THE VAST LANDSCAPE by Jacqueline Cioffa

Harrison’s back with a new look, nip and tuck, and bonus chapter. She and I have returned to the Cove, where the magic begins.

The Vast Landscape by Jacqueline Cioffa has a new dreamy, beach look, cover design by Yosbe Design Studio complete with revisions, blurbs and bonus chapters.

 

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]

The Vast Landscape

by Jacqueline Cioffa

Genre: Literary Fiction

Cover Design by: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 

BLURB

Bold contemporary fiction, THE VAST LANDSCAPE shares one woman’s journey filled with doubt, mistrust, fame, and self-discovery. Join Harrison on her quest to find inner peace despite the harrowing obstacles placed in her way. Will she succeed in stripping away her complex armor to unmask the flawed, beautiful, and strong iconoclast kept hidden for so long?

Honest to a fault, Jacqueline Cioffa creates a challenging love story sparkling with narrative originality.

PRAISE

“Once I freed it up to be fiction,” she said, “Harrison could go anywhere. I had a larger canvas for her to stomp on.” – Nicki Gorny, Stars Magazine / Post Standard

“I was always impressed by how courageous a writer Jacqueline is. Keep writing your fine prose.” – Mark Blickley, author of The Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press)

“The magic of Cioffa’s debut novel shines its light on the power of the written word.” – Julie Davidow, American Contemporary Artist, co-author of Miami Contemporary Artists

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EXCERPT

 

Helmets & Hard Hats

 

PRETTY IS PROMPT, bearing wine and a first aid kit.

“How did you know I hate flowers?” Harrison giving her schoolgirl grin. She can’t help it; he makes her giddy. Dr. Pretty makes himself at home, heads to the kitchen.

“Where do you keep the corkscrew? You look nice, Harrison.”

“Middle drawer, there are a few. Um, thanks.” Harrison blushes.

Secretly she’s glad he noticed; spent half the day at a salon. She detests primping. It’s in her contract, makeup and hair must be done in less than two hours, even that’s pure hell. She dyed her roots, waxed the bits and pieces, no landing strip. She hates the LA pre-pub look, disgusting. She’s not a 10-year-old girl for fuck’s sake; a neat triangle. Pale lavender fingers and toes; voila. The poor nail tech didn’t know what to do with her mangled foot. “Don’t worry, keep it out of the water, do the best you can, Chuney.”

Harrison had been coming to the salon for years, since she moved out West. Famous or not famous, those girls gave a great wax and mani-pedi. Rock & Republic black jeans, James Perse tee and La Perla undies. A bit of blush, mascara, gloss, she felt pretty. Sure, he had no fucking clue what she went through to get ready, with a cane no less. She didn’t give a rat’s ass.

“That’s some fancy collection of corkscrews, Miss Harrison,” handing her a glass of wine with a peck on the cheek. He smelled delicious, salt and pepper stubble tickling her cheek. Harrison raised her glass, “Borrow them anytime, on one condition. It’s Harry.”

“Harry it is. Hobble on over to the couch, I need to check your feet.”

“That’s not very appetizing; dinner should be here any minute. Jenny’s on her way with a feast.”

“Precisely. Once I smell food the good Doc. checks out. Foot up,” patting his legs.

Dr. Pretty changes the bandages, cleans the wounds, moves Harry’s feet up, down and every which way.

“No nerve damage, you got lucky, young lady. No more heroics. One week, stiches come out.” He wraps her feet in nanoseconds. Shit, that took her an hour.

“Thanks. Where is that dingbat?”

Dr. Pretty kisses her, slow, soft and wet. He holds her face in his hands, kissing her again on the forehead. “You’re awfully pale, Harrison. Harry. Cat got your tongue?”

“I could be your grandmother.”

Dr. Pretty laughs, the ice is broken.

“My grandmother’s way hotter than you. Don’t worry, we’ll take it slow. You’re the most fascinating woman I’ve ever met. Not the famous part; the girl who blushes and can’t make eye contact. I want to know her. Let’s see, I come from a semi-normal family. They didn’t beat us or chain us in the basement. We ate dinner together every night, spent holidays back East, in Maine. I was born there, left when I was ten. Pretty run of the mill stuff. I like my mom and dad. Dad’s a vet. Mom’s a retired psychologist. I have five sisters, yup, that’s right. I know a thing or two about girls. At least, I thought I did. Until you; everything flew out the window. Went to BU, got my medical degree at UCLA. You know the rest, Cedars Sinai ER, where the crazy celebrities end up.” Dr. Pretty laughs, ruffles her hair. “Fell in love with the climate, hiking, surf and a girl. Girl didn’t stick, California did. Your turn.”

