The Princes are coming!

The first book I completed after becoming a mommy was Bound, book  1 of The Princes. The series was quickly signed with Liquid Silver Books and released over the next year or two. Sadly, the works never sold very well. Disappointing? Yes. But I continued the series, churning out five works before finally ending the series with Needed, book 5.

I’m proud to say that The Princes are being repackaged and rereleased this winter, starting today with Bound. I’m excited to breathe new life into my personal favorites.

Nadia is a kick-ass soldier who is sent to abduct the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

Mathis is a prince who’ll do anything to keep peace in his kingdom.

Each installment of The Princes features a Noventian noble or close friend, and each work showcases a different part of Noventian life.

The series is a fantasy historical, mostly taking place in the fictional kingdom of Noventia, an idyllic capital threatened by rebellion. Forays into Isidor and Aronia take place, each kingdom as exciting as the last.

Check out Bound, on sale today, and prepare for an epic fantasy saga!

the princes bound

The Hunting Widow Talks Poop

Once a year I get to claim that moniker, Hunting Widow. Don’t get me wrong; he heads out and attempts to kill forest animals at least a dozen other times throughout the year, sometimes even successfully. But those are day or weekend trips, and aren’t terribly disruptive to my life. In fact, I don’t mind them in the least, as it allows me additional, often uninterrupted, writing time that I would not otherwise have.

angry-bambiBut this mid-November excursion year after year, this is the big one. He leaves our southeast Michigan home in the middle of the night (okay, super early morning) and heads north until he crosses the Mighty Mackinaw Bridge, and then he hangs a left and drives west until he is almost to Wisconsin. And then he sits in the woods and hopes Bambi will make his way past the deer stand, so he can add a rack to the wall and fill the currently nearly empty deep freeze in the basement.

He discovered this hobby a month after my son, our first child, was born. Hunting SeasonThirteen years later, he swears it was a coincidence. Thirteen years later, I do not believe him, so we agree to disagree. We do that a lot in our relationship, which works well for both of us. I figure it’s making our kids well-rounded.

“Kids, your dad is a narrow-minded Republican, don’t listen to a word he says.”

“Kids, your mom is a bleeding heart liberal. If she had her way, we’d donate every penny we make to the poor and you’d never get to go on vacation.”

See? Well-rounded.

I used to resent this time he spent away, because it meant I had to take care of myself, two babies (after the third year of hunting, anyway), the dog, the house, and whatever the hell else cropped up while he was gone. Did I mention I work fulltime outside the home?

When the kids were little, it was hell. I mean, unconditionally horrid. Babies and toddlers require a great deal of upkeep, and I had not signed up to do it alone for even a week, so needless to say, I was terribly resentful of the time he spent away. He got into the habit of not even calling or texting while he was gone because he knew I would be bitchy and would pick a fight because goddamn it, taking care of kids is hard work, and like I threw in his face every opportunity I got, this was supposed to be a fifty-fifty gig.

Fast-forward thirteen years, and it’s a different world. My kids practically take care of themselves. My son is in middle school, and gets up, gets ready, and heads down to the bus stop without my having to say anything more than, “Have a great day at school and try not to give your science teacher grief.” My daughter still needs a little prodding, but not much, especially if you warn her ahead of time (“Here’s the plan for tomorrow morning. I know your dad doesn’t usually drop you off at the neighbor’s house until eight, but I have to leave for work at seven-thirty, so we need to be in the car and pulling out the driveway at that time, okay? And if we leave on time, I’ll buy you that pony you’ve been begging for.”).

She loves hanging out with these particular neighbors, so doesn’t mind an extra half hour in the morning, on occasion. Just yesterday it occurred to me that this was the last year I had to worry about early morning drop offs. She too will be in middle school next year, which means we’ll all leave the house at the same time. Easier yet.

Unless extra-curricular activities throw a wrench into my well-planned-out routine. Such as jazz band. My son has discovered a love of music and plays the trumpet. This year, he made it into jazz band, a high honor for seventh graders, which is fantastic, of course. As fabulous as this is, it means my routine has had to adjust, because jazz band practices for forty-five minutes prior to the start of school, and guess who has to drop him off two days a week?

