Friday, December 21, 2012

New Release: Quickies Vol 1

Looking for something to read while you have a few days off this holiday season? Pick up the discarded wrapping paper later. The dishes can wait too. Take a break and read for short while.

QUICKIES VOLUME 1 had three stories in one book. Like a box a chocolates, you can read one and save the other two for later. Or not. <smile>

In "Her Best Mistake", Lisa Dennison ends up in bed with the wrong man. Or maybe she doesn't. Finn Roberts certainly doesn't think it was a mistake.

In "Teach Me", Leslie Mercer returns to her hometown to visit her old boyfriend and finds out his younger brother has had a crush on her for years. Grayson has been waiting for this chance all his life.

In "Cruising Speed", the Larson men from the Art of Love Series are matchmaking without realizing it. A friend of theirs, Kia Anders, sells a bike to another friend, Mikkel Gunnarsen. Their instant connection is bad timing for both and yet too exciting to ignore.


Click here to read a short excerpt from each.

Price $2.99
66,834 words

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple (available via ibooks)

Smashwords

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Excerpts from QUICKIES Volume 1

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Here are some short samples of the three stories  contained within Quickies Volume 1 (releasing soon).

In "Teach Me", a summer vacation for an elementary school teacher ends up in her helping an old boyfriend from high school with a head injury. The surprise is not Murphy being stuck in the past, but rather in meeting back up with his younger brother, Grayson, who's had a secret crush on Leslie for years. Not quite a cougar story, but definitely a younger man/older woman theme. 

"Her Best Mistake" is the story of a woman accidentally getting involved with the wrong brother. I love stories about mistaken identities. Plus I always wanted to do one about getting twins mixed up. And yes--this is another cougar story. What can I say?

The last piece is called "Cruising Speed". I wrote it out of guilt for not finishing "Covered In Paint" this year, but had great fun writing my favorite kind of older woman/younger man story. I wanted fans of the Art Of Love series to have a little something this year. So here is a definite cougar story, but with a motorcycle twist. You see I'm a Harley and the guy in my life is a Triumph GT. So I definitely know what it's like to be an older woman who feels like she's moving at different speed. And that's why I had to make Mikkel so irresistible that Kia just could not turn him down. The Larson males and their wives all have cameo appearances.

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Snippet from TEACH ME

Leslie Mercer swung her blue Honda Civic into the old familiar driveway. She turned off the car and then just sat in the blistering July heat trying to remember why she’d felt compelled to give up her precious summer vacation for Murphy Webb. To say she didn’t want to be back here in Brenham, Texas would be an understatement, but to be back and have to deal with Murphy again seemed a worse fate.

Flipping the mirror down to check her face, she raked fingers through dark bangs that had gotten windblown on the drive from College Station. Despite the intense heat, she had needed fresh air more than cool, so the windows had been down for most of the trip. Now she was sticky and dirty, but her mind was at least clear.

She felt sorry for the Webb’s family trauma and truly sorry that a head injury had caused Murphy memory problems. Unfortunately, her memory was still very clear.

It seemed like yesterday, instead of eight years ago, that she’d caught Murphy pounding himself into Sheila Watson in his car the weekend she’d left for college. Since Murphy had declared that he wanted to marry her just the night before, the memory still stung something fierce. She had moved on certainly, but Leslie had no desire at all to take a walk down that particular old lane again, and yet here she was sitting in the car outside his house. Okay, you agreed, she reminded herself, so let’s do this.

Leslie tried to look for the positives. This was what she was constantly telling her fourth grade students at Sul Ross Elementary to do all the time. So she did what she always did to sort things out. She made a list in her head.

Positive #1: It would be good to see Mrs. Webb again. She had always been fond of her. Murphy’s mother had been much more domestic than her own mother, filling the Webb house with the smell of cookies baking or dinner cooking. Leslie had hung for her as much as for Murphy at times.

Positive #2: She wouldn’t mind seeing how Murphy’s brother Gray had turned out. He’d been fourteen the last time she saw him. Now with the ink barely dry on his civil engineering degree, she’d heard from his mother that he’d been hired by a firm in Bryan, a sister city to where she lived.

Deciding that those two positives balanced out the negative of seeing Murphy, she climbed from the car, pulled her wet clothes away from her sweaty body, and walked to the front door. Mrs. Webb swung it open and threw her arm around Leslie before she even let her inside.

“Oh, bless you, Leslie honey. Thanks so much for coming. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.” She pulled Leslie by the hand into the house. “Come into the kitchen. I just made some fresh ice tea. Gray is out back. I can’t believe you cut your beautiful long hair. I guess school teachers would find long hair hard to keep up.”

“No,” Leslie said. “I just like my hair short now and again. It grows really fast.”

“It must be at least four or five years since I last saw you. You still look as good as ever.” Mrs. Webb put the ice tea on the counter near where Leslie stood, arms folded.

“It’s been eight years,” Leslie said easily, not meaning to be unkind but feeling a need to emphasize that it had been a long time.

In the mudroom off the kitchen, Leslie heard the screen door open. A giant yellow and brown dog rambled through the kitchen moments later.

“That’s my Lucas,” Mrs. Webb said.

“Well, aren’t you a beauty,” Leslie cooed, stooping to pet the golden retriever/collie mix behind the ears. He licked her in happy abandon as she praised him. She giggled over the wet welcome, thinking it was most excitement from a male that she’d seen in a while. Sighing over her dormant love life, she hugged the dog in sincere appreciation.

Hearing shoes stomping off dirt in the mudroom, she raised her eyes to the tall, blond man who walked through the kitchen doorway moments later. Her tongue literally curled against the roof of her mouth at her first sight of the now very grown-up looking Grayson Webb.

Attractive wasn’t the right word for him, she thought, with his wire frame glasses and his outdated haircut. However, the maleness certainly radiated off him to fill the kitchen. Thinking back to the fourteen-year-old who used to talk her ear off, Leslie appreciated that Gray’s boyish energy had morphed into the man now staring at her.

Snippet from HER BEST MISTAKE

Finn Roberts tried to stand, but quickly found his legs wouldn’t hold him up. Whatever intelligence allowed him to finish two masters and one doctoral degree before the age of thirty obviously did not extend itself to helping him make good decisions when it came to his wicked brother, Eric.

“What the hell was in those drinks?” Finn demanded, grabbing the table to keep from pitching forward and falling on his face. Dizziness engulfed him and his head spun. Thirty-six hours of flying had taken its own toll. Alcohol had only worsened the resulting jet-lag.

Eric laughed, stood, and put an arm around Finn to hold him up.

“Look at you, Finn. Two girlie drinks and your ass is all but on the floor. God, I’ve missed you. I wish you’d quit digging in the dirt and come home to Boston.”

“Digging in the dirt?” Still feeling ill, Finn had to work to put the proper amount of outrage into his voice to keep up with the insult game about their chosen careers. “Well, at least it’s better than gambling for a living.”

“What can I say?” Eric admitted. “All those people with money to invest and I just love helping them with it. It keeps me in BMWs and Italian shoes. What are you doing with all those college degrees of yours, pretty boy? T-shirts and sandals don’t exactly scream success, Dr. Roberts.”

Eric laughed as he guided a grumbling Finn out of the bar.

