Her Lieutenant by Theodora Lane

Her_Lieutenant-Theodora_Lane-500x800 I have a new release coming out July 3rd from Taliesin Publishing under my traditional romance name, Theodora Lane. I started this story years ago, before I was published. I tried to pitch it to editors and agents, but was told no one wanted to read a Russian historical, all the while calling for something “different.” So I let it sit, until recently and dragged it out. I had started with Taliesin and knew they were interested in “great romance stories” not just the usual, so I pitched it to them, and they loved it. Now, it’s ready to see the light of day and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s a erotic historical set in 1623 Russian. I found this era to be fascinating, and rarely written about. Years ago, I spotted a picture, a drawing really, of a mounted soldier. He was so dashing, yet dangerous looking, and there was only a small cpation, “A Druzhina soldier.” I did some research and discovered a group of fighters I’d never heard about. That image just captured my imagination, and a story started in my head. These men were the Tsar’s elite mounted guard, the Druzhina. They were like enforcers. If you were good, the Tsar might loan a garrison of them to sit around your lands, at your expense, keeping the peace or showing off his love for you. If you were bad, he’d send them in and basically kick your ass and bring you back into line. They rode warhorses trained for battle, were experts with sabers and knifes, and were feared and fearless.

Her Lieutenant —
Alexei is waiting to go into battle, when his captain sends him on a mission to return the daughter of the Duke of Bagry. Alexei is pissed about being used this way, but he must follow orders.

Arisha Bagry is tarnished by her past. She’s been sent away from her family, but she’s survived, adapted and is leading a quiet, content life. Bagry is a memory she’d rather forget. Having a Druzhina show up, demanding she return is not what she had planned for her life.

His mission is to bring her back. Her mission is never to return.

Here’s an excerpt —

“Are you having me on, Captain? You would waste me on this…errand?” Rising to his feet, Alexei’s brows furrowed as he glared at Cherburko from across the desk. Papers lay in stacks on one side, the other held pens, ink, and wax. A courier’s leather pouch lay open, envelopes spilled out of it, red wax stamped with the seal of the Druzhina.

“Lieutenant Zolvar, take your seat.” Captain Cherburko raised his bushy black eyebrows, and those thunderous grey eyes pinned Alexei where he stood.

He sat, fists on his thighs, and willed his breathing to slow, his heart to stop its gallop, his temper to cool.

Cherburko picked up a letter, glanced at it, and then put it down. He tapped the paper with his finger. “Do not mistake the importance of this mission, Lieutenant.”

“I beg your pardon, Captain, is this what the Tsar’s Druzhina have been reduced to here in Bagry? The duke’s own errand boys?”

Cherburko leaned forward. “No. But you are my errand boy, Lieutenant Zolvar, to send where I will. To battle, to death, even to some back country village to retrieve the duke’s daughter.” He picked up his pen and spun it in a slow circle in his fingers.

Alexei ground his teeth. Where the captain sent him, he must go. But this assignment was so far beneath him, unless… Was this a punishment?
“Sir, have I displeased you? Failed in some way?”

“No. Your service has been exemplary. What you have done on the battlefield and here in Bagry…well, I could ask no more of any man. Now I am sending you to Kolyma. You are the only man in my command I trust for this duty.” He pushed a bundle of papers and a pouch across the desk. “Here is the map and the coin for the journey from the duke’s own purse. The sealed letter is for you to deliver into his daughter’s hand.”

“Yes, sir.” Alexei scooped up the purse and the papers, and then pushed to his feet.

“Have that huge red horse of yours ready by dawn, you will need all the day’s light to make it there in four days. The duke’s daughter and her great-aunt must be returned in all haste.”

“As you command, Captain Cherburko.”

With a wave of his hand, Cherburko dismissed him.

Passing the clerk without returning the lad’s salute, Alexei strode out into the crisp night air.

