WIP Weekend

We thought we’d bring you up to date on what we Ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops have been up to lately.

Emily Mancini writing as Marci Boudreaux is re-releasing Unforgettable You

cover_300When life throws a widowed innkeeper and a world-famous movie star together they share an unexpected romance. But is their love strong enough to survive their real lives?

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.

This will be re-released March 4, 2016.    Click here to BUY

 

Sara Daniel – Sneak peek at The Bad Boy’s Gift by Sara Daniel   Coming March 29, 2016

His gift is the only thing left from the love they shared…and she plans to sell it.

 

The bad boy of Regret Hollow had received an engraved invitation to return to town. Zane DeMonde smirked and flicked the card in the trash.

“Did you actually read the invitation?” Ken Hawkins demanded, striding toward the discarded paper.

“I don’t need to,” he assured his business manager. “Those people don’t warrant a reply. After sending me out with a boot to the ass, no matter how much they kiss my ass now, they won’t convince me to give them the time of day.”

“That’s an interesting ass fixation you have.” Ken grinned. “I’ll have to hint at it when you release your new painting and see if the critics can divine where it comes into play.”

Zane snorted, relieved for the distraction from the place he could never exorcise from his mind. “Speaking of which, have you planned a debut for the new pieces yet?”

“I’m waiting for the buzz about this auction of your early work to reach its peak. Then I’m going to book a top venue and capitalize on the momentum.”

“What auction? What early work?”

“If you bothered to read your mail, maybe you’d know.” Ken retrieved the invitation from the trash and slapped it on the desktop. “Four original pieces from a private collection that have never been on public display are going on sale. The woman in charge won’t give any details about them until the day of the sale.”

“Sounds like fraud to me. No one in town would want anything of mine, even if they could afford it.”

“If you really think it could be fraud, we better be damn sure before we start pointing fingers. The woman running the event is Julianne Truman. Ring any bells?”

Zane froze. Her name rang all his bells.

Theodora Lane’s WIP – Maximus Garage: Logan’s Promise  (no cover yet)
Blurb – For five ex-special forces men, Maximus Garage is more than a place to work. It’s a refuge, a safe house, and a place where they can use the special talents they honed in the military.

Logan Spiers held his best friend Billy Walters as Billy died in Iraq. Logan promised him to take care of his kid sister, Shae. It’s years later and Shae’s in trouble. Her father has gone missing in Brazil. Logan swore to help Billy’s little sister, but

Shae’s all grown up and all woman. She’s a Texas tornado and nothing, not even Logan, will stop her from finding and rescuing
her father.

KaLyn Cooper – Just released 2 books. Click on the cover of Claimed by a SEAL to read the first chapter.

Claimed cover w KW logoThree years ago, Stacie Vandercoy was stuck undercover in Iraq for six months with Jeff “Rock Star” Lennon, the arrogant SEAL who thought he was God’s gift to women. But he couldn’t have her. Fraternization is against the rules. And still is as they infiltrate home-grown terrorism in Norfolk, Virginia. Can she continue to resist him? Does she have to?

Jeff Lennon had been forced to do things he didn’t like as a Navy SEAL, and now as an agent for the terrorist division of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol. For years, his only real regret has been what he couldn’t to do to Stacie back in Iraq. He’s been given another chance to claim her heart, body and soul. In the meantime, they have to stop a terrorist attack somewhere in the Norfolk area, during Fleet Week.

Even the agency’s psychologist isn’t sure Stacie can pull off pretending to be Jeff’s wife. What lengths will Stacie and Jeff go to assure the mission’s success? And what will they both lose in the process?

 

Tami Lund – I’m currently working on the fifth book in the Lightbearer series.
BTW, the prequel, First Light, is FREE for a limited time, if you haven’t yet started the series! Click HERE for your FREE copy.
So far in this series, we’ve focused on shapeshifters and those curious magical creatures called Lightbearers, with their renewable magic the shifters want so badly. In the next book, however, I’m introducing a new being – Cupids. Nope, they aren’t chubby little diaper-clad babies with wings and bows and arrows. According to the Cupid in my story, they don’t even start Cupid school until they are fifteen, and most have lousy aim. So forget your stereotypes, and take a look at this introduction to Cupids:

“I like my women with straight hair and kinky personalities.”

Adora blinked, but managed to keep her expression bland, her stature stiff.  The man lying on the couch across from her turned his head and admired her legs.

