Monday, September 29, 2014

High school ideals

When I was in high school, I thought I was in love with my high school history teacher. I was 15 going on 16, my dad wasn't much involved in my life, and I didn't have a male influence in my life. Looking back, I realized that he was my ideal man, the type of guy I wanted to be with. Was I in love with him? No. But I definitely had a huge crush on him and to this day, I can't talk to him or contact him without getting nervous.

Usually, girls look to their fathers for that ideal man. They look at the relationship he has with their mother (or significant other) in order to base her values and definitions of respect, loving, trust and the like based on that relationship.

I had that with my grandfather up until I was 14 years old, when he passed. I lost a bit of myself when that happened, and I turned into a girl that needed vocation, a daughter who talked back and acted like a brat.

I dated the wrong guys but I was always fine on my own. I dated a controlling insecure mam's boy who had no ambition in high school. I dated a commitment-phobe tattooed vegan who lived on his own and barely paid for any dates - dates we rarely went on.

Lucky number three was my husband. God, the man frustrates me, infuriates me and drives me crazy. But he is my soul mate. He knows me better than anyone. And in 5 weeks, we are supposed to have our first child together - a girl.

I know, deep down, that regardless of what happens to me and my husband, my husband will be involved in my dayghter's life consistently. He's reliable, dependable and stable. I know I can count on him. As such, he'll be her ideal man. And though we both have fiery tempers, we respect each other. We annoy each other and argue and love each other and laugh at each other and compete with each other and just everything. Is our relationship perfect? No. But it's the type of relationship I can only hope our daughter will one day be lucky enough to have.

In the end, I found my ideal man. He wasn't my father or my high school history teacher or Johnny Depp (though he came close). My husband is my ideal man, and somehow, he wants to be with me. Which means I'm his ideal girl.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Branching out

So I've been toying with this idea for the past few months.

I think I'm going to branch out into non-fiction.

I have a bunch of ideas I can write about, including writing/building a readership, pregnancy, and maintaining a healthy relationship.

If there's anything you want me to write about or have any questions regarding, let me know in the comments.

I'm excited at the prospect but nervous as well. But I think this is what I'm supposed to do.

I'll let you know more when I have actual books for you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strategy session: Anthologies

As a self- published author, I have to do practically everything when it comes to marketing, selling, and ensuring my work generates some type of profit. (I'm lucky I have an amazing cover designer and different betas to help me so I don't get too crazy-overwhelmed.)

I've tested many different strategies but I'm scouring publishing books for more ideas because I want to try everything. You never know what will work for you, what won't, and in my mind, I really don't have much - if anything - to lose.

One such strategy is bundling related work together. It's an interesting theory and one I'm going to attempt with a couple of series, and something I was already planning on doing with the 3 series I have out now (well, technically 2, but the third will be released next month!)

I have an anthology of erotica coming out by tomorrow (which is why I don't have the link to share with you now). No, I'm not using a pen name (though that could change in the future) and no, it's not expensive. In fact, it will be released for $0.99.

A lot of my readers are young. A lot of my readers are adults. I'm not marketing my book the way I would with my other works, but it's out there and I definitely want to provide new readers with quality work and the opportunity to read my other novels that aren't erotica. I also want the readers who already follow me to know I bridge out in different genres and if you're interested, you're interested, if you're not, you're not.

So how am I supposed to bring in new readers? By making some of the stories included in the anthology free. If they like one story, they might be willing to shell out a whole $0.99 for 6 more stories.

It's a new strategy to market my books. I'm definitely nervous but I remind myself that I have nothing to lose. And I'll definitely let you know my results.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Stranger: Book 2

I just finished outlining Stranger: Book 2 (title reveal at the end of this little blog), and I feel so accomplished.

Now that the story that I've been kicking around in my head for the past 3 years (3 years!) is on paper, I feel lighter, relieved, and done. For now.

I still have to write the thing, but only after I finish writing Sacrifice.

However, just getting a general plot into a way more detailed, organized body is just the best. I feel mentally drained too, but maybe that's because I haven't been sleeping well the past couple of days (I am seriously so over this ridiculous heat - it's freaking September already!).

Regardless, I'm excited to start writing Sophie and Jane and Will and Depogare again. But I'm also excited for the little break I get right now to let the plot marinate and the details to develop.

I think you'll like Stranger: Book 2, or as I like to call it, Finder.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just write

I've been writing a lot. By hand. It's how I've written all of The Dark Paradise books.

The craziest part is, usually I get a better feeling - as though creativity is surging through me, and by extension, my writing utensil - of the rush I get from writing with a pen. But for whatever reason, when I've been writing Sacrifice, the words come easier with a pencil.

I don't really question it. You can't question the little things you do for writing, to get past writing blocks, to make the words come faster and prettier and easier. You do what you have to do to write.

So, I guess that's my advice about writing. Don't think about it. Don't worry about it. Just write. Just get the words down. Even if it's forced. Even if the words don't sound right and it doesn't feel natural. Just write. Whether that's with a computer, with a phone (like with the first half of Catalyst) or with a pen or pencil. Just write.

I promise when you finish your word count goal for the day, you'll feel so satisfied. So complete. So accomplished. And honestly, it's one of the best feelings in the world.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Timing

Can I take the time to write as a stepmom/wife rather than a writer, for a moment?

My husband - like most men - deals with a lot if stress. He tends to keep things to himself because he doesn't want to stress me out, but I know.

All wives/girlfriends/partners know.

Sometimes, I find out things he should know as a parent that people don't tell him. Usually, they're things that will only add to the stress he already deals with. I tell him regardless because I respect him as a father and my husband, and I want to offer him the opportunity to make a decision about whatever it is he needed to know about.

But I can see it in his tense shoulders and hear it in his tired voice that I've added to his stress, and even though it was the right thing to do, I think sometimes my timing is off.

