Author Friday – Cover Reveals, Blurbs, Release Dates

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_small There are new releases coming up, starting on October 22nd. Three new stories, the second in a series, and one re-release.

There are release dates on all except the re-release and Slide Down On Me. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating the website and giving you more information on my new series, Lone Star Sweets. (If you are so inclined, there is a Lone Star Sweets series page on Facebook that I’d love for you to Like)

I do have blurbs and covers for you, some of which you’ve seen, one or two that maybe you haven’t yet… Either way, here you go, in order of release…

 

 

Love and Tattoos, October 22nd…

Love&Tattoos_wlogo_200x300_300dpiA few years ago, Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in Love and Tattoos and he hasn’t looked back. Inked from head to toe, business smarts, and an affinity for loud music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.

Until the girl he can’t stop craving comes home.

Annie is lost and unsure how to find her way again. The corporate advertising firm she buttoned up her carefree personality for laid her off six months ago. Now her art is less than inspired, her sex life is nearly dead and buried, and the one thing worth having in the midst of her discontent is off limits.

One afternoon, Brax’s cockiness dares her to believe he knows her better than she knows herself and when he promises he can help her find what’s been missing, she reluctantly agrees to his little game. The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, and the temptation of ink… But, they’ve never really been that close. How could she possibly lose?

 

The Cupcake Cowboy, Lone Star Sweets Book 1, November 19th…

CupcakeCowboy200x300Dear Readers,

My name is Jackson Dawson and I am The Cupcake Cowboy. I own and operate a cupcake truck in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

Born and raised on a cattle ranch a few miles outside San Antonio, I can rope, tie, ride, drive, and wrangle with the best of ‘em. It’s what my father does and what his father did before him. It’s what I was supposed to do too, only… I didn’t want it.
One thing you should know up front, is that I’m more stubborn than a mule and when I get something in my head, I don’t let go until I get it done.

You see, when I realized my little sister had a way off the ranch by way of making people happy with our grandma’s sticky buns, well, I figured I could learn a thing or two about food myself. I liked eating and I knew my way around cooking meals so, how hard could baking be?

I soon found out.

I wasn’t cut out for sticky buns. In fact, I was a downright disaster at it. Sam suggested I go to culinary school, see what I might be good at. Turns out it was cakes and cupcakes.
Culinary school is also where I met Cass. She was my Introduction to Pastry Arts instructor and honestly, I wouldn’t have cared what she taught so long as I got to be around her. I was head over heels the second she smiled. Her enthusiasm was a sight to behold and it drew me in like a moth to a flame.

You’ll like her. Cass is a good woman, smart as a whip, knows what she’s talking about, and I didn’t want to listen. Remember? More stubborn than a mule…

And that’s where this book, begins…

Our story will hit the presses November 19th.

Jackson

 

Eli’s Promise, The Bar Next Door Book 2, December 31st…

ElisPromise72webTime and distance have a way of sneaking up on feelings thought long buried.

The Bar Next Door, Book 2

Five years ago, Eli held the hand of his dying lover and made a promise he never intended to keep. Find someone new to love? Be happy? Fat chance. Eli’s happiness died that day. He’s doing well to put one foot in front of the other, much less risk his heart again.

The only thorn in his side is Asa, part-time waiter at The Bar Next Door, who can’t seem to take a hint.

After years of carrying more responsibility on his broad, cowboy shoulders than most people twice his age, Asa knows what he wants when he sees it. Eli. Shadows haunt the gorgeous older bartender, who also happens to be one of Asa’s bosses, but Asa doesn’t care about potential complications. He only wants to banish Eli’s ghosts—and bring Eli back to life.

Persistence, a little impatience, and Asa’s very wicked mouth go to work on Eli’s grumpy, prickly defenses. But Asa may have to block the door to love with his foot—or his heart—before Eli slams it in his face.

Warning: Beware of stubborn cowboys, sticky bar floors and hot sexy showers, eavesdropping cooks and well-meaning friends, Irish whiskey, and a young man who doesn’t understand the word no.

Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

 

Slide Down On Me, Release Date Unknown…

slidedownonme_msrSmall town mechanic and tattooed, bad boy Travis keeps his profile low, his needs satisfied outside the city limits, and his business running smoothly. He doesn’t cause trouble and he certainly doesn’t want any, only fallen from grace heiress Arabella Drake owes him money for work on her car. Due to her current circumstances, she can’t come up with the cash needed to pay for repairs.

Their situation requires a creative solution and while Bella desires respectability from her former wild child ways, Travis desires something very different. He offers a proposal, one that will, if not pay for the transmission and labor on her car, satisfy his long held wish to have Bella Drake naked, writhing, and sliding down on every inch of him.

