Mafia Reads Funny & is On Sale!

Trapped by the Mob, the first in the two-book Detroit Mafia Series, is on sale for 99c for a few days…

Here’s what it’s about:

Sure, Antonio Sarvilli is the money man behind his brother’s criminal empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He’s not the one out there killing people. All he does is make greenbacks and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

That attitude changes when his brother assigns him to get to know Phoebe Cavanaugh, a Good Samaritan who witnessed something she wasn’t supposed to.

Now, all Antonio wants is to get out so he can be with Phoebe.

Except that’s not how it works when you’re part of the mob.

And here’s an excerpt:

Something wasn’t adding up, and considering Antonio was the numbers guy, when that happened, he became determined to find out why. It was in his genetic makeup.

Gino’s home office was the size of an opulent apartment in New York City. Why the hell one man needed so much space was beyond Antonio, who rapped his knuckles twice against the wooden door before stepping inside. He strolled across the plush carpet, deliberately twirling his key ring around his finger so Gino could see that he was in a hurry to be somewhere.

His brother spoke in low tones into the phone he held to his ear while he watched Antonio’s progress into the room. They were five years apart in age, though Gino looked ten, maybe fifteen years older. He’d played and worked far too hard for almost his entire life, and Mother Nature had begun to let him know.

His hair, along with the goatee he maintained to hide his weak chin, were speckled with gray. There were crow’s feet next to his eyes and lines around his mouth. While his arms were huge and Antonio would still not willingly challenge him to hand-to-hand combat, Gino was definitely going soft around the middle. Maybe he needed to start banging a dietician instead of those hookers.

But despite the signs of age, when he disconnected the call and sat back in his chair, steepling his fingers and giving Antonio that steady, unblinking gaze, he still reeked of power, control, dominance.

Just like he had for basically Antonio’s entire life.

Gino had started his own dry cleaning business only a few months out of high school. Today, he owned two-thirds of the dry cleaners in the metro Detroit area and bullied the other third so they wouldn’t encroach on his territory. An impartial observer could easily get the impression he owned the goddamn world. In his mind, he probably did. Antonio couldn’t recall the last time someone had crossed his brother. Probably not since sixth grade, when he’d already been a boy in a man’s body.

“Antonio,” he said. “I need you to do a job for me.”

Antonio shook his head. “Already did my job today. Made you a cool half mil. You’re welcome.”

On paper, Gino’s dry cleaning empire made half a mil a year. Everybody—including the cops—knew he was worth far more than that. But they couldn’t prove it. Nor were they aware that his younger brother was the money man; a fucking genius when it came to investing Gino’s substantial assets. Yeah, yeah, most of the money Antonio grew was dirty—really, really dirty—but Gino paid him a lot of greenbacks to ignore that fact.

Gino slid a piece of paper across the smooth surface of the desk. It looked like somebody had taken a screenshot of a video off the computer screen. A woman took up most of the grainy pic, a decent-looking blonde, frozen in the process of talking to, based on the microphone shoved in her face, a television reporter from one of the local networks.

“I need you to befriend this woman. Find out what she knows.”

Antonio glanced from the picture to Gino. “What, like how smart she is? Like can she count to ten or something?”

“Don’t be obtuse. I want you to find out what she knows about me.”

Antonio looked at the picture again. The woman was dressed in a tank top and running shorts, and her hair was pulled back into a ponytail. It was hard to tell from the image, but it didn’t look like she was wearing makeup, or at least not as much as Gino’s usual taste in women wore. Take away the blonde hair and she reminded him a little of Gino’s ex-wife, Margot, actually.

“I don’t mean to bring up a sore spot, but you didn’t have much luck with good-looking, presumably smart women the first time around.”

Gino’s forehead developed deep grooves as he frowned, giving Antonio that look that told him he was in danger of crossing the line between being an irritant and truly pissing off his really scary brother. “I am not interested in her like that, you nimrod.” He sucked in a breath through his nose, took his time exhaling. “She may have, um, witnessed something this morning. Something that naturally didn’t quite happen the way she saw it.”

