My Perfect Imperfections Preorder
Did you know My Perfect Imperfections is available for preorder? Release date is August 18th! Yikes! I’m nervous and excited at the same time. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/My-Perfect-Imperfections-Jalpa-Williby-ebook/dp/B011H491IE
Oh, and here’s a special treat… My Perfect Imperfections trailer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw4dGuhtlB0
As always, thank you for your support. 🙂
Dream Cast for My Perfect Imperfections
Here’s the dream cast for My Perfect Imperfections (coming soon)! I am so excited to share this beautiful story about a girl with Cerebral Palsy. I promise you that this story will make you feel every emotion.
Maia Mitchell as Lily Cooper (Note: Lily has green eyes)
Lily has Cerebral Palsy and relies on her wheelchair to get around.
Douglas Booth as Chance Ryker
(Lily’s first kiss, her first love… but, there’s a lot we don’t really know about him)
Olivia Holt as Layna Cooper
(Lily’s twin sister, who is perfect in every way)
Keke Palmer as Kathy (Lily’s best friend and colleague at work)
Mackenzie Foy as Layna Ryker
Angie Harmon (Lily’s mother)
Reed Diamond (Lily’s dad)
Benjamin McKenzie as Mark (the other guy)
Javier Bardem as Kenny (yes, there is a villain in this story)
I’m so excited that I was able to find actors/actresses that fit the way I visualized the characters! This story is completely different than anything I’ve written in the past. It’s dear to my heart, and I can only hope that it brings inspiration and hope to the readers.
Cover Reveal for My Perfect Imperfections!
Chaysing Destiny Chapter One
The distant, shrilling screams and the deathly scent of smoke in the still of the night have me springing off of the tiny cot. I swiftly scan the small hut that’s been my home for the last couple of weeks. Snatching the clothes from the plastic container that’s placed in the corner, I quickly change into my baggy black pants and shirt. After putting on the ghutra around my head and wrapping the black scarf around my face with my hair pulled back, I’m confident that I can easily pass as a man.
The screams grow louder, and the footsteps scatter in panic. There’s something terrible happening out there, but I’m not too worried yet.
I’ve prepared for this.
I grab my knives and stick them in my boots and the side of my pants. As the stench of smoke invades me, I seize my gun and soundlessly slither out of the hut.
The small homes and huts of the village are engulfed in angry flames. The villagers are screaming and running, trying to save their loved ones. I quickly assess the scene, suspecting that the fire must have been deliberately set.
Who the hell would do this?
And then I see them. Men in their Jeeps are yelling at the villagers, their guns drawn. I’ve heard of attacks like this. These men may be part of the radical rebel group that has been terrorizing the villagers and robbing them of little they possess. My gut tells me it must be the group, FILO, which Tom Sterns has warned me about. Sterns is still the leader of our special operation forces and my mentor, so I trust him completely. Instantly, my blood boils at the possibility that these rebels may have some direct or indirect involvement with Chayse’s death.
Don’t lose control, Tess.
I have to remain focused. I can’t let my emotions push me into making poor decisions.
My mind drifts to the little boys and girls I’ve been helping in the small medical clinic, and I silently sprint toward the homes to save the kids. I think about little Akbar and Sheyla, who have already gained a special place in my heart. The brother and sister’s hut is not too far from me. As I move closer, I helplessly watch the blaze consume their home. My heart crashes to the floor, and I pray they escaped.
Don’t panic, Tess. Think!
I hear wailing of a child. As my head spins toward the sound, I see a stranded little girl standing in the middle of the chaos, crying by herself. Where is her mother? And then I notice her. The mom is lying on the ground unresponsive and not too far from the toddler. I race to the girl and grab her, trying to bring her to safety. Holding her securely under my arms, I rush toward the clinic.
The girl is terrified, probably thinking I’m one of the men who attacked them. Unfortunately, I can’t stop to reassure her right now.
When I kick the door of the clinic open, somebody tries to hit me with a stick. Luckily, I block the strike easily and take the stick away with one arm while still holding the child with the other. Just as I’m about to pull my gun out, I notice it’s my assistant, Tanveer. I yank my scarf down to show him my face.
“It’s me! Dr. Johnson!” I yell. Sterns, who sent me on this mission, didn’t want me to use my real name. My identity in Iraq has been Dr. Karen Johnson.
He takes a step back in shock. “What is happening, Doctor? Why are you dressed like one of them?”
“I can’t explain right now. But you must trust me, okay? You have to take this little girl out of here. Her mother is no more. You can’t stay in here. I think you need to take as many people as you can and try to flee into the woods. Maybe you need to escape to the next village. They will probably set this clinic on fire as well. I’ll try to save as many people as I can, but you need to get a group going and get out of here. Do you understand?”
