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Kim Petersen

The Most Beautiful Thing About Middle-Aged Men

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We need more like him.

In the late 80s to early 90s, the 40th birthday bashes were in full swing. I was much younger, of course, far from the baby boomers in my life who faced the reality that they were no longer the youth revolution. It was inevitable. None of us can rebel against time no matter how hard we buck and yell. Besides, they had their Woodstock and their sexual revolution, and let me tell you, whatever that symbolized for them reflected in their midlife celebrations.

Hendrix. Joplin. The Who. Zeppelin. Jefferson Airplane. Cocker.

Baby boomers knew how to rock in their day. I’ll give them that. But, of course, we’re talking about the generation of free love and peace, which produced music that captured the spirit of the times. Still, middle-aged men seemed ancient to me as a young woman back then. No offense intended, but I was looking at fading strands, receding hairlines, weathered skin marked by pronounced wrinkles, and hair sprouting in weird places. I found none of it sexually appealing.

Hey, where’s Pacino when you need him, hmm?

Middle age gets a bum rap. I mean to say that when a man gets older, his testosterone slips, his hangovers sting a little more, and he has to really start listening to his doctor during those yearly check-ups. But you know what? Youth in the rear-view can also mean that he is wiser, more financially sound, handles stress better, and knows how to have more quality fun with a woman.

It’s not a given, though.

Goddess knows there are tonnes of men out there who never quite mature beyond their youth on the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual fronts. The scales don’t lie. They are the men who make everything about themselves, think vulnerability is a weakness, use women, have commitment issues, don’t own their mistakes, and are stellar at making their women feel utterly alone.

I’m not interested in men like that.

Instead, I appreciate men who have aged with spirit and grace and have embraced the subtle art of self-possession. Someone with a rich inner life, emotional honesty, and a beautiful open heart. Someone grounded enough to embrace the courage to commit to what is real.

That’s attractive. That’s sexy.

I’m no longer that young woman screwing my nose up at middle-aged men. Things have changed. I’ve changed. Like the generation before me, I couldn’t rebel yell loud enough to stop getting older. But honestly, I don’t mind one bit because the years have freed me as life has revealed its beauty and difficulty and shown me that each part has value and purpose, and one is needed to appreciate and understand the other.

I now have a thing for middle-aged men.

They can be pretty lovely, with weird hair, wrinkles, and all. But the most beautiful thing about middle-aged men is the magic of their wisdom.

It is the type of wisdom I liken to Albert Einstein’s famous quote:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

This quote perfectly echoes the power of imagination and the limitations of knowledge. In other words, knowledge is easy to acquire, but creativity takes bravery and persistence.

I like that. I desire a man who understands the concept even more.

See, there is a distinction between knowledge and experience that some older men value about life. Those who realize that wisdom isn’t solely based on the knowledge accrued from education but, instead, evolves from education plus life experience plus limitless imagination.

Suppose imagination is the key to elaborate theories, dreams, inventions, and innovation. In that case, it must give rise to experiences that create more enlightened perspectives required to make our most profound transformations over time.

Some men are powered by love and driven by purpose.

He feels profoundly and is sensed by others profoundly.

It is a type of wisdom that can no longer put up with the bullshit produced by a sneaky, excessive society that doesn’t prioritize his life. The kind that comes to reject the endless distractions offered by a community that attempts to deter him from making contact with his own consciousness, using things such as alcohol, porn, entrapment, and Netflix to achieve its objective.

Some men come to realize a higher meaning.

Some men have what it takes to give and receive great love.

Some men come to humility.

Some men learn to stop giving away their life force energy to the things attempting to steal it from them.

And some men arrive at the beautiful door of wisdom.

He unlocks the portal to his soul and begins to operate from that place deep within. He’ll come to know a deep service that he has committed his life to — his spirit, heart, and soul.

It’s a slice of wisdom that bestows those men who’ve done the work, and that’s attractive.

That’s sexy.

Because a man who possesses this kind of inner knowing doesn’t frequently hit and quit life or flip flop around commitment, emotions, love, or the idea that choices matter. If he has done the work to a certain level, he knows the choice doesn’t matter.

It’s never mattered.

What matters is the commitment to the choice.

He drops the game.

Abandons the distractions.

He says what he means and means what he says.

I admire a man who finds something, chooses it, commits to it, and stays committed to it. And please don’t confuse commitment with tolerance or endurance in any scenario that breeds unhappiness or pain. Sometimes, letting go of things that are no longer working for us — people, jobs, homes, and the like — is the most extraordinary step we can undertake toward positive transformation and improving the quality of our lives, and that’s a commitment in itself.

I believe in that old proverb about better doors opening when one closes, and if it doesn’t open, then it’s not your door.

Some men know that he will arise illuminated and stronger through constant weathering than before.

Some men realize that the problem with so many contemporary men is that distraction and lack of immersive commitment propagate immaturity, untrustworthiness, and acute unawareness.

Some men know that they will find themselves through commitment and feel their purpose.

Some men understand that their purpose doesn’t lie outside themselves but within.

I’m talking about the type of men who know how to be, really be with a woman. Because the magic of wisdom understands himself and inspires movement around him through his depth of being, feeling, loving, and seeing. He learns where to place his awareness and knows how to connect deeply with the woman he loves.

Now, that’s sexually appealing.

That’s beautiful.

Dear Goddess, I think the world needs more men with beautiful wisdom.


What it Means to Feel Someone with Your Soul

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Some people take you to oblivion.


“I feel you. Your sun it shines.”

Remember the 1993 Depeche Mode song, I Feel You?

It’s a dark, brooding fusion of provocative lyrics and industrial textured rock and roll that takes you where you want to go, and it’s downright sexy.

“I feel you. Within my mind.”

If I selected a theme song for this piece, this is it.

Check it out:

It was uncanny.

I encountered “just an ordinary guy” who turned out to be anything but typical.

At least, to me.

I didn’t know him from a bar of soap. I didn’t see him coming and wasn’t looking for him. Yet, his brief appearance in my life exposed a buried part of my soul which directly linked to my heart and taught me how to feel more love.

Like a higher, soul-based love.

It happens. Not too often, but when it does, you can’t miss it because you sense the remarkable difference in the energy shift when you make contact. As if the air is charged and crackling with energy, you suddenly feel a strong urge to get closer.

What is that?

I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it — I don’t proclaim to be an expert on soul matters, soulmates and karmic connections, and the like.

I’m not.

I’m just an ordinary woman who began a strange journey when I decided to know more about this life — my truths and connection to universal energy. So, I started exploring and tuning in to a deeper part of myself, and I practiced operating from that space.

I ached to know more.

There’s a divine presence surrounding us here on earth, and whatever you make of that, I discovered that energy is genuine and highly intelligent.

And it listens.

I asked for more and offered to be of service.

The universe sent him my way.

“You take me there,

You take me where,

The kingdom comes.”

I know now that very few souls come to us to embellish our experiences with an intensely delicious flavor. Instead, most people skate around the sidelines of our lives, with few affecting us profoundly.

But we are tethered to some people via invisible soul ties — the rare connections capable of touching us from the inside out and creating a lasting impact on us.