In the new year, you can expect to see the following books:

The Sticky Cowgirl, Lone Star Sweets, Book 2 – January 2014
Exposed, Masked 4 – February 2014
The Tattooed Barista, Lone Star Sweets, Book 3 – March/April 201
Arrested Holiday will be re-released as soon as it becomes available to me from Loose Id. I will keep you updated.

So, if you’re a fan of my work, you have things to look forward to…

~lissa

Author Friday – Release Day and Expectations

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallYes, you read that right. Another new release. This one is short, a story I wanted to tell. It’s emotional, very sexual, and all one scene. There’s depth and angst and the need to grow up.

There was a line in a movie, The Expendables. The first one. Jason Statham has a scene with a girl he’d been seeing. She was with another man and there are things said, powerful emotions, especially from him that tugged at me. He makes a comment in another scene “I was worth it”.  That grabbed my gut and the wheels started spinning.

A man you adore, you love, you crave with every beat of your heart, leaves for who knows how long, for who knows where, doing who knows what… Is he worth waiting for? Is he worth it? That’s what Wait For Me is about.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. One line. One word. One look. And my fingers and mind are off to the races, so to speak…

But will readers like it? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Do I care? Yes, I do, but at the same time, I have no expectations. The story is what it is. And I have tried to practice what I preach in the realm of reading. I want to enjoy the books I’m reading, but I’m also trying not to see too much, not to expect more than what the book is. I find that takes a whole lot of pressure off and does allow for more enjoyment. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t books I approach with this attitude that don’t disappointment and in the end leave me thinking “WTF was that?” but for the most part, it works.

When I wrote Wait For Me, that’s what I had in my head too. No expectations beyond the story I needed and wanted to tell. I kept fiddling with it. I kept adding to and taking away from. I kept trying to see something different, but in the end, it is what it is and I think that’s likely the healthy approach to it, to all books. It is what it is. In hindsight, they can always be better. They can always be something more. They can always morph and change and even become something completely different than we as authors intended them to be when we first started out… However, the trick is to let go and move on. Write the book we intend to write and let the readers have it. If they love it, great. If they don’t, that’s great too. We’ve moved on. We’ve learned. And we hope they’ll like the next one. (the blog WarriorWriters helped me see this)

Occasionally, there’s a hit. Occasionally, there’s one that we hit out of the ballpark without ever imagining that we could. Those are special. Rare. And make all the ones that were hit and miss inbetween, worth it.

There are stories we just need to tell…

Wait

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble

Melody Ashford has been in love with Vinny since she was sixteen. He told her to wait, come back to him when she was legal. Two years later she crawled into his bed and never wanted to crawl out. They spent one blissful summer together, before he left for boot camp and a life in the military.

Vinny comes back to their little South Carolina town as often as he can, then leaves again for parts unknown. The heartache when he departs takes its toll and Melody passes the time with work, friends, and casual companionship from men she’s known all her life.

If Vin were a better man he’d set her free. But it would kill him to let go of the one thing more precious than life…

Their love is volatile, and full of passion. No one has ever touched Melody the way Vinny does, but he’s never said the words, never asked the question that would ensure no one else ever had the right. He’s got secrets and missions he can’t share, and she’s got dreams of a life with him in her bed every night. Can they put both aside and simply love one another until the time is right, or is his request too little too late?

What about you? What kind of expectations do you have going into reading or writing a book? Do you have any expectations at all?

Have a great weekend…

~lissa

 

 

Author Friday – New Release: Trouble In The Making

troubleinthemaking200You’ve probably heard me or a handful of others talk about the fact that I have a new release from Ellora’s Cave today. It’s the first one in over two years, the last one being Ink Spots which was part of the Simple Need collection. And yes, for those waiting, there will be another one coming.

But for right now, I’ve given you Trouble In The Making.

It’s fun. It’s honest. It’s sexy. It’s got coffee. It’s personal. It’s fantasy, and it’s fiction. It is what it is and nothing more.

I approach books that I read on that basis and that basis alone. It’s very simple and keeps me from being pissed or disappointed when I reach the end. Unless there’s a massive cliffhanger and the author doesn’t intend to keep going…then I’m gonna get a little irked. But some books, mine especially, aren’t meant to be more than what they are, more than the title suggests. Maybe it’s part of living in the moment and being happy with what we’ve got. Sure, look forward to the next book or movie or coffee re-fill, but be happy with that moment, those characters, that action, that sip.