“The dig site is in a very remote location. There’s nowhere in the middle of the desert to wear a damn suit. I told you I hadn’t had alcohol in two years, yet you have me doing shots within minutes of my plane landing. How do I let you talk me into acting so insanely? You’ve been doing this to me all our lives. Lord, I think I’m going to be sick. I just hope I hit your expensive Italian shoes when I spew.”

“Don’t you dare. I like these shoes,” Eric said as he laughed harder, halting just outside the lounge. “Okay. Stop walking a minute. Get your breath.”

Finn stopped, closed his eyes, and took a few deep, steadying breaths. When he opened his eyes again, Eric was still there holding him up, eyes full of both love and mischief.

And that’s how he always did it, Finn decided. His brother wore him down with a wicked smile and love in his eyes.

“Remember I’m bigger than you. If I fall, I’m taking you with me,” Finn warned.

“Come on, Dr. Roberts. Let’s get your inebriated ass to the room so you can sleep this off. My condo is still a renovation construction zone, so I went all out and booked you a suite here at the Copley under my name. I’m sure it won’t have the ambiance of your desert tent, but it comes with a few perks I think you will appreciate. In the morning, I’ll come by and take you to breakfast if you’re up to it. If not, we’ll make it lunch.”

“Where are you spending the night?” Finn demanded.

“You’re such a worrier, Finn. I have plans to sleep elsewhere,” Eric explained, favoring his serious sibling with a knowing grin. “Besides, there’s only one bed in the suite anyway. I’m not pulling out the sofa, even for you.”

Snippet from CRUISING SPEED

Tucking his hair behind his ears, Mikkel Gunnarsen drew in a deep breath and opened the envelope that had been shipped by courier to his office. He pulled out the sheaf of papers and saw the final judgment in his divorce on top. It stung a bit to see the divorce made a reality, but not as much as it had hurt living with a woman who confessed she had never loved him.

It had taken a year and the sacrifice of a good part of his investments, but now all his ties to Siddha were finally broken. He was a poorer man but also a free one, Mikkel decided, for whatever that was worth. At thirty-six, the end of his only long-term relationship was the kind of loss he had no idea how to recover from. Though after a year of grieving and watching Siddha wait restlessly to remarry, there wasn’t much left to miss.

His grandmother’s clock chimed on the hour from its home on his office wall and announced his next appointment was about to happen. Mikkel shoved the divorce papers back into the envelope before locking it away in his desk drawer. He would look at everything later. Maybe he would do so while he had a large glass of vodka. Right now, he had to meet an old friend and his beautiful wife. He was quite pleased to know his wild-hearted roommate from college had thought of seeking him out to help with his family’s financial needs.

Michael Larson and he were the same in many ways, and not just because their names meant the same in both their ancestral languages. They each had a restless soul, endlessly searching for peace from their striving. Mikkel figured if the wicked Michael could find someone as charming and wonderful as Carrie, then why couldn’t he find someone equally wonderful? Compared to Larson, he was an easier man and had less of a roving eye. In the last year of living like a monk, he had discovered how strong his beliefs were, especially after his ex had left his bed and gone to another man’s.

Despite his disappointment, he was determined not to dwell on his suffering. Being a positive thinker in most areas of his life, Mikkel had no intention of letting the unfaithful woman in his life ruin his romantic future. He preferred to believe that Siddha and he had simply grown apart in the decade since they had married. He truly felt no animosity. All that remained was a desire to move on as she so obviously planned to do.

Smiling at several motorcycle magazines still littering his normally pristine desktop, Mikkel grinned and scooped them up as well. Michael was the only Larson male who wasn’t a biker, and because of that was likely to give him royal hell for his intention to own a motorcycle again if he saw them. So far though, all the bikes for sale in the magazines were far too small for him, even if their used prices did fit his new and more restricted budget.

The magazines were still fun through, Mikkel decided, as he gathered them up. They inspired him to keep dreaming. And after Michael and Carrie left, he was going to spend some quality time surfing the web and seeing what he could find there. Despite the hefty certified check for the final settlement that he had handed over to his attorney earlier in the week, he had promised himself the bike anyway. His new freedom was going to start with recovering the one pre-Siddha activity he had loved. First though, he had to find a motorcycle big enough to hold his six-foot-six, two-hundred-eighty-pound bulk.

But once he had the perfect bike, then he was going to start to look for a warm and willing woman. He would look for one with a loving heart and the ability to erase the sultry, unfaithful Siddha completely from his mind.

Mikkel grinned at the lustful thought of being intimate with a woman again, one of the many that were haunting him daily now. Perhaps his divorce was making him giddy with relief. He was now free enough to look.

Of course to find a woman, he would probably have to start dating, which was a small problem. He truly hated the social necessity of going out with strangers and the rest of the awkward ritual. Dates usually ended for him with either scaring the woman with his intensity or annoying her with his personality. He knew he was loud, big, and way too bold in speaking his thoughts to be comfortable for most females. Siddha had been an exception, which was a good part of why he had married her first chance he got.

Mikkel sighed as he gave himself a short pep talk on his way to the lobby. “Maybe you will find a bike sexy enough to lure the perfect woman. Two birds, eh Mikkel?”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

THE SHAMAN'S MATE Blog Tour & Giveaway

Even if you mostly read my contemporary books, I wanted you to know that I'm doing a giveaway for a new release that you might just find interesting too. To celebrate the release of The Shaman's Mate, my new Fantasy/Paranormal book, my awesome friend over at Pimpin' Reads blog has helped me arrange an awesome book tour.

There will be a chance to enter a giveaway on each blog along the tour route, so you can sign up at each location on the date in the list while checking out their offerings. Winners will get a free ebook copy or signed print copy of the book.

Each of these sites is hosted by at least one avid book reviewer and they will give you the scoop on great books. I saw some other giveaways too, so check them all out.



Dec 3:  Pimpin' Reads
Dec 5:  United By Books
Dec 10:  Page Flipperz Ya

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Have you read Carved In Stone? Check this out.

In preparation for writing "Covered In Paint", I am offering the first book in the series for free. If you have not read this book, this is the perfect time to do so. If you have read it, this is a great time to download into the Kindle, Nook, or other ereader in preparation for the holiday season.

Enjoy.

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Book Description

Even though his sons tease him about not dating, and his ex-wife thinks he is still hung up on her, 53 yr old retired principal and stone sculptor, William Everett Larson, is glad he waited to date until he found 47 yr old high school art teacher, Jessica Daniels. He admires Jessica for her courageous art and for how she has dealt with her life. As far as Will can tell, the only part of Jessica damaged by her past is her heart. Jessica assures Will she is incapable of lasting love, but Will refuses to believe it’s true. Yes, it is a problem that the baggage from Jessica’s past makes her see dating as merely recreational and men as interchangeable, but when she offers him temporary sexual fidelity, Will decides to take what he can get until he can find a way to convince Jessica she is still capable of love.

Jessica Daniels is mostly happy with her life. Her daughter is graduating college. She is a few years away from retirement. Life is good even though lately she has stopped being interested in both her art and men. Since Jessica has never been the kind of woman looking for that one special man to settle down with, she normally dates and enjoys all the men she wants. What's the harm with doing so if it suits her? Will is certainly good-looking and charming, but she’s not sure he’s worth the trouble of an exclusive relationship. She likes riding his motorcycle, seriously admires his art, and thinks he’s mostly a great guy. But after thirty years of being single, Jessica knows that most relationships just don’t work out for a woman with a past like hers. When Will keeps insisting on sleeping with her, she finally gives in, but Jessica knows in her heart it will never last.