The same connections we’ve known over many lifetimes.

Like a soul vibration.

soul vibration is a person’s highest energetic expression of self. Each person’s energy frequency is unique, like a fingerprint.

Before him, I had no idea what it meant to feel someone with my soul. Not really. I’d loved deeply and given my heart wholly, yes. But this was different. The connection felt more spiritual than anything.

I can literally feel him within my soul.

How is that possible? I hear you ask.

Great question.

Since we all vibrate at unique energetic levels, if we share the same soul frequency with someone else, then we can feel them with our soul.

Some people call it a soulmate or “mirrored soul” thing. Others may call it plain madness and make use of taunting those who experience the phenomenon.

People fear what they don’t understand.

Me? I prefer to steer clear of labels and go with the flow.

Either way, the experience brings as much confusion as clarity because feeling someone with your soul is like opening a can of worms — your worms.

And some worms are incredibly dark, convoluted, and filthy.

How does it feel?

  • As if your inner self can finally come to rest in the heart of another.
  • As if you have met before, in another lifetime, or many lifetimes.
  • Like there is something especially familiar about them.
  • As if they are close despite geographical differences.
  • Like instant attraction multiplied by 1000.
  • Like an energetic buzz zapping through your body.
  • Like you cannot deny it.

Honestly, I struggle to articulate the sensations fully, but I can tell you it feels:

Like soul contact.

“You take me to

And lead me through


Making soul contact and awakening your heart center can be one of the most critical and transformative steps on your path of spiritual awakening that you will ever experience.

Like a catalyst, if you will.

Feeling someone with your soul means you are entering into territory beyond description with words and into the formless world of feeling and intuition.

But personal growth of this magnitude is never a walk in the park because it means purging old stuff that no longer serves.

This cleansing process is challenging, frustrating, and exhausting because we humans have to do a lot of work to see through our ego, and ego dissolution is complicated.

Stuff like:

  • Control.
  • Judgment.
  • Inflexibility.
  • Ruthlessness.
  • Manipulative tactics.
  • The need to feel superior.
  • Praise seeking.
  • Holding grudges.

It isn’t easy to look through our mind’s false stories that veil the truth — and this is precisely what happens when you encounter a soul intertwined with yours. This person will have a knack for showing you warts and all.

Hey, whether in this life or the next, all of us will eventually have to do the ego work. We must push beyond the ego to live a more authentic, compassionate life with humility.

Our most intricate soul connections help to accelerate ego dissolution.

How does it feel?

  • Chaos — like your world turns upside down.
  • Scared — the intensity of the connection is unlike anything you will have ever experienced.
  • Unsettled and uprooted.
  • Crazy — have you dreamed the whole thing?
  • Impatient — hurt and upset.
  • Deeply painful.
  • Sorrowfully beautiful.

Sheesh. It sounds a bit like a horror novel on the surface. But, of course, it helps to be gentle with yourself throughout the purging process, as does the act of surrender.

And surrender feels like:

A soul beast.

“This is the morning of our love

It’s just the dawning of our love.”

Your soul is a beast.

I don’t mean that negatively — quite the contrary. I’m talking about the unstructured, ethereal part of you that is tameless, timeless, and wild.

Feeling someone soul-to-soul awakens a spiritual dimension that spreads over the entire spectrum of your being and emotions. It introduces you to yourself and catapults you toward seeing and feeling and exploring your hidden depths and unseen heights.

In short, your soul beast is impressive.

Once you see the whole of you, which is limitless, the ego has very little power. Therefore, the ego/mind does not stand a chance against the light of truth.

It still exists, just seen through.

In other words, you don’t buy into it much anymore — seeing through the ego is a new way of living.

You are now living in freedom.

How does it feel?

  • It feels infinite.
  • And like your soul person understands who you are without the need for words.
  • Like a soft, warm, exquisite light in your body.
  • Like sensual heat curling through your erroneous zones.
  • Like physical distance and chronological time seem meaningless.
  • Like your heart overflows with so much love that you cannot contain it.
  • And like the above point can feel scary.
  • Like you are surrounded by unconditional love.

I feel you.

Yeah, it was uncanny.

I was unexpectedly gifted a soul on earth who ignited a spiritual evolution in me and showed me what it meant to feel someone with my soul, just by being himself.

Alas, that’s what our most profound and rarest soul connections do to us and why it is to be cherished, honored, and appreciated.

I will always be grateful for the experience.

Now, back to feeling Depeche Mode…

“Where angels sing

And spread their wings

My love’s on high.”


Men Who Love Women Do Things Like This

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Damn, I wish there were more of them.

I love women. 

Men say it all the time. They’ll often tell their buddies, openly declare it to women, and sometimes even announce it via their social media accounts. Despite that they clearly have not encountered every woman in the world.  


I love women

He speaks. 

But what does he mean?

Does the man mean it literally? If so, that would mean he is devoid of even the slightest hint of misogyny gathering in the recesses of his being.  

Apologies. More than once, I have questioned if such a man exists.    

So maybe, when a man says that he “loves women,” he really means that he likes the idea of women.   

There’s a significant difference. 

Because in a culture where men’s aggression toward women is often expressed through sex and most men are confused and misinformed about how to love a woman from a place of integrity, ideals usually work better for them. 

Ideally, a man can enjoy the company of and delight in women’s thought processes. He admires her physique and beauty and appreciates the feminine touch women bring to his life.

That’s ideal. 

Until he doesn’t get what he wants from her or things don’t go his way.

Often, a man loves a woman until she stops doing what he likes. 

It’s conditional love. 

For example, if he feels challenged by a woman, the same man who claims to love her can easily yield to his innate desire for power and control to fulfill his internal inadequacy. He might even attempt to dominate and denigrate her – intellectually, physically, spiritually, sexually. 


Well, since the dawn of civilization, men have treated women as second-class citizens, seductresses, and sex slaves, from African American slavery to the Nazis-driven Jewish genocide to racial or religious bigotry. Time and time again, history is strewn with rape and brutality against women.

Men have mishandled us from the beginning.  

So, this horrible trail of threatening, assaulting, and punishing women has created a subconscious bias of misogynistic mindset that has carried through the generations where many men are taught from a young age that they have an inherent right to power, particularly over women. 

These warped beliefs are where the “boys must be strong and aggressive” narrative stems from and support male entitlement, toxic masculinity, objectification of women, and violence against women. It’s everywhere and in every culture. It directly counters men’s highest role with a woman – to patiently and consistently show up for her as she disentangles the abuse and mishandling that she has endured at the hands of males who have come before him. 

It’s unconditional love.

Make of it what you will, but it’s the nourishing depth of a man’s presence in the connection process that every woman needs to experience and witness before she fully opens up for him.


Men who love women do things like this: 

Let me first say that none of us are perfect. We are here to make mistakes and learn and grow from our shortcomings. We are also here to evolve from a past that has distorted the male/female dynamic, negatively impacting the quality of our relationships, lives, and happiness. 

We are here to love.

So, the faster a man can get out of his own way in the connection process with a woman, the quicker he will find more profound meaning and higher love in his life.

