Crazy is the Word…

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That about sums it up right now.  I am closing in on the end of LIVE FOR ME, and by God, I hope it wraps soon.  These characters have given me a run for my money, and they sure have set my schedule back by, oh, a year.  So, yeah, I hope by the time this thing is edited, revised, beta-read, re-edited, and proofread it A) Doesn’t suck and B) You enjoy it.  I love Caleb and Haleigh and their friends and family, but holy crap on a cracker.

With that said, since it’s been hella long since I have posted anything here let alone a snippet…

 

She was cleaning up her office when a chill crawled up her spine, making her turn to look out the door and down the hall. Instincts on high alert, she took a deep breath to keep from panicking and searched the corridor for something or someone out of place. Finding nothing, she returned to her office, but the unease didn’t dissipate. Afraid something had happened to Georgia, she fished her phone from her bag.

Mommy!” Georgie greeted from Caleb’s phone.

Hi, baby. Are you having fun?”

We seed a billion animals!”

A billion?”

Uh-huh. And we had hot dogs and ice cream!”

At least she could say Caleb was true to his word. “I’m happy you’re having such a good time, baby girl. Can I talk to Dr. E?”

She heard Georgia tell Caleb it was his turn, and braced herself for the sound of his deep voice in her ear. “We’re fine, Mommy,” Caleb said through a laugh when he took the phone from Georgia.

I wasn’t worried,” she denied, causing his laughter to intensify.

Yes you were, and that’s okay.”

She sighed. “Having fun, Doc?”

More than I thought possible. I promise she’s fine, and I won’t let anything happen to her. You don’t have to worry, Angel.”

It was silly that his endearment made her feel better. Ignoring the niggling sensation something was still wrong, she said, “I’m glad you’re enjoying the zoo. I’ll see you both after work.”

 

Soooo OVER Winter

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I am so OVER this winter, I can’t even tell you.  The kids have missed two weeks of school (not sequentially), and I have spent this entire year (shhhh… just because it’s only six weeks old doesn’t make it any less true) sick in one way or another.  Just now I am finishing up the antibiotic from a sinus infection and I have a cold that has knocked me on my ass, not to mention the migraines that are affected by barometric pressure.  Anyway, I’m sorry to whine and rant, but if we’d wanted to live somewhere where it snowed all winter, we would’ve moved farther north!

So, with all this crap going on, I haven’t been writing like I’d like, and I’ve started and put aside a lot of the things I’ve tried to read.  I did stumble across some good reads when I couldn’t focus on a computer screen, but could tolerate my Kindle.

                                                                                

 

The first one is free and I really enjoyed this crazy, sci-fi adventure with very intertwined stories.  It is a trilogy so far, but each story has an HEA for the title agent and his lady within the overarching storyline.  Fun, fun stuff!

And, with that I’m off.  The screen is starting to blur and a dose of meds are calling my name.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

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As someone who has lived in both Knoxville and Seattle, I am a tiny bit torn with who I’ll be rooting for tonight.  (For those of you who don’t know, Peyton Manning was the QB at UT).  Honestly, I think I’ll be pulling for a great game, and may the best team win (and, yeah, maybe I’ll be yelling a little harder for the Hawks since not only did we live there for a while, Girlchild was born there.)  Of course, I should also root for the Hawks since I am a Redskins fan at heart, and my mother always taught me to root for my division if I couldn’t root for my team, so… GO NFC!

And… since I’m still working on Live For Me, I’ll give you a football-based snippet.

He didn’t often feel the need to shout, but watching football involved yelling, and he hated that it made her so uncomfortable. He winced at the memory. This past Sunday he’d been watching the Redskins play the Cowboys and as the running back made his way up the field all Caleb could do was scream, “Hold onto the ball! Hold onto the ball!” Haleigh had stiffened, but Georgia had been in his lap, bouncing up and down as he told the players what to do. At least Georgie didn’t much care when he yelled.

He’d apologized to Haleigh afterward, berating himself for making her upset, and she’d just given him a wide-eyed shrug before telling him, “It was only a game, Caleb. I’m okay.” She wasn’t okay, she was traumatized, and every day he wanted to get his hands on the bastard who had made her scared of a man barking at the television. She knew he’d never hurt her, but that didn’t stop her from reacting like he would, and that made him angry. Angry at the man who’d mistreated her, angry at himself for not keeping a lid on his rabid fanaticism, angry at her for reacting when she wasn’t in the least bit of danger. It wasn’t fair, but it was there just the same.

