So Much to Do, So Little Time…and then…

2016-05-04 01.52.07My office is filled three feet deep and sprawling in every direction with bags and books and swag and gifts and craft items and Margarita mix and…and…and.

And Macho Marine came home from work yesterday, swept his gaze over the boxes of conference bits and pieces and announced, “I got you a new desk. You’re going to love it. It’ll be here Saturday so you’re going to need to clean all this shit out of here.”

Okay, what a sweetheart the love of my life has hidden deep within an old warrior’s body. He bought me a new desk. The one I have has made more moves than I can count, been reconfigured too many times and has chips, dings and scrapes on every surface. It has served me well for many years. After 37 years of marriage, MM rarely surprises me.

But WTF?

I’m on deadline for my next book (Unrelenting Love, book #1 of the Black Swan series), I have a conference in 8 days where I’m the opening presenter, (thankfully I have most of the PowerPoint completed!), I have an 8-page booklet to design for the June conference and I don’t have time to switch desks, say nothing about clean my office.

But I’ll get it done. (And MM will be rewarded for thinking of me.)

If you are in the Nashville area May 12-15, I’ll be at A Weekend with the Authors, in Nashville Airport Marriott. There are still tickets available for this GREAT conference with more than 70 authors and literally HUNDREDS of giveaways!!!  The book signing is Saturday, May 14, FREE and open to the public.

Check it out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/902291893145983/

Write a COMMENT if you are attending the conference. I’ll have a special surPRIZE for you!

black swan drawingWant a sneak peak at the first two chapters of Unrelenting Love? Click HERE.

The Reckoning of Asphodel… by Annie Anthony

Here at Love, Lust, and Laptops, we take our book birthdays very seriously.  So please join me in cracking open a bottle of your favorite bev, slice into that glorious chocolate multi-layered cake, and get ready to blow out the candle–your wish is about to come true.
If you’re a reader of fantasy romance, you won’t find a more gifted storyteller than Celina Summers. Strong female protagonist? Fantasy romance? Epic story? Lyrical writing? Check, check, check, and check! Love, Lust, and Laptops is thrilled to share the release day joy with Celina as today–yes, today!–The Reckoning of Aspodel re-releases.
Tamsen de Asphodel watched as her parents were killed—murdered by her sorcerer uncle. Raised by her Elven kin, Tamsen knows her destiny is to avenge them both.
Unfortunately, Tamsen’s destiny is complicated. She is the sole heir to her human father’s estate, but she is also the last remaining heir to the Elven throne. The Elves, especially the Scout Brial, are suspicious of her human ties and her magical power. Her magic is unique—neither human nor Elven, dangerous, and difficult to control. And when she and Brial fall in love, it is a relationship the Elves will not accept.
But when her uncle moves to destroy the Elves, war explodes across both kingdoms. Only Tamsen, with Brial at her side, can bring human and Elf together to fight against him. In the reckoning that is coming, she will need both sides of her conflicted nature…and the aid of a goddess.
If you adore tightly woven fantasy told in a brilliantly written, lyrical narrative voice, you will love Celina Summers. We are happy to congratulate her on this book birthday… I already bought and started reading my copy!  Don’t mind the cake crumbs and little bits of cork… I never said our birthday bashes were tidy…
Congratulations, Celina! We’ll be looking forward to the next installment!

What a Long, Strange Trip…

I’ll be honest, I barely remember starting to write The Tenth Muse. It came about because my agent put out a call to her clients, looking for a m/m New Adult romance that was frankly sexual. The journey from writing to publication was a long one, undertaken during my mother’s long term illness. I don’t remember what editor initially asked for the book, but it found an excellent home at Pride Publishing.

I’d been tinkering with a story about a young man who was descended from both the fae and Greek dieties, but this call brought up some other ideas. I wanted a story linked with that original idea, but fresh, and with different characters.  I looked at pictures and ran across gender-bending models, and suddenly the idea clicked: Eros, the God of Love has run amok on Earth.

I don’t remember how old I was when I first stumbled upon mythology. Very young…I do know that. My sister had a paperback from school, a translation of the best known Greek myths, strung together almost like a novel. I do remember the translator was a woman. After that, I found the Odyssey among my uncle’s books. Later I went to the library and tried the Illiad, but it was too much for me. (Still is!)

I loved the stories then, and when I decided to write my own spin, I pulled out my notes from college Greek history courses and pulled a few elements that intrigued me then. Ideas like Chaos and Logos, and the cult of Orpheus.

I’m not an expert at all this, but I think I managed to pull together a theme that travels under the surface of the story. The fertility and lust elements of Eros fuse with the intellect of young Rees, joining the heart and the mind. Its a recipe for love!