Staring at me in disbelief, he finally responds. “Yes. Okay, I understand. I will wait by the edge of the woods and see if more people come. They can meet me there, and we will escape together.”
“Okay, go now. I’ll tell whoever I can.”
“Wait, what about you?”
“I have to help them, Tanveer. I’m not leaving.” I then turn to the little girl who is still crying. In her native language, Arabic, I gently say, “Hey, sweetie, this is my friend. He will help you, okay?” I’m not sure if she hears anything I say to her, but at least the gentle tone of my voice calms her a bit.
Placing the scarf back on securely to cover myself, I sneak back out of the clinic and sprint toward the madness. To my horror, I see a man on the ground, dead, with a woman hovering over him, screaming. One of the attackers approaches her and pulls her off of the man. He takes his gun and shoots the man again, as if rubbing his death in even more to the woman. A shrilling sound escapes her as she yells something to him. He turns around and strikes her across the face. She tumbles to the ground, her face buried into the dirt. The man points his gun to shoot a fatal shot to her head. As if accepting her fate, the woman lies still, not resisting.
Without hesitating, I aim my gun and shoot straight through the man’s heart before he can pull the trigger. Making sure none of his men has witnessed my kill, I rush to the woman and pull her up. I instruct her in Arabic to head toward the woods to make her escape. She has no idea who I am since I still have my face covered. Luckily, she realizes that I just saved her, so she follows my instructions.
Before running, she turns to me and grabs hold of my arm. “Kill them all!” she whispers fiercely.
As I find more villagers, I give them the same instructions. I try to avoid calling attention to myself from the terrorists, but at times, I do have to use my gun or my knives. There’s no way I can take on all these men. There are at least ten Jeeps here, so from my estimation, there are probably forty to fifty men, all heavily armed. Although, I’ve already killed eight of them, it’s impossible for me to get them all. The best I can do is to try and save as many people as I can.
As the fire swallows the small village, I bring the last batch of people to the edge of the woods. Tanveer is still waiting with the small crowd, all of them crouched low behind the trees.
To my relief, I notice Akbar and Sheyla standing with Tanveer. Happy to see them, I give them a quick hug. At first they are frightened, but when they hear my voice, they recognize me and hug me tightly. Feeling their tremors, I assure them everything will be okay.
Shifting my attention to Tanveer, I direct him on the next move. “I think you need to start taking everybody out of here before those bastards realize what’s happening. I’ll go back to the village. If I find anybody else, I’ll bring them with me. Start heading toward the east. There’s a village that’s about seven or eight miles from here. Hopefully, they can help.”
“Okay, doctor. You going to be okay?”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” I give Tanveer a quick nod and turn toward the burning village again.
As I sneak back, I hear many of the men yelling in Arabic.
“Who the hell is killing our men?”
“And where are all the villagers?”
“Somebody dare to challenge us? I want them found. Do you hear me?”
I stay hidden. The men scatter about to search. Damn it, I’ve been hoping they wouldn’t find any of the dead bodies of the men I’ve killed yet. I have to remind myself to stay focused on my mission. What I need to do is try to capture one of the men and find some information about Saheim. My instincts tell me he is the missing piece of the puzzle.
I’m confident these men know about Saheim. He’s one of the main leaders of groups like these. If I obtain some information on him, then he can potentially lead me to Chayse’s killers.
Sterns has warned me about him—Saheim is a wanted criminal. He’s ruthless and one of the most dangerous leaders of FILO, Future Iraq Leaders’ Organization. None of the villagers have been willing to talk whenever I’ve brought his name up. I’ve gotten the feeling that some of them have heard his name but have been too afraid to say anything.
I suddenly notice that some of the men are heading toward the woods where the villagers escaped. Running out of time, I have to think quickly and stop them. Moving swiftly and silently like a predator about to zero in on its prey, I pursue them.
Briefly scanning, I notice twelve men going toward the woods. They all have their bandanas on and have their guns drawn. I have to distract them. It’s now or never. I leap in the opposite direction and shoot toward them. When they hear the shots, they yell and race toward me. I’m confident they don’t have a visual on me, but they know the general direction of the shots. I’m not worried about being caught because I can easily outrun them. My sole hope is that they all follow me, so I can steer them away from those innocent people.
I don’t run too fast initially, making sure they continue to pursue me. I purposefully go toward the west, luring them as far away as possible. When they’ve been on my tail for at least fifteen minutes, I speed it up and try to lose them. With enough distance between us, I climb up a tree to hide out. I’ll head back toward the village once everything settles down a bit. I’m bound to bump into some of them since they’ll probably still be searching for me. At the first opportunity, I plan to take one of the men as my captive and make him talk about Saheim.