He recognizes her realness

And I’m not talking about the “real” things she can do for him like fix his nightly feed, sex as her duty, and her baby-making role in his life. Or, indeed, other forms of male entitlement are considered legitimate forms of masculinity in society. 


  • Expecting women to behave a certain way. 
  • Thinking men are better decision-makers.
  • Dismissing a woman’s opinion. 
  • Treating women as lesser human beings. 
  • Insisting on respect before he has earned a woman’s trust. 


I’m talking about something far more potent for him, which exists on the other side of her heart – the place where a woman embodies her spirit and pussy – her essence and realness.

Men who genuinely love women have figured out that to taste a woman’s wine is to receive the soft layers of her unraveling feminine gifts, which can transcend and nourish his life and their love union. 

Nice, huh.  

Well, it is for the man who can go there with her. 

Because when a man can recognize a woman’s realness, he will receive her holy fire and undeniable love – her light, compassion, loyalty, enhanced intuition, tenderness, and the unbridled power of her sensuality – 

Her fully awakened sexuality.    

But these superb feminine qualities are never just given to a man without his conscious effort to earn a woman’s trust. So he’ll need to embody the tools and wisdom to demonstrate his male proficiency and trustworthiness by allowing her to challenge and test him before she fully opens herself to him.   

Of course, that takes a man’s patience, dedication, and a solid commitment to “self” to recognize a woman’s realness and what that means for him. 

It takes inner work. 

Self-work to face his inner demons and heal all of his wounds, and see beyond a society that encourages him to play games with women, devalue, exploit, and mistreat women.

Honestly, it’s about letting go of old patterns to make way for a new way of being, thinking, and perceiving the world – all without the help of his mommy, of course. 

Only then can he hold a woman.

I mean to hold her within his conscious power and his arms.  

He will let her know that he is there with her so that she may continue to trust him with her unfurling process. 

Again, it takes patience.  

And emotional maturity. 

And honesty. 

And vulnerability. 

And open-mindedness. 

And integrity.

And a whole lot of heart and soul to hold a woman.

Truthfully, the process is not for the faint at heart or men with a weakened backbone. 

I make no apologies. More than once, I have questioned the quality of today’s men. 

So maybe society’s exaggerated gender roles support a belief system that promotes hypermasculinity where masculine qualities like competitiveness with other men and feminine domination amplify sexist thinking.

We all know those males who ascribe to aggression, insensitivity, physical dominance, cruelty, bold ambition, and unrealistic demands.

Hypermasculine men cannot hold a woman. 

Neither can weak men. 

Here’s another truth: I can’t help but notice a convergence of “soft cocks” among contemporary men, and I’m not talking about men who cry. 

No. Crying is a healthy way of expressing emotion and by no means contradicts a person’s strength.    

Do you know those men who run like the wind when the shit hits the fan? They are the types who will leave the dirty work to someone else, don’t know how to love a strong woman, will often deny the truth in favor of comfort zone territory, and is never there when you need him. 

Yeah. Weak men cannot hold a woman. 

But a man in touch with himself, has developed his spirituality and has arrived in a mature place of being as a direct result, can rise in his role with a woman.  

That man can hold a woman. 

Because he’s done the work. 

He takes full ownership of who he is and possesses the self-awareness to love a woman. He has the guts to sense her heart and honey, show up and feel, penetrate and hold her with his consciousness so that she has something solid to trust and respond to.

Because if a man cannot sense a woman, she cannot trust him.    

That doesn’t mean he supports her bullshit, either. It means that he holds her accountable and assists her in opening her heart and soul and vice versa. 


So, I love women.

He speaks. 

But what does he mean? 

Does the man mean it literally? If so, that would mean that he has learned how to be present with women enough to communicate directly and love fiercely without a hint of misogyny gathering in the recesses of his being.

It would mean that he is present enough within himself to fully respect and be present with the magnificent and powerful life-force energy that birthed him – the warmest, safest, and most nourishing place available to him.

Does such a man exist? 

I believe this male is a rare beast.  

Still, I’m grateful for the men out there who understand what it means to love women and have chosen different paths of integrity, maturity, presence, and connection. 

But dear goddess, I wish there were more of them.

Value Your Creative Energy: The Benefits of Connecting with Your Higher-Creative Mind

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The higher-self is a term associated with a variety of belief systems, but its basic premise describes an eternal, conscious and intelligent being which represents our most authentic state.

The higher-self embodies our spirit which is expressed through our human vessels — the part of ourselves that exists beyond the conditioning learned throughout our life experiences. Conditions such as fear and ego fixations, limiting beliefs, negative thinking patterns and old wounds.

Our higher-selves are never lost to us — your soul or spirit is ever-present and flows with unhindered and effortless love from the higher-realms.

When we refer to the higher-creative mind, we are speaking in terms of the creative resources available to us from that sacred space within. The incredibly creative part of you that remains hidden and unexplored, and brimming with story concepts and fascinating characters you have yet to meet.

But sometimes, we can lose touch with this part of ourselves. Life happens and we easily become weighed down with everyday stresses and responsibilities which can lead to feelings of disconnection. With the Corona virus currently ripping through the world, this is apparent more than ever right now.

We can tell when we are disconnected to our higher-selves because this state breeds lower vibrational feelings such as anxiety and depression, as well as other negative ways of thinking about ourselves and the world.

This is when problems are likely to arise with your creative output.

We have all been there. Some days, it can feel as if your creative well has dried up — that there are no more interesting words and stories left in you to tell.

It’s normal to experience creative burn-out from time to time. I do. I know how it feels when creativity seems out of reach. When you believe there is nothing left inside of you to creative and bring to the world; at least, nothing worthwhile. We want to produce our best work, and yet, it’s impossible to always be on top of our game.

Sometimes, a small shift in our perspective is all it takes to kick-start the creative juices again, and taking the time to replenish our creative resources is important if we are to thrive as prolific artists and writers.

In fact, recharging the creative batteries is a vital component in the life of a creative. We need to refill our spirits with renewed energy, and we need to allow ourselves time to unwind in order to create a fresh space for revived and invigorated visions and the formation of new ideas.

Often, it is the simple activities that are most helpful in clearing our creative blocks and managing stress levels. The core notion lies in the necessity to separate yourself and your mind from your work and creative project for a block of time.

We may be facing uncertain times and even isolation, but that doesn’t mean we have to be totally limited in finding ways to refresh our creative palettes. Here are a few things you can do to help pull you out of a creative rut (current circumstances permitting):

· Take a walk outside — preferably someplace that encourages positive feelings. Sunshine, trees and air will do wonders to replenish your imagination, and besides, it just feels good to be out and away from the computer sometimes.

· Go veg out at the beach — dig in your toes and imprint your mark into the sand while soaking up the purifying salt air for a few hours (my favorite!).

· Spend time with your children/dog or cat. Laughter uplifts the spirit and children have a knack of bringing out your inner-child. Animal therapy is a proven mood-booster.

· Coffee with a treasured friend — great conversation and connecting with someone special can cure the most contrite of hearts.

· Catch a flick or binge a series on Netflix — movies and TV are modern-day oral storytelling. Inspiration right there.