I had some fun and took some liberties that purists will probably raise their brows at. In fact, there’s even a nod to Ranma 1/2 buried in there! But in the end, the story of Eros and Rees is a story of love, acceptance and family. And when your mother is Aphrodite, and your father is Ares, family life is always the stuff of legend.:)

The Tenth Muse is available for pre-release at Pride Publishing and will be available for general release on May 17.

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In a wicked game, the God of Love falls to his own arrow, and a gentle scholar learns how dangerous knowledge can be.

Aphrodite has had it.

It was bad enough that her son Eros walked a fashion show in drag, but did he really have to show the entire world his wings? Desperate to rein in the impulsive young god, she recruits the scholarly muse Rees to lure him back to Olympus until the scandal dies down.

After hundreds of years, Eros has finally located the reincarnation of his former love, Psyche. The only way to her heart is through fame, so the God of Love plans a daring campaign to win her back. Yet the closer he gets to Psyche, the more he’s drawn to a geeky young professor who came crashing into his life.

Eros drags Rees into his wicked world of high fashion and risqué parties, only to expose him to danger from an unexpected source. When Rees’ secrets come out, they threaten to destroy Eros’ love for him. Yet when Rees is kidnapped, Eros is forced to turn to the woman who set this catastrophe in motion—his mother, Aphrodite.

Buy at: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-tenth-muse

Pre-order at Amazon

Change Begets Change by Tami Lund

When my life took a horrible, unexpected turn six weeks ago, I knew it would be changed forever—after all, I now only have one kid to raise, instead of two. One child onto which to pin all my hopes and dreams and fears. And of course the fears are exasperated, while I desperately work to keep the hopes and dreams in check. This is her life, not mine, no matter how much I would like to tell her exactly how I want it to turn out.

What I didn’t expect was quite how changed it would be. There are so many little things that otherwise would have gone completely unnoticed. There is far less laundry to wash and we run the dishwasher less often. We make smaller meals. The vanilla infused coffee I order from Community Coffee in New Orleans lasts longer. The house doesn’t get messy quite as quickly as it once did. There are no arguments over what to watch when we have Family Movie Night.

The trip from Detroit to Dallas, when we went on vacation a couple weeks ago, was a breeze. We hardly stopped, and there were no cries from the backseat: “Stay on your side.” “Stop touching me.” “No, I don’t want to share that [insert anything here].” And the one every parent loathes… “Are we there yet?” My daughter was far more fascinated with crossing state lines than she was in the final destination.

There are negative small, unexpected changes, as well. Who the hell is going to mow my lawn? Or snow blow my driveway next winter? My daughter believes emptying the dishwasher is torture, and now she has to do it every single time. She doesn’t understand why she cannot stay home alone, and half those snacks in the snack drawer need to be given away to someone, because she’s never going to eat them. Grocery shopping is more of a chore than ever, because I have to figure out what the hell my daughter likes to eat. My son ate anything, so I didn’t have to put much thought into snacks and breakfast food.

And then there are the big ones. While purchasing a cemetery plot for my son, my husband and I purchased the one next to him for ourselves, and selected the engraving for the headstone, too. Afterward, we joked that this was more permanent than getting married.

There have been some big changes in my writing life, too. I’ve hardly done much writing, partially due to grieving-induced writer’s block and partially because I have little time to dedicate to it these days. We’re constantly busy, which is by design, as idle minds think about things they’d rather not dwell on. I’ve also taken a hiatus from editing. I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it, and that’s okay. Initially, I felt this overwhelming need to rush everything along, as if that would somehow rush along the healing process, too. But I’ve recently realized that isn’t going to happen, so it’s okay to slow down everything else, too.

Weekend With Authors_May 2016
Another big change—probably the biggest, as it pertains to writing—is I’ve backed out of attending the A Weekend with the Authors event, which is scheduled for May 13-15 in Nashville, Tennessee. I was supposed to be one of the featured authors.

For the last two weeks, I’ve struggled with this decision. I’ve been trying to give myself mental pep talks; convince myself it will be fun (I have no doubt it will be). But the scary reality is: I still cry at the drop of a hat, with no forewarning. And I’m afraid to go on long trips by myself right now, where I will be alone with my own thoughts for hours on end. I hate crying in front of anyone, let alone strangers. I don’t mind being the center of attention, but only when that attention is positive. Having everyone focus on me because of my uncontrolled grief is not my idea of a good time.

