Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An attitude of gratitude


This October marks my second anniversary as a published author, and since Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend, it seems a good time to be reflect back and be thankful for everything that's come my way in the last two years. 

Holy cow, do I have a lot to be thankful for.

Since Siren accepted my first book back in August, 2012, my life has changed in ways I never imagined. My nineteenth book will be coming out at the end of this month. I have readers and a growing fan base that constantly humble and amaze me with their support, their questions, and their enthusiasm for my books. I have gained some incredible friends, met and spoken to authors whose books i have enjoyed for years, learned so much about my craft, (including how much I still have to learn,) and been part of something utterly wonderful and often crazy.

There have been surprises too, some good, some bad, but all in all it's been another incredible year. I've gained far more than I've lost, and as I prepare to begin my third year as a proud romance novelist, I can only hope that this wild ride continues for years to come. 

To everyone who has come with me on this journey, who has supported me and my writing, thank you. I am blessed to have connected with each of you, in person, by email, in "the real world" or simply because you've enjoyed reading my stories. 

I love my life.

Thank you for helping me get to live it this way. I couldn't do it without you.


P.S.

There's one other thing I'm thankful for. This year, my father has relented. There will be no attempt to cook a turkey. We are avoiding the Hayes family traditional "turkastrophe" and going out for dinner.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Evernight Publishing's Birthday Blog Hop


~Roll out the Red Carpet ~ 
Evernight celebrates four years of publishing!

Join authors, bloggers and reviewers as we take a RED CARPET tour featuring Evernight's smart and sexy books. Slip on your virtual stilettos and walk the red carpet of award winning titles, spectacular reviews, and paparazzi style interviews.

Be sure to visit every stop on the tour where you can enter for a chance to win great prizes, including a new eReader, gift certificates, swag, books and much more!


Now to turn the spotlight on my smart and sexy series...






The Wilde Brothers Series is near and dear to my heart. When I set out writing these stories, I wanted to show my readers a glimpse into the world of law enforcement. Not the professional side, but the personal side. My father is a retired police officer, and I spent a decade working as a member of the civilian support staff in the same police department as my dad. I saw firsthand the personal challenges that come with trying to have a marriage and a family while working long hours and strange shifts in a dangerous career. 

It takes a special kind of bravery to love a man (or woman) in uniform, and the Wilde Brothers series is a nod of thanks to all of those who carry a badge, and the families who love and support them. 

The RCMP Police Service Dog Monument
Wilde Chase was also written in memory of one of my favorite police dogs, PSD Chase. He died in the line of duty and he was the inspiration for Officer Ben Wilde's K9 partner. 






* * * *


Another reason I love this series is the interaction between the brothers. They banter and torment each other as only siblings can, scoring points off of each other as they express their affection with a heavy dollop of sarcasm and the occasional threat of bodily harm.

When the Wilde boys get together, it's always a good time. To show you what I mean, I've included a brotherly bonding scene from Wilde Chase, Wilde Edge, and a special sneak peek at my next book, Wilde Ink.




Wilde Chase


The interior of Leo's  Bar & Grill - owned by the Wilde boys' father
...“Actually, we weren’t sure he knew what a woman was. He spends all his time hanging out with that mangy mutt of his.”

Kelly turned around and found herself looking up at taller, long-haired version of Ben. “You have to be one of Ben’s brothers. Do you all look alike?”

“Hardly. I’m much better looking. I’m Tag, by the way, and you are?”

“Out of your league, little brother,” Ben grumbled.

“I’m Kelly.”

“And I’m charmed. If you’re having dinner with Benji, I hope you’ll consider coming back here afterward and letting me buy you dessert?”

Ben growled under his breath and Kelly squeezed his hand again. She wanted him to know that he had nothing to worry about. “That’s a lovely invitation, but I’ll have to decline. Ben has me booked for dinner, dessert…” She leaned in closer to Tag and dropped her voice to a whisper, “And breakfast.”

Tag burst out laughing and winked at her. “Then he’s a lucky man.”

Ben moved in behind her, close enough she could feel the heat of his body through her dress. “Yes, I am.”

His brother threw up his hands in mocking surrender and backed up a step. “You can’t blame a man for trying.”

“Wanna’ bet?” Ben muttered.

“First one of you yahoos to throw a punch in my bar gets punted and won’t be allowed back in for a month,” a new voice announced.

“You are no fun, bro.”



Wilde Edge


Tag's first love - Tiffany
Tag had taken a second to will his dick to go back to sleep before walking back into his new suite. His entry was met with another round of applause. Even Dave was laughing while the rest of his bastard brothers were outright cheering.