Excerpt Chapter 1

Will Larson watched the batter bubbles burst before he flipped the current batch of pancakes. When he heard the motorcycle roar up outside, he knew Shane had finally arrived for breakfast.

“Good morning,” Will said, smiling as his youngest son came through the door sniffing the air like a hungry dog.

“Banana walnut pancakes,” Shane said on sigh, walking into the kitchen of his brother Michael’s house. “Those are still my favorite.”

Will tossed a grin in the direction of his son and then smiled when Shane walked over and dropped an affectionate kiss on his unshaven cheek. Shane looked like his blond-haired, Nordic-looking mother, but had definitely inherited his father’s size, exceeding Will’s height by several inches and the width of his shoulders even more. Will knew it would take the same quantity of pancakes he and Michael ate together just to fill the twenty-seven-year-old up, so he poured out batter to make another six.

“So how’s the graphic novel business? Has the Winged Protector solved any more crimes or saved any more damsels in distress lately?” Will asked companionably.

“Nah. His alter ego, Eric Benton, is mostly a monogamist. He’s still enjoying the last damsel. I did get offered a deal for action figures last week,” Shane said, going to the coffee pot and pouring himself a cup.

“Action figures? That’s cool. Was it a good deal?” Will asked, impressed that his son’s creative work was gaining popularity. He was doubly glad now that he hadn’t let Ellen discourage the boy’s comic book drawing too much.

Shane shrugged. “It’s a toy company working with my publisher. My agent said they’re offering enough to buy a small house, plus a percentage of sales over time. I guess that’s pretty good.”

Will stopped and stared. “Pretty good? That’s great, Shane.” He went back to flipping pancakes, smiling and proud.

“I like the idea of getting a house,” Shane said. “I’m tired of condo living.”

“When you get your house, maybe I can come live with you for a while. I think your brother is tired of me already,” Will said, wanting to laugh at the pained expression on Shane’s face. It would be hard for his youngest to bring home his one-nighters with his father in residence. Will was seriously tempted to do it for a while just to disrupt Shane’s habitual womanizing.

“Yeah, I am tired of you,” Michael confirmed, walking into the kitchen, stretching and scratching the six-pack abdominal muscles he worked hard to maintain. It had been harder since his father had been in his house and doing most of the cooking.

Will laughed at his oldest son’s comment about being tired of him because it was half teasing and half truth. The month he’d been living with Michael had been an interesting social adjustment for both of them, but Will had been relieved to have some company for a while, even if it was reluctant. The last year had been a lonely one for him.

When he looked at Michael now and smiled, Will had the same thought he always had that it was like looking in a mirror showing him a picture of his past. Michael had inherited Will’s muscular build but not his height, which he complained about still at thirty-four.

At five-ten, Michael was average in stature, but his wide shoulders, broad chest, and muscled arms only emphasized the passionate nature promised by his dark brown eyes and equally dark hair that hung nearly to his waist. Will’s Celtic heritage had branded his eldest hard.

“Why are you tired of me?” Will asked, grinning.

“You’ve been moping around my house, not dating, and barely working on your art. I’m sick and tired of being greeted by a giant marble penis every time I go out to the courtyard to work. Carve a damn leg or something, Dad. No matter how artistically impressive, a giant marble penis by itself is still creepy as hell,” Michael complained, making his father blush.

To soften his words, Michael laughed and patted his father on a shoulder, sniffing the pancakes with appreciation. He loved to tease him but would never really criticize his father’s art. His mother had done enough of that when she and his Dad were married.

Shane was laughing so hard at his brother’s comments that coffee was threatening to come out his nose.

“So how long has the marble penis been leading its solitary existence?” he asked, pulling a coffee cup out of a cabinet to pour Michael a cup.

“Practically since Dad sold the house and moved in here,” Michael said.

Shane laughed harder as he handed his brother the coffee.

“Thanks,” Michael said, savoring that first bracing sip. “I think Dad’s depressed, Shane.”

Though Michael was joking with his brother, there was a serious element in his tone as well. Despite his father’s amazing financial success as a sculptor, his mother had never thought his father’s art was as important as his other work. As the oldest child, Michael clearly remembered all the fights his parents had had about the time his father had spent carving. Selling the house, which was also the place his father was used to working, had been as bad as the divorce itself.

“Stop talking about me in the third person. I am in the room, not deaf, and not depressed,” Will denied, sighing over their concerns, which were way too close to his for comfort. “I just haven’t felt like carving. Throw a cover over it if it bothers you so much, Michael.”

“Maybe the state of the statue is trying to tell you something, Dad,” Shane suggested, his amused but serious gaze on his father’s face. “Maybe the marble penis isn’t the only penis leading a solitary existence. The divorce was over a year ago. Mom and Luke married a few months after it was final. You’re not even dating yet.”

Will turned off the griddle and set the mountain of pancakes in the middle of the table he’d already set for three.

“Listen, Mr. all-but-dissertation in Psychology, when you actually finish that million-dollar doctorate at Johns Hopkins, then you can analyze me and my man parts. Until then you’re just my smart-ass son. Sit and eat—both of you laughing hyenas,” Will ordered, only partially minding their amusement at his expense.

“Dad, you know Michael and I love you. At least let me give you my best dating advice,” Shane said, sliding into the nearest chair.

He heaped six pancakes on his plate and covered them with a lake of syrup before he paused and schooled his voice into the businesslike tone he had learned from the man he addressed.

“Shave your head, get an earring, and ride your bike around town. Your body is great for a man over fifty. You could be picking up the kind of women I do. Look, I got a tongue stud. You need to get one of these. Women love this kind of stuff.”

Shane stuck out his tongue to show his father, who only rolled his eyes. He heard his brother snickering around a mouthful of pancakes, but merely ignored his jealous sibling.

Will studied the tongue stud with a mixture of horror and shock.

He looked at Michael, who only laughed, shrugged, and went on eating. His eldest son was crazy in love with a woman he couldn’t get along with for more than two minutes at a time. Yet even though the woman wasn’t in his life the way he wanted, Michael wasn’t always out chasing away the good memories with nameless, faceless blonds like Shane favored doing.

His oldest son had only done that kind of mindless dating when the woman he loved got married. When she was divorced, Michael stopped chasing blonds and resumed chasing her, which is the stage he was going through currently. While it seemed fruitless to Will to want a woman so badly who so obviously didn’t want you back, he still never worried about Michael as much. At least Michael cared deeply about someone. Will wasn’t sure Shane even had the capacity to genuinely love a woman.

“Shane, you’re missing the big picture. Do you even remember their names, what they did to you, what you did to them? Do you ever want to go back to any of them so bad you ache?” Will asked.

“No. But I’ve not been looking for that kind of experience,” Shane said, shrugging away his father’s disapproval.

Will pointed his fork at Shane. “Yes, you are. I raised you. You know I felt that way about your mother because I made sure you did. So I know you’re at least subconsciously looking for that whether you realize it or not. There is nothing like finding that one incredible woman who changes everything. There is nothing like exploring the full range of lovemaking with an equally devoted partner.”

