Luke the Hybrid Reindeer (Willy the Kinky Elf, #6) and Eating Disorders

You saw that title and thought, what the heck does Willy’s World have to do with eating disorders?

Luke, the main character in Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Elf, has battled anorexia on and off since he was a teenager.

When readers pick up this series they expect Willy and his craziness. Each story has a theme outside of Willy as well. I’ve covered love is love, adult bullying, addiction and redemption, domestic violence, and child abuse.

And now we get to Luke, whose story I (unfortunately) understand too well.

Forgive me for getting personal, but here goes…

I was fifteen when my eating disorder started. I was having problems with my knee and given a cortisone shot. My weight, that had always been in the mid-nineties or so, got up to 103. No biggie, right? I knew as soon as I got off the meds I’d go back down to my (already too thin) normal weight. I have ADHD and have always been rush, rush about everything, so that played a part as well. I also should stress that I’m barely an inch over five-feet tall.

My mother pushed me to step on the scale. Her exact words to me (as she laughed) were, “You’re getting fat.”

Mom and I never had the best relationship. My sisters and I were criticized at every turn. I, being the youngest of the three, was blamed for the destruction of her and my dad’s marriage simply because I’d been born a female instead of male. Apparently, I was the ‘last chance, save the marriage’ baby. My dad always wanted a boy and already had two girls, so…

To be blunt, until my mother died last year I wasn’t treated well, yet I was expected to wait on her hand and foot. It was especially hard after I lost my sisters and I was her only living child.

All that is a story I won’t go into, but suffice it to say that her, “You’re getting fat,” that was said in glee (seriously) was a huge turning point for me. I started seeing myself as overweight so I started cutting back on anything and everything with calories. What Luke consumed during his worst moments was exactly what I had day in and day out – lots of black coffee, a lot of water, and a 230 calorie candy bar.

At my worst I was 83 pounds, severely anemic, always dizzy, dry heaving constantly because I barely put anything into my body, and passing out daily. Like Luke, I had an amazing teacher who went above my mother’s head and pushed for me to get help. He risked his job to do so because he was a good man. When my mother finally took me to the doctor it was done simply to prevent Child Services from stepping in, not out of concern for my health.

I wasn’t allowed to speak. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what I was going through. All questions were asked of my mother, not me – you know, the patient. I was forced (unlike Luke) to have test after unnecessary test run on me for stomach issues.  I did have an ulcer but that wasn’t what was causing my rapid weight loss. When a nurse in the doctor’s office pushed for why I wasn’t eating, Mom said the same thing Luke’s mother says, only with sister instead of brother, “She’s jealous of her older sister. She’s doing this for attention.”

I loved my older sister, but she was the favorite. Everybody knew this because my (divorced) parents were quick to tell everybody that.

Both of my sisters are gone now. My middle sister was treated as bad as I was. Well, worse in some ways.

It was that same older sister who showed up at our house out of the blue with her new husband who finally got me help. She’d not seen me in a few weeks and she caught me walking out after a shower in a thin tank top, shorts, and a towel on my head. You could literally see my ribs. She freaked, my brother-in-law freaked, Mom got yelled at for ‘watching me kill myself and doing nothing about it’ and I was in a doctor’s office – without my mother – the next day. I wasn’t allowed to go home before I was sent straight to the hospital for an inpatient stay.

The sister who I was ‘supposedly’ jealous of literally saved my life.

I was finally getting the help I needed, but that didn’t stop my mom. She threatened me if I dared speak with a social worker or anybody else in authority. If I did, I was to lie and say I ate fine and WAS doing it for attention because I WAS jealous of my sister. I may have resented being constantly told my sister was better than me, but that wasn’t what started my ED. I never said any of that but I wasn’t overly cooperative when questions were asked. I was terrified of my mother.

Since then I’ve battled on and off. I met my husband during a relapse three years later. He’s watched me pass out in restaurants and at concerts. He’s held me as I’ve lain on the floor of the bathroom praying I won’t faint. After my sons came and got older, he taught them what to look for if he wasn’t around. That’s the worst of it for me as an adult. My kids were literally told what to watch for. That breaks my heart to this day and they’re all grown now.

I’m a lot better now, but the mindset never truly goes away. I still remember every comment made to me about my weight over the years, especially during my teen years. I’ve not spoken to a family friend since I was eighteen because she said, “Oh! You’ve put on quite a few pounds since I saw you last. You know, with your mother being overweight…” Rude on her part, yes, but something I should’ve gotten over already. For the record, I was 98 pounds when she said that.

The comments are never forgotten. The people saying them may long forget but the person they say them to won’t.