“Do I want to know what this something is?” Probably not. Antonio was quite content to stay as oblivious as possible to Gino’s business dealings. It was easier to enjoy the far-more-than-comfortable lifestyle his paychecks afforded him if he didn’t look too closely at the root of all that income.

That’s why no one really knew about him; he hid in the shadows, tucked away in the background, managed the money from behind his secure-as-Fort-Knox laptop, and otherwise stayed out of Gino’s day-to-day dealings. He didn’t even come to his brother’s house all that often, and they almost never went out in public together.

When Dad died, they hadn’t had any sort of burial or memorial service. Gino’d had him cremated and shipped the remains back to Italy to be buried in a small, nondescript cemetery there. Then he’d set Mom up in an assisted living facility where she’d wasted away from Alzheimer’s, and then he’d given her the same treatment as Dad. Hell, half the goons on Gino’s payroll probably thought he had no parents, had been born via immaculate conception. Not sure how they figured Antonio came along. Or maybe they weren’t even aware they were brothers.

Antonio didn’t mind. Pretending he wasn’t really part of Gino’s life was easier on his conscience.

“Frankie stopped by to pick up Nina, and this woman saw him. She seems to be under the impression I kidnapped my own daughter. Which, of course, isn’t true.”

Isn’t it? Antonio glanced at the closed door to Gino’s office. Today was Friday. Early June. Here in the Detroit area, most schools were still in session, at least for another week or so. “So what’s Nina doing here, anyway? Shouldn’t she be in school?”

Gino waved dismissively. “I’m letting her have a day off. Everybody deserves a day off once in a while.”

Right. “And does her mom know she’s taking the day off school?”

Gino scowled and spat out, “Margot had a date last night.”

“Good for her. Although I’m not sure what that has to do with Nina skipping school.”

Gino’s fist slammed onto his desk, rattling the sturdy, wooden contraption and sending his pencil holder skittering off the edge. “No, that isn’t good for her. She knows the rules. If she didn’t want to stay with me, she can’t be with anybody.”

“O-o-okay. I see you haven’t gotten any less psychotic over your ex. Look, I’m in a bit of a hurry here, so if you’ll excuse me…”

But before he could take a step toward the door, Gino stabbed his finger at the printout.

“Her name is Phoebe Cavanaugh. She apparently doesn’t live too far from Margot. Go introduce yourself to her, do what you do best.”

“What’s that? Make money for her?”

“Idiot. Charm her. For some damn reason, women love you. I want you to get friendly with her, find out what she knows about me, and then convince her to stop talking to the police and the media about this alleged kidnapping issue. Got it?”

Antonio shook his head. “Nope. Don’t got it. I think you’re confusing me with one of the other guys on your payroll. I don’t do front-end work for you. I’m the greenbacks guy. I make your capital grow, period. That’s the extent of my services for hire.”

“I’m the one who decides the extent of your services.”

Goddamn it, he was right. Antonio wasn’t stupid, although he tried to act that way sometimes in an effort to stay under his brother’s radar. But the reality was, Gino’s empire was exactly like every mafia movie ever made. You didn’t get out of the business unless you got arrested or killed. And you sure as hell didn’t disobey Gino Sarvilli’s orders.

Blood wasn’t thicker than water. Sure, Antonio made a shit-ton of money for Gino, but at this point, he’d probably never be able to spend it all before he died. If Antonio disappeared, there were plenty of other financial planners who could step into his shoes, even if they didn’t have quite his knack for growing the almighty dollar.

With a sigh worthy of an Oscar, Antonio slid the grainy photo off the desk. “What’s her name again?”

Like I said, only 99c for just a few days, or you can read it in KU: TRAPPED BY THE MOB

Trapped by the Mob Cover

 

Tami Lund drinks wine, wins awards, occasionally hits best seller lists, and writes (funny) mafia romance, among other genres… https://tamilund.com/

Tough Love is Back (Soon!)