“What happens when that one incredible woman changes so much that she leaves you and marries a younger man? Do you just give up?” Shane asked sharply, daring his father to answer his question less than honestly.

He and Michael both knew their father had taken the divorce very hard. They knew he had sincerely and faithfully loved their mother. Neither of them had really understood what had gone so wrong between their parents that it couldn’t be fixed. The divorce had not been easy on any of them, but their father was the one who hadn’t moved on.

“Look—every relationship is a risk in some way. I had thirty-three good years with your mother. We grew apart, and she fell in love with someone else. I don’t know why these things happen. They just do,” Will said, getting up and refilling his coffee. “I am sad about the divorce but not really depressed. When the right time comes, I’ll find someone and start dating again. I have an open mind about it.”

“Good. When?” Shane asked, watching his father walk back to the table and sit down heavily with a resigned sigh. He wanted to laugh at his father’s irritation with him, but he held it in. There was too much at stake to risk his father thinking it was just a joke.

“When I’m ready and I meet someone, I will start dating again. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for the right woman to show up. I don’t need to fill the interim with tall, leggy blonds half my age,” Will said firmly.

“Fine,” Shane agreed easily, his tone dripping with fake resignation. “I’ll take care of chasing all the leggy blonds half your age, Dad. Geez, you’re hard to satisfy. No wonder Michael is tired of you.”

When his father glared at him, Shane turned to look at his brother, his gaze full of wickedness. “What kind of women does Dad pawn off on you?”

“None—and I’m totally pissed now,” Michael said, putting as much anger in his voice as he could over the urge to laugh. “Dad’s always liked you better, Shane. When you buy your house, he’s definitely moving in with you.”

“Oh, shut up and eat—both of you,” Will said, stabbing his pancakes viciously, tired of being harassed by his adult children. “I’m getting my own damn place as soon as I can.”

“When? Mom said you gave all the money from the house sale to her,” Shane said sadly, shaking his head side to side in pity. “I guess that means you’re broke. That marble penis better grow a body soon.”

At the vicious swearing following Shane’s comments, Michael shook his head at his father as well and made sympathetic noises with his tongue. “Did you ever even use the f-word when you were a principal, Dad? I don’t remember you swearing in front of me or Shane, until he ran over your Harley with his car.”

Michael used his fork to point accusingly at Shane, whose glare matched his father’s, and made him want to laugh.

“Thanks, Benedict Arnold. Did you have to remind Dad about me killing his bike?” Shane asked, pancakes all but falling out of mouth. Backing over his father’s beloved Harley was the only thing Shane had ever done in his life so bad that his father had been truly disappointed in him.

“You’re the one making Dad mad this morning, not me,” Michael said, laughing at Shane’s pained expression.

Since it was his house, Michael reasoned he could say anything he wanted to defend himself under his own roof. This included shifting his father’s irritation in his brother’s general direction and away from him. His obvious success at having done so made his smile even wider.

“I’m definitely getting my own place soon,” Will said to his pancakes, even as both his sons laughed harder. “And I’m not inviting you two over for breakfast.”

Shane pointed his fork at his brother. “If I never get banana pancakes again, you are a dead man.”

Michael grinned and gave his brother the finger to let him know how afraid he was of him and his threats.

“I am serious,” Shane warned, stabbing the air between Michael and him with his fork like it was a weapon.

Will rolled his eyes to the ceiling and shook his head. Sometimes he wished they had both taken more after their less passionate mother.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

eBooks, Print Books, Upcoming Books

When is the next book coming out? That's the question I've been seeing most lately. I wish I could say it will be tomorrow, but it's going to be December for the next contemporary romance offering. Writing time has been tight this year because I have been busier with the business side of this work more than I ever imagined being. I've recruited help now and see this getting better over the next few months.

But as if I wasn't already busy enough for two people, over the weekend I had to buy a new computer which is like starting over in writer-land. I've spent two days rebuilding my files from a backup. I found unanswered email in strange folders. I'm surprised some of my writer friends are still talking to me.

I keep trying to change the anticipated release dates on my blogs and website, but it occurred to me that the I needed to get the word in a broader way. Soon I will have a monthly newsletter (yet another big thing that takes a ton of time). Unfortunately, I'm going to have to fess up that the next book in the Art of Love series is not going to get to happen this year after all. But don't hate me yet, I do have a shorter piece in the Art Of Love series that I will be releasing in December.

eBooks:  I spent the summer updating ebooks. I hired a new proofreader and we are making another pass through everything. We have finished the Never Too Late series and are currently starting the Art Of Love series. This is a time consuming, but very worthwhile endeavor. I want to release the best copies I can.  In preparation for working on the second series again, I had the AOL covers refreshed on existing books and the new cover made which is in this blog post. Isn't the portrait of Brooke Daniels pretty? I love it.

Print Books:  I am in the process of putting ALL the books in print. It takes me about a week to get each one ready. It takes the cover artist about that much time to do the cover. We've been working on this task since early October. The Never Too Late series is almost ready. So DATING A SILVER FOX will be available in print shortly, if you're planning to give it to your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, or older, sexy friend for Christmas. I didn't realize how big DASF was as a novel until the print version came in at 302 pages without an excerpt. Wow. No wonder it took so long to finish it. That is one big book.

Upcoming books: Okay, so here is how things look from a writing perspective at the moment. I'm going to work from the future back because next year I will focusing on the contemporaries for the first six months, which I know many of you will be happy to hear.

Releasing between February - May 2013

NEXT GAME I PLAY (Book 2 in the Next Time Around series)
DATING A COUGAR II (Book 6 in the Never Too Late series)


Releasing in January 2013

COVERED IN PAINT (Book 5 of the Art of Love series)

I have started this book, but can tell already that I am not going to finish it in two months. It's going to be January 2013. My apologies to those who got their hopes up for the holidays, but wait....I won't totally disappoint you completely.

Please keep reading.

Releasing in December 2012

QUICKIES Volume 1

I'm going to be releasing an anthology of three shorter stories near Christmas. One features characters from the Art Of Love series. The story is about some friends of Will and Jessica's: a man who is learning to ride a motorcycle again, and a woman who is learning to take chances again. I'll put out samples around Thanksgiving so you can have a taste.

So while I won't get Brook and Drake's story finished by December, this smaller piece will ease everyone back into the AOL series (and hopefully my guilty conscience about neglecting it up to now--lol). I feel I must warn you that the stories in this anthology are a tad more steamy than my usual fare. I'm getting ready to release the hottest one of the three in a friend's print book this month or next (more about that later). Maybe these hot stories will warm you up over the cold winter months.

For the cross-over readers who read my other genre work, in November of 2012, I will be releasing a new paranormal/fantasy novel that it's taken me a couple of years to finish. It is called THE SHAMAN'S MATE. Then in December, I will be releasing THE HEALER'S KISS (Book 4 in the Forced To Serve series) which is another book that has taken me many months this year to finish. If you want to know more about either of these books, visit the Demons, Dragons, and Space Opera blog.

Have a good week. I hope I've given you one or two things to look forward to in upcoming months.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Art of Love Series Update: Book 5 is Next

There were many comments submitted about which book readers wanted next, but in the end, it leaned really heavily in the direction of the Art of Love series. So the next book I am going to write will be "Covered in Paint" which is Book 5 of the Art of Love Series. I don't have that cover yet, but will update this post when I do. However, in preparation for getting started on Book 5, and to do more justice to some of the stories, I had the covers refreshed.