“Long legs, too.  I like long legs.”

Adora uncrossed her legs and tugged at the hem of her pale blue skirt.  This entire setup felt like some sort of counseling session. She wasn’t a counselor, she was a Cupid. 

“Yes, well, I will take those requirements into—”

“Type of being isn’t so important.  I mean, look at me.  I’m a classic mutt.  I don’t have any right being choosy.  But if I could, I’d definitely choose a faery.  Now those are some seriously smokin’ females.”

Adora stared at the horns on his head, the warts on his face, the faint outline of undeveloped gills on his neck. He had never developed the ability to breathe underwater because, according to his dossier, he had an unnatural fear of large bodies of water. Judging by the smell radiating off him, Adora doubted he came into much contact with water at all, not even to bathe.

There isn’t a faery in any world who would have you.  Adora stood and smoothed the front of her dress, rolling the scroll she’d been pretending to write on, and with a flick of her wrist, caused the thing to disappear.

“Thank you for your time and your… insight,” she said tightly.  “I am sure someone will be in touch.”

The other being clamored to his feet and lunged across the small space, capturing one of her hands between both of his own.  “What about you?” he asked eagerly.  “Maybe you are the one.”  His gaze roved over her magenta, pixie cut hair, her large, almond shaped eyes, the small bit of cleavage he could see over the neckline of her dress. Adora used her free hand to rake a lock of hair out of her eyes and tried not to wrinkle her nose against the scent of putrid eggs.

“Hair’s a bit short, and now that you’re standing, I can see your legs are, too.  Still, I could make concessions.”

Adora wrenched her hand from his grasp and took a step away.  “I am not in the market for a mate.”

“Why not?” The man sounded genuinely perplexed.

“I am a Cupid.  My task is to find true love for others, not for myself.”

“Well that’s just stupid,” he spat.  “You’re the ones who profess true love to the rest of us.  Hell, I’ve always thought I just wanted to get laid once in a while.  Your kind are the ones who convinced me I should probably look for a mate, instead of just a good time.”  He shook his head, well and truly disgusted. “Now, I suggest you might be the one, and you blow me off.”

“It isn’t that I’m blowing you off, it’s that I cannot find true love or a mate.  That isn’t how it works.  Cupids do not fall in love.  We only help others seek it for themselves.  Now if you’ll excuse me…” Without waiting for a response, Adora pulled on her magic.  Nearly translucent wings sprouted from her back and began beating madly, faster and faster, until her feet lifted from the ground. 

 

Do any of  the above books make it to your To Be Read list? Leave us a Comment. 🙂

Eh, I got nothin’

For the last two weeks, I’ve really had that “barely keeping my head above water” feeling that we all get sometimes. I’ve had a full work plate, a new release (which has been woefully neglected), and my kids have had what seems like a gazillion activities. Oh, shout out to the eldest who is going to state for her Ensemble Acting performance. Whoot!

Today I am taking a few moments to breathe.

In. Out. Repeat.

I keep glancing at my to-do list, but I’m just going to cruise through the day. No stress. No pressure. No anxiety about missing a deadline.

To go with that no stress/no pressure attitude, I kinda didn’t take the time to figure out what to share with y’all today. Hey, don’t act like you’ve never gone into a blog posting without a clue what to say.

But it’s Friday, the weekend is upon us, and we all could use something to celebrate that.

So, here…have this and consider my work here done.

dreamstime_xl_20417915

 

 

Holley Trent on [un]Lucky Break[s]

I write about athletes a lot, but I don’t write sports romances. I need to make that clear upfront. I just don’t have the attention span or imagination to write those intense play-by-plays. I also like turning archetypes on their ears. I’m interested in the stuff that happens to these guys off the field. That’s why I have an entire series of baseball players…who are super-broke.

ReedsvilleRoostersTrust me–none of these guys are going to pick their love interest up in a limousine and hand over a dozen roses. They’re more likely to show up in a truck with a cracked muffler and a couple of missing hubcaps for some Netflix-and-chill.

I joke on Twitter sometimes that I write “struggle romances.” My characters often live paycheck to paycheck, and that sort of puts a damper on those grand gestures we see in romances sometimes. I don’t shy away from showing how a character’s negative net worth affects them socially.

CoL-LuckyBreak

Coming 2/3 to kick off the CHAIN OF LOVE collection!

