Me! Scary I know. So here’s the situation: you’re walking through the RWA Literacy Autographing in San Diego. I know you want to get the big names autographs, but when you’re done, if you like shifters, stop by and say hello to me.
I’ll be wearing this (Pictured above): my Supernatural T-shirt. I’ll want to know if you’re a Sam girl or a Dean girl, or a lion-shifter or dragon-shifter (Or both like my chimeras) if you’re not a Supernatural fan, no worries, we can discuss our houses at Ilvermorny, or Hogwarts if you’re from across the pond.
If you take a picture of my shirt on this post and show it to me at the conference, I have prizes (Books) to give. I also have prizes for people I just feel like giving prizes to, so no worries if you forget!
My books arrived in the mail! It’s lovely to hold your physical book in your hands. The thrill never goes away!
I’m busy as a beaver working on getting Lion’s Prey ready for its August release. I hope the extra weeks I took will translate into a real keeper.
We romance readers are different from regular readers, we really do keep and re-read our old favorites. In fact, when I’m done with writing for the day, I’ve been reading some of my old category romances (and I mean old! One of them was from 1984!)
The book from 1984 is Ghost of a Chance by Jayne Ann Krentz. I have to say, the sexual tension holds up as does the central plot, but the hero is pretty high-handed and the heroine actually slapped the hero! Times have certainly changed.
I’ve also been watching So You Think You Can Dance. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the kids, but they’re amazing!
Life has been rather overwhelming recently, good and bad. On the good side: My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary this week.
Here’s a pic from our Hindu ceremony which was followed by a wardrobe change and a Christian ceremony.
Meanwhile my clothes washer died and my passport application I sent in six weeks ago was returned sans passport. I have to redo it and pay more money! Ugh! We were hoping to take a cruise this summer, but given the wait time for a passport…sigh.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you have keepers? How old are they? Who are they by? Do they still stand the test of time?
PS If you haven’t joined my newsletter, please consider doing so. Newsletter readers get first shot at free ARC’s and other giveaways, and of course, news!
I’m sorry to say that after LION’S PREY (CHIMERA CHRONICLES 4) came back from my beta reader, I realized it needed substantial additions to address my beta reader’s concerns. Several thousand words were added and now need to be edited and polished before I can turn it in for the professional editing of my fabulous editor at Soul Mate, Deborah Gilbert.
Soul Mate has their own timetable for editing and getting a sparkling book out in July is no longer feasible. I promise you I am at hard at work to make sure a true diamond comes out to readers in August.
Meanwhile, Saturday was my one month book-versary of THE LION’S SHARE!
to celebrate, I’m putting up an excerpt from THE LION’S SHARE and an excerpt from LION’S PRIDE. Just a reminder, the LION’S PRIDE excerpt is unedited.
THE LION’S SHARE:
An hour later, Embry braved a brisk wind as she headed to the coffee shop. As the new “guy” on the team, it was her responsibility to “go fetch.” Still, as a bonus, she got to leave the smelly confines of the surveillance van for a few minutes. Ah, the glamorous life of an FBI agent. She almost laughed at herself. She hadn’t been doing it long enough to be jaded. She still loved every minute of it, from the paperwork to day long procedural meetings. Well, maybe not procedural meetings.
She raised her face up to the sun. It would barely scrape sixty today, if she were lucky. She shivered. The only thing she missed about LA was the weather.
As she savored the meager warmth of the sunlight on her cheeks, she almost rammed into a man in front of her. Confronted by the center of a spectacularly formed torso, though covered by a blue hoodie—zipped more’s the pity—she looked up and then further up. Something she rarely had to do at six-foot-one. And saw a clean square chin, high cheekbones, firm lips, slashing black eyebrows and golden eyes. She drew in a sharp breath. His face was familiar, but his eyes made her stomach quiver. They were the same eyes that haunted her dreams—and her nightmares.
“We’re live in downtown Leavenworth, Kansas, where a tense eight-hour hostage situation at the Cooperative Bank and Trust has just come to an end.” Zara Coventry smiled at the camera lens, hoping to convey a sense of compassionate authority, though she felt like something the cat dragged in.
“Here’s what we know. Five men entered the bank on Fourth Street just after 9:00 am. At 5:00 pm, after many hours of negotiation, shots were heard inside the bank and SWAT entered.” She glanced down at her hastily scrawled notes. “Suspects Gleeson Rainey, Demetrius Brown, Paul Cooper, and an unidentified accomplice have been apprehended due to the extraordinary bravery of FBI agent Embry Lane. We expect Agent Lane, who was trapped inside the bank when the robbery began, to exit any minute now. A full news conference is set for 6:45.”
She summoned a more serious tone. “Two other suspects, brothers, Connor and Tyler Gunn, are missing and believed to have eluded authorities. The men are former Army Rangers on parole from the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Leavenworth and are considered armed and extremely dangerous. Law enforcement officials ask citizens to be on the lookout for these men and call the number below if you see them. However, and I can’t stress this enough, do not approach them. I repeat, according to officials these men are expertly trained and extremely dangerous. Call the tip line if you see them, but do not approach.”
LION’S PREY coming in August from Soul Mate Publishing!
I suppose you’re wondering what exciting, glamorous events I have planned for release day? A party at a fancy restaurant with my friends and family, followed by a book signing? Lounging around savoring the accomplishment of having my fifth book published? Spending my day kneeling in prayer that when reviews are posted they’re good?
Not so much.
Actually, I was kneeling a moment ago, but only because I was getting clothes out of the dryer.
