Writing Fast

Three books in three months – never again

For 2017 I set some very lofty goals which included publishing books in January, February, and March.

I’ll never do that again!

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Read FREE on Kindle Unlimited or BUY by clicking on the cover

I believe I write fairly fast, and now that my Dragon is trained, I write even faster. But this was crazy. January’s novella, Double Jeopardy, was written in December in between a week-long family vacation and the Christmas holidays. Being a novella, I can usually knock out 30,000 words in about fifteen days if I write every day. In December, there was no way I could write every day and still remain married and in the good graces of my adult children. (Someday the latter are going to pick my rest home.)

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Read more about this book and the research behind the story by clicking on the cover

Before Double Jeopardy was published, I had moved on to deep rewrites of the first novel I ever published. Uncaged Love was published in February as the second full-length novel in my Black Swan series.

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Coming March 21 only on Amazon

Rescuing Melina will be available for sale on March 21. I am so thrilled to be able to write in Susan Stoker’s Special Forces: Operation Alpha Kindle World.

It’s been a crazy first quarter of 2017 and the second quarter looks to be almost as ridiculously busy.

Coming up next, look for the prequel to the Black Swan series. Although it will be out within the next sixty days, it doesn’t have a name or a cover yet. It will be given away FREE to everyone on my newsletter list, so if you aren’t there yet, please sign up here for my newsletter.

I have committed to writing a novella, once again part of the Guardian Elite series, in Elle James’ Kindle World. Also yet to be named, that book sits it second place in the queue because it will publish in June.

Before the end of the year, Black Swan Book #3 will be out as Grace and Griffin find themselves on the road to love. I guarantee there will be potholes and wrong turns. You will also see the final book in the Cancun series. It’s about time Levi met his match.

That’s a lot of writing in the next nine months. Perhaps I should just claim 2017 as my year of insanity.

How is your year going? Leave me a comment and some lucky winner will receive a surprise.

Got Birthday Ideas? Tami Lund Needs ’em

The husband’s birthday is next month. The big 5-0. Seems pretty significant, right? Like I should plan something big, right? A few months ago, he even hinted that he’d like to go to Vegas for his birthday, because that’s what you do when you turn fifty.

So I looked into Vegas, even though neither of us are gamblers. But there’s lots of other stuff to do there, right? I’ve never been, but he has, and he’s always had a good time. I even went so far as to send out a message to our closest friends, see if anyone wanted to join us.

Then a couple of those friends suggested doing something more … up my husband’s alley. He’s a huge history buff and a beer connoisseur, so I thought about Boston. Aside from spending far more than we can afford to fly to Germany, I can’t think of a better place that combines those two loves. And if we figure out how to get passports so we can drive through Canada to get there, it’s only about a ten-hour drive from Detroit, saving us airfare and a rental car fee while we’re there. Considering we make an annual trip between Detroit and Dallas, ten hours is a walk in the park.

I also toyed with heading to Napa Valley, which is where we spent our honeymoon and our tenth anniversary, and from where we purchase and consume relatively large quantities of wine.

And then earlier today he informed me he didn’t want me to do anything special, aside from dinner at a nice restaurant, for his birthday.

Seriously???

I’m not sure how to take this. I feel like he’ll be disappointed if I *only* do dinner. I mean, it’s FIFTY. That’s significant, isn’t it? I’m not sure why, to be honest, but it feels like it should be. Maybe because he’s halfway to being a centennial? Although I personally don’t think that’s something to celebrate, but then again, I desperately don’t want to get old, so I’m not the person to ask.

Anyway, what should I do? Should I plan something anyway? Adhere to his wishes? Figure out something in between? If so, what the heck is in between?

Got some ideas for me? I’d luuuuuv to hear them. Seriously. I need *something*. I have about seven weeks to figure this out…

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, lover of happily ever afters and her husband. And she really wants to do something special for his birthday, but she’s never been very good at getting this whole gift giving thing right…

Release Day Diamond Giveaway + 2 FREE books

dj-promo-blockI always get excited, and nervous, the day before a release. I wonder if I had done enough promotion, what additional avenues are available to reach my readers, and then there is the standard author paranoia…will they like my book?

prologue-coverDouble Jeopardy released on Tuesday, January 10. Click on the picture to BUY NOW!