Halfway across the courtyard, he stalked a tight circle and then halted. He jerked his hat off his head, slapped it against his thigh, and swore an oath between gritted teeth. By all the saints, how had he come to this? A letter carrier and a retriever of little girls?
With an exhale that emptied the air from his chest, he headed to the stables to speak to the grooms about readying his horse in the morn.

It’s out from Taliesin Publishing on July 3rd, and should be up at Amazon and all the usual suspect places.
I hope you’ll give this a try and fall in love with my Russians, just like I fell for them.

Bad Boys (and Girls) by Christy Gissendaner


This week, Facebook has been blowing up with pics of this crook, touting his handsome mug shot. As a person who has always had a thing for light-skinned, blue/green eyed men, I can agree he’s quite easy on the eyes. (Except for the strange cheek thing…is that a tatt?)

Typically I am not one who is ever going to find a criminal sexy. I’m still trying to come to terms with Gideon Cross being a murderer. But let’s admit it…there’s always been heroes in romance novels who toe the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Sometimes maybe even downright illegal things.

I like to say I’m a law-abiding citizen. I follow the rules. Obey the speed limit (sometimes). Don’t pull the tags off my pillow cases. But ever so often there comes a time you do something totally illegal just for the hell of it.

For me, it seems to always happen near a body of water. I’ve been skinny dipping twice…once in a state park afterhours, another at a country club’s pool. And there was a “frisky” moment between the hubby and I just recently in a pool at a hotel which shall remain unnamed at a conference which I can’t mention that took place in the a Southern city of which I can’t speak. (In case some of you LL&L’ers wondered what the hubs and I got up to at night. Bahaha!)

I know I’m not the only one. Since it’s Friday and way past time to let our hair down, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Authors, I want to know what’s the most illegal thing you’ve had your character attempt. Readers, what rules have you broken? Spill the beans and let me know all the juiciest bad boy and girl gossip!

Why Novellas?

Happy Thursday my darlings!

The question I seem to get most often these days is: “Why a novella series?” My answer is: “Why not?”

I might not be a plotter, but I AM a planner. A business planner. The actual art of writing is only a part of being a writer. And, let’s face it; novellas are the new black. Readers have shown that they want the instant gratification provided by a well-written novella. In our fast-paced world, it’s what readers have time for. Plus, novellas are cheaper than full-length novels (or they SHOULD be). That’s a win!

When I began planning the Shadow Maverick Ranch series, I had two things in mind. First, I wanted the stories to be satisfying novellas – complete stories that gave the reader a quick escape. Second, and most important, I wanted these stories to be down-to-earth, real-life situations. No heavy drama, no over-the-top scenarios. Just a family of ranchers dealing with everyday life. Well … okay. Just a family of male ranchers dealing with their love lives. Oh, to hell with it. Shadow Maverick Ranch is about some hot cowboys and the women who tame their wild hearts. Period.

Will the Shadow Maverick Ranch series always be novellas? I can say the first three are definitely novellas, yes. After that … I suppose the readers will decide…

Here’s a little taste of Borrowed Cowboy – available now! ParkerKincade_BorrowedCowboy_HR


Pax made good on his promise to call.

He called every night for a week, so when her phone rang late on Friday night, Reese wasn’t surprised.

“Hi, beautiful. You home yet?”

She experienced a rush of pleasure at hearing his voice. Reese turned her key in the lock. The man had impeccable timing. “Walking in now.”

“How’d it go?”

She tossed her purse and keys on the narrow counter that served as a pass-through to her kitchen.

“Without a hitch.” She’d been planning the fundraiser for a local children’s hospital for months. “They raised a lot of money, and I found the perfect caterer for Gavin and Lauren’s wedding.”

Surprise colored his tone. “Yeah?”

“I’ve been hesitant to mention them to Lauren. They were highly recommended, but I’ve never seen them in action until tonight. The food was delicious, and perfect for what Lauren envisioned. I won’t bore you with the details. What did you do today?”

“You never bore me, darlin’. You wanna talk boring? I spent a good part of the day in the office with Gavin.”

She snickered. “In the office?” As memory served, Pax hated anything to do with paperwork. Or being cooped up inside. He preferred fresh air and wide-open spaces.