Jazz Band

The last day of Hunting Widow-dom 2015 turned out to be the most challenging, because I had to get the son to jazz band practice, which meant we had to leave the house at seven a.m., which meant my daughter had to get up at six-thirty, a full hour earlier than she’s used to, and half an hour earlier than she’s had to get up since the husband has been away at deer camp. Have I mentioned she isn’t a morning person?

The night before, I convinced her to go to bed at 9:15, and I literally crawled into my own bed immediately thereafter, but that was because I’d stayed up until midnight the night before reading a book. Despite my early bedtime, I woke up late that morning, so instead of getting ready for work a half-hour prior to the kids getting up, as I’d planned, we were all trying to get ready at the same time, in one and a half bathrooms and one kitchen. Fun times.

And yet we made it. We were out the door at 7:05, which was my goal. The daughter was dropped at the neighbor’s, the son was at school by 7:15, and I was on my way to the day job, excited that I’d get there earlier than normal, therefore could cut out earlier than usual.

Halfway there is when it hit me. I hadn’t completed my normal morning routine. I hadn’t—gasp—pooped. In my own bathroom. All by myself, with no potential witnesses to any sounds or smells that might possibly occur. And as I continued to suck down coffee, I could feel the urge roiling in my gut, and I knew I’d have to go by the time I arrived at the day job.

Damn it.

I hate pooping at work. Which is so silly, if you think about it. First, everyone does it. Maybe not at work, but everyone does it, often daily. Second, I’ve birthed two kids, and if there’s anything more embarrassing than a nurse telling you, “You’re pooping on the table, so you’re doing it right,” I have yet to experience it.

Poop at Work

As I clutched the steering wheel and contemplated which restroom was least likely to contain witnesses, I thought about writing. Which led to another thought. I write about sex. No, not erotica, but I write romance, and my romance always contains sex. Fairly explicit sex scenes. Sex scenes drawn from the dark recesses of my mind. Sex I’d love to have, or maybe have had. And it occurred to me, why am I so damn embarrassed about performing a bodily function that everyone—everyone—does, but I happily and proudly write sexy stories and make them available for the entire world to read? What’s the difference? Wait, the difference is, everyone poops, but most people don’t write about sex and peddle it to the world. So therefore, I should not be embarrassed about either scenario, right?


Yeah, try telling that to my bowels.


Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund likes to write. And drink wine. She’s writing happily ever afters, one book at a time. Take a look at the free one, over on her website:

Holiday Traditions and Silly Writing Fun

IMG_5296I like to think of writing as living my dream, but this fall writing has been work. I’ve been in a frenzy, whipping books into shaping and sending them off to my editor. My muse was tired, and the creativity well was running low. I promised my muse if she stuck with me in October I’d give her a break in November. We both kept to our end of the bargain. For the past three weeks I’ve been cleaning my house from top to bottom, dealing with a massive pile of dirt in my backyard (don’t ask!) and gearing up for holiday craziness.

IMG_5137This holiday anticipation got me thinking about the goose decoy sitting on a dusty shelf in my laundry room. Since my brother found it on the side of the road nearly twenty years ago, the goose has found its way into many gag gifts and special occasions. It is a now a staple of our holiday grab bag exchange. Whoever gets the goose at Christmas holds onto it for the year and regifts it in the holiday exchange the next year. I got the goose last year, which means I get to plot a fun way to turn it into a gift this year. Bwahahaha!

IMG_5180My silent muse suddenly came to life. “We should write a book. Yeah, to show your family at Thanksgiving. About how scared Goose is to leave the shelf in our house and go to a new home. We can illustrate it with real pictures. From the camera. We’ll have Goose act out all the adventure we have planned for her. We can have her climb a tree, fly off the roof and hang from the basketball hoop. Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Let’s get started!”

walking with gooseSo, this weekend I wrote a “book.” It has a mere 500 words and plenty of pictures taken by me and my daughter. It’s ridiculous and silly. I carried the goose to the park to meet real geese, and my daughter was so embarrassed that people driving by would see me walking with a goose. (I was having far too much fun to be embarrassed!) I spent the rest of the weekend playing with page formatting and fonts. Finally, I uploaded the finished document to Office Depot and had it printed and bound.