I just need to find the right timing and maybe I won't feel as guilty. I can still tell him the things he needs to know but maybe I can wait until after he gets home from a hard day of work, a hard day of helping his family move, and after getting some food in his super-hungry (and super-sexy) body.

It's all about timing. It's something I really need to work on. But I do try. I'm getting better.

Thank God my husband is patient, and doesn't mind putting up with me and my misguided if well-thought out intentions. Lord knows, he has a few things he needs to work on too. 

We balance each other out, and that seems to work for us.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adaptions

I am obsessed with adaptions/re-imaginings/retellings/etc.

I love them.

I recently decided to do a retelling of Peter Pan, to be released some time next month. It'll be dark and very, very unique. I had written the story but something was missing. And then I got the idea to shift little things in order to adapt it as a retelling.

And then I got excited.

Whenever I get excited, I know I'm on the right track with my writing.

I'm not sure how people will respond to this particular retelling. It's different, and I know everyone says that about their work. But I promise, it's not typical. I don't want to reveal too much, but I will. Eventually.

Anyways, I love reading them too. I love the way authors reimagine worlds and characters and story lines. I love the feeling of things being different yet being the same too. It's thrilling and comforting at the same time.

Even if the writing is subpar or the author isn't well-known, I give it a chance, especially if the storyline is intriguing. The one thing I ask is to be creative with your characters, certainly, but please leave characteristic trademarks - things characters are known for, things that makes these characters recognizable throughout time - the same as the original.

As such, I can absolutely promise you that my Captain Hook will have a hook as a hand. Not a fake hook. Not a tattoo. But a hook as a hand.

And you know what? You're going to fall in love with him just the same.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brats v. Bamfs

Sometimes, I can be a brat. I have no idea why my husband puts up with me.

I'm petty and immature and selfish and downright childish. I wish I could say I have no idea why I behave this way, but that wouldn't be true. It's the same reason why children act like babies and throw tantrums: I want attention.

The problem is, I'm 24 years old with 2 step-children and my daughter on the way. I need to set an example. I need to be a role model, both for the boys and my girl.

I can't be a brat and expect them to not be. If I want to teach or change something, I need to look inside and start with me first. Even if people are disrespecting me for reasons I can't help or change, I need to hold my head high.

Would Angelina Jolie or Beyonce really act like brats because they have haters? Because life isn't fair? Hell, no!

They'd turn it into an opportunity. They'd take it as a compliment and never think about it again. They'd be bamfs, not brats.

This is something I'm constantly reminding myself. This is something I'm constantly working on. But my husband looked me in the eyes today and told me: "You are too beautiful to let ugly bitches bother you."

Peasants, my lovelies. Queens don't let peasants get to them, and if, for whatever reason, they do, don't let them know they get to you. They're peasants.

Thank God for my husband. For his patience. For being hard on me. And most of all, for teaching me. And I'm grateful I'm receptive enough to learn. That's what a partnership is, really.

There's no way I'm perfect. I might even have my occasional bratty day. But I know my husband will be there to set me straight and there's no way I'm gong to let ugly bitches mar this beautiful face.

Monday, September 8, 2014

On procrastinating the writing part

Can I tell you guys a secret?

I haven't written in a long time.

I've been on a roll, publishing material I wrote a few years ago. I've been on a roll editing and coming up with cover designs with my amazing designer, Katya.

But I've been procrastinating with my writing.

And I know you're all waiting for the conclusion of The Dark Paradise trilogy, you're waiting to see what happens in Stranger, Book 2, and you want some new material along with edited updates of the old material.

I get it.

I realize that looking at writing as a business without adding the creative passion makes it hard to be creative and passionate, even about releasing old favorites.

So I started writing today. I'm a little over one-third finished with Sacrifice. My intention is to finish a first draft by October.

And with Stranger, Book 2? My intention is to finish an outline by the end if this month.

Also, look for the start of a new series next month, along with a release of a favorite from Fictionpress.

I have a plan, but without writing, it doesn't feel right. 

I know, however, that by writing every day - even if I don't feel creative, even if the writing is forced - my juices will flow and it'll become as easy as it was a few years ago.

No more excuses. No more procrastinating.

I'm supposed to give birth in early November so I need to get it together if I ever want it to really progress.

And if I ever want to get more successful, I need to progress. Which I will. Because I absolutely have to succeed. There is no other way.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tempting the Flesh: First Chapter

Still not sure if you want to purchase Tempting the Flesh at the special price of $0.99?  Here is the first chapter:

You can preorder the novel, released August here.

---


Chapter 1


Elizabeth Grant had never been and never would ever be a smoker, but there were times when she wished she was because her job was extremely stressful.  It wasn’t so much of what she actually did, but the waiting that did her in.  She liked to be active, to have something to do. She was currently sitting at an outdoor cafĂ©, sipping a glass of strawberry lemonade, her forest green eyes hidden behind a chic pair of dark sunglasses. She was wearing tight black pants with knee high boots over them, and a black tank top underneath a denim jacket. Her wavy blonde hair tumbled down her shoulders, and she ran her fingers through the untamable strands, staring at her cell phone, as if that could make it would ring faster. But alas, she was having no such luck.

Elizabeth – Lizzie, she preferred - worked for the Nocturnal Defense Society, which was a government agency that specialized in maintaining and enforcing equality between humans, vampires, and werewolves. Her job was that of an assassin, and she was damn good at it. When her boss needed her to take out a high profile leader, she did it in under twenty-four hours. Whether it was someone from humanity, werewolf society, or vampire society – it didn't matter. Whatever they needed, she did it, and usually, without question.  It was her job, after all; it paid the bills.