· Cook up a storm — this can be an extremely pleasant activity in switching up your focus. When we take away the “chore” aspect of cooking and do it for the pleasure, cooking transcends into something utterly delightful.

· Take a drive to destination inspiring — the world is brimming with naturally rustic beauty. Whether it be inhaling the country air over rolling green pastures, breathtaking views from mountain peaks, or dreaming on the wings of an eagle over rugged ocean cliffs, there is sure to be a slice of the magic near you.

The above suggestions are great ways to help improve your mindset when you’re feeling flat on the creative front. It is likely you’re already practicing similar activities. I think we all know when we need to just close down for a while and think about anything other than our work-in-progress or all tasks that are piling up on our desks.

This is true for our higher-creative minds, too. The more time spent intentionally cultivating that inner-resource, the greater your access will be to those extraordinary invisible realms.

We do this through connecting to the higher-self.

Deliberately choosing to spend time on strengthening your relationship with your inner-spirit is an act that will help nurture the bonds with your creativity.

It’s not hocus-pocus. It’s not even “woo-woo”. Those labels are formed by those who don’t get it. Think of it like this; there is so much more to our world and existence than what we are able to acknowledge and perceive. Often, it is fear driving the ridicule behind those who negate alternative thinking and practices with their labels.

Being willing to open your mind to different ideas and ways of being will add richness to your life. It’s like traveling — the experiences will broaden your perspective and increase the good stuff like empathy, love and kindness.

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Connecting to your higher-creative mind will help you achieve:

· A holistic sense of well-being

· Forms of awareness

· Trust in yourself

· Trust in the creative process

· Honor the incubation period — allowing the ideas and thoughts time to stew

· Build on your intuition

· Value vulnerability

· Push past fear

· Free expression

· Keep the creative channels flowing.

When it comes to the higher-creative mind, there are some simple methods we can practice to help get you there and keep you there during your creative output sessions.

Catherine Evans and I are going to discuss all of this and more during our Creative Writing Energy presentation in next month’s WriteHive 2020 convention, where we hope to help you pave a way to connect with and honor your higher-creative mind.

WriteHive 2020 is a free online writing convention featuring everyone from huge names in the literary industry to brand-new writers, and will be live across the world from April 18th — 19th.

Check it out here:

We hope to see you there.


Blood Legends: Rebirth – Chapter One

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Indifference felt like cold armor. Hunger gripped me. Exhausting. My mind contorted. I squeezed my eyes shut and hung my head. Strangled sobs tormented me. Each cry stoked the insatiable need to feed on their blood. My veins palpitated beneath my skin. I shivered and groaned as I shifted my back against the sandstone wall. My ass was paralyzed.

Avila’s body curled on the ground. Her head was heavy in my lap and she trembled in a fitful slumber. Candlelight offended my senses. Sun’s voice rasped over my pulse.

“Is this how it ends for us – starving in a filthy airless cell mocked by our food?” She gave a rueful laugh.

I lifted my chin to look at her beside me. Her skin was like chalky mesh sunk against cheekbones. Her hair fell in dull yellow clumps, almost concealing the stony eyes peering back at me. She licked chafed lips and flicked her chin toward the opposite cell. It was crammed with humans. There must have been about fifty of them.

“I can’t tell which side was better.”

I squinted toward the other cell. My joints ached; especially my knuckles as I clenched and unclenched them. The scent of fear and sweat carried along the shadowy shaft separating the cells. It hurt to look at them. Their offerings were too much to bear.


My gaze lingered on a woman who stood pressing her forehead against the rusty steel bars. Grimy fingers clutched the metal posts; burnt-red hair like straw. Brown eyes ebbed as she blinked at me. My ears pricked with the sound of her thumping heart. My mouth watered. I tore my eyes away from her and swallowed hard.

“We’re all living the nightmare no matter which side we’re on.”

Sun grazed a hand across my arm. Her skin was like ice.

“I’m on your side, that’s all that counts.”

Emptiness gripped me when I looked at her. Time had lost meaning. How long had we been here? Weeks? Months? Endless time snatched in the shadows and feeding on sewer rats. We were prisoners now; thrown in the putrid cells beneath the city with the humans they hunted and collected. It was punishment for betraying Marius. I deserved it, but Avila and Sun didn’t.

My eyes locked onto hers.

“I’m … sorry.”

I’m so sorry.

She shook her head.

“Don’t be.” She leaned in closer as the sound of stomping boots drifted along the tunnels. “Remember what you told me; don’t let them take your soul, Jett.”

“What soul?”

She said nothing but her darkening stare conveyed her thoughts. The truth was my soul was sucked into a black abyss the day Scarla was murdered. It was the same day I’d made the choice to die. But even the apathy accompanying my human death couldn’t erase the agony she left behind. Everything was meaningless without her. 

 Death could claim me again.  

 I looked away from Sun as Avila stirred. She sat up, stretching over sickly pale features and pitted eyes. Dark hair brushed at her waist as she cocked her head.

“The guards are coming.” Her voice was hoarse.


Her eyes widened at me. Fangs glinted as she winced before she made the move to stand up. Her legs buckled slightly when she extended an arm toward me.

“Get up.”

My girl. 

She was the only reason I had to keep going. I reached for her hand and hauled myself up, steadying myself against the wall. I felt like cardboard. Weakness crept through me, but I ignored it as a low rumble began to rise among the human captives across the way.

High pitched shrills and disembodied wails erupted as they began clawing at one another in an effort to distance themselves from the cell entrance. Terror was an intoxicating emotion. Excitement rimmed.

“The vampire guards are coming!”

“God, help us … Please, no!”

Limbs entangled. A few of them fell beneath the panicking mob. The blunt sound of crushing bones was a distinct melody in my ear. My gaze found the woman who still clutched the cell bars. Ragged lips mumbled breathless secrets. Her eyes were closed. She appeared in another world. 

Sun stood beside me. We exchanged a look before I pushed off the wall and walked toward the cell bars. I stopped across from the woman and watched her, tuning out to the chaotic fever and the laughter that echoed along the tunnel walls as the guards drew closer.

She shifted her weight from side to side and squeezed her eyes shut even tighter. Her shoes were made of worn brown leather and fringed a pair of torn denim jeans. She flung her head back. Grime appeared like patchwork over the skin of her throat. Her words became frantic. Louder.    

“Lygarou … Lygarou … the prophecy is born … the city will burn to ashes.”

Avila and Sun sidled up either side of me. Screams escalated. Mayhem like wild alley cats. My heart pounded. My fangs ached for blood. Four guards rounded the bending shaft and came into view. Avila stiffened.


I shrugged. My gut curdled as I looked back at her. She froze suddenly. Shadows flickered across her face like an apparition as she steadied her gaze on me. Lips spoke cryptic messages.

“I’ve seen the birth of a Lystalker – the half-breed. She’s arrived to ignite the Legends of Blood.”

“Legends of Blood?”

I frowned and gripped the steel bars. The guards halted between the cells. They were clad in the usual black leather attire customary to the kindred. Chunky boots adorned their feet and twisted on the damp ground. They had their backs to me.