Welcome 2014!

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2013 has given way to 2014 and while I can’t say 2013 was a bad year, I’m excited to begin a new one.  While we did buy a house at the end of February, I did not have a book release, and that is something that will definitely change this year!  In fact, there will be two books released in 2014 come hell or high water!

And now I’d better get myself back over to one of those books I just promised!

 

Oh, and speaking of Live For Me….  A snippet!

You still with me?” Caleb asked from across the table and she pulled herself out of her thoughts.

Always.”

Not just then. Where were you?”

She toyed with her food and he waited for an answer. “Upstairs,” she finally admitted quietly.

His smile was boyish. “Oh, really?”

It’s your fault.”

I am pretty irresistible.”

She loved him like this. Carefree, playful, seemingly unburdened by all that had transpired today. “Yes you are.” She flashed a grin before righting Georgia’s sippy-cup for the third time. “Even when you’re being impossible.”

I’m not impossible,” he denied and she laughed.

Holidays, a Great Review, and a Snippet

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You’d think after 15 years in retail I would be used to this, but every year I think I’ll be able to, I dunno, DO something, or see people, or pretend I have a life outside of the store, but every year I am wrong.  Oh well, it is what it is, right?  Supporting my family is the most important thing, and thank God for Amazon and Etsy– without them, no one would get anything for Christmas!

That said, I AM still working on LIVE FOR ME, and it is coming together.  This has been a very hard book to write, and I really hope it doesn’t suck after all this time.  I am still holding out hope for getting it to you before this year is out, but please don’t kill me if I’m wrong!

Speaking of the Everetts of Tyler, FIGHT FOR ME got a great review over at Satin Sheets Romance today!  5 Pillows and 2 Flames!

 

Aaaaaand…. since it’s been forever (or 5 weeks, whatever), a snippet from Live For Me!

Haleigh stood transfixed, the woman in the mirror unfamiliar. She’d spent the better part of two hours in Robin’s stylist chair, lotions and potions and whatnot applied to her hair and face, and now she… She was downright sultry. Added to the clothes her friend had finagled her into wearing, she felt like someone else, someone confident, someone sexy. She smiled, her teeth white behind her painted lips. She knew better than to think she could jump in with both feet, but she had ensured Georgia could spend the night with the Sinclairs anyway. If she was going to look like this, she wasn’t wasting it—Caleb was going to see her in all her glory. The thought sent butterflies skittering through her stomach. Maybe not all her glory, but he was definitely seeing this.

You look spectacular,” Robin said from behind her.

I look like someone else.”

Robin’s eyes narrowed in her reflection. “You asked for that.”

I did, it’s just hard to get used to. I’m not this woman.” She had never dreamed she could be this woman, and she was still unsure whether she liked it. She didn’t look cheap by any means, but she looked untouchable, and that wasn’t her goal. Robin had done an amazing job, but underneath the paint she was still the same broken down house.

You can be,” Robin said quietly. “You don’t always have to be therapist and mommy. Sometimes you can be a woman.”

I don’t know how,” she admitted, the idiocy of her words ringing in her head.

How to Bring Your Book To Life

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Since I am currently working on bringing the next book in The Everetts of Tyler series to life (and am woefully behind), today’s (overdue) post is actually a guest post, one to which I think we can all relate as readers.  I remember reading a statistic not long ago stating that romance readers had more fulfilling sex lives than their non-reading counterparts, and I definitely believe that to be the case.  We as readers tend to be more open, more apt to try new things, and, well… a well-written love scene can make us chase our significant others around the house.

Cozy Couple Reading Book

Every book has the potential to change your life. Words have the power to change our opinions, change our goals, and even change the way we interact with one another. When it comes to the power of change erotic fiction is no exception. If you let it, it can do more than just get you excited and entertain your brain; it can change your approach to sex and your partner.

We read these stories of women taking control of their sexuality, having meaningful relationships and losing themselves within mind blowing orgasms. It may seem like fiction, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to take control and change your path if you enjoy my stories, but have a sex life that just doesn’t seem to align. The good thing is you can do it with the books that you’re already holding.

Use these 5 tips to get your sex life hotter than the stories you read.

