Sadly, mine is not, but I’ll just leave this here for summer inspiration.
Have a great one, and EXCERPTS coming on Monday!!!
Sadly, mine is not, but I’ll just leave this here for summer inspiration.
Have a great one, and EXCERPTS coming on Monday!!!
Like all of you, I’m a voracious reader, and I have a tendency to choose a direction and just go go go until I run out of steam or something new and shiny crosses my path in a way that can’t be ignored. Then I change course – I’m a serial monogamist when it comes to romance genres. For the last few months, I’ve been obsessing over Regency, which has never really been absent from my life, but wasn’t a focus, either. So, I’ve been devouring Sarah MacLean and Joanna Bourne and Sherry Thomas and Ashley Gardner like they’re deep, dark chocolate, and pondering the intricacies of corsets and Polite Society.
I’m finally diving into writing this genre, which is both an exciting challenge and something I’m deathly afraid of – the bar is set pretty high! However, the best part about a new project is the research, and because I tend to lean toward the dark and creepy, I had to start with death customs. One of the things I find so interesting about this period is the strictness of society rules – particularly when applied to women – that were the norm when it came to funerals and mourning.
Here are a couple of links you might enjoy if you’re curious:
Heaven forbid a lady step out of mourning too soon!
More on what I’m writing in a few weeks, when I have a blurb and some excerpts. I’m tempted to write a romantic suspense set at the dawn of BRIGHT’S FERRY, in the colonial era – but that’s a whole new kettle of fish.
Have a lovely Thursday!
Good morning, readers! It’s been a while, I know, but I’m so glad to be back! I’ve been struggling with some family illness – and stress is just the worst when it comes to being creative. However, today seems like a good day to send out an update and get the gears moving – the WIPs may be a little dusty, but there’s some serious sexy underneath.
First things first – I’m starting a monthly newsletter! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably figured that out from the pop-up subscription form – I haven’t decided if that’s the best way to go, but I’m going to give it a try. You can also always sign up using the LOOKING FOR LILY? tab above. Each month, you’ll get excerpts and updates, and some short stories or vignettes from some of my favorite worlds – THE KRINGLES, BRIGHT’S FERRY, and some new places I’ve been cooking up.
What’s up next in terms of reads?
I have a bunch of projects that are 90% ready to go, so I’m hoping to roll those out over the next few months. First up, a summer release for SAFE FROM THE STORM, which I get so many questions about. This October, I’ll have the second BEWITCH ME collection, and for the holidays, Ethan Kringle for your Christmas stocking.
I’ve also been delving into historicals for the first time, and that’s been a lot of fun – no less sexy, but with more petticoats. However, the rest of the year is going to be about launching long-promised titles – I’ll throw a few excerpts of the new worlds into the newsletter, and of course, watch this space for updates and news, and a little more insight into the day-to-day of my writing process.
LESSON OF THE DAY, writers and artists – don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t get another chance. We only stop when there are no more stories to tell.
Have a lovely Tuesday!
I’m trying to get back into the habit of Monday excerpts. 🙂
Here’s an excerpt from Bad Candy, one of the new Halloween shorts in my upcoming Bewitch Me More collection – finally ready for this October! In this short, Dulcie is trying to make friends with the hunky new warlock on the block, but he’s having a little trouble controlling his magic. This is their first encounter. Enjoy!
HEATH FELT LIKE HE WAS going to come out of his skin. Quite literally. For the last few weeks, he’d felt it, the slow buildup of power that meant his warlock abilities were advancing again – something like a renewed puberty that hit warlocks of a certain breed every few decades give or take, which is why the centuries-old witches and warlocks were inevitably more powerful than the younger crew. It was more than just experience and knowledge, it was literal leveling up.
Heath had been leveling up in earnest for the last three days as his system tried to accommodate the surges of power. Most warlocks siphoned off the excess until it stabilized, safely expelling it into inanimate objects like lakes and trees. Sure, this caused some temporary mischief – trees that could uproot themselves and replant somewhere else, bodies of water that teemed with unseemly species for a few weeks. Usually, the magic wore off on its own, or in extreme cases, the witch or warlock responsible would simply return to deal with the matter when their powers stabilized. It was flashy, but completely normal.
Nothing about this advancement felt normal.
The surges of power were expected, but when Heath tried to expel the excess…nothing happened. And so the power was filling him up like an overfilled water balloon, escaping in odd little spurts that were beyond his control, but resisting his attempts to tap into it to safely dispel it from his system. Heath couldn’t control the changes in temperature, so the house alternated between jungle hot that made the new wallpaper peel, and icicles hanging off the banister. The surges of magic were unpredictable, and he’d spent the morning cleaning pulsing green pods off the kitchen walls that had magically appeared when he’d yawned over the coffee pot. Worst of all was the feeling of growing power under his skin, energy that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to contain. He worried about what might happen to him when it finally burst through. He worried about what might happen to the neighborhood.