“I’ve seen that look on someone else’s face recently, and it does not bode well for you,” Jared said between sniggers of laughter.

“Yeah, where?” Tag asked, heading through the open living space toward the kitchen. He needed a beer.

“On Ben’s face, the first night he brought Kelly to the pub. I remember it, because when he caught you flirting with her he glared at you the same way you were glowering at us a few minutes ago. Looks like Ben’s not the only possessive male in this family.”

“Damn right I’m possessive. And if I catch any of you flirting with Jolena I will do a lot more than glare.” He twisted the lid off the bottle and tossed it onto the countertop with enough force it skittered and skipped until it hit the wall.

He took a long pull of his beer and tried to get a hold of his runaway temper. He knew the guys were only teasing him, but somehow the idea of another man looking at his angel had him ready to commit fratricide. Suddenly he had a whole new perspective on what it must have been like for Ben the first time they’d all met Kelly.

Fucking hell, how could Jolena get so far under his skin after just one date?

The faint patter of footsteps coming down the outside stairs announced Jolena’s arrival, and he shot a warning look at his siblings. “Behave yourselves.”





Sneak Peek: Wilde Ink - Due out later this Autumn



Nick reached the bar first and announced his presence by slapping his open palm down on the liquor stained wood. “Hey, barkeep. I need two beers, a couple of menus and none of your usual shitty attitude.”

His brother Jared spun around, ready to do battle, then grinned when he spotted Nick. “Hey, stranger. I was wondering when you’d show your ugly mug around here again. I need you to distract mom from her new goal of finding me a nice girl to settle down with. She keeps drifting by and pointing out pretty girls, loudly.”

“Mom’s here?”

“Uh huh. Girl’s night out. Our sister-in-laws are here too. If you’re smart, you’ll escape before it’s too late.”

Shit.

Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. The guys would be easy to deal with, but if Wilde women found out he was here with Lia…

Lia chimed in at that point, sealing their fate. “Does your mom pick out girls for you too, Nick? I think that’s sweet.”

“No, she does not. That’s a special treatment she only gives to the sons too socially inept to manage to meet a girl by themselves, like Jared here. Jared, this is Lia Archer. Lia, this is Jared.”

Jared’s blue eyes lit up with interest and he leaned across the bar to take Lia’s hand. “Hello, Lia, nice to meet you. I hate to ask this, but have we met before? I’m certain I wouldn’t forget such a pretty face, and you look hauntingly familiar.”

Nick wrapped a possessive arm around Lia’s shoulders and shook his head in mock dismay. “Is that the best you’ve got? No wonder mom’s decided you need help, bro. Now, kindly let go of my girl’s hand before I get grumpy.”

Jared gawked at Lia and then Nick as he released her hand. “Yours? Not you too? Dammit, Nicky, we were supposed to stick together on this.”

“Sorry, bro. You’re on your own. Lia’s all mine.”

Lia snickered softly. “Did he just call you, Nicky? That’s adorable. I may have to start—”

“No. Not a chance. Forget you ever heard that name,” Nick grumbled, but he was inwardly grinning. He’d just staked a very public claim, and Lia hadn’t so much as blinked.

Progress.



***************************************************





Answer my question in the comment section for a chance to win (be sure to include your email address):

* Your choice of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Kobo Arc 7
* $100 Amazon GC
* $50 Evernight GC
* My blog prize: $20 Amazon GC


Question:

What profession do you find sexy? Is your ideal hero a man in uniform, a cowboy, a blue collar man or a businessman in a power suit? Let me know your sexy favorite in the comments.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Release - Lea Barrymire - Accidentally Yours




Accidentally Yours

Book 1 ~ Coyote Bluff Series

An Erotic/Hot paranormal romance
M/F HEA  |  70K words  |  Self pubbed |  Release date: 9/10/2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Musings on carbs, calories and...hot flashes?



A few years ago I was eating healthy, swimming and walking, and all was well in my world. I'd defeated all my cravings, found a lifestyle that worked for me, and was convinced I would be able to keep this up for the rest of my life. Then I got sick. Chronic pain, insomnia, the side effects from narcotic level pain meds...none of these things are conducive to eating well or exercising. It took nearly two years for me to get a diagnosis and find a successful treatment. By then, all my healthy habits had been tossed out the window. I was going to have to start all over again.

Over the course of this summer, I've been eating "better." Not brilliant, mind you, but better. It was a good start. A week ago, I switched to a low carb lifestyle. I'm coping, better than I expected actually. I am not calling this a diet, because diets end and and have more cheating than most celebrity marriages. Nope. This is a lifestyle. In it for the long haul, with good days and bad days. (And a vacation in Vegas in two months that totally isn't going to count at all, nope.) I'm already feeling the effects, more energy, good mood, all the good stuff that comes with positive eating habits. I'm also experiencing something new. Ketosis induced hot flashes.


