Catching Up

It’s Friday! Yay! Of course, the weekends for me are just more of the same as my days of the week so…

I have emailed all the authors that were giving ebook presents with the list of names of their winners that were picked through Random.org. If you are on this list, you should be hearing from the author beside your name within a few days.

They are:

Carol B. – Reveal Me from Cari Quinn
Terri Lee – Entangled Trio from Cat Grant
Patti – Old School from Eve Cassidy
Maria D. – any one available title from Selena Blake
Elaing8 – Bullhandler from Morgan Sierra/Dee Carney
Janeen – Wrapped Around Your Finger from Fallon Blake
Susan C. – His Client from Ava March
Leni – any one available title from Madison Chase
Amanda – any one available title from Mari Freeman
Jolene – any one available erotica title from Cara McKenna
Slav – any one available title from Samantha Kane
Miranda – autographed print copy of From Thirty Days to Forever from Shayla Kersten
Eve – any one available title from Vivian Arend
Donna – any one available title from Eliza Gayle
Nancy G – any one of my available titles
Estella – any one of my available titles
Cindy L. – any one of my available titles

I have been working this week on Forever in Blue Jeans. It’s going slow. If any of you recall, about 3 months ago, the word count was very close to complete, however now if you look to the sidebar you’ll see it’s not anymore. I have deconstructed it. About 3-4 times. I didn’t like it. As I’d said before, I was trying to write a safe book, but that just wasn’t working for me. I ended up hating it. It was work and it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t a story that was working for me as the writer. I have talked endlessly to my dear friend Fallon Blake about it and I know she was ready to throttle me. I took a long break from it and when I came back, I had a new plot. I took the old plots apart, kept a few things, but tossed so much more and it’s being completely re-written now. I don’t think 35,000 is going to be the final word count. It’ll be longer, I’m fairly certain, but how much longer, I’m not sure. Just know that I’m working on it. Blue is going to get her story written if it kills me…

You’ll see I’m also slowly, very slowly working on a number of books over there on the sidebar. Earlier today another couple plots invaded my thoughts and are begging to be put down into words. It would appear that my muse has returned and brought reinforcements. YAY!

Drive Shaft is the second book to follow Stick Shift and it is about Alli, one of Lily’s friends.

Get Lost is a contemporary m/f about a woman that just loses it when pushed too far and retreats into the mountains.

Too Bad is Jackie and Mac’s story from Ink Spots.

Polar Shift is the second book in the Denali Heat Series, and this one is Patrick’s story.

Bound for Pleasure is a BDSM m/f that is the second book in a series y’all haven’t heard of yet from me. It follows one couple from a set-up reunion meeting through different stages and explorations in a relationship. More on that one later. It is a different kind of story for me and one that my mainstream readers may not care for due to the heavier BDSM content.

And as I said, there are others playing around in my head that I will get to as soon as I can, including a loose plan to write a longer story for Thor and Bobby from my free read, Masked.

I hope all of you are doing well and be sure to check in for Snippet Saturday tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

~lissa

Snippet Saturday – Music

I know, I know… I’m late. So, what’s new? I’m always late nowadays it seems. I had a meeting the other day however that I was NOT late for and thank goodness for that. That means there is progress, slow progress, but progress just the same…

Okay, music is the theme today for Snippet Saturday. I could talk your ears off for days about music. I love it. I crave it. I have to have it. I have a varied taste in music as you could see from the music videos I selected the other day. If you follow my blog, you know I talk about music from Sarah Brightman to Billy Joel to Duran Duran to Breaking Benjamin. And EVERYTHING in between.

I go to concerts every year. Most authors go to Cons, and I go to them as well, though the rest of the word for me is ‘cert’ not ‘ference’. I’ve been going to concerts since I was a kid.

Then there’s my playing of music. I played the flute through Middle School, High School, and what bit of college I went to. I love it still, though I don’t play much anymore. I do take it out, run my fingers over the holes and fingerings, and think about dreams unfulfilled.

But, music is as much a part of me as the blood that runs through my veins.

I guess then it’s odd that I haven’t written about it all that much. There are books in my head that surround music, but none so far that really touch on my love of it. Therefore, I am going to pull a couple of snippets out of my hat…

The drive in The Swing

The Swing

The party in Ink Spots

So, let’s get to it.

Snippet: The Swing

How twins could be so completely different yet born only moments apart baffled Jethro, but different they’d been.

“I told her if she came back, I wouldn’t let her leave again. I love her and I know I can live without her, but if she comes back out to the house she’s mine and I’m keeping her. And you always knew how I felt about her. I didn’t even have to tell you, it was that strange twin bond thing.”

He didn’t know what he’d been waiting for. Maybe he just needed to say it out loud, to tell Marc in no uncertain terms what he planned to do. He wasn’t looking for absolution or approval. He knew Marc would know, that Marc had expected Jethro and Caitlyn to be together after he died. But here, in this place, his brother’s final resting place, Jethro needed to tell him. He needed it to come from him instead of the memory of Marc’s words of “It’s okay. I know you love her and will make her happy.” He needed to say it. Marc died after those words, a small smile on his face, his body limp, with peace etching itself across his face.

They’d had to pry Marc out of the Jethro’s arms there on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan, just as they’d had to pry Caitlyn away from them both when they landed at Andrews Air Force Base.

He knelt on the ground, plucking at grass blades. “I’ll take care of her, Marc. If she comes to me, I’ll take care of her. I swear I will.”

He stayed there for long minutes. He told Marc about the swings, about the family, about the war that was still going on. He told Marc of the small house he owned on the outside of town, away from everyone and everything, that he’d become a hermit, but that Clarissa had come to visit him, talk with him, that she was getting married. He told Marc he loved him when he didn’t know what else to say. It was time to get back to work, time to get back to the business of living. Marc would understand and wouldn’t want but the best for them all.

Standing from such a position was always hard on him now with the injuries to his hip and thigh. The limp was always more pronounced when he’d been in one position too long. The low-slung seat in the Mustang didn’t help either, but he’d been driving the muscle car ever since he could drive, upgrading every few years, and he didn’t figure that would change anytime soon.

Breaking Benjamin blasted from the speakers when he turned the key in the ignition and he had to laugh. Benjamin screaming into the mic could wake the dead.

And suddenly, having talked to Marc, having been there to connect with him when he’d been avoiding it for so long, lifted a weight. He felt lighter, able to breathe, and as if there were possibilities awaiting him that he’d been closed off to since returning to the States.

The drive back to his house was made with the windows down, the stereo at max volume and a smile on his face.

Snippet: Ink Spots

A collective gasp went up through the ladies in the small crowd and an equally collective groan went down through the men when Vinter stepped up to a microphone.

A small smile played about Elise’s mouth. Carrie’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head. Jackie was glaring daggers at Mac. And Mandi just couldn’t stop staring between the man center stage and the one directly behind him sitting at a drum set.

Vinter was still shirtless, and the ink covering his body just took her breath away. Jaz had shucked his shirt as well, and the muscles of his chest and those traveling his arms, his own inked skin… Her mouth was dry despite the glass of water in front of her. She didn’t drink alcohol and she didn’t have a taste for soda at the moment, so water was her friend.

At least until she’d looked up at the men onstage.

“Now, for those of you who don’t know me and, well, if you don’t, you should. My name is Vinter.” He spoke with a huge grin on his face that was open and welcoming and entirely mischievous. People laughed and the men still groaned.

Elise leaned toward the center of the table. “The man’s ego and sex appeal knows no bounds.”

“Maybe you should put a leash on him,” Carrie whispered, loud enough to be heard over Vinter talking into the mic.

“What fun would that be?”

“Hey, girls.” He was speaking and pointing in their direction. “Got something you want to share with the rest of us?”