The book was part of a boutique series created by Hildie McQueen based on Indulgences Resort, sort of a Panamanian fantasy island. My book was one of thirteen stories.  Click on the cover for an immediate download Indulgences the Prologue FREE.

uncaged-love-highresAs I fretted over yesterday’s release, I was also editing Uncaged Love, my mid-February release. What had started as an edit has turned into major rewrites. I find it astonishing that my writing style has changed so much in a mere three years. Although the base of the story will not change, nor the hero and heroine, characters from my Black Swan series will play a larger role, primarily in the backstory.

susan-stoker-caroline-coverRight on the heels of Uncaged Love, and directly related to that story, Rescuing Melina will released in March as part of Susan Stoker’s Special Forces: Operation Alpha Kindle World. If you are not familiar with her two military series, you can grab Protecting Caroline for FREE by clicking the cover.

2015-10-06-09-55-28As always, a KaLyn Cooper release means diamonds! The contest for the diamond necklace continues until January 15. Please check my Facebook page for multiple ways to enter. Answer the question below for Double Entries!

>>> Would you rather travel to a Panamanian island to fulfill a fantasy, go to Cancun for an exciting vacation, or take a staycation at home? <<<

This Book is Shore to Please

For today’s post, I decided to feature a book written by a friend of mine, instead of bore you all with my usual whatever-it-is-I-usually-post. I’ve read this book, which just released on November 26, so I can recommend it with confidence. It’s a fun read if you’re into paranormal, beaches, and marine animals. Oh, and love. And comedy. There are plenty of snarky, funny moments in this one.

The way the premise came about–it’s book 4 in a contemporary series–is pretty interesting, too. Check out what the author, Annette Mardis, has to say…

Have you ever jokingly tossed out an idea … and it turned out to be just what you needed? That’s how Shore is Magical, my latest Gulf Shore novel and my first paranormal, was conceived.

I was doing an online chat with other authors when the subject turned to paranormal novels, particularly shape-shifters. Confession: I haven’t read too many of those books, usually preferring reality (or a reasonable facsimile of it) over fantasy.

The other authors were discussing the merits of the animals usually favored in shifter novels: tigers and other big cats, bears and wolves, primarily.

“How about a dolphin shifter?” I kiddingly suggested in full smart-aleck mode. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals and have been since I was a little girl who listed Flipper at the top of her must-see TV list.

Surprisingly—to me anyway—the other chat participants quickly and enthusiastically chorused their approval of dolphin shifters. So I thought, why not?

The challenge was fitting a paranormal story into a contemporary romance series that’s firmly rooted in real life. I spent more than thirty years working as a newspaper reporter and editor, pursuing a fair presentation of the facts as both sides saw them. Making things up doesn’t come as easily to me as to other authors.

I do a lot of research to ensure that my Gulf Shore novels stay within the realm of possibility. And I volunteer at a marine animal hospital, so I’ve seen firsthand how such operations conduct themselves.

So how do I justify a heroine whose very existence defies belief?

By making the details of her story as conceivable as possible. And by letting the other characters express their skepticism and at times outright rejection of the idea that a person can assume an animal shape, and then change back.

Despite her otherworldly ability and a lifestyle shrouded in secrecy, Marina Seaward, the leading lady of Shore is Magical, is not that different from other women. She squabbles with her sisters and takes family obligations seriously, but chafes at the strings that bind her to their restrictive traditions. Seeking true love, she’s beaten down by a jealous and controlling man but fights to preserve her identity and independence.

Marina isn’t looking for a savior or a prince charming. And that’s a good thing, because Kenshin Hamasaki is neither. He’s a good man but a flawed one, and he hasn’t fully recovered from the tragedies that nearly sucked him down a dark hole of despair.

Kenshin’s wounded heart and soul urges him to play it safe, but he’s inexplicably drawn to the mysterious stranger who risks everything in an effort to fit into his world in pursuit of her happily ever after.