“Not my favorite thing to do, but sometimes, a necessary evil. There’s a neighboring property we’d like to buy. We had a conference call with our dad this morning. Sort of a status update, I guess you could say. Then I spent the next few hours going over land surveys and next year’s breeding schedule. Tedious stuff.”

Right. Tedious. He loved every minute of it, just as she loved her work. “Are your parents enjoying their vacation?”

Reese made her way to the bedroom. She kicked off her heels, shouldered the phone, and worked the sheer pantyhose down her legs. Wearing pantyhose on a hot Texas night should be a crime. She sat on the edge of the bed and flexed her toes, groaning as her muscles cooled and relaxed.


“They are.” Pax’s voice turned sultry smooth. “What are you doing?”

She fell back on the bed. “I’m reveling in being out of those shoes. And don’t get me started on the pantyhose.”

“If I were there, you’d be out of more than just your hose and shoes.”

Her body reacted to his threat, heat pooling between her thighs. “Promises, promises.”

Reese ran a hand over her breast. God, she missed him. Their work schedules had made getting together impossible over the last week. They had their date for Mrs. Sinclair’s seafood boil tomorrow, and it couldn’t come soon enough. Reese was counting down the hours until Pax picked her up.

The night of Patrick’s death had haunted her for so long. She felt lighter, happier than she had in years. Reese never dreamed they’d be in this place. She and Pax. Rediscovering the connection between them.

Their nightly conversations had been tame. A ritualistic check-in at the end of each day that screamed relationship. They’d begun to get to know each other again, which seemed odd considering in the two times she’d seen him, he’d made her come more times than she could count.

Leave it to them to do things backward.

Pax continued to avoid the topic of his marriage and Reese didn’t push. She’d figured out most of it on her own, anyway. Reese hadn’t been entirely forthcoming, either. She’d never been married, but she’d been asked. Recently. Pax deserved to know, but how does one go about saying Hey, this guy I refused to marry keeps calling…

Yeah, not so easy when the man she loved was looking for a reason not to trust her. Whether he realized he was doing it or not.

One day, he’d trust her to protect his heart. The last thing she wanted to do was give him a reason not to.

Reese filled her lungs, prepared to broach the subject.

He’d be cool. Pax would see the situation for what it was. Reese wasn’t interested in Todd or anything he had to offer. Pax owned her heart. Okay, so she wouldn’t share that last part. Call it a defense mechanism. Whatever. Her heart wasn’t a card she was ready to play.

“Tell me about the dress you’re wearing. I assume you’re in a dress?”

Pax’s words startled her back to the conversation. “Well … yes. For the moment I am. A cocktail dress. Simple. Nothing flashy.” She was often expected to attend the fundraisers she planned. She dressed the part, but preferred to stay on the sidelines to make sure everything went as scheduled.

“Gonna need a little more for the visual I’m trying to create here, sweetheart.”

And she’d just lost her opening to a conversation that would now have to wait. Not for long, though. Soon.

“It’s just a dress. Spaghetti straps. Modest…” She glanced at her cleavage. “…modest-ish. Black and turquoise. That’s sort of a green—”

“I know what turquoise looks like. Keep going. Is it a long dress?”

“No, short.”

He growled. “How short?”

Reese hummed into the phone, warming to his game. “Short enough.”

“Take it off.”

Her stomach clenched at the demand. “What?”

“Take. It. Off.”


To purchase Borrowed Cowboy:


Barnes and Noble

All Romance eBooks


As always, thank you for reading!! Tell me readers, what do you like or dislike about novellas?

Until next time…


Celebrating Pride with LGBTQ book recs!

It’s June 25th, which means it’s the anniversary of the first time the Pride Flag flew in San Francisco in 1978. This week and this month, people the world over are celebrating Pride, so today I’m sharing some of my favorite books with queer characters and themes.

Photo by Ludovic Bertron This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Perhaps one of the best-known (and for a reason–Isherwood’s elegant prose remains timeless 50 years later) works of gay fiction is Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man. I don’t think I could write a recommendation list for gay fiction I love that didn’t start there.

