Okay, I admit it, sometimes my blog day comes I feel a little meh about it. I wish I had something spectacularly insightful to share with you today, but I don’t.
So have this instead:
Go ahead. Lick your screen. I won’t tell.
Okay, I admit it, sometimes my blog day comes I feel a little meh about it. I wish I had something spectacularly insightful to share with you today, but I don’t.
So have this instead:
Go ahead. Lick your screen. I won’t tell.
I goofed, and I’m sorry. I sort of fell off the planet in the last few weeks and missed my biweekly LL&L check-ins. Suffice it to say I’ve been on the go a lot and doing some personal and business travel. I’m not quite done yet, but right now, I’m in front of my computer and can catch you up on news.
The Jekh Saga will start rolling on on August 9. These are big, meaty, sci-fi romances with some colonization politics and a lot of hard-up guys (this sentence reads dirtier than I intended) on a planet where few women remain.
Here’s the summary for the first story, Erstwhile:
As an adamant opponent of Terran settlement on the planet Jekh, Owen McGarry made his family name synonymous with “traitor” on Earth. Lobbyists standing to profit from off-world colonization hinted that the Jekhans were preparing to declare war. Nearly twenty years after Owen’s supposed death, his granddaughter Courtney wants to learn the truth—even if she has to travel to the far-flung colony to do it.
Court soon learns that not only was her grandfather right about the Jekhans, but that conditions on their world are far more hostile than she feared. Terran forces decimated the population of the resident human-alien hybrids, and the people who remain seem to be all out of fight. That is, except for the pair of men Court finds hiding in her basement.
Fugitives Murki and Trigrian see a future in Court. On a planet where so few women remain, she has the potential to be the mate the lovers need. And more, she could become the advocate for their people that her grandfather didn’t get the chance to be.
When the corrupt local government seeks to punish Court’s friends and family for her actions, she has no choice but to make a stand. If it takes a riot to make the people on Earth see that they were misled about Jekh, she’s more than willing to start one. After all, her reputation couldn’t possibly get any worse.
Look for Erstwhile on August 9! You can pre-order it now.
(Read on Apple devices? You can now download a free three-chapter sample from iBooks.)
Sharon Hamilton’s bestselling Navy SEAL series continues with NASHVILLE SEAL: JAMESON. On sale now!
Here’s a short excerpt:
But there was no denying he was mad. It was like how he felt if he gave a bad performance. He’d wind up back at the motel room, alone and feeling sorry for himself, in a rotten mood until that knock on the door. Some angel would come and be his temporary lifeline, breathe the life back into him with her body, with her kisses, with all the magic and allure those groupie kittens could provide him. He needed that tonight.
Except tonight he was with his lovely new bride. His blushing bride. On the first night of their marriage. When he should be the prince charming and end her Cinderella day with the bedding of a lifetime. With a night she’d remember her whole life. That’s what Lizzie deserved. Could he pretend enough to give that to her? What did that make him then? Did he deserve her?
Can’t wait to read more? Find JAMESON on the following retailers:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/29mUpCG
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29zqvIe
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/29mVF8X
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29rmjv5
Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/29zrPdY
Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/29iOWad
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29mNqd3
What do you do when it’s time to write a blog post, and nothing comes to mind? I could talk about my grief, how we’re still mucking through this new life, but to be honest, for once I’m not in the mood to talk or write about it. Actually, I’m rarely in the mood to talk about it, but usually, writing about it comes easy. Except for today.
I could talk about the other things going on in my life, I suppose. I’m writing this on a Sunday, and I haven’t seen my husband and daughter for five days. They’ve been in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, partaking in the annual boys’ fishing trip.
Yep, you read that correctly: the boys’ fishing trip. Has always been my husband, his brother and brother-in-law, and their sons. My daughter, for the first time, decided she wanted to go. She’s currently going through a phase of attempting to cling to her brother’s memories by following in his footsteps in every possible way. My husband is loving it, of course, although it makes me nervous. This is my first experience dealing with this sort of grief, and I never know if we’re doing it right. I keep bringing it up to my therapist, though, and she keeps insisting it’s fine, so I’m trying to convince myself she’s the expert and I shouldn’t worry.
They’re finally heading home, should be here this evening. In the meantime, I’m packing my bags, as tomorrow morning I’ll be heading out of town for a week, thanks to the day job. Won’t be back until Thursday. That’s a long time to be away from your family for anyone, but as it’s still so new to have this smaller version of my own family, it’s even harder, I think. The good news is, two days after I return, we leave for our annual summer vacation.
