpha Female, the more otherworldly
and badass I look, the better. As Angel’s sister, apparently, that didn’t cut
it. She’d spent hours, literal hours,
twisting my hair into a series of braids and putting enough makeup on my face I
was pretty sure it would crack if I smiled.
Not that I really felt like smiling with her torturing me.
The kid was a demon. I was going to have to ask my parents what sort of deal
they made with the devil to end up with such an evil imp.
“And…” Angel said, attacking my head with a can of
industrial-strength hairspray. “Done!”
I am the Alpha Female. I have brought men twice my size to
their knees with my bare hands. I am the thing that goes bump in the night, yet
it was with no small amount of fear that I stood and walked over to the full-length
mirror. Once there, I stood frozen in place.
I hadn’t meant to say the words out loud, and since I was
standing in front of a mirror staring at myself like I’d never seen me before,
I got to see the way my cheeks flamed.
Angel walked up to stand behind me. I’m not a short girl by
any means, but the twelve-year-old could still look over my shoulder to survey
“You’re always beautiful,” she said with a roll of her eyes.
“Today you just happen to be sporting a gorgeous designer gown while wearing
makeup and having your hair fixed in a style other than ‘sloppy ponytail.’ It’s
amazing what a few minutes of effort can do.”
“A few minutes? Are you kidding? I’ve had a mid-life crisis
since you started.”
Angel opened her mouth for what I’m sure was a scathing
comeback dripping with sarcasm – I have no idea where she picked that up from –
but was cut off by a tap-tap-tap at the door. The door creaked open and my
brother stuck his head inside, eyes squeezed firmly shut.
“Are you dressed?” he asked.
Angel and I locked eyes. My position as Alpha Female allows
me to link telepathically with any Seer at any time. Angel wasn’t a Seer, but
we didn’t need a supernatural link to communicate without words.
“Just let me slide on some panties,” I said.
Angel’s smile was pure evil. “And I need to shove these new
boobs of mine into a bra. You know, I think they get bigger every single day.
What do you think, Scout? Are my boobs bigger?”
Jase cracked one eyelid a fraction of an inch before finally
giving in and opening them all the way.
“I hate you both,” he said as we both giggled maniacally.
“For the record, it will greatly improve my life if you continue to let me
believe the two of you were born with swimsuits grafted onto your bodies just
like all those dolls you had growing up.”
Proving she was way more evil than me, Angel walked over and
slid an arm around our brother’s shoulders. “You know, Jase, Scout is getting
married in a few minutes. And do you know what comes after marriage?”
He glared at her with all the power of a Dominant.
Unfortunately for Jase, Angel was one hundred percent human
and couldn’t care less for Dominance games.
“The honeymoon. And do you know what people do on
“Do you, Jase?”
“Do you, Angel?” I
She rolled her eyes yet again. With the frequency with which
she did the motion I was surprised they didn’t roll right out of her head.
“I’m twelve, not five,” she said. “I know what sex is.”
And with that, Jase wasn’t the only supremely uncomfortable
person in the room. I turned to him, my eyes pleading. “Please, God, tell me
you came in here because you need to talk about something that has nothing to
do with our little sister knowing what sex is.”
“I hereby move that the word sex is never said by any
Donovan sibling at any time when another Donovan sibling is in hearing range,”
he said, looking at Angel as if he was just realizing that she was the spawn of
Satan. “Also, it’s time for the ceremony to start.”
It’s amazing how quickly a person’s emotions can change. I
went from teasing and mildly disturbed to down right terrified in less than a
heartbeat. The response was physical as well. I suddenly felt like my entire
body was weighed down and my lungs had shrunk up and tried to jam themselves
into my throat. All in all, it wasn’t a good feeling, and one that I probably
shouldn’t be experiencing moments before what was supposed to be the happiest
event of my life.
“Deep breaths,” Jase said at the same time Angel said, “You
cannot start crying yet. It’ll ruin your face.”
“I can’t… I need… I…”
“Breathe,” Jase repeated, rubbing small circles in the
middle of my back. I wasn’t sure when he’d gotten close enough to touch me,
which freaked me out even more. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t stand in front
of all those people and let them look at me. Forget that I let them do it every
six months at the Hustings. That was different. This, tying my life to Liam’s,
declaring our love for each other in front of God and a preacher, was personal.
Too personal. They would see how weak I was with him, and if there is one thing
an Alpha couldn’t show, it’s weakness.