Heath huddled under a blanket on the couch, shivering, and worried about the neighbors.
It had been an inauspicious start to his new life. He’d grown up alone, abandoned and raised in magical foster homes with a series of disinterested temporary parents, and had decided to work his way through an education in the arts instead of flitting around the realms like so many young warlocks. He’d finally started making some money off the paintings he’d created using both mortal and magical techniques – the first warlock to bridge the gap – and after all this time, was excited to finally have a gallery space in the mortal world and a home to call his own in a friendly human neighborhood. He craved connection and friendship – things he’d never really had. However, he’d barely moved in when he felt the first surges of power, and had been struggling to contain them ever since.
He might still be learning about humans, but he did know that first impressions were everything – best to wait to meet the new neighbors until there was less of a chance of accidentally transforming them into salamanders or something equally unsavory.
The knock on the door was an unfamiliar sound. Purple smoke and strange sparks shooting up at odd hours of the day or night was hardly the way to endear oneself to skittish suburban mortals who may not have had any experience with magic, and not one of the new neighbors had come by to introduce themselves yet. Right now, however, Heath wasn’t exactly in the right state to be dealing with visitors. The temperature shifted again, and Heath heard another knock as the weather in his living room went from sub-arctic to tropical. He peeled off his shirt, belatedly remembering that he should probably be clothed when answering the door. He shrugged it back on, but didn’t bother to button it – it was too fucking hot to care.
Another knock, and Heath nearly tripped over his discarded blankets trying to reach the door.
“I’m coming, already, for fuck’s sake. Keep your panties on,” he grumbled, yanking it open.
He immediately wished he could take the words back, for a couple of reasons. First, from the thundercloud of a scowl on her face, it was obvious that the woman had heard him, and second, no heterosexual male in his right mind would encourage this woman to keep her panties on. She was all delicious, rounded curves clad in a voluminous sweatshirt and jeans on a frame that barely came up to his shoulder. Her skin was gold and cream and spoke of a Hispanic heritage, but it was her lips that Heath focused on – lush and wide and designed for sex. Her chocolate eyes were dark with annoyance at the moment and the mass of glossy black spiral curls bounced, unconfined, as she folded her arms, body rigid. The move pushed her fabulous breasts up a notch under soft fleece. She was speaking, and Heath tried to focus.
“What was that?”
“I said, there’s no need to be rude.”
Her eyes practically sparked with irritation.
“This isn’t really the best time,” said Heath, as sweat plastered the open shirt to his back.
The gorgeous woman’s eyes widened, as though she’d just realized he wasn’t totally dressed, and Heath forgot about the power surging through his system for a moment as her gaze skimmed down for a fraction of a second. Heat of a different kind sizzled up his cock.
“This will just take a second. I’m Dulcie Valencia. My son Harry and I live down the block.”
“It’s nice to meet you, but seriously, another time – ”
He started to close the door, surprised when Dulcie slapped a hand against the wood to stop him.
No wedding ring, he thought to himself.
“I just need to talk to you about Halloween.”
Heath felt a surge of power wriggling to escape his grasp and dug deep.
“You know, the big holiday with the candy and the pumpkins?”
She was looking at him like he was an idiot. Which he was. Under other circumstances, Heath would have made an admittedly pathetic attempt to flirt – he wasn’t good at initiating contact with the opposite sex. Right now, however, he needed to get the distractingly lovely Dulcie off the porch so that he could go explode in private without burying her in a hail of golf balls, submerging her in tomato sauce, or whatever other form his power chose to present itself.
“This Halloween is really important to Harry, and I want to make sure he has a good time.
You don’t have to go overboard, but I’d really appreciate it if you could make a bit of an effort when he comes to your house to trick or treat.”
It was possible that the house would be a smoldering pile of rubble by Halloween.
“I’m not really doing Halloween this year,” said Heath, gripping the edge of a door, desperately trying to hold himself together.
Dulcie scowled, her lush mouth pursed.
“Do you have any idea how much this neighborhood loves Halloween? You’re going to disappoint a lot of kids.”
“Look, Ms. Valencia,” said Heath, resentful at being taken to task, “I’ve got more important things to worry about than a bunch of kids overloading on candy.”
