Review Excerpts


Friday, April 3, 2020

Makeover!

Some bandwagons I jump on. (Though I still haven't seen "Tiger King." But maybe soon.) Everyone else seemed to be giving their sites/blogs/whatever makeovers, and I figured it was time to do some updating here as well. Quite a bit of the previous version was a lot of placeholders and "eh, good enough," but I think this is much more reflective of my personal aesthetic. Whatever that may be.

I've been futzing around with the header for a while and I'm still mulling it over. I may still tweak it a bit, but it'll be close to what's up now. (Or I may stick with my usual "eh, good enough.")

I also debated for quite a while about whether to keep the dark text on a light background or make the switch to the reverse. Ultimately, I like the light-on-dark better, but it became apparent that that affects the legibility of some past posts, as I manually changed the text color for things like blurbs and excerpts. As of right now, I'm going to make that sacrifice, but who knows—I may just eventually get bored enough that I go back through and fix it.

Everything else is basically the same, and of course, there's a new sidebar over there. I'll probably play around with it a little more here and there, but for now, I like it, and I hope you do too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Promo - Shade Addiction, by Lea Bronsen

New York is on lockdown, as are many other parts of the world, so rather than freaking out nonstop, I'm choosing to take this to mean NO EXCUSES FOR NOT READING BOOKS. Especially wild rides like Shade Addiction, by Lea Bronsen. You know the drill—keep reading for the blurb, buy links, and a tantalizing excerpt.

Blurb:
Ex-boxer Mike Logan struggles to put a brutal past behind and make ends meet as a bus driver. When a young runaway settles for an all-night ride, he seizes the chance to do a good deed—get her home safely. But first, they’ll drive around and talk.

What he doesn’t anticipate is that this broken night angel is also a sexy little minx needing a lot more…and not just the gentle kind.

(This is an expanded edition of the story previously featured in the anthology Passion, Pleasure, Pain in 2019)


Excerpt:
She gives me a long, languorous look. I think I know what it means: She’s interested by my wild side. Dark attracts dark. She believes she’s found the same kind of fallen angel as she is, a soul mate.

Wrong, kiddo. What you need is someone good, not broken like me.

She reaches over the table to pat my chest. “So hard. Jesus. You definitely work out.”

Her touch sends electric sparks to my groin. My cock pulses. I push her hand away. “Don’t do that.”

“Why?”

“It’s inappropriate.”

“Why?”

I sigh. “I’m thirty-two, you’re what?”

“Nineteen.”

“Nineteen, that’s very young. I could easily be accused of taking advantage of you. Did you see how the waitress treated me?”

She crosses her arms underneath her boobs. “But I’m an adult, and I have boyfriends.”

“You have boyfriends.”

“Yeah.”

“Like, many?”

“Yeah.” She holds my gaze.

I don’t know why I had to make a deal of that.

She continues, “So, it’s not like I’d let anybody touch me if I didn’t want them to.”

“Well, I don’t want you to touch me. Let’s go.” 




Available from



Universal buy link

Put the book on your to-read shelf on Goodreads
 



About the Author:



Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After a deep dive on the unforgiving world of gangsters with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between romantic suspenses, dark erotic romances, and crime thrillers.



Meet Lea Bronsen on




Saturday, March 21, 2020

Done With a Capital E

As we're all aware of, the world is a crazy place right now. I waffle back and forth between "this will eventually blow over, most people will be fine" and...well, the opposite. Somewhere in all of this, I did, in fact, finish up Hunting Astrid earlier today. I actually have no idea how, since most nights after the kids are in bed, I've been catching up with the news and trying to keep calm and often landing somewhere in a field of "mentally checked out/rather numb." Like the basic bitch I am, I literally can't even right now. But it got done, so I'm not going to question it.

I still need to proof/edit, and write the blurbs (UGH), and all that other fun stuff before sending it off. That, too, will get done. I guess maybe a part of me subconsciously realizes that now, more than ever, perhaps, we need art to keep us sane and human, and I can do my part to contribute to that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not overstating my skills here—this book is in no way a literary masterpiece, but there's nothing wrong with quick and fun. We might even prefer stuff in the "quick and fun" category right now.

And fun it is. I still like the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed writing the plot, and I tossed in an emotional moment near the end because why the hell not. Again, it may not be the most gripping or poignant book I've ever written, but it accomplishes what I set out to do. For those keeping track, my original word count estimate was "around 22K, definitely more than 20K, probably less than 25K" (yes, I copy/pasted that), and before any sort of editing, I came in juuuust under 21K. Close enough. Firmly a novella, which is where I wind up most often.