Three of the four women shook their heads. Jackie did nothing as she was still glaring at Mac.

Mandi hadn’t been so embarrassed or had so much fun in years. It had been so very long since she’d had close female friends who were local rather than long distance. And the long distance one was Jackie. Most of her friends were actually business contacts and not people she’d had dinner with or a drink outside of a tradeshow hotel. However… Elise and Carrie, yeah she could see going out for pizza and a movie with them or just having them over for wine and girls’ nights. She and Jackie had done that a couple of times, but Jackie was most often at Katz, so those girls’ nights were far and few between.

At the same time, she didn’t know how awkward it would be hanging out with Jaz’s friends’ girlfriends if the two of them weren’t seeing one another.

“I think our birthday girl is off in space.”

Mandi blinked and focused at the mention of birthday girl to find that everyone was looking at her. Okay, this was probably the most embarrassed she’d ever been.

“Ah, she’s back with us. Missed ya, girl. Were you someplace fun?” Vinter was teasing her and it actually made the humiliation easier to take, what with his wicked smile and his even more wicked body half visible.

“Back to what I was saying… Mandi has been in our little community for a few months now and I think this plan was hatched the minute she got to town. Jackie had come to us, asking if we’d play for this shindig and, well, we optimistically said yes. We’ve not played in public for anyone before, but we don’t sound like a bunch of screeching cats either. And who knew our man Jaz up here would take a fancy to the guest of honor.”

Oh god, he didn’t. Mandi buried her face in her hands, both cringing and laughing.

“Then again, who knew she’d take a shine to Jaz, but man oh man, if y’all had seen what I saw earlier between these two, you’d know they were meant to be.”

“Remind me to kick your ass after the party.”

Vinter laughed at the grouchiness in Jaz’s voice and turned his head to look at his drummer. “Remind me to let you try.” He looked back at the small crowd of people gathered. “He actually could kick my ass. Okay, so we have it on Jackie’s authority that one of Mandi’s favorite groups is Nickelback. And yeah, they kick ass too. We do a pretty decent job at covering them and Mac here doesn’t sound half-bad so, without further rambling from me… Mandi, we wish you a very happy birthday.”

end snippets

I know you’ve already done so, but on the off chance there are a few of you that haven’t, please check out the snippets from the following authors:

Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
Shelli Stevens
TJ Michaels
Lauren Dane
Jody Wallace
Sasha White

~lissa

Merry Christmas from..

Vinter

Dallon

Jaz

And me…

I hope all of you have a very, very happy and safe holiday!

Thank you to all my readers… Your support and friendship are more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined. You are all my Merry Christmas.

~lissa

Midnight Clarity

And man I wish I had some… Clarity, that is. Mine hasn’t completely come yet, but I’m working on it.

I’m having writer’s block. Or something like it. I don’t know what it is. It’s an inability to write what I want to write. It started a couple of months ago. I knew there was a book to write, a couple of books to write, but the words weren’t there. I don’t know where they are.

Part of the issue is that I was trying to write a safe book. I wrote a book I loved, deeply loved and put a lot of myself into, Cracklin’ Rosie. It wasn’t really well received by a lot of my regular readers and not by a lot of new readers either. It bothered them. It wasn’t just kinky fun, it was an actual spanking fetish that needed to be explored and with the way it hasn’t been received by some, it has affected how I approached this new book, this last book in the Blue Jeans and Hard Hats series.

So, I’ve tried to write a safe one. I’ve re-written this book now three times, maybe four, I’ve lost count. I don’t know where or how this is book is going to get finished. I’ve missed the deadline on it, lost the penciled in calendar date. Written myself into a corner on it and I can’t really see how to write myself out it yet.

The same could be said about the second shifter book too, though I’m taking it slower. It however does as well have a due date for a calendar spot as well and I need to get it finished.