Over the last year, I had many readers find this series either accidentally or by contacting me. Many wrote to me exclaiming "I didn't even know you had a second series!". After hearing this often, I decided to work with my artist to get the second series to look a little more familiar as my work.

I loved the covers of both Books 1 and 3 because they fit the stories so well. I especially loved the one for CAPTURED IN INK because it was perfect for the storyline (I swear my artist reads my mind). Anyway, for those two books, we changed fonts and colors, but basically kept the art. Books 2 and 4 got complete facelifts and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

I have to say seeing the fresh covers has revved me up again for this series. I'm really looking forward now to  revisiting the Larson men and their wives to see how things are working out after all the weddings in COMMISSIONED IN WHITE. I started re-reading CARVED IN STONE last week. I just love Will and his sons. Their scenes together are some of my favorite writing. Then Monday, I wept through CREATED IN FIRE. The storyline with Carrie's parents always chokes me up. Next up is Shane and Reesa in CAPTURED IN INK, one of my all time favorites. Everything in the story was a surprise to me.

For those who might not have read this series, I am including an overview in this post. Throughout the month of October, I'm also going to be re-release the excerpts on the blog along with bigger photos of the book covers. If the writing muses are kind, I'll have an excerpt of Book 5 ready to go out early November.

Speaking of Book 5, it is going to be called COVERED IN PAINT as a nod to Drake's art, which is portrait painting. This will be Brooke Daniels and Drake Barrymore's story.

You all know that I write a lot of "cougar" romances, but this book is going to be about an older man (Drake 42) falling in love with a younger woman (Brooke is 31).

Frankly, I don't know how I'm going to handle writing this book. This kind of relationship has just as many challenges and not all of them about age difference issues. To research, I may have to talk with my mother who habitually dated much older men before finally marrying someone 16 years her senior when she was 47. I'm marrying someone 13 years my junior. Yeah...I didn't get that from my mother...lol.

Description of the Art of Love series

This series starts with three books about a family of male artists consisting of a divorced father, William Everett Larson (53), and his two adult sons, Michael Larson (34) and Shane Larson (27). I genuinely like all three of these men as heroes. Each man has his own appeal and the woman he connects to romantically is equally interesting. Book 4 is a novella that I wrote because I didn't have the heart to make current fans of the series wait a whole year for closure on so many loose ends. It is primarily filled with weddings, business openings, and the setups for Books 5 and 6, which involve from additional family and friends from the new relationships from earlier books.

The Art Of Love series has many funny moments, but while humorous, it also hits on some very serious topics. The heroine in each book has some serious flaw and/or challenge in her life which the hero has to become willing to take on for their relationship to work. To help each couple with their struggle, the Art of Love series focuses on the role art plays in everyone's lives and the family relationship between the characters. 

These books are a bit rougher emotional ride as a read, but as always, I can guarantee you a happy ending in each one.

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Click the Art of Love link on the top of the blog home page to find buy links for your favorite ebook retailers.

Thanks to Dara of LFD Designs for Authors for her patience and help with the awesome new covers!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dave Thome talks about Fast Lane Trilogy (Guest Author)

UPDATE October 4, 2012:  Since this interview was first posted in 2011, Dave has decided to expand the original book "Fast Lane" into the Fast Lane Romance trilogy. He has renamed the book to "Palm Springs Heat" by DC Thome. It has been climbing the romantic suspense charts. I'm looking forward to Book 2 coming out and wondering what Dave, I mean DC Thome, has in mind...

Click on the new cover to see it in the Kindle Store.

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Like many other Man Writing A Romance blog fans, I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book, the romance novel Dave has been so diligently working on and blogging about since I have known him.

Having recently read the book myself, I would dub this "romantic suspense" because I was hanging on the edge of my seat through most of it. Oh, there's a romance in the story--a really good one--but there is a lot more. I kept getting interrupted with phone calls while I was reading it and told Dave I had to call people back and apologize for being rude when I was done.

In this post, I asked Dave to talk a bit more about Lara who is the heroine in Fast Lane.

Donna: I know you were struggling with determining the optimal physical size of the ideal heroine. Did you decide if her size mattered?

Dave: I know that size can be important to women. I firmly believe it’s possible for everyone to find that someone who either doesn’t care about size--“too big” or “too small” or whatever. I guess that’s part of the romantic in me, but I see evidence of it every day. That in no way, however, diminishes the depth of feeling women have about their  bodies, height, weight, or whatever.

In this book, the size of the heroine, Lara, does matter. The central male character, Clay, is an international playboy-type whose trademark is “The Rotation,” three beautiful women who are with him 24/7. Every six months, one member of The Rotation is replaced with a new one. So Lara has to appeal to Clay on that level.

Or so she believes. Turns out, Lara’s not 100% typical of The Rotation. She’s older and less busty than previous members.

Buy from Amazon
Women’s clothing sizes have always perplexed me. I mostly know what my mom and my wife wear in terms of letters, not numbers. Plus, I’ve been told the numbers are notoriously unreliable, so that a woman who’s a 10 wears an M in one brand wears an L in another. But, as a man, I get that. Sometimes XLs are  too small and XXLs big. Or XXLs are just right on one part of the body, but too big on another.

Anyway, I had regular input from lots of women while I was writing Fast Lane--writer’s group members, people who read my Man Writing a Romance blog, my wife Mary Jo--and there is a point in the story when it becomes necessary to say Lara’s exact size. I had typed in 8 as a placeholder, but I asked all my audiences if that sounded right, or if 10 or some other size would be better. The responses were sometimes funny and always enlightening.

Some women said, “Why not 12 or 14 or 16?” I know some of those women. I believe they wear 12 or 14 or 16. One woman I know who’s very petite said, “Why not 4?” This demonstrates, I think, the complexity of the issue. Women who wear larger sizes are self-conscious about being “large,” while women who wear smaller sizes are self-conscious of being “small.” But I’ve know tall men and short men who experience similar emotions.

The third group of respondents I refer as the “story pragmatists.” Their answers were usually like, “Lara has to fit into that world, so she’d have to be an 8 or a 10, even a 6.” It was their answers that made me feel confident in making Lara a size 8.

Donna: What did walking in Lara's shoes creatively teach you?

Dave: Okay, here’s something I always knew, but didn’t really think about from day to day:  It’s  much harder in our society to be a woman than a man. I’m talking about things like clothing sizes, what clothes should be worn with which other clothes where and when, makeup, body hair, hair styles, shoes.

My wife almost never wears makeup. It was like that when we met 32 years ago, and it’s always been that way. I’m glad. I’m not convinced women who wear lots of makeup have to.

Here’s a funny story: My daughter decided when she was in college not to shave her arm pits or legs. I found myself not really caring about her legs--though I do love the way freshly shaved legs feel--but appalled by her pits. I’m not the kind of dad who would make a fuss about this--it’s her body, right? But I actually did say something, trying to be as discreet as possible and making it clear it was just my personal opinion. I realize there’s no reason for me to have this bias, but I do. (I felt okay mentioning this because my daughter was raised to be confident in herself and to stick by her guns.)

I think it again demonstrates how complicated these issues are. One time, the women in my writer’s group said they were glad they weren’t young and would therefore “have to” wax and spray tan and get nail extensions and do a bunch of other kinds of maintenance--and here I was, having experienced almost the opposite  philosophy. I guess what crowd you run with matters.