I love stories with awesome lesbian characters, and I can think of none I love more than Kate Kane. Alexis Hall’s Iron & Velvet kicks off the wildly fun and funny paranormal mystery series about Kate and her adventures as a paranormal investigator, and the recently released Shadows & Dreams continues her story.

For science fiction lovers, I recommend Lisa Henry’s Dark Space (gay/bisexual), and Cathy Pegau’s Deep Deception (lesbian). And for fantasy lovers, Ginn Hale’s epic serial, The Rifter, which begins with The Shattered Gates.

For short fiction, I adore stories with a strong sense of place sketched in few words, atmospheric vignettes that stick with me long after I’ve read them. Two I recommend are Aleksandr Voinov’s Skybound, a historical set on a German airfield at the end of WWII, and Julio-Alexi Genao’s When You Were Pixels, a beautiful science fiction story set in a dystopian future.

Happy Pride!

Please share your recommendations in the comments, I’m always looking to add to my reading list!



Ah, the relief! And a little bit about me…

Yes, that special feeling I get when I wrap up a new manuscript and hit that send button–off it goes, drifting through cyberspace to my editor. Deep breaths. A nice dip in the pool is in order… I love that feeling.

So, book four of the Emergence series is the latest accomplishment. Bound to be Tempted. It will release in the spring with Samhain Publishing.

Meanwhile, my crazy week has been filled with the formation of an entirely new series, maybe even three books that go together. They have titles even! And a series title! That’s crazy weird for me. I sometimes am still scrambling for a title when a book is under contract! Not this time. And they are BDSM. The plot is lining up on my desk… Leaking from my brain when I’m trying to sleep… And that is how new stories are born.

I’ve thought a lot about that process lately. I’m not like other writers. I never wrote a word as a child, that wasn’t required for school that is! I don’t have handwritten manuscripts stuffed under my bed or the back of my closet. I don’t have diaries. I don’t have anything typed on that awesome fantastic electric typewriter I had in college. (Did I just date myself?) But what I did do my entire life for as long as I can remember was day dream. I made up entire soap operas of romances in my head. I would sit for hours thinking of plots. I just never realized from that I was a writer.

So, here I am, 45 years old, and living a dream I didn’t know I had! And I love it so much, I wake up every single day smiling, itching to get back to my desk and make my characters come to life. And I’m so lucky to have so many fans that make it all possible. Thank you, everyone for your kind words and support. You make it all worth it!

But, I must scoot that latest plot bunny aside, because book three of my The Fight Club series is clamoring for attention also! Sexy hot cop…MMA…dominance…a motorcycle… You can see why I’m distracted. Another book completed, no time to rest (well, except for that nap in the pool I mentioned), and it’s back to storyland–the fantasy world I live in where dreams come true!




 Prymal_Lust-Jianne_Carlo-500x800Isn’t the cover of the first book in my new Prymal series mouth-watering?

What is Prymal?

The primal call of Mate Claim sparks battle among the three species of  shifters-Wylfen, Feral, & Rogue-and has for generations. These violent feuds incite hunts by humankind, driving shifters near extinction. To protect their people the aristocratic Wylfen ban the practice of Mate Claim. When a Rogue alpha claims a Wylfen female, the mated pair forms a coalition with a Feral male. An alliance is created: Prymal, a new species & pack born of Rogue, Wylfen, & Feral. And war begins…

Prymal Lust, Book One in the series, debuts on August 7, 2014.

Here’s the blurb:

Tania, a Wylfen aristocrat, hooks up with a stranger right before her twin’s graduation from military college. Not hours later, the bottom drops out of her world when she’s introduced to Axe, her twin’s new SEAL instructor. Then she discovers he’s a Feral Wolf, the arch enemy of her people. Wylfen laws prohibit her from mating with a half-breed. If anyone finds out she’s mated with Axe, exile is the least she has to fear…

Have a Magnificent Monday!