Lurking in the background, however, is a dark presence from Marina’s past, who threatens to end this unlikely pairing before she and Kenshin can fully explore whether they’re destined to be together.

Find out whether Marina and Kenshin’s relationship ends in romance or ruin by snaring your digital copy of Shore is Magical, Gulf Shore book 4, available now from all major e-book retailers and from liquidsilverpublishing.com.

Here’s a snippet from one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Kenshin first encounters Marina in very enticing human form. This scene takes place in the marine animal hospital at Gulf Shore Aquarium, where Kenshin works. He thinks he’s helping to rehabilitate a rescued dolphin, but he gets the surprise of his life one night.

Looking up, Kenshin almost dropped his phone. He stared, eyes wide, mouth open, as a lithe form emerged from the pool, water cascading down her body. Where had she come from and, more importantly, why was she naked? Then he glanced behind her and received his second shock.

The rescued dolphin was—gone. Impossible. He gave his cheek a light smack to make sure he hadn’t succumbed to exhaustion and passed out. That was entirely possible, given he hadn’t slept more than two hours at a stretch since leaving Erica’s bed.

If this was a dream, it was incredibly realistic. Off the charts sexy, too.

The woman sauntering toward him was hotter than an egg yolk on Florida asphalt in August. Her brown hair framed a pair of turquoise eyes that shimmered like the sea. Her rosebud nipples all but begged for his touch, and he imagined himself at home between her long, supple legs, which were as toned as the rest of her.

The corners of her lips tipped up as if she’d read his mind. Kenshin’s gaze darted around the rehab unit, looking for backup if he needed it. But Kelsey had gone home early for a change, Flipper probably was loading up on caffeine and carbs, and Sitara was in her office catching up on paperwork.

Kenshin’s carnal fantasies dissolved amid concerns about a massive security breach.

“Who are you, and why are you here?” he demanded.

“You know who I am.” The woman’s voice was as smooth as spiced rum sliding over ice cubes. “You just don’t want to admit it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Your friends brought me here from the beach, jostling me around in that canvas thing. What do you call it?”

“Are you talking about the sling?”

“It felt like they dragged me across a rocky sea bottom. Very bad for the delicate skin.” She pouted and pointed to a chafe mark on her elbow. “Get something softer, for Poseidon’s sake.”

“This is…insane. Why aren’t you wearing clothes?”

She shrugged. “I didn’t bring any.” Cocking her head, she studied him for a moment before her expression turned playful. “Don’t you like me as I am? I thought the males of your species enjoyed seeing females without garments.”

What an odd way to say that guys lust after naked women. “You’re beautiful, and I think you know that, but it’s beside the point.”

“Is it?”

She’d come close enough for Kenshin to stroke a hand down all that lush, bare flesh, and he almost did so to make sure she was real. Common sense kicked in before he acted on the impulse. Besides being a stranger, she was, well, strange.

“Listen, lady, I don’t know what your game is but—”

“Game? There is no game. Your people rescued me, and now I’m your responsibility. Isn’t that how this works?”

Kenshin glanced around again, convinced that any minute Flipper or someone would leap out and scream, “Gotcha!” This had to be a prank. Stuff like this didn’t happen otherwise, at least not to him. But after that dolphin encounter at the reef, anything seemed possible.

Kenshin felt her warm breath on his face. It smelled…fishy? When he wrinkled his nose, she clapped her hand over her mouth. Now she was self-conscious? He looked into her eyes, an inviting shade matched only by a secluded tropical lagoon.

“What’s your name?”

“Marina.”

“Marina what?”

“Just Marina.”

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Buy links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gP4jiw

Liquid Silver: http://bit.ly/2gmfrA2

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2gvDNKr

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2gMr5rb

All Romance: http://bit.ly/2fqzBfp

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2gQwDku
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fGx24f

And now a word about the Gulf Shore series

My contemporary romance series is set in the fictional west-central Florida beach town of Gulf Shore, where you’ll taste salt on your skin and feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and a sea breeze ruffling your hair.
You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy.
You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a talking parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit.
You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress and to cheer others as they return to the wild.