And he wished it weren’t true. Halloween was special for warlocks, and Heath had dreamed of creating an incredible haunted house for the kids and maybe endearing himself to the neighbors. But, until he got a handle on his power, all of that was out, and he didn’t want to promise anything he couldn’t deliver, even if it meant disappointing the hot soccer mom who was currently looking at him like she’d stepped in something awful.
“That’s a terrible attitude,” she said, “And I thought the magical world loved Halloween.”
And now she was looking at him like he’d completely failed as a representative of his species.
Heath was getting annoyed and he really needed to close the door. The power was beating against his skull now, hungry to escape.
“Mostly, it’s just an excuse for us to get seriously drunk and slum with fuck-hungry humans,” he snapped.
He winced internally as he said it and Dulcie gasped, though it wasn’t terribly far from the truth – Halloween was a grand excuse to let off some steam and indulge. Of course, magical hooch and orgies weren’t for everyone. Heath knew he’d have to apologize at some point, but right now, he just needed her off his porch before he accidentally injured her.
“Boy, did you pick the wrong neighborhood,” said Dulcie in frigid tones, “Sorry I bothered you.”
With a last icy glare, she whirled around, hair bouncing, and flounced off the porch. Relieved, Heath closed the door, but not before catching a glimpse of Dulcie’s ass in motion.
Lord have mercy, he thought, and let go of the reins.
The feral magic blew from every pore into a shower of sparks that covered ever surface of the first floor in glittery, orange jingle bells shaped like Jack O’Lanterns.
When life intrudes, it intrudes with a vengeance and a sledgehammer and takes up months of your time and all of your energy and leaves you a worried, stressed-out, shell of a human.
But enough of that. I’m finally writing again and it’s AWESOME. It’s just me and a vat of sweet, icy coffee in an air-conditioned corner of my favorite coffee shop, spending time in the chaotic, demanding world of my writing brain. Ah, bliss.
Now that the world seems to have settled a bit, I thought I’d outline a book release plan to share – one I can hopefully stick with! SAFE FROM THE STORM (Bright’s Ferry #3) is nearly done – I had to do a ton of rearranging to get it to work, and I had to dive into SAFE FROM THE WILD (Bright’s Ferry #4) to make sure the arcs tracked across from one book to the next. You’ll see. Rafe and Eden in #4 are two of my absolute favorites. The writing is still a little schlocky, but excerpts from that next month. SFS will (fingers crossed) be ready to download the last week in June, and I’ll set SFW up for pre-order as soon as possible.
BEWITCH ME #2 will be available October 1st – not sure if it will be up for pre-order this summer, but I’ll keep you posted. I honestly didn’t think I had enough material for a second Halloween collection, but apparently magic, pumpkins, and hot, conveniently shirtless hunks go hand in hand.
I’m a little torn between RIFT GUARDIANS #1 and HIS TO PLEASURE, which is Regency, for the later part of the summer. They’re both coming along nicely, but they both require a load of research that takes time, so I have to choose. Dilemma, dilemma.
Excerpt of something or other next week – there are a ton of SFS excerpts up already, so I’ll probably only share one more the week of the release.
Hope you’re having a lovely transition to summer (or winter if you’re in that part of the world!) and that your book list is gloriously endless.
…with excellent typing skills. They would make things so much faster!
THE KRINGLE BOYS #2 is coming up fast – I had to put everything else aside to focus on it, and the edits are driving me bonkers! Excerpt coming up this weekend (and maybe one on Monday, too). Hoping for a release date of the 15th, so stay tuned!
It’s snowing on my blog! When did that happen?
Need a little sexy Halloween magic to spice up your October?
Gail Martingale isn’t a bad witch, but everything about her boss Finn Parker makes her want to be – he’s the good stuff, top shelf, out of her league. The gorgeous partner at the law office where Gail works is a major distraction for a career-minded witch, but Gail is determined to break the stereotype that witches are sex-crazed beings with poor impulse control. So that means hands off! But when a frustrated Gail conjures up a sex toy with Finn Parker in mind, she is horrified to find that she’s summoned the man himself. What’s a witch to do?
Finn has never been a woman’s sex toy before, and being popped in whenever a certain hot little witch is feeling frisky is infuriating, but at the same time, impossible to resist. But he can’t deny that she makes his boring life more interesting. Can Finn convince Gail to give a real relationship a chance before she finds a way to undo the magic that binds them together? Finn is determined to make it happen, even if it means embracing his new role as a sex toy, again and again and again.
There will be four more short Halloween stories in the upcoming BEWITCH ME MORE (Bewitch Me, Vol.2) – available around Oct. 20th or whenever I finish editing, but until then, you can check out more magical fun and games in Volume 1:
I’m hoping to have this up over the weekend, but here’s some cover art and an excerpt to get your Hump Day going.