Guest Blogger Doris O’Connor @mamad8

Thanks so much for having me here today with my paranormal BDSM story Her Imaginary Lover.
Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? I bet he felt very real to you. What if these imaginary friends were real, however? And what if, not all of them were nice friends… What if there was a whole other dimension…
Such is the premise behind Her Imaginary Lover.
To Macie, Kaylom has always been real. Blind from birth, she never realized other people couldn’t see him, until her parents started to doubt her sanity, and eventually she sent him away.
That was fifteen years ago, but Kaylom is back now, and Macie is not a child anymore…

~Editors Pick~
When your imaginary friend turns out to be real, there’s only one thing you can do—have the best sex of your life.
Macie Johann’s ordered world is thrown into chaos, when she is attacked on her way home from work. The muscle bound hunk that comes to her rescue would appear to be naked? Okay then, maybe she has hit her head a bit too hard, but then again no one else seems to notice him, and there is something very familiar about this guy.
Blind from birth Macie has learnt to trust her senses, and they all scream at her to grab her chance of true happiness with the man, who makes her body and soul sing. Never mind the small fact of his not being human.
When their actions get Kaylom yanked back into his dimension to stand trial, Macie follows determined to fight for her man.

Macie grinned at the sound of smashing crockery, as he kicked her legs apart and urged her forward until her torso lay prone on her table. With her breasts squashed into the wood, and his hand applying pressure on her shoulder blades, she had nowhere to go. A shudder went through her when he stepped so close that his hair roughened thighs touched the back of her legs. His heavy erection slid along her pussy lips, and she knew she was coating him in her juices. They slid down the inside of her thighs.
The mere fact they were doing this here, now, in her kitchen added another layer of deliciously naughty to the whole experience. Her kitchen faced a busy main street, and she had no curtains up. In theory anyone would be able to see in and see what they were doing. A giggle escaped her at the thought. Not that they would see Kaylom. They would no doubt wonder at the strange woman who lay naked along her table.
Kaylom’s chest molded itself along her back, and a little nip to her shoulder focused his attention back on him.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
A sharp pinch to the side of her breast made her gasp. That sting traveled straight to her clit, and she wriggled her hips to relieve the resulting ache in her pussy.
“Nothing, is it? I think my little munchkin needs to be reminded who’s boss.”
He lifted off her, and she moaned at the loss of his body warmth. A smack to her ass ground her pelvis into the edge of the table, and she bit her lip to stop from crying out. That felt way too good. He soothed the sting with his hand, and then spanked her other cheek with considerably more force than the first swat. Macie yelped and squirmed under his hands, and his chuckle seemed to echo around the room. It only served to stoke her excitement further. Kaylom ran his hands up and down her spine and then up her arms taking them with him. He curled her fingers over the opposite edge of her small table.
“Keep them like this and don’t move, or I’ll have to tie you to this table, do you hear me?”
“Yes,” she said, and all the breath left her lungs when he smacked her ass with so much force she slid further up the table.
“Yes, what?” he asked, and this time there was no mistaking the edge of command in his voice. He yanked her head back hard, and his hot breath skittered across her sweat slicked flesh as he nipped at her lips and throat. A feminist would have a field day with her right now, but fuck her, if this display of his dominance didn’t turn her on even more.
What had he said? His kind demanded their mates to be submissive and calling him “Sir” was a token of respect.
“Yes, Sir,” she said, and he kissed her with so much passion, it took her breath away.
“Good girl. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear you say that.”
She blinked back tears and held onto the edge for dear life when he grasped her hips, and pulled her down the table until her ass hung off it.
“You’re so fucking wet for me baby. You want me to fuck this sweet ass of yours, don’t you?” His breath felt cool across her slick folds, and his fingers dug into her thighs as he spread her wider, and Macie lost the ability to think at the first touch of his tongue.
He licked her from slit to clit and back again, until she was so close to coming she didn’t even know what the sounds were spilling from her mouth.
Seconds before she reached that all elusive peak, he withdrew, and she thumped her head against the table in frustration.
“Bastard, err, Sir.”
He laughed and then rained a series of hard swats on her ass that left her breathless and even wetter.
“Oh your butt reddens beautifully under my hands, my sweet, and let’s gets one thing straight. I will not tolerate you using cuss words. Your mouth is far too pretty for anything that nasty to come out of it. If we were in my realm I’d shove a gag inside that foul sounding mouth and then strap a vibrator inside you with just enough force to keep you on the edge without coming. How would you like that?”
Macie shook her head and swallowed nervously.
“No, Sir, thank you, Sir, I wouldn’t like that at all.”
The air displacement gave her a second’s warning before he tunneled his tongue into her pussy hole, and she climbed back up those delicious rungs of tingling bliss before he once again withdrew.
Macie keened her disappointment, and he delivered several more open handed swats to her ass, before he attacked her swollen and sensitive pussy again.
Macie lost count how many times he spanked her and then revved her up again before withdrawing. Time lost all meaning. All that mattered were the painful swats to her ass that morphed into blissful heat, which suffused her entire body until she felt on fire for this man.
From far, far away she heard his voice eventually, and she flinched when something cold hit her ass crack.
“Sorry, my sweet, this will only last a moment.”

