Ever want to direct the writer where to go? Now’s your chance!

Guys!! I’m announcing my first ever reader-directed novel! Where your feedback directs the story! Basically, read the chapter, post some feedback, I read the feedback and write the next chapter. Rinse and repeat until the book is done. Once it is, this will go up as a FREE read you can download in its entirety with this fancy lil’ cover.

What?? Oh, yeah. It’s gettin’ crazy round here!

A few things before jumping into this party: 

  • This is a free read and open to all readers, all ages. That means I will be writing a nice, clean read. Sorry, ladies!
  • Even though this is a free read, that doesn’t mean stealing the content is okay. Please don’t be a pirate. Unless you’re Jack Sparrow. Then by all means…
  • Be kind. To me. To other readers. To everyone (except maybe that creepy guy at the grocery store–stay away from him). 
  • I will not accept your content to add to the story. Ideas only, please! You can write what you want, but I will only publish my words. Copy right, legalities, all that apply to this rule.
  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for joining me!

Take me to chapter 1!!

 

 

 

Life and Books Collide

eclipse Diamond RingAs I watched the full eclipse on Monday, I remembered the importance of an eclipse in the first book I ever wrote.

ladyhawke-pic.jpgMy heroine took her code name from the original French version of a fifteenth century story which was made into a movie in 1985. Have you ever heard of Ladyhawke? It had a great cast including Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick. A full eclipse of the sun played a key role in the story, a.k.a. the black moment. Pun intended.

Unrelenting Love 150 dpiIn Unrelenting Love, Katlin Callahan takes the code name, Lady Hawk, not from the movie but from the original French version of the story which she was forced to read in high school.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the title for this blog.

Ladyhawke pic2To briefly explain the ancient story, Captain Navarre and Lady Isabeau had fallen in love, but the Bishop wanted her too. When the two lovers escaped, he placed a curse on them. From sunrise to sunset Navarre was a man and Isabeau was a hawk. From sunset to sunrise, she became a woman and he shifted into a wolf.

Sidebar – I guess we can thank the French for the original shifters.

Only during a full eclipse of the sun could Captain Navarre and Lady Isabeau face the Bishop together in their human form and break the curse. Then they could have their happily ever after.

Want to know more about the movie?

Click here to watch the movie trailer #1.

Click here for the movie trailer #2

Click here for more movie information.

To Buy Unrelenting Love, click here or on the cover above.

I want to thank my friend Janice Maynard (Click HERE to check out her books, especially her new Scots series) and her husband Charles for the wonderful picture of the eclipse taken a few miles from my home. This shot is called the diamond ring, taken just as the moon begins to reveal the sun once again.

These are the Days of My (Fall) Life

Life is hectic right now. So yeah, I’m writing this blog post the night before it’s scheduled to go live. No promises on how good it’ll be, let alone whether I’ll manage to catch typos and grammatical crap that isn’t called out thanks to Word’s swiggly red and green lines. Like swiggly. Word doesn’t like that word. Thinks it’s misspelled. Should be wiggly or swingy.

To be honest, I didn’t know ‘swingy’ was actually a word, and okay yes, ‘wiggly’ would probably work to describe those handy reminders Word offers up. But I like swiggly. It’s wiggly with swagger, and who doesn’t like a good swagger?

Especially if it’s attached to a desperately in need of redemption bad boy.

Speaking of—side bar—I just finished an amazing book with a hella sexy bad boy. I spent a fair portion of the book working myself up, figuring there was no way in hell this author could redeem him properly. He was that bad. And she did what I thought was impossible, thank God, because I truly thought I would finish the book and throw my phone against the wall with fury because the hero ended up not being much of a hero. I was so relieved I damn near cried.

The book’s called Beautiful Beast and the author is Aubrey something-or-another. I’ll have to look it up for you.

(Here it is: Beautiful Beast on Amazon)

So back to swiggly and swagger and my hectic life. (Although maybe now that I’ve finished that incredibly addictive book, it suddenly won’t seem so hectic. Because yeah, I was having a hard time focusing on the real world while reading it.)