Donna: Now that you've finished your romance, what's next for you creatively?

Dave: I have a novel called Chick Flick that I wrote before this book. Like PSH, it’s funny. But unlike PSH, it’s pretty dark and puts its central characters through a truly hellish night of the soul. It also has a male protagonist, but one woman who’s read it said that for all its darkness, it’s romantic at its core. I’m having a couple people read it to see what they think.

In the meantime, I’ve written twenty screenplays, including six that have female protagonists. I’ve already started updating one, Metal Mom, which is about a woman who resumes her heavy metal singing career when her kids are in high school. It was optioned a couple times and even had Michelle Phillips signed to play the lead. It never got made, though, so I’m going to take it and a few other scripts directly to the people while I’m working on Chick Flick.

Donna: Just one more FYI about Dave, he's published his blog to a quick downloadable book that encapsulates his best posts for a year. This is also available for sale at Amazon. Click here to see the blog book. The cover on it is hysterical--I mean "amazing". Sorry Dave....You look great. Really.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Release: Death by Bourbon by Abigail Keam

Along my indie journey, I have met an interesting variety of authors writing in many genres. One of the newest authors I've met is my guest author this week and a recent addition to my local writer's group. Abigail Keam is author of the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries. The book I'm featuring today is her fourth book in the series.

You can find purchase links on Abigail's website.

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Book Description

Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party. Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon. That would be upsetting enough, but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice. It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.

To make matter worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, is decides to move to London, Franklin takes a powder and Jake starts singing a different tune. Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone. Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 "Death by Bourbon"

Doreen Doris Mayfield DeWitt tapped her tapered glossy ruby nails on the gleaming end table while watching the woman pace before her. Although she felt like swiping the woman with her claws, she remained passive, watching as her guest spewed forth countless words trying to explain her situation.

“You see, Doreen, I simply can’t go on like this. I mean . . . well, I didn’t mean to fall in love with Addison. It just happened. So I’m going to have to renege on our little agreement. It simply wouldn’t be right.”

“You mean the agreement where I paid you to seduce Addison and provide me evidence of adultery so I wouldn’t have to give him part of my fortune according to my prenuptial with him?”

Lacey Bridges batted her large blue eyes. “Well, I never asked you why you wanted me to seduce Addison.

Is that why? You want to divorce Addison? Well, that’s wonderful because I want to marry Addison. See – it works out for everyone.”

“Except for evidence of adultery or abuse, I would have to pay Addison a substantial sum of my money – my family’s money – if I initiate the divorce.”

“You could always say that he hit you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” snapped Doreen. “No one would believe that.”

“Well, I don’t know what to say. This is a pickle for you.”

“Let’s start with the money I’ve already paid you and the video you were supposed to make for me.”

Lacey laughed. “Well, the money is gone . . . for clothes, you know. And the tapes – well, I had to destroy those, you see.”

Doreen sighed. “Do you always have to start a sentence with ‘well’?”

“What?”

“Never mind.”

Lacey simpered. “It wouldn’t do to insult me, Doreen. I haven’t told Addison the truth yet, but I will . . . if you keep pushing me.”

“Afraid that he might recoil from such a gold digger as you?”

“He would forgive me but it would slow up the divorce, that’s for sure.” Lacey searched in her purse for lipstick. “Well, the way I look at it, we can all get what we want. You get rid of Addison and I get him with a little bit of money. Oh, come off it. I’m sure you can spare some

cash for Addison. Surely you want him to go out in style?” Lacey opened her compact and smeared on frosted pink lipstick. Dropping the compact and lipstick back into her purse, she stood satisfied with both her appearance and negotiation. “I’m sure we can work this out to our mutual satisfaction. All of this depends on just how badly you want to divorce Addison, doesn’t it?”

Lacey placed a card on Doreen’s antique end table. “Here’s where you can reach me. I’m sure you’ll see that I am right after thinking about it. Don’t rise, please. I’ll see myself out.” She air kissed Doreen and then pranced out of the room.

Upon hearing the front door slam shut, Doreen stared into the fireplace, losing herself to the dancing flames . . . thinking, thinking, thinking.

She’d be damned before she gave one red cent to that worthless English hustler she’d married. Absent-mindedly she fingered the heavy gold ring on her right hand until she finally felt its weight pull on her. Lifting her hand up to her face, she opened the ring’s secret compartment and smiled. Good thing she had always liked history or she never would have purchased a ring supposedly owned by Lucrezia Borgia.

Doreen laughed. “Now what would Lucrezia have done in my circumstance?”

It was very late when Doreen finally went to bed but not before she had concocted a plan. She would get rid of Addison and his obnoxious little bitch too. And no one would know that it was she who had pulled the strings of a perfect murder about to take place in the calm green rolling hills of the Bluegrass.

Kentucky is not called the dark and bloody ground for nothing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Release: "Breaking Through" by Teresa Reasor

It's always great to feature books in a series I read myself. Not long ago, Teresa Reasor visited my blog and did a guest post about 'alpha males' in her novels.

For those of you who bought and read "Breaking Free" Book 1 of Teresa Reasor's romantic suspense series, I have excellent news. "Breaking Through" Book 2 is now available for sale. I'm trying to help Teresa get the word out, so tell your friends, too.

"Breaking Through" is now on my Kindle and...sssshh...listen...is that it calling "read me"? I think it is. Enjoy this sneak peak while I'm gone. I have to go clear my calendar because I am way behind in my reading list.

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Blurb/Description

What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?

When Ensign Brett Weaver is accused of murder, he knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?

Tess works hard to live up to her father's expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father's lap is a major scoop. But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?

When Tess’s father is kidnapped, Brett’s team is deployed to find him. At the same time, a leak in the investigation puts Tess and Brett’s lives in danger. Will Brett be able to break through the lasting effects of his injuries and prove he’s once again a battle-ready SEAL? Or will he and Tess lose everything at the whim of a vengeful killer?

Excerpt from "Breaking Through"

Brett strode down the hall. With every step, he seesawed between excitement and anxiety. Reaching his destination, he paused outside the office door. Maybe they were going to allow him to return to full duty. Naw—Doc Stewart would have let him know. He was doing speech therapy one day a week, his psych therapy twice a month, and taking a language class. Goddamn. What else did they want him to do to prove his fitness for duty? How much longer was he going to have to wait?

Brett took a deep breath to offset the quick flash of anger tightening the muscles of his face. He tapped at the Captain’s door with a little more force than was necessary.

“Enter.” Jackson’s muffled tone carried through the barrier.

Brett opened the door, reached the desk in two strides, then snapped to attention. Jackson continued to look over some paperwork on a clipboard while Brett maintained his posture.

“At ease, Ensign. How do you feel about public speaking?”

Dread hit the pit of Brett’s stomach with the punch of a grenade launcher. Ah, shit. He spread his feet, folded his hands behind him, and focused his attention out the window just beyond Jackson’s shoulder. “I think it should be left to priests and politicians, sir.”

Jackson studied him, his expression impassive. “Our public information officer has developed a staph infection and has been hospitalized. He was scheduled to deliver a speech about SEAL team training to the San Diego Women’s Political League. You have been chosen to take his place this afternoon.”