And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.

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Connect with Annette

Website and blog: www.annettemardis.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annette.mardis and https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMardis

Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48   https://twitter.com/annettemardis48

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QjlzGU

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/annettemardis/

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1oFBx3s

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/1WPMaMa

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+AnnetteMardis/

YouTube: http://bit.ly/1Qa2dTj

Tsu: www.tsu.co/AnnetteMardis

iAuthor: www.iauthor.uk.com/profile/annettemardis48:9290

 

Author bio

annette-mardis-author-photoAs a girl, Annette dreamed of being an astronaut, but she stank at science and math and became motion sick riding the bus home from school. So she went with her second choice—newspaper journalist—and stuck with it for more than three decades. After years of ignoring well-meaning people who said, “You should write a book,” she finally did. And then she wrote a few more. When she’s not working, Annette usually has her nose in someone else’s novel or her gaze glued to sports on TV. She has three totally spoiled pets, enjoys being the designated sightseer on her husband’s Harley, and volunteers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of diva dolphins Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale films.

Thanks for joining us on today’s blog!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and supporter of other authors, especially those who write awesome books.

 

 

Tami Lund & Eminem, They’re Tight *In Her Mind*

Maybe I should clarify that title. I’m actually referring to the character Eminem played in the movie 8 Mile. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith. Remember him? He was the poor white kid from Detroit who was going nowhere fast, despite his dreams of becoming a famous rapper.

So how are we so tight? Well, we have a few things in common. Okay, maybe only a very, very few things. Maybe two.

First, we both came from poor, single-parent households in Detroit. Okay, okay, in Michigan. I was actually raised in mid-Michigan, although it was an ethnically mixed, solidly blue-collar, factory town. And I lived in a trailer park for a minute when I was in sixth grade.

But I live in Detroit now. Okay, okay, in the ‘burbs. My version of Detroit involves the DIA, the Riverfront, The Whitney, the Renaissance Center, Eastern Market, Fox Theatre, Ford Field, and Tigers Stadium (okay, Comerica Park, but I’m plenty old enough to remember games at Tigers Stadium — not to mention Joe Lewis Arena, which isn’t going away like Tigers Stadium did, but it’s the last season the Red Wings will play there). How about Belle Isle, Hitsville USA, and the casinos? Oh, and Greektown and Mexicantown. Speaking of awesome restaurants, how about Roast, Punch Bowl Social, The Rathskeller? The list goes on, much like the beat…

Wait, I’ve completely digressed from the purpose of this post. I was trying to show you the connection I feel with Jimmy Smith from 8 Mile. It’s more than just our poor roots and undoubtedly shared favorable opinions about all those cool places in Detroit. (For the record, I have no idea if Jimmy, or Eminem for that matter, like any of those places I noted; I’m making a biased assumption based on the fact we all live in the Detroit area and take a bit of pride in our hometown.)

Anyway, what really helps me feel connected to Jimmy is … that award I won on October 8th, for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT!!!

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**Author pitch here: It’s a super awesome book about two broken people who are forced to figure out how to get along and then end up growing as individuals and having super steamy sex. Many times. So it’s practically the perfect romance novel. Just sayin’. **

 

 

Never have I felt so connected to Jimmy Smith as I did on the Monday after winning that Rone Award at the InD’Scribe Conference. (Read my funny blog post about what it was like to be a first time award winner here.)

We both, ultimately, won the award, reached the pinnacle… And then went back to work afterward. Work, as in the job that paid the bills, the one that had nothing whatsoever to do with those dreams floating around in our heads.

On that Monday morning, as I sat in my car, creeping my way through rush hour traffic, all I could think about was that scene in 8 Mile, when Jimmy wins (oops, spoiler alert!) and everybody’s celebrating, and for a minute, he’s king of the world….

And then the DJ tries to convince him to stay, to be a host at the club, and Jimmy says nah, I gotta get back to work. Not only does he need to continue to earn a steady paycheck, but he had asked a friend to cover his shift for him, and he couldn’t let that guy down, either. So altruistic, so brave, so deserving of that award. And someday, so big, so successful; finally breaking free of that poor, sometimes seemingly hopeless life.

