Race the Darkness: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

This is an exciting post for me. I met Abbie Roads in 2010 at the Romantic Times Convention in Columbus, and we’ve been pals ever since. I read chapters from Race the Darkness way back when – in that first draft stage! And probably the second draft too.

I’m proud of Abbie for all of her achievements. She’s an amazing, hard-working woman and I wish her the best with this book and each one that comes after! Way to go, Abbie!

Jada’s Mom

It’s precisely 7:22 pm ET, the sun has just set in the Eastern Time zone, and it’s starting to get dark.

I’m super excited to reveal the cover of Race the Darkness, a dark, gritty, emotional and sexy romantic suspense novel by debut author Abbie Roads!

Race the Darkness, by Abbie Roads
Race the Darkness, by Abbie Roads



First in a gripping paranormal romantic suspense duo by a Golden Heart finalist debut author whose clinical work gives her chilling insights…




Cursed with a terrible gift
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

That threatens to engulf them…
Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.



About Abbie Roads:

Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark, emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have finaled in RWA contests including the Golden Heart. Race the Darkness is the first book in the Fatal Dreams series of dark, gritty romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Race the Darkness will be available on October 4th
Amazon: http://amzn.to/22nGnVk
B&N: http://bit.ly/1pwghOK
BAM: http://bit.ly/1RmOgoN

A special note from Abbie Roads:

Dear Readers,

I wrote Race the Darkness from start to finish three different times, with three different story lines, and with three different titles! The only thing that ever remained the same between the versions was Xander and Isleen. I believed in them and the story they wanted to tell. I hope you love reading about their tragedies and triumphs as much as I enjoyed writing them… All three times! And isn’t the cover amazing, beautiful, gorgeous? I cried the first time I saw it! It made all the hard work to get this book to you worth it!

Abbie Roads

An excerpt from Race the Darkness

No fucking way was he going to die running. He stopped, turned and faced the truck barreling toward them. The tires ate up the ground at an indecent rate. He clutched Isleen tighter to his chest. For her sake, he wanted it to be a quick death. No more lingering. No more pain.

That thought infuriated him. None of this was right. They shouldn’t be on the verge of death. Again.

The truck kept coming—twenty-five feet.

Everything slowed, happened as if through the quicksand of time. A white dandelion floaty meandered on the breeze directly between them and the truck. His heart no longer ran a staccato rhythm. Duh…duhm. Pause. Duh…duhm. Pause.

His life didn’t flash before his eyes. The future did. Isleen’s future. In an ethereal dream beyond time, her skin was gilded by firelight, her eyes void of sadness and fear, her body whole and healthy. She smiled, an expression so full of warmth and tenderness and undiluted joy that it plunked itself down inside his heart and wouldn’t leave. 

He ached to create that kind of smile on her face, but their lives were over and it all could’ve gone so differently if he’d only listened to her, believed in her, found her years before now.

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You can find Abbie Roads here:





Way to go Abbie!


Cold Turkey Withdrawal


Last Sunday, my day was interrupted by a flash headache followed by throwing up the delicious brunch my husband had cooked. I went to bed with my iPhone and took to the web to see what was causing my bubble guts.

Initial diagnosis: stomach flu

Except, I didn’t have all the symptoms; no chills or fever. I really didn’t even feel that much stomach pain, it was mainly the headache and the urge to throw up.

So I thought about what I’d done differently that day, and realized I’d gone 3 full days without my anti-depressants.

It hit me.

I was going through withdrawal. Not the fun, jokey kind. The real kind.

I’ve tried to stop my meds before – even been successful once or twice – but I always end up back at the doctor, looking for that buzz.

I’ve been medicated most of my life. Depression and anxiety is as much a part of my DNA as the BRCA mutation. I’m surprised they don’t test for depression on some obscure DNA line. My mother would have tested positive. Heck, everyone in my family.

Sometimes I wonder… Are there any truly normal people out there? Ones who have never had depression? If so, I want to meet, because I don’t know anyone who can honestly say they’ve never been depressed. But I guess having a medical diagnosis of depression qualifies as more than just a one-time episode.

My worst withdrawal experience was with the devil drug known as Cymbalta. My main side effects were “brain zaps” and “assholeism”. Never had a brain zap? Imagine you move your head, hear “zing”, and everything flies by like you’re watching out the window of a speeding car.

Yeah. Brain zap. Some other anti-depressant withdrawal side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Electric shock sensations (aka brain zap!)
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

So there I was, accidentally cold turkey off my anti-depressant, Effexor. And guess what I discovered? Effexor is in the same brain zappy family as Cymbalta!!!!


Now, I’ve skipped a couple pills here and there before without a problem. Sometimes, I purposely miss Saturday and Sunday and pick back up on Monday. But this time, I’d missed Friday too. Long story short, in an effort to extend my remaining 5 pills to get me through until my next doctor’s appointment (8 days away), I’d inadvertently thrown my body into medicine withdrawal.