Doorbell rings. Harrison is literally saved by the bell; true confessions have her head spinning. Jenny juggles three bags of food from two different restaurants, sets the bags on the kitchen counter.

“Should I grab plates? Harry?” Harrison looks at the couch, Dr. Pretty sneaks up behind giving her a hug.

“Hi, I’m Zack. We’re good.”

Fuck. ZACK? You could’ve introduced him, dumbass. Too bad you didn’t know his name. Goddamn Jenny, tight-ass 20-year-old pain in her butt. She’s efficient though, got to hand her that. Harry comes off the bitch, rude and arrogant. Gives Jenny their get lost signal.

“Thanks, used my card, right?” Jenny nods. Harrison hands Jenny a fifty, she looks puzzled. “Go on, scoot.”

“Off your feet missy, get in that chair,” Dr. Pretty points. “Don’t think for a minute you’re getting off Scott-free. I expect a bedtime story.” What? What happened to taking things slow, his words not mine. “Knock it off with the shock and awe. People do lots of things in bed, like cuddle, kiss and sleep. I told you slow and steady.”

“Where the hell did you come from besides Maine, Zack?”

There it is, Zack. Not Doc or Pretty or Dr. Pretty, just Zack. Sounds weird yet completely normal at the same time. The food tastes amazing. Zachary. Zack. He sure is Pretty. Zack rolls a summer roll, adds a mint leaf, dips in sauce and feeds it to Harry.

“Sure hope you’re not allergic to peanuts.”

Harrison swats him on the bicep, spitting the summer roll on her plate, grabbing her neck. “Hope there’s an Epi-pen in your bag of tricks.” Laughing uncontrollably, tears stream down her face.

Zack runs to his backpack, rummaging frantically. He heads to the couch and Harry is casually eating the summer roll, roaring.

“I am an actor, ya’ know.”

Dr. Pretty takes her plate, sets it on the table. He bends down picks her up effortlessly, heads towards the bathroom depositing her on a cushy, red velvet bench.

“Wash your face, brush your teeth. PJs and bed for you, missy. Knock when you’re done, no pressure on those feet. I’ll come to collect you.”

Harrison’s nerves are shot, her tummy’s in knots, she does what she’s told. She’s had sex before, millions of times. This feels different, terrifying, exciting, new. She cares, the stakes set high. Teeth brushed, face washed, sexy undies and t-shirt, Harrison sits on the toilet to pee. Great, this could take hours, when all of a sudden a steady stream of yellow flows. Goddamn it. What kind of spell has he cast?

Dr. Pretty grabs the bottle of wine, glasses, matches, and lights some candles in Harrison’s bedroom. Knock. He playfully pretends not to hear. Knock. Knock. He opens the door and grins, leans in to kiss Harrison.

“Aren’t you on-call?”

Pretty shakes his head. “Traded for 3 all-nighters.”

“Should I be flattered, or insulted? Bit presumptuous?”

“Both, I’d say,” taking his shirt off. Jesus H. Christ. He looks just like Jesus H. Christ, twelve-pack, biceps and that face. The stubble, tousled brown hair, the piercing hazel eyes. Harrison is in big trouble. Dirty, scruffy brown boys are her favorite kind of trouble. He places her gently on the bed, tight arms hovering inches above. Pretty lies next to her, scooping her up, unexpectedly kissing her neck. They make out like teen-agers. Harrison usually skips this part, gets down to business. With him she doesn’t mind, he’s so comfortable with himself he puts her at ease.

Dr. Pretty gets up, blows out the candles, removes his boxers and hops into bed. “I sleep commando, babe, you good with that? Wow, blushing again? Remind me to get naked more often. Sweet dreams. Wake me if you need to pee. No hobbling in the dark on my watch.”

Zack wraps his arms around Harrison careful not to touch her foot, caressing her head. She wants to ask why, why her? The killjoy, ever-suspicious voice in her head will not win. Harry closes her eyes, blocking out the noise and drifts.

When she wakes, there’s a wild flower from her garden on his pillow and a sticky note with a heart. She checks her phone. 10:00 a.m. Holy hell? Twelve voice mails, what the crap? It’s him, Dr. Pretty. #1 I had… #2 an amazing… #3 night. #4 You are lovely… #5 when you sleep. #6 Your… #7 guard comes down… #8 thank you…#9 well, you know, off to work… #10 3-day, 24-Hour ER rotation… #11 Better miss me… #12 Stay off that foot. I’ll know.

