I told y’all I’d be sharing more of Selena’s books on my blog today… She writes all sorts of paranormal. Dragons, vampires, shifters. You really should check her out if you haven’t already. And you should follow her on Facebook. She’s fun and light and sweet as pie. You’ll love her.
Now, you may be asking why I’m doing this. Because she deserves it. She’s been there for me in good and bad, supportive and encouraging. Even of my coffee habit. She’s a good person, a good friend, and a wonderful author.
So, let’s highlight a couple of her books…
Bounty Hunter and Dragon Dean returns home hoping to spend some time with his office manager and new mate Carrie. What he gets is confusion. He’s confronted with communication and connection issues. He feels attacked and backed into a corner with no direction to go in. To find a place to start he turns to Sundae’s Adult Easter Baskets hoping that this will give him a handhold to grip as he tries to break through the walls both of them have erected due to their pasts.
Carrie has missed her mate but can’t take the lack of communication she feels when he’s on the job. For the longest time she’s been alone. Now that she has a mate she wants to feel that connection to another person. She doesn’t know why Dean holds himself back from her, both on the road and while at home. She needs him to be present and here, to open up to her. But if she pushes too hard she could lose him forever. Can Sundae’s keep it’s sexily ever after guarantee?
Hockey player Brice Douglas has never gotten over the Christmas he spent with Ava Johnson back in college. Now, years later, he’s in trouble with his team, the Witch Fields Prowlers. Desperate to keep their rabble-rousing player’s head in the game, they hire a babysitter to keep his ass out of a sling and home in his bed at night: Ava. He’s determined to make up for lost time, while convincing her he’s not the man the team made him out to be, using every dirty, sexy trick he can.
Ava just got out a relationship with a cheating fiancé. She needs time to rebuild her life and babysitting her old college crush maybe the answer to her prayers–so long as sex isn’t involved. Yet, with his sexy nightly self-pleasuring sessions and dirty talk her resistance quickly starts wearing thin. With every day that passes, she’s growing more comfortable with him and his desire for her.
Will she be putting Brice on ice, or will he end up thawing Ava? (more…)
Now, the message in this about saving face, not acting crazy, just smiling, keepin’ it together… Yeah, I wasn’t raised that way. There’s been a lot of stuff going on the last few weeks in the publishing world and for the most part, I’ve kept my mouth shut save for a few cryptic comments here and there and agreeing with others who’ve taken a stand… I’ll be posting about that later this week, but for now, it’s Music Monday…
This song was also the inspiration for my book, Keep It Together…
Jilted bride? Check. Hangover? Check. Shotgun? Double check. Wayward groom’s half-brother Colt on her porch the next morning, hat in hand, with concern in his sexy blue eyes, and apologies on his full kissable lips? Uh… Check?
That was six months ago. Now, with a job she loves, her heart mended and her pride put back together, the last thing Chrissie expects is that same half-brother standing behind her saying he’s got an answer for her. Problem is, she can’t seem to remember what she’d said on that long ago day that would warrant a visit from him.
Colt does. And as the CEO of a cookie company, it’s his job to pay attention to the details.
“Maybe I should have married you instead.” She’d been right. He was the brother she should have married and all he has to do is convince her of it with a blend of persistence and seduction. But their first kiss is hotter than the southern Georgia summer and catches him off guard. She’s primed and ready to burn up the sheets and he’s not inclined to say no. Will she believe that he won’t ever leave her? Maybe. If he brings her cookies…
Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Loose-Id
It’s been a long year and yet the months have flown by so fast that I’m still trying to catch up. A lot has changed in the publishing world over the last few years and I have even fewer answers now than I had when I first started out. I feel like I’m always running under caution laps while most others are running at 200mph…
I’ve been working, trying to learn what many of my peers already know, but it’s a slow process. I’ve had several releases this year already, but my royalties don’t look like it. They are the lowest they’ve ever been and like other authors I know, I’ve had to re-evaluate my books, and my publishers.