So...done. Now I'll go to my very neglected reading list, work on crocheting a baby gift that must be finished by September, and maybe finally get around to finishing up Life is Strange 2. The wheels are already turning for my next project, of course, but I might wait until things settle down a little bit. Or not. Who knows. Nothing is set in stone for the coming days, so let's all just do what we need to do to get by and stay safe!

*This title is from an episode of Mythbusters where they were testing something (I don't remember what) in a laundromat, and the old-school digital screens displayed "donE" at the end of a cycle, prompting one of them to say "Done with a capital E!" I was watching with my college roommates, and we all thought that was hilarious and repeated it frequently throughout the rest of the year whenever we finished something. And now I'm realizing that that was almost 15 years ago and I am OLD.
**Now I'm kind of wondering if I've used this title for a similar blog post in the past, but I'm too lazy to go back and check. Just more evidence that I am now OLD.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Beat Goes On

When last we left off, I posted something about how I was moving right along on Hunting Astrid and should finish it up relatively quickly unless a meteor struck. (Paraphrasing here.) Well, the meteor did, in fact, strike, and I'm not just referring to whatever plague-ridden dystopia we're living in right now.

Usually it's me with all the issues, but unfortunately, a few days after my last post, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It pretty much came out of nowhere—one week she was fine, and the next, she really wasn't. Obviously, we're all devastated. I've been railing against the universe about how unfair this all is, and I'll spare you all my rantings, though rest assured, there have been many. While the head oncologist doesn't like putting specific time frames on these things, the prognosis isn't good. Or, as he put it, this doesn't get cured, this just gets treated.

But. While there were tons of tears, then came anger and determination. The aforementioned meeting with the head oncologist came about four days into her chemo and radiation, and what do you know, she started really responding to treatment the very next day. We've always said that sadness doesn't accomplish much, but anger gets shit done. She said she needs to have goals, including going on all our planned vacations, and I said even if she needs an aide to come along, let's fucking do it. It's probably going to be a terrible year, but we're going to try our hardest to make sure there are some good moments in there, too.

I forget exactly what we were talking about when I was visiting her last weekend (before her rehab facility went on lockdown due to Covid-19), but she did tell me that life has to go on. And she's right, it does. It's still a horrible situation all around and I can find nothing good to say about it, but we have to keep on going.

Not long after that, I finally reopened MS Word, after it had been sitting neglected for a couple weeks. It took some time, but I eventually built up some momentum again. I think I can probably get this book done by the end of the month and be happy with the results. If nothing else, I know my mom has always been tickled by the fact that I write trashy romance as a hobby (she's read a couple of my books, but I've held firm that WE WILL NOT BE DISCUSSING THEM, EVER, NO REALLY, THAT CONVERSATION IS NOT HAPPENING), so that should be another reason to keep forging ahead. I don't think lesbian sci-fi is quite her cup of tea, but in case it wasn't blatantly clear with my all caps, if she reads it anyway, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

So that's what's been going on here. I keep saying it's not the tip of the iceberg, it's more like the base of the iceberg, as it's the biggest, most inescapable problem, and there's been plenty more piling on top of it. Stress levels are high, the world is a shitshow, but life does go on. And this book will hopefully be finished soon, dammit. Because persistence and determination run in the family.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Momentum

The tonsils are out, and while I've had my ups and downs this past week, it's not the worst. Not particularly fun, but not the worst. So! Since I'm not completely miserable and I have passed off most of the care of my children to other adults, I've actually gotten quite a bit of writing done. Yay me.

When I last blogged, I predicted Hunting Astrid would go eight chapters (or so). I debated whether or not to split one chapter into two, and ultimately did so, so it does look like I'll wind up with eight, plus a short epilogue. I finished Chapter Six today, but the next two will be long, so don't expect a finished draft any time soon. For total word count, I'm predicting...let's say around 22K. Definitely more than 20K, probably less than 25K. Either way, it'll be a cute, fun little novella that didn't take me a ton of time, assuming I don't get struck by a meteor or something in the next few weeks. Another win.

I'm still patting myself on the back for deciding to work on this project and shelve Sonata for Springtime for the time being. 4th Quarter royalty statements just came out, and while I admit I still don't know all the ins and outs of the Kindle Unlimited program, Fire Beyond the Frost did do well, I'm happy to report. At least better than a lot of my other books upon release. KU tracks pages read instead of books as a whole, and if I did my math right (which I TOTALLY might not have), it translates into a triple-digit number of readers. Or, for all I know, one or two people who liked it so much they read it a bunch of times. As someone who is far from a world-famous author with a huge following, I'll take it.