It’s always crazy this time of year. It’s that part of the summer when it hits you that it’s almost over, so you do whatever you can to spend as much time doing summer stuff as possible, like you should have been doing for the past three months.

And then there’s back to school, which, now that we moved the kid to a different school means earlier than normal (public schools in the state of Michigan don’t start until after Labor Day, since tourism is an obscene amount of our state’s budget—hello, have you seen our state?—and Labor Day is a huuuuuuge tourism weekend).

Like next week earlier. Which will likely sneak up on my every single year until she graduates, I’m sure. Because geez, summer’s still in full swing, and now I have to make sure she has a haircut and that her uniform fits, make sure her shots are up to date (that makes it sound like she’s a dog, doesn’t it??), purchase all those school supplies we suddenly have to have in less than a week. Oh, and we’re going out of town for the weekend prior to the first day of school (not exactly well planned), so yeah, everything has to be done by this Thursday.

And let’s not forget football. Just to be clear, I could give two shits about football. The only game I ever watch is the Super Bowl and that’s only because I’m surrounded by friends and drinks and delicious, unhealthy food, watching the best commercials I can expect to see all year long. And for whatever reason, all those aspects make the rest of the game pretty fun too. Usually.

And yet football affects my life, adds to the insanity of fall, creates a whole additional layer of compaction as I try to balance an utterly impossible to balance load of life. How? Because the husband, who has a nice, normal day job, moonlights as a high school football referee. When my kids were little, I called myself a ‘football widow.’ It wasn’t quite as bad as being a football coach’s wife (okay, not remotely), but in my world, it was plenty bad enough. When you have two little kids and your husband is gone four or five days a week, it’s damn hard to manage. Oh yeah, and did I mention my day job gets insane at this time of year, too? And a few years ago, the owner had the brilliant idea to move the office thirty minutes further away from my home (I am convinced it was a personal affront and not because of the availability of real estate and tax breaks), which means my commute is a lovely, loooooong one hour each way. So when I work ten hour days, plus two hours of commute time, WHEN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE?

And that’s the crux of all this whining. I miss my writing at this time of year. I want it, I crave it, I need it. It’s my wine. My chocolate, my sleep, my world. I need to write like normal people need to breathe. And finding time to do so at this time of year is hard. Really hard. (When you read that last bit, read it in a really, really, high pitched pitiful voice—there, that’s how I feel.)

Well look at that. Somehow, I managed to write a blog post after all. While I’m on this roll, I should probably try to get in some words on the latest manuscript.

After I make dinner.

And convince the kid to shower.

And walk the dog.

And clean the kitchen.

And do a load of laundry.

And water the flowers.

And … pass out on the couch.

Did I mention it’s already after seven in the evening?

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is an author, award whiner (see what I did there?), and wine drinker. She prefers the wine without the ‘h’ whenever possible, but sometimes, a girl’s gotta vent.

Check out her website here: www.tamilund.com

Post Vacation Blues

My last blog post was about anticipating my annual vacation at the lake; this one is about the post-vacation blues. I’ve been home four days and I desperately want to go back.

Could be the day job. Not that I hate it, but it isn’t related to writing, and writing is my dream job, so…

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Could be the fact that I do not actually live on a lake, during my non-vacation time. Sure, there’s one at the end of the road, but that requires loading all the stuff into the car and driving down there. By stuff I mean a cooler full of drinks and a few snacks, not to mention rafts and tubes and towels and sunscreen and the dog and the kid and…the list sometimes seems endless. For a precious few hours’ fun. Not that we don’t do it regularly, but it sure would be nice to walk out my front door to the water.

Maybe it’s the fact I live in the city. Okay, in the ‘burbs. And I hate it. Okay, I don’t. I love my neighbors, I love my neighborhood. It’s nice that everything I need is less than a twenty-minute drive away. And when I want to get cultured, downtown is only an hour away. Easy, fairly convenient.

But that drive includes traffic and construction delays and then there’s the noise and the people and more traffic. I’d just like to try living in the middle of nowhere for a change. To see if I’d enjoy it as much as I suspect I would. If I hate it or get sick of it, I’ll wave the white flag and admit I’m wrong and move back to the city. I promise.