The ‘Call K’ reminder, the forgotten days-old promise now a black smear illegible on her wrist. Harrison’s stupid, high school grin returns, permanently glued to her face.

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Brainstorms, Feminine Collective’s Raw and Unfiltered Vol. 1, and numerous literary magazines.

Jacqueline pens the column, “Bleeding Ink” column with Feminine Collective.

Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.

Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
~ Georgia Pine, by Jacqueline Cioffa

Please find links to the revised edition of The Vast Landscape on Amazon and all of your favorite booksellers soon.

A heartfelt thanks to Rachel Thompson from Bad Redhead Media and Kate O’Connell from BookTour.Tips for their marketing expertise and advice.

Editor: Justin Bogdanovitch

Proofreader / Formatter: Wendy C. Garfinkle

YOSBE DESIGN STUDIO: http://www.yosbedesign.com

YOSBE DESIGN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yosbedesign

 


AROUND THE WEB

Jackie Cioffa bio

AUTHOR SITE: http://jacquelinecioffa.com

BLEEDING INK with Feminine Collective:  http://femininecollective.com/category/articles/columns/bleeding-ink/

GOOGLE+: https://plus.google.com/115714635145035610121/posts

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JackieCioffa

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authorjackiecioffa

LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-cioffa/4b/3/5ba

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/choff777/

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/choff777/

GOODREADS:https://www.goodreads.com/…/show/7755032.Jacqueline_Cioffa

TUMBLR: http://greatpaperyouth.tumblr.com

MAKE UP TO MODEL CITI ZEN BEAUTY BLOG: http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-Cioffa/e/B00H4EZKVE

 

Waves of Insecurity by guest author J.C. Hannigan

I’m over the moon to have J.C. Hannigan here as guest author. I have much respect for the intelligent, gifted, smart as a whip woman, author, mother, wife, colleague and friend… She is efficient, funny and the first to extend a hand to a fellow writer. That speaks volumes about her persona, her willingness to help while managing a chaotic busy life, various blogs and successful writing career. I bet J.C. makes ridiculously long to-do lists and knocks them off with a big smile. She is a human tornado with sweet-scented rain and wind inviting you into her magical world of words. When I first read Waves of Insecurity, I took pause. I almost forgot she lives with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses, a debilitating chronic pain bone disorder. That is not how I see her, I imagine envious endless locks of chestnut hair, inquisitive blue eyes and a bold red lip. It’s funny and not funny at all the (mis)perceptions we are ‘learned’ about ourselves. Ms. Hannigan is not defined by society or the weight of the disability she carries with such grace. She is beauty-full.

Meet J.C. Hannigan. She’ll tell you in her very own raw, real, heartbreaking, eloquent and inspiring words.

JC Hannigan

Waves of Insecurity by J.C. Hannigan

I have always been an insecure person, uncomfortable in my own skin. When people look at me, I feel on edge and antsy. It’s like their eyes are burning me, making my skin shrink so that everything feels tight. I can’t help but wonder if they are taking in the scars on my body and my oddly shaped limbs and wondering what in the hell happened to me.

I know how harsh and judgemental people can be about appearances. Hell, there are entire shows that are dedicated to ripping individuals down for how they dress. If society judges people so profusely on a silly thing like clothes, I can only imagine how harshly they judge based on scars and physical “imperfections”.

It took me nearly ten years to put a pair of shorts on in public. I used to wear shorts and dresses all the time, back when I was a kid who didn’t know any better…back before the curious stares of strangers made my skin feel tight and unpleasant. In high school, I wore jeans and long-sleeved shirts all the time. I couldn’t imagine showing off the angry raised scars on my arms and my shoulders. I feared that my peers would make fun me the way they made fun of so many others for their differences. I couldn’t stomach that too. I feel naked when I show my limbs, as ironic as that is to admit. I feel stripped bare when my scars are on display. I feel like people can read my struggles and that they will categorize me in some way that I simply don’t want to be categorized. I don’t want the pity; I don’t want to be defined as that girl with the scars and the bone thing. I was defined by that for so long that I started to associate myself as that person. But as desperate as I was to hide those parts of me, they could never truly be hidden. Observant eyes still picked out the misshapen limbs through my layers. Observant eyes still detected the limp and the uneasy way I held myself.

Observant eyes still questioned and probed.

