Mid-Year Book Release Update

Sooo summer is upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) and I’ll admit I’m not writing as much as I should… It’s so nice out and there’s so much to do and blaaaaaah blah blah.

What I’ve been doing instead of writing…

However, I assure you Stone Cold Knockout is coming, slowly but surely. I’m about two-thirds of the way through and I’m working on it everyday, bit by bit. I’m hoping for a June 25th release date, but I think that might be a little optimistic. It’s looking more like late June/early July.

Other book news:

I’m working on a novella about a rescue in the Grand Canyon featuring a Black Woman/Native American Man pairing that I hope to have out in July. I’m also working on a DARK (we’re talking scary dark) erotic novel that I’m going to put out under another pen name in July. Maybe I’ll tell you what it is, if you ask nicely. Tee hee!

Next, I hope to have Kiss of Life out in September and a short novella featuring Holland St. James out around the same time as well. As you may remember, Holland is Vivica’s brother and Annata and Toni’s cousin, and he showed up last in Kiss of Ice. The novella will set up the last book in the St. James Family Series, Kiss of Night, which will be out in 2015.

Lastly, I’m still planning book one in my new suspense series, A Devil Named Dixon, for November. I’m still in the brainstorming stages for it, but I am super excited about it.

Whew! That was a lot of info. Hope everybody is having tons of fun in the sun!

 

Why Write Romance?

So I read this article yesterday on nymag.com. Historical novelist Eloisa James is interviewed and she has some great things to say about being a romance writer. That inspired me to write a little bit about why I choose to write romance.

First off, I’m a feminist.

Does that matter? Yes!

I decided to write romance novels because I like that romance novels are (for the most part) written for women, by women. Like rom-coms, melodramas, chick-lit, and soap operas, romance novels are often considered ‘not artistic’ or ‘less than’ because of this fact.Β  50 Shades of Grey and Twilight are just the latest punching bags in the long history of women’s lit and romance punching bags, but I think it’s unfair to make these two hugely successful outliers the ‘end all be all’ of romance. There are a TON of romance novels, with lots of different characters, storylines, and messages. As we true romance fanatics know, 50 Shades is not indicative of all romance, period. But since women are the ones buying and reading romance, I do think it’s important that there be some actual feminist thought contained behind all those bodice-ripping pages.

Straight up: I wrote Kiss of Ice because I was fed up with the types of heroines that were being written in romance. I was tired of the Bellas and Anastasia Steeles. There’s obviously something attractive about those types of weak heroines for a large portion of the population, but I am not one of those readers. I like a bitchy heroine, an active heroine, a difficult heroine, a smart heroine, a heroine that knows what she wants and goes for it. I like a heroine that’s not perfect and not sweet.Β  And I like a male hero who likes a difficult, smart, feisty, not-perfect heroine. I like the fight. I like the banter. I like the power shifts that happen. I like the clash of two people on an equal playing field.

That’s the important part: in the end, they’re equals. By the end of Kiss of Fire, Toni and O’Donovan are equals. Christophe and Annata are equals. One isn’t more powerful or any more ‘right’ in their relationship. One doesn’t dominate the other. There’s a shifting of power and a back and forth as they fall in love and they figure out how to be together, but in the end, the struggle makes it all worth it. That’s how I think relationships should be. I like when my heroes and heroines are a team. And, of course, I like the happily ever after of two people who are meant to be together. Who wouldn’t?

Not all my heroines are bitchy… but they are all complex and three-dimensional, because that’s how human beings are. Their lives are enriched by being in love, but the love doesn’t take over everything. They’re all successful and self-actualized in their own right. I like writing, and reading, about women like that. (P.S. I’m always looking for stories with heroines like that, so if you know any, comment below!)

Lastly, I decided to write romance because I couldn’t NOT write romance. Most of my writerly persuasions and inclinations lean toward romance. When I write scripts, I tend to keep the romance front and center as well, although I’ve written mostly action and horror scripts. I can’t help it! I love a good love story. By ‘good love story’, I mean a love story full of drama and stakes and real connection between two characters. When watching a movie or reading a book, I can’t stand when I’m supposed to believe that two characters are in love because I’m told that they’re in love. I want to see them fall in love. I want to see that moment when they realize that they can’t live without each other. I want to see that moment of heartbreak when they can’t be together even though they want to be. I love that shizz. I eat it up with a spoon!

Ahem.

Basically, I love the possibilities of the genre. I don’t fangirl everything that’s out there. Not gonna lie, I’m a harsh critic. But I live for that moment when I find a great book and a new author to stalk.