Seriously. That's a thing. It's very real, and it meant that I spent last night writing with an ice pack on my head, wearing capris and a tank top, with all the windows wide open and guzzling water. And it went on for hours. On the plus side, it's an indication that my body has switched from burning sugar to burning fat. I can put up with a lot if it means the new eating habits are doing the trick. (I may need more ice packs though...)

Sometime soon, my building's elevator is going down for extensive repairs. Given that I live on the top floor, this means that the next stage of getting healthier will be hiking my fanny up and down the stairs for a few weeks. By the time the elevator is back online I'm hoping to be a few pounds lighter, and a whole lot fitter. Writing books is one of the joys of my life, but it doesn't do much for the figure...apart from helping it expand.



I



Monday, September 15, 2014

New Release - Nyght's Eve - Laurie Roma



It's Release Day for my dear friend, Laurie Roma's newest book! I got a sneak peek at this one, and I have to confess that Dare Nyght is my new favorite book boyfriend.  Congratulations, Laurie!






Blurb:

Daryk “Dare” Nyght is a man on the edge. As a trauma surgeon in the Army, he has seen his share of combat, but his high-risk lifestyle has left him burnt out and in desperate need of some peace. A man without a home, he heads to the small town of Breakers to get some rest and spend some time with a few friends, but what he finds there is more than he ever expected...

Evie Beaumont is a woman who seems to have it all. She has grace, beauty and wealth, but she hides from painful memories by burying herself in her work at the rescue center she runs. When these two lost souls come together in a clash of wills, the sparks between them are undeniable. Will passion be enough or can they find a way to open their hearts for a chance at true love?


Excerpt:

Stalling, Dare bent down and picked up a stick. Pulling back his arm, he let it fly and watched as all four dogs gave chase. “First, I want to say I’m usually not such an idiot around women. I think it’s just you.”

“Lucky me.”

He shot a look at her. “Why don’t we write it off as my stupid moment of the day and forget about it?”

Evie paused, considering. “Do you have many of those?”

“What, stupid moments? I’m male, so that would be yes. I think we have a quota each day or we just don’t feel right.”

“Hmm.”

He heaved out a sigh. “You...disturb me.”

That had her stopping in her tracks. Offended to her core, she glared at him with her hands on her hips. “Excuse me?”

“See, even the way you glare at me. That shouldn’t turn me on.”

“It...I...” She lost her ability to speak. Did he really just—

“Damn it, Evie,” he said as he took a step closer. “I shouldn’t have missed seeing your face today.”

Her mouth opened, then closed as she struggled to form a response. She took a step back, then another. “No. You said—”

“I know what I said.”

“Then we should probably just avoid each other from now on while you’re here.”

Dare took another step forward, closing the distance between them again as he slowly shook his head. “I’ve tried that. It doesn’t seem to be working.”

“Well, try harder,” she snapped. She started to take another step back, but stopped when she realized he had her retreating.

He burst out laughing. “Damn, woman. You sure do know how to stomp on a man’s ego.”

“That’s not all I’m gonna stomp on.”

Still chuckling, he wrapped an arm around her waist and jerked her to him, making her gasp. “Why don’t we try this instead?”

Dare’s mouth came down on hers, hot and hard. A low moan tore from Evie’s throat at the pleasure of feeling him against her. She knew she should protest, push him away or something, but her hands simply grabbed onto his shirt, needing something to anchor her as he took her under, into a sea of sensation.

Evie gasped again when he pulled her closer so she felt the steel hard spike of his erection again her stomach. It seemed to burn her through their clothes, and made her ache for more. He took advantage when her lips parted and pushed his tongue deep, stroking and tasting. Not to be outdone, she gave up fighting and met his desire with her own. She took the kiss deeper, tilting her head to the side, fitting them together like two pieces of a puzzle.

She lost herself in the kiss, taking and giving in equal measure. His other hand delved into her hair, tugging her head back and the small sting made her shiver. Time seemed to stop while they were locked together. Her hands slid under his shirt of their own volition. Feeling the hard contours of the muscles on his back made her knees go weak and another moan of pleasure broke free. She wanted to touch all of him, to stroke her hands over his hard body until he was as mad for her as she was for him.

This was passion.

This was wild, lust-driven need.

This was...insane.

Gasping, she pulled back. Sweet Jesus, what was she doing? Here she was, making out with Dare out in the open where anyone could see, and she didn’t even like the man...did she?