In the next installment of my Reedsville Roosters series (stories about players from a minor league baseball team that loses a lot), I’ve got a hero who’s a P.E. teacher during the school year and who plays ball so he can afford to renovate his house. And…he’s kind of over baseball. He’s doing what he has to do to pay his bills, and I think a lot of us have been in that situation before.

Al’s “lucky break” forces him to evaluate his priorities (with a little help from a heroine who isn’t afraid to tell him all about himself).

I get a kick out of writing characters who have some extra lifestyle obstacles that get in the way of reaching their happily-every-after, and that’s why I see this series continuing indefinitely (Reedsville 4 and 5 are already in the release queue).

Can you think of a great “struggle romance” to share with me? I love reading them as much as I love writing them. Down-on-her-luck waitress about to lose family land, perhaps? Single dad up to his eyeballs in legal bills from a bogus lawsuit? Preschool teacher has to take a second or third job to afford gas (that sounds a lot like one of my stories, actually…)?

Tell me about them in the comments! I’d love to add them to my reading list.

Thank You for My Lucky Numbers!

Captivated in Cancun medClaimed cover w KW logoNo, I didn’t win the lottery! But I feel like I did.

I had an extremely successful launch ofbooks this week and I want to thank those responsible for my success.

Thank you to my AWESOME readers! There were nearly 4,000 entries for the Double Down for Diamonds event.

Their purchases put me – for the first time ever – at #1 on an Amazon list:

Still on the numbers, I magically reached 4,000 Facebook Friends yesterday. Not long ago, I was stuck at less than 500. (Maybe I should go play the lottery.)

I want to thank Becky McGraw for introducing me to Cat Johnson who invited me to be part of her Hot SEALs Kindle World January launch.

And thank you to our own LL&L Emelia Mancini who is also my editor and turned BOTH my books around in record time so they could posted to meet my deadlines.

I wouldn’t even be an author if it weren’t for former LL&L blogger Monette Michaels.

I’ve blogged several times about how wonderful romance authors are and how I could never have made it this far, this fast, without the support of other authors.

Thank you!

What are you thankful today?

Glitter, Hearts, and Zombies by Annie Anthony

If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to February 14 for the obvious reason: the mid-season premiere (WTF is that anyway, why were they on a mid-season hiatus!) of The Walking Dead. Wait… were you thinking Valentine’s Day? Yes, I do live the life of a glamourous romance writer, but since I’m single AF, most of the time that glamourous life resembles Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone, but with an angry Chihuahua instead of a cat… So for me, I’ll be celebrating the day of chocolate, roses, and glittery hearts with, well, I hope some kick-ass killers of the undead. (Hmmm, perhaps this single AF thing is making more sense?)

I’m not only obsessed with TV zombies. I’m still tapping away at my lesbian zombie romance. The main character is just about to lead a small search party down a stairwell to find her roommate—who has left an ominous-sounding note and some boxes of ammunition behind. I’ve been trying to come up with all the awesome things that could happen on the stairwell—zombie granny, zombie rats, or just plain people with all their crazy-ass issues.

It occurs to me that one of the reasons why people love zombie stories so much is because the zombie genre allows us to face in brutally decisive terms some really tough reality.  If done well, the zombie story isn’t just about the scary undead. Zombie stories evoke huge human issues–right to life, self-determination, obligations of power, trust, hope, coping. Just thinking about who “deserves” to live and be part of a society is pretty consuming stuff, and let me tell you, I’ve already made some painful decisions about my characters.  (No spoilers here!)

Have you read any good zombie books? How about zombie stories with GLBTQ characters? If you try and search for “zombie” and “lesbian” let me tell you… the results are BAD. Worse than a single lesbian romance writer with an angry Chihuahua on Valentine’s Day bad.

If you’d rather think about love and squishy grown up  stuff than undead things this Valentine’s Day, check out Don’t Be Shy. This multi-volume anthology published by Ylva Publishing received a Rainbow Award honorable mention and Volume I includes my erotic short story, Slammin’ Sunday.

Don't Be Shy Cover FB

Enjoy an excerpt from Slammin’ Sunday:

In college, I had a poetry instructor who fronted a band in the eighties that opened for hard-core metal acts. She was from North Dakota. Had run away at fourteen. Married at fifteen. Divorced at seventeen. At nineteen, after years of living in vans and singing in dives, she landed a deal with a small label. But road life never really paid the bills, and while she’d never intended to settle down, by forty, she had a job.