So why do I write romance? Because I love it!

To any other authors out there, why do you write romance?

 

 

Wanna win a free copy of KISS OF ICE?

Anybody in the mood for a contest? I know I am!

I am giving away TWO free copies of the brand-spanking new KISS OF ICE audiobook!

You want to join? As Toni would say, it’s as easy as pie.

Find my page on Facebook and click the GIVEAWAY tab:Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.59.33 PM

or click hereΒ  to join via Rafflecopter.

When the contest ends on June 1st, I’ll notify the two winners and give you the information you need to access your free download.ohmy

 

KISS OF ICE Audiobook Available Now

KISS OF ICE_AUDIOBOOKKiss of Ice, my first novel, is now available on Audible.com… here! It’s also available on Amazon. I worked with a great narrator, Lynn Barrington, and the total running time is 8 hours 35 minutes.

It’ll be available for iTunes soon as well.

If you’re planning a big summertime road trip, (like I am) listening to audiobooks is a great way to pass the time. Just sayin’. πŸ™‚

 

 

KISS OF ICE Audiobook Coming Soon!

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share a quick bit of exciting news… I just approved the Kiss of Ice audiobook! Soon (within 10-14 days, they tell me) it’ll be up for sale on audible.com, iTunes, and elsewhere.

KISS OF ICE audiobook cover!

I’m not much of an audiobook person, but I know a lot of people are. This experience was definitely interesting to say the least, and it was kind of a lot to figure out. I went through ACX, which is Amazon’s program to match up writers/publishers with voice talents. I found a great talent, and the whole process took about two months.

But now it’s done! Whew.

I’ll let you know more info when I have it!

KISS OF ICE Review Milestone

Six months ago, I quietly self-published a BWWM romance novel about a hard-assed, business-minded woman named Annata and the rich, laid-back man named Christophe who loves her… and was amazed that people actually bought it!

So, Kiss of Ice just hit 100 ratings on Goodreads. No big deal, right? WRONG.

It’s so awesome!

Thanks to all of YOU who’ve left ratings-good, bad, or indifferent.

Kiss of Ice was my first novel and it really makes me happy to see how well it’s been received. I can’t please everyone (and, let’s be real, I only really strive to appease myself when I write) but I’m happy to please some of the readers, some of the time. πŸ™‚

I’m still hovering right below 80 reviews on Amazon, which is also really amazing. I may not be the biggest breakout author in my genre, but I never expected the level of success I’ve attained. It makes me thankful for the fans I’ve earned, and it makes me want to work harder to get more fans. Gotta have goals, right?

On this bright sunny spring day, I’m feeling pretty good. How about you?

 

New Cover Reveal!

Hey guys!

So I’ve been taking a bit of a break from writing and catching up on all the reading I’ve been putting off for the past few months. I’ve read at least ten books since finishing Kiss of Fire. Whew! However, my down period is coming to an end. Both Stone Cold Knockout and Kiss of Life are in the forefront of my mind now, and I hope to have SCK out by the end of May. Woot!

Anyway, in other news, my (other) new series, Dirty Rotten Dixons, is also floating to the forefront. The first book is slated for a holiday release, probably in November. Super excited about this BWWM series!

And guess what?devil_blackheart

Next week I’ll be revealing the cover and synopsis for A Devil Named Dixon (Dirty Rotten Dixons #1)!

Yay!

Then it’ll be up on Goodreads to add as a To-Read!

Yay!

So much exciting news.

Lastly, I want to thank all of YOU for reading/buying/reviewing Kiss of Fire. I love the response it’s been getting. Toni and her fireman hold a special place in my heart, that’s for sure. I’m so happy you guys have been enjoying the St. James Family series so far. Not to get mushy, but I’ve always been a writer, since I was a kid writing fan fiction about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (lol), so it’s so amazing to finally be able to write and connect with readers. So grateful!

Okay, I think that’s enough for today. Happy Thursday!

KISS OF FIRE Deleted Scene

So Kiss of Fire is out now, as I’m sure you all know πŸ™‚ Anyway, this was a scene I cut from the book. Although I liked this silly scene between Annata and Toni, it didn’t really flow with the rest of the book, and it didn’t have a good enough pay-off, so it ended up on the cutting room floor. Hope you enjoy.

As always, mature readers only!

Brownstones in Manhattan. Image by brigidesign via flickr

β€œWhat do you think about blow-jobs?” Toni asked, laying on her back in Nat’s bed. Nat froze in the middle of unpacking her suitcase, giving Toni a sharp look.

