Writing Inspiration

What inspires the next book?

Usually, the inspiration is whatever is next on my publishing list. 😊 I try to switch between my different series so no one set gets neglected, although if you’ve been following me for very long, you know a hiatus last year has meant quite a gap in all of my series.

ASSASSIN’S PREY is almost complete. So what’s next? Fionn and Lise! That’s right—SOUTHERN NIGHTS will have a new release this fall! I’ve been champing at the bit to write their story since I visited Ireland this past summer. This book will be set there, and I can’t wait to return, if only in the pages of my book!

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Positive Life

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Thanks to the totally fantastic Maggie Coughlin Worth and her common sense guidance, I’ve learned that a POSITIVE LIFE needs REWARDS.

I work a lot. My day job, though it’s from home, is full-time. Writing is also a full-time job, though the actual words on the page are a tiny fraction of that. So getting to run away from all the work and actually just write is a reward for me. Twice a year I give myself a retreat—and it is oh so wonderful.

Last fall I found a little cabin in the woods (NOT like the movie!), and this month, in celebration of our birthday, I took my sis Dani Wade there for a writing retreat. You can see from the pics that we had a great time! Writing, reading, plotting (and not just books 😉 ), exploring, wading. So much fun!

What about you? Where do you go to get away? What do you love to reward yourself with?

Rock Stars

Rock stars. BDSM.

You love them in my IF ONLY series. Know where else you can find them? In a series I’ve loved since it began. Dani Wade’s Backstage Pass. I’ve loved the men of BP, one after the other (especially Sean!). If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. Especially Sean! (LOL, can you tell I have a thing for Sean? Who wouldn’t love an Irish Dom with great rhythm? J)

And did you know Dani’s heroes appear in one of my books? That’s right! The same place my IF ONLY heroes first appeared, in NAUGHTY LITTLE CHRISTMAS. Don’t miss it, a little touch of Christmas to cool your hot summer down (or heat it up more, if you’ve never met Damien!). 

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🍾 🍾 🍾 It’s that time! 🍾 🍾 🍾

ONLY FOR THE MOMENT will be here on JUNE 11th!!! This month I’m giving away ***two*** signed paperback sets of the entire IF ONLY trilogy. Comment on my Facebook page with your favorite rock-star book boyfriend (and show your authors some love by including a link to their book if possible!).

 

I’ll choose TWO winners on FRIDAY, JUNE 29th. Don’t miss out!

(Likes and shares with your romance-loving friends appreciated but not required!)

 

📖📖📖

 

ONLY FOR THE MOMENT

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J00QrX

iBooks: https://apple.co/2H3Vfiy

B&N: https://bit.ly/2H0L66e

Kobo: http://bit.ly/kobo_oftm

Google Play: http://bit.ly/gp_oftm

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/Gdreads_oftm

 

He can tie up all her objections, but what about her heart?

 

Kennedy O’Connell’s life is perfect—a great job, plenty of friends, a brother who loves her. The chaos that ruled her childhood is gone, and she couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, her mischievous streak tends to get her in trouble, and when she walks into her favorite spa to find a sexy Australian rock star taking her place, she can’t resist a little fun.

 

Isaac Anschau has spent five years chasing his dream. His rock royalty status can’t be denied, but his demons are catching up with him—he’s burned out, his creativity decimated. Until a redheaded vixen decides she wants to play, and he discovers a way to leave his nightmares behind. There’s just one problem: Kennedy is dead-set against submitting, despite the way she melts when his Dom side comes out.

 

They’ve got nothing to lose by walking away, and everything to gain if they give in to the raging hunger between them. Baring their bodies would only take a moment. Baring their souls could take a lifetime.

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I had a truly unique inspiration for ASSASSIN’S PREY: a question. That’s right, a question.

How does a man who’s held himself apart all his life, even from family, who kills for a living, who has nothing resembling a normal life, actually make a relationship work?