The woman’s eyes darted toward the guards. They sniggered and cackled, nudging one another as they surveyed the humans. The prisoners quietened, albeit for a man who lay curled and groaning on the floor. Blood oozed from his skull and spilled over his fingers as he clutched the wound.

Thirst stabbed my stomach like a serrated knife.  

I looked back at the woman as one of the guards hissed and held up a set of keys, shaking them. He laughed even louder when some of the people sobbed, shrinking further into the shadows. Just as the cell gate creaked open, the woman took a quick breath before she mouthed two words at me: “Blood Legends.”

Blood Legends. 

A chill went through me. Mysterious predictions and farfetched superstitions haunted me. They were the same words that had passed from the ginger-beard hawker before I tore his head from his neck. Words that foretold a time of reckoning that would bring the kindreds undone. Our greatest existential threat.

I had to know more.

Two of the guards converged on the human prisoners. The crowd instantly became restless. A few women screeched as the guards hunched over them, hissing before ensnaring sharp talons around their arms and dragging them closer.

I looked away. My attention was captured by the guards that had turned our way and were now opening our cell door. All thoughts of Blood Legends and folklore evaporated as eyes the color of bright lemons pierced into me.

Conceit. I could smell it. He leaned against the cell bars and regarded us with a dark grin. His mouth was a shock of scarlet, parting to reveal stained fangs. His crony had a neck like a bull. He grunted and pushed into the cell behind lemon-eyes, stopping with a sneer. An inky stare settled on Sun.

“It appears as if fortune has bestowed upon you this day.” Lemon-eyes ran bony fingers through his hair, giving his head a toss for good measure.

“How so?” Avila gripped her hips and glared.

His grin widened. Screams shattered my ears. I looked back at the other cell to see the guards hauling three prisoners from the chamber. Two women; one man. The redheaded woman was among them. Lemon-eyes’ voice grated into my bones.

“The Masters have decided it is time for your citation. You are to have an audience with Master Zaros.”

Zaros? The name was unfamiliar. My thoughts scattered as the three humans were shoved into our cell. They stumbled and immediately cowered together as the guards returned to the other cell. Hunger overwhelmed me as I eyed the fresh blood now within arm’s reach.

“Yes … you are permitted to feed before your attendance.” Lemon-eyes motioned toward the man and two women who began to sob uncontrollably. Not the redhead though. She stood trembling but her eyes daggered into mine when I looked at her.

Lygarou. They’re coming; the prophecy holds true. I can show you.

The words weren’t spoken yet I heard them clearly. I turned to see the guards dragging the wounded humans from the other chamber. Some of them were dead. Agonizing wails reverberated all around.

Lemon-eyes spoke again.

“Well; what are you waiting for?” he laughed. “You must be famished. Your feast awaits you.”

Sun and Avila didn’t hesitate. Desperation was like a vapor as they moved forward. The guards yanked the injured who were still alive over the cell threshold, dumping them near my feet. My eyes darted back to the woman. Her gaze widened. My pulse screamed as I stepped forward.


All eyes turned on me. I squared my chin and gestured toward the woman.

“That one is of use to the Masters. Let her live.”

“Why?” Lemon-eyes glared. Talons twirled the ends of his hair.  

“Because she’s a witch with valuable knowledge.”

The guards laughed but Lemon-eyes didn’t. He slinked closer to me. Eyes like deadly firestones burned into mine.

“What knowledge does the witch possess?”

“She knows about the Blood Legend prophecy.”

His features twisted and paled beneath the dim light.

“Very well. We shall inform the Masters.” He flicked a wrist toward his cronies. “Return her and fetch another!”

An odd sense of relief flooded through me. My gaze fell to the groaning man at my feet. I bent to my knees and gripped his head roughly. My pulse quickened. Anticipation had never been so sweet. My fangs sunk into human flesh and reprieve was mine. I fed like a demon.

Hunger did have a soul. It was created from human flesh and blood, and death was its heart.

And it owned me.  

Also published by P.S I Love You on Medium

Blood Legends: Rebirth is available at all online book retailers right now!

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Promises made by the undead remained undead.

A mysterious prophecy has come to pass with the arrival of a newborn baby.

The survival of the vampire clan is now threatened with the rebirth of a long-buried species. The Lygarou have reawakened with an unquenchable thirst for blood.

The next full moon is looming and Jett has no choice but to face the reckoning. He must find and kill the wolf-mother and her baby before his sire destroys the only person remaining in his life worth living for.

But when Jett unearths the truth about the Lygarou bloodlines, he is forced to face a choice that will forever altar the future and question his loyalty toward the clan.

Can Jett risk all that matters to him on a future paved with uncertainty? Or will his loyalty to the clan prevail?

Rebirth is an urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world from bestselling author Kim Petersen, the second book in the Blood Legends: Ground Zero series.

Write with Feeling: How Relationships Bring Depth to Our Characters

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Do you struggle to create full-bodied characters?

Churning out words, outlining and wrapping your brain around plot twists, story themes and arcs can often be mentally exhausting, and then we have to make sure our characters have depth enough to resonate with our readers.

“I know the feelings but I don’t know how to express them in words.”

That’s what my new client said during a recent meeting. She had reached out for assistance after reading some of my work. She has an important story to tell.

After an extraordinary experience, her quest to bring her unique story into the world fell short when it came to expressing high-level concepts and deep emotion through the written word.

Enter, me.

It is true that I write about love, relationships and soul connections in addition to my fiction work. I post these articles regularly on Medium and my blog. When the year is out, the articles are then culminated into a book - a keepsake documenting both my nonfiction writing pieces along with my own personal journey.

Life lessons and personal growth.

Some people baulk at the idea of sharing their personal experiences publicly. There was probably a time when I might’ve reacted the same way. It’s different now. I feel different now. I’m not the same person I was when I first began writing.

I realized that by sharing our experiences and perspectives, and then expressing the lessons we’ve learned from those fragments in our lives is one of the most powerful ways we can impact the world and help one another.

Obviously, not all of us are writers. There are many other ways to make a positive difference in the world. Humanitarians and those in service occupations seek to promote human welfare. The magical paint strokes of gifted artists have the capacity to uplifts spirits; thereby raising vibrations through the loving energy invested in the creation.

The same is true for words.

Yehuda Berg said:

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

As a word smith, and whether you write nonfiction, fiction or both, it is vital to have a firm understanding of the power literally at your fingertips.

Not every writer has the desire to burrow into their deepest selves to divvy up those experience-gems publicly. I can understand that. There is a certain amount of vulnerability and courage required when you begin the deep, meaningful work - and make no mistake, releasing messages into the world at an intimate level takes a brave heart (and maybe a firm set of balls).

Either that, or those of us who journey through the murky territory are just plain crazy.


The good news is that we don’t necessarily have to roll up our sleeves and get gritty (and maybe a bit soppy) by revealing our inner-most selves in order to make real connections and benefit the human experience through our words.

The fact that you write is gift enough. Throw in some passion, a generous side of imagination and the beautiful resources existing within the fabric of your past experiences, and you are a potential change-maker.


You just felt the little tingles ignite at the base of your spine, right?

At least, I hope you did.