One week, lounging on a beach, with no other worries except to feed ourselves and have fun. Maybe shower once in a while. It’s my favorite week of the entire year. It’s also the first time we’ll be doing it without my son, so I’m a little nervous the memories, the grief, the pain will dampen what should be a relaxing, enjoyable week. I’ve been giving myself pep talks for weeks now, trying to reassure myself it’s okay to have fun, and it’s okay to grieve, too. We’ll see how it goes, I suppose. I’ve learned a ton from this experience, including the fact that life goes on, no matter what.
Well look at that. I managed to write a blog post after all.
Tami Lund sometimes writes seemingly pointless blog posts. She’s also an author, and one of her books happens to be on sale this week. It’s the start of a three-book series about a cursed shapeshifter and a woman who’s the last of her kind, and their oil-and-water relationship. If you’re curious, check it out here, for only 99 cents: OF LOVE AND DARKNESS.
My first e-book was titled Mr. Forever. It was contracted by a start-up e-publisher before they’d officially opened their doors, and the book released in December 2011, two months after the grand opening. The contract was for 3 years, and in that time I published close to a dozen books, worked with more than half-dozen editors and three publishing houses. My writing had improved, and my publisher’s cover art had improved. I knew I could make Mr. Forever better and make its outward appearance more enticing.
My publisher agreed, and we contracted to re-release Mr. Forever. I revised the book and turned it in, the cover artist completed the new cover, and we set a new release date. Then in January of 2015, the publisher announced they were closing their doors and returning all rights to the authors. My plans to revive Mr. Forever went up in smoke.
I slowly regrouped. My Wiccan Haus books found a new home at Decadent Publishing, which breathed new life into the paranormal multi-author series. My novellas were revised, rebranded, relaunched as The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow series this spring. But Mr. Forever didn’t fit anywhere, and I didn’t have time to figure out what to do with it.
Under a slightly altered name, Tempting Mr. Forever is now once again available for sale. It has been revised inside and out, and I am proud to say it is better than ever. Bonus: it is all mine. No publisher has the power to leave it in limbo again.
(P.S. If you’re one of the 64 people who bought Mr. Forever the first time around, shoot me an email (sarahafer at rocketmail dot com), and I’ll hook you up with a complimentary copy of the new and improved version. Thanks so much for sticking with me!!)
Love is his enemy…and her answer.
A nationally televised bombshell revealing a secret son turns marriage therapist Caleb Paden’s life upside down. While others focus on the public relations disaster for his company, he can only think of rescuing his baby and providing the stable home dictated by his marriage theories—one devoid of love and emotions.
Olivia Wells might not be the baby’s biological mother, but she loves him as much as any parent could. Letting him go will break her heart. Letting him go to a man who doesn’t believe in love will tear her apart.
As she helps Caleb bond with his child, Olivia finds herself falling for the man behind the stuffy therapist persona. However, he wants nothing to do with her love and emotions, and those are the only things she has to give. If she can’t convince him love is the answer, not the enemy, she will lose both the baby she loves and her heart.
OMG, I just got the cover for Wolf Raider, #4 in my White Wolf Pack series! Is this not totally scrumptious?
Normally, I’m not a fan of facial hair on my men, but I looove the sexy mush and goatee. He looks so scruffy and lickable. And he’s the epitome of ‘Chainsaw Chad’ MacTire, my’Wolf Raider’ hero!
So, it simply segues into a tantalizing excerpt from Chad and Lizzie’s tale.
Excerpt from Wolf Raider:
Being ‘forced’’ to spend the night at Chad MacTire’s condo—check.
“My sister keeps a few clothes here.”
The object of Lizzie White’s sexual fantasies for the last five months raked her from tilted beret to BDSM-style boots. Her breasts sizzled under his searing stare. She prayed her feverish desire and frazzled nerves didn’t show, and clamped her mouth shut.
“She’s shorter than you.”
Near hypnotized by Chad’s mesmerizing eyes, the color of wet slate, his words didn’t register for a three-second delay. Even when her brain translated the meaning of his last couple of sentences, her vocal cords refused to activate. She should murmur some polite inanity. But, the enormity of what she was about to do fried any semblance of rationality left in her singed gray matter.
“And not as full-figured.” His Texan drawl punched a lingering note of carnality into the remark. Ebony lashes, too thick and lush, for any male, dropped when his gaze skimmed the twin mounds of her breasts straining her shirt.
No amount of willing her blood to cool worked. Her nipples budded and she went wet down there. Sweat coated her nape and her grip on the laptop case white-knuckled.
“It’d probably be better if I loaned you one of my sweats and a T-shirt. They’ll be big, but that’s better than wearing too tight clothes.”
The devil had it in for her.