That was the whole story in a nutshell. Most romances end once the couple is together, right? I wanted to go past the “I love yous” and find out how Levi, of all people, would react to falling in love. *Spoiler ALERT* We already saw a little bit of this in MARK—he stayed away for a year, but couldn’t stay away any longer. Now that he’s given in, what next?

I hope you’ll check out ASSASSIN’S PREY next TUESDAY and find out. I can’t wait for this tough, tormented alpha to finally, truly understand what love is all about. You can find the book on Radish Fiction starting May 29th!

More POSITIVE LIFE

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More POSITIVE LIFE for May! Are you ready?

A positive life must include SLEEP! That’s what I’m learning. I always knew I didn’t feel good when I went low on sleep, but the past couple of years? I get the walk-into-the-wall, too-fuzzy-to-think, can’t-deal-with-life blues if I don’t rest. I feel so much better, clearer headed and able to, yes, be positive, if I just get adequate sleep!

I’m also learning that the kind of sleep you get makes a difference. Apparently not dreaming is a big deal—you’re not getting REM sleep. I rarely dream anymore, although I used to when I was younger. I’ve always been envious of authors who literally dream their stories up.

What about you? Do you get enough sleep, or are you one of those people who doesn’t seem to need much. (That’s NEVER been me! 😝 )

 

First Person Yumminess!

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I don’t read a lot of first-person point-of-view stories. This is a hazard of being a professional editor in “real life”—it’s very hard not to notice flaws in first-person pov. It’s hard to do well, in my opinion. But oh, when it’s right…WOW!

There is one author I believe is pretty much the master at first-person pov, Skye Warren. Her books are lyrical, engrossing, sexy…everything you could want in any story. But it goes deeper, into the heads of her characters, in a way I’ve never read anywhere else.

I also like that she has edgy heroes, men who aren’t necessarily on the good side of the law (and of course I’d love that—look at Levi in ASSASSIN’S MARK!). Her latest book, The Escort, is phenomenal. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but check it out. It’s written from the pov of the hero, first-person, and oh my God, I could not get enough of Hugo! I think you’ll love it too. 😃

*And YES, for those of you that are worried, Hugo is indeed a male escort. NO, there is no cheating, and he is not with another woman, on or off the page, after he meets the heroine for the first time. Rest easy! (Now go read it! 😝 )

http://www.skyewarren.co

New Release and Monthly Contest!

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It’s release month! In four weeks (minus a day—that’s MAY 29th!), the next book in the ASSASSINS series will release: ASSASSIN’S PREY. This first-person story gets us into the head of Levi Agosti, assassin, and gives us a glimpse of how a man like him deals with love now that he’s met his match.

 

ASSASSIN’S PREY

 

I killed my first man at the age of twelve. I've been killing ever since. I thought it was all I lived for…until Abby. Until the woman I'd kidnapped became the woman I couldn't walk away from.

She owns a piece of me I wouldn't take back, but the rest? The only way to protect her is to hold back the parts inside me that are too ugly to ever reveal. I'll keep her safe, even from me.

And it works. We have the nights, and I hunt my way through the days. Alone.

Until an attack reveals a threat we didn't see coming. One that could take away the dream I didn't realize I had.

Everything. With her.

I'm on the hunt of my life. My prey might run, but in this fight—for her, for us—they don't stand a chance.

*

This month, I’m celebrating my upcoming release with a cool giveaway: a copy of the totally delicious first-person romance Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren, a sexy purple travel LED booklight, and a $15 iTunes gift card so you can read ASSASSIN’S PREY when it goes live on the 29th! To enter, comment below and tell me if you’ve read ASSASSIN’S MARK, book one in this series, and if you have, what you thought of Levi. (Here’s a hint: YUM!)