Goose and meSharing this book over Thanksgiving and making my family smile and laugh is a special holiday treat for me and my muse. Now that she’s had her fun, hopefully she will cooperate and give me some nice productive word counts for December, and we’ll be back to living the dream!


Taking the Stress out of the Holidays by Lynn Lorenz

The Holidays.

Just those two words fill a lot of us with feels. Gets our hearts racing, and not in a good way. We tremble. Our palms sweat. Eyes glaze over.
It’s not a pretty sight.

We dread them for so many reasons. Happier times that are no more. Family. Loneliness. Family. Expectations we can’t possibly meet. Family. Gifts.
Hey, I’m seeing a trend here.

No one has a perfect family. There is no Norman Rockwell world. That’s not real life, right? Well, sort of. I remember great holidays, both Christmas and Thanksgiving, when my family gathered together at my Grandmother’s house. The matriarch of our family, her house was the place we all gathered. My mom had two sisters, who had husbands and about six cousins, and they would come from Florida and No. Louisiana to New Orleans. It was a blast. Great food, fun conversations. As a child, she taught me how to play cards – rummy, spades, poker, crazy eights, and when I was finally old enough, pinochle. (It’s sort of like bridge.)

But time passed. My mother died in 1982. My grandmother died in 1985. And that was it. It was as if my family disappeared. The connection was lost. As my aunts established their own holidays, meeting at their houses, my brother and I were forgotten. We’d lost membership. Our traditions were gone. We were young adults, with no family of our own. Orphaned by people we’d spent our entire lives with, loving and begin loved.

It wrecked both my brother and me. We were all so close. But without my mom and my grandmother, I felt as if they hadn’t really loved us at all.

I married. It was my hubs, me and my brother. We met for dinner, swapped presents, went home. My hubs’ family lived in Australia, so no holiday’s with them. We did that for ten years, and then we had kids.

I thought, now’s the chance! New holiday traditions! So, like a sentimental fool, I tried to recreate those wonderful holidays. Lots of presents. Big tree and decorations all over the house. Huge meal. It was awful. Every holiday was so stressful. I’d cook for hours to get the food right. Dressing. Turkey. Sides. That no one ate. Seriously. My kids and hub do not like turkey. Or dressing. Cranberries. Sweet potatoes. Gak! I was in my own personal holiday hell. I’d lose hair, my temper, try so hard to do it all, and when I failed, it crushed me.

You really can’t go home again.

Because those aren’t the same people. Not the same time.
We were miserable. There were fights. Crying. Disappointments.
And that was me and hubs.
The kids were great, but they hated the traditional foods. My kids are their father’s in the food category, for sure.

We realized along the years, that we had to create our own personal family holiday traditions.
So we did. We looked long and hard at what made us so miserable. The fight about the big meal no one wanted to cook, much less eat.
The presents that were never right. Spending money of decorations we used for less than one month a year.

Hubs and I decided to change what we’d been doing. Eliminate the stress points. Make our lives easier.
So we went back to going out to dinner, but we went to Chinese restaurants. After all, my hubs father’s family is Jewish. No one had to cook, or clean!
We told the kids, who by this time were old enough to know who Santa was, to make a list of their toys, from most important to least. We set budgets. And we stuck to them. When the money ran out, that was the end of the gifts.
And we each made a list of what we wanted. Where to find it and what it costs. It’s even better when they find stuff online!! The kids love those iTune cards.
We took the surprise out of gift giving and when we did that, we took the disappointment out of it too. For everyone.
Happiness! Imagine. You actually got what you wanted most!