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Maybe it’s the inspiration created by sipping coffee early in the morning, perched next to a large body of crystal clear water, with only the sounds of nature accompanying me. Loons, mourning doves, water lapping at the shore. A fork rattling against a plate in someone else’s kitchen; a kid crying because he wants to swim before breakfast. Okay, those last two aren’t exactly nature, but they’re three doors down and part of lake-living. It’s amazing how far sound travels over water. How clearly, too. Can’t be a screamer when you’re living on a lake.

Wait, I’m getting off-track here.

“Up north” living as we call it here in the great state of Michigan, is inspiring. I always get a decent amount of writing done when I’m on vacation. Sure, it’s because I’m not at the day job for seven glorious days, but it’s also something else. The lack of distractions. Often, when we’re on vacation, we don’t have a decent internet connection, so I can’t spend a lot of time on social media or planning the next marketing ploy or begging readers to buy my books (although please do!) so I can leave the city and live on the water, you know, just to see if I like it.

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I suppose, if I’m truly going to live up north and write for a living, I probably have to choose a place with decent wifi. And then I’ll probably get distracted, thus reducing the amount of inspiration that lifestyle creates. But still … I’m still more than happy to try.

Really. I don’t mind.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is a writer, wine drinker, award winner, blogger, and dreamer. Mostly of sandy beaches and blue lakes. Oh, and of living on one, one of these days…Check out her website for books and more blog posts to entertain you: http://tamilund.com

 

All the craziness is happening!

Wow! So I’ve kind of gone into complete overhaul mode. New websites for both my pens, new covers for my sweet romance series, a new book coming in September… Lots of insanity going on this way!

First check out the new covers:

Whoot! Love them!!

And the upcoming new release!

This Old Cafe_500Jenna Reid purchased the Stonehill Café to prove to herself that her ex-husband was wrong…that she could make her dreams come true. Three years later, all she has is a crumbling building, no social life, and her bruised pride.

Pride is something Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Maguire lost long ago and isn’t likely to find living in the alley behind the café. He just needs a little time to get on his feet. In the interim, keeping an eye on the overworked café owner gives him a sense of purpose. He has no intentions of making his presence known until he hears the woman screaming late one night.

He rushes into the café but instead of finding her in dire straits, he finds a broken pipe and Jenna—soaking wet and holding a wrench. With her last bit of hope fading, Jenna accepts Daniel’s help to fix up her building, but it doesn’t take long for them to start trying to fix each other.

Coming in September!

But what about those new websites? Well, check ’em out!

http://emiliamancini.com/

http://marciboudreaux.com/

Okay, so some things are still getting shuffled and tested and tried and updated, but they are still beautiful and I love them and I couldn’t wait to share. Hope you like them, too!

Em

 

 

Time for a Change

Cancun Series website sm bannerWhen I completed my first romance novel and was ready to start pitching to publishers, I knew I had to build a brand which included graphics that looked the same across all forms of social media. Since my first book was based in Columbia and my second in Mexico, I decided a global look would be appropriate. My initial website banner was a map of the world.

Black Swan website sm bannerThree years later, and ten more books, my brand needs a facelift.

I have started with my website. I looked at dozens of websites by some of the most successful authors in the industry before selecting the elements I wanted to include in mine.

I invite you to check out my website and tell me what you think. Please be honest. Is it easy to maneuver? Is it intuitive?

Guardian Elite Series website sm bannerThere are twenty pages on this website and nearly 100 links, so I’m positive I’ve missed at least one, probably several. The first person to find a messed up link, or one that doesn’t take you to the right place, will receive a prize! Be sure to post the page and the link in the comments below so I know what needs to be fixed – and who gets a prize. 🙂

Several may win because there’s one prize for each missed link. (Hoping this doesn’t get embarrassing!) 

CLICK HERE to check out my website

 

Tami Lund Talks Beaches, Family & Making Memories

It’s almost vacation time again.

Every year in late July, my family, my dad, my siblings, and our kids all get together for a family vacation. We spend a week straight living in a (sometimes far too small) cottage on a lake in a rural part of Michigan.