In her occupation, she only had a couple of ground rules that were important when handling any particular case: First and foremost, those she did take out had to be guilty. None of the reasonable doubt bullshit; there had to be irrefutable evidence against any particular target. Secondly, she liked to work alone. She didn't want to be responsible for somebody else, and she didn't want to grow attached to someone who, in all likelihood, was going to die from this job. The only reason Lizzie survived so long in this area of business was because she was smart and fast. She showed no weakness, and she wanted to keep it that way. And finally, her last rule whenever she accepted a job was to let her handle the details her way. If they wanted to do it a certain way, they could hire someone else to do it, or they could do it themselves. Just give her the target and get out of her way. She would handle the rest.

Lizzie started tapping the heel of her right foot so it clacked against the pavement beneath her and threw her eyes over to her phone once more. "Come on," she murmured under her breath. "Come on, come on, come on…"

Her thoughts drifted once again, as her ears continued to meet the hollow sound of silence.  Little girls didn’t typically dream of growing up to be assassins, but somehow, Lizzie always knew that that was what she wanted to do. She was raised by her mother Carmen, who, in her day, was the NDS' top assassin, outranking even the men. Of course, this meant that her mother took extra ribbing and the sexism that went along with any female accomplishment, as well as tons of competition from her fellow assassins, but she didn't mind. Lizzie had no idea who her father was, but she never really cared and Carmen never offered any kind of information.  In fact, her mother took that secret to the grave with her.

When Lizzie was fourteen, her mother died on the field, a bullet straight between the eyes. Nobody knew how this was possible, as Carmen was shot from a close range, when she was smarter than letting herself get caught, let alone killed. After her untimely death, there was also the problem of Carmen's daughter. Who would look after her? Ultimately, a single mother named Kathleen who had a daughter of her own and worked in the research department of NDS took her in.  From that point forward, Lizzie was determined to become an assassin, and did whatever it took in order to accomplish her goal.  She started running every day and developed a workout regimen to increase her strength, her core, and her balance.  She started eating better, though she never denied herself a sweet indulgence every once in a while.  And she sacrificed the majority of her social life in order to research and study.

Two years later, she was taking classes with eighteen year olds, training with the best people in her desired department, and studying her ass off. When one wanted to join the NDS, no matter what the field, schooling was required, especially multiple classes in Sociology. The Nocturnal Defense Society protected humanity against those that were nocturnal – vampires and werewolves more specifically. The different species lived together in Somerset, and while the law stated that everyone was equal, each species thought that they were superior. Because humans were weakest of the species, it was decided that the NDS would be created to ensure that they wouldn't be taken advantage of or bullied, but it also served as an equalizer. Members of each species worked side by side with the goal that one day, society would deem that they were all equal and that the NDS was no longer necessary.

At twenty-one, Lizzie became the youngest assassin on a team of four. For the first year, her teammates didn't trust her due to her age. They thought that the only reason she was there was because of who her mother was. But sooner rather than later, she won their trust and started to increase in rank. It wasn't until her partner was killed right in front of her did she finally decide to go solo. Many people in her unit thought she was just being snobby, but she didn't care. No one would understand what she had experienced and she didn't want to go through it again.

Though Lizzie was now twenty-three and living on her own, she was still incredibly close to Kathleen Simmons, the woman who had taken her in years ago. In fact, Lizzie's best friend was Kathleen's daughter, Rachel, who excelled at researching, just like her mother. Lizzie was continuously grateful she never had to worry about Rachel because she was rarely, if ever, in the field and therefore, it was highly doubtful she would ever be harmed in any way.

A chirp caused her thoughts to suddenly disappear, and she glanced down at her phone resting on the surface of the table. An unknown number popped up on her caller identification, and her lips quirked up. "Finally," she muttered before flipping open the phone and placing it over her ear. "Grant," she greeted in her no-nonsense tone she usually used while on the clock.

"Good afternoon, Miss Grant," a familiar, articulate voice on the other end of the line greeted. His voice was breathy and formal and slightly odd when compared to others, but he had a natural tone of authority imbedded in his speech, and though it wasn't quite intimidating, it commanded respect.

"Good afternoon, Jackson," Lizzie said with a mischievous glint in her eyes. She knew how much her boss detested when she called him simply by his last name without any form of Mister or Sir beforehand. Luckily, the two went way back, and as long as she wasn't addressing him this way in public or in front of other agents, he usually let her get away with it.

A heavy sigh filled the phone, and it was moment before Jackson said anything. "Yes, well, I've got you an assignment that you’ve no doubt been waiting for," he said almost dismissively but not in a callous way. He paused a moment, knowing that Lizzie was quite impatient, especially when it came to learning information about a client or a hit. She bit her bottom lip, trying to suppress the urge to reach through the phone and strangle him until he gave her what she wanted to know.

"Go on," she said, trying to keep the sharp edge out of her voice. Really, she was trying to work on patience, but it was so hard when she had a boss like Jackson who tried at every opportunity to take full advantage of her particular default.

She could practically hear Jackson smile through the phone and waited another moment before he finally decided to continue. "Are you familiar with the Dragulia family?" he asked her.

"You mean the vampire clan?" Lizzie asked, puzzled. "Aren't they royals in their culture?" She never had to take out a royal before and she highly doubted she would.  “The ones who live forty-five minutes by train into the wilderness on the east side of Somerset, completely opposite of Sterling’s pack?”

"They are," Jackson replied.

"Well, isn't it a little obvious taking out a royal?" She tilted her head slightly and slid her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "I mean, I don't even remember hearing that they've done anything to threaten humanity, but then again, it could be because no one trusts me with such information. You know, for your top assassin, everything's been pretty hush-hush when it comes to me. Why is that?"

Another sigh escaped, Lizzie could imagine him reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "You're getting off topic, Miss Grant," he said with slight exasperation. It would seem that he, too, had to work on his patience, except it only seemed challenged whenever he was around or was speaking to Lizzie. "And anyways, this isn't a hit."

She furrowed her brow as she took another sip of her lemonade. "I don't understand," she said. "I'm an assassin. Why would you be giving me a job that has nothing to do with killing someone?"