Those zingy feelings are more than just confirmation that a draft is blowing from the window you left open in the other room - they are a part of your inbuilt intuitive system and appear as way of confirmation when the truth rings true.

Learn to trust your tingles.

Grab your cape and give yourself a pat on the back, too. You, dear writer, are a gift to the world and your words have power. Used with intent, love and courage our words become a force to be reckoned with. We have the capacity to influence, create waves and stir the pot to bring meaning to the lives of those who read our work - particularly when created with the breadth of our hearts.

We can achieve this through delving deep within; stripping the layers to extract the nuggets from past and present relationships; looking back on memorable experiences and reflecting on our most intimate feelings to examine the way we relate, perceive life and love others.

After all, love is the ultimate source of emotional resonation. It is the most profound emotion we will ever experience.

Whether romantic or platonic, whirlwind and complicated or long term and lifelong, it is love that has the power to nourish meaningful relationships, crush our hearts and teach us important lessons.

“When Love speaks, the voice of all the gods,

Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.”

– William Shakespeare  -  From Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Is it no wonder that the greatest writers in history explored love in all its forms through their literature?

There was only one Shakespeare. There is only one you.

Love in literature is boundless because it defies barriers by appearing across all genres and age groups, as well as periods in history. The presence of love in our stories has the ability to bring acutely heartfelt and memorable moments to the page, regardless of the outcome.

We all know about love and relationships to some degree. Even hate is love turned upside down. Honestly, we learn so much and gather bucket loads of personal data through the relationships we form; and we can use these insights when developing our characters to bring authenticity into their worlds and connect with readers.

To help get you into reflection mode, let’s take a deeper look into what Greek philosopher, Aristotle had to say about relationships. He described three kinds of relationships, with only one of which is built to bring true happiness.

First: The Relationships of Pleasure.

These are the romantic interludes fueled by passionate sex, a possible side of drugs and a generous helping of ego. Insert a playlist that looks like Metallica’s Master of Puppets and Bulletboys Smooth up in Ya, and you get the drift. These affairs are more about body and less about soul and connecting - never a great recipe for lasting happiness.

Second: The Relationships of Utility.

These types of relationships may be grounded in materialism or hopes of gathering status of some sort. They can also include relationships that involve a need for each other for the “necessities of life” and raising children. Aristotle describes the friendship of utility as shallow, easily dissolved, and for the old.

Keep in mind that even though he may have been coined “the father of philosophy” he was just one Greek guy who liked to explore high-level concepts … with a very thick beard.

Third: The Relationship of Shared Virtue.

Like a classic Rod Stewart song, Aristotle firmly advised hauling up your sails over stormy waters in search of what he called Relationships of Shared Virtue. This is where you arrive on the shores to find a partner who truly gets you in soul - your core self.

It’s that real-connection love who will ignite change, challenge and inspire you to grow into your highest potential.

Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good as It Gets said it best when he said: “You make me want to be a better man.”

Of course, the above relationship examples described by Aristotle are brief summaries of the complex bonds and emotions that we experience through those who touch our lives. Yet, taking a look at what some of the world’s greatest philosophers had to say about the human condition can act as a springboard to unlocking parts of our past when creating full-bodied and dynamic characters - ones that imprint a lasting memory on our readers.

Deep reflection is a muscle you can strengthen to bring the essence of your story to a place where the power of your words has the potential to positively influence and improve the lives of your readers. Even if only an inch at a time.

Keep it real.

It’s worth investing the time to reflect on your past and present loves to give your characters depth and relatable complexities. Aim for the Kindle highlights.

Just like love, your words can change lives forever.

Originally published by The Ascent at Medium.

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Life. Death. Love & Connection

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“I am covered in skin.

No one gets to come in.

Pull me out from inside.

I am folded and unfolded and unfolding.”

– Lyrics from Colorblind by The Counting Crows.

We are over-complicators existing beneath self-created blinders. The world keeps turning. Time slips by as we leave our prints upon the days and nights of yesterday.

We sift and sort as we move through life. Some of us analyze and reflect, others blame, scream and argue. Complications arise to push us towards evolution. Babies are born. Death is everywhere. Love and connection come calling to rattle our senses.

Pain passes from one to another as if through a shifting flame. Some of us go deep inside to seek an ancient knowledge embedded within the spirit beyond the flesh.

Truths are often distorted until it feels right — till you’ve positioned the situation someplace where you can summon a sense of false justification for the wrongs you’ve caused.

It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. You can only do the best you can at any given moment.

But the truth simmers deep within. It hides in the core of your being and awaits your attention. Someday, you will make an internal leap toward a tsunami of revelations that will uncover all that you have buried — All that you’ve tried to forget, and all that will unravel you when you are brave enough to explore the uncharted path.


No one escapes the human experience. Above all else, each one of us yearns to be pulled out from the inside by someone who can really see us. We crave to be heard by those we love and hold dear.

Do we really listen to one another?

Life. Death. Love & Connection — All that encompasses the moments between birth and death may never be fully articulated, but in sharing our experiences and deepest truths, we may reach greater states of the human condition.

We may bond and understand. We may love more deeply, forgive faster and speak to one another without judgement, fear or resentment.

We may discover a better world.

Buddha said:

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

If I said …



However, that one thing encompasses many different facets of the same jewel. Within gratitude, there is love and hope. There is appreciation and strength, consciousness and humility.

There are concepts which transcend the specific aspects in life. There are aspects which occupy the shadows which I try not to complain about because it seems inconsistent with the gratitude I have for my life.

— Xavier Eastenbrick.

If I said …



With death comes distinction. The contrast between the living and the dead is absolute. Mortality becomes reality. Yet, so does our immortality — the eternal spirit within. You feel it more than ever.

When sharing time with a dying person, the space becomes sacred; the energy shifts into something higher to aid the transition.

Divinity is revealed.

When you can sense that, the pain accompanying the death of a loved one becomes enshrined with a god-force — with love and gratitude.

Respect and love for everything is magnified. Death is all around, and you learn that what was once a great fear is no more.

— Kim Petersen.

If I said …


Sacred Bonds & friendship.

“May love find you and wrap your heart in an inspired cocoon, and draw from that wrapping the beautiful butterfly of you coming into all your being.

Live out loud and let nothing steal your voice. Let 2020 be a year of transmutation.”

— Xavier Eastenbrick.

Love is a snippet of conversation:

“You say the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. How come?”

“I don’t just say things. I mean what I say, I think you know that. I trust you.”

“I trust you, too.”

“Thank you. I appreciate you and the gift of your communication.”

“Who are you?”

 Xavier & Kim

Love is stripping the layers and living from the inside out. It’s being willing to share yourself with someone because you know they sense your worth.

They see you and you see them back. To love and be loved is the highest privilege.

— Kim.

It would depend on when you asked me because over the years it has evolved from a concept rattling around the developing mind of a young man, to an amorphous, overwhelming emotion, to an intensely conscious feeling of its presence within me.

Since encountering her, love immediately gravitates to mean her.

Love floods my soul with a radiating energy that extends to all parts of my creativity and the best parts of me; both in the now and in the making. Love pushes me forward. While at the same time, when needed, it keeps me at a distance.