Communication:

This is first and foremost the most important aspect of your sex life. It will help you discover each other’s fantasies, find out what you are and aren’t excited about and build a strong relationship foundation. It’s time to talk to your partner if you aren’t happy with where things are or where they are going. Until you open your mouth and mind, your partner will have no way of knowing if he or she isn’t getting you off right or doing what you like. They may also be content with the amount or type of sex you are having and won’t know that you are seeking change. So don’t be afraid to open up. If you’re already unhappy with the state of your sex life, you have nothing to lose.

Roleplaying:

Now that you’ve gotten to talking and your partner is ready to make some changes with you, it’s time to actually spice things up. One of the best ways to do this is a little roleplaying. This is where your books can come in handy. Instead of leaning upon the traditional roleplaying of student/teacher, doctor/patient, you can use your book’s characters and storyline. Find a chapter that your partner can read to understand the character and scene and then get to it. Don’t be afraid to dress it up and get into the act. Feeling like your someone else will allow you to let go of your inhibitions, truly relax and have fun. However, don’t feel pressured to stick directly to the script, creating your own world within the characters can be even hotter.

Dirty Talking:

Erotica is never lacking in the dirty dialogue department. It’s imperative in the literary world, as it helps move the story along, build a scene and character development. One of the sexiest parts of erotica can be reading the words that the characters say to each other, so don’t discount it in your real life. Bring those worlds to life and say them to your partner when you’re getting busy. Try reading a few pages of one of your favorite books to each other if you feel a little uneasy about saying certain words to your partner or are unsure of what to say. Sometimes just the act of saying sexy words out loud can help incite inspiration once you’ve really gotten down to business.

Toys:

Erotica never fails to introduce some sort of prop into the storyline. Maybe the protagonist grabbed a lit candle, some nearby rope or even a spatula. There’s a certain sexiness that comes with the unscripted, unpredictable use of random props for sexual adventure. Think about items laying around your house that you can use on your partner or better yet, snatch up a few new toys from Adam & Eve that are meant for sexual exploration. Introducing new elements into your sex life can make it feel entirely different and bring about a whole new side of you and your partner.

Lingerie:

Lingerie, like roleplaying, can bring about a different attitude in the wearer and the person getting the view. A little costume change has the power to build your confidence and make you feel like a totally different person. Look for something that will be just a little bit outside of your comfort zone and see what happens. You and your partner are both likely to be surprised.

Fall is in the Air

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Well, let’s just say I’m more behind than I thought I was and leave it at that.  I got mired in a HUGE project at work and ended up working from home after hours and on weekends, so as soon as I have a book for you, you will have it.  I swear– pinky promise and everything.

Until then, enjoy pumpkin spice everything and a snippet from Live For Me!

After last night at Chris Delmonico’s family restaurant, he wasn’t surprised the detective had insisted, although with what he knew about the former undercover narc, imagining him with a bunch of two, three, and four year olds made him want to sputter with laughter despite the gravity of the situation. “If you’re sure it’ll be safe, then she can go back to school. I don’t think I can shove off my surgeries again, and when I asked Haleigh to cancel her appointments yesterday we got in a fight.”

Jason’s eyes were bright with banked laughter. “A fight, eh?”

Drop it.”

You’re living with a woman, taking days off to go to the zoo with her daughter, trying to protect them both from a past you know nothing about, and I’m just supposed to drop it?”

He felt the muscle ticking in his jaw as he clenched his teeth. He didn’t want to go down this road with a trained interrogator, didn’t want to admit to anything when there was nothing from Haleigh to back him up, so he just gritted, “Yes.”

Every Book is Different!

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Ain’t that the truth?  I mean, it took about six months to write Fight For Me, and I honestly thought Live For Me would be similar, the characters speaking and everything coming together relatively easily.  Um… NO!

I hate, hate, hate that this book isn’t ready, but I don’t want to put something out there that isn’t done, so I am moving the release date of Live For Me (again!).  As soon as it’s to a point where I feel comfortable telling you when it will release, I will shout it from the rooftops, but until then, know I am working on it!

I’m sure you’ve also noticed that I haven’t been around very much online, which is part of the problem as well.  School started, I’m working 50 hours a week, and we just got two puppies, so life is a little full.  I am definitely writing, but I will likely continue to be relatively quiet on facebook, twitter, pinterest et al.

And… since I have made you wait six weeks for a blog post and I don’t have a book for you yet…

 

She shook her head and cut him off, “You can’t protect me, Caleb.”