Trading in shredded jeans and midriff tees for pencil skirts and cashmere wraps, she accepted an assistant professorship at a land-grant state college. She paced the classroom as though it was her private greenroom, and she couldn’t wait for the show to start. I watched her closely, hoping to catch the moment when she stutter-stepped between the present and the past. I imagined her tossing down the syllabus, kicking off her shoes, and striding barefoot to the back of the class. In my mind, she turned the desks upside down, and screeched metal instead of spoken word poetry.

She taught us very little about poetry, believing that “writing is a gift of the soul which cannot be taught in workshops.” So instead of an academic analysis of verse and themes, Dennie—she preferred we call her by her first name—told us stories. She would sit on top of the desk, her eyes half closed as if the memories she fought were more real than the bodies and faces of the students in front of her. Her outstretched hands met loosely in front of her chest, as if reaching for a mic that was no longer there. Maybe not all of the undergrads in upper-division poetry spent the ninety-minute seminar fantasizing about her legs and her ass. But for an entire semester, while her words kaleidoscoped across our landlocked, windowless classroom I focused as much on the shape of her lips as her stories .

She didn’t just preach at us, though. She put us on the spot, believing in what she called “incidental genius.” A lot of students grumbled, but I never minded taking my turn. . Tingling after Dennie’s voice called my name, I felt as though she absolutely believed I could combine colors and textures and objects in a way that revealed my vulnerability, my fear, my hope. All in two minutes or less. I loved poetry, but my undeniable reactions to Dennie allowed me to embrace the growing awareness that I loved women.

… By the time I reached thirty, I still loved poetry, still loved women, but wasn’t much different than the student I’d been. Unfulfilled longing was my loveless partner. Bland people, tedious work, and uninspired meetings hadn’t been objectives on my resume, but poetry doesn’t pay back student loans. This creative writing student ended up in another nearly windowless building, working a corporate insurance job.

One afternoon, my boss asked if we could chat. He leaned his ass against my desk and moved so close I could smell the stink from his lunch on his breath. We discussed a problem with a bulk reserve for far longer than the issue deserved, and by the time he moved on to another victim, I literally needed some fresh air. I grabbed my key card and headed out for some coffee.

I wandered up to Café Q, an artsy little cafe that specialized in drip coffee, loose teas, and artisan pastries. Every table was taken, mostly by people in suits chatting on phones or tapping at laptops. Students sat on oversized floor pillows while a homeless guy pilfered napkins and honey packets from the self-serve bar.

I ordered a small decaf and checked the community board. A neon green flyer caught my attention. Slammin’Sundays. Café Q was pleased to host an inaugural Sunday morning poetry slam. All participating poets were given a free small beverage and would be entered into a drawing for a $50 Q’s gift card. Sunday mornings don’t have to suck… now they can slam!

Corny flyer, yes. But it had been a long time since I’d had a moment of “incidental genius,” or even just listened to a poet live. I folded the flyer in thirds and then in half again and slipped it into my wallet.

Buy Don’t Be Shy

Countdown begins to Valentine’s Day, my friends.  Have fun shopping for chocolate, heart-shaped odds and ends, and red and pink frillies. Me, my crossbow, and my Chihuahua will be ready…

 

 

2016 – The Year of the Monkey!

2016 year of the monkeyIt turns out that I was born in the Chinese year of the Monkey and 2016 is the year of the Monkey. What does this mean? I didn’t know, so I did some research. Here’s what I discovered.

Year of the Monkey

Monkey - Chinese Zodiac Signs

The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Each year is related to an animal sign according to a 12-year-cycle.

2016 is a year of the Monkey. If you’re born in a year of the Monkey, you’re a Monkey! Find out what that means below.

  • Monkey years: …1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028…

The Lucky and Unlucky Things for “Monkeys”

  • Lucky numbers: 4 and 9
  • Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any Chinese lunar calendar month
  • Lucky colors: white, blue, gold
  • Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, crape-myrtle
  • Lucky directions: north, northwest, west
  • Lucky months: Chinese lunar months 8 and 12

Year of the Monkey

The Unlucky Things That “Monkeys” Should Avoid

  • Unlucky colors: red, pink
  • Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7
  • Unlucky directions: south, southeast
  • Unlucky months: Chinese lunar months 7 and 11

Monkeys’ Fortune, Career, Health, and Love Prospects in 2016

Everything points to disaster for Monkeys in this Monkey Year. Those who will be 12, 24, 36, etc., this zodiac year watch out! However, you can turn misfortune to fortune by seeking the blessing of lucky stars.