β€œAre we really having this conversation?”

β€œYes, we are.” Toni said matter-of-factly, ignoring the blush that was spreading across her face. β€œSpecifically, do you have any tips?” Nat sighed heavily, unearthing a few silk blouses from her bag.

β€œI just got back from China, dear. I’m jet-lagged and very tired,” she said, her voice muffled in the walk-in closet.

β€œThis is the perfect conversation to have when you’re jet-lagged and tired. In a few minutes, you’ll pass out and forget we ever had it.”

β€œYou have about-” Nat checked her gold watch,β€œ- ten minutes before Christy gets back from his father’s house, so go.”

β€œOkay.” Toni sat up on her knees, clenching her hands in her lap. β€œSo…” Toni trailed off, trying to figure out how to word what she wanted to say.

β€œI feel like we had this talk before, when you were like sixteen or something?” Nat asked, dropping her shoes into the clear bins that lined the shelves, where she stored her heels.

β€œWe did, but it was very… perfunctory,” Toni said. Nat raised her eyebrow, impressed at the S.A.T. word Toni had pulled out of her hat. β€œI mean, I’m no virgin. I’ve given a blow jobs, but nothing, like, earth-shattering.”

β€œAnd you want earth-shattering?” Nat asked, dropping her hands to her hips.

β€œYes.”

β€œIs the man in question reciprocating downstairs?” Toni nodded so eagerly that Nat laughed out loud.

β€œYes.” Toni said. β€œTwo words. Earth. Shattering.” Toni thought about how good O’Donovan had worked her over and felt her spine tingle a bit.

β€œOh.” Nat said, eyes wide. β€œWell, alright.” She shook her head, like she couldn’t believe she was about to say what she was about to say. β€œThe key is enthusiasm. Once you figure out what he likes- or you ask him – then you just go at it like it’s the best thing that you’ve ever tasted. The best thing you’ve ever felt. His pleasure is of the utmost importance. Taunting him, teasing him, all of that is part of it.” Nat gazed off, like she was thinking. β€œAnd always swallow. There’s really no gracious way to spit out come, you know?” Nat shrugged, then went back to her unpacking. Toni took a deep breath, trying to keep from laughing.

β€œYou swallow?”

β€œAlways.” Nat said, pulling out her cosmetics bag and unzipping it. β€œI mean, I like to swallow. But it’s up to you.”

Toni couldn’t help it anymore, she doubled over in laughter. β€œOh my God!” She squealed. β€œI thought I could have an intelligent conversation with you about this, but I don’t know.”

β€œIt’s just sex, Toni. You shouldn’t take it too seriously,” Nat deadpanned.

β€œI’ll remember that,” Toni said, still giggling.

β€œSo. Earth-shattering, huh?” Nat said. Toni nodded again, giving her a knowing look. β€œGood for you.”

β€œMy long drought has ended,” Toni said, flopping over onto her side. β€œI can tell you what, I don’t think enthusiasm will be my problem.”

β€œOh!” Nat’s eyes lit up. β€œOne thing I like to do is-”

β€œWoman!” Christy called up from downstairs, the front door slamming closed. β€œWhere are you?”

β€œUp here!” Nat called out.

β€œWhat’s the thing?” Toni stage-whispered, hearing Christophe coming up the stairs.

β€œHmm?” Nat said, distracted.

β€œThe thing!” Toni squealed, just as Christophe swung open the bedroom door.

β€œWhat thing?” he asked, yanking off his tie, looking tired. Nat gave him a look and shook her head, a smile on her face.

β€œDon’t ask,” she giggled. Toni hopped off the bed.

β€œWell I guess that’s my cue.” Toni sighed. β€œI’ll lock up when I leave,” she tossed over her shoulder.

β€œGood-bye, dear,” Nat said, throwing her arms around Christy’s neck.

β€œBye, Toni,” Christophe said, before kissing Nat. Toni headed down the stairs and grabbed her purse off of the center island in the kitchen as her sister’s laugh echoed through the townhouse.

β€œSex fiends,” Toni murmured, smiling. Now that she’d had O’Donovan, she totally understood. She had every intention of jumping his bones the second she saw him again. She turned off the kitchen light and the lamp in the living room, then she shut the front door behind her, locking both locks. As she headed down the sidewalk toward the train, her phone vibrated, signaling the arrival of a text.

Nat: Don’t forget about the balls. Very important.

Toni laughed all the way to the train.