I was one good lurch away from running out the backdoor when
I was flooded with a sense of calm. It was like my heart had been snuggled into
a big, fuzzy blanket and given a cup of hot chocolate. The feeling was foreign
in that it didn’t originate from me, but familiar. The mating bond is
impossible to describe to those who haven’t experienced it. It isn’t like the
telepathy between a Shifter and Seer. It’s less exact, but somehow more
powerful. Liam can’t put words into my head, but he can put his soul in my
body, and when you’re connected to someone’s soul, you don’t have to know what
they’re saying. You already know exactly what they mean.
And what Liam’s soul meant was, “Screw them. This is about
you and me. If you don’t want to do it, we don’t have to.”
The crazy thing was, he meant it. After a year of planning
and organizing, after coordinating the schedules and customs of packs from
around the world, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars ensuring this
was a ceremony worthy of the Alphas, he was willing to call the whole thing off
and run away to Vegas if it was what I wanted.
There was a reason I was marrying this man, other than the
fact he was built like a Greek god.
“No, I’m good,” I said aloud, even though he couldn’t hear
me. But he knew. My soul was living in his body as well.
My brother and sister watched me like they thought I was going
make a break for it as soon as we got out of the room, but I peacefully, and
even a little excitedly, walked down the hall to where the rest of the bridal
party was waiting. When they saw me, Talley whispered my name like saying it
too loud would cause whatever spell Angel had cast over me to break and my
mother burst into tears, which I think was a good thing.
Since this was an Alpha Pack wedding and I have what my
father calls a “rebellious spirit,” we didn’t have a traditional wedding party.
Every female in the Alpha Pack, along with my sister and mother, wore matching
bridesmaid dresses, and every male wore matching vests and, if what I was
seeing was any indication, identical Converse tennis shoes.
How they managed to talk my father into a pair of Chucks was
Most of the Alpha Pack was already standing outside where
the ceremony would take place. We had positioned them in a semi-circle, facing
the rows and rows and rows of chairs
where the other invited guests sat. The setup had two purposes. One, it
enclosed the area where Liam and I would exchange vows, giving it a more
intimate feel. But more importantly, it forced the others in attendance to
remember that the most powerful Shifters and Seers in the world were at our
back, always at the ready to protect the Alpha Male and Female.
Only a select few were standing with me inside the building,
waiting to make the trek outside and up the aisle. These people gathered around
me were my family. Not all of them were related by blood, but each of them had
a piece of my heart. A string quartet (not my choice) started the first few
notes of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” (totally my choice) and the doors swung open,
temporarily blinding us all. Charlie and my mother led the processional,
followed by Joshua and Talley, and then Jase and Angel. That left only my
father and me inside.
“You ready, princess?” my dad asked, guiding my hand to the
crook of his elbow.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and felt my mate’s
love fill up my heart to the point of bursting.
“I’ve never been more ready in my life,” I said, stepping
out into the sun and walking towards my forever.
I don’t like people. Individuals are fine, but people are
the worst. If it was possible to avoid people and crowds forever and always I
would, but unfortunately, I’m the Alpha Male, which means no avoiding people
for me. Instead, I get all people all the time. Thankfully, the Alpha Pack who
surrounds me most days is made up of individuals who I actually like. Today,
those individuals are at my back while I’m left to stand facing people.
So many freaking people I wanted to scream.
Scout likes to tell me I’m “cripplingly introverted” while
threatening to shoot the next person who even thinks about trying to speak to
her. It’s one of those situations involving glass houses and rocks, but I let
it slide, mostly because my mate isn’t opposed to throwing actual rocks at
Yet, despite my distaste for people and a case of crippling
introversion, there was no place I would have rather been than standing by some
ordained Shifter I barely knew in front of hundreds of Shifters and Seers I had
no desire to know while I waited for Scout Donovan to walk down the aisle and
become my wife.
Some would say my destiny from the time I was born was to
become the Alpha Male. Those people are wrong. My true destiny has always been
Scout also accuses me of being a romantic and way too sappy
for a man who can bench press a Volvo. I don’t argue with her, but only because
A few unwieldy notes escaped from the string quartet the
wedding coordinator insisted on and everyone went silent. And then, finally,
the music started and the doors opened. Charlie led Mrs. Donovan down the aisle
where she joined Aunt Rachel on the front row of chairs. Six seats were left
empty between the two women. One for each member of my family – my mother, my
father, Nicole, and Alex – one for Scout’s biological mother, and one for
Scout’s mentor and Charlie’s brother, Toby. Charlie paused in front of the seat bearing
his brother’s picture, dipping his head in submission before taking his place
in the Alpha Pack ring behind me. Joshua and Talley followed, each taking their
place with the rest of our Pack. When Jase and Angel made it to the end of the
aisle, they parted ways. Jase came to stand at my elbow, while Angel made her
way to stand by where my bride would soon be. She caught my eye and gave me a
wink, which made me more than a little nervous. Angel Donovan had a good heart
and was raised by the best sort of parents, but she wasn’t to be trusted.