Add it to your Good Reads list:

HIL release
Author Bio:
Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris… at least that’s what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.
There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps.
She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
Stalking Links
Website Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Evernight Publishing
Amazon All Romance E-Books BookStrand Barnes&Noble



Summer and Sangrias by Emilia Mancini

It’s officially summer. Not that you’d know it if you happen to live in Iowa. The temp dropped about twenty degrees today as storms rolled through. I don’t mind the lower temperatures, but I sure could do without the thunder, lightening, and tornado warnings every ten minutes.

This too shall pass, and the sun will break through, dry up the rain (read: humidity), and it will start to feel like summer.

The best thing about summer? I know I should say vacations, family time, and relaxation, but honestly, the thing best thing about summer for me is sitting in the shade enjoying a nice cold sangria.

Does that make me shallow? I don’t care. Nothing feels better than kicking back with a fruity red wine drink to chase the stress away. Let the kids run, the hubby grill, and the bugs buzz. I’ll be over under the maple stretched out on my chaise drinking my cares away.

I’ve tried a few sangria recipes, but there is one I always fall back on. One that I just love and I’m going to share it with you in hopes that you’ll raise a glass and toast the nicer weather with me.


What you’ll need:

2 large juice oranges, washed; one orange sliced; remaining orange juiced

1 large lemon, washed and sliced

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup Triple Sec

1 bottle medium-bodied red wine, chilled


What you’ll do:

1. Add sliced fruits and sugar to large pitcher and gently mash until some juices are released and sugar dissolves.

2. Stir in wine, orange juice, and Triple Sec

3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. The longer the better as the flavors blend more and smooth out.

4. Add ice and stir before serving.


Easy-peasy and super cheap. A great way to relax this summer and this recipe is easily doubled for a party or get together….or, you know…if you just need that much help relaxing in the summer. 😉


Hope everyone has a fantastic season filled with fun, family, friends, and sangrias!

Busy as a Bee

cute-cartoon-bee-thumbI’m back from Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get-Together.  Did you miss me?  😉

Now that I am home and am going nowhere until an industry conference in late October, I need to get down to business and write, edit, write, revise, write … well, you get the picture.

So, what’s on deck, you ask?

First, I need to get Prime Imperative back from my critique buddies. I know they are working hard — and will put me through the wringer.  I expect this.  What they received was a revised first draft, and I know it needed some good-third party critical eyes.  Once I have that intense revision done, it will then go to my publisher where my eagle eye editor is waiting to pick at it also.  After I go through her edits, then the final line editor gets to take another whack at me.  And then and only then will it get published.