So I made the difficult decision to cancel. I’m just not ready. I can hide behind my keyboard and usually put on a brave face—sometimes even cheerful and/or funny face—but I am afraid I cannot do it in person. Not yet. I will get there, I know. As a dear friend pointed out to me, it is not in my nature to be miserable. Eventually, the good days will far outweigh the bad ones. But right now, that isn’t the case, and this convention is only two and a half weeks away, and I know that is not enough time to find my former self again—or at least some semblance of who I once was.

I’m sorry I will miss it. I know it will be a fabulous event, and I fully expect to, at least on some level, regret my decision not to go. But right now I feel only relief that I do not have to try to do something I’m not ready to do yet.

And that’s okay.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author and a wine drinker, and she’s determined that one of these days, her blog posts will become funny again. In the meantime, check out the free reads on her website: TAMI LUND

Freebies, Sales and New Releases – Oh YES! – With Sara Daniel

SaraDaniel_TheBadBoysGuarantee_200Book promotion is not for the faint of heart. My preferred way to release a book is to let a publisher put it out and spend release day quietly writing my next book. Unfortunately, when I do what I prefer, no one knows my new book exists. So, I have to yell: “Hey, everybody, I have a new book out. It’s called THE BAD BOY’S GUARANTEE. If you like orgasms and chocolate martinis, you’ll love it.” And it should be an incredible bestseller because, really, who doesn’t like orgasms and chocolate martinis? Right??! I’ll take two of each right now, thanks.

But apparently, in this crowded marketplace, not even alcohol and guaranteed orgasms are enough of an enticement. So, I wrote a series and made the first book in the series free. Yep, that’s right. The Bad Boy’s Gift is now free. AND in case you were still on the fence, the second book, The Bad Boy’s Guilt, is on sale for only 99 cents.

Get your bad boy fix!That’s right. Three books for less than a cup of coffee. Please run out and buy them now, so I can spend the day quietly writing instead of yelling about them.

Oh, um, well, actually, my publicist says I need to yell at other people to buy them too.

And create some social media ads.

IMG_6281Oh, and I should probably mention that I’m chatting in a Facebook party for ANOTHER series on Friday (April 29th, 3-4pm Eastern) where I’ll be giving away this AMAZING bracelet. Plus, you should enter the Rafflecopter because you could win a KINDLE, a gift card, and awesome swag.

Now seriously, I have a new book out again in two weeks, so I have to get back to writing…

TGIF – Emilia Mancini

I know a lot of authors are hitting up the big events, but I prefer to keep it small. Not only is it better on my budget, but I get to spend more time chatting with readers. And I know so many of these authors that it’s more like a crazy family reunion than a convention.

I like crazy family reunions!

Next weekend, I’ll be at the Best Western in Clear Lake, Iowa for the North Iowa Book Bash hooking up with some lovely crazies like Micki Fredricks, Cassie Leigh, and K.J. Farnham.

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Here are the full deets:

Entry fee is $2 – tickets available at the door. The cost covers the entire event.:)

You don’t want to miss it! THREE Kindle Fires will be given away, along with some other great prizes!

Welcome bags for the first 100 guests! (18 & over)

ATTENDING:

★ Bethany Lopez
★ Pam Godwin
★ Maggi Myers
★ Fabiola Francisco
★ Micki Fredricks
★ Rachel Smith
★ Ashley Erin
★ Karen Fields Carr
★ Cheryl Corbin
★ Dennis Maulsby
★ Jordyn Meryl
★ Emma Robuck
★ Heidi Hutchinson
★ Tamara Siler Jones
★ Savannah Verte
★ Michael Koogler
★ Melissa Christopherson
★ K. M. Hutzel
★ Blogger Terri LeBlanc – Second Run Reviews
★ C.J. Baty
★ Christy Pastore
★ Bartenn Mills
★ Robyn Byrd with Take Wing Virtual Assistant Solutions
★ A.R. Miller
★ A. M. Wilson
★ Terry Maggert
★ HJ Bellus
★ KT Webb
★ Kelly Van Hull
★ Cassie Leigh
★ Bria Starr – Author
★ Alicia Kobishop
★ Ella Dominguez
★ Jewel E. Ann
★ Lori King
★ Elle Boon
★ K. J. Farnham
★ Jed Quinn
★ Amalie Silver
★ Stacey Lynn
★ Teresa Michaels
★ Jenna Jacob
★ Leia Madison
★ Klassy Editing and Writing Services /Matti Snook, Author
★ Anita Cox
★ Ashlynn Monroe
★ Lindsay Lake
★ Amanda Maxlyn
★ Sidda Lee Rain
★ J. A. Fredericks
★ Aaron Bunce
★ Tina Susedik
★ Jennifer Ann
★ Marci Boudreaux

There you have it! What I do with my life when I’m wondering how to move beyond this writer’s block! Come see us! For real. We’d love to see you!