Trouble In The Making is about two friends, old friends, high school friends who’ve moved on, lived life, fulfilled dreams, had jobs, failed marriages, but who after a reunion and a reconnection, find there’s more they want and the first one to make the move, surprisingly, is Liz.

She begins to grow in this book. And the title, Trouble IN THE Making is about that. Her growing, her becoming… Her taking that step toward him and what she’s always fantasized about… Johnny Trouble.

I did some growing as I wrote this. I took a similar path as Liz in that I had to come out of my shell to do some things that were scary for me. She examines herself and Johnny tries to make her see herself as he’s seen her for years. Most times, dear reader, that is the hardest thing for any of us… Too see ourselves as others see us when they see amazing, beautiful, sexy, talented, etc…

Blurb:

Johnny Trouble. He’s a commanding presence in leather and tattoos, both on stage and off. He’s had more than his fair share of groupies and lovers, but it’s time for a change and he reconnects with the one woman whose memory has driven him crazy since high school. Liz.

She’s a quiet, shy romance author who likes her comfort zones. But when Johnny comes back into her life after years of living in the spotlight, Liz’s private fantasies shift into overdrive and she nervously asks him to fulfill them.

Just one weekend is all she proposes, but the sparks flying between them when Johnny touches her aren’t temporary. She’s the particular brand of trouble he wants in his bed, bent over, or crawling all over him. Forever.

He just has to convince her by any means necessary…

This title is available at Ellora’s Cave and will soon be available on Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

Read an excerpt

And don’t forget that I’m giving away a copy of either Keep It Together or Trouble In The Making to one of the commentors from Monday’s Music Monday post…

Enjoy your weekend and read something HOT!

~lissa

 

Author Friday – I’m Not Writing Fast Enough

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallI know you’re shocked. Two blog posts in a row. There will be a third tomorrow for Snippet Saturday so… It’s crazy! Kind of like the NFL Draft last night. Three Alabama Crimson Tide players drafted back to back to back. But really, there’s no surprise there. Just look at them… They’re tough. There were also three of my FSU ‘Noles drafted last night, two were back to back. One was a complete shock and surprise and I’m thrilled… I also digress.

The title of this is “I’m not writing fast enough”. It’s true. I’m not. You’ve also heard me say I’m pretty much starting over with this writing gig. It’s harder the second time around to boost the career than it was the first time. Why? Especially if I have some readers already? Because there’s competition. Lots of it. And there always has been, but it’s different now. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, and their sister Sally can self-publish. There’s also the knowledge of what the numbers or lack there of on rankings means. When I first started out, I didn’t know. I just knew I was thrilled when someone talked about my book or mentioned my name. Now, if anyone mentions either one, it’s lost in the sea of other names fifty different people are talking about constantly. There are favorites…among publishers, readers, book bloggers. So, knowledge can work against a writer and ignorance being bliss is sometimes the way to go. Just not paying attention, just burying your head in the books you’re writing. But even that doesn’t work for everyone anymore. Being visible is a key for some and not for others.

I know now what the numbers mean. I know when a book is selling. And when it’s not. But, what’s left to do? What works and what doesn’t in getting the word out so enough people go after it, especially if you’re not writing in a genre that everyone is buying? It’s easy to want to jump on the BDSM, the M/M, the New Adult bandwagon just so you can maybe get a sales boost.

Then of course there is the not writing fast enough. Day jobs. Kids. Home schooling. House cleaning. Exercise. Family. Sleep. Down time. I can comfortably write four thousand words a day. But sometimes that means ignoring everything else, especially if the words are having to be etched in blood with a razor blade. And I don’t have a husband who picks up the slack. Kids help, yes, but it’s still primarily me. Super mom. Super homemaker. Not so Super writing. So no, I’m not writing fast enough. I’m trying to hock my books on the street corners of the internet. But, when I see authors who do write fast enough, who are churning out books left and right, saying they desperately need sales, begging for them, or authors starting fundraisers in order to continue writing a series… This bothers me. Why aren’t these authors selling? What is it readers are looking for that these authors of multiple genres aren’t giving them?

I haven’t jumped on the street team bandwagon either. I’m not much of a bandwagon jumper anyway, but… Are the street teams worth it? Do they help boost sales? A writer can only write as fast as she or he can write and still write a good book. When readers are reading 3-4 books a day… Maybe this world of Buy Now With 1-Click is killing us… ( I know it kills my bank account)

It’s always been a crap shoot. If a writer is trying to make a living at this, they write. A lot. They publish. And they talk about their book constantly, but when the sales never take off, when the book sits stagnant, what’s a writer to do? Write something else. So they do and still the book sits, stagnant. They advertise, blog, beg for reviews, have giveaways, get swag printed up, and still… Nothing helps, nothing changes.