"It's not so much killing someone as it is protecting them," Jackson corrected. "I have just been informed that Nikolai Dragulia, the vampire next in line to claim the throne once his father retires from the position, has just been threatened. Apparently, there is a hit out for him in the vampire clan because a few people don't think he would make a good king. He has requested your presence personally in hopes that you would be his bodyguard until this whole thing blows over."

Lizzie's mouth dropped open and it took her a long moment before she finally responded. "Wait a minute," she said, still flabbergasted. "This guy wants me to babysit him? That's the job that's so important? You want me to babysit a royal? There is no way I'm going to waste my time with something like this. You can't be serious."

"Well, I am," Jackson said. "Money talks and it has spoken. So I suggest you pack in order to make your train."

Before she could argue some more, the line went dead.

It was times like these when Lizzie, if she had smoked, could have really used a cigarette.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tempting the Flesh: Book Cover Reveal

Hey guys!

So today, I'm going to reveal the amazing, fabulous SEXY book cover designed by Katya Sarria.  I swear, she's a genius.  If you're interested in getting her to design something, DO IT.  Go here!

Now, ready for it?

I'd love your opinion in the comments...

.....................................................

..........................................

..................................

......................

.............

........

....

.

 
Come back tomorrow for the first chapter!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tempting the Flesh: Official Summary

With Tempting the Flesh coming out August 25, I decided to post the official summary here for you all to read.

He wants nothing more than to sink his teeth into her flesh and turn her into what he was - a vampire. But he can't. And she wants nothing more than to run away from this assignment. But she won't.

Elizabeth Grant is a top-rated assassin at the Nocturnal Defense Society. When she gets an assignment to protect Nikolai Dragulia – next in line to inherit the crown and rule over vampire society – she balks. Being a royal baby-sitter to a mysterious, brooding, arrogant prince is not what she signed up for, but an assignment is an assignment, and she’s a professional. As Lizzie looks deeper into possible suspects and motives, she realizes this is more than just a baby-sitting job but something that, if not resolved, can affect the entire vampire race.

*WARNING: THIS NOVEL HAS HIGHLY SEXUAL GRAPHIC CONTENT


You can preorder Tempting the Flesh for the special price of $0.99 here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Marking Territory: FREE Today

Hi everyone!

Losing Myself in You, now titled Marking Territory, is available for FREE on Amazon today.  Make sure you download your copy today before it goes back to the list price of $1.99!  Go here!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Relaunch of The Dark Paradise Trilogy

I've been working with my wonderful, amazing, crazy-talented cover designer, Katya to come up with a new cover for Catalyst because, let's face it, the one that's currently representing the novel leaves a lot wanting.

It's great for being a temporary placeholder but it nowhere near represents what Renee created with Awaken.

Well, Katya got back to me, and it's freaking amazing.  (I feel like I use that word in abundance when describing her work.)  But seriously, check it out for yourself.

 
 
How wicked-awesome is that?  It ties both covers together, but still distinguishes the designers from one another.  I absolutely love it.
 
And in honor of this re-launch, so to say, I'm hosting a giveaway.  For only today, Catalyst is free to download on Amazon.  You can do so here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How I broke through the Top 1,000 in Amazon's free store

Hi lovelies!

In case you didn't know, both Swimming in Rain and Four Sides of a Triangle are completely free on Amazon right now, in honor of the anniversary of Jane Austen's passing.

I'm going to be honest with you: Swimming in Rain is my most popular publication. I sell a few of them every single day to different countries. I love the story but that doesn't mean I'm not surprised. I am. 

On Fictionpress, it did moderately well not nowhere near the numbers Saving Smiles, Closer, Stumble, Losing Myself in You, and other stories I've written. But as a published novel, it's doing well. Granted, I have yet to publish most of my other stories but as of right now, it's constantly making me money.

Now, I completely forgot about this giveaway. I scheduled this a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday was such a long day at work, I can't even tell you. So when I woke up this morning and saw that I broke my own personal record for free downloads, I was surprised. Because I totally forgot.

Once I got the refresher, I immediately started informing the fans on Fictionpress. I plan to update my Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Teitter as well to get the word out. But the crazy thing is, even with what I still need to do, I broke another record:

Four Sides of a Triangle is currently ranked in the Top 700 on the Amazon Free Book List. I know that's still really high but I've never broken past the top 1,000 before, in both sales and giveaways. This is a crazy, exciting, amazing day. I'm really happy and proud.

Because, you know what? This book has been at a bit of a standstill. Like, it hasn't been selling. And somehow, it's doing better than Swimming in Rain.

I have no idea how it happened. But just offering the book for free, sending a reminder email the day before to my mailing list, and advertising it the day of definitely helped. Also, having a good summary and an interesting book is helpful because that's what will sell your book. Plus, the themes of both books are timeless. Jane Austen was a master at her craft and we authors who try to adapt her material like to tell versions of her stories that captivate people a fraction of the way she did. We wouldn't be here without her.


(Proof that I broke my record. I had to take a picture of it to commemorate today!)

(You can download Swimming in Rain here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KFUZ2TO/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1405715789&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40
You can download Four Sides of a Triangle here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00JZ4M7CG/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1405713873&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Surprise, surprise

So.... I released 7 short stories yesterday.  They are absolutely, one hundred percent M rated, featuring strong, explicit sexual content.  Some are more romantic than others.  They are currently available on Amazon now, each one $0.99.

These are stories I've been working on, on and off.  I'd love your feedback in the form of a review, or as a recommendation to a friend.  Again, these stories are graphic.  If that's not your thing, don't worry about it.  If it is, I sincerely hope you enjoy!

 
She went to slap him with her other hand but he grabbed that one with his free hand before she could connect it with his face. Immediately after that, he spun the two of them around so that Nicole’s back slammed against the wall. The young woman winced but did not cry out.

“I hate you,” she spat at him.

“Everybody hates me,” he growled.

“But nobody hates you more than I do,” she said, struggling against him to break free from him.