There once was an aspiring author who wrote five-and-a-half manuscripts in a romantic suspense series that she eventually called the “Tough Love series.” As was typical when an idea formed in this author’s head, secondary characters from one book spurred story ideas for another book and then another, hence the five-and-a-half books, written over the course of only a few months. (She was laid off from her day job at the time, which provided ample time for writing.)

With three of the books completed in rough draft format, the author began querying, hoping a big bad publisher with lots of clout would realize how fabulous this series was.

At the same time, this author had discovered Twitter, and on Twitter were these “pitch wars,” where you post a line or two from your book, and if a publisher likes it, they, well, “like” it, and then you reach out and send them your manuscript and then start praying and praying and praying that this is finally your big break.

So this particular aspiring author checked the first three manuscripts of this series she’d been working on and found what she thought was a clever line from not the first book, but the second. So she put it out there in Twitter-land.

And a publisher liked it.

Let me repeat: A. Publisher. Liked. It.

Naked Truth, which was supposed to be the second book in the Tough Love series, was published through Crimson Romance on June 30, 2014. That was followed by Undercover Heat on January 19, 2015, and Delicious Deception on August 3, 2015. When this author sent the fourth book to the acquiring editor at Crimson Romance, they turned it down, and since this author had already started to self-publish at that time, she decided not to offer any more books to publishers, because keeping all her royalties made a hella lot more sense than sharing with someone else, especially since she was making enough by that point to cover the costs of covers and editing.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, that author is me. This is the short version of the creation of my Tough Love series. And the reason I’m sharing this info is because I have now gained my rights for the series from the publisher, so that I can self-publish what was my debut as a published author.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been re-reading the books in the series, updating a few things, cleaning up the writing that has obviously improved over the last five years (although I will say, these books were well-edited from the get-go!). This process has made me realize a few things…

  1. My writing has changed. Improvement is obvious. It better happen. If a writer doesn’t improve, well…But aside from improvement, my style is different now. I definitely included a lot more sex five years ago. These books are heavy on plot, but also heavy on steam. I’ve noticed recently, my books have been heavy on plot and the steam has been coming more slowly. There’s more anticipation and buildup now, whereas five years ago, my characters most definitely dove into the sack as quickly as they could.
  2. I still really like this series. A lot. Of the three, I love Undercover Heat the most, but I adore all the characters from all the books, and I was a little bit sad when I finished Delicious Deception and realized I had to say goodbye to these old friends…again.
  3. That made me realize that I cannot wait to (re)share this series with you all! There’s a strong likelihood that you haven’t read it, because once Crimson was acquired by a much larger publisher a few years ago, their titles basically quit getting marketed. They were also published at a higher price-point than I usually set my books. And since I had plenty of self-published titles to market to you all, I didn’t spend much time pushing these books that were going to make someone else money and not me.
  4. Even though I’m so excited to get these babies back out there for the world to read, it looks like it will be October before they get published. There are a lot of factors that went into this decision. First and foremost, I have to wait for the current publisher to take them off sale everywhere. Even though I have my rights reversal letters in hand, it takes time for distributors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.) to pull the original copies. And since these were available in print and ebook format, I imagine that only increases the amount of time it takes. Additionally, I already have a new release scheduled for September (the fourth book in my Taming the Dragon series, for those of you interested, comes out on September 24!), and I’ve run myself ragged trying to do too much promotion at one time in the past, and I learned my lesson. Thus, October it is!
  5. Re-reading these three books has spurred ideas for other characters who play roles in these stories. Naked Truth starts at Cullen and Sabrina’s wedding, and they are characters from the original first book in the series, which I never published. I don’t know why I didn’t, other than the decision to try to sell Naked Truth to the publisher instead of that one. So I’m definitely going to dig out their manuscript and see if it’s worthy of publication, too. Additionally, there’s a character named Court from Undercover Heat who I’d forgotten how much I adored, and I know I have at least a half-written book for him, too. And then there’s Connor’s sister from Delicious Deception. (It was her story that was rejected by the publisher, but I have an idea for tweaking it that I think will make all the difference in the world!)
  6. What’s really cool about this (to me) is that it has stirred that creative pot in my head and now I’m excited about writing more romantic suspense! It’s been a few years since I’ve written in this genre. I’ve been focused on paranormal and romcom, because that’s where my head has been. And honestly, I think that initial rejection, after the publisher accepted three other books from me, got in my head and maybe caused a little bit of writer’s block for that genre. But I’m back now, baby!