I love writing. I’ve missed writing these last few weeks. I’ve had a book come out with Loose Id, Arrested Holiday. It was a fun book to write, light and cute and sexy and with little bits of kink.

I have a new book coming out this week, on Christmas Eve from Ellora’s Cave, Ink Spots. It’s erotic, sexy, hot, fun.

I’ve taken some time these last couple of weeks to relax my mind. I stressed myself out so much about these books that need to be written that I couldn’t think straight. I got sick and I wouldn’t doubt if that was the universe trying to tell me something. I needed to back off, to let go. I know the saying from the Queen of Romance, Nora Roberts that you can’t fix an empty page but you can fix a bad one. In most cases I believe that. I don’t in this one. I was writing myself into a hole I wasn’t sure I’d have been able to dig myself out of. No matter how much I wrote, it wasn’t right. It was nothing but empty, meaningless words that weren’t moving the book forward. Nothing could fix it except for perhaps me walking away from it for a while.

As soon as I let go of it, stopped stressing over it, I started feeling better, started being able to enjoy the holidays with my family. I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids…baking cookies and cupcakes, shopping, watching Christmas movies, watching Food Network and the holiday specials, decorating the house. I made time to send out Christmas cards, snuggling, watch football, and just play in general. My kids aren’t getting younger and I was tired of working all the time, not enjoying this time of year with them. I was staring at pages, not getting anything done, and not having any fun. The days were going by and I had nothing to show for it, not in writing and not in being with my kids, making memories.

Have I thought about my writing? Oh yes, everyday. I think on it, I make notes, I work on outlines, I jot down new ideas as they come to me. After Christmas will be time enough to work on it all as a whole though. I was a professor of You Must Write Everyday, but not at the moment. I think sometimes you have to walk away, let it sit and rest so that you know what direction you’re going to head into when it’s time to get back to it.

Besides, that’s part of the pleasure of working from home. I can take time to reflect, to find a new direction, to find inspiration, and new life in what I do love to do as work…writing erotic romance.

Of course, it does hurt the wallet and next year’s Christmas might be a little thinner than this year’s Christmas, but it’s fine, it’s good. There are things more important and my peace of mind, my clarity of where I’m going and where I want to go with my writing are a couple of those things…

Now, I need to get back to wrapping gifts, addressing cards, texting with my mom, and fixing lunch…

~lissa

Ink Spots Cover Squee!

By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the Ink Spots cover on the Coming Soon page here on my website or on the Ellora’s Cave Coming Soon pages, but here it is being officially SQUEE’D over on my blog.

There’s a bit of tattooing in the title Ink Spots on the cover and I just love that. I asked them to make it as HAWT as the Simple Need cover and Ellora’s Cave did not disappoint in their efforts.

Ink Spots is a fun, sexy, naughty book. The hero, Jaz is big and brooding, scary to some. The heroine, Mandi is sweet and shy and completely in lust.

~lissa

The release date is December 24th, so, for some readers it will be a very Merry Christmas if some of the messages I’ve gotten are anything to go by…

Blurb:

By night, Mandi is a waitress in her best friend’s adult entertainment club, complete with long raven hair and bright violet eyes. By day, she’s a boutique jewelry maker with a flair for the occasional naughty design. She’s shy, quiet, a definitive Plain Jane, and completely in lust with the one man that wouldn’t ever be interested in her. He’s big, menacing, and inspires every one of her dirty girl desires. If birthday wishes came true, he would hers.

Tattoo artist. Business owner. Lover of vintage cars. And drummer. Jaz is far from the normal, average guy. Built like a brick wall and inked from head to toe, he can scare the faint of heart with just a look, but the faint of heart isn’t what interests him, isn’t what fuels his fantasies and keeps him hard from dawn to dusk. It’s her: the waitress, his sister’s friend, the birthday girl.

Without having told a soul of her attraction, Mandi is given the best present ever. Jaz. And she’s got one night to make every wicked thought and erotic dream she’s had about him come true.