2016 — an Unlucky Year for Monkeys?

2016 is a Monkey year. Monkey years are believed to be an unlucky for people born in a year of the Monkey. A year of one’s birth sign is believed to be the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. “Monkeys” (who take Chinese astrology seriously) are particularly careful about their health, love lives, career, and investments in Monkey years. Read more suggestions on How to Be Lucky in the Year of Your Birth Sign.

When Monkey Year 2016 Starts — Not January 1st!

2016doesn’t start on January 1 for Monkeys (and traditional Chinese)! It starts at Chinese New Year (February 8, 2016), which changes year-to-year according to the Chinese lunar calendar. People born in January or February should take particular note of when Chinese New Year falls to confirm their birth sign.

2016 Monthly Fortune for the Monkey

Career: Maybe Prosperous, if…

Monkeys can have prosperous careers in 2016, if correctly aligned with the Tai Sui star. They will be able to make breakthroughs, if they focus on their career and discipline themselves. If not, they will hardly achieve anything. They shouldguard against untrustworthy people and discipline themselves in order to avoid trouble. The luckiest months for them will be the second, fifth, and twelfth Chinese lunar months, during which they should seize opportunities instead of missing them.

A Year of Money for Monkeys?

Great unexpected fortune will find its way to Monkeys in 2016, so they will not have to worry about food and clothes. The best months for them to make their fortune will be the second and twelfth Chinese lunar months, during which they should make full use of their time to invest and cash in. They should avoid gambling, speculating, and collecting illegal or greedy gains, or they will lose everything they have, especially in the third Chinese lunar month. They should also guard against becoming poor due to greed. Monkeys should not show off their wealth, or they will be persecuted by others.

A Year of Health Risks, Especially Traffic Accidents

Monkeys will suffer from minor illnesses; however, they will not come to much harm if they are careful. If they take their medicine, the symptoms will lessen. They should be aware of traffic safety as they go about their daily routine, and never take risks. Great attention should also be paid to food safety to ensure illness is avoided. Their health horoscope is never above neutral, but worst in the fourth and tenth Chinese lunar months.

Monkeys may have difficulty in relationships in 2016.

Monkeys’ relationships will be rather colorless in 2016. The more they long for a relationship, the harder it will be for them to get one. They may encounter a romantic relationship if it happens naturally, especially in the seventh and twelfth Chinese lunar months. They will have a happy ending if they seize the right opportunities.

The Monkey’s Traits: Sharp, Smart…

People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make them very naughty. Monkeys are masters of practical jokes, because they like playing most of the time. Though they don’t have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Monkeys are fast learners and crafty opportunists.

They have many interests and need partners who are capable of stimulating them. While some like the eccentric nature of Monkeys, some don’t trust their sly, restless, and inquisitive nature. Although they are clever and creative, monkeys can’t always exhibit their talent properly. Monkeys like to take challenges and they prefer urban life to rural.

How “Monkeys” Should Keep Healthy

Usually Monkeys are very healthy, partly due to their active lifestyles, and wanting to experience the flavors of life. If they do experience illness, it is usually of the nervous or circulatory system. People born in a year of the Monkey often spend more time at work. Therefore Monkeys need to remember to take breaks to save their energy during their busy schedules. Since Monkeys usually do more outdoor activities, they should pay attention to safety, and while traveling or driving.

The Best Jobs and Careers for Monkeys

When it comes to their careers, Monkeys work very hard. They can adapt to different working environments. Good career choices for monkeys are accounting and banking, science, engineering, stock market trading, air traffic control, film directing, jewelry, and salesmanship.

How to Build Relationships with “Monkeys”

In relationships, Monkeys are not very quick in settling down, as they tend to be promiscuous and are easily bored. However, once Monkeys get a perfect partner, they commit to him/her in every possible way. Since Monkeys love to talk and are sociable, they can be communicated with easily.

Love Compatibility: Is She/He Compatible with You?

Love compatibility within the Chinese zodiac takes into account the unique characteristics of each animal. Only those whose characteristics match each other well can be good partners. See below the compatibility of the Monkey with other animals.

  • Best with: Ox or Rabbit
  • Worst with: Tiger or Pig

monkey's love compatibility

Take our online love Compatibility test

What Type of “Monkey” Are You: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold, or Water?