So get ready. Stay tuned for…

New covers! Ohmigod, I love what my cover artist is doing with the covers! I can’t wait to share!

Teasers. I love the teasers. When a scene makes me laugh out loud, I immediately want to share with the world!

And, eventually, links to grab the books, so you too care share my love of this series.

Oh, and if you aren’t following me on Facebook, that’s the best place to get all this info: TAMI LUND AUTHOR PAGE.

Talk to you soon!

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author who writes romance in various sub-genres, including paranormal, romcom, and (once again) romantic suspense! Here’s her website: https://tamilund.com/

 

 

Wine Country and Wine Books

I’ve just returned from a trip to northern California, where I visited both Sonoma and Napa Valley. My trip can be summed up in one word: Fantastic. Maybe one more word: Wine.

However, blogs were not meant to be short and sweet, so let me expound.

IMG_3919

It was my twentieth wedding anniversary (I know! Can you believe it? Yeah, we were babies when we tied the knot. Babies, I tell ya!). My husband joined me, of course. (Might have been a tad awkward if I’d gone for our anniversary without him.) The best man from our wedding (and his wife) and my bestie-in-the-whole-wide-world, aka maid of honor (well, she was technically matron since she got married first, but that term sounds lame, so we stuck with maid) and her husband, and the parents of our flower girl and ring bearer (Who are also super amazing besties of ours–the parents, I mean. The kids are cool, too, though.) all joined us.

(Side note – yes, another one – we suggested the ring bearer and flower girl join us for the next trip, since, crazy enough, they’re of age, which is so weird considering they were these two totally adorable toddlers walking–and maybe a little bit of running–down the aisle at my wedding. But then again, I guess that whole thing did happen two decades ago!)

Anywhooooo, so we vacationed in Cali, these four couples who have known each other for far more than two decades. Which is crazy, because are we even old enough to have friends that long? Okay, okay, maybe I’m referring to the way we act. But hey, if you can’t have fun with your besties…

I won’t bore you with every single detail (not that a single detail was remotely boring–not even that morning three of us woke up early and went hiking, legit hiking, on a mountain that just happened to be at the end of the street on which the house we were renting was located. Of note, we are not from states in which hiking on mountains at the end of the road is a thing, so yeah, we may have been a tad excited.)

I will tell you that it was magnificent, every single aspect, from the wine to the food (we highly recommend Brix in Napa Valley and the Depot Hotel Restaurant in Sonoma) to the company (the laughs, oh my gosh, the laughs!) was utterly and spectacularly perfect.

I will also leave you with a funny story from our trip (and a reminder that I just wrote a book about wine country–okay, okay, it’s based in Australia, but it’s still about a winery, specific a super hot guy who owns a winery, and it’s well worth the read if you’re into, well, wine country, and also romantic comedy or maybe just my books in general. It’s called No Jerks on Monday in case you want to check it out.).

No Jerks on Monday

So here’s the story: My bestie and her husband started their vacay early–they flew into San Francisco on Monday and on Wednesday, when the rest of us arrived, we picked them up and headed north to Wine Country. While we were at dinner on Wednesday, they told us a story about a food tour they’d gone on in downtown SF. It was quite the pleasant experience, until a presumably homeless man stepped in the middle of their group while the tour guide was giving details about whatever building they happened to be standing in front of.

She didn’t miss a beat, keeping her cool and nodding at the guy as he talked gibberish while gesturing wildly. She carried on as if this was a completely normal part of the tour. And then, after he muttered something about someone named “Steven,” she said, “Oh, yes, I know Steven.”

At which point the homeless guy shouted, “STEVEN IS A BITCH.”