Many confuse sexual desire and lust for love, and while they exist in the bounds of love the reality is, those elements alone are hollow and ephemeral. When desire and lust exist within love, they have the ability to transmute the energy of love into another level of consciousness; the space between the intersecting circles of the Vesica Piscis.

Once this energy is created, it multiplies just as cells divide and becomes life within the order of the universe’s sacred geometry.

My life has been the crucible fire; forging an understanding of love that makes me humble to appreciate the dichotomy of the smallness of me as a being, but also the infinite of participating in it.

Aside from the fate laden descriptive way I articulated my response, love is also playful and personal; it’s laughing with abandon, soft to the touch, and a raging passionate monster almost untameable.

Love fearlessly searches for greater degrees of depth.

— Xavier.

If I said …


Oneness. Completion. Tranquillity. Truth.

Connection is that slight pulse that begins in your soul and grows intense when confronting deep truths. The feeling you cannot ignore when you sense the invisible cords linking you to something more; something beautiful … something like higher-love and all that is.

It is inner-recognition; a spark igniting in your soul when you encounter someone significant. The flame. It’s piecing the puzzles of moments passed and marveling at divine synchronicity.

It is being afraid to explore sacred bonds but finding the courage to go there because to deny the connection is to deny yourself the opportunity to experience the deepest love you’ll ever know.

Connection is peeking from the blinders to behold the wonderful moments when clarity finds you; when you become still and reach for more. When you find the key to unlock parts of your soul to revelations that blow your mind and you realize connection had never eluded you.

It was you that had avoided real connection all along.

— Kim.

Thank you for reading! What’s your answer when confronted by those words?

Also published by Imperfect Words at Medium

available now!

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Life, Death, Love and Sexy Connections with Soul.

In this collection of short, heartfelt essays, Kim Petersen explores what it means to live an authentic life, strengthen bonds and nurture real connections in a hyper-connected world, while Xavier Eastenbrick goes deep on the Twin Flame Soul Connection.

Each piece shares the unpredictable, meaningful and often humorous experiences of one woman’s journey as a daughter, a wife and a lover, a mother and a friend as she ignores boundaries to get real and gritty.

In these short pieces, Kim and Xavier tease out their vulnerabilities to bring unity and love to the page by recounting some of their most pivotal moments, deepest fears and wildest dreams. Through their unique voices, you will find a safe place to laugh, cry and be inspired to live an authentic life.

If you like to explore deep soul connections, love and sexuality, and ponder the meaning of life with a side of humor, this book is for you.

Life. Death. Love & Connection
 is the first collection of short memoirs from Whispering Ink, with bestselling author Kim Petersen and Xavier Eastenbrick.

Writers Are More Prone to Depression

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Last night, I attended a Shamanic Drumming circle. It had been a few months since I had joined circle. When my friend Catherine mentioned the upcoming session, I didn’t hesitate — something inside me recognized the need for the soul-cleansing and inner-healing these sacred drumming circles bring to my psyche.

It was the black dog.

I knew that spending two hours in a sacramental environment listening to our Shaman teachers speak of shedding, soul-growth and revitalization would provide the perfect outlet to get away from myself; away from thought, feelings and the depression shadowing me.

I have battled bouts of depression in the past as well as anxiety on occasion. As much as I have tried to deny how I’m feeling is as much as it produces feelings of failure — admitting to a decline in happiness seems to equate with being an epic screw-up.

The thing is, I know better. I know how to identify the triggers. I have studied philosophical teachings offered by the great ancient masters of Buddhism; Stoicism; Shamanism and the like. I have spent years learning, practicing and seeing the results produced by raising my awareness through meditation and deliberate pondering, as well as the benefits achieved by controlling my thoughts.

Yet, I am still not immune to depression. Have I failed in my quest for inner-peace and happiness? Did I do something wrong?

Honestly, it is my belief that not many of us manage to avoid experiencing some form of mental dysfunction during our lifetimes — no matter how aware we become or how informed we are. Especially in this day and age.

There is so much going on all the time. Lifestyle has become a fast blur. People have become disconnected; replaceable. We treat one another as if exchangeable goods, never really seeing or acknowledging the precious soul behind the flesh. Never really holding one another.

Internet-based relationships for business and social purposes means we are able to engage with others without actually becoming invested in their authenticity. It means we can pretend that the person on the other side of the screen isn’t real. Feelings become invalidated; people become a dime-a-dozen and avoiding the hook is as easy as deactivating your account or hitting the “block” icon.

Only the joke is on us.

We are losing sight of the importance of connection. Our sense of self becomes tainted by behaving like strangers, ditching good manners, ghosting and treating others less than they deserve.

Where is the organic connection? Where is the love?

Writers are among the most prone to depression, but I wasn’t always a writer and I’m not sure that I was always prone to depression. I’ve always had a solid grasp on my feelings for the most part.

The writing life does something to you. It changes you. We delve into the deepest parts of ourselves, get vulnerable and share our inner-most layers with the world. Writing becomes a channel of self-discovery; a passage of growth and exploration. Sometimes, we soar. Other times, we bleed.

Creating stories has the ability to make you fly.

It is when I am working on my fiction that I’m at my happiest. Yet, there are so many elements about the writing business that can leave us feeling utterly deflated.

Kay Redfield Jamison, who is a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament has reported that writers experience depression more often than non-writers.

It is thought this is due to several reasons.

For one, some writers desire to be familiar with misery, suffering and pain to guide the writing process and give their work authenticity. They may have not experienced the deep sense of trials and tribulations as their characters, so they seek to gain insight by manifesting similar emotions.

Extended hours of isolation, lack of exercise and natural light is another factor to influence depression in writers.

There is also the emotional roller coaster associated with rejection, which is an element familiar to just about every writer — Rejection in the form of editor’s, publishers, agents, readers and peers.

Clinical psychiatrist Alan Manevitz says: “A large part of a writer’s success depends on how other people think of him or approve.”

How many times have you emailed another writer who is further along the path than yourself only to be ignored?

And all you said was thank you.

How often has one of your peers deliberately inserted a subliminal swipe at your work or future project ideas? How many times have you read some trivial heated debate among writers on social media, or heard authors in a position of influence publicly slam the works of others?

I am not sure how success has assimilated a superior attitude.

I don’t understand why some people behave in ways that breed contempt.

I cannot fathom why we feel the need to judge, ridicule or perceive a sense threat toward one another when we’re all in it together — there are readers aplenty. There are words abundance. Limitation is an illusion.

So is separateness.

They say that depression lies in the past; anxiety waits in the future. But I think those blue feelings can strike for other reasons as well. Sometimes, even the thickest skin becomes porous enough for negativity to seep through. Sometimes, people and situations hurt like hell.

If only members of the writing community could see past their own egos long enough to get real, we might be able to hold and support each other long enough to feel the authenticity on the other side of the screen — to acknowledge that the person beyond the screen is a real human with real feelings.

Last night, my Shaman teacher concluded the circle by suggesting we all hug each other. My first reaction was to baulk at the idea. I’m not a hugger of strangers, even when bonding over a sacred alter and making medicine together.