As well as having a Chinese zodiac sign, according to Chinese element theory, each year is associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth, which means that e.g. a Wood Monkey comes once in a 60-year cycle. So there are five types of Monkeys, each with different characteristics:

Type of Monkey Year of Birth Characteristics
Wood Monkey 1944, 2004 Always ready to help others. Compassionate, with strong self-esteem, but stubborn
Fire Monkey 1956, 2016 Ambitious and adventurous, but irritable
Earth Monkey 1908, 1968 Frank, optimistic, and fearless
Gold Monkey 1920, 1980 Smart, quick-witted, and confident, but also irritable and stubborn
Water Monkey 1932, 1992 Smart, quick-witted, fond of being in the limelight, but haughty

See Descriptions and Tips for Monkeys of Different Elements

Interesting, no? I totally love the Great Unexpected Good Fortune bit. As for the colorless relationships…let’s just say the Viking started out the year with great, unexpected ravishment… *smirk*

Have a Merry Monday!

Cheers,

Jianne

P.S. In case you’re interested in learning more about the Chinese Zodiac, here are some links:

This information was taken from the China Highlights Blog at this link:

http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/monkey.htm

 

 

Re-Create Your Life

A long time ago, a teacher at my JC used to urge his students to spend time every week playing. He urged us to take time out to get away from the routine of classes and to clear our minds, whether it was on the basketball court or taking a walk…anything to get us up and out of the routine of study and work.

He told us that the word recreation broke down into “re-creation.” It was what allowed us to re-set our brains and to re-charge our batteries.

Sometimes I forget that lesson. We all do. We go day after day, taking care of our families, doing our jobs, and as writers, agonizing over sales, edits, and producing the next manuscript.

I just spent nearly a week with a friend, taking our semi-annual retreat, holed up in a hotel room, sometimes ordering room service and basically just staying unplugged. We worked…yes. But we also unwound. We confessed our fears to each other, shared our frustrations and listened while the other poured out all the unwritten ideas, the fledging stories we wanted to write and our hopes and our plans for the coming year.

I look back on the week and while I didn’t get as many words written as I’d planned, I came home re-set and ready to go back to work, to grapple with my duties as a caregiver and as a writer. I can look at tomorrow and the next day without flinching. My insomnia is still gripping my nights but I have a new approach that doesn’t involve crying jags or sleeping pills.

Regardless of what you do in your life: if you’re a parent, a writer, a clerk or an executive, it’s imperative to sometimes step back and give yourself that space to regroup and recover. Go to a movie, take a walk, go window shopping or go for a swim. Play. Have fun. Laugh. Hire a baby-sitter, check into a hotel and sleep late.

Dream. Fantasize. Then write down that fantasy and what steps it will take to attain it. That’s when it becomes a goal.

Enjoy your re-creation. Enjoy your life.

Sometimes, It’s Not Always About the Writing

Today, I’m not going to write about writing, or books, or characters. I’m going to write about real life. About an aspect of real life that seems to touch everyone, or pretty damn close to it, and it’s something we would all love to never experience, and in fact, wish were eradicated.

That dreaded C-word. Cancer.Cancer Meme

I can’t stop thinking about it lately, probably because it has been in my face recently. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. A dear friend who lost her husband (who happened to be my age and left behind a young son and a beautiful wife) to it. All last week. And I wrapped up the week by finding out another friend’s mother was just diagnosed with a form that is so rare and aggressive, they won’t even give her a prognosis. Plus there’s my husband’s cousin,fighting his second round now, and we’re all crossing our fingers. He isn’t even forty yet, with two young children and a wife. So not fair.

That’s all on top of my mother discovering she had breast cancer, last August.

Talk about hitting home. I’ve been fighting bouts of hives that have been reoccurring since September, and I’m certain that’s the cause. Unfortunately, they probably won’t go away until next summer, after the chemo and radiation are done. After—hopefully—Mom gets a clean bill of health, or at least told they’ve conquered the bastard for now, and she can resume a normal life again.

Cancer just sucks. It doesn’t pick and choose based on any factors whatsoever. Extremely healthy people get it, while someone who uses every vice possible for decades is never touched (not that I want anyone to be touched, I’m just making a point that it doesn’t matter how well you take care of yourself—apparently). Kids get it. Adults. Teens. Women. Men. Heterosexual, homosexual, asexual. Haters and lovers. Funny people, serious people. Prisoners and that lady who has never so much as gotten a speeding ticket.