As for the decorations? About five years ago, I asked the kids to help decorate. There was this long silence. Then they said, “Mom, we really don’t like this stuff.” I said, “Even the tree?” and the nodded. In my heart, I was relieved. It wasn’t fun, frankly, and caused so much stress. About the same time, one of my best friends belonged to a church that was robbed a month before Christmas. They took the artificial trees, decorations, everything. The church membership were crushed, to say the least, because they suspected someone from their own congregation had done it. Now this is not a big church or a rich church. They were scrambling to find decorations in time for the holiday.
I asked the family, hey, do we really want/need to decorate? They said no. It’s really a pain. It’s not what Christmas is to us. So, I called my friend and told her come get this stuff. She came over, climbed in the attic with the kids, and hauled it all way. Several trees, boxes of bulbs, bags of garlands, and a crate of nativity scenes.

Now, our tradition is to wake up, have a lovely breakfast, no rush, relax, hot chocolate, and then open gifts. We hang out, then go to lunch, sometimes with a dear friend of mine and her daughter, who are also alone. After that, we all hit the movies and catch the latest blockbuster. We’ve seen all the Harry Potters and Lord of the Rings, and those Star Wars, and now, this Christmas, we’re going to see the new Star Wars movie!

We spend a wonderful morning together, enjoying ourselves, playing video games, reading on our Kindles, and just hanging out. Then share the rest of our day with friends.

It’s not the way I used to do it. And when I think of those good old days, I get a little misty. But when I look around at my family on Christmas morning, I realize…
It’s better.

If you’re under stress from the holidays, think about what you can do to remove it. It’s just not worth the pain, the hurt or the disappointment to keep dealing with the stress. It doesn’t have to be big and it can be many small things.

What would you do to take the stress out of your holiday?

Thanks and stuff(ing) from Emilia Mancini

Here in the States, Thanksgiving is upon us. This is a day filled with all kinds of F-words. Family. Fun. Food. Football. (Yeah, I know what you were thinking.)

It’s also a day to sit back and think about all the things we are thankful for. Of course, I’m thankful for my family, my home, my health, but since I’m here, I’m going to give my thanks to all you lovely readers who support us indie authors, and also to the ladies of this group.

As difficult as it is to work in publishing, it would be nearly impossible for someone going it alone. The constant rejection letters, the negative reviews, social media attacks. Those are things we deal with on a regular basis. I wish our jobs were just being creative and pumping out stories for our readers to enjoy, but the truth is, being an author is a struggle on many levels. Having the support of people who live the same things is crucial and this group has always, even when we add new members and say goodbye to others, been a constant source of support for each other. And it sure doesn’t hurt to have amazing feedback from those of you who support our hard work. Your support is just as important, and we feel it constantly.

For that I am eternally thankful.

Happy Holidays to everyone and much love!


What’s the Line Between Erotic Romance and Erotica?


I suppose every writer has a slightly different definition, but for me one of the differences has to do with the presence (or absence) or a strong, believable plot. I see erotica as a series of sex scenes with either no plot, or a very thin one sort of tossed into the mix as an afterthought. Applying this definition, a book can have some amazingly smutty sex scenes, but still not be erotica if there’s a compelling plot that pulls the reader along. You know, something more than curiosity about what the next sex scene will look like.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but books without plots aren’t very interesting to me. Yeah, it makes me look pretty dated, huh? Crabby, old woman who insists on books that actually have a storyline. I’ll write steamy, descriptive sex, but it has to be a normal progression of my story, not just a sex scene because we went a few hundred words without one.
Another big difference is erotica doesn’t require a HEA or HFN. All romance books do. It’s part of their timeless appeal. Digging a little deeper, for the romance genre, the romance is the story. I’ve gotten a complaint or two for some of my books that, if you took the romance away, there would still be a story. I just hang my head, blush, and mutter, “Guilty as charged.” Virtually all my books feature subplots that support the romance, but could easily exist on their own. I’m fascinated by complicated plots, different worlds, different timeframes, and mingling them into believable wholes with hot alpha men and strong, confident women.
I have several urban fantasy romance and science fiction romance series, plus a bunch of standalone novellas/novels. While I enjoy series work, romance series require a new romance for each one. Hence, a new H/h combo. Sometimes, I prefer to write a two or three part series with the same protags. It’s actually not uncommon in urban fantasy, which is mostly what I write (with a smattering of historical tossed in).
The Dragon Lore Series includes an ancient, time-traveling dragon shifter who’s been asleep for three hundred years. It’s urban fantasy, but with strong romantic elements. To Love a Highland Dragon, has an HEA. The first book in that series, Highland Secrets, has a HFN. In book three, Dragon Maid, there’s yet another dragon shifter couple with an HEA. The final book in that series, Dragon’s Dare, doesn’t introduce any new major characters, but the couple from the first book finally, finally claw their way to an HEA.
There’s a time and place for every story. Erotica has an appeal, but I think it’s different from erotic romance, or the other romance genres. What do you think? Do you have a preference when you’re hunting down something new to read?