And the tour guide, still without missing a beat, said, “And we’re walking,” and herded her group down the sidewalk and on to the next stop.

We found this story outrageously hilarious, and proceeded to insert “Steven is a bitch” into every conversation we possibly could. It became our “That’s what she said” of the weekend.

Oh, but it gets better.

Thursday morning, we went on the Sonoma Food, Wine & History Tour (if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it, and ask for Abby because she’s amazing, as you’ll learn in just a moment).

Our tour guide, as I just noted, was Abby. Friendly, bubbly, made a point to get to know every person in the group. We were comfortable with her in probably less than twenty minutes.

IMG_3780

The tour started right outside the Depot Park Museum in downtown Sonoma. Abby was giving us a bit of history about the area, including the fact that the now-defunct tracks we were standing next to used to carry a train full of basalt (which was excavated from the mountain right there in Sonoma) into San Francisco to be loaded onto boats to be carried who knows where in the world.

An elderly woman who clearly worked or volunteered at the museum happened to be walking by at the precise moment Abby mentioned San Francisco, and the woman snapped, “No, that’s not where it went. It went to blah blah blah [I don’t even know what she said, to be honest]. You should come into the museum so you can learn something.” And then she stuck her nose in the air and stomped away.

At which point someone in our group muttered, “Annnnd Steven is a bitch.”

And then we collapsed against each other, laughing hysterically, while poor Abby looked on, quite mystified. Until we filled her in on the joke.

Which she proceeded to use to her advantage for the duration of the tour.

So, yeah, we had a marvelous time. I can’t wait to go back.

~*~

No Jerks on Monday

 

Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker who writes books about sexy winery owners. Take a peek at No Jerks on Monday HERE.

Too Much Fun Scheduled…

It’s graduation/wedding/end of school season. For me personally, it’s also wedding anniversary-slash-daughter’s birthday season. Oh yeah, and summer; trying to get in every single possible second of glorious sunshine-filled days because I live in Michigan and fully understand how few and fleeting those days are.

This summer, so far, I’ve only received one wedding invite; scheduled for the last day of my vacation, no less. But I do have plenty of high school graduations. In fact, I had two invites for last weekend and two more for this upcoming one. There’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday party and my niece’s horse show, my daughter’s last day of school, and prepping (mentally and literally) for the vacation my husband and I are taking for our twentieth wedding anniversary (!!). And as soon as we return, it’s my daughter’s birthday, and after that, I think summer slows down for a few weeks until our annual family vacation (and that wedding) toward the end of July. Thank God.

Oh crap, and I just realized Father’s Day falls in there, too!

Meanwhile, I’m riddled with guilt as I try to juggle two jobs, a teenager, nurturing my garden so I can have fresh salsa by the end of summer, attempting to lose a few pounds so I actually don’t hate the way I look in my swimsuit; on top of all those obligations listed above. Which, by the way, ultimately, will be fun, so honestly, calling them obligations isn’t the correct term, but that’s how I feel at the moment.

Because it’s too much. And yet I want to—or at least feel obligated to—do it all. Two of the grad parties are for children of cousins whose parents are brothers, so optimally I’d like to only do one, but is that really fair? Truthfully, I may not be able to do either, which only adds yet another layer to my constant companion, Guilt.

And then there’s the reality that my husband and I chose to get married on Father’s Day weekend all those years ago, so we have to figure out how to celebrate that special event, honor three fathers (my husband and both our dads), as well as make my daughter feel special on her birthday, which is also right there in the mix. Oh, and three of my five nieces have birthdays all that same week as my daughter. This summer in particular, I am so grateful we enrolled my daughter in the school she currently attends if only because they end their school year a week before her old one does; otherwise, that grand event would be happening right smack in the middle of everything else listed in this paragraph.

Oy, we should have planned out our lives better!

I know, I know, that isn’t how it works, but that comment makes me chuckle because I am, while not strictly Type A, most definitely a planner, and I need to make everything fit, everything work; find order on the chaos that has become my June calendar. (Yes, I still use a paper calendar. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Because I don’t care what you say, it’s just easier.)