Shit! “I’m not much of a public speaker, sir.”

Jackson eyed him. “It’s important for us to keep our best foot forward in the public eye, Ensign. Especially now.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ll be attending as well, but the bulk of the information will be coming from you.”

“Yes, sir.” Another damned test. That’s what it was. “Permission to ask a question, sir.”

Jackson’s eyes narrowed. “Permission granted.”

“How many ladies will be attending, sir?”

“About two hundred.”

Two hundred women he could humiliate himself in front of by forgetting the word he wanted, or not being able to come up with a substitute. Great, just freaking great. “Where is this meeting to be held?”

“In the Crown Room at Hotel del Coronado. You have two hours to prepare, Ensign. You’re dismissed.”

Brett focused on Jackson’s face. The son-of-a-bitch had probably waited until the last minute to call him in. “Yes, sir.” He saluted, swiveled on his heel, and left Jackson’s office. He strode down the hallway to the elevator. The doors opened and he stepped in. Blessedly alone, he painted the air blue with a stream of swear words that would have had his schoolteacher mother slapping him upside the head. Why the hell didn’t he ever forget any of them?

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Bio:
I was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading was instilled in me when I first learned to read in Kindergarten at Paris Island, South Carolina. Books were the friends who traveled with me during the many transfers my father's military career entailed. When I grew older, it was a natural transition for the love of reading to become a love for writing. Though I've been an art teacher and an artist for over twenty years, writing has always been my first love and my passion. And I know that will be true for the rest of my life.  ~~ Teresa J. Reasor

Teresa Reasor is also the author of Highland Moonlight, Captive Hearts,Timeless, Breaking Free (Book 1 of the SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers), and Breaking Through (Book 2 of the SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers).

"Breaking Through" is currently available at:  Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Smashwords
It will also be available at Apple, Kobo, and other ebook retailers in a few days.
Available in print at Amazon.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vote for the Next Book I Write

In October, I will begin writing my last contemporary book for the year.

Amazon Buy Link
I was going to try to squeeze in two more, but given the size of books I produce, I just won't be able to do that with my current schedule. I have a fantasy book in edit right now. I also have a surprise contemporary book coming out in December that I haven't talked about yet, but more about that later.

To recap, in 2012, I refreshed THE RIGHT THING and added some new content to it. I think most of you have read that book by now. It's been out for a long time.

I also wrote two brand new books from scratch. I'm including covers for those in this post so you can look at them while you read this.

Okay. Here are my choices for the next book I write:

COVERED IN PAINT (Book 5 of Art Of Love series) -- This is Brooke and Drake's story, and the one I've been intending to write next because I've been away from this series a long time. There is no cover yet, but I am getting ready to request it soon. All the second series covers are getting ready to receive a tiny facelift, so I was waiting until that point. I'm very excited to refresh the covers with some new colors and new art for them.

Amazon Buy Link
NEXT GAME I PLAY (Book 2 of Next Time Around series) -- This is Max and Taylor's story. I am having great fun with this lighter, funnier series and I have a few chapters already done in this one. Writing these books makes me laugh so I'm looking forward to going back to it. I already have the covers for Books 2 and 3. You can click the series tab at the top of this blog to see them.

Amazon Buy Link
DATING A COUGAR II (Book 6 of Never Too Late series) -- This is Jane and Walter's story. I wrote a few chapters just so I could include an excerpt in DASF. My intention is to do this book early spring 2013, but would not mind working on it now. I also don't have a cover for the book, but I have some great ideas. I recently found something I liked a lot. Since this book is bringing round the "cougar" theme again, I wanted it to be special.

Those of you who talk to me know that I really wish I could write all three this year. Unfortunately, even though I am finally indulging my geeky, science fiction side, I still haven't managed to clone myself. Whichever book I write will be the sixth book from scratch this year. Yes, I write fast, but this is seriously all I can do.

Perhaps the time it took finish DATING A SILVER FOX has left me feeling a little ambivalent about choosing one because I'm dreading the investment of so much energy--lol. I laugh because all books do that to the writer. However, if you want to tell me which one you want to read most, feel free to leave a comment. This is the perfect time, and maybe something you say might inspire me. I live for words.

In the meantime, I will continue to consult the contemporary muses as I work on my latest in the FTS series. I've found a way to release snippets of scenes during the process of writing the books now. I'm doing it with Book 4 of the FTS series if you want to visit the Demons, Dragons and Space Opera blog for a peek.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Release: "Tempt Me" by JM Madden

In July, I featured and reviewed JM Madden's book "The Awakening Society" for the INDIEpendence Day Blog Hop. JM is one of my favorite new authors and I'm happy to be able to share that "Tempt Me", Book Two in that series is now released. If you could see me, I'd be doing a happy dance. On second thought, maybe I'm glad you can't. Anyway....here is the description and an excerpt she sent me to share. Click photo for Amazon link. Look at bottom of post for a couple others.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Amazon link
Becoming pregnant when she ‘Awakens’ Harrison Walker for the Society, Tonya Hughes is in a serious predicament. She’s overjoyed about the pregnancy itself, especially since doctors told her it would be impossible for her to ever conceive. But Harrison is way too young to be a father, and his family is outraged by the possible social ramifications. So, they do what they think is best and hide the pregnancy from him.

Harrison Walker is in love with Tonya Hughes, and livid when he realizes he’s been deceived about the existence of his own child. Yes, he’s young, but he can’t do anything about that. What he can do is fight to prove to Tonya he can be part of a healthy, loving relationship even at his age.

But will Tonya be able to trust the man he’s determined to grow into?

EXCERPT from "TEMPT ME"

Harrison grinned and skimmed his hand up her calf, rubbing lightly.

“You’re very tense, and you don’t need to be.”

“I don’t mean to be,” she admitted. “But my body has other ideas.”

He was quiet for a good while, and Tonya wondered what he was thinking about.

“I would like to know how you’ve been with the pregnancy. Have you been sick or anything?”

She laughed. “Like you wouldn’t believe. It’s not so bad now, but when I first realized something was wrong, I couldn’t keep anything down. It’s better now, but the weight is really starting to add on. And my feet and legs are feeling it.”

He continued to rub her legs, looking thoughtful. “What else? I’m looking for details,” he admitted.

Tonya snorted. “Okay. I have this disgusting craving for mayonnaise right now, even though it gives me the worst gas in the world.”

She giggled, embarrassed that she’d told him, but he seemed to appreciate it.

“I can spend hours at the park, watching little kids run around and trying to imagine what mine will look like.” He sent her a sharp look. “Ours. Sorry. I’m just used to thinking about everything on my own.”

”It won’t be just you now. It’ll be both of us, and eventually the baby.”

It had been just her for so long that the reassurance caught her off guard and tightened her throat with emotion.

“Thank you Harrison.” She waved at her leaky eyes. “This is something else that’s changed. I’m pretty good at being a hard-ass, but my emotions are just out of control right now. I cried for an hour the other day because the parking meter downtown wouldn’t take my change.”

“From what I’ve heard, that sounds pretty normal though, right?” His blue eyes squinted in a smile.

“I think so. The doctor said so anyway. It’s just disconcerting being out of control of your own body.”

His glance flicked to her chest. “I have to say, there do seem to be some advantages.”

Tonya laughed, appreciating the masculine mentality of always reverting to looks. “Yes, there are. My boobs have never been this big before. And they’ve never been so…” her voice trailed off as she realized what she almost said.