 

*** On MAY 29th, one commenter will be chosen, so hurry to enter! (Likes and shares with your romance-loving friends appreciated but not required!) ***

 

Haven’t read ASSASSINS yet? Start with book one, ASSASSIN’S MARK, on Radish Fiction: 

https://radishfiction.com/stories/S1OkqkMfG

Inspiration

Authors are asked all the time, “Where do you get your inspiration?” The truth is, I don’t always know. Or maybe it’s that I get it from everywhere. Narrowing down inspiration to one source is impossible for me. I simply try to be open and receptive whenever it passes my way.

 

Sometimes it’s a song that comes on the radio and inspires a character—this happened for me with Abby in ASSASSIN’S MARK. (The song was “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.) Or a TV show. I’ve been watching Dark on Netflix, and it’s made me realize that villains might be terrible, but they can also be compelling. Places can be inspiration—I find many of my ideas while my mind rests out in nature, for walks especially. Oddly enough, the treadmill never gives me inspiration; now why is that? 😟

 

Where do you find inspiration? What sets your imagination soaring?

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Positive Life

 

I admit that there is one aspect of a POSITIVE LIFE that is giving me some negative moments:

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 😟

 

It seems like every time I make a push to get more active, an old injury rears its ugly head. Recently it’s been my knee—I have damage to one knee that is limiting both how vigorous I can be and even slow activities that require me to bend, like tai chi.

 

*whine* I just want to work out and get it over with! *whine*

 

So what obstacles get in the way of your physical fitness? How do you overcome them? I could use the encouragement, so share your story with me!

 

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Sexy BDSM

I can’t remember what my first BDSM romance read was. I can tell you who my first favorite was, though: Cherise Sinclair. Her Shadowlands series, with sexy Doms and women who match them in strength and love, are perennial favorites for me.

 

The series is up to twelve books, but oddly enough, my favorite has always been #2, Dark Citadel. The schoolteacher, raised naive and totally unsure if she really fits in the world she’s so desperately interested in, was always uniquely relatable for me. And her cop Dom, widowed and scarred, has the perfect touch of asshole in him. (Yes, I do enjoy a touch of asshole attitude in my heroes, but only if he’s redeemed of his asshole ways by the end, LOL!)

 

Have you read this series? Which book is your favorite? Does a dominating cop and a sweetly shy schoolteacher sound like a story that would hold your attention?

April Contest!

April isn’t just about pranks and eggs—it’s about spring, school being out, baby animals, family. New beginnings. With ONLY FOR THE MOMENT almost complete and ready for edits, that means a new book beginning, probably early next month! So this month, our April contest is all about IF ONLY.

 

You can win signed print copies of ONLY FOR THE WEEKEND and ONLY FOR THE NIGHT with their fantabulous new covers! I love great romances of all kinds, so I want to know—what are your favorite romance subgenres, tropes, and themes. Do you love alpha assholes? Shifter romances? Billionaires and secret babies? How about second chances, triumphing over adversity, or making love last after the “I do’s” have been said? Tell me; I want to know!

 

Head on over to my Facebook page to enter!

 

*** On APRIL 27th, one commenter will be chosen for a beautiful set of IF ONLY books of their very own! (Likes and shares with your romance-loving friends appreciated but not required!) ***

 

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Art

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Art can be found anywhere—on canvas, on the sides of buildings, through a camera lens. It can also be found on skin, and not just in the form of tattoos. When Isaac (Only for the Moment) waltzed into my brain while writing Only for the Night, I had no idea that his fascination with rope would lead me to art.

What do you think?

 

Images by Homo Inanis and NFGphoto. See license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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Celebrate the Positive Stuff

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One of the things I’m trying to learn this year as I work toward a POSITIVE LIFE is learning to let go of the need to control everything.

Yeah, I had to laugh at that a little bit.

I am the queen of control. Nothing causes me more stress than a situation I can’t control. Actually, I think that’s true for most people. I’m slowly learning to sift what I can control and what I can’t, and breathing away the frustration of what I can’t. One example: I can’t control how many words flow from my fingers into my manuscript every day. What I can control are the hours I put in at the computer. It’s frustrating sometimes—I want to make faster progress, get farther, finish sooner. But I can’t.