And so, up front, before the event-filled weekends even arrive, I have to mentally make the decisions: What will we do? What will we decline? And those decisions are, admittedly, made with my coveted writing time in mind.

If I go to the work event on Friday, the graduation on Saturday, the dinner party on Saturday, and the graduation on Sunday, when will I have time to write?  And so I start trimming obligations, so that I can sit on my backporch and work on yet another novel for your enjoyment.

Because I enjoy it too. And I don’t feel obligated to do it; I simply want to. Which is how writing ultimately is the winner in the end.

Rather, you are.

 

Dragon in Denial Cover FINAL

Tami Lund writes books and drinks copious amounts of wine to combat the guilt of choosing writing over all that fun stuff she should be doing. This book just released on May 31, if you want to check it out!

DRAGON IN DENIAL

 

 

Vote for Me! Vote for Me! Vote for Me!

Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Oh, you want to know what I’m asking you to vote for! Well, it’s a book. One of my favorites. Okay, yeah, they’re all my favorite in one way or another.

This one is special because it’s about a sexy billionaire, which, true confession, is not a trope I’m particularly fond of. But I wrote it, because my co-author, Misti Murphy, and I came up with what we thought was a funny and adorable way to write this story. Crazy enough, the fact that the hero is a billionaire isn’t even significant to the plot.

Handsome man or muscular macho

And if the review of SEXY BAD BOSS from InD’tale Magazine is any indication, we nailed it.

The review I’m referring to is what got SEXY BAD BOSS nominated for a RONE Award.

(Psst: I won a RONE Award in 2016 for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT. Isn’t it pretty? It sits on my mantel in all its fingerprint-covered glory.)

Rone Award

Now it’s three years later and I have a chance to give my adorable (and pride-inducing) RONE a partner up there above the fireplace.

I NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

I need your vote to move SEXY BAD BOSS to the final round!

Oh, speaking of, here’s what InD’tale Magazine’s reviewer thought was so awesome about this book:

“This steamy romance is hilarious and absolutely unique in that the big, sexy, rich boss man has no clue of his own allure. He is not a playboy, nor does he even have a clue that his own gorgeous assistant is in love with him. Myra is driven and talented and knows what she wants. The connection between the two sizzles, yet communication was somewhat lacking in a few parts. James was a little too straight-laced in the beginning, but once he opens up, he is all fire and passion and when he thinks he has lost Myra for good, he goes to any length to win her back. Add in an adorable little girl, a goat, a duck and a cat, and you have yourself a smoking hot, witty, adorable and heartwarming romance!”

On that note, if you could spare a moment, I’d love your vote so this [potentially] award-winning book can move on to the final round of judging!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Click the link that’s below all these pesky instructions. You must register on the website in order to vote (their rules, not mine).
2. Click ‘login’ at the top right of the page.
3. Click ‘I want to create an account.’
4. Fill in all necessary info. They do nothing with your email address so don’t worry – no spam!
5. Once you’re registered, you will need to actually log in.
6. Go to the menu and click IND’SCRIBE/RONES.
7. Select ‘2019 RONE Awards’ then week six.
8. First category is Contemporary Steamy – that’s where SEXY BAD BOSS is located!! Select my book then select VOTE!
9. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 💖💖

https://www.indtale.com/2019-rone-awards-week-six

Handsome man or muscular macho

Tami Lund writes romance books that are sometimes nominated for awards. But they can only win if YOU vote. So, thank you for your vote!
PS – here’s her website if you want to check out her other books:

 

Let’s Talk Vampires

According to Wikapedia, “A vampire is a being from folklore that subsists by feeding on the vital force of the living.” Also according to Wikapedia, they weren’t particularly attractive in the beginning: “they wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy…countenance…”

My how things have changed.

Don't say no to a sexy vampire

Today, vampires are sexy. Thank God they’ve moved beyond “bloated,” because nobody wants a gassy hero.