As I wait in the tree, I think about all of the innocent people who lost their lives tonight. Shit, what is wrong with this world? To make matters worse, everybody is afraid to stand up to these groups that go around terrorizing.
I’ve already been here for two weeks, searching for answers. Tonight is the closest I’ve come to finding some information. But damn it! Saving the village was not part of the plan. I had no idea these horrid men were going to go on a killing spree and burn everything down. At least it gives me some pleasure to know I took out quite a few of them tonight.
But not enough.
No, they all have to pay—every single one who’s responsible for Chayse’s death. I don’t care if they’re involved directly or indirectly. They will pay.
Two weeks away from my son. My Jace. My heart and soul. Oh how I miss my baby. I promised him before I left that I would be home soon. And it’s already been two weeks.
I can’t believe he’s going to be two years old in four more months. With a head full of dark hair and big gray eyes, Jacen reminds me of Chayse every day.
As I hide in the tree, I think about my life since Chayse’s death. I remember my pregnancy, the birth of my son, and how every day and night, Chayse has been on my mind and in my heart.
My Perfect Imperfections- Prologue
My current WIP is completely different than anything I’ve written. This one is dear to my heart and I feel it’s important that I write this story. In my day job, I’m a physical therapist so I’ve had the privilege of working with many patients with neurological impairments. “My Perfect Imperfections” is from the POV of a girl with Cerebral Palsy. At the very least, I hope to bring some knowledge and inspiration to the readers. Here’s the prologue:
“Congratulations! You have beautiful little girls. Oh and by the way, one of the twins has Cerebral Palsy.”
I always wondered how the doctors broke the news to my parents about my diagnosis. I used to visualize the whole scenario.
“What are you talking about, Doctor? What does that even mean?” I could picture my mom asking, her eyes filling with tears.
“Well, is this curable? What is the prognosis?” Dad would ask, always the practical one, looking for answers.
“I know this is a lot to take in. It’s a neurological disorder. There are things we can do to help. Lily can go through intense physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Actually, she’ll probably need therapy most of her life. I have pamphlets I can give you…and you can read information about Cerebral Palsy. Oh, and I can give you references to some really great support groups. I mean you’ll be surprised how many parents have to go through this type of thing.” The doctor would ramble on and on, never really answering the questions directly.
Dad probably got angry, his voice getting louder. “Look, Doc, I just asked if she’s going to get better. That’s all I want to know!”
Mom most likely started crying quietly to herself, knowing in her heart why the doctor was being vague. I could see both leaving the doctor’s office with more questions than answers, fearing their lives had just turned upside down.
My name is Elizabeth Skye Cooper. Well, most people just call me Lily. I am eighteen years old, and I have Cerebral Palsy. What exactly is Cerebral Palsy? According to Webster, it is a disability resulting from damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth and outwardly manifested by muscular incoordination and speech disturbances.
Blah, blah, blah. I hate stupid definitions.
I’ll tell you what I know of Cerebral Palsy. It sucks. I can’t move my body the way I want to move it. I’m mostly confined to my wheelchair because I can’t walk without assistance. I can’t even feed myself since my arm is not able to bring the damn food to my mouth because of my inability to coordinate my muscles. I know what I want my arm to do, but it won’t cooperate no matter how hard I try. Didn’t I tell you it sucks?
But I’ve lived with it for eighteen years. And nobody understands my body more than me. None of those doctors, none of those therapists, not even my family. And through the years, I’ve learned to make the most out of it. I actually can drive my wheelchair and talk with my communication device.
But it hasn’t been easy. No, it hasn’t been easy.
Chaysing Destiny Update
Many of you have been waiting anxiously for the final installment of the Chaysing Trilogy. Let me assure you that I work on it every evening and every weekend—literally, every spare moment. Trust me, I’m dying for my closure too. 🙂
The good news is that the story is done! Man, does that feel good! I’ve gone through it once already, but I’m going through it again. It’s just what I do. I have to go over it to enhance the scenes, work on proper wording, the sentence structure, grammar…you know, just get it right.
For me, it’s imperative that my readers are “there” with the characters. I want my readers to feel the joy, the sorrow, the pain—everything that my characters are going through. So, as a writer, the emotional piece is priceless. I truly get inside my characters’ heads and try to portray what they’re going through.
That being said, what’s next? Well, when I’m done going through it a few more times, I will send the manuscript to editor(s). Then, I’ll revise it some more. When I’m completely satisfied with it, I’ll send it to the publishers. There, the publishers take another couple of months to format it and make it available to the readers on all major sites. Yeah, it is a long drawn out process, but my goal is to send it to the publishers by the end of this year.
So hang in there! I promise it will be worth the wait! I absolutely can’t wait for you all to read it because I love how the story developed.