I'd suspected for a while that the more specific your categories/genres/niches/whatever you want to call it, the more successful a book will be. (Unless you're really savvy with your keywords and marketing, which I am not.) We'll see if I can keep the momentum going with Hunting Astrid, and if lesbian sci-fi romance turns out to be my true, yet somewhat specific, calling, so be it. I'm not saying I'll never write in another genre again, because I know that won't be the case, but for now, we'll see where this path takes me. Either way, I'm finally writing like crazy for the first time in years, and if I'm having fun, I'm hoping readers will, too.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Project, and a New Year, Part the Next

Happy New Year! Writing-wise, 2020 is off to a great start. Before we get to January, I'll follow up a bit from my last post to provide some general advice to anyone who may want/need it: Remember how I'd considered bringing a notebook with me to Disney World juuuuust in case there might be a few spare minutes to write? Ha. Hahahahaha. HA. Yeah, no. Disney is crazy on its own, and as the Official Organizer of this trip, who had to keep track of everything including two 4-year-olds and two 70-year-olds...I didn't even open the book I brought to read, either. But although we got zero down time and my darling children refused to sleep in any buses or airplanes, we had a fantastic time. Which we can probably do all over again in another two to three years....

For the Disney uninitiated, if you want to get the most popular meal reservations, you need to get up at 6:00 a.m. EST 180 days before the first day of your trip to book them all. Since the Be Our Guest restaurant is the only place to meet the Beast, that's a popular one. Yeah, I didn't care what the rest of my family did, I was the one who got up before 6:00 that day, I was getting a picture with the Beast, dammit.

Now onto writing. The new project, which has been titled (and officially tagged here as) Hunting Astrid, is still going well. Honestly, this is probably some of the fastest writing I've done in years. Maybe not necessarily the best, but it's something. If nothing else, at least it's a great baseline/first draft I can always clean up later, right?

I just finished up Chapter Three, and as of right now, I'm predicting around eight...ish? That's the other thing about this project—I'm definitely pants-ing more than plotting this time out, and THAT'S OKAY. My two main characters still have placeholders instead of last names. SO WHAT? I still haven't worked out 100% of the issues I worried about at the time of my last blog post. I'LL FIGURE IT OUT SOON ENOUGH. I've been working to getting back to these writing habits for a long time, and while I'll always have bouts of overthinking things, at least it feels more effortless. I'm hoping to keep it up.

One more not totally writing-related point before I sign off: After dealing with recurring issues for the past six months, it's been decided that my tonsils are coming out sometime in February. Yes, we're all aware that, in my mid-30s, I'm practically ancient in the tonsillectomy world, but it's got to get done. (I'm about ready to reach in and rip them out myself.) I've been told that the older you are, the worse the recovery is, and the ENT told me to prepare for at least two weeks of that. In a perfect world, I'd be able to use some of that time off to write, but we'll see. I'm just hoping I won't be zonked out on the couch for two straight weeks and can at least catch up with some knitting and Netflix.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New Project, and a New Year

Fire Beyond the Frost is still doing well, I'm happy to report. It's fun to see what other people have highlighted!

So I did wind up starting a new project after all. And...I like it. It's fast-paced, exciting, and...dare I say it...FUN! Okay, maybe the emotional impact of this one won't be huge, but it'll make up for it in other ways, I promise. I just finished off the introductory chapter, and I think I hit the right balance of setting the scene without a giant info dump, letting the relevant details come off naturally. My original plan was to have this be a quick little novella, maybe in the range of 20K - 30K words, but more and more ideas are coming up, so it might wind up a little longer. Yay.

Not everything is going 100% smoothly. But you know what? That's fine. I'm struggling a little bit with the balance of Main Character 1, between being a badass and showing some vulnerability, but I'm sure the more I write her, the more solid she'll become. (MC2? Total badass. At least 99% so.) My current outline has some gaps and I'm still moving things around, but I'm confident it'll work out. I used to be more of a pantser than a plotter, and maybe this will help me just get the damn words onto the page.

I definitely wanted to finish this opening before the end of the year, and I'm glad I hit that goal. Next week will be the usual holiday season craziness. I'm hosting Christmas Eve for my side of the family. (My mother claims I'm getting off easy because there will *only* be 17 people. Only. <_< ) Then Christmas Day at the in-laws, which is going to be kind of small and low key this year. (As low key as my mother-in-law gets, anyway.) Then the buffer day I insisted on, and then we're taking the girls to Disney World for the first time! One of the reasons I planned this trip was because I was practically on death's door this time last year, so everyone's super excited, and even though I know it'll be insane, I'm looking forward to it. I doubt I'll get any serious writing done during those five days, but I might slip a notebook into my backpack just in case the girls crash early one night and I need something quiet to do in the hotel room.

On that note, this will likely be my last post for the year, so I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and here's to a great 2020!

Brand new tag for the new project being created in 3...2...1....