Wikapedia also says this, in case you were looking for early (sexy) vampire reads:

“The charismatic and sophisticated vampire of modern fiction was born in 1819 with the publication of “The Vampyre” by John Polidori; the story was highly successful and arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century.[4] Bram Stoker‘s 1897 novel Dracula is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend, even though it was published after Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu‘s 1872 novel Carmilla.”

But enough about Wikapedia’s interpretation of vampires. Let’s talk about mine.

The first vampire movie I recall watching was Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. And thus a giant crush as only schoolgirls can accomplish was born. I loved them equally, although between this movie, Legends of the Fall, and Thelma and Louise, Brad most certainly and quite quickly became a frontrunner. Sorry, Tom.

Anyway, back to vampires. I also read Anne Rice’s book, of course, although I can’t remember which went first—book or movie. Probably book because I remember watching the movie on television, not in the theatre, and back then, I tended to pick up the book first whenever a movie was made from it. (Which, by the way, often led to disappointment, because it’s all too common for the book to be so much better than the movie. In the case of Interview with the Vampire, there was no disappointment because refer to beautiful men above and yes, I am shallow like that.)

Throughout my rather lengthy reading career, I’ve read plenty of vampire books, including the Sookie Stackhouse series (which admittedly I started reading because they were based near Shreveport, Louisiana, a place I called home for a decade). I also adore Katie McAlister’s Dark Ones, which I picked up because after devouring all of her dragon books I obsessively needed more and so became one of those fans who stalks an author’s backlist and snags everything she can get her hands on. And then there were the Queen Betsy books, and now, as I read back through this list, I realize there is a definite trend in my vampire reading material.

I like humorous vampire stories.

Hiding Shirts

Of course, I like sexy ones too, but hey, it’s pretty clear we can have both, right?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, anyone?

Buffy sexual tension meme

I suppose this reading and watching material explains why the vampires I write tend to be both sexy and funny. (Although, to be fair, all of my books tend to have humor woven throughout.)

Now that I’ve snagged your interest with those sexy and funny memes, here’s the plug: I’ve written two vampire novellas. They are a pair; you should read Resist first, then Eternity. And Resist is currently discounted to 99c for only a few more days, making it terribly easy and tempting to get started on these two books.

Here’s the quickie 411:

Resist – our heroine hates vampires, with good reason. Our hero is a vampire who happens to save her life – which was threatened by a couple of punk humans, by the way. Oh yeah, our hero is also starving, but refuses to feed from her in an effort to prove not all vamps are bad guys. Also, there’s lots of sexual tension, which makes not feeding even more of a challenge. Oh, and humor. Cam’s a pretty funny vampire, if I do say so myself.

Eternity – our hero (vampire) and heroine (human) fell in love during Resist, and at the end of that book, our hero cuts all ties and sends our heroine back to her human life because he wants her to be happy and live out her full human life, something he missed out on and has always regretted. She’s pissed because he’s making this decision against her will, so she takes off to go lick her wounds and try to forget…and ends up in some seriously hot water. Our hero needs to rescue her, which is a challenge because she’s trapped on a Caribbean island, which, you know, tends to be a bright, sunny place on the regular, with little options for places to avoid the sun’s burning rays. And yeah, there’s plenty of funny, as well as some seriously sexy moments in this book.

A little about the author: Tami Lund likes to write funny, sexy vampires, as we’ve already established above. She also writes about dragons and witches and the mafia and sexy neighbors and the list goes on and on. This is where you can see the full library: https://tamilund.com/. Happy reading! 

How A Book Is Born

This isn’t about all that technical stuff, like uploading documents and JPEGs and choosing key words and all that not-exciting stuff authors have to deal with in order to bring you great reads.

Nope.

This is about the inner workings of an author’s mind.

This is about how the idea for a book comes about.

Fair warning: it’s not normal. It’s not typical. In fact, it’s probably a bit weird.

You’ve been warned.

So anyway, about five years ago, on a random Friday, I was heading into the day job later than normal. I can’t remember why, but if I had to guess, I probably worked really late the day before and needed an extra hour of sleep.