In the meantime, here’s a little prologue for Chaysing Destiny. Enjoy!
The pain is unbearable, but the reward makes it tolerable. I have to push harder to bring my baby into this world. As the fear for my baby’s safety consumes me, an overwhelming sense of sorrow sends tears cascading down my cheeks.
The sound of the explosion has me running toward the source. I have to save him. Screams and cries of women and children urge me to run faster.
Blood everywhere. Too many dead, mutilated bodies are all around me. No, please, no! I’m too late.
Suddenly I’m running through the field of beautiful wild flowers. I’m playing with Gem, and while I laugh, she barks with excitement. I glance over my shoulder to see Chayse running after me. I feel him tackle me, his weight holding me down. I laugh.
When he turns me over to face him, his eyes are not happy. Without any warning, the force of his knuckles land hard on my face.
Everything goes black.
The nightmares continue to haunt me. The dread of not knowing if these nightmares are a part of my past, present, or future petrifies me.
Too many questions. Not enough answers.
But I won’t back down. I will find my answers.
April: Autism Awareness Month!
April is Autism Awareness Month. Since in my own life, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some kids and adults with Autism, I’ve created some pretty amazing memories. These guys are truly a treasure. And their intelligence always blows me away.
There are different levels of autism. Some are mild, and some may be severe cases. I can promise you this much, these guys have always been able to bring a smile to my face. They have a heart of gold, and they just need their own way of dealing with things.
Maybe you’ve been as lucky as me and have encountered somebody with autism. Maybe it’s your family member, a friend, or an acquaintance. If you haven’t, I would recommend you volunteer at places that serve kids or adults with autism. I promise you, not only will you learn from them, but they will make your heart smile.
In Chaysing Dreams, Tess, the main character volunteers periodically at a place called The Angels, which serves kids with Autism. Here’s a little excerpt from the book when Tess is only sixteen and enters the facility.
I sign into the volunteer sign-in book at the front desk. “Good to see you again, Tess. Welcome back,” says Tina, who works at the front desk.
“Thanks, Tina! I’m looking forward to hanging out with my buddies,” I say, smiling back at her. I begin heading back toward the residential sites.
“Tess!” I hear Tony yelling as I enter one of the sites. Tony comes running to me with a big smile. He’s eighteen and has autism. He doesn’t make eye contact, clasps his hands together, and starts rocking.
“Hi Tony, I miss you so much!” I gently pat his back, and he gives me a shy smile.
“What are we going to do today? Did you drive? Where’s your car? What kind of car do you drive? You look really pretty today. I like your hair.” Tony shoots off rapid-fire questions.
“Whoa, slow down, Tony!” I say, laughing. “No, I didn’t drive, but I’ll be getting my license soon! I’m sixteen today!” I’m excited to share my special day.
“Tess, it’s your birthday today?” Jennifer, the nurse, asks me. I nod, smiling at her.
Amy comes running to me. “It’s Tess’s birthday, it’s Tess’s birthday. I want cake!” Amy starts yelling and spinning. Amy is fourteen, and she is adorable. She gets over stimulated easily though, so I have to be careful not to stress her out.
I look around and notice that there are six more of the residents surrounding me. They are all very excited. I decide to distract them. “Ok, guys, how about some games first? Who wants to play some basketball?”
It works like magic. All of the residents are now focused on the game. We set up the indoor basketball net and play HORSE. It’s so fun to laugh and run around with them.
After playing with them for half an hour, I decide to visit the residents in the other rooms. So, I take Amy with me for a walk. I figure she probably needs to escape for a bit, and she can visit her friends in the other rooms as well. After notifying Jennifer, Amy and I head out.
The facility is fairly large, so it is a pretty good walk to visit all of the ten rooms. As we’re walking down the hall, suddenly, Amy starts running away from me.
“Amy, wait for me! Don’t go anywhere!” I yell. I’m fearful that I won’t know where she might end up if she keeps running. She leaves me no choice but to run after her. I remember her history of hitting other residents when fueled by too much excitement, and I cringe. “Amy, stop!” I yell.
She disappears into the multipurpose room. I run in after her, determined to use my stern voice on her. I don’t even get the opportunity. As I stumble in, I hear music. I see Amy standing there, mesmerized, and slowly swaying in the corner to the sound of the music. I also notice there are at least thirty other kids in there, some sitting, and some standing. All of the kids are quiet and looking very peaceful. I can’t believe it. Usually, when too many of the kids get together in a room, they become excited or agitated, and it’s harder to control them due to their disability. To my surprise, nobody is making a sound. All I hear is the music.
As I scan the room, I find the source. He’s sitting on a folding chair in the middle of the multipurpose room. He’s playing his acoustic guitar, and I hear him singing.