“That’s probably true,” he said, pushing his weight against her so that her back hit the wall again.

As her back hit the wall, he pushed forward, so that he was nearly pressing against her and captured her lips with his. The kiss was like a match striking fire.  
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
With his hand cupping her cheek, Christopher dipped her head back to deepen the kiss. She opened her mouth willingly, wanting to feel him inside of her, search, exploring, for whatever he needed to find. Christopher’s tongue did just that, kissing her with so much frivolity, almost like he would never see her again after this night. And who’s to say he would? She was returning home in two days, and he would be staying in France.
  
The two had to pull away to catch their breath, but neither released the other, enjoying their close proximity they shared; Madison rested her head on Christopher’s firm chest, wrapping her arms around his waist and holding him tightly. She never wanted to let him go. As he held her close to him, he rested his cheek on the top of her head, and the two swayed slightly to a silent rhythm.
 
“I heard you stopped by,” Christopher said in his low tone of voice.

“I wanted to speak to you,” Madison replied. She didn’t want to discuss Victoria. She didn’t want to face the reality of the situation; she just wanted to hold onto Christopher forever. She didn’t want to wake up.
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
“I don’t like any other man touching you,” he told her roughly. “You’re mine.”

“Technically, I am Governor Chaplin’s,” Emmy teased him. She knew how infuriated he reacted whenever she mentioned her husband, and it caused her pelvis to pulsate.

Bran’s eyes grew darker than they already were, and in a manner of seconds, her white shift was in pieces and tossed over the side of the bed. “You are mine,” he reiterated forcefully, staring at Emmy’s naked body. “Governor Chaplin may have you in a technical manner of speaking, but I have your mind, body and soul. You are mine.”
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
Her pulse was racing due to the fact that he was so close to her.

“You’re afraid of me,” he stated, his blue eyes dancing in amusement.

“No, I’m not,” she replied quickly, crossing her arms over her chest.

He chuckled, almost like a melody to a song. “Yes, you are,” he told her. “I can hear your heart beating faster for me.” He paused, the amusement leaving his face for a moment. “Celeste,” he said, and her name coming from her lips sent a shiver down her spine. “I will never hurt you; I can promise you that.”
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
“Oh yes, I love assholes,” she growled back. “They always know exactly what to do to make me come.”

“Is that right?” The thought of other men being inside her drove him absolutely crazy. He started walking towards her while she took steps back. Her shoulders were still in his tight grasp.

“Oh yes.” She was being stubborn and defensive now; they both were. “They know exactly where to touch me, and how. Why do you think I decided to take Dean upstairs in the first place? He knows what he’s doing!”

Lia’s back hit the wall behind her. She couldn’t step back any further. He stood towering above her. She looked up to match his stare.

“Does he?” he asked. “You like the way he looks at you?”

“Yes!”

“You like the way he talks to you?”

“I love it!”

Elliot grabbed her waist and pulled her close to him so they were pressed together.

“You love the way he touches you?”

“Absolutely.” She didn’t tell him that the way he was holding her caused her to moisten between her legs. She didn’t push away from him either.

Elliot had no idea what he was doing. All he knew was that he was too caught up in her essence to think clearly. He slid his hand down behind her to cup her derriere and squeezed it. She gasped, her eyes losing some of its fire for surprise, but they never broke from his.
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
Harper looked at the man she loved, dressed up in a tuxedo, preparing for a wedding that did not involve her. His dark hair was combed back, and she noticed that he shaved. His cheekbones were high, his nose, long and pointed, and his lips were utterly kissable. His firm body was hidden by a black and white tuxedo. He had not yet put on his tie; she saw it lying on the desk in front of the vanity mirror. God, he looked good. Too good. She shouldn’t have come. He was too much to take.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. His voice was low and sent a shiver going down his back.

She couldn’t look at him; she looked at his tie instead. “I… I don’t know,” she said. It was true; she didn’t know why she was here, but she knew she had to be here. She strolled over to where his tie was; it gave her something to do. “You’re not wearing your tie.”
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
“My place?” she asked breathlessly, craning her neck to look at Beech.

“I have a room here,” he told her.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” she murmured and he grabbed her wrist, starting to lead her across the dance floor. “What does surprise me is the fact that you were jealous.”

“I was not jealous,” Beech said, tossing a glance at her.

“Oh really?” she asked him skeptically as she let him lead her through the doorway and into the connecting lobby. Holly glanced at the clerk and then back at Beech. “So you were totally okay with me practically having sex with the guy? That’s why you came over? To give him tips or something?”

Beech pressed the elevator button and then turned around so sharply and so quickly around that Holly almost ran into him. Again, she tried to look into his eyes but his shades were preventing her from looking into them. He was looking at her though, but before he responded, the elevator door pinged. His hand was still around her wrist, and he gently tugged her in and pressed the second floor button.

“Why don’t you just admit it, Beech?” she asked him with frustration.

Without warning, he dropped her hand and pulled the emergency button so the elevator stopped suddenly. He turned and took a step toward Holly, causing her to take a step back. They repeated their dance until Holly’s back hit was flat against the elevator wall. She could feel his piercing stare, even through his shades.

“Yeah, I was jealous,” he said lowly, dangerously. She shivered at the tone of his voice. “I wanted to kill the guy. I can’t even imagine another guy touching you, let alone f****** you.”
 
Purchase it HERE.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Losing Myself in You Release

Hi everyone!  Well, it's official: Losing Myself in You has officially been released!  You can purchase it for $2.99 here.  It already has 5 reviews - 4 and 5 star reviews!  (I seriously have the best readers ever.  Like, for real.)  I sincerely hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Losing Myself in You: First Chapter

All right guys, so you've read the summary and have seen the book cover.  Ready to get a sneak peak at what's to come?  Here is the first chapter of Losing Myself in You!  As always, I'd love your take on the chapter in the comments.