Okay, we don’t quite yet have that in common. I mean, sure, I’ve moved beyond my poor roots, without a doubt, but I’m no Eminem.

Maybe someday.

Until then, I’ll smile every time I walk past that award on display in my dining room (deliberately, I might add), I’ll giggle every time my husband manages to work it into yet another seemingly unrelated conversation, and I’ll keep writing. And dreaming. Big dreams. Huge dreams.

I’m ready to lose myself.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and an AWARD WINNER. She’s pretty damn giddy about it, can you tell?

PS – She’s participating in a Halloween Facebook Hop this week – go to her Facebook page to check out the deets and win PRIZES:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund/

 

 

Tami Lund-The Grieving Author Finally Starts Writing Again

As I sit down to write this blog post, I’m debating whether to talk again about the recent tragedy in my life. It would be easy to do. Writing is therapeutic, and when something of such magnitude hits with no warning and no handbook on how to manage my emotions (yes, I know there are plenty of handbooks, but I failed to read them before it happened, because, you know, I didn’t exactly expect to ever have to deal with this sort of thing), it’s easy to get caught up in it, to dwell, to get stuck and not move forward.

And then, one morning, I found myself writing. Not about life, not another blog post, but about the made up world I’d created in my books. I write this series called Lightbearers, and there are currently five published books—a prequel plus four full-length novels. I’ve been working on number five (Or is it six? I’m not sure of the rules when it comes to prequels.) on and off for months, but there’s always been something else pulling at me, demanding my attention, so the process has been a tad slow.

Until the words finally started flowing. The book is roughly fifty-k words with a solid happily ever after. Based on the other books in the series, I need to add another fifteen thousand words, give or take. Assuming the words continue to flow, that should be easy. There’s a drunken sex scene that needs to be fleshed out, and another scene I think needs an entire rewrite.

There are also the descriptions, painting the scenery, letting readers know what the world looks like through my eyes. Usually, I tend to write the basic plot first, then go back (multiple times) and flesh out the details—describing the mansion in which much of the book takes place, the woods where my two main characters escape and fly free for a while (literally, since this is a PNR book and they can therefore do that).

Sometimes, when I reach a steamy scene, I’m not always in the mood to write it (insert jokes here—or perhaps Archer saying, “Phrasing?”), so I’ll tag that section with a note to come back later—when I’m ready to share some sexy times with my characters.

This process tends to be the way I write in general. Many would call me a panster, and that’s a completely accurate description. Here’s my writing process with regard to this series:

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Came up with the idea for book one, Into the Light. Decided I wanted it to include shifters (because who doesn’t love sexy alpha—and beta—shifters?), but I wanted the other “beings” in the book to be something… different. I love the fae (and they show up in the prequel – which wasn’t written until eleven other books had been started—and are formally pulled into the series in book seven, at which point they stick around for the long haul). But I wanted to try something different.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie. I took an RWA class and the instructor said, If you want your books to sell, give the readers something unique. So Lightbearers were born, arch enemies of those bad, bad shifters, thus forming the Romeo and Juliet concept of Into the Light, book one in the Lightbearer series.

While writing Into the Light, I introduced Finn, a shifter who I initially wasn’t sure would be a good guy or bad guy—or if he would even survive to the end of the book. He did, and ultimately was a good guy, in fact, a strict rules-follower—and the perfect match for feisty Lightbearer, Cecilia, a woman who prefers to break instead of follow rules. Thus, the premise for book two, Dawning of Light, was born.

In Dawning of Light I introduced Carley, Lightbearer chef to the king, and I felt so bad for her plight (her parents forced her into mating with a real asshole of a Lightbearer), I decided she deserved a happily ever after of her own. Oh, and look, Finn had a brother. Reid had a few skeletons in his closet, most of which were completely incompatible with the skeletons in Carley’s closet…Perfect. So Light Beyond the Darkness, book three, was born.

