Cover Reveal: The Lonely Drop

The M/M Romance Group at Goodreads does an amazing thing every year: they host the phenomenal Don’t Read in the Closet events, which pair authors with reader-submitted prompts. Anyone can claim a prompt and participate, and anyone can provide a prompt to be written. It’s a wellspring of creativity leading to hundreds of free  stories of varying lengths, all written in about two months time.

This is my second year participating in the event. I look forward to this event as a way to recharge my writerly batteries–to remember the joy of writing for its own sake. This year, I chose a sweet prompt asking for a contemporary romance with an HEA ending, and I wrote what I’m starting to think of as the V No Special: two guys who don’t believe they deserve true love getting it anyway.

(yeah, I just called myself V No. Let’s forget this ever happened)

The story I wrote is called The Lonely Drop, and it’s set in the home of my heart, Asheville, North Carolina. It will be published by the M/M Romance Group sometime this summer (part of the fun is that we won’t know exactly when, but the stories begin posting on the first of June).  If you’re a member of the M/M Romance Group, you can read the prompt, see the photo that inspired the story, and even check out a sexy little excerpt in this thread:—claimed-by-vanessa-north

(if you’re not a member, why the heck not? Great discussion, events like this one, you know you want to!)

As promised, here’s the cover!


Abandoned by Becca Jameson coming this Thursday!

Abandoned-Becca_Jameson-500x800Oop, yeah, well, I got behind and forgot to post! But I’m here! And my latest release is this Thursday, May 1. Abandoned is the fifth book in the Wolf Gathering series. The sixth, and final, book in that series is currently pouring out of my fingers, making them ache. 😦

Here is the blurb for Abandoned. Enjoy! Becca

Allison Watkins has been missing for a year. One of many victims captured by the mysterious Romulus, she is finally rescued by the North American Reserves in a massive sting. Tired and in need of counseling, she comes to the Spencer Ranch in Texas to reunite with her parents and work through her trauma with the other rescued women.

Daniel Spencer has been training with NAR for over a year. He knows an undefined threat is closing in on the way of life shifters have enjoyed for centuries. And he is prepared to fight on the side of good to ensure his family and friends can continue to live in peace. What he isn’t prepared for is the sexy broken blonde with deep blue eyes who arrives at his family’s ranch and stops him dead in his tracks.

Allison is his mate. Denying the connection is futile. But she has been through a lot. She needs time. Time that is not on their side.

The clock is ticking. Daniel needs to get to Seattle and join the rest of the forces gathering to prepare for a battle against evil. He doesn’t have much time to spend with the mate he’s only known for days. Her safety and the safety of every shifter on the planet is at stake. He’ll do whatever it takes to ensure she stays alive.

What does the Romulus want? And why are they preying on young female shifters? Finding them and stopping this madness before the entire world knows about the existence of shifters is a top priority.


Merry Monstrous Monday!

The National Institute of Mental Health defines stress as the brain’s response to any demand. According to this organization there’s a positive side to stress. When we’re in danger, the stress response triggers body reactions, which can be life-saving: faster pulse, increased rate of breathing, muscle tension, more oxygen to the brain, all reactions crucial for survival. Stress can even boost the immune system.

One of my responses to stress is to start a new romance. So here’s a tiny tidbit from my latest WIP, Torch the Wind:

He was so not her type.
Jersey liked her men on the lean side, almost skinny. She never went for the buzz-cut military types and preferred a tall guy with hair on his head but not too much on the body—she had a shudder thing about hairy backs—and long, sensitive fingers. A man who looked like he knew his way around a piano and a whole bunch of other musical instruments. The kind of guy who could gently strum her to a mind-blowing orgasm.
Definitely not her usual hook-up.
But from the second he’d entered the bar, she hadn’t been able to drag her eyes away from his craggy features. Not handsome, not by a long shot. A buzz cut, dark brows, glittering emerald-gold eyes, a nose with a definite bump in the middle, and a dimpled chin dusted with sexy stubble. Individual features, which should have added together in a Clyde Owen appeal, but didn’t.
Yet, he had an air of danger about him and he moved with the sleek grace of a panther on the prowl. The tight jeans he wore caressed his butt like a loving glove. He had an ass to die for and not an ounce of body fat.
Jersey sighed.
That ruled her out.
Men with hard bods liked women with hard bods. While she wasn’t overweight per se, Jersey preferred curling up with her Kindle and a good book to even the thought of a gym, and she carried the extra thirteen pounds of a sedentary lifestyle.
Forget Mr. Muscle then.
Her exile began at noon tomorrow and, damn it, she intended to have the superlative hook-up. A sexcapade wild and dangerous enough to keep her and her handy vibrator busy reliving it in the lonely days and nights to come.

How do you handle stress?



Happy Anniversary, Mr. Mancini! (Kinda)

Monday is my wedding anniversary. A whole thirteen years of marriage to the wonderful Mr. Mancini. We weren’t planning anything big this year, something simple, just a nice quiet dinner for two at the local steakhouse. Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, things in my life rarely go simply, quietly, or as planned. But this time, things got shaken up in an incredibly exciting way, at least for me.

Oh, where to begin…

Every now and again I have to apply myself to the day job and venture out into the world to interview people. On Thursday, one of these people was late (very late) to our appointment and as I sat getting frustrated, I opened up my phone to scroll through Facebook and distract myself from my wasted time and what do I see? A post that Bette Midler (my absolutely favoritest ever!!) Tweeted that she is giving a speech in Des Moines on Monday. MONDAY??  MONDAY???