----


Chapter 1


 

For going on a new mission that involved one of the biggest werewolf packs in all of Somerset, Bridgette Barker was remarkably calm.  Currently, she sat in the back of a black Ferrari, driven by one of her associates, Clive Shereen, her ice-blue eyes glancing out the window as he briefed her on what this particular mission entailed.  Apparently, members high up in ranking in the Sterling pack were accused of embezzlement of various businesses they were associated with, as well as turning humans into werewolves without their consent. 

Bridgette worked for the NDS – Nocturnal Defense Society – a government agency that regulated equal treatment among humans, werewolves, and vampires.  She loved her job, especially when she brought someone – regardless of who that was and what race they were from – to justice.

“The target is Marcus Sterling,” he continued, causing Bridgette to rip her eyes away from the scenery that encased the outskirts of Somerset.  The trees cast unforgiving shadows in the darkness, and not even the glow from the moon could ease them up.

“The Alpha?” she asked, furrowing her brow together.

Clive gave her a mischievous grin.  “Ah, I see you are paying attention, my love,” he chided in what was supposed to be a charming English accent.  It was rich and clear, like a church bell or a car alarm. 

“Cut the crap, Shereen,” she said, in no mood for his flirting.  “I didn’t realize Sterling himself was up on these charges.”

Clive flipped through the sheets of paper in the manila folder currently residing in his lap.  He glanced over at Bridgette from his seat in the back and nodded his head, handing her a picture of the wolf in question.

“Apparently, he’s the one giving the orders,” their driver and Bridgette’s closes friend, Kendall Menton, said.

Bridgette reached over to the compartment embedded in the driver’s seat, and pulled down a lever that caused a flat tool case to spring down.  In it, there were various tools and contraptions, including a hammer, screwdriver, anything one might need to fix something when they were in a bind.  Clive liked to work with his hands – in more ways than one, he would keep saying with a wink – and always kept at least three different kits somewhere in his car.  He had the seats especially designed for this purpose.  To Bridgette, it came off as rather flamboyant, but every now and then, like tonight, it came in handy.  She grabbed a mini-flashlight and clicked it on so she could see the photos more closely.  Tugging on her bottom lip, her eyes took in the target.  On the bottom of the photo, a name was scrawled in Kendall's swirly handwriting: Marcus Sterling.  He stood in front of his grandiose manor, his hands clenched into fists at his side, as though he was trying to control his anger.   He appeared tall, probably a couple of inches past six feet, and he had incredibly broad shoulders. In fact, he was really strong, or, at least, looked as such.  He had thick, chestnut brown hair that was styled sort of like Elvis Presley's hair, except it was messier and lacked gel. His sideburns actually crawled down the side of his face until they reached the beginnings of his chin, where a deep imprint rested. His lips were thin, pulled into a scowl, and his nostrils were flared as his hazel eyes narrowed at something off screen.

What was he looking at? she silently wondered, twirling the end of her ponytail around her index finger.

He was wearing what appeared to be a white wife beater underneath a leather jacket with two thick yellow racing stripes heading horizontally across it. Over the wife beater and under the jacket was a brown vest, fitting snuggly on his broad frame. Jeans occupied the lower half of him, while a brown belt wrapped around his waist and interlocked with a golden belt buckle resembling those that were worn by cowboys from the eighteen hundreds. And finally, on his feet, looked to be very worn brown boots.

He looked… like a beast, Bridgette finally realized. Even though he was in the forest like any lumberjack might have been, it was easy to tell what his true origins were.  He looked wolfish, ready to pounce at the photographer.  He must not like taking pictures. 

Bridgette flipped to the next picture.  This one was older, taken from a different time.  The edges were turning yellow, and the corners were bent.  The picture was of a family painting, probably still in the Sterling family today.  Like vampires, werewolves were immortal.  However, a shot to the heart with a silver bullet would kill them instantly.  It wasn’t uncommon to find members of a pack who have lived in Somerset, since the town was founded in the early eighteenth century.  Judging by this photograph of a painting, Bridgette deduced that the Sterling family took shape around the same time as Somerset itself.

The painting was of four people – a husband, a wife, and two boys.  Bridgette could easily deduce who Marcus was, thanks to his unruly hair and the perpetual scowl on his face.  Next to him, a few inches shorter, was another boy, with auburn hair and clear, blue eyes.  Unlike Marcus, he looked much more formal, with an ability to hold himself like he belonged to a royal family.  And, being born into an Alpha family, he really was.  His shoulders were rolled back, his chin was tilted up, and he was looking the artist dead in the eye.  Bridgette had to refrain from flinching.

“His family?” she asked, looking over at Clive.

He nodded, though his black hair still somehow refrained from falling in his face.  “His brother, Gerard Sterling.  The Beta.”

“Is he part of this?”

“He left the pack at least seven years ago,” Kendall responded from the driver’s seat.  “Rumor has it that he didn’t like being second to his brother.”

“Why?  I thought that was wolf tradition, and all wolves respected it.”

“There has always been sibling rivalry between the two,” Clive said, taking the picture from Bridgette’s hand so he could look at it himself.  He let his fingertips brush her skin as he did so.  “They both fought in wars together, beginning with the American Revolution.  Gerard always outranked Marcus.”

“Just not where it mattered,” Bridgette guessed.

“Exactly.”  He handed the picture back to her.  “So he left on some mission of his own.  No one really knows why, but to answer your question, no, he’s not thought to be involved.”

“The only thing we know of him is that he’s very pro-wolf,” Kendall said, pushing the brakes gently to make a left turn down a dirt path.  “We have pictures of him at rallies promoting werewolfism as the right species, the one other species should aspire to be.”

“Good thing he’s not around, then,” Bridgette murmured.

“Exactly.”

“Parents?”  She turned to look at Clive.

“Killed by a hunter about a hundred years ago,” he explained.  “The guy thought he could make money on the mother’s fur – they were both wolves at the time – and killed her instantly with a silver bullet.  Father attacked him, got him pretty good, until the guy killed him too.”