Party Season Questions Every Romance Author HATES!

Holiday PartyTis the beginning of the Holiday Season and that means the beginning of the “Party Season”. Since most authors are introverts, they are predestined to hate parties. Rooms filled with strangers who drink too much, get too loud and ask too many questions make most of us want to run back to our writing cave where we are alone in the quiet.

I’ll confess, I can swing from introverted to extroverted like a clock pendulum, so I am usually less uncomfortable with the multitude of repeated questions I get at parties. Here are some common questions and my answers.

“Your husband told me you write Mommy porn.” This is where I want to kill Macho Marine and wonder how long I can withhold sex. As some of you who follow my blogs know, MM doesn’t read my books….but his best friends do. My usual answer is something like. “He’s such hoot, isn’t he? Yes, I am an author. I write Romantic Suspense, kill’em and thrill ‘em. Or as our daughter calls it, Run, Gun and Fun.”

“So you write books. Are you published and everything? Can I buy your book at Walmart?” Blushing, I usually answer, “Yes, I’m an author and yes, I’m published, but no, you won’t find my books at the grocery or department store. You can order it on Amazon, though.” This is where I feel like I should whip out my promo material and point out all the links. But I don’t because we’re at a party.

“I tried to write a book once but just couldn’t do it. Guess I got writer’s block.” There are so many responses to this statement but I usually just inform them with statistics. “Less than five percent of people who claim to want to write a book actually start one and about one percent of all those people actually complete a novel. Less than ten percent of those people actually get a publishing contract.” I never bother to tell them that there are over ten thousand romance authors out there all vying for the same readers’ attention. Or how little money we make.

networking-holiday-party“Where do you get your ideas?” I’m not sure about other authors but I have about a dozen plot lines and twice that many characters running around in my head all the time. But telling someone who has had a few drinks that truth makes them look at you like you’re crazy. If I’ve had a few drinks and blurt out that reality, they hand me the business card of their most recent therapist. Most often I smile and say, “Oh, they just come to me.”

Sometimes they get bold and ask, “Do you write about yourself and Macho Marine…you know…in the sex scenes?” I try to be sure I haven’t recently swallowed my drink because it has actually been ejected through my nose before as I choke on that thought. I usually laugh and tell the truth, “I write fiction. I write what women want, not necessarily what we get.”

As a former journalist, and after working more than thirty years in public relations, I have lots of friends who are writers and wanna-be authors. My all-time favorite conversation usually comes from that sector of partiers, who by the way are hearty drinkers. “I don’t want to tell you my story. You might steal it.” First of all, that’s not my story and I have more than enough of my own. Second, every basic story has been already been written, you just get to write your own variation on the plot. Third, you could give a room filled with authors the same 25-word writing prompt and you’d end up with twenty-five different stories. “I don’t think you should tell me then. It’s your story. You should write that book.”

On the flip side of this rant, I LOVE going to conferences and talking with readers about books. They genuinely want to know the answers. At a Holiday party, it’s small talk.

Authors, tell me about the questions you get asked at parties and what kind of answers you give.