Our requirements: two bathrooms (we’ve learned a few lessons over the years), a beach, and enough beds to accommodate all of us. That’s pretty much it. And to be honest, it’s all about the beach.

We go to a different lake, a different area of the state each year. One year we stayed on Mullet Lake, which connects to various other lakes through a network of rivers that are easily negotiable via a rented pontoon. The house wasn’t at all as advertised – the bedrooms were closets and my husband and I had to sleep on bunk beds. I didn’t get much sleep because I was afraid the bed would collapse at any moment. Not because I’d gained an excess of weight that year, but because they were that rickety.

Not to mention the kitchen sink that kept backing up and the fact that the owner hadn’t cleaned before we arrived.

But the water was crystal clear, the weather was utterly perfect, and those cruises up and down those rivers created priceless memories. That particular vacation was also the one that inspired me to start writing again after I’d stopped while in college.

One year we went earlier than usual. A whole month earlier. We should have known it was a mistake – heck, we joked about it. Summer doesn’t really start in Michigan until July Fourth. Everybody knows that. Yet we took our summer vacation the last week of June.

And froze our collective asses off. Which was probably for the best considering the lake we were staying on was questionable at best. The cabin was cool, though, and plenty big enough. We played a lot of cards that year. Talk about family bonding. Plus, that particular vacation fell on my daughter and my niece’s birthdays, and they thought it was loads of fun to celebrate in a log cabin.

Then there was the year we rented two cabins side-by-side. Each evening we came together for dinner at the picnic tables we lined up between the two dwellings. One evening when it was pouring rain, we sat at a long table on the covered, screened in porch attached to one of the houses, and taught the kids how to play Up and Down the River (also known as Crazy Bridge). I was reliving my own childhood that evening; the summers I spent at my grandparents’ house or their cottage on the lake. One of my fondest memories, frankly.

Another year we stayed in a house on a spring-fed lake. That lake was so clear you could see all the way to the bottom no matter where you were or how many feet deep it was. That was also one of the hottest summers on record in Michigan. It was 90 plus degrees every day. And the house did not have air. No worries, though – that lake was freaking cold. (Spring fed, remember?) And utterly perfect. Had it been less than 90 degrees, we wouldn’t have spent nearly as much time in the water.

To top it off, there was a sweet spot off the end of the neighboring dock, and the kids and my dad caught a mess of pan fish one day. Best fish fry of my life. There is nothing quite so satisfying or delicious as scaling and then eating fish you caught only hours prior.

One year we went to the Upper Peninsula. Yes, I know, who the hell goes that far north and expects to lounge on a lake all week? Pity, in truth, the weather was so cold (even in late July), because that was a gorgeous lake with an equally gorgeous view. Which we didn’t see much of because we spent our time huddled around the fire pit. All day long. But that was the year we rode a boat through the Soo Locks, ate the most amazing whitefish I’ve ever tasted, visited Drummond Island, and wandered around Tahquamenon Falls. We hardly spent any time in the water, but damn, that was a fun vacation.

Last year, the house was nice, the location perfect, but the beach was what felt like half a mile down a dangerously steep, zigzagging incline – and then the owners hadn’t kept it up so it was pretty mucky. Oh yeah, and then my brother dropped a canoe on my sister-in-law’s head. And the kids went exploring the woods at dusk and my brother and I panicked when they were gone so long, so then the adults fanned out, tromping through the undergrowth in the dark, calling their names, probably making the neighbors wonder at our collective sanity levels.

But we were all together (including my niece and nephew who live in another state and whom I don’t get to see very often) and across the quite small lake was a lovely sandy beach. It was easily accessibly via a canoe or kayak – or even a 1.5-mile trek around the perimeter. Probably the most steps I’ve ever put in on a vacation.

Summer vacay pic

The best part, of course, is spending quality time with the family. Hanging with my brothers and their significant others, my nieces and nephew, my kid, all of whom have managed to have fun even when the cottage was way, way too small or there was a line for the bathroom. Even when the weather didn’t cooperate.

Damn, I can’t wait to make this year’s memories.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund writes books, wins awards, drinks wine, and spends 51 weeks a year dreaming about the next summer vacation. Check out her website for your reading pleasure: www.tamilund.com.