Bette and I need to work on our communication skills so I know when she’s going to be in town and can fangurl without freaking out about possibly missing the show.

How did I not know about this? How did I miss this? Clearly I’ve been spending too much time working and not enough time stalking my favorite celebrities. How did my priorities get so messed up?

I freak out. Surely it’s sold out. I pull up Ticketmaster on my phone and…what?… There’re still tickets! So I’m sitting in the lobby of Mr. Latey-Pants’s office trying to get to the ticket purchase site…on my phone…and here he comes 45 minutes late and with the worst timing ever. I wanted to tell him to hold up, I had to get me some Bette Midler tickets. But I’m a professional, damn it, so I begrudgingly close the window and put my phone away. However, all through the interview I’m thinking, Talk faster, talk faster, talk faster, I gotta get tickets.


Sorry, Mr. Mancini. Bette wins.

So I rushed out after the interview and called my husband and said, “I know our anniversary is Monday and you wanted to go to the steakhouse, but Bette Midler is going to be in town and I don’t care what you want…we’re going! But I can’t talk because I’m still in Des Moines and I have to hurry home and get tickets because the site is too slow on my phone!”

He responded, ever so wisely, “That sounds good, babe. Whatever you want.”

And then I hung up, drove 80 mph home, ran inside(literally)—ignoring the fact that I had to pee really, really, really badly and that my phone had rung a dozen times on the way home and that my dogs were tripping me in desperate attempts at saying hello—tackled my laptop, and got online.

After all that, guess what…

I got my tickets! YES! We’re in the back and far, far from the stage, but I don’t care! I do not care. I got my tickets! I’m going to see Bette Midler give a speech. On my wedding anniversary!

Best. Gift. Ever.

Happy anniversary to me!! Oh, and to Mr. Mancini, of course!


Spring = Nesting Time

red-tulipsIt’s Spring.  Maybe.  Well, most days it is.  Spring in central Indiana depends on two things: (1) jet stream coming out of Canada and (2) how much Gulf warmth and moisture we’re getting.  Usually we get both crashing into each other about 20 minutes north of my house and then we have wind, rain, hail, lightning, and, oh joy, tornado potential.

Then some days Spring’s  just meh.

And, yes, Spring is nesting time for all the lovely little birds. Spotted a cardinal and a finch and some robins all happily building nests. My yard is a Disney movie in the making.

But I was talking about another kind of nesting.  My nesting aka urge to get my house in order.

Spring is the time I deep-clean my nest.  I get the urge to buy new things for my nest. I arrange to have all the maintenance done on my nest.

Nesting takes away from writing time.  And quite frankly, that pisses me off.  But if my nest isn’t right, I can’t write.  My Muse gets distracted by the stain on the carpet or the noise in the AC motor or the thought of all the dryer lint stuck under my kitchen getting ready to burn my house down. Yes, I obsess.

Let’s face it — home ownership and maintenance is a time suck.  But it is a necessity.  Ever watch those house flip shows on DIY or HGTV?  Some home maintenance would’ve solved the mold problem or the termites. I don’t understand people who buy houses and then just exist.  I’m not those people.  My house is a finely tuned machine and I maintain it.

Good news is – I have a List. Yes, I am obsessed and A-type.  I am checking things off.  And with any luck (and the damn duct cleaning guys honoring their contract that I pre-paid), I might survive this period and get back on my writing schedule.

So, patience, please.  It’s Spring and I am in nesting-mode.


London Calling by Cherie Nicholls

Hello! I’m back did ya miss me?

So as you know, I am the English arm of the Love, Lust and Laptops. What you might not know is that today, in the UK at least is St George’s Day. He is the patron saint of England.

You’ve all heard of St Patrick’s day in Ireland? Well there is St David’s Day for Wales and St Andrew’s day for Scotland. Yes we’re, currently, one giant country but we do like to do things our own way too. (Scotland are going for Independence, but that’s a whole other post)

So we each have our own patron saint. What does this mean to our daily lives? Not a lot really, most people won’t even know it’s St George’s Day until they see it on Facebook or Twitter or some random place. We don’t get a day off work or exchange presents or anything like that. It’s simply a day where, if you remember, you go…”hay I’m English!”

What interests me really is, do other countries have Patron Saints Days? Do you have special celebrations? Do people even notice when the day comes around?

You may also have noticed I’ve been missing the last few Wednesdays that I was meant to post, sorry about that but we’ve has some great guests in filling that spot I’m sure you’ll agree. Apart from work life getting in the way I have had some medical stuff to take care of….two words for you.. Oral Surgery….yes I still shudder at the thought of it!

I had my wisdom teeth out and ended up looking like the loser in a boxing match. It wasn’t pretty and to be honest I’m still recovered but it’s all getting there.

Of course that had to be literally three days before my birthday….yeah “perfect” timing right.

So now it’s back to being an IT Manager by day and an Author by night……I’m kinda like batman but without the gadgets, cape or crime fighting…. heh

Side note: IF you check the coming soon page on this blog you’ll see that several of us will be at the RT Convention in New Orleans in May! Come say hi! But remember I’m also the one that doesn’t do hugging…how about a friendly high-five instead?

Until Next time….remember…..Hugging…it’s not big and it’s not clever!