Bridgette pressed her lips into a thin line.  The story almost reminded her of how her mother died.  A vampire had drained her when she was out shopping for groceries.  Bridgette had been eleven.  He just took her without asking, and then left her body there for everyone to see.  It was why she was so intent to be an NDS agent.  To extract justice in a world where vampires and werewolves roamed the earth, where humans weren’t at the top of the food chain anymore.  She wasn’t looking for revenge, per se, but she wanted to ensure such a thing was never allowed to happen again with repercussion.  The vamp had never been caught, either.

Bridgette was still bitter about it.

“We also want a Ryan Carlyle and a Brandon Simon,” Clive continued as he handed Bridgette more pictures.  “They’re the ringleaders of the embezzlement.  There’s a list of their various cohorts, too, but Carlyle, Simon, and Sterling are who we want.”

Bridgette nodded her head as her eyes skimmed the text, took in the information, processed it.  Clive continued to talk, but Bridgette’s mind was already planning the attack.  Her eyes went back to the window.  It was too dark to make out the forestry, which was a shame because it really was beautiful, especially in the winter covered in snow.  It was Bridgette’s favorite place to be, because the city tended to get overwhelming at times.  Now, it was intimidating, foreboding, warning Bridgette away from their intended destination.  Why, she couldn’t be sure.  She had always been a top agent, and wasn’t easily frightened.  But something about this mission in particular had her senses on high alert, like something life-altering was about to take place.

"We're here," Kendall announced in her usual, soft-spoken voice. She turned around to glance at Bridgette, her grey eyes pooling with concern. "Are you sure you're going to be all right, Bridge? This isn't some wolf, this is the Marcua Sterling."

If it had been anyone else voicing their concern, Bridgette would have been offended. But Kendall was her friend and was just looking out for her well-being.

"I'll be fine, Kendall," Bridgette assured her. "I'll have the team with me. I'll be okay."  She flashed a confident grin and Kendall seemed to relax a bit.

With that, she and Clive exited the car, leaving Kendall alone in the vehicle. Kendall was a driver, a transporter. She didn't exactly fight, but she provided transportation to and from a destination. She was the fastest driver Bridgette knew, and she trusted Kendall immensely.  Bridgette watched as Kendall drove away until the black car blended itself in with its environment.

When she was gone, Bridgette surveyed the square mansion with sharp eyes from her position.  She and Clive were still a ways away from the manor, but she knew the other two members of their team were already in position on the opposite side, doing their own sweep of the grounds.  It was necessary to do as much intel as possible before making their presence known, especially since werewolves had heightened senses.  She could hear someone stepping on tree branches as they circled the property – a guard no doubt.  And a lone owl pierced the night with its melancholy cry.  There were no trees directly surrounding the place, which allowed the moon to hang low and cast its light on the manor.  It was spooky, Bridgette realized, and a shiver slid down her spine. 

The manor was white with three stories. Thick pillars surrounded a wooden porch, and Bridgette noticed that every single window was closed. She cocked her head to the side, looking for any kind of entrance besides the door. If her mother was still alive, she probably would have reprimanded Bridgette for not fully appreciating the architecture of the house. If she had to guess, it was built in the early eighteen hundreds, maybe even earlier.

But it wasn't her place to guess. She needed to get this Marcus Sterling, and she needed to get him now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Losing Myself in You: Cover Reveal

Guys, this is huge!

I have been working with a fabulous cover artist and we have been working tirelously (well, she has; not me) to create the cover for Losing Myself in You.  And it is fabulous.

Fab.

Are you ready for it?

I'm so excited.

Okay.

Here it is!

.......................

...............

..........

.......

....

..

.


As always, I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments.

Oh, and if you love Katya Sarria's work - check out her website here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Losing Myself in You: Summary

Hi everyone!

Considering there are only 5 more days until the release of Losing Myself in You, I figured we needed an official summary for the novel!  Here it is, below:

Bridgette Barker, Nocturnal Defense Society agent, is tasked with bringing in Marcus Sterling, Alpha male of the Sterling werewolf pack, on embezzlement charges.  She doesn’t expect to be caught, and is even more surprised when Sterling releases her – but only after he sinks his teeth into her neck to mark her as his.  Now her body is going through a transformation, and she’s drawn even more to Marcus than she ever expected to be – especially since she can’t stand him.  But when she begins having sensual dreams about him that feel nothing but real, how can she possibly resist? 

He left his mark on her, not because he wanted to, but because he couldn't control himself when he was around her. She was his; that was all there was to it, whether he actually liked her or not. Well, they always did say love was blind...
 
And there you have it!  Come back tomorrow for the official book cover reveal!!!!
 
(I'd love to know what you think in the comments!)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Launching a Book: Writers' Series 2

Full disclosure: Though I have 6 titles under my belt, Losing Myself in You will be my first official launch.

So what does it mean to launch a book?

I have no clue. No clue.

I've done research on what certain people do, what works for some, what doesn't work for others, and I've incorporated the things that I feel I can do and will actually benefit from into my launch. So here's what I've done and what I'm planning to do in order to execute this as successfully as I can. I plan to write a follow up to this a month from the launch to go over my results.

What I've Done
1. An advanced copy giveaway.  I already have a mailing list incorporated of interested readers who want news, updates, and giveaway information before the general public. I try not to spam them too much but I always make sure they're the first people who know about giveaways.

For advanced copy giveaways, I give them free PDF versions of the novel - without the copyright page, dedication page, etc. - in exchange for a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. My readers are pretty good at keeping their end of the bargain, so while the reviews don't come right away, they do eventually come and they're always honest.

2. Social media. I always try and keep up with social media. I'm trying to find a good balance of information without shoving my product down their throat. It's still a tedious process, especially since I'm so busy, but I definitely make an effort.

