Friday, May 13, 2011

Time, Stress and Spa Treatments by J.E. Taylor


I’ve talked about my books and writing up the wazoo over the past couple weeks so today, I’m going to focus on what to do when we’re all balled up with stress from the crazy running around with teenagers, juggling a day job and the night writing in between the insane schedule of baseball, dance, jukido, guitar lessons, kid’s jobs, driving lessons and everything in between. 

Time is a premium in our household, so when my daughter invited me to go with her for a day at the spa, I reluctantly went.  Outside of a couple pedicures over the years – and yes I can count these on one hand – I’ve never indulged.  Well, let me tell you, the twenty-five minute massage was NOT enough.  

While waiting for my daughter – she went in after me – I started leafing through the catalog of what’s available and my lord, I’d love to do a either a full or a half day of extreme pampering.   I now understand why folks plan spa weekends and all that hoopla.   It’s something I’d like to indulge in more.  A guilty pleasure with certain health benefits.  

And here I thought a long jog on the beach was the way to relieve stress – while it is good for you, it is not the ultimate muscle melting, stress-busting solution. No boys and girls, a day of extreme pampering is now my stress-relieving goal.  

So people, tell me, what’s your guilty pleasure?  

Any advice on what spa treatments are the bomb?  What to stay away from?

Thanks for indulging my mini-spa rant, now back to my regularly scheduled program.  My latest book that I’m touting everywhere is Hunting Season.  I’ve got a cool video book trailer on YouTube, Goodreads, Facebook and my website – check it out when you have a minute. 
In the meantime, here’s the book description, first chapter and buy links:
 
When Kyle Winslow escapes from custody and targets everyone Special Agent Steve Williams cares about, a turn of fate brings Steve face to face with Ty Aris – a criminal mastermind topping the FBI’s most wanted list. Torn between justice and vengeance, Steve must make a decision. Join alliances with Ty, or arrest him and lose his best chance to catch the bastard who destroyed his family.


Chapter 1
Fubar.
The thought produced a quiet humph and Steve studied the falling snow outside the window, waiting. His fingers rose to the eye-patch, grazing the pliable material that covered the hollowness of the socket underneath.  A shiver rippled through him and he clenched his teeth.
He flexed his right hand.  After six months of physical therapy, he still didn’t have the dexterity to shoot straight and his arm constantly ached where the bone splintered.  His leg screamed whenever a low-pressure-system arrived; making his slight limp more prevalent, and right now, it throbbed in time with his heartbeat.  Sighing, he returned his attention to the swirling white flakes.
Dr. Montgomery, the FBI sponsored psychiatrist assigned to his case, slipped into the room and took a seat, opening Steve’s file.  He adjusted his spectacles before resuming where they left off.  “You need to deal with what happened, Steve.”
“The son of a bitch is still out there.”
Dr. Montgomery leaned forward and folded his arms on his desk.
They had been through this routine a dozen times in the past few months.  Dr. Montgomery, always calm and reasonable, and Steve, always falling back to his unimpassioned crime scene analysis, avoiding the trauma he endured.
Steve watched the snowfall for a few minutes before continuing.  “I’m an FBI agent. I should be out there looking for him.”  He attempted to skirt his emotions, again.
“And what does the husband and father part feel?”
Steve’s jaw clenched.  “I’m not sure I want to answer that.”
“Why not?”
Steve turned toward Dr. Montgomery.  “Because you’ll never clear me for active duty.”
“Anger is a perfectly normal emotion Steve.”
Steve scoffed and turned, catching his reflection in the glass.  A single unwavering azure eye stared back.  He ground his teeth so hard they ached before meeting the doctor’s gaze.  “He blew up my daughter.”
“Keep going.”  Dr. Montgomery said.
“I want to kill him!” Steve closed his eyes, willing the rabid dog inside to stay caged.  He drew a deep breath and blew it out slowly, fogging the windowpane in front of him.
Steve turned his head toward the doctor.  Fury coursed through his veins.  He clenched his jaw and pulled the air in through his nose before he continued.  “I should have shot him when I walked in the door.”
“Why didn’t you?”
That question plagued Steve at least a dozen times a day since the explosion.  If he had, Jennifer wouldn’t be lying in a hospital bed with no hope of recovery.  Instead, he paused and that cost him his daughter and his wife.  “He had a detonator in his hand and he said if I didn’t put the gun down, he’d blow up Samantha.”
Steve’s jaw worked overtime grinding his teeth.  Anger pulsed through his body, making the tips of his fingers and toes tingle and his skin burn.
The rage consumed Steve.  Raw, unbridled, unstoppable rage.
Rage because he was stupid.
Rage because his baby girl was dead.
Rage because Kyle escaped.
Steve’s breath came in short gasps. His jagged nails dug into the soft flesh of his palms, tempering the rage a notch.  Slowly, he uncurled his fists, stretching his fingers as he stared at the floor.
“The fucker’s still out there. And he isn’t done with me yet.”

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