With that being said, if you know someone who’s suffering, LISTEN. Don’t judge. Don’t say you know how they feel unless you’ve experienced it yourself. Don’t tell them to get over it already. And for God’s sake, never, EVER say, “Just eat.” Oh, and this one was always fun (not) – “I know you’re supposedly sick and all, but shouldn’t you cut back before you gain too much?”

You’d be surprised how insensitive some people can be.

If you know somebody who’s suffering, reach out. They may say they’re doing fine but they’re not. When they look in a mirror they don’t see what you see when you look at them. They see an overweight person who could lose a few more pounds. At my worst, I would gain one and lose three. It was a pattern.

When you read about Luke just know that his story was written from someone who’s been there. A lot of details were switched around and/or fictionalized for his particular story, but not the severity of the issue.

If you’re suffering and need someone to talk to – someone who understands – please reach out to me. If not me, somebody else. I promise anything you say will be kept between us. Shoot me an email to candikayauthor@gmail.com. I had nobody when I was a scared fifteen-year-old girl. Looking back, I know having someone to talk to who simply understood would’ve done wonders in my recovery.

My mother went to her grave denying I ever had any type of problem. I spent every day until then being told constantly that I was fat, that my husband would leave me if I gained any weight, etc. Lord, I could go on, but I won’t.

I hope you all enjoy Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Elf. You’ve all embraced my crazy North Pole and I’ll forever be grateful.

As for Willy, well, he’s more over the top this year than normal so be prepared. He takes his crudeness to a new level. Every time I tried to tone him down he just got worse.

I’ll pop back in when ‘Luke’ goes live on November 1st, as well as with a post on another November 1st release, Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa, both of which are available for pre-order now.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

P.S. I don’t suggest looking up memes about this topic. A majority of them infuriated me. Apparently, eating disorders are a big joke to some? Just… wow.

Pre-Orders: Willy the Kinky Elf, #6, Giveaway & Excerpt, and Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa

I want to thank everyone who has checked out An Unlikely Romance – Ben & Mason. That was such a fun book to write. I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received. Brett and Casey’s story will be published after the first of the year, along with new College Encounters stories.

Now to what’s upcoming –

Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Elf

I’ll start with the 2019 installment of the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer series.

You might remember Luke from Dylan’s story last year. He was a rent boy Dylan prevented from getting shaken down by a rough john early in the book. Luke gave up tricking several months ago, but he’s still in hiding in Mistletoe Hill. The reasons for that will be told throughout his book. Micah, a hot nurse, is his love interest. Micah is also Willy’s first cousin so you get a chance to find out where Willy got his, well, Willy-ness. That would be from his mother, who I simply adored writing.

The secret left hanging last year is answered in the second chapter of ‘Luke’ so no waiting until the end of yet another book.

Expect quite a bit of Willy and his silliness in this installment. I should probably go ahead and apologize in advance, but Willy is Willy. That elf doesn’t like being censored. 😉

It should be noted strongly that if you’ve not read the series up to now the characters and their stories will likely not make much sense. In other words, this can not be read as a standalone. While Luke and Micah will definitely get their HEA, it will also lead in to the series finale next year, Santa’s story. Santa’s story has already taken shape and if I had the time I’d be writing the heck out of it right now. I’m hoping I can get to it soon.

You can check out an exclusive excerpt at On Top Down Under Book Reviews now to help celebrate their 7th anniversary. The excerpt gives the reader a glimpse of Luke and Micah’s very first meeting. There are also a couple of Willy quotes.

Check it out and leave a comment on my On Top Down Under post for a chance to win your choice of 2 of my e-books. Just click the above link to get there. Also, check out the other anniversary posts and giveaways and give them a shout out for 7 great years.

You can pre-order Luke the Hybrid Reindeer & His Vivacious Elf at Amazon here, and add it on Goodreads here.

Blurb –

From the World of Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer.

The North Pole isn’t exactly as it appears in fairy tales. It has the elves and Santa and his reindeer, but Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t the jolly couple the world believes them to be. The reindeer are all shape-shifters who transform into gorgeous beings in human form and are respected by all.

Luke has always known he was different. He’s never fit in with the reindeer or the elves. When long-buried secrets come to light, he has no choice but to run. Forced to hide or risk his brother being caught in the crossfire, he does what he has to do to survive. He stays hidden well until the one moment he makes the mistake of letting his guard down.

Micah Matthews is one of the most loved nurses in the North Pole. He’s funny, cute, and good at his job. When the big man himself requests Micah as a private nurse for a special patient, he agrees without hesitation. What he doesn’t expect is to find his mate in the process. Micah knows it would be all kinds of wrong to stay as Luke’s nurse once he discovers the truth, but is walking away even an option? What if the attacker somehow manages to find him and finish what he started?

Between a matchmaking elf and Santa Claus actually being nice, Luke is convinced he’s been dropped into the Twilight Zone. Throw in some Peppermint Whiskey, a super-hot nurse, and a younger brother who may or may not have the hots for Santa, and Luke knows his life will never be the same again.