Chad’s sweats abrading her pussy. The material that gloved his cock riding her clit. Cat on a hot tin roof had nothing on the sexual tension driving Lizzie. “Thanks, but not necessary, I sleep in the altogether. I am sorry to put you to such an inconvenience, however.”
Lie number one—she wasn’t sorry at all.
Had Mr. Stoic actually blinked at her I-sleep-naked declaration?
A hint of a smile teased the corners of a mouth Jared Leto would envy. Chad’s sexy lips and those mesmerizing granite irises such a total disconnect from a jaw so square and sculpted she doubted steel fists could dent his flesh.
How did a man whose nose had to have been broken at least twice and whose features epitomized Mafioso toughness own a full head of inky curls? In certain instances, his profile reminded her of Lord Byron, the famous Regency poet.
Lizzie stifled a snort.
Chad MacTire was so not the poet type.
Known as ‘Chainsaw Chad’ by his hapless victims, for way he dissected conglomerates, and ‘the Wolf Raider’ by his media admirers because his Irish Gaelic last name translated to wolf, Chad had not a gram of romance in him.
“It’s not as if you caused the worst weather conditions in the last century of Chicago weather.” As usual, his smile didn’t quite reflect in those impenetrable silver-rimmed eyes.
She repressed a smug smirk.
Of course, he’d never in this universe believe she’d caused the blizzard deliberately.
But, she had.
It formed the focal point of her scheme to seduce him.
Lizzie couldn’t wait for him to see her without the glasses and the dowdy clothes she normally wore. As it was, the BDSM-style boots had had him flummoxed from the second she’d stepped into his condo. The thrill of that small victory, when he’d done a double take after she unbuttoned her coat, still flared beneath her ribcage.
“The snow’s so wet I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost power soon.”
Hot screwing happened in blackouts.
Hope that made your Monday marvelous!!
(Yeah, that sounds cheesy, but every word is true!)
From the moment Kyle met his roommate’s mother, he found her attractive. But the more time he spends around Kate, the more his desire threatens to consume him. The feisty redhead enters his every fantasy—a curse that only gets worse after Kate invites Kyle to stay with her when he needs a place to crash for the summer. It doesn’t take long, however, for Kyle to suspect he isn’t the only one fighting temptation.
Sitting at a bar beside the water, watching the moon set, drinking with Navy pilots, Naval Flight Officers and SEALs this past weekend was research. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
It’s been years since I’ve had the opportunity to sit around and talk with active duty military men and women, so it was fun to enjoy the company of members in that exclusive club once again. Thanks to my Navy expert, and a book signing in Norfolk, Virginia, I’d call my trip to that area…a true success.
For all those who were wondering, yes, they ARE that good looking. Or maybe that is just my opinion because I’ve always preferred that clean-cut, all American, great smile, and polite hold-the-door type man. And the women are gorgeous! Fit and trim, beautiful even without makeup. I would put any one of them, male or female, on a book cover and I can guarantee that no airbrushing would be required.
I met at least two dozen 25-35 year old military professionals who generously allowed me to ask rather personal questions. From a demographic standpoint, they ran the gambit. Some were married, some engaged, yet others were dedicated to the single life. The best part was, they were all the nicest people. That means my books close to reality.
As an author, I worry about getting dialog correct. After listening to these seasoned military men and women, (okay, I was eavesdropping a lot, too) I should probably add more “f-bombs” in my next book.
I met some real, kick-ass women, who have remained on active duty and married military men. The overall theme was, “We make it work!” When one is on the East Coast, and the other is stationed on the West Coast, or deployed overseas, they just work at it harder. These women are dedicated to serving our country and at the same time, dedicated to their husbands. As a Marine wife of 37 years, it was refreshing to see that will to make the marriage a success when surrounded by so much temptation.
And speaking of kick-ass, active duty women, have you read Unrelenting Love?
Some have asked me why I named this series Rougaroux Social Club. Well, the answer is both simple and complex. This series is set deep in south Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country. In Cajun cooking, the first thing a good cook must know how to make is a roux. It’s the basis for most soups, like a good gumbo. The roux is everything. This is basically a mixture of flour and some sort of fat, like butter or oil. It’s slow cooked, with constant stirring so’s not to “burn the roux.” Once it’s burnt, the taste is ruined and you should start over.
So, that explains the roux part of Rougaroux.
Now, the Rougarou part – in Cajun legend, the dreaded swamp wolf is called the rougarou, or rugarou, and it’s basically our version of a werewolf. So I combined the cooking with the legend. And no, I didn’t create Cajun cooking werewolves, although most of their maman’s (that’s french for mama) probably make a mean roux. I know Scott’s maman Darlene can cook circles around most chefs, at least in Cajun cooking.