We are constantly barraged with ways to try to avoid the asshole, but he just laughs and zaps the next person—the one who followed all the rules and did exactly what he should have done to avoid it.

Cancer is the worst villain in every book (okay, maybe I am talking about writing after all). It’s the one that is completely unredeemable. He has no remorse, no regrets, no emotion whatsoever. Even Voldemort can’t compete with this guy (but then again, Voldemort’s entire reason for being evil was based on his emotions, wasn’t it?).

The worst part is, it’s also reality. For every happy ending, there’s a terribly tragic one. It’s nothing like the books I write. My books always have a happy ending. Probably because reality doesn’t, eh?

I don’t really have a point to this post. Mostly, I needed to get these emotions down on the computer, because they’re eating me up inside. I’m angry, I’m sad, I feel helpless, and I’m not a fan of any of those feelings. I want to be happy, and I want everyone around me to be happy, too. But it’s hard when almost daily we hear of another tragedy, thanks to that jerk, Cancer. Damn, I wish we could defeat him.

cancer_sucks-112077For everyone who has lost someone, or has gone through the painful process of attempting to beat cancer, know that I am fighting along side you. And know I’m angry on your behalf. And yes, I’m still eternally hopeful we will kick cancer’s ass at some point, hopefully in my children’s lifetime, if not my own.

We deserve to win.

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author. She’s also a wine drinker. She writes happily ever afters, one book at a time. Stalk her at www.tamilund.com.

Sara Daniel embarks on a fresh start — Amnesia style!

Do you know someone who’s ever had amnesia, where they’re fully functional and cognitively aware but have no idea who they are? Probably not.

Have you ever read a novel where someone has had exactly that condition? Much more likely.

Who hasn’t wished for a clean slate, where you could have a fresh start in life without reliving the traumatic teen years or going tens of thousands of dollars into debt for a new college degree? How different would our perspective be if we weren’t dragging our baggage and preconceived notions about everything and everyone into every situation?

There is something so compelling and seductive about losing our memories. It forces us to live in the moment and be ourselves when we have no idea who that person actually is. Maybe, we’ll discover our true selves, instead of the person everyone else wants and expects us to be.

All of these deep thoughts and musings are to say I wanted, maybe even needed, to explore the amnesia trope as a romance writer. Even better than falling in love is falling in love all over again without remembering how it happened the first time!

ABrideWorthFightingForFinal_200x300A Bride Worth Fighting For

by Sara Daniel

If she remembers the past, they won’t have a future.

Gwen Fairfax awakens in a hospital, deluged by stabbing head pain and unable to remember anything about her past, especially the man who claims to be her fiancé. A trip to the Wiccan Haus is her only hope to discover the woman she used to be, understand her mysterious dreams about a resort, and fall in love with the man she’s supposed to marry.

To stop his stepmother’s land development schemes from ruining the natural habitat he’s dedicated his life to preserving, Tucker Wilde is willing to do anything, even pretend to be engaged to the woman his brother left at the altar. But he isn’t prepared for the sweet, vulnerable woman to tempt him at every turn until he longs to give in to the temptation.

The more Gwen gets to know Tucker, the more she’s certain he’s a man worth remembering. But if the Wiccan Haus heals her memory, he’ll have to fight to keep his bride.

Wiccan Haus Logo Decadent 3Excerpt:

“This week is for you, Gwen, not me.”

She shook her head as they stepped into the elevator. “It’s for both of us. Just because you’re helping me get my memory back doesn’t mean you should have any less of a vacation.”

If he wasn’t enjoying himself, why would he want to share his life with her? Up until dinner, his complete focus had been on her, but his eyes didn’t shine when he looked at her the way they did when he talked about his conservation efforts.

Just because they were engaged didn’t mean their relationship had been perfect before she’d lost her memory. By paying attention to what he loved, she could strengthen their bond or discover if they were right for each other at all.

As the elevator crawled upward, she glanced at him, unable to believe he wasn’t right for her. Not only was she comfortable with him, their chemistry compounded with every passing moment. The real question was if she fit with him, but she didn’t know herself well enough to answer.

The elevator doors opened, and Tucker placed his palm against her back as they exited. A few steps later, they stopped in front of her room. “This is you,” he said.

“Yeah.” Now what? She had no idea how to wrap up the evening and no past experience to fall back on. “Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is that a euphemism for something else?”