There are those of you waiting on the next book following Stick Shift. It’s coming. I promise. The issues at this point is Loose Id, the publisher of the first book. I love them. I have enjoyed working with them and adore my editor. I’ve felt a very strong sense of loyalty to her and to Loose Id, however the money I am *not* making isn’t worth my sending them any other books. At least not at this point. This is a business and I have to look at it that way. I may not be paying my mortgage with what I make off books, but what I do pay is no less important and the $100 or less/month royalty checks, even with new releases, aren’t worth it.
What does this mean? It means that book, Drive Shaft, will be self published next year. But there are other things at play right now and that’s all I can say.
There are those of you waiting for the next Simple Need book. I’ve got it started and I will be sending it to Ellora’s Cave when it’s finished. Ellora’s Cave takes several months to get books out, between the reading, contract process, editing, etc… 6 months, at least. After release, there’s another 2 months before any royalties are seen from it. That’s a long time.
There are those of you waiting for the next book in the Denali Heat series. That book is bound for Samhain Publishing. But, when I submit a book to Samhain, it’s roughly 10-12 months before release.
I can’t make a living like that. I wish I could.
Writing books take a while. We all write at different speeds, we all have different responsibilities above and beyond writing. I used to write a lot and write quickly. I am not in that place anymore. I am writing. I am revising. I am learning. I am progressing. I am changing.
So, how does this affect you, the readers? Books are coming. Maybe not what you want right now. Maybe not what you’re expecting right now either. But books are coming. The following is the schedule I’ve been working on for releases through February and it’s pretty set…
October 22 – Love and Tattoos
November 19 – The Cupcake Cowboy (Lone Star Sweets)
December 31 – Eli’s Promise (The Bar Next Door, Samhain Publishing)
January 21 – The Sticky Cowgirl (Lone Star Sweets)
There’s more, lots more (Exposed (Masked 4), The Tattooed Barista (Lone Star Sweets), In The Corner, Drive Shaft (Stick Shift #2), to name a few, but the dates aren’t set yet), including Slide Down On Me (Ellora’s Cave) but I don’t have a date on that one yet either. I’ll also be revising and re-releasing Arrested Holiday as soon as the book rights revert back to me in December.
You’ll get the books you’re wanting, I just have to be a little smarter in how I approach things. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me. I hope you’ll enjoy all that I have planned for your reading pleasure…
I’m a little late today and I apologize. I did however make some homemade bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches for brunch so…
Snippet Saturday is sad today, as well. It is our last Snippet Saturday as a collected group. It was started by Lauren Dane and I know all the authors who’ve participated over the years appreciate all the hard work she’s put into it. And I know we authors appreciate all the readers who’ve given us time on Saturday’s.
For myself, I will continue to post snippets and excerpts here on my blog under the heading of Temptation Tuesday.
As the subject heading states, today is Author’s Choice…
Windows in her pickup rolled down, and her stereo blaring with the latest Miranda Lambert album, Chrissie couldn’t wait to spend a little time alone. She needed some space, some time to think. It would probably be a good idea to call Colt, to let him know that she was all right, but after months of depending on herself in a time of need…
Calling her mother was out of the question too. She’d have expected Chrissie to smile and ask how Russ was doing instead of running down the hall like her ass was on fire. She’d have expected Chrissie to wish him all the happiness in the world and for her knees not to shake and her palms not to sweat.
Chrissie’s mother was the soul of genteel Southern upbringing, and though she’d tried to raise her only daughter to be the same, the lessons just hadn’t taken.
Lost in thought as she was, sucking down the sweet, thick chocolate ice cream, and singing along to the songs, her house seemed to appear out of nowhere. It wasn’t good to drive by rote on the curvy country roads, but she had a hard time keeping herself focused. Luckily, she was between schools letting out and people getting off work, so traffic was light. The biggest hazard she might have come up against was a squirrel or two.
The vase of flowers on the front porch surprised her, but the man who pulled up and parked behind her before she was out of her car was the shock.
“Russ?” To say she was caught unawares would not be much of an understatement. She hadn’t noticed him or anyone following her, a testament to just how deep inside her own head she was. “Twice in one day. Dare I ask why?”