THE GREEN-EYED WITCH was staring at him again, this time in the elevator. Finn had a hard time ignoring it, because he really wanted to stare back and get a better look at those hypnotic eyes, the curve of her lips.
He wanted to count her freckles with his tongue.
She was wearing another simple gray suit, cut conservatively. It only hinted at the lush curves Finn was convinced were hidden under that boxy jacket.
The doors opened on the fifty-second floor and the other passengers filed out, leaving them alone for the climb to eighty-seven.
“Do you have any plans for Halloween, Mr. Parker?”
It took Finn a moment to realize that the pretty witch was actually talking to him, and God help him, the husky sound of her voice had his cock taking serious notice.
“No. Just work. My building doesn’t get a lot of trick-or-treaters.”
He smiled apologetically.
“I’m so sorry, but I don’t know your name, Ms….”
“Gail Martingale.” Her voice was crisp, the hint of disappointment obvious.
They rose a few more awkwardly silent floors and Finn mentally punched himself in the balls.
“I’m sure you have much more interesting plans than I do, Ms. Martingale. From what I understand, the magical community goes all out.”
“They do. But I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. Staying home and watching horror movies in my PJs sounds a little more appealing than the party scene this year.”
She gave him a look he couldn’t decipher, but he was distracted, the thought of her wrapped in soft garments that had been washed a million times taking over his brain and raising his temperature. They would hug every curve – a worn tank top, perhaps, and a skimpy pair of boyshorts that had a tendency to ride up her hips.
Finn took a sharp breath, swallowing as his mouth went dry, grateful that his folded overcoat hid his burgeoning erection. At this rate, he was going to have to jerk off in his private washroom if he had any hope of getting things done today.
“That sounds…like fun,” he managed.
Suddenly, the elevator lurched, pushing her into his arms as it ground to a halt. Adrenaline surging, Finn dropped his coat and briefcase, catching her instinctively, hearing her little gasp as her body crushed against his. The lights flickered, an alarm going off. Finn took a deep breath, his racing heart calming as rational thought kicked back in – the building was new, state of the art. They were perfectly safe.
“Are you – ”
The words got caught in his throat as he registered the curve of her waist under his hands, the toned thighs that pressed against his as their legs tangled, and the soft fullness of her breasts against his chest. His cock was an iron brand pressing into the softness of her stomach, and her eyes widened as she registered the contact, then dark lashes swept down, pink tinging her cheeks.
“I’m sure we’ll be moving again in a minute,” she murmured breathlessly, her green eyes half-lidded.
Was it his imagination or did she press a little closer?
She smelled incredible, like crisp apples and something slightly spicy.
Her hand was gripping his bicep, but instead of letting go, she slid it down his forearm to where he held her by the waist, her hand touching his, the skin-to-skin contact wiping every rational though from his brain. She rubbed the sensitive spot between his thumb and forefinger for a brain melting second before pulling back. His body protested the sudden loss of her soft warmth.
Then the lights flickered back to full power, and the elevator jerked once, and then started its smooth upward climb again. The whole incident had only lasted a couple of minutes, but Finn’s mind was reeling, his body tight and aching from the shocking intimacy of an accidental moment in a dark elevator. Before he could get his vocal cords to emit something other than a lustful growl, the scent of apples and spice in his lungs, the elevator was coming to a halt, and Gail Martingale slipped out as though she couldn’t wait to get away from him. Finn gathered his fallen coat and briefcase and followed more sedately, absently rubbing the spot where she’d touched him, watching her scurry off, straightening her jacket and probably completely unaware that she’d turned him inside out.
Ugh, what a year. Can we just write this one off and start over with 2016? I’ve had a few questions, so here are a few answers!
WHERE is Safe From the Storm???
I’m so close, but there are a few story threads that aren’t sitting quite right, mostly because SFS sets up Safe From the Wild, which is next, so everything has to hang together. I’m still editing, but it’s looking good.
It’s October! I’ve been hoarding magical little Halloween stories all year, so those will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. First, a short story that will go up on its own, then BEWITCH ME MORE, which will have four more hot and witchy tales you probably shouldn’t read at work.
The site needs some updating – I have a couple of new paranormal series in the works, so stay tuned for new posts and excerpts on those. I’ll try to post cover art for the first Halloween short tonight or tomorrow with an excerpt, and of course, the first BEWITCH ME collection is still available on Amazon.
May your leaves be changing colors, your fall boots sexy yet comfy, and your lattes be pumpkin and served by a Chris Hemsworth clone.