Oh gosh. She might not have a memory, but she understood what she’d implied. She forced a laugh to cover her embarrassment and deflect the sex offer she definitely wasn’t ready for him to take her up on. “Apparently, you’ve gotten engaged to a clichéd and trite woman. I fell asleep so fast earlier, I didn’t notice if the room had a coffee pot.”

His lips twitched. “I would never get engaged to a cliché. Don’t sell yourself short.”

She rubbed her temples. If he’d been attracted to something unique and special about her, she’d like a clue what that thing might be. She enjoyed getting reacquainted with him, but getting to know herself proved far more unsettling. “Okay, no coffee and no euphemistic coffee. Uh, good night?”

“A goodnight kiss?” he suggested.

She dropped her gaze to his full pink lips. How many times had those lips kissed hers before? She wanted to remember, but she couldn’t handle the intimacy of a full, deep kiss when who she was remained elusive.

Rising on her tiptoes, she brushed her lips over his cheek, scratchy with his customary beard stubble. The touch warmed her, inviting her to linger and explore his face. Instead, she pulled away.

A Bride Worth Fighting For by Sara Daniel
Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

banner Bride Worth Fighting For

Making Books by Theodora Lane (Lynn Lorenz)

Well. I’m getting pretty good at this print book making thingy.
I’m on my way – with one book I did at Createspace, I dove into the next two books, with a third planned
to finish up this week.
HRmccallansblood HRmccallansheart
Here’s the covers to the Theodora Lane books – They’re with Liquid Silver in ebook, but I own the print rights, so
since I’m attending the Houston Author Bash event in February, I needed a few Theodora books to sell, along with some
Lynn books. The signing is in Katy, on Feb 20th, from 10am to 3pm. For more info on who will be there… http://www.katybooks.com/event/houston-authors-bash

The one I’m working on now, is a re-release of No Good Deed by Lynn Lorenz. Here’s the shiny new cover!
NoGoodDeed_LL_432
It was sort of easy, once I got the formatting down, and my cover artists turned the graphics over to me, it was upload, check, upload, check again, and then upload and check.
I got my Proof copies back within a week and I placed my order just last week! Now, 20 copies are on route to me!
And if I have time, I’m going to do a print of my re-release, Best Vacation That Never Was for the Bash.
Here’s that new cover!
BestVacationthatNeverWas_432

This event is the first time I’m doing a book signing in Houston, along with some of my fellow Houston RWA members, and some other friends coming in town for the event.
I can’t wait to raise my banner I had made – the one with both Theodora and Lynn on it!
If you’re attending the event, look for me. I’ll be sitting under this beauty —

Banner_Small_lynn_lorenz_both(1)

New year, new release by EM

What could possibly ring in a new year quite like a new release? Okay, sexy men, alcoholic beverages, and a sunny beach rank right up there, but hey…so does something new to read!

I’ve been working to the bone getting some new things thrown together for 2016, and I’m so excited to share my upcoming release for my sweeter side (uh, excuse me…I do have a sweet side!)

If you’ve been keeping up with Marci Boudreaux’s Stonehill Romance series, you’ll be happy (I hope) to hear that there’s a novella on the way. Ever since we got to know Phil Martinson-Canton in The Road Leads Back, people have asked me when he’s going to get his happy ending. And what about Jessica? She really won some readers over.  (And what about Mallory O’Connell?)

Hopefully, this will answer some of those lingering questions:

Jessicas wish

Jessica’s Wish

There is nothing Jessica wants more than to be like everyone else, but between her Down Syndrome and her colorful family, “average” isn’t part of her vocabulary. This year when she blows out eleven candles on her homemade vegan cake she makes the same wish she’s made for as many birthdays as she can remember: she wants a mother.

Jessica’s father Phil has worked his entire life to create a more stable childhood for his daughter than he had. But a supportive mother, a recently returned father, rainbow pancakes, and princesses can’t heal the dark void left in Phil’s heart which he won’t even admit is there.

When Mallory’s mother’s life unexpectedly turns upside down, Mallory realizes her dreams come second to her heart, and she leaves her dream job in a big city to return home set on helping her fiercely independent mother recover. After forming a unique bond with Jessica—and a friendship with Jessica’s hot father—Mallory finds that in coming back to Stonehill she might just have found a way to make all of her dreams come true.

Catch up with all your favorite Stonehill residents on January 22!!

www.marciboudreaux.com