He smiled that charming smile she once knew so well, and as he came close, she could see the uncertainty lurking in his eyes. She felt nothing. Not the old twinge of anticipation. Not the thrill she used to get when he’d show up unannounced. Not a thing. Well, okay, some sadness perhaps, a bit of regret. But even those were in very small amounts.
How could seeing someone she once loved and was prepared to marry make her feel nothing?
Whereas his brother Colt made her feel something. Something deep and wonderful. He made her feel…everything. All at once. She could be herself with him and she never tried to impress him, like she’d done with Russ. Colt had seen her at her worst, and he’d seen her at her best. Everything else was the gravy in between.
“They…” She nodded. “They are. Thank you.”
“Probably.” She edged around him and headed toward the house, the vase of flowers in her hand. “What are you doing here?” she asked as she walked.
“I honestly don’t know. After this morning, I wanted to see you, talk to you. I wanted to see if…” He pursed his lips and looked away, out toward the trees at the edge of the property.
She didn’t need him to finish his thought. “After all these months?” Chrissie unlocked the door and stepped inside. Russ followed her, taking one tentative step after another.
She was attuned to uncertainty and wariness. She’d been hunting. She knew what it was to walk through the woods and not make a sound. She knew what it was to smell another hunter’s scent and not want to encroach on his territory. Russ had it written all over him in the way he moved, careful and cautious. Maybe he thought she would shoot him…
She set the vase in the kitchen window. The red, yellow, and orange-colored roses lit the room up in a way that was different than simply the sun shining in. They were brilliant and so full of life. She loved them immediately. She loved that Colt thought enough of her to send them, and even though there was no card, she knew in her gut they were from him. She loved him for it, for the night before, for the morning tease, for wanting her.
She loved him.
“When I saw you this morning with Colt, I… Christina, please look at me.”
He was the only person other than her mother who’d ever called her Christina. She was sure that should have told her something a long time ago, only it wasn’t until now that she’d realized it.
Then again, she’d just put it together that she was in love with her ex’s brother. She turned to Russ with that sentiment front and center in her brain. She didn’t know how to look at Russ and not wince at the mere idea that Colt meant more to her than just a one-night thing. But then, how could she love him? She’d spent one night with him, sharing stories and making love. They hadn’t even talked for any length of time before that, unless she counted the day after when he came to check on her. Then there was his admission that he’d been calling her father every once in a while to make sure she was all right. Those things touched her in ways nothing ever had with Russ. He really had done her a favor by skipping out on her.
Someone—Colt—cared about her. Just her. Not money. Not connections. Not for whatever reason Russ might have thought he cared about her.
Colt didn’t have to do any of the things he’d done, however small and insignificant they may seem to others. To her, they were everything.
Maybe she had meant that she should have married him instead. Maybe she had meant, been admitting without actually saying the words out loud, that Russ had never been the right man for her.
Romance between them hadn’t been instantaneous or earth-shattering. They’d seemed to fit and liked each other well enough, spent time together, and love grew into it, only… Was it really love?
Her mother would have said that whatever it was, love or not, was better than what most people had ever found with someone else. Would Chrissie have really believed that? Would Russ?
If so and if they had married, somewhere down the road…
“What?”She shook herself out of her thoughts. “Sorry. What did you want to say?”
“My brother seems to have worn you out.” He said it with a small smile, and there was no hint of malice in his eyes or his tone of voice. Chrissie knew she should have felt bad, but she didn’t. Russ made his choice. Colt had made his. And now it was her turn to make hers.
“Yes, he did.”
“Good.” He shifted his stance but he didn’t look away from her. “I want to apologize. No, that’s not right. I need to apologize for what happened.”
“You mean, leaving me at the altar?”
“Yes.” He drew himself up. “For leaving you at the altar.”
“It was a bit Cowardly Lion, Russ. For a man who can talk to courtrooms full of people, become best pals with attendees at a party, you were cowardly in how you handled me.” She wasn’t interested in embarrassing him or humiliating him or making him feel any worse that he had probably already felt. It was about moving forward and cleaning the slate, so to speak.