Dare’s grip on her tightened, holding her firmly in place when she tried to move away from him. “Hey, princess? You think you can tell your boys to stand down?”

“W-what?”

Evie blinked in confusion. God, his kiss had practically fried her brain. Shaking herself to focus, she quickly realized that all four of her dogs were issuing low, menacing growls. Looking down she saw they were all fixated on Dare, waiting for her command to attack.

“No, babies. It’s okay. Dare is a...friend.”

“You wanna try to say that a little more convincing? I’d like to keep all my body parts where they are,” he said wryly.

She repeated her words, resting her head on his shoulder and smiled at the dogs so they would understand she wasn’t being hurt. Three of the dogs relaxed, their tails wagging as they sniffed at Dare’s shoes, but Gawain still seemed to eye him suspiciously. “Smile,” she ordered, keeping her voice soft and calm.

Dare glanced down and tried to smile, although he was pretty sure it came out more like a grimace. A few seconds ago, he’d been damn close to dragging Evie down onto the grass with him. From the moment he’d touched her everything else had simply disappeared. She’s felt so right in his arms, and the taste of her was even better than he had imagined. Then he’d felt that itch on the back of his neck right before he’d heard the growls.

It had been a mistake to kiss her like this, without planning or preparation, but he just couldn’t help himself. And now he’d had a taste of her he wanted more. So much more. It would have been better if he’d walked away before he’d touched her, because now he wasn’t going to be able to.

He was a damned man now.

Fate sealed.


Buy Links


Amazon   |   Evernight  |  ARe  |  Bookstrand



Bio:
Laurie Roma lives in Chicago and mainly writes contemporary, romantic suspense, and sci-fi romance. She has always loved immersing herself in a good book and now enjoys the pleasure of creating her own. She can usually be found tapping away on her keyboard, creating worlds for her characters while she listens to music. Of course her playlist depends on her mood...but then again, so does her writing.

An avid reader of the romance genre, nothing bothers her more than annoying characters. Seriously, who wants a happy ending for someone that pisses you off? She loves tough alpha-male heroes and strong heroines that have brains as well as beauty. Her novels are filled with both passionate romance and down and dirty lust-driven interludes, as she believes both are essential to a good love story. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at laurieromabooks@gmail.com.


Stalk Laurie at:

Website: http://www.laurieroma.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00APDXM98

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laurie-Roma/179017578902388

Twitter: @laurieromabooks



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today's musings - Television and the attack of the "strong female" tropes


“So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Because you’re still asking me that question." ~ Joss Whedon



The first of the new shows are out on the networks, and so far, I’m underwhelmed. I wanted to like them, I really did, but I have yet to many shows that actually have  a decently written leading woman. Now I will admit I don’t have a whole lot of time to watch television, so I might have missed one (or two or four.)  But the trend is disturbing. That quote from Joss Whedon is from eight years ago. Eight years, and the networks are still struggling to figure it out after some writers showed how it should be done.

I don’t expect every woman to be Xena, Warrior Princess crossed with Martha Stewart, taking down bad guys and saving the day while baking cookies for the homeless. I do want to see smart, funny, capable women portrayed, and yet…there are few to be found. Instead I keep finding women either relegated to the role of “I shall stand right here and look pretty, hands fluttering and bosom heaving until the hero rescues me,” or “I swear like a trucker and have a heart of ice, nothing can touch my soul. See how tough I am as I stitch wounds and don’t flinch at the sight of blood or death. I am woman, hear me roar.”


Criminal Minds and Walking Dead are examples of shows that try to give their characters depth. They’re not walking stereotypes. Both the men and women have their weaknesses, strengths, fears and foibles. Not one of them is perfect. Does it always work? Of course not. But it works often enough that I’ve become attached to the characters and invested in their stories. There aren’t many shows I’m actually invested in right now. My down time is limited, and I won’t waste it on entertainment that doesn’t engage me.


Not every woman portrayed on television needs to be Black Widow or Buffy. They don’t need to be corporate lawyers or any job title with the words “high powered’ in front of it. What the do need to be, is smart enough to get through a typical day in the real world without requiring assistance or outright rescue.

Real female federal agents don’t need mentors to help them every step of the way. Female scientists can be brainy and approachable at the same time without tearing holes in the fabric of space/time. And someone please explain to the network studios that just because a woman can curse a blue streak, it doesn’t mean she’s tough. I have friends who are as gentle as lambs, and they both have vocabularies caustic enough to peel paint.


If you have a show you love, tell me in the comments and I’ll give it a watch. Or share your most hated stereotype or trope when it comes to how the “fairer sex” is portrayed on TV and the movies.