On the other hand, sometimes I get a surprise: more words than I wanted. And that’s a day to celebrate! 😊

Book Clubs

I have an admission: I’ve never been part of a book club. 😳 I like the idea of them—I was, after all, a literature major in college and essentially assigned books to read all the time. But a romance book club sounds like a dream come true to me.

 

Have you ever been part of a book club? What was it like? What did you read? I’d love to live vicariously through your comments. 😉 

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Romance and Giveaways!

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* * * February Monthly Contest * * *

It’s February, the month of LUV! Let’s celebrate with this month’s contest. What is the most romantic line you’ve ever read in a romance novel? A poem? Heard in a film? Share it with us! Comment below and you could win a $10 Amazon gift card (or other retailer, if desired) and a signed paperback copy of DECEIVE  ME.

Head on over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends FEBRUARY 23rd! ***

 

Inspiration

 

I admit, with all the concentration on ASSASSIN’S MARK, I’ve struggled to keep my head in Kennedy and Isaac’s world as well. I needed some fresh inspiration, so I went back through my world-building file for ONLY FOR THE MOMENT and did some digging. Turns out I had the perfect inspiration just waiting for me.

 

These two images. Mind. Blown.

 

MOMENT is a book about baring your soul more than baring your scars. Slowly unfurling the shadows that you hide behind to reveal that most secret part of you to someone else. Recognizing your desires and needs and accepting them—for you, most of all, not to please someone else. I can’t wait to share this journey with you later this spring. It’s a different pace of erotic romance, but I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

 

Head on over to my Facebook page for a peek at these images!

Positive Life

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Many people have talked this month about their “word for the year.” This is a concept I absolutely love, a way to narrow down your focus to one concept that you want to bring into your life. Too often we have 50 million goals and accomplish none of them. I like to focus in and actually get somewhere, LOL!

I have more than a word for this year, though. It’s a phrase: POSITIVE LIFE. I’m looking to inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Be happy with my life and my choices and my goals, and strip away the things that cause anxiety and stress and depression. What about you? Do you have a focus word or phrase for this year? Do you set New Year’s resolutions every year? I know I’m not the only one, and I’m hoping this year will be better and happier and more positive for us all!

Too Many Books?

So many books, so little time. That’s what we say. And now more than ever, our favorite authors are releasing books at a tremendous rate. Always good, right?

 

I’m wondering about reader fatigue today. Y’all know that before ASSASSIN’S MARK started releasing, it had been a long eight months since my last release—March, 2017. I love that I can get regular installments of some of my favorite series, but I sometimes look at all the Tuesday release day compilation posts and get…overwhelmed. Where do I start? Which series is that book with? What if I want to try something new, how do I figure out which book from a new author to try, their current release or something older?

 

It’s a lot to take in sometimes!

 

What about you, readers? Do you get overwhelmed by all the releases? Do you love that some authors produce books fast, and some slower, so you have time to catch up, savor the anticipation? What’s your take on the quick-release reality of romance books in this new age? Inquiring minds want to know! 😉 

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What's In The Box?

* * * January Monthly Contest * * *

This month it’s all about surprises and anticipation! I have an assorted grab bag of paperback books, a MYSTERY BOX, that I’ll be mailing to this month’s winner, along with some great swag. (International entries are welcome!)

 

So tell me, what are you looking forward to this year? I have several things that I’m anticipating, personally and professionally, not the least of which is releasing another book this spring (MOMENT, anyone? 😉 ). My son starting his senior year of high school in the fall. The possibility of getting a new (to me, lol) car. What about you? What is going on in your life right now that you’re relishing? Let’s share some good things for 2018!

 

Head on over to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

 

*** Likes and shares with your booklover friends are appreciated but not required! Contest ends JANUARY 26th! ***

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