“You’re right, it was,” he admitted. “I can’t explain. I tried, with Colt this morning, but I—“
“I don’t need one, Russ. Maybe some women would, but not me.”
“Most women would.”
Chrissie smiled. A full, real smile. “I think we’ve all established that I am not most women.”
“Yes, we have.” Russ cleared his throat after a few minutes. “I, ah… Even though I’m glad you and Colt seem to have found each other out of this whole thing, I was jealous when I saw you with him this morning.”
“Jealous? Really, Russ. That doesn’t sound like you at all.”
“I know, yet it’s true. My brother in a hotel room with my ex. It was the first time I’d seen you since the night before we were supposed to get married. I was… It was unexpected. A lot of old feelings came rushing back, and I wondered briefly if—”
“If they were still real? If you still loved me?”
“Yes,” he said with relief evident in his voice. “Something like that.”
Chrissie stared hard at him. She didn’t want to hurt him with what she had to say, but she knew the words might. Whatever fantasies she might have had about hurting him, harming him in the days immediately following the jilting, she never meant any of it. She never really wanted him to feel the things she’d felt. “I don’t have feelings for you, Russ. Not anymore. Not like that. I think I could be your friend without issue, but that’s all.” She felt helpless and emotional. She’d imagined this conversation going so many different ways, and in all of them, he ended up dead or gutted like a fish or pierced through the heart and penis with arrows. Then again, that’s how she’d had to get through it, deal with it. This emotional-freeing feeling was better than any of her imagined outcomes. “When I was trying to get over you, I shot. I spent hours outside shooting. I went through so many boxes of ammunition. Each one had a word written across the top. Not very nice words, but they served the purpose I needed them to at the time. I bought enough ammunition, enough arrows for my quivers that I was offered a job at the local gun store. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I started getting over you. I could never have been what you wanted me to be. I wasn’t the feminine, gush-over, talk-up-her-man kind of woman we all, including me, tried to make me believe I was, but in the end…” She shook her head. “You did us both a favor, Russ. And we should both be able to admit that. You hurt my pride, you humiliated me, you even broke my heart to some extent. I’ve never hurt like that, and I don’t want to hurt like that ever again.”
Buy Links: All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Loose-Id
Enjoy the final snippets from the following blogs…
Thank you for your devotion every Saturday.
Boys of Summer. The Don Henley song. I loved that one. You remember it?
“I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that top pulled down and that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone
I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone”
Sometimes that’s what Summer is. Long days. Long night. Finding love, losing love… The memories coming back, making you yearn for those carefree days and what slipped away.
And sometimes, there’s a little bit of Summer, all year ’round, found in the most unlikely places…
So, I’ve taken a completely different approach to our theme and am giving you a little something to cool you down from the heat wave many have been experiencing…
“You have something warm to wear? Gloves? Heavy shoes?”
“My other shoes are back in my car and so are my gloves. I have some sweaters and such.”
“No. I hate it and didn’t expect I’d need it. Why?”
“Hold on. Let me see what I can find for you.”
He winked and moved away from her to rummage through a chest of drawers. He pulled out a few sweats and thick socks and tossed them on the bed. “What are we doing?”
“We’re going outside. You get dressed, and I’ll be right back.”
Holli was still standing there confused when he left the room and then left the apartment. “What the hell?”
Still a little uncertain, she took off the clothes she’d slept in and grabbed the clothes he’d laid out and went into the bathroom. The least she could do with the loaned, too-long-in-the-leg and too-snug-in-the-hips-and-ass, ill-fitting sweats and pair of men’s wooly socks was put on some deodorant. Brushing her teeth, washing her face, and combing her hair couldn’t hurt either. She could make herself a little more presentable.
She was rummaging through her makeup bag for her moisturizer when she heard the door to the apartment shut again. After pulling the ends of the sweats up over her feet and ankles and grabbing the sweatshirt, she went to see where he’d been.
“Boots,” he said, holding up a pair of galoshes. His gaze narrowed on her. “Everything fit okay?”
“Just peachy. It’s snowing, and you want to go outside?”
“Have you ever played in the snow?”
“Not really, not this kind of snow.”
“Well, put these on, and let’s go. You’ve been cooped up inside for days, and some time outside will do you good.”
Holli took the boots from him and sat down to put them on. “It’s cold out.”
“Taking me outside to play in the snow isn’t going to violate my house arrest agreement?” she asked as he was walking into the bedroom and she was tugging the sweatshirt on over her head. Layering clothes had never been her favorite thing about winter, but at least it kept her warm. She reached up inside the arms and pulled the sleeves of the long-sleeved T-shirts down and smoothed everything into place as best she could. Everything she wore was black. She had to look like a charred marshmallow.
“No more than what was going on before in the bed and no more than the attraction between us.”
He was pulling on a sweater over a long-sleeved T-shirt as he walked back into the living room. The sweater being pulled over his head ruffled his hair, and the casual intimacy of the moment struck something deep inside her. Spending time with him alone, playing, laughing, talking as though they were friends, involved…it wasn’t a good idea. She was going to fall for him, and it was going to be more than his good looks and his kindness that wormed its way under her skin. “Maybe you should have taken me to a hotel and had someone else guard me.”
He tweaked her nose as he passed her to get some boots sitting by the door. “No. Trust me; there’s no one better for the job than me.”
“I’m not going to run.”
“That’s not what I mean. C’mon. Put some of that lotion on your face and let’s go.”
He was like a kid, and his excitement was contagious. Holli quickly put the moisturizer on and set the tube on the counter before letting him help her into her jacket. He shoved a baseball cap on her head and ushered her out into the cold hallway. She shivered.
“Oh damn. Here.” He handed her a pair of gloves he pulled from his pants pocket. “I forgot to give these to you. Mrs. Collins said you could hold on to them until you leave.”
“Nice of her.” Holli quickly put them on, and though it wasn’t immediate or scalding warmth, they were wonderful against the bite of the wind as they stepped outside. “These her boots too?”
The snow was even more blinding outside and even more beautiful. She stood there, looking up, letting it fall on her face. “This is real snow. We don’t get this in Atlanta.”
“What do you get?”
“It’s not powder. It’s wet and icy, but this is…this is delicate, and there are actual snowflakes.”
“We get the icy stuff too, but we’ve gotten a lot more powder this year than normal.”
Holli walked a little farther out into the small backyard but stopped short when a ball of snow hit her square in the chest. “Hey!” Michael’s smile was all innocence. She didn’t buy it for a second. “Weren’t you ever taught not to hit girls?”
“Yes, but snowball fights don’t count.”
“How do they not count?” He was already rolling another ball between his hands, his eyes trained on her. “Oh I see. You’re not gonna play fair.”
“I always play fair.”
He drew back his arm, his fingers… Wait. Were those his knuckles on top of the snowball? She squinted and tried her best to focus, to see clearly. Was he going to…? Oh hell no. He was going to send a knuckleball her way? Two could play that game. One of the greatest knuckleball pitchers of all time played for the Atlanta Braves, and Officer “Pretty Boy” Hunky wasn’t about to show her up. “Unless what?”
Holli dropped down, shed her gloves for the time it took to mold the snow into the right size ball. Her fingers were so numb and cold she could hardly feel what she was doing, but it was going to be well worth it. She pinched off little bits of snow until she had the perfect size pile of powder sitting in her palm. “Unless what, Hunky?”
Carefully she laid the mock baseball down, then picked up the gloves again, making sure to pick a few pieces of fuzz off. After slipping her fingers back inside the blessed semiwarmth, she scooped up the snow baseball, packed the fuzz from the gloves into it so that it could be seen clearly, and took her stance.
“Unless it’s something I really want.”
He looked for all the world like he was waiting patiently, but she knew better. He was in competition mode, just like she was, and there was no patiently waiting about either of them.
“And then I stop at nothing until I get it.”
He let his snowball fly the second she drew her arm back, then shot it forward to let hers go. She moved as soon as it was out of her hand, narrowly missing getting tagged dead center of her chest. Officer Hunky wasn’t quite so fortunate.
He placed a hand over his heart. “Where’d you learn to throw like that?”
“My family, namely my grandpa and my dad, watch baseball religiously. I watch too. It’s what we do in our house every summer. Hot dogs, chips, sodas, baseball. If we aren’t at the games, we’re planted in front of the television watching them.”
“But that was a knuckleball.”
Holli grinned. “It was,” she said proudly. “How could you tell?”
“I saw the dark speck of something coming right at me.”
Her grin grew bigger. “My dad was a big Phil Neikro fan, and when he left the Braves, dad kind of broke tradition and would watch Phil play wherever he was and when I was old enough, he taught me how to throw one. I can throw all kinds of pitches. My aim is generally way off, but well, you’re a pretty good-sized target.”
As she’d been talking, she’d been kneeling down in an ever-growing pile of snow, making snowballs. She kept her eyes on him for the most part, making sure she didn’t look like a threat, making it appear she was just playing in the snow.
“I’m a baseball fan too.”
“I didn’t see anything in your apartment for a team.”
“I’m a Phillies fan. And you’re wearing my Phillies hat.”
She yanked the hat off her head. Sure enough she was. She hadn’t noticed what was on the cap when he’d stuffed it on her. “Yuck.” She tossed it at him, then made a sour face and stuck her tongue out as though she were spitting something out. “Terrible taste. I can’t believe I had that on. If my family ever finds out, they’ll skin me alive.”
He looked so affronted she forgot her own distress, genuine though it was, and had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing out loud. “Yes, terrible. A Braves fan does not wear a Phillies hat, no matter the circumstances.”
“You’re just jealous.”
“Oh yeah, that’s exactly it.” Sarcasm dripped from her tongue and another snowball hit him square upside the head.
“Now you’re playing dirty. I wasn’t looking.”
“Me? Play dirty? No.” She shook her head. “I wouldn’t do that.” Two more snowballs flew at him, small ones that, when held together, were about the size of a regulation softball. Her aim had been his stomach but went a little south. “Oh God.”
She ran toward him as fast as the cockamamy outfit and boots would let her. The piling snow didn’t help either. He dropped to his knees and fell over, clutching his crotch. She dropped down beside him, wanting to touch him but afraid of hurting him. “Oh God, Michael. I am so sorry.” And she was. She’d been hoping to play with that part of his anatomy later, and now she’d just drilled him with hard-packed snow. “How bad are you hurt? Do you need to go to the hospital? Talk to me, say something.”
“You play dirty snowball fight,” he croaked out. He followed that with a great deal of whimpering and rolling around.
“Michael?” When he didn’t answer her and just kept mewling like a wounded animal… “Well, I guess there’s nothing else to do but hide your body.”
Holli scooped up an armful of snow and dropped it over his hips and groin area.
“What the –”
She followed that with an armful dumped on his chest and then one over his face.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Burying you.” She pushed snow up against his body and packed it in tight. “You’re evidently on death’s door, what with all the dramatics. Your body should keep for a few months as long as the temperature stays around freezing. In the spring they’ll find you, and I’ll be long gone.”
He blew snow out of his mouth and shook his head against the ground to dislodge even more from his face. “You’re a coldhearted woman, Holli. I was trying to show you a good time, and you insult my choice of baseball team and then fire shots below my belt. That’s just wrong.”
“And has the snow reduced the swelling and the pain?”
He laughed, low and dark. The sound made her shiver, and for once since she’d been in the north, she welcomed it.
“No. In fact, it’s even more swollen now, and the pain is excruciating.”
Holli clucked her tongue and shook her head sadly. “I guess the only decent thing for me to do then is to put you out of your misery.”
“Definitely. I think that’s your only recourse.”
Next thing she knew, she was flat on her back in the snow, and he was braced on his arms above her. They stared at one another for a few excruciatingly long seconds before his mouth was on hers, his tongue in her mouth, his body heating hers from the inside out.
He tasted like chocolate, like a fantasy, and she kissed him with an urgency she absolutely felt. She only had him for a couple of days, just a small moment in time before life would return to normal again.
If you have some time today, take some of it and read through snippets on the following blogs:
Mandy M. Roth
Have a great weekend!