I immediately shoved an Effexor in my face and within an hour, I was able to keep food down. The fatigue and general feeling of crap lingered another couple days. Thankfully, my dealer came through for me, and I borrowed enough pills to last me to my appointment. (For the record, said dealer is a relative who takes the same pills.)

Thank you WebMd for a successful diagnosis.

… unless it really was the flu or something else…


Until next time,

Jada’s Mom


Self-diagnosed thanks to WebMD:



Twitchy Eye Syndrome


In 2013, I briefly suffered from left eye twitch syndrome. Ok, so it’s not really a syndrome… but I did have the damn twitches. Picture me in a staff meeting, pushing the end of my pen into my under-eye bag to keep my eyeball from bouncing out.

It wasn’t pretty.

I was suffering from a host of symptoms at the time, mostly caused by being overworked and stressed, but the eye twitch was a new and scary development. After a week of twitches, I went to Google to find out what kind of cancer caused an eye twitch.

Causes of Eye Twitches:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Caffeine

Ok, not cancer, but I was def guilty of drinking too many Diet Cokes. During that time, I was treating my stress with holistic approaches like healthy(er) eating, massage therapy, chiropractor adjustments, and Netflix and chill. Over time, the twitch faded away and I forgot about it.

Until this week.

My RIGHT EYE began to twitch. I headed back to Google and WebMD to see what else could be causing the eyeball dance, since I’m off the Diet Coke and my stress level is decent. The eye conditions and nerve disorders jumped off the screen.

Other Causes of Eye Twitches:

  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
  • Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pink eye

Very rarely, it can be a sign of a brain or nerve disorder, such as:

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Dystonia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome

A BRAIN disorder? My mom died of BRAIN CANCER!!! This is it… I have cancer.

I read through the different diseases, digging deeper into WebMD. I realized, I have all the symptoms of Bell’s Palsy. Stiff neck? OMG my neck is stiff! Ear pain? My ears ring all the time, that’s painful sometimes! I spent at least an hour pouring over articles and staring at my face in the mirror, looking for drooping, or signs of the palsy.

There was none.

I was finally ready to admit I went a little too far with this one. I reined the crazy in, tossed my contacts for a fresh pair and dropped some lube into my eyes.

And then I scheduled a massage.


Until next time!

Jada’s Mom




Self-diagnosed thanks to WebMD:



The Five Day Cluster Headache


I feel like I’ve slammed my head into a wall. It’s the kind of pain that makes me want to chop off my head.

I think I can blame my recent cluster headaches on the new birth control pills. See, I’m waiting for my hysterectomy this year and until that happens, I’m taking this prescription to suppress my ovaries and prevent cancer.

That’s right, birth control to prevent cancer. I’ll circle back and talk more about that later.

This past Thursday, I found myself with a bit of a headache. And then I couldn’t sleep, and then a worse headache came on. So I googled.

Symptoms of Insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Feeling tired upon waking

OK, I was having trouble falling asleep. I DID wake up a lot, even though it’s probably b/c I drank too much water, it still counts. And waking up early… no one should wake up before 8am. So of course I’m going to feel tired!

Definitely insomnia.

I fell asleep around 4am and woke up too early. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday sucked, with the headache coming and going. I stayed up too late with this new insomnia, and slept too long throughout the days.

By Monday, I decided the foggy brain was my new normal. But thankfully, I woke up Tuesday feeling like a new woman, and wondering what the hell kind of headache I’d just had. I turned to Google!

Symptoms of Cluster Headache:

  • Type of pain: The pain of cluster headache is almost always one-sided, and during a headache period, the pain remains on the same side. When a new headache period starts, it rarely occurs on the opposite side.
  • Severity/intensity of pain: The pain of a cluster headache is generally very intense and severe and is often described as having a burning or piercing quality. It may be throbbing or constant. The pain is so intense that most cluster headache sufferers cannot sit still and will often pace during an attack.
  • Location of pain: The pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides. It may radiate to the forehead, temple, nose, cheek, or upper gum on the affected side. The scalp may be tender, and the pulsing in the arteries often can be felt.
  • Duration of pain: The pain of a cluster headache lasts a short time, generally 30 to 90 minutes. It may, however, last from 15 minutes to three hours. The headache will disappear only to recur later that day. Typically, in between attacks, people with cluster headaches are headache-free.
  • Frequency of headaches: Most sufferers get one to three headaches per day during a cluster period (the time when the headache sufferer is experiencing daily attacks). They occur very regularly, generally at the same time each day, and have been called “alarm clock headaches,” because they often awaken the person at the same time during the night.

Mine wasn’t really one-sided, but it was behind my eye(s). Pretty sure it was a cluster headache. A new disorder for the books.

Until next time!

Jada’s Mom


Self-diagnosed thanks to WebMD: