Authors Should Be Readers Too

So I wrote this blog on my own website this past weekend, and I planned to “press” it, a.k.a. reblog it over here today, because I thought it was worth sharing … twice.

Except I upgraded my website and now the reblog option is conspicuously absent. So, instead of a reblog, you’re getting a copy/paste.

So here it is, my blog post about why I think authors should be readers too, and a few recommendations based on the last few books I’ve read. Because, you know, authors ARE readers too … or at least, they should be.

Enjoy!

https://tamilund.com/2018/12/02/authors-should-be-readers-too/

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Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, blogger, and sometimes she gives away free books as holiday presents. Like this one, which is only available for download until December 31st. Cheers!

GIFT OF THE GODS

 

Sexy Bad Halloween Freebie – Only ‘Til 10/11

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what? I just released another book! This one’s contemporary — another in the Sexy Bad series, for those keeping track — and it’s a Halloween read. And it’s F*R*E*E* until Thursday, 10/11. So grab it, read it, leave a review and tell me what you think. Gooooooo!

SEXY BAD HALLOWEEN – What’s it about?

Alex

I stepped into the costume shop looking for something to wear to a Halloween party. What I got was a chance meeting with my childhood best friend, Victoria Ruben. We haven’t spoken since her mom and my dad had an affair and took her and moved across the country, twelve years ago.

Despite a less-than-stellar shared past, I want to get to know my friend again. Maybe as more than friends. But she’s hesitant.

So I suggest a game with only one rule: Let’s go on ten dates… without sex.

Victoria

My life is complicated enough without Alex Darling stepping back into it. So I definitely should not have taken him up on his challenge of ten dates without sex. Because, yeah, the more reacquainted we become, the more I want to get to know him better, a lot better. Like maybe forever better.

Which can’t happen. Because I have a secret, and it involves Alex, and when he finds out, he’ll want nothing to do with me ever again.

 

Chapter One

ALEX

“I’m not usually such a procrastinator,” I say as I burst through the door of the costume shoppe—so the sign hanging from the eaves proclaims—and bustle inside, determined to get this annoying task over with.

The single occupant of the store pauses in the process of doing who knows what to a silver and blue dress with a billowing, floor-length skirt, and glances over her shoulder. “Welcome to Victoria’s Vintage Costumes.”

“Are you Victoria?” I move away from the door, glancing at a grouping of mannequins dressed in suits with frilly cuffs and dresses with skirts as wide as they are long. There are other statues dressed in flapper dresses and some in zoot suits and still others in—are those animals? They look frighteningly real. Although ridiculously large. Like, nightmare-inducing large.

“Technically, yes. But I go by Tori, even though I’m not.”

There might be a political joke in her statement, but I’m too focused on my task to try to work it out, so I say nothing.

“Well, anyway, I take it you have to attend a party tonight?” She climbs down from a stepladder and whips a tape measure out of the pocket in her capris as she strides toward me. Her hair is a rainbow—pink and blue and green and purple, twisted into a braid that drapes over her shoulder and topped with one of those fake flower wreath-like decorations sold at county fairs and German festivals. And here, apparently, as I note a tarnished silver rack perched on a nearby glass case is dripping with them.

She’s wearing a simple white tank top, and there’s a tattoo on her shoulder that disappears down her back. I’ve never really cared one way or the other about tattoos, but I want to get closer to inspect this one. Maybe it’s the smooth, satin-looking skin on her neck.

Or maybe it’s the braless boobs staring me in the face.

Shaking my head, I say, “No. I need a Halloween costume.”

She freezes mid-step and stares at me like I’ve said something insanely ridiculous. “Did you say Halloween?”

“Yes.”

“The holiday that falls on October thirty-first each year?”

I frown. “Yes, that’s the one.”

“The one that’s two months away?”

Yes, this is the Halloween I’m speaking of. Not sure why she needs so much clarification. Last time I checked, that particular holiday hasn’t changed in, well, not in my lifetime at least. And considering we look to be about the same age, I’d say not in hers either.

“That’s two months away,” she repeats, still staring at me like I’ve lost my marbles. “I haven’t even begun to set up my Halloween displays. My costumes left over from last year are still in storage, and the new ones I ordered won’t be here for at least two weeks. It’s still summer, for Christ’s sake.”

My gaze bounces around the shop again. “There are a ton of costumes here.”

“Yes, but they aren’t Halloween costumes.”

Something about this exchange feels a lot like dèjá vu. As if someone snapped their fingers and took me back to my childhood. There was this girl who lived next door to me. Her name was Victoria, and we were polar opposites. I said tomahto, she said tomato, and we’d argue until I got sick of it and let her have her way. She’d never let me have the last word…ever.

“Wait—Victoria Ruben?”

She looks up sharply.

“Vicks?” I give the rainbow hair a cursory glance and then dismiss it. Hair could easily be altered. But eyes…those vivid green eyes had always felt as though they were staring into my soul whenever they looked at me. Considering we lived next door to each other for ten years, that happened a lot.

“Ugh. No one has called me Vicks VapoRub in a decade, at least. Not since middle school.” She narrows her eyes and studies me until the light pops on over her head. Not literally, of course, but her face brightens with recognition after a few moments.

“Alex? Holy cripes, Alex Darling? Well, aren’t you a blast from my past. How the hell are you?” She grasps my bicep and gives it a squeeze, then leaves her hand there while staring at my shirtsleeve. “Wow.”

“Wow what?” I glance down at her hand now roaming my arm and shoulder, almost like she’s giving me a massage. It feels kind of good. Must to her, too, if the state of her nipples is any indication.

“You’ve filled out. I mean, you’re still on the skinny side and, not surprisingly, tall as all get out, but damn.”

While Victoria, er, Tori’s childhood nickname had been based around her name, mine were all about my stature. Bean Pole, Daddy Long Legs, Gandalf, Q-Tip. I’ve heard them all—and I’m pretty sure Victoria came up with every single one of them.

“So have you,” I retort, and then snap my mouth shut because where the hell did my filter run off to?

She glances down at her perky nips and chuckles. “Yeah, they tend to do that when I rub buff guys’ arms.”

Unlike me, Vicks never had a filter. I clear my throat and avert my gaze like the polite guy my mother raised me to be. “So, you’ve moved back to Chicago?”

“Yep. Your mom may have run mine off, but she can’t keep me away.”

“She didn’t run her off,” I protest, but it’s weak. Because we both know what happened that summer after eighth grade.

“Well, technically, your mom caught my mom and your dad fooling around in a department store dressing room.”

Yeah, I remember. I was with my mother that day. We were at Macy’s, shopping for shorts because I’d grown another few inches since the summer before. My dad was supposed to be at work, and who the hell knew what Vicks’s mom should have been doing. Certainly not bending over and begging my dad to give it to her from behind while in a public place. Or any place, really.

“And after she went home and stewed on it for a few hours, your mom came over to my house and threatened mine with a cleaver. It was the first time I’d ever seen a cleaver. After your mom calmly walked back out the door, I had to ask mine what it was.”

I grimace. “You guys moved out the next day.”

“Actually, we went to a hotel while my mom regrouped and figured out what the hell to do.”

“Which turned out to be stealing my dad and moving to Washington.”

“I wouldn’t say it was stealing, per se. He went quite willingly.”

Yeah, I remember that part, too. My mom was a wreck. I’d had to push aside my grieving over losing my father—which was okay because it wasn’t really much of a loss anyway—to help her figure out how to get along as a single parent.

“So.” I clear my throat. “How is my dad anyway?” I haven’t talked to him since the day he chose her mom over mine. Her kids over me.

Vicks lifts one shoulder. “No idea. Haven’t seen him in, I don’t know, ten years or so. I think he moved to LA. Haven’t heard from him since.”

“Oh man, that sucks. I’m sorry.” Sure, her mother shouldn’t have hooked up with my dad, a married man at the time, but neither did she deserve for him to treat her the same way he treated me.

She flaps her hand. “Trust me, he wasn’t worth keeping.”

I agree with her, despite the nights I laid awake, listening to my mother cry herself to sleep for months after he left. Or maybe I agree because of that.

After a moment, I ask, “So, how is the rest of your family? Your mom, your brother? Did they move back too?”

“Two brothers now.” She lifts her pointer and middle finger. “And no, Mom and Jace didn’t come back to Chicago. Mom’s still in Washington, and I’m not really sure where Jace is at the moment.”

“Your mom had another kid?” I know I shouldn’t judge—glass houses and all—but that means unless Ms. Ruben, or whatever her last name is now, got back together with either Vicks’s or Jaces’s dad, she now has three kids from three different men.

Vicks toys with her tape measure, tugging the strip out of the small plastic holder and then letting it snap back in, over and over, until my arm lifts of its own accord, ready to grab the thing from her hand.

Finally, she stops and stuffs the contraption into her pocket. “Yeah, well, she’s not very good at using protection when she’s mad, and apparently she’s a big fan of angry sex.”

Not something I ever needed to know about her mother. Or anyone’s mother, really.

“She’s way better at producing children than she is at taking care of them,” she adds. “Hence the reason I’m back here.”

Poor Vicks. I can’t imagine what her life has been like since they left Chicago twelve years ago. I mean, sure, my mom had to go back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent for my entire life up to that point, had to fight for every pitiful penny my dad coughed up for child support, but not once did I ever feel like she did not love me, did not want me, did not have every intention of taking care of me to the best of her ability.

And if Vicks is still anything like she was when we hung out in elementary and middle school, I cannot tell her I feel sorry for her. Even at a young age, she had pride by the bucket full.

She shakes her head and chuckles humorlessly as she steps behind the glass-encased counter positioned to the left of the entrance. “I think we could both use a stiff one, huh?”

“A stiff one?” I glance over my shoulder at the glowing ‘open’ sign. “Now?”

She snorts out a laugh as she reaches underneath an ancient cash register, pulling out a bottle of golden liquid with a cork stopper and no label.

“What is that?” I ask, giving her offering a dubious look.

“Honey mead. I make my own. It’s quite good, actually.”

“No thanks. I don’t usually drink before five.” And I’ve never had homemade booze in my life. Even though I’m salivating, despite my words. Not sure if that’s because I want to forget the stuff Vicks just told me or if it’s to help process it.

She pulls two lowball glasses from under the counter and pours a hefty amount into both of them. Either she can read minds or she ignored me when I declined her offer. She pushes one of them across the glass surface toward my hand, and I grab it before it tips over the edge and races to shatter on the floor.

“If I didn’t know your mother, I’d find that statement very strange. I still do, but at least I understand where it comes from.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Your mom is pretty damn neurotic. So it’s not surprising some of her issues rubbed off on you.”

Hey, that’s my mom she’s talking about. And me, for that matter. “Your mom isn’t exactly a saint, either.”

“Never said she was. In fact, her very obvious lack of sainthood is probably what lured your dad away from your mom. I bet your mom was just as high-strung in bed as she was in the rest of her life.”

An unbidden image of my parents having sex pops into my head. Ugh. I lift the glass of mead to my lips and take a shaky sip. It’s spicy and sweet, like honey laced with jalapeño, and it helps push the idea of my mother having sex—any sex, high-strung or not—out of my head.

“This feels like it’s turning into a mother bashing contest,” I say, taking another drink. This one goes down far more smoothly. Which is saying something, because that first swallow wasn’t bad at all.

“Okay, let’s stop,” Vicks says easily enough. She lifts her glass. “How is it?”

“Surprisingly good.”

She gives her drink a dubious look. “Surprisingly?”

“Nothing personal,” I assure her while continuing to sip away. “It’s just I’ve never had honey mead before, and certainly not homemade. But I like it.”

“Oh. Okay.” She touches the rim of her glass to mine. “To rekindled friendships.”

I like that. As much as she teased me and I harassed her when we were kids, Vicks had been the calming influence in my life before my dad and her mom managed to turn our worlds upside down with their stupid affair. I haven’t felt that same sense of relaxation since. I didn’t even realize I missed it until this moment.

“It’s so good to have you back, Vicks.”

She lifts her glass, touches the rim to mine. “It’s surprisingly good to be here, although I returned to Chicago eight years ago.”

“What the hell took you so long to come back into my life?” I ask, my filter giving out again. Or maybe it’s the mead, because my glass is empty.

“Can I have a refill?”

KEEP READING FOR FREE IF YOU GRAB IT BY 10/11/18: https://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Bad-Halloween-Tami-Lund-ebook/dp/B07J3PBC8L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539042683&sr=8-1&keywords=tami+lund+sexy+bad+halloween

While each book in the Sexy Bad Series contains a stand-alone happily ever after, this is the suggested reading order:

Sexy Bad Neighbor
Sexy Bad Daddy
Sexy Bad Boss
Sexy Bad Valentine
Sexy Bad Escort
Sexy Bad Halloween

And here’s the Sexy Bad website, if you want more, more, more: https://sexybadbooks.com/

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes Sexy Bad contemporary and paranormal books. A whole lot of them. You should check out the Sexy Bad website above to see all of them….

 

 

Guest Blogging, New Books & Recipes

Hey, so I guest blogged somewhere else this week, and figured I’d send you all over there today, instead of figure out something new to write. It’s interesting – it’s about how the book I’m releasing next week (Baby, I’m Home) came to be. And there’s a chance to win a free copy of it, too. Oh, and there’s a YUMMY recipe!

So, take a look, have a read, try the recipe, and then leave a comment to possibly get to read Baby, I’m Home for free: SCORCHING BOOK REVIEWS

Thanks!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, wins awards, and sometimes looks for the easy way out of her twice monthly blogging date…

New Release and Two Free Books!

Over the past few years, I was a part of a Rockford writing club called the Prompt Club. It was the brainchild of Mary Lamphere, who not only compiled the list of prompts for the year, but also scheduled our meeting times/places and printed folders and bags for the members.

Despite it being called the Prompt Club, I don’t think I was ever on time. The one time I was, I had the night wrong. #soitgoes There were such talented writers in our club! It was very inspiring to be around such a group.

At any rate, three years of Prompt Club times twelve 1000-word stories a year adds up, and I had over forty short stories languishing away on my flash drive, where they’re not entertaining anyone! I write humorous articles quite a bit, and five of my stories ended up being published in the amusing book series “Not Your Mother’s Book” a few years ago. I have two in NYMB on Sex, and one in each of the following categories: Parenting, Family, and Being a Stupid Kid. Some of the funniest stories went on my blog as well, the Life and Times of Poopwa Foley. However, I also love to write paranormal, creepy stories and had many, many of those too.

I assembled my favorites and bought a cover from Go On Write. Fun fact—I ordered a cover from them last Thursday at 1:42 p.m. I received the completed cover ready to go THREE MINUTES LATER—not kidding! Check them out!

The Amazon fairies did their magic and published my collection of short stories this past Saturday. It’s called “Weird, Wicked Tales…Creepy Stories for All Hollow’s Weird, Wicked Tales - High Resolution - Version 1Eve.” I have gotten great feedback from early readers, and I’m really excited about the stories. Take a look for yourself, if you’re in the mood for some spine-chilling tales!

If that wasn’t enough, I have made Baylyn, Bewitched (a mystical, magical witchy romance) free for the Halloween season. Why? Because Halloween is so friggin awesome, that’s why! Baylyn, Bewitched is a book I co-wrote with my sister, along with the second book called Cat, Charmed. We had a blast co-writing and are proud of the finished books.

41j-aIQTHsL__UY250_Another book I wrote is free today and tomorrow. It’s called Knew You’d Come, an erotic time travel/paranormal novella. This story is near and dear to my heart because it contains several things that make me happy…time travel, ghosts, romance, and of course, hot, smexy times.41zTJz4riFL__UY250_

A tiny sample:

She transcribed the recording but the typed up transcript of the conversation came off as frightening. Creepy. The tone and timbre of his voice, however, had been patient. Kind. Loving, if a little perturbed. Oddly, she had felt exhilarated hearing his voice. It had sounded so familiar to her and lit a flame in her that she had not even known was there.

That was frightening.

Then there was the fact that she wanted to hear his voice again.

That was frightening, too.

But the quiet joy in her heart—the little voice in her head that whispered “You found him. You found him, finally.”

That was the most frightening of all.

This All Hollow’s Eve, get your scare on. Try my book of creepy short stories, Weird, Wicked Tales. If that’s not up your alley, give Baylyn, Bewitched a try. If you’re looking for something smoldering hot, grab your copy of Knew You’d Come.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween – Here’s a Free Read!

Alls Fair_Love & Warlocks_Updated_Cover

“Why the hell am I here? Why me?”

“Talking to yourself, even for a witch, is generally thought to be a bad sign. Unless you’re casting a spell.”

Adanna jerked her hand away from the thick, wooden door handle and glanced over her shoulder at the person who was speaking. The curtain of her hair obscured her view somewhat, but she saw enough to know she did not recognize the handsome warlock with thick, dark hair and gray eyes. At least, she assumed he was a warlock. Most covens frowned upon making their otherworldly selves known to humans, even though they all lived in the same world.

“Not casting a spell. Do I know you?”

“Probably not.” He offered his hand. It was a human custom, but most were.

“Anton Burke. I’m from New England. Salem, to be exact. Weather’s certainly nicer here at this time of year.”

Salem. Humans, of course, were obsessed with the town, as so many (non) witches had been executed there, several centuries ago. It was a particularly troubling period in their history. And witches, despite their disdain for humans, were just as enthralled with the area.

“It’s pretty mild in Savannah, with the exception of July and August. Your coven is the one that’s taken over all of New England, isn’t it?”

Something akin to a grimace darkened his face but did not dim his handsome features. He had the kind of rugged good looks that screamed bad boy, the kind that caused red-blooded women to tumble into his bed and ask questions later. Her grandmother’s lessons to always read people before interacting echoed in her head. She pushed away the memories, the reminder of who she was, what she was.

“Yeah. It’s easier that way, I guess. So many small covens; it just wasn’t, you know…”

“Personal?”

He smirked. “Economical. Hard to support all those mini empires. Made more sense to create one mega-coven. More money, more control over issues and stuff.”

“I heard your coven now stretches all the way to South Carolina.”

“You sound suspicious.”

Adanna shrugged. “I’ve belonged to the Savannah Coven my whole life, and we’ve always been pretty small-town. Seems hard to believe all those covens were willing to be swallowed up by Big Brother, so to speak.”

“Times are changing. Most of the covens were run by older witches. They were tired, wanted to retire. And there aren’t enough marked Supremes to take their places. What else were they supposed to do?”

Adanna raked a hand through her long locks and focused on steadying her temper. Why it flared at the mention of the conglomerate of covens along the east coast, she had no idea. What did it matter to her if an abnormally larg group of witches and warlocks wanted to band together under one Supreme? Everybody knew witches needed someone to manage them, or at the very least, help when they ended up in hot water, which happened more frequently than it ought to.

***

Like it so far? Keep reading by downloading the rest from Amazon – FREE – only until Friday!

All’s Fair: Love & Warlocks

All's Fair_ Love & Warlocks

Happy reading & happy Halloween!

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and wins awards. If you want more, check out her website: http://tamilund.com

 

Tami Lund’s Shifters & Lightbearers

I am Xander Wulf, and I am a shapeshifter. This means I have the ability to change forms at will. And not just one form, either, like werebears or werepanthers. I can shift into a hawk to fly over a tall, steep cliff; or I can become a cheetah to quickly get across country. I can even shift into the bear or panther I mentioned.

Or a lion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, shifters are king. We are the most powerful of the magical community. We are also the only ones who share this world with the humans. Everyone else has their own world in which to live. Well, almost everyone.

There are also the Lightbearers. Those elusive magical creatures with their golden blonde good looks and magic they get from the sun. It regenerates each and every day, as well. They can deplete their stores entirely, go sit in a shaft of sunlight, and a few hours later, the magic is back. Damned impressive.

And I want it. I want that feeling, that ability. Changing forms is not enough. My magic manifests itself only in that way. I’ve witnessed Lightbearers create light, make food, build structures—and summon weapons. They can even heal one another, all with magic.