Approximately 88,500 words.

Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa

Kane and Sam’s story was originally written the same holiday season of the first Willy book. I wasn’t happy with it so I held off on publishing. After changing up a few things I’m finally happy with the story.

Kane the Fake Elf & His Sexy Mall Santa is NOT part of Willy’s World. This is a brand new contemporary story with absolutely nothing to do with Willy and his gang of elves and shifting reindeer.

Kane is a mall elf and Sam is the new fake Santa. They don’t exactly get off to a good start. That changes when Kane meets Sam’s five-year-old twins, Emma and Elliott.

So, what to expect?

Kids, family, and an epilogue so sappy and sweet I still get misty-eyed when I read it. 🙂 A lot of people don’t like kids in books and I totally respect that. If you’re one of them, I suggest staying far, far away from this book. It’s all about Emma and Elliott and Sam and Kane working toward building a small family together.

There’s also an age difference between Sam and Kane, with almost 8 years between them.

I hope you’ll check it out when it’s published on November 1st. You can pre-order it from Amazon here and add it to Goodreads here.

Blurb –

Kane’s been one of Santa’s little helpers for five years and has always enjoyed his part-time holiday gig playing an elf. Well, until he meets the newest mall Santa Claus anyway. Sam Clausen is thirty to Kane’s twenty-two, but that doesn’t stop Kane from wanting to be Sam’s Ho! Ho! Ho! One glance at the man outside the costume and it’s instant lust. Unfortunately, while Sam is great with children, he’s a grumpy Santa to Kane. Everything changes when Sam witnesses Kane’s elfy-self making a certain little boy giggle.

When Kane discovers that the man he’s been lusting after has five-year-old twins, his fantasies fly off with Santa’s reindeer. He refuses to be Sam’s secret fling if he’s taken, and he has no desire to become an instant daddy to somebody’s children.

Will Kane give in when Sam makes his interest known? Or will he run away without seeing what could happen with Sam and his little family?

Tags: Christmas, Children, Contemporary, Family, Older Man/Younger Man, Romance, Short Story 

Approximately 26,000 words.

Upcoming Release: An Unlikely Romance – Ben & Mason

 

I have been working a lot on upcoming releases. Some are stories written way back when that were never published. Some are brand new. I almost never just work on one story at a time. While that’s really good sometimes because it keeps me from getting bored, it’s also kind of bad because of my ADHD brain that has me bouncing from one to another. I finally took a step back to just focus on one until it’s published and then I’ll go back to the others.

The first one is An Unlikely Romance – Ben & Mason. This is actually the 2nd story written in the ‘An Unlikely Romance’ series but I’m publishing it first. I’m able to switch them up because characters and settings aren’t linked in any way. All main characters in each book will come together under unusual circumstances. There’s also a bit of insta-love happening in the first 2 books, along with well-meaning relatives who try to do some matchmaking. They’re not, however, set in the same towns or have any characters in common.

Ben & Mason came to be when I was on Amazon a few weeks ago trying to find books to read with older characters – as in, not twenty-somethings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the younger characters too (hello! I write them often), but sometimes I want to step outside of that and find characters who are a little older. I was shocked to discover that there are only a select few available. Oh, there are tons with older men and women who hook up with younger ones (most of what I write, actually) but not many with both characters being in their forties or older. Before I even found a book to buy, Mason and Ben’s story was running through my head.

At the moment, it’s around 30,000 words. That may or may not change before it’s published. The blurb (below) is subject to change slightly.

I hope to publish it within the next week or so.

This is my first new non-Willy the Kinky Elf or Taking Lance story in quite some time, so I’m eager to put it out there. I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I’ll update here and everywhere else closer to publication date.

Blurb –

Ben and Mason don’t do relationships. While everybody else believes they should settle down now that they’re in their forties, both men are quite content hooking up with random guys in between the demands of their jobs and families.

When they meet in a bar, there’s an instant attraction. It doesn’t take long before they’re coming up with the perfect arrangement – no names, no details, no strings. The sex is good and neither man has to worry about silly emotions getting involved.

What starts out simple becomes anything but when one of their dates ends suddenly and they forget to schedule their next meeting or even exchange names. Now Ben and Mason are finding themselves wanting a lot more than anonymous sex in a cheap motel room.

Convinced they’ll never see each other again, fate finds a way in the form of crazy work schedules, an upcoming wedding, and adult children who have been trying to hook up their dads for months.

An Unlikely Romance – Ben and Mason is a story about two men in their early forties who find everything they want but didn’t even know they were looking for. Part of the An Unlikely Romance series, it’s a complete standalone with no details linking it to other books in the series. The only commonality is that all couples come together under unusual circumstances.