That explains the Rougaroux part.
Now, let’s look at the Social Club.
In the south, especially in New Orleans and southern Louisiana, groups of people form “social clubs” where they can get together to dance, party, eat, and mostly do good works. Sometimes they’re called “social and pleasure” clubs. I stuck with just social.
So I have this pack of werewolves, who are mostly Catholic, who need a place to meet and hold pack meetings, so where better than to form a social club, give it a tease of a name, and also use it to do good deeds, especially for pack members. Think of it as hiding in plain sight.
Yes, my werewolves are Catholic, and yes, the priest knows about them. He’d have to, if you think about it.
And to make it even more fun, the town where this is set, St. Jerome, like most small towns in Cajun country, holds its very own Rougarou Festival, to celebrate the legend of the Rougarou. The social club is the sponsor of the event, and each year, they hold a costume contest for the best Rougarou costume.
As you can see, I had a lot of fun with this whole series, from Bayou Dreams to Bayou Des Enfants, there is a strong element of humor in each book. And the person who brings the funny is hands down, Scott’s maman, Darlene. She’s a hoo-doo voodoo practicing Catholic who doesn’t know her own powers or at least, she thinks she does. Having her casting spells on the men she loves is fun. I get to mess with these men, disguised as her.
But even though there is humor, each of the book explores serious issues, like how a straight man can have a gay wolf inside him, whether love and fated mates can overcome fear and distrust, and how to build a family when two parents aren’t quite ready. Frequently we find the pack in jeopardy from internal stresses and external pressures. Hard choices have to be made, mates have to be found and wooed, and voodoo has to mess up a few lives.
I hope you’ll give my Bayou wolves a try. Come on down to Cajun country. Make a fais-do-do and pass a good time. Eat some gumbo and fried oysters. Sit on the bank of the bayou and cast a spell or two. But watch out for maman’s cat.
If you’re interested in buying them, on Amazon, click this link. Thanks! If you’ve read them and enjoyed them, please think about leaving a review!
Bayou Des Enfants
On Saturday July second we lay my son’s ashes to rest in a lovely cemetery that was designed to feel more like a park than a, well, cemetery. There were several reasons we chose to wait almost four months after his death to do it, although the specific choice of date was both devastating and oddly appropriate.
You see, he loved Independence Day. It was his favorite holiday. It was the fireworks; the thrill, the excitement, the anticipation of what would come next. And he especially loved lighting off his own fireworks, much to his mother’s chagrin.
My dad helped feed his obsession. Each year, he traveled from Louisiana to Michigan to spend the summer with us, and he always made a pit stop in Indiana, where they sold fireworks far more awesome than anything we could buy in Michigan. Brady used to anticipate his arrival with all the excitement of a five year old being offered a double-scoop ice cream cone.
This year, my dad didn’t make that pit stop.
Instead, we buried my son on his favorite holiday weekend. It was, frankly, a terrible day, despite the fact it was a lovely, gorgeous, sunny, not-too-hot day. Reliving the grief all over again when we hadn’t truly recovered from the first time was not high on my to do list. But we did it, because we had to. Humans and our rituals. Somehow, someway, they help guide us toward peace.
There were only a few of us; mine and my husband’s parents, our siblings, Brady’s sister and his cousins, plus his Godfather and another dear friend. His girlfriend and her parents attended too. I hope this provides her some sort of closure, so she can learn to live again. I hate that her first boyfriend did this, I hate that this has scarred her for life.
Our priest said a few words, tried to help us find peace by reassuring us Brady’s in heaven now, and we can visit this place, this symbol of him, anytime we want. (Well, during cemetery visiting hours, anyway…)
And then the cemetery personnel removed the covering from the hole in the ground and asked my husband and I if we wanted to lower the box of ashes. We both said no, then I changed my mind and, kneeling carefully as I was wearing a short skirt, picked up what remained of my son and placed the box in the hole. I didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to let go, but someone grasped my arm and lifted me into a standing position and I walked away, into my sister-in-law’s arms, where we squished my poor daughter between us, while everyone took turns tossing a shovelful of dirt into the hole. One of the groundskeepers offered me a rock they’d found while preparing the site for us and I snatched it up, desperate for anything to tie me to my son.
After that a couple people spoke; one of my brothers read a memorial my stepdad had written; my mother-in-law showed everyone this lovely decorated rock a friend had made for her so that she could carry Brady’s memory with her when she went to Hawaii for her fiftieth wedding anniversary. The priest said his goodbyes, and those who had delayed their vacation plans for this event gradually began to leave. The younger cousins picked wild flowers and scattered them on the grave. Somebody found a heart-shaped rock and placed it next to Brady’s headstone. Those who were left made their way to a nearby restaurant situated on a lake, and we sat and drank and ate and admired the view and enjoyed the friendship, letting the grief ebb away for a little while.
Later that afternoon, we were left alone, my new smaller family of three. My daughter retreated into a book, my husband and I took the dog for a walk. It was a quiet, sad day with no excitement, no fireworks.
On Sunday we loaded up our supplies and headed to the beach. Just us and a couple friends. The adults parked our chairs in the water and kept our coolers nearby, while 80s and 90s music played from my husband’s iTunes playlist. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and ate watermelon and stayed until the sun dipped low in the sky.
After putting everything away and showering, the melancholy hit me again. I’m told this will happen on every major holiday or milestone during the first year after his death.
I went outside, lured by the sounds of firecrackers popping and exploding. While everyone else celebrated our freedom, I sat on my front porch and cried, mourning the loss of my son. And, to be honest, I felt a tiny bit of relief that my daughter hadn’t asked about fireworks. I had no desire to see them or buy them or light them off. I wanted to skip over this holiday that, once upon a time used to bring my family joy.
And then my daughter came outside and stood next to me on the porch. Somewhere to the west, a cluster of fireworks exploded high enough that we could see over the tops of the trees. “I want to light off fireworks tomorrow,” she said. “Can we, please?”
Inside I cringed. You see, while Independence Day was Brady’s favorite holiday, it was actually something I had begun to dread, right about the time he was ten or eleven, and discovered the thrill and excitement of lighting them off himself. And now my daughter was asking to do the same thing. It made me doubly anxious because of course my fear for her safety, but now my concern that she was only interested because in her mind, this was a way to keep her brother’s memory alive. She’s been doing that a lot lately, deciding to try new things because Brady used to do them. Fishing and hunting with her dad, mowing the lawn, and now shooting off fireworks.
“I have some left from when Grandpa came up at Christmas,” she said. “Can I show you?” I acquiesced and she rushed inside, returning a moment later with a small box containing poppers and smoke bombs and something called “Poopy Puppy.” Small, fairly harmless versions of fireworks.
“Can we light them off? Please? It’s only a few.”
So we lit off her small cache of fireworks in the driveway, with the bigger explosions in the sky behind us, and I became caught up in her joy, her excitement, the thrill of the moment. I remembered that she is still alive, very much so, and I should enjoy these precious moments. And somewhere along the way, my heart grew a little less heavy, and an emotional weekend managed to end on a high note.
As it should.
Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, a writer of happily ever afters. She also writes blog posts about her life because it helps, it really does.
If you’re interested, here’s her website: www.tamilund.com.
Yeah, me neither. But here’s the funny thing: when you post them on the Internet, you can search for them and see what you resolved—and so can everyone else! Back in January I made five bold resolutions for my life and promised to give you an update. (I don’t expect you to remember my resolutions any better than I did, so I included the original goal here.)
I desperately still want to do this. In fact, I fantasize about unplugging and reading. I have read a few books, including Big Rock and Mr. O by Lauren Blakely, that I absolutely LOVED. However, a dedicated reading time everyday did not happen. It’s not never late to start, though!
Hmm, well, I did go see Finding Dory last week, but overall I have not seen any more movies than usual. Unlike missing my reading goal, this doesn’t bother me a bit.
I did ask for help by hiring a publicity firm to handle launch of The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow this spring, and they were helpful. Now that their contract is up, I’m back to burying my head in the sand. So, although I met this resolution, I didn’t exactly sustain it.
I did push the boundaries of my comfort zone with the launch of the first four Bad Boys of Regret Hollow books every two weeks this spring. I took a financial risk and took on a lot of extra professional work. Personally, I took the risk of feeding over a 120 people for a huge party (nobody got sick—yay!), and I sent my 16-year-old daughter across the ocean to a non-English-speaking foreign country for two weeks. Now, I find myself exhausted and needing to crawl into my turtle shell to recover.
Okay, to be honest I haven’t seen the financial return I was hoping for with my new book series. I took the risk and I’m not ready to call it a failure, but it certainly didn’t burst from the gate as a tearing-up-the-charts success. I haven’t read as my books or watched as many movies or said “go for it” as often as my cheerleader alter-ego tells me to. But I’m getting up each morning and doing the best I can.
So, that’s my new resolution—to be kind to myself and give myself a break. I’m not superwoman. I’m just me, doing the best I can. As a writer, as a mother, as a person. And that’s enough.