Sometimes I wonder how shifters were able to claim the position of king, when our magic feels so … limited. But then I see how the Lightbearers scurry away, run and hide when they sense a shifter in their midst. Like lambs and wolves. They are afraid; shifters rarely feel fear.

They are afraid because my kind believes we must kill them to inherit their magic. When a Lightbearer dies, there is a great flash of light as their magic or spirit or whatever is released. Some shifter at some point along the line convinced himself that meant if he were the one doing the killing, that magic would go to him, instead of release into the air.

True confession: I’m not so sure of that. Plenty of Lightbearers have been killed by shifters. I’ve killed my fair share. And not a one of us has inherited a lick of Lightbearer magic. We convince ourselves it’s our fault; the way we kill them, the position we stood in when it happened, the fact it was nighttime instead of daytime. Whatever it took, we’ve been full of excuses for decades.

I’m all out of excuses. I still believe I can gain their magic, but perhaps killing isn’t the way. Maybe there’s another way. And maybe that feisty Lightbearer with the unruly blonde curls knows how. Hell, maybe it’s her magic I can inherit. Considering the last thing I want to do is kill her, I’m now officially convinced.

There’s another way.

Read the F*R*E*E prequel to the Lightbearer series to find out if Xander gets what he wants from the Lightbearers: FIRST LIGHT

(PS – Xander’s story continues in BROKEN LIGHT, the prequel part two, which is part of an anthology called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE. It’s fourteen shifter love stories for only 99 cents, all of which goes to charity. So why not give it a try, too?)

Lovely Woman Posing With a Wolf       Claiming My Valentine Antho Cover

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and occasionally a channeler of characters from her books. If you want more, take a look at her website: TAMI LUND

Christmas Doesn’t Have to be Over

christmas-in-cancun-highresOne month ago today, we celebrated Christmas…but that doesn’t mean the spirit of Christmas has to end.

In the continued spirit of giving, you may download Christmas in Cancun for FREE! 

Click HERE to Download Christmas in Cancun FREE 

Blurb:

Busy building a new career with his catamaran company, former SEAL Jack Girard had all but forgotten about his grandfather’s quest to find the golden Mayan goddess statues until his brother’s beautiful widow, Jillian, and adorable daughter, Addison, arrive in Cancun with the research materials. Jack’s need to complete the family quest is almost as strong as his desire for Jillian.

Between raising her daughter alone and finishing her doctorate in Mayan anthropology, Jillian doesn’t have time for a man in her life. Although, after mourning her husband’s murder for two years, she’s ready for a man her bed.

An underwater Virgin Mary statue and centuries-old manuscripts lead the two of them through the Mayan Riviera and directly into danger.

During steamy Caribbean nights together, will they develop the ability to move on and discover the real treasure isn’t gold?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dog Tags for Christmas

Unfortunately, some good things do come to an end. On February 1, Dog Tags for Christmas will be removed from all retail sites. You will no longer be able to get these 3 heartwarming Christmas stories together for only $3.99.

Noel’s Puppy Power by KaLyn Cooper 

Tanner is better at communicating with animals than women, but as an amputee Bailey knows firsthand, it’s the internal scars that can be the most difficult to heal.

 SEAL’s Christmas Dream by J.M. Madden 
When Veterinarian Willow James’ office is broken into, it’s natural that she turn to her soul mate, former Navy SEAL K9 handler Joe Flynn, to track down the culprits. The trail leads to a notorious Pit-Bull fighting ring. It may take a Christmas miracle and a helpful nudge from an old partner to get everyone home safely. 

 Snowflake’s Gift by Lindsay McKenna 
Two veterans—one human, one canine—have returned to Montana to recover from the traumas of war. Former Army Ranger Nick Conway depended on his WMD dog Snowflake to help him navigate IEDs on the battlefield. Now he needs his best friend to help him cope with his PTSD and acclimate to civilian life. When he meets Holly McGuire and agrees to help her deliver meals to the elderly, her inner light calls to him, but his demons hold him back from giving in to his attraction. But Snowflake takes an immediate shine to the kindhearted Holly—and he has never led Nick down the wrong path. 

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