I can. I will.”

From bad guys, maybe, or you can pay someone to protect me. You can’t protect me from me.”

He regarded her through narrowed eyes, his face scrunched in disbelief. “What?”

I need therapy.” She sighed. “Lots and lots of therapy before I can even pretend to be a whole person. I’m afraid I can’t be who you need me to be.” She looked down, fiddled with her silverware. “I want to be.”

You already are.” He leaned across the table. “I spent weeks with you and Georgia—the best weeks of my adult life. I thought I’d made myself clear at the hospital, that I knew I was going to screw up, and we’ll take as much time as you need, and I’ll be gentle and patient. I don’t care about your past; I want your present, your future.”

She made a gesture at herself. “I’m not this woman.”

Look at me,” he commanded, and she met his eyes with her blue ones. “This woman, this perfectly made up woman who my friend assumed was a model is beautiful, but she’s not the woman I want. I’ll take her if she’s part of the package with the real Haleigh, the Haleigh who dances in the kitchen when she thinks no one is watching, who makes pancakes in the shape of elephants for her daughter, who loves her patients, who puts everyone ahead of herself, who escaped from a past to find her way to me. That’s the woman I want.” 

July Already?

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First things first, happy Independence Day!

Now, second things, well, second… how the heck is it already July?  I mean, holy crap on a cracker, this year is already more than half gone?  School starts back in six weeks?  I promised two releases this summer and neither are ready yet? Ack!

So, without further ado (what a fun word), I give you a snippet from Live For Me.

LFM Cover

Hand shaking, she picked up the phone on her nightstand, staring at the buttons for long minutes before finally making the call.

Hello?” Cassidy answered the phone after the first ring, her voice tired through the line.

Um…” Haleigh hadn’t been prepared for Cassidy to answer, even though she knew she and Dylan lived together. “Is Dylan around?” she finally asked.

Haleigh? Are you okay?” the other woman asked instead of answering the question. “Dylan isn’t home, but what’s wrong?”

It was then she realized it was nearly three in the morning. She’d taken a nap after putting Georgie down so she could see Caleb when he got home, and had completely forgotten it was the middle of the night. She winced at the thought of waking Cassidy, and took a breath before explaining herself, careful not to say a word about the other woman’s younger brother. “I’m sure you know about the preschool thing with Georgie,” she began, grateful to hear an affirmative noise from Cassidy before going on, “and I just don’t feel safe here by ourselves. I mean—”

I understand, but Dylan’s out of town tonight.” She paused. “What about Chris Delmonico?”

She held back a sigh of relief. “I know Chris.”

Would you be okay with him staying in your house?” Cassidy asked, and Haleigh wondered just how much about her the town knew or presumed. She didn’t imagine that would’ve been a question posed to everyone.

I would,” she answered, happy it was true. “But it’s three in the morning, and he has to be at the school in a little while, and…” she trailed off. She could make it through the next five hours before she had to be at work without being attacked. She could make it through the rest of her life without Caleb in it. She choked on the thought. No, she couldn’t. “Ya know what? We’ll be okay. I’m freaked out, and called in the middle of the night, but we’ll be fine.”

You will not. I’ll come stay with you if you need, but if you’re scared, don’t ignore it.”

Really? “You’d do that for me?”

 

Holy Overbooked Summer, Batman!

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Ya know how those short people who eat money in your house take all your time?  Well, why is summer worse than the school year?  LOL.  I love Girlchild, but I think we’re going to need a driver just to take her to all her scheduled events, and when you add Boychild to the mix, well, we’d better open up an account for lunches and gas money.  *sigh*

So, instead of listening (well, okay, reading) me lament about my wonderfully popular kiddos, how about a snippet from BURN?

 “Uncle Nate, Uncle Nate!” the children screamed in unison as they jumped into his open arms. She guessed them to be about seven or eight, cute as hell, and they obviously adored their uncle.

“You guys are so big!” he exclaimed when he caught them, feigning falling over. “I won’t be able to pick you both up before too long.”

“Nu-uh,” the girl protested. “You’re strong!”

“The strongest man ever!” The little boy chimed in. “You’re stronger than Superman!”

“Nah,” Nate disagreed. “I’m not that strong.”

“You save people,” the little girl said. “Momma says you’re a superhero.”

She liked the sound of that, even if it made her stomach turn to think about him running into burning buildings.   

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