Second, I have started and will spend the rest of the summer on the fourth SSI book, Storm Warning. This is Tweeter Walsh’s book and the story will begin with his soon-to-be lady love, DJ Poe, a former Marine helicopter pilot who will think of Tweeter as Andy and Devin Walsh’s baby geek brother.  She is in for a surprise because as we all know, while Tweeter is a very smart computer nerd, he isn’t a marshmallow. What does DJ stand for?  Well, only her momma gets away with calling DJ by her real name — and maybe Tweeter.

The above two books will be my main work product for the year of 2014.  If I’m lucky, I might squeeze in a between -the-novel’s book in SSI and/or a short story for Bria’s research assistant in Prime Imperative. One or the other, people, not both. 🙂  I’m thinking the short story will come first since the research assistant is named for my one critique partner and she wants her namesake to get her sexy on.  We’ll see. 😉

Of course, all the writing and revising only get done when  life does not intrude.  Since I am teaching several online classes this year, beta-reading and critiquing other authors’ books, and setting up registration for Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans (World-Wide Mystery Authors Convention), there will be days and sometimes weeks where I’m lucky to write at all.

Picture me as a busy bee.  funny-bee-pencil-thumb

And a new book begins.

It’s been a busy and exciting time for me. As my faithful readers know, I’ve been working on finishing the latest installment of the Gemini Island Shifters series, Predator’s Fire. This will be book five in the series. It’s now complete and sitting pretty with my publisher, with whom I hope to begin edits soon.

I have another manuscript out for submission, too. This one is a steamy contemporary, set in the Las Vegas casino world. I’m crossing fingers that I’ll hear back about it soon and begin the publishing process.


The temptation, for me, after finishing books is to go back and immediately start wondering how they could be improved. After all, I know they’ll go through a rigorous editing process anyway. However, it’s very important to keep up momentum and continue writing. So, for the moment, I have to shelve these two submissions, forget about them, pray they’ll be accepted, and start a new book. No sense torturing myself, wondering what those publishers will think until I actually from them, right?

I’m moving onto something completely different this time, another contemporary. This story has been tormenting me for some time and I knew I had to write it. It’s lighter than the contemporary I just completed and miles away from Gemini Island. So what do I do first?

I always like to establish my main characters and major conflict before I do anything else. I find the two people on earth who shouldn’t be together, and find a way to throw them at each other. I begin to sketch out their histories, filling in little details like past loves, education, favorite foods, best friends, etc. I give them jobs and beliefs, quirks and failings.

Then I come up with secondary conflicts, the ones that don’t necessarily drive the action, but which color it. The ones that provide a context for my characters’ reactions. These conflicts could involve family issues, problems at work, or former lovers coming back to haunt them.

I begin to plot. As I do, I always ask myself, “What needs to happen to get them to their happy ending?” How can I pour on more layers of conflict and how do I resolve them? Once I have a few major plot points established in an outline, I begin. For me, one of the hardest things to accomplish is to avoid constant self-editing as I write. I love nothing more than going back and rehashing every small word. However, as much as possible, I attempt to write, write, write until I have several thousand words.

Only then, do I allow myself the luxury of reviewing a bit, and even then, I try to keep it simple. At this point, I’m looking more for timeline discrepancies and plot holes, rather than grammar and spelling. I review my outline. Does it still make sense? Do I need to alter any events based on what I wrote? Is my couple still headed toward their inevitable happy ending, or have I written them into a hole of despair? It’s important to review all these things periodically.

There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than attacking that blank piece of paper at the start of a new book, but it can also be very intimidating. It’s quite easy to start doubting, even at the start. Not sure your story will work? Well, you won’t know until you get it down. All the experienced authors will tell you to write, even if you’re not sure what you’re writing. You can always go back and fix it later. However, until that first word, that first chapter gets written, nothing else will follow.

And so, my blank page awaits. My characters are waiting to fall in love. I might even have a villain or two in the wings, eager to throw a wrench in their plans.

My new book must begin now.

10 Reasons Why I Write by Lynn Lorenz

So much drama lately. Bad juju. Anger. Frustration.
It makes me sad. And tired.
I’m not going to write about that today.

Today, I’m going to remember why I write. Why I love to write. Why it’s absolutely necessary for me to write.