Harrison leaned into her further, and she knew from the intent look in his eyes he wasn’t going to let her stop there. “They’ve never been so, what? Sensitive? Needy?”

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FREE at Amazon

Book One of the series is still free if you haven't read it. JM Madden's books are available at any of your favorite ebook retailers.

You can also find "Tempt Me" and other JM Madden books at the following ebook retailers:

Barnes and Noble

Apple (via iPhone, iPad, etc)

Kobo

For more information, see JM Madden's website.

Friday, August 24, 2012

No sex, some sex, and great sex

Readers often write to debate with me the sexual background of my characters. I think this is because the average age of my readers is 40+ in a group with ages ranging 20-86. So I hear a lot from 40 year olds wanting to know how true my situations are. I don't blame them for being concerned. I woke up and became a real person in my 40's too.

Are you sure there are women who go long periods of time without having sex, they ask? Yes, I sadly answer. Sometimes exchanges get a little heated when we get to arguing about men being in the same category too. Both in research and in real life, I have determined that being in a sexless relationship or having no one in your life to be sexual with is not gender specific. I have a friend who's new fiancee had gone almost a decade without being sexual until he'd met her. They are both in their early 60's. I have another with an attitude similar to Lydia's about liking her life like it is, so why should she change? Maybe she shouldn't. I certainly don't profess to be an expert on such matters, but given the nature of my work, I lean to thinking no one should be without love and connection.

I suppose it just isn't talked about often, or the information doesn't make it into the market for mass consumption. Sexuality is not really what you read about at AARP which I have officially given up hoping to offer readers something other than the dreary stories of how it sucks to grow older. I've moved on and now get my more positive information elsewhere.

A recent HuffPost50 article called "Married And Sex: Scheduling Intimacy Can Improve Both contained the following statistic:  "According to a 2010 Kinsey Institute report, 22 percent of married women between the ages of 50 and 59 had not had sex at all in the previous year and 20.6 percent of married men in the same age group reported being in a sexless marriage."

I have to say that after all the reading I did for Dating A Silver Fox's 60+ yr olds, nothing said in that article surprised me.

When I was researching to create the characters of Lydia and Morrie, I read a lot of books about sexuality in the 50's, 60's, and beyond. I read a biography about a 64 year old who advertised (in a somewhat sane way) for men to date and sleep with because she said she didn't want to die having gone without sex for 30 years. While you and I might never do something so drastic, you have to admit that was a pretty brave thing to do at her age. Her reason? She was following that voice inside her, the same one many of us have, that there was supposed to be "more" to life.

Recently, I saw the movie Hope Springs (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones). It was about the loss of intimacy in a relationship over time and about how hard it is to get it back. So if you want to see what the reality looks like, the movie captures it well. I don't want to add any spoilers here, but I will say I found it way more poignant than funny.

Janice Epp, Ph.D., and Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality in San Francisco says "couples in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are not used to looking at sex as valuable. They've had all these years of putting sex behind everything else." That statement really resonates with me as being true. I've done it. I've seen friends do it. Intimacy requires a desire to turn the love you feel for a person into actions that will please both of you.

The article recommends scheduling time to connect, be intimate, and hopefully have sex if it gets that far. The advice reminded me of dating. You arrange time, put on your best of everything (clothes and personality), and spend connecting time with the person hoping it moves to hugging, kissing, and yes--sex. Great sex.

Some readers see my books as idealistic fantasy and that is fair. But I also think my stories are examples of passionate possibilities regardless of age. A few readers have even written to say I've inspired them. I hope this is true.

But I also recommend checking out the article in HuffPost50 for some practical advice.


DATING A SILVER FOX is available at:

 Amazon US    Amazon UK    Barnes and Noble    Apple ibooks (via your device)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Never Thought I'd Live To See BC for Men

I may start this as a new series of posts because lately I've come across many articles talking about things I never thought I'd live long enough to see really happen. This one in the New York Times is an article about birth control for men. We're talking pills, implants, the whole enchilada of choices.

Scientific Advances on Contraceptives for Men

Want to hear the ironic part? This bothers me much more than I imagined, even though the men in the experimental program seem quite upbeat about it. I can't put my finger on why, but I don't think I like this idea after all. Now I am ROFLMAO at myself. Where is the feminist in me now?

I went to Health Department at age 17 to put myself on the pill which was not all that easily available in the mid-seventies. I joined "Planet Parenthood" because I was determined to not be yet another member of my family who "had to get married". One of the nurses there was in my church and I still remember how it felt to worry about what she would think about me. I stayed on the pill off and on until I left the baby business and got a tubal ligation at age 27 after pregnancy number four, which I still think is one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. It liberated me. I've watched BC chemically challenge friends and daughters. We all know it was never the best idea, but it did offer the ability for females to be sexual creatures without bringing unwanted children into the world.

What do you think about men taking a turn and joining the madness?  Frankly, I find myself worried about how it would chemically alter them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Release: DATING A SILVER FOX

I finished Lydia and Morrie's story. Now I'm anxious to see what you think about it. 

 
DATING A SILVER FOX is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for $3.99.

Click the links below to purchase:

Apple ibooks (via your device)

It should be available at other ebook retailers within the next few weeks.


Short description:

Lydia McCarthy doesn't want any man in her life, much less an incorrigible old flirt like Morrison Fox. 

Widowed in her forties, she likes being single and independent. She has carefully created a life that suites her. She truly can't see any sane reason to risk her peaceful life for someone who says he wants to make wine out of her one minute and then embarrasses her with innuendo the next. 

Does it matter at her age that Morrie might be her last chance to find true love?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

82-year-old Model Proves It's Never Too Late

After reading Dating A Cougar, my story about Alexa Ranger, a 50-year-old retired model turned business woman, one of the first questions readers often ask me is what inspired me to write a romance featuring a much older character than is typically found in romances. My first reaction is usually to laugh because they're asking me, a confessed 54-year-old. Sure I could write about 20 and 30-year-olds, but why would I do that when I can write stories closer to my current experience? I've never been a person who looks to the past much anyway.

Coming Soon
Sometimes I joke in my answer. Sometimes I try to be serious. Occasionally, I can move from answering to showing readers something that might explain my motivations much better than I ever could with words. You see, every time I feel old, someone like Carmen Dell'Orefice shows me that I'm not.

She is an 82-year-old fashion model who looks incredible and still models. In this video she talks about something pivotal in her career that happened to her in 1957 which was a year before I was born. She talks about how models today are homogenized with Photoshop and she wonders what it means that physical individuality is no longer valued.

I find people like Carmen fascinating because they just continue doing what they want to do and to find ways to make it work. She is like some exotic creature from beyond me trying to impart some genuine wisdom which is struggling to penetrate my jaded, cynical brain. She still talks so pleasantly about life which is damned inspiring all by itself.

As I do final edits this week for Dating A Silver Fox, I have been thinking of Lydia McCarthy, my 67-year-old heroine and wondering how I'm going to answer questions about her. If readers thought Alexa was controversial as a romantic heroine at 50, what will they think of Lydia?

Then today I found Carmen who is Lydia's senior by a decade and a half. Now I'm not worried at all.

There was also a Huffpost 50 article about her if you want to read more and look at some of her work.


Carmen