Yet, as the other circle members approached me with their arms wide open and I stepped into their embrace, I realized how symbolic the gesture was and found myself in a state of appreciation — acts of kindness and affection go a long way to healing the invisible threads connecting us.

We may not be able to physically embrace all of the time, but our energy is as tangible as anything in the physical world. Perhaps if writers practiced hugging one another on the energetic level instead of looking for ways to get outraged or feel threatened, our community will become less hostile and more loving; more supportive.

Even if it stretches our comfort zone. Especially if it stretches our comfort zone.

Also published by Curiosity Never Killed the Writer via Medium


Blood Legends Episode One

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“She had a way of bringing me undone.”

“Did you ever want to step into someone else’s feet?”

I tore my eyes from the gulls screeching above the waves that crashed against the jagged rocks, their wings beating against the briny air as they swooped the water’s surface looking for a meal. A faint smile played over my lips.

“Don’t you mean shoes?”

The breeze captured Scarla’s platinum locks as amber eyes settled on me. Her smile was as meek as mine, dissolving just as fast when she dropped her gaze to grab a handful of sand. My throat restricted. The wind instantly carried a chord of torment as I watched her.

“No.” She allowed the golden grains to fall from between her fingers. She raised her chin toward the sky and squeezed her eyes shut. “Thousands of footprints have marked this beach over just as many years; I’d give anything to step in any one of them.”

My stomach hollowed.

“But then you wouldn’t be here with me in this moment.” I reached to catch a tear as it splashed over her cheek, folding my palm against her smooth skin while my gaze melted into her. She was all I saw in a disintegrating world. She was everything. “You would rather be elsewhere?”

She leaned her chin into my palm, her lashes dewy when she met my stare.

“Yes, with you, Jett.”

“Where should we go?”

My gaze instantly fell to her lips when she smiled. Pale pink and plump. They reminded me of blossoms and lifted my heart in much the same way. She had a way of doing that. She had a way of bringing me undone.

“Florence.” She pulled away from my touch, combing a hand through unruly hair as it wisped across her face. Her white blouse rippled and clung to her breasts.

“Ah, you want to immerse yourself in some Italian Renaissance, Bella donna? Where should we start? The Galleria degli Uffizi?”

She laughed.

“That will do just fine, signor. We’ll spend our days exploring galleries, eating crostini di fegato and drinking chianti while we marvel at the architectural masterpieces. Afterwards, we will put on our best threads and go to the opera.”

I feigned a frown.

“The opera? Hmm…”

“What?” She gave me a gentle nudge. “I’m sure you can conjure up your inner-aristocrat for a few hours if need be.”

“Only for you, Bella donna.”

I shifted, positioning myself behind her on the sand and pulling her between my legs so that her back molded against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her, burying my nose near her ear and breathing in her scent. She stiffened, her voice barely audible over the sound of the rumbling waters.

“Do you think the virus has spread that far?”

I shrugged.

“If it has, we’ll get love-drunk on chianti at the opera with them. I hear the undead love high society.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I’m not laughing.” I pressed my lips against her temple. She tasted salty. Sensually salty. My voice was husky when I spoke next. “Can’t we just pretend a little longer?”

She arched her neck so that her throat stretched beneath the afternoon sun. Her eyes closed as she leaned further into me, reaching to claw her fingers through the dark hair curling at my nape. I wanted her now, but I knew this wasn’t the time nor the place for intimacy. We were alone on the beach, yet that could change at any moment. People were seldom friendly these days. Especially those that we call the hawkers.

My gaze drifted toward the horizon as I held her in my arms. If I could pretend on anything, it would be any place but here as long as she was by my side. It would be some place where the Vampiric virus ravaging the earth couldn’t reach.

They say everything happens for a reason. Yet, I could think of no justifiable reason for the horror our world had become. Almost overnight, the lives of millions of people worldwide had turned into a living nightmare. A harsh reality where those infected by the virus feasted on humanity during the dark hours. Now, it was the kindred that were fast staking supremacy over the earth; humans had become the minority.

My thoughts shifted to my daughter, Avila, who we’d left behind in our hidden cottage; the meager refuge we’d sought after fleeing the city when it became obvious that I could no longer help contain the rapid spread of the virus. We were among the lucky ones who got out just in time.

“We should get back to the cottage,” I said, knowing that she wasn’t ready to leave. It wasn’t often that we stole time away from the cottage. I’d come here for her. Sometimes, she needed to dream.

She squirmed in my arms, swinging around to face me. Her brows creased.

“Just a little longer? I want to trek through some footprints before we go back.” She motioned toward the sand etched with shallow prints. “Will you join me?”

I held her gaze, smiling behind the pain of all I knew she’d suffered and lost to the outbreak. She’d lost her little boy at the hands of a vampire. I shook my head.

“Go find your rainbow, Bella donna. I’ll wait here.”

“Okay.” Her eyes deepened against the blue of mine as her lips slightly parted and she leaned toward me. I groaned inwardly as the sweet taste of promises to come found my mouth with her kiss. They say that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. I think lips are the same for the body. She pulled away and leapt to her feet, casting me a grin. “I’ll be ten minutes. You can watch my rainbow from here.”

I scanned the beach again, pushing away the apprehension that shadowed my every waking hour.

“Stay where I can see you.”

My words were swallowed in the wind and the space between us as she walked toward the shore, but I knew she wouldn’t wander far from me. She was more than aware of the lurking dangers in the form of hawkers. They were the ones who polluted the daylight hours by terrorizing the survivors. The profane remains of humanity who relished the aftermath with unspeakable acts of violence. Thankfully, we hadn’t encountered any hawkers this far from the city. Still, you can never be too vigilant.

I watched Scarla for a few minutes as she stomped between prints, and looking back at me every now and then, smiling. She was safe enough that I took a breath and sprawled back into the sand. The warm grains cushioned my head as I closed my eyes beneath the sun, inviting the false sense of well-being its rays provided.

For the millionth time since the arrival of the V-Virus, I thought about the continuation of life. It isn’t until you are faced with endless death and chaos that you realize the earth will stop for nothing and no one. There are no free rides out of here when evil comes calling. No help lines to pull you from the brink of insanity.

A few moments passed and I became aware of the breeze gathering speed, catching clumps of my hair as the sand sprayed like sharp needles against my skin. Suddenly, I felt cold all over, the breeze blowing in a sense of dread. I sat up abruptly, looking back to the place I’d last spotted Scarla scouring the shoreline but she wasn’t there.


My heart thumped hard against my chest as I stood up and scanned the beach. I was confronted by a stretch of bronze sand in every direction as far as the eye could see, barren of life apart from the gulls that squawked and hovered above the waves licking the shore.

I could feel my head begin to spin as I called her name, but my words were instantly stolen by the wind as panic gripped me and my feet dug into the sand to seek out her footprints. Prints that I knew would haunt me for the rest of my days.

Also published by P.S. I Love you on Medium on 11/15/2019.

Footprints is an urban fantasy set in a post apocalyptic world, and is part of Kim Petersen’s Blood Legends world. Episodes set to publish weekly.

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The Hawkers

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