By this point, Lightbearer healer Alexa had shown up in every single book, and I really liked her, so I knew she needed an HEA, too. But how to do it? For years she had been shacking up with fellow Lightbearer Jake, but had refused to commit to becoming his mate, and by Light Beyond the Darkness they were on the outs, and both were hurting but refusing to face their demons.

Sounds like another HEA in the making… Except I wasn’t sure if I wanted Alexa and Jake to get back together or if I wanted to mate her to a shifter, too, like the previous three lucky Lightbearer ladies. And the pack of shifters I had been pulling from had disintegrated by this point, so if I was going to do that, I needed to introduce a new shifter pack. Hence, the Detroit shifter pack, and Josh Tigre, the pack leader who was introduced in the first book, became the subject of book four, Change in the Light. To shake things up a bit, I decided Josh should be paired with a human, but she had to be a badass who was frustrated because she’d been forced into a situation in which she had no control.

As an aside, I had a lot of fun writing Change in the Light, knowing the heroine wasn’t aware of the paranormal world in which she was mingling. I dropped lots of hints and clues, all of which she was completely oblivious to, until the end. In fact, the name of the book stems from a particular scene in which she is beginning to suspect there’s something not quite entirely human about the guy she’s fallen for…

Yes, Alexa’s story is still hanging out there, but for some reason, as I wrote Change in the Light, I totally fell for Matt, Josh’s cousin and beta, and I knew I needed to write his story, too. Now here’s where it gets really wonky: for some unfathomable reason (no kidding; I have no idea how this idea popped into my head), I decided Matt needed to go toe-to-toe with… A Cupid. Yep. Those creatures who help people find love. Because Matt refused to believe he would ever find love. Doesn’t want to. Not interested Nope. Never.

At least not until Adora, his very own personal Cupid, dropped into his life and insisted it’s her job to find him a mate.

This is the one I’m working on now. I’m tentatively titling it Cupid’s Light. Every book’s title is a play on the word “Light” for, you know, the Lightbearers. Into the Light is about Tanner not only discovering Lightbearers exist, but making choices that go against everything he was raised to believe. In Dawning of Light, Cecilia loves to sneak out and greet the sunrise every day, and the dawning of realization she doesn’t have to go through life alone is slow in coming. Light Beyond the Darkness starts with both Carley and Reid in very, very dark places, and of course, since it’s a happily ever after, they manage to find their way to the light, aka, love and happiness. Change in the Light, as I mentioned above, is about a shifter (Josh) and a human (Rachel) figuring out how to make things work despite being two entirely different species, and is also about Rachel learning about this world she never believed existed.

Based on this, I’ve come up with the title Cupid’s Light for the next book, but I’m open if something more descriptive hits me before it’s done. (Or if someone has a better title idea, hint, hint…)

Oh yeah, and Alexa… well, her happily ever after is coming, finally. She’s the heroine in book six, tentatively titled Lost in the Light. She’s going to have a chance to go live with Josh’s shifter pack in Detroit, and will be assigned her own Cupid, Adora’s brother, Shaid. No, the same thing that happened to Matt won’t happen to Alexa. Shaid is, in this book, more comic relief than anything. In truth, Shaid thus far hasn’t been assigned his own HEA, but the more I write of his sister’s book, the more I think I need to do something for him. So if you fall in love with his carefree, sometimes bawdy ways in Lost in the Light, hang tight. I’m working on it.

In the meantime, I’m going to get back to Cupid’s Light. I have a drunken sex scene to write…

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, and writer of happily ever afters. If this blog post has intrigued you enough about the Lightbearer series, the prequel, First Light, is free at nearly every e-book retailer…

 

 

How Real Are My Books? – Tami Lund Confesses

I’m writing this post the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday. We’re having a few friends over to eat and watch the game. My husband and I each have distinct roles on the day before such events. I compulsively clean the house, while he does everything he can to ensure the party is really about his food, not some super potentially epic football game.