I have a full day planned of helping my son with his homework, taking him to school (I already carted my daughter off to middle school), applying for reviews from review sites, and maybe working on my next Chimera book, which is about four scenes from “the end.” Afterward, there will be much dragging of children to Tae Kwon Do and picking up children at Drama club, making dinner, and more! I know, not everyone can stand a life of such glamor (although, I’m sure many of you swan through your days in exactly this opulent manner), but I assure you I am up to the task.
The important thing is that Deyna and Ahran and their comrades will be born in someone’s imagination today. They will, (I hope) inspire smiles, and nail-biting and maybe, if I’m lucky, some happy tears.
That’s all I really hope for, that my characters will live for my readers, that you might be moved emotionally, and if you are, I hope you’ll let me know with a review or by mentioning HALFLING to a friend as a great read.
Happy Birthday to the characters of HALFLING and happy reading to you!
Editing on my upcoming release, Halfling, is mostly done, I’m just waiting for my editor’s final thoughts. Now is when my brain turns to the trailer.
Problem. Since I usually write contemporary Paranormal Romance, a pretty close representation of my characters can easily be plucked from from the depths of a stock photo website.
But Halfling is a Young Adult Romantic Fantasy. It takes place in a setting with magic and swords (OK, it’s a sword and sorcery world, but I was trying not to say that).
Moreover, my hero has wings, and not feathery angel wings or exactly bat wings, either. (Though they come closer to bat) The tips of his wings are visible at all times behind his head. He also wears chain mail armor and wields a sword.
My heroine is seventeen, super thin due to near starvation, and has dark red hair that’s been hacked off.
These images are not easy to find and really I could only approximate or use a paint program to alter them.
Often, I have to compromise and get the best I can afford. (I usually have good luck with istockphoto, but their prices have gone up and a struggling writer, just can’t afford them anymore.)
Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m not hugely happy with Ahran, he looks a bit older than I’d like, but the hood has a chain mail look, and Ahran is not exactly who he seems to be, so I think it works. The challenge will be adding those wings.
I am more satisfied with Deyna. I think this model more accurately shows her outward vulnerability and inner strength. Deyna’s journey is the main focus of the book, so I was really lucky to find this photo.
What would you forfeit to save your friends?
The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen year-old Valayan wanderer, Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at the bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low.
Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she is half darkling saves her life.
As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies, but all is not well in the darkling lands, a civil war is brewing and the gods have plans for her. Will she risk it all to do what’s right?
I don’t know that I believe in first sight exactly, but I do think sometimes one meeting is all it takes. Here’s why:
Once upon a time there was a girl (ok, you got me. It’s me, when I qualified for girlhood in more than just the fan girl sense) who had joined a dating service. (I’m not the bar type, ok? I’ll get into that later) Now reading Harlequins since the age of eleven, I was perhaps a tad picky, and after a year (the length of the contract) I hadn’t found anyone I clicked with.
It was time to decide if I should just give up on the dating service and let the universe (if it should be so kind,) either send someone my way without my assistance or give a sign that I was destined to be a happy single.
But the women who ran the dating service were not ready to give up on me. There was a great guy, they said, who had been in the service almost as long as I, but he hadn’t clicked with anyone either. However, as great as he was, the computer didn’t see us as a match. He was a computer programmer from Mumbai who spent his free time jumping out of airplanes and scuba diving. I was an asthmatic bookworm school librarian who loved spending time with my family and showing my basenji. Still, they thought we might hit it off, so I agreed.
We met for lunch at Chi-Chi’s (God, I miss the food at that restaurant). He greeted me on the front steps with a kiss on the cheek and I thought, this won’t take long. He is way too good-looking to be interested in me. (If you ever wondered where some of my heroines get their self-esteem issues, wonder no longer)
We sat and talked, went for dessert at Abbott’s frozen custard, and talked some more. That first date lasted six hours and I saw him just about every day after that. Within weeks we were talking marriage and he proposed to me within months.
It wasn’t love at first sight, but it doesn’t come much closer.
So, I write Shifters and I use the mating bond. It isn’t love at first sight, but it breaks down the barriers characters have that stop them from admitting that they are truly worth loving.
Take one of my heroes (please), Ethan of Entity Mine. He’s a tortured, former abused kid, ex-Navy SEAL, virgin, alpha male who doesn’t know he’s a chimera shifter. His history is such that he would never believe Devon, a lawyer in town to re-group from a bad experience, could love him, but the mating bond forces the issue.
Excerpt: (My apologies, Pages takes out my tabs)
The angry woman paced, her
sandaled feet slapping the concrete, though he didn’t think it
could be summer anymore, but she didn’t seem to be talking
to the woman blocking his view. A cell phone, then.
Here was a mystery, something to take his mind off his
unending hunger, if only for a moment. He moved closer.
Her scent, fresh, with an overlay of cherry blossoms
and a hint of musk, drifted to him through the screen door
on the air current she’d stirred with her sharp movement. He
inhaled. She smelled like spring. His favorite season.
How strange was it that he could still smell? He’d spent
a lot of time when he first died pondering the hows and whys
of his condition. The oddity of seeing, smelling, feeling,
without eyes to see, a nose to smell or hands to touch. Bitter
hunger and thirst from an incorporeal gut and throat. He
supposed the illusion was some construct of his brain, but
how his brain still worked was beyond him.
The woman ended her call, clutching the phone to her
chest, and turned to the blonde on the step. “I’m sorry,”
As he’d figured, her voice stroked across his ears like
the rough caress of a warm, ocean wave on sunbaked skin.
He moved to study her through the screen. There was
something familiar about her, but he couldn’t put his finger
on how he might know her. Probably about thirty, she had
light, red hair and pale skin. Her brown eyes seemed weary
and sad. A streak of something gray banded her forehead,
but all it did was highlight her delicate beauty.
He felt the sudden urge to hunt down the person who’d
kindled the hurt he’d heard beneath her anger and tear him
a new one.