Some publishers have much better sales than others. But their wait times are a year or more for publication. Is it worth it? I don’t know. I’ve been pondering that question for months as I write. What I turn in this year to one of my publishers, won’t see the light of day until Spring of 2014 and on into 2015. Hard to make a living that way.

Some can make a living self-publishing. Some can’t.

And writing to make money is always the biggest crap shoot of all. When there are words that need to be written, not because readers are (hopefully) waiting, not because you need money to pay the rent or insurance (these are important no doubt), but just because the words need to get outside your head and on to the paper (or screen)… Writing is not a get rich quick thing for most writers. Most of us never see rich or even making ends meet.

So, is it that we don’t write fast enough? Is it that we don’t write the right thing? I write. I put out books. I doubt every word. But I keep at it. I don’t get the multiple contracts or the offers to submit on proposal, but I still keep at it. There’s a lot of what I don’t get. There’s a lot of what I don’t understand. There’s a lot that frustrates me. There’s a lot of second guessing and trying something new. There’s a lot of envy, some jealousy, some plain ‘ol dislike at the unfairness of things and the favoritism and the preferential treatment. In the end though, there’s a lot of writing. A LOT OF WRITING. A lot of putting words down. It might be in a blurb, a synopsis, but it’s getting the words down in order to get the book out. It’s writing and though I want to make money at it, though I want to sell thousands of copies, though I want to make it to a best seller list, though I want, I want, I want… What I need, what I started out to do five years ago, is write. And it might not be fast enough for readers or publishers, but I write. I might get distracted by what I don’t have, but I write. I might get bad reviews and swear I’m never going to write another word, I still write.

This is my job. It pays for the plumber, the transmission, the races, the concerts, the brakes, the tires, the cats, the birthdays, the holidays, the vacations I don’t get to take, the conventions, the promo, the groceries in the house, the gas, the golf lessons for my son, the porch railing, the cell phones, the coffee, the desperately needed night at the movies, etc… But even without a dime, I still need to write. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. It’s a compulsion, it’s an addiction. Just like coffee. Just like reading.

Maybe I don’t write fast enough. Maybe I don’t write what someone else wants me to write. Maybe I don’t write what everyone else is writing. Maybe I’m not writing to suit the reader’s preferences. But, I’m still writing.

And speaking of which…

~lissa

 

 

Author Friday – Toys and Research

So, let’s take a silent poll. How many of you have ever wanted to try out something you’ve read about in a book? You know, those things that bind and buzz and fill and tease? It’s okay. You can raise your hand. I won’t tell a soul.

See, reading fires the imagination. It transplants us into the characters or the scene or even into short term belief that we belong inside that world.

But when you read a romance, more specifically an erotic romance, do you ever find yourself curious about what we writers have come up with for our characters to do and experience?  I know I do.

And just where do we get these ideas for specific funtime toys? Well, some of us have drawers, bags, trunks, closets full of them. Others of us go shopping, online or in a store.

My default, my first choice for…this kind of uh…research, is Adam and Eve. I have a store, brick and mortar down the street, but a larger selection can be found online at http://www.adameve.com/. I can, if I let myself, spend hours looking through vibrators, plugs, lingerie, wands, bondage tape, cuffs, and topicals like oils, lubes… Okay, ummm. Where was I?

In some of my earliest erotic romance reading, authors used real world items…food, strings of pearls, and other objects. Authors, including myself, still use these, but when I want something that uses batteries to heighten sensation, or scented/flavored oils to increase the heat, it’s time to aim the mouse over to a fun, adult toy store like Adam and Eve for some…research.

Several of my books contain toys of one sort or another. Sweet Caroline starts off in an adult store and she’s looking at clamps. There’s also the discussion of glass dildos. Cracklin’ Rosie has a heroine who loves cute bra and panty sets. In Twisted Up, Justin introduces Ella to the fun of rope and massage wands. And in more recent books, the use of pillow packets of lube are mentioned quite a lot.

One particular thing I was searching for in the last couple of weeks was…edible oils and lubricants, especially in cinnamon flavor.

I always find it fascinating how creative we try to be, how inventive, how much we seek to push the envelope of comfort zone with our readers when it comes to sex toys. I think they are fun and add a unique element to sex, while others do not. It’s a way of opening the mind, trying something new without being found out. Packaging is discreet. Payment is easy. After that, all it usually takes is some time and if you’ve been so inclined…batteries.

So, have you? Are you even the least bit tempted?

~lissa