While I sweep and mop and dust and mull over whether there’s time to touch up the paint on the floorboards near the backdoor, he pours over his extensive recipe collection, trying to gauge what will both impress and please our guests. (I should note our “guests” are neighbors and dear friends who don’t care if our house is clean and would be happy if we ordered pizza, and are always thrilled with whatever he makes.)

Are you wondering what this has to do with my books? Well, it occurred to me that this scenario connects closely to my books. There’s an age-old question about what authors write: Is there something of yourself in your books?

The basic answer is yes, of course. Every author pours his or her heart and soul into her (we’re sticking with “her” because I’m, well, a her) books. The stories are plucked from our imaginations and with the help of a good editor, molded into something someone else might want to read.

But let’s go deeper. Is there really something of myself in my books? The answer is still yes. The Super Bowl scenario makes me think of my book, Delicious Deception, which is about a restaurant owner who wishes she could do something else with her life and a chef who wishes he could be famous for what he does. Let me break down all the ways this book is pulled directly from my life…

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  1. It starts in Shreveport, Louisiana. I lived in Shreveport for eleven years. Went to high school there. And college. Met my best friend there. Have lots of friends there. Moved my husband there, early in our relationship. My dad currently still lives there (well, in Bossier City, which is right across the river). Shreveport is near and dear to my heart.
  2. It also starts in a casino. The casinos moved into Shreveport/Bossier City right around my twenty-first birthday. Yeah, I’ve been to the casinos a time or two.
  3. The story then moves into the bayous of Caddo Lake, and to a restaurant located on one of those bayous. In the book, the restaurant is called Louisiana Kitchen, but… In 2012, my family visited my dad down in Bossier City, and he took us for a boat ride on Caddo Lake. We launched the boat at the very boat launch referred to in the book, and we cruised up and down the same bayous Connor does in Delicious Deception (except we weren’t lost, like he was). We were all hungry—just like Connor—and happened by a large banner strung between two trees, facing the water, proclaiming “Delicious Louisiana Food.” We docked outside the reCaddo Lake_Uncertain Wine Glassstaurant and headed up the hill and had an incredibly enjoyable time eating hush puppies and calamari and fried shrimp and gumbo and all sorts of Louisiana-type fare. I drank wine while my dad and husband sampled locally brewed beer, and the kids marveled at the decorations and plaques with funny sayings tacked to the walls. The restaurant was called Uncertain General Store & Grill, and it was located in Uncertain, Texas, right on one of the bayous of Caddo Lake.

  4. There’s a sexy scene during which Connor is making chocolate molten cake, and Emily Kate walks into the kitchen. He offers her a sample of the batter and her response is, “It’s orgasmic.” Yes, yes, this has happened between my husband and me, although I refuse to acknowledge how accurate the rest of the scene is…

So yeah, I guess I do put a lot of myself in my books.

PS – Delicious Deception is on sale right now for only $1.99. Here’s the link: AMAZON

PPS – Here’s the chocolate molten cake both Connor and my husband make exceptionally well. It’s courtesy of Anne Burrell (my husband’s chef girlfriend):

molten-chocolate-cake-with-crushed-candy-canes_s4x3  Anne Burrell

Molten Chocolate Cake with Candy Canes

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter

Granulated sugar, for the ramekins

1/2 (6-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus a little more for dusting

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 candy canes, smashed to bits

Special equipment: 6 ramekins or aluminum soufflé cups

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt 1/4 a stick of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Paint the inside of 6 ramekins or aluminum souffle cups with butter. Coat the inside of each ramekin with granulated sugar. Reserve.

Put the remaining stick of butter and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl on a saucepan filled with about 1-inch of boiling water. Be sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Gently stir the butter and the chocolate together until melted and the mixture is smooth. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Combine the eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. (This can also be done with a hand beater.) Beat the egg mixture until it doubles in size, and gets very thick and very pale.

Gently whisk the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently stir in the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the ramekins, and arrange them on individual serving plates. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with crushed candy cane.

Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/molten-chocolate-cake-with-crushed-candy-canes-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Get ready… It’s orgasmic!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker. She also loves romance. And she’s writing happily ever afters, one book at a time. Stalk her website here: TAMI LUND