Anyway, this particular section of my commute is down a long, two-lane road that cuts through a swampy area. There are eight-foot cattails on either side of the street for about a quarter of a mile, then, on the left, there’s a dirt road, which is really just a driveway shared by a handful of houses. The house closest to the road is the largest, and then the ones behind it are smaller. I don’t know if it’s all one family or if maybe the big house sold the land at some point, but in my mind, I decided that the smaller house directly behind the big one was a cottage that the owners rented out to one of the key secondary characters in the book that was forming in my head.

On this day that I was late heading into work, there was a little girl standing at the end of that dirt road. She was kicking pebbles and her thumbs were hooked into the straps of her backpack, and I remember thinking, She’s young, like maybe kindergarten or first grade, and she’s standing next to this street where cars zoom past at 45-50 miles per hour. Seems like there’d be a parent hovering around such a small child.

And then a car slowed down and turned onto the dirt road where she was standing, and my overactive imagination kicked into gear.

What if that driver is about to kidnap that little girl? (For the record, that’s not what happened in real life.)

Okay, who’s the heroine? Will it be the mother? No, an innocent bystander. Someone jogging down the road. And if that person dives into the cattails for some reason, the kidnapper won’t even notice that he has an eyewitness.

What would be a good reason for a jogger to hide in cattails? Checking out animal tracks? Lost something?

Sick? Puking?

Yeah, it’s Friday, and lots of people start the weekend on Thursday, and what if our eyewitness-slash-heroine got drunk last night and decided to go for a jog to sweat it out and ended up getting sick to her stomach?

Okay, so now, why would someone kidnap this little girl? What’s the motive? And how is the jogger going to get sucked in?

I continued on my way, and probably about a mile and a half down the road, I passed a small row of shops, including a dry cleaner.

And while I was at work that day, a co-worker told me a story about her husband’s family, who own a dry cleaner.

Her husband’s family is Italian.

Another one of my co-workers is Italian, and he tells stories about his mom’s recipes (she makes an amazing tiramisu, for the record) and how he took his now wife to Italy to propose and how his family is very authentically Italian…

All weekend, this book percolated in my mind. I was still trying to work out the key details.

Who’s the bad guy? Why is he the bad guy?

Who’s the hero? How is he going to meet the heroine?

How does the little girl play into it all?

On Sunday afternoon, my husband lounged on the couch and binge watched The Godfather movies. I didn’t sit with him; by default I’ve seen them a hundred times anyway and I’m not one of those people who likes to sit around and watch the same shows over and over again. But it was on, and the voices drifted through my head and…

Monday morning, I drove that exact same commute, and when I cruised through that swampy area, there was no little girl waiting for the bus.

And I thought about this story idea that wouldn’t stop bouncing around in my head.

This road.

Little girl waiting for the bus.

Kidnapped.

Jogger sees it.

Little girl’s mother is angry but not frantic. Why?

Dad is the kidnapper. Why?

DAD IS A MAFIA BOSS.

Boom. That’s it. That’s the missing puzzle piece to pull it all together.

But I didn’t want the actual boss to ultimately be the hero; no, he needed to be the bad guy. Because mafia bosses have to be damned ruthless to keep and maintain their power, right? So someone on his crew or in his family has to be the hero.

His brother.

But I didn’t want the hero to be someone who kills or abuses other people. No, he needs to be someone behind the scenes.

The money man.

And they need a front, a legit business, behind which they can launder money and evade the IRS.

A dry cleaning chain.

Boom.

And the jogger, she’s going to be a random person, someone with a heart of gold, someone who would never, ever become involved with a man who is associated with a dirty business like the mob. Because of course, our hero is going to fall for her, and if she ever finds out he’s connected to the mob, well…

THERE’S OUR STORY.

And now it’s finally ready for your reading pleasure. Trapped by the Mob releases tomorrow, 2/28/2019. Buy it or read it in KU, your choice.

Happy reading!

AMAZON

Trapped by the Mob Cover

Tami Lund writes all sorts of romance. Suspense, romcom, shapeshifters, demigods, vampires, and now, mafia. Check out all those others on her website: https://tamilund.com/