It took a few more minutes for the song to finish, and
during those eternal seconds I thought I might go mad with anticipation. Scout
had gone from freaked out to excited, and her excitement was feeding my own. I
wanted to haul her up onto the alter with me get this show on the road already.
My heart was pounding in my chest when the song changed over
to The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” and then she stepped out into the light,
and it stopped beating all together.Scout is always beautiful. Even when we were barely surviving in the
Canadian wilderness without electricity and running water she was beautiful.
Her beauty isn’t the carbon-copy type you see paraded on TV. Scout is beautiful
in the same way a tree encased in ice or a star racing across the night sky is
beautiful. It’s a cold, otherworldly beauty that never lets you forget it
contains a strength that cannot be broken.
I’ve known how beautiful Scout is for the past six years,
but the way she looked as she walked down the aisle nearly knocked me off my
feet. It wasn’t just the beautiful blue-grey gown clinging to every luscious
curve or the way her face and hair had been styled to perfection. It wasn’t
even the smile that made her look more carefree than I had ever seen her. It
was the joy that radiated out of every pore. It was the utter contentment in
her soul. It was the way she was looking at me – me, the guy who would never be
able to do enough to deserve her – as if all of her happiness and dreams were
standing in front of her.
“Hey there, handsome,” she said, coming to stand beside me.
“Come here often?”
I tried to school my expression, but there was no wiping the
idiotic smile off my face. “Sorry to disappoint you, ma’am, but I’m actually
waiting on a girl.”
Thanks to their super-hearing, half the audience chuckled.
The other half just looked confused.
As per instructions, Scout offered up her hands and I
wrapped them in mine. We’d done the whole thing in rehearsal the night before,
but then it felt awkward to have our clasped hands hanging between us. Scout
even made a Red Rover joke about it.Nothing had really changed in the past seventeen hours – except for the
addition of a couple hundred Shifters and Seers I was trying my best to forget
about – but this time around it didn’t feel awkward at all. It felt right.
The preacher went through all the Bible verses about
cleaving or clinging to one another or whatever. I wasn’t really paying
attention. I was too busy staring at my wife.
Wife. That word made me feel really old and incredibly lucky
at the same time.
“Liam,” Scout said without moving her lips.
“I love you,” I whispered back. It had taken me a long time
to say those words to her. Too long. I planned on making it up to her by
telling her every day for the rest of our lives. It wasn’t a hardship. Telling
Scout I loved her made me happy, almost as happy as her automatic response of,
“I love you, too.” Except this time, in front of hundreds of people, she didn’t
say it back.
There was nothing in the mating bond that said she’d
completely lost her mind, but maybe the true horror of insanity is that you
can’t register its existence in your own mind.
“Your vows,” she hissed. “Say your vows.
Here’s the thing. I knew that when the Jesus talk and direct
call was over, the preacher would instruct me to say my vows. I knew this
because the wedding planner had told me at least one hundred times. Later,
Jase, Charlie, Joshua, Talley, and Angel would each independently tell me in
varying degrees of embarrassment and exasperation that the preacher had indeed
prompted me. If Angel was to be believed, he prompted me a grand total of four
times. I still maintain, despite video evidence, no prompt was given.
“Oh right,” I said, not even bothering to whisper. “Vows.”
Since there was no way in hell Scout was agreeing to obey anyone, we’d decided
to write our own. I reached into the pocket of my suit jacket where I’d put my
notecards before the ceremony only to find it empty. Completely and totally
empty. There wasn’t even a tuft of lint hanging out. The pockets on my pants
proved to be on the same high level of cleanliness.
Here’s the thing, at this point many brides would either be
devastated or horrified that their perfect day had been ruined. Scout, on the
other hand, was having a hard time standing upright she was laughing so hard.
“I’ve lost my vows,” I said, even though it was obvious.
“The look… on your face…” she said, trying to catch her
“Scout, we can’t get married. I don’t have wedding vows.”
This was the work of fate. I knew marrying her was too good
of a thing to actually happen.