1. Because there are stories in my head that won’t stop until I get them down on a Word doc. They bother me, keep me up at night. I see them, like a movie going on in my head. The dialogue, the action, down to the gestures of the characters. The scenes unfold and I can run them backward, make changes in dialogue or fast forward to the place that just isn’t working out. It’s part of my process now. I see it and then write it down. How cool is that?

2. I love to brainstorm. I love the process of creating the characters, the world, the dialogue, the twists and turns of the plot. The black moment. The hero’s flaw and his rock solid strength. It’s intriguing to me how a story grows, bends, and spreads, like a tree. I love asking “what if” or “why” and struggling to find the answers to those questions. It’s the process of story growth and it’s exciting to me.

3. I love to edit. I do. It’s sad, sort of. I love writing each chapter, then going over it, tweaking the verbs, catching words used too many times too close together. Working methodically to produce the best product I can. Layering and adding, trimming and tightening. I write each chapter and then edit it before moving on. Every three chapters, I print and go over them for edits and continuity, until the entire manuschipt is done. One draft. The End.

4. I love the characters. I just love creating characters who make my heart swell, make me mad enough to want to slap the hell out of them, or clutch them to my heart. The ones who cry out for love and acceptance. I love feeling them. Their happiness. Their sadness. Their victories and defeats. They become real to me as I’m writing and I love them. Even the villians. I try to make my villians understandable. Sometimes even redeemable. And boy, do I love my secondary characters. I love creating them, knowing the next story will belong to them.

5. I love building worlds. Taking places I know and love and incorporating them into new spaces, cities, lands. Creating new worlds. Deciding on rules and laws and what controls and binds those worlds together. It’s good to be king.

6. I love putting it all together. Building the story and laying it out and setting my characters down in the middle of it all and then torturing the hell out of them. I can be cruel, but it’s all for a purpose – character growth. I love building that golden character arc. Taking a character at the beginning of a story and building his strengths, awakening his self-awareness, unveiling the stuff he has inside him, stuff he didn’t even know he had, and then taking him to the end. Ready to claim his happily ever after.

7. I love a HEA. I’m a romantic sap. I never used to be. I never read romance novels. Ever. I read true crime. Horror. Murder mysteries. No happy endings there, unless the murderer was caught. My theory is I had kids. Mommy hormones took over, cracked a hole in my hard heart and let the gooey sap in. Damn it. I used to be strong. Dry eyed. Now, they deliver the mail on TV and I’m sobbing. God forbid there’s a soldier on the screen. Or cute kids. Forget the damn rescue animals. I blame my kids. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

8. I love that someone thinks so much of my writing they want to publish it. Ho-ly shit. Someone liked my writing. It’s incredible. Mind blown. So many people dream of being published. Hundreds of thousands. And they chose me. Me. Wow. And not just once, but like, 41 times. Forty. One. And counting. Because I ain’t stopping.

9. I love getting my covers. I love seeing what an artist does to my book, how he/she interprets it and brings it to a visual end. Even if it’s not quite right, I love tweaking the image. And I have to say, most of my covers have been wonderful. And most of the artists have been professional in listening to my ideas and incorporating them. Covers are so freaking cool.

10. Finally…I love getting letters from readers. It totally turns me on. Makes my day. Lightens my heart. Makes me proud. Someone read my book! Someone took time out of their day to let me know about it, good or bad. And when someone tells me that my book helped them, changed them, made a difference?? It blows me away and makes me so glad I write.

Despite all the craptastic drama surrounding being a writer in today’s social media world, I have to remind myself why I write.
Because I love it.
Because I have a story to tell.
Lots of them.
With all sorts of protags and vilians and secondary characters. Werewolves, vampires, dragons and just plain old people.
In this world, the past, and the future.
My imagination is the only limit.

This is why I write. Because I have to write, like I have to breathe. Because my heart wouldn’t be whole if I didn’t.
No matter who says what. I’m ignoring them. Fuck ’em!

I fucking love my job!!!!