3. Blog tour. This one I'm having a little bit of trouble with since not many people blog consistently. However, I still reached out to my contacts, and while many have informed me if their lack of blogging, a lot have offered some firm of advertisement, which is definitely a blessing.

4. Create a schedule. There are certain things you need to release to get everyone excited about the book. First and foremost, the title and the release date - which you are all aware of: Losing Myself in You, to be released July 12 - the next full moon! Check back to the blog this week for:

Official summary (Tuesday)
Book Cover (Wednesday)
First chapter (Thursday)
Official Amazon link (Saturday)

5. Reviews
If you happen to have early reviews for your story - which I don't just yet - always make sure you post and advertise them to drum up excitement for the work.

6. More giveaways. Once the book has been out for a few months, I plan to start thinking of more giveaways appropriate to the book and it's content. This way, I can draw in more readers and get my work out there.

That's what I have so far. As I've said, I'll let you know how it works out for me. If you have any suggestions or experience you'd like to share, I'd be happy to discuss this further with you in the comments!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Goal Setting: Writers' Series 1

Hi everyone!

So over the past few months, I've been receiving questions about writing, the self-publishing process, and Fictionpress, and I've finally found the time to answer the questions in more detail on the blog now.  This is a series - we'll test the waters and see how everyone responds to it - and you can expect updates for it Mondays and Fridays (on top of my personal updates as well).  I wouldn't necessarily consider this advice; it's just what I do that seems to work for me.  It very well may not work for you.  And you know what?  That's totally fine.  Either way, I'd love to hear your take on everything in the comments section!

One question I receive the most is: How do you write so many stories?  (On Fictionpress, I have over 20 stories, which I eventually plan to remove in order to publish.)

I know writing a novel/story seems like a scary thought.  It's a huge process that can be incredibly intimidating.  That's why it's so important to commit doing what you can do every single day.  You don't need to write 3,000 words a day if you can't write that amount.  Would 2,000 be easier for you?  What about 1,000?  What about 500?  Don't kid yourself, and don't feel guilty if you can't write a lot.  Commit to what you can do.

When I was still active on Fictionpress, I committed to 1,500 words a day.  No matter what, I made sure to type them up because I knew I could do that.  Pick a number.  Commit to it.  And then - write your goals down.

I love planning.  I love writing deadlines and daily writing tasks in my planner.  The process of writing everything down triggers something in me where I'm more motivated to complete my task.  That's why it's important for me to write my goals down.  Once I complete my goal, I get to feel the satisfaction of crossing the task off.

Your goals don't have to be crazy.  Or unreachable.  Or intimidating.  All they require is your commitment.  Be honest with yourself.  What can you do every day to make your writing dreams possible?  Figure it out, then write it down.  When you complete it, cross it off and smile.  Get a treat.  Take a walk.  You deserve it.

If writing was easy, everyone would do it.  It's such a solitary hobby/career, so advice is completely subjective and you can only do what's best for you.

Baby steps.  That's all you need.  And sooner or later, you'll have a first draft on your hands.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Play On: (NEW) Cover Reveal

So, Play On is a hockey murder mystery.  And the cover I created with Amazon's cover creator really doesn't reveal what the story itself is truly about.  Since it's slowly growing in popularity, I knew I needed a better cover that represented the work.

Luckily, I managed to find an AMAZING cover creator and, in order to save on cost, my husband toyed around with his iPhone and a pair of ice skates, and this is what we've all come up with:

.....
....
..
Are you ready?
..
...
....


Look at what a sick cover this is.  It's exactly what the work is about: hockey and murder.  There's more, of course; the importance of family, strong, independent heroines, sexual tension, hot hockey players.  But everything I want in its cover is encompassed and I am so, so proud of it.

Thank you, Katya.

Thank you, Frank.

(Katya is open to working with other for cover work.  If you're interested in contacting her, please check out her site: http://www.katyasarria.com/)

**You can purchase Play On here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Play On giveaway

Hey everyone!  Today is the last day to download your free copy of Play On on Amazon!  The link is here.

Have a great rest of your weekend, and Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy June!

Happy June, everybody!

First and foremost, thank you for downloading Awaken during the massive giveaway I had last weekend!  I was so in awe of your enthusiasm for it, and it's encouraged me to host similar giveaways because you guys deserve it.

I am hard at work outlining the final installment in The Dark Paradise trilogy.  I'll title it for you some time in the next couple of weeks - so stay tuned for that!

I also want to inform you that the next project I'm working on is Losing Myself in You.  It should be up for publication next month, with an advanced copy giveaway late June, early July, depending on when edits are finished.  I officially took it down from Fictionpress today, so it'll definitely be published some time soon.

I'm excited at what's to come!  I have so many plans, and I hope you continue to stick with me and see where it takes us!

Awaken: Review

A five out of five star review for Awaken!

"I find the prologue intriguing, the story weaving of myth & romance & adventure, enjoyable and the epilogue left me wanting for more ~ There was some parts that I didn't expect to happen but I love the build up of the 3 main female leads ~ The core for me is that love is still a force to reckon with ~"

I am so glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy Catalyst, the sequel!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Four Sides of a Triangle: Review

Another 5 star review for Four Sides of a Triangle!

"I found the book very interesting and I thought that the plot line was great, it used a mixture of ideas and twisted it all together to become a really great plot.The ideas that the author came up with were really original and hooked you in right from the beginning,I also loved the relationship between the characters and you could defiantly feel as if you were in their shoes! Overall it was a very good read and I would defiantly recommend it to others!"

Thank you so much for your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Awaken: Review

Awaken got 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon!

"I thought that the book was overall a good read, but I did find some aspects confusing, like the constant changing of scenes and I did have to go back and re-read some parts just to double check what scenario different people were at. Although I found it quite confusing I would recommend it, I did find Heather Myers other book Four Sides of a Triangle a better read."

Thank you so much for your opinion, and I'm glad you enjoyed the read!