Sobering up a bit, Scout asked, “Do you still have the
Jase pulled her wedding band out of his pocket, held it up
in the air, and said, “My precious” in what was quite possibly the worst Gollum
impression in the history of Gollum impressions.
“Yes,” I said. “We still have the ring.”
Scout’s smile was equal parts wicked and gorgeous. “Then I
guess you’re going to have to wing it, Mr. Groom Man.”
Wing it. Right. That would work out perfectly fine since I’m
so good at words and all.
“The ring,” the preacher said, interrupting me. “You need to
slide the ring on her finger.”
Oh yeah. We’d rehearsed that.
Jase, choking on his laughter, handed over the ring, and I
luckily remembered which finger it was supposed to go on.
“Scout…” I’d said that already, hadn’t I?
For the first time since I saw her coming down the aisle, I
was aware of all the eyes on us. There was a lot of chuckling and whispering
going on. My wolf wanted to snarl at them until they all offered up their necks
in submission, but that wouldn’t exactly help get this ceremony back on track.
I looked in my mate’s eyes and took a deep breath.
Remember what is
important. My inner-voice sounded a lot like my brother Alex. Sometimes I
let myself believe it was him reaching out from beyond the grave to guide me
through life. This was one of those times. Forget
them and focus on her.
I took a deep breath and tried again.
“I love you. That might not seem like such a big, monumental
thing to some, but for me, it’s everything. Love and I haven’t had a good
history. There are four empty chairs over there to attest to our rocky
relationship. Four chairs that were once filled with love that was torn away so
violently I swore to never care so deeply for anyone ever again because I knew
I couldn’t survive it.
“When you came along with your snarky tongue and complete
and utter disdain for me I thought I was safe. I thought I could simply ignore
the pull I felt towards you and go on about my loveless life.
“I was an idiot.
“Because you, Harper Lee ‘Scout’ Donovan, are impossible to
ignore. You’re beautiful and strong and so damn full of life Death has run
screaming from you more times than I care to think about. Ignoring you is like
trying to ignore the sun.
“I fell in love with you by accident, but I’m going to
continue loving you on purpose. I’m going work every day for the rest of my
life to be the best friend, lover, and husband I can be to you. I don’t want to
take a single step through the rest of my life without you by my side.
“Scout Donovan, I love you, and with this ring, and in front
of these people, I’m marrying you. You are my forever and always.”
Scout launched herself at me, her arms twining around my
back as she buried her nose in my neck as her wolf drew in the scent of mine.
“I don’t think we’re to this part yet,” I muttered into her
ear so softly even the strongest of Shifters couldn’t hear.
“I’m the Alpha Female,” she muttered back. “I can do
whatever I want.”
Eventually, the preacher cleared his throat and suggested we
continue with the ceremony. Since he was a Shifter and we were the Alphas, it
was a very gentle suggestion and it took a long while in coming.
“Have you prepared your vows, your majesty?” His voice
wavered and sweat beaded his forehead. I wondered how much he was regretting
agreeing to officiate our service.
“I did, but it was mostly just some Shakespeare and The Office quotes, so I think I’ll just
shoot from my gut. Is that okay?”
As if he was going to tell her no.
There was a tense moment as Angel somehow managed to get my
wedding band stuck on her thumb. She got it off without too much drama, but I
was less than thrilled at the feeling of her spit on my finger as Scout slid it
“With this ring,” Scout said once the band was settled onto
the place it would reside for the rest of eternity, “I thee wed.”
And then she didn’t say anything else.
The preacher’s eyes darted from Scout, to me, and back
again.“Yes. Right,” he said, clearing
his throat. “I proudly present—“
“Wait,” Scout interrupted. “I’m not done yet.”
The audience laughed, and out of the corner of my eye I saw
the wedding planner throw her hands in the air and pace along the edge of the
“I don’t believe in magic or fate, but I believe love, and I
believe in you,” she said, fresh tears causing her eyes to shine like ice in
the early light of dawn. “I believe in the way you always fight for what is
right, even when the odds are stacked against you. I believe in your fierce
determination and the absolute focus you wield like the greatest of weapons. I
believe you are the Alpha because you’re the best of us.
“And so today, in front of all these witnesses, I vow to
support you when no one else will, to protect you when you need protecting, and
to love you with all my heart, body, and soul until the end of time and
Her smile was watery and breathtakingly gorgeous. “We’re
done now,” she told the preacher. “Give us the kissing command.”
According to the video, he did just that, and also announced
us as man and wife, but I didn’t hear that part. I was too busy kissing my