Being sexual when you have a physical disability and an abundance of emotional issues and insecurities is so difficult. I felt naked when I wore short-sleeved shirts – imagine how I felt the first time I presented my body to a boy? Imagine how badly that stung when that same boy decided my bone thing was too gross and freaky? It only added to the abundance of emotional issues and insecurities. It only solidified that the cruel, taunting voice in my own head was right.

Now, ten years later…I know that disabilities and scars do not have any weight in someone’s beauty. I don’t count those things against others when I look at them (and I never did); I see people as people. I define them by their actions and the way they treat others, not whether or not they are marred with scars and carrying the weight of a disability that can feel as if it segregates them from others, from the healthy people.

And for the most part, I have learned to love myself. I wear shorts now, and while I can still feel a lot of discomfort when eyes are upon me – I hold my head high. I know I am beautiful, I know that I am even desirable. Most importantly – I know that physical beauty does not have any weight in my accomplishments or who I am as a person.

But every once in a while, I still feel that suffocating wave of insecurity that crushes my spirit and makes me want to hide within myself…

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Author Bio:

J.C. Hannigan’s love of reading was spawned from a very early age. She inhaled novels with an unquenchable thirst. Eventually, that love of reading turned into a love for writing. She started to pen stories at the tender age of nine while sitting at her white desk, pencil posed over lined paper, writing countless stories about a girl, her best friend, their horses and the adventures they’d have going on trial rides together. Born with a chronic pain bone disorder called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses, she didn’t get to play sports or run amuck like her siblings and peers. Writing kept her company amid a world of surgeries, bad pain days, and isolation.

She started a blog when she was fifteen-years-old, chronicling the challenges of high school, dating, and coping with her chronic pain bone disorder. That blog went on to win a Bloggie for Best Teen Weblog, and J.C.’s ego inflated quite a bit over it (enough to continuously mention it even today).

J.C. currently resides in a small town in Ontario with her husband, their two sons, and two dogs. When she isn’t trying to wrangle kids and dogs, she can be found writing. In addition to writing new adult romance and suspense novels, J.C. writes a blog for the MHE Coalition, discussing the struggles of living with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses. She also contributes to several other websites, including her personal blog, the OCH Literary Society, and she is the content manager for Stigma Fighters Canada. Through her writing, J.C. brings to light awareness of mental health and social challenges. Her writing has been described as edgy, bold, poignant, and raw.

Other hobbies of J.C.’s include hiking, camping, binge-watching shows like Outlander, Game of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries, and The Walking Dead, eating dill pickle chips and daydreaming of travelling around the world. J.C. adores interacting with readers, so don’t hesitate to reach out and say hi! She tries her best to respond to every message. To learn more, visit her on Facebook and follow her personal blog of random ramblings.

Title: Collide (Collide Series Book 1)

Author: J.C. Hannigon

Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

Re-Release: May 11th 2015

Purchase Link: COLLIDE

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Synopsis:

Harlow Jones has a troubled past, and a questionable future. Surrounded by death, tragedy, and intrigue, she is forced to mature long before her time. Plagued by anxiety and depression, she hides her inner turmoil with spite and sarcasm. Her thick skin is impenetrable…or so she thought. Until she becomes involved with her grade twelve English teacher. In this exclusive entry into the new adult genre, with raw style that is as dark as it is poignant, Collide presents the ultimate choice: forbidden love or doing the right thing.

Connect with J.C. Hannigan:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jcahannigan

Twitter: @jcahannigan

Google +: J.C. Hannigan

Put a Sock In It and Drive

I watched On the Road this week-end, and wanted to pack a bag, just go. I felt the itch crawling up and down my spine. Creative freedom at its maximum. Those boys drove sex, drugs and beats into the gravel cemented streets like hot gum melted in tar. I did not realize the date, 1950. Artistic freedom and exploration came early. I recognized a small piece of me on the journey. The struggle to break free from societal tradition I have no use for. I long to grow, experience, to see. Take to the open road to discover all the things I cannot know. The curious fever, planted perhaps before conception. Drawn west, the beat boys only reinforce the pull. The 90’s were my pinnacle, the height of exploration. Music dominated my world, words, places I visited, which stories to catalogue, which to share. Long before my existence, there was desire. Long after, the insatiable search for truth remains. I’ll go west someday, before I leave this place. Stopping from time to time, to take in earth’s majestic beauty, refuel and recover. The spirit tells me don’t give up. Don’t rest stop too long, ask the questions, challenge the beliefs, embedded. Freedom is the truest form of self-love.

On the road, there is much to discover.