Review Excerpts

Monday, March 13, 2017

Everything is In Order

While I didn't hit my original deadline of finishing up Seductive Suspect by the end of February, I did get it done before the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda next week. We'll put that in the win column! So that's all taken care of, and I have another ten days to loaf around (and maybe replay some Dragon Age: Inquisition on my shiny new laptop that I bought for ME:A).

I've mentioned it before, but I'm the type of writer who needs to write in order. That method has its pros and cons, and I'm certainly not going to argue with the people who write their scenes as they come because hey, whatever gets the words on the page. For me, though, when I go in order, I wind up thinking about the final, climactic scenes SO much, by the time I get there, writing is just plain fun. The words fly out of my fingers, and it's a far more enjoyable process than "okay, how am I going to connect Point A to Point B here?" I don't mind waiting for the reward as opposed to getting the fun stuff done first and then having to tie it all together. (But again! Whatever works!)

(Incidentally, the knitting project I'm working on now is similar - the body of the cardigan is done in one color in plain stockinette on tiny little needles, and I'm not going to lie. It's been a bit of a slog. But once I get to the colored yoke, HOLY CRAP IT'S GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN!)

(My knitting friends may think I'm a bit nuts, too.)

Getting back to writing! Interestingly enough, despite all the nights I lay awake hashing out every single detail about those last thrilling chapters, I did wind up tweaking a few details once I got there. Nothing major, just some bits I thought made the plot flow a little better. I suppose it just emphasizes that no process is perfect. Either way, I'm happy with the end result, so stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cover Reveal - No Rest for the Wicked, by Krystal Jane Ruin

Today we have some exciting news! Long-time writing buddy and fellow author Krystal Jane Ruin has a new book coming out later in the spring, and I am THRILLED to be participating in her cover reveal. As well we all should be, because that's a pretty badass cover, right? Ogle it for a few more minutes, and then keep reading for more details about the book. The release date isn't until May 10th, but lucky us, it's already available for pre-order!

Since her release from the psychiatric facility and into the smothering guardianship of her aunt, twenty-one-year-old psychic Tatum Torabi has been sneaking away to sell curses and plagues in the underground, a black market known for illegal and supernatural wares.

Tatum’s unique abilities catch the attention of a hella-creepy trash peddler who offers her a job tracking down people who owe his boss “a favor.” She couldn’t be less interested, but when she refuses, the company forces her compliance by threatening the lives of the only family she has left.

Because tracking barely scratches the surface of what they really want from her. There’s a reason Tatum is so good at making curses, and they want her to use those skills for a much darker purpose.

Buy Links:


About the Author:

Krystal Jane Ruin is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction living in the Tennessee Valley. She can often be found knee deep in Sudoku and other puzzles, in a Youtube hole, or blogging about books, writing, and random things.

Author links: 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

These Things Happen

I don't remember if I've ever mentioned it here before, but I suffer from chronic illness. Well, "suffer" probably isn't the best word - I was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago (eep!), and there's definitely been a ton of ups and downs. Lately I've been in one of those valleys, which resulted in a five-day hospital stay. It had been about six years since that happened last, so I really can't complain too much.

This post isn't meant to be a whiny rant, or a pity party. These things happen, and while the situation may suck right now, it's bound to get better sooner or later. It should go without saying that a lot of things fell by the wayside when I wasn't feeling well, and writing was one of them. At this point, I'm probably not going to meet my self-imposed deadline for this book. Meh.

But. BUT! As anyone who's ever been in one will tell you, hospitals are boring. I wasn't on my deathbed or anything, just in need of some IV drugs (and maybe a little more rest than I get at home with two toddlers running amok). I actually read some books, and then I had the bright idea to tell Mr. Landen to bring me a brand new shiny notebook and some pens. Brilliant, I say.

I managed to successfully extricate myself from marathons of Say Yes to the Dress and Law & Order: SVU and get some writing done. And, of course, I was right at the scene where the romance really kicks off, but awkward or not, I forged ahead. So yeah, there I was, curled up in a hospital bed with an IV in my hand, writing all sorts of dirty words in my notebook.

As I said, these things happen. That's got to earn me some street cred in the smut-writing world, right?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Well, February totally snuck up on me. It's hard to believe the first month of the year is over already! There's snow over here on the ground, so let's think warm thoughts and prepare for Valentine's Day with some free stuff! Follow the directions below, and then keep scrolling for my own giveaway - a free e-copy of what's probably my most traditional romance, Second Skin.
We're spreading some Valentine's Day love with a giveaway full of chocolate, books, and pretty things! 
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter then hit the comments and tell us about something YOU love. Your favorite author, book, or blog. Tell us about your true love, your kids, your best friend or your pets. Anything you love. We want to hear about what makes your heart full or just makes you smile.
Enter the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now for the blurb for Second Skin, plus another Rafflecopter. You know the drill by now.

Anna’s career as a high-level CIA operative is put on involuntary hiatus. When a trusted colleague passes along the information for the 1Night Stand service, Anna decides to take the plunge against her better judgment and seek some intimate company. But her CIA instincts can’t be ignored, and when she contacts Madame Eve, she uses an alias.

Brendan owns a lucrative manufacturing company, but he’s yet to achieve the goal of finding a woman with whom he can share his successes and joys. But beneath his polished, capable exterior hides the painfully shy teenager he’s never been able to escape. When his own efforts in the dating scene fall short, he turns to 1Night Stand.

It would be so easy to fall in love with Brendan, and Anna’s protective mask slides away, piece-by-piece, revealing more of herself than she should dare. Before she can slip away with the sunrise, Brendan shows their encounter in a new light. Will Anna take a chance on their future, or will she choose to return to her undercover, but lonely life? 
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Friday, January 27, 2017

Promo - The Boss of Me, by Merryn Dexter

Time for another 1 Night Stand! Merryn Dexter's latest contribution to the ongoing series, The Boss of Me, comes out today. Ogle her spectacular cover for a few more moments, and then read on for an exciting excerpt!

Dear Madame Evangeline…
Lou Jones loves her job, but she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for her boss, Daniel Smith. She contacts the 1Night Stand dating service hoping a little fantasy role play will help her get over her crush.

I want to see you in my office…
Daniel can’t believe his eyes, or his luck, when a misplaced letter gives him a shocking insight into the erotic thoughts of his personal assistant. The chance to satisfy her fantasies and make his own dreams come true is too tempting to resist.

This is fantasy, nothing more…
As they explore their every desire, Lou and Daniel find keeping reality at bay is harder than they thought. Will their 1Night Stand deliver the satisfaction Madame Eve prides herself upon, or are they just too close for comfort?

“Bring the file here and place it on my desk.” He settled more comfortably into his chair, steepled his fingers beneath his chin, and admired the sway of her lush hips. She placed the file down as instructed then folded her hands in front of her, eyes still averted. Schooling his need with an iron control, Daniel waited.

Her chest rose and fell, the slight hitch in her breath pressing her breasts against the thin silk of her blouse. The tip of her tongue peeked out, dampening her coral-pink lips, and a bolt of lust drove him from the chair. Ignoring Lou, he strode to the door and locked it. He doubted there were many people left in the building at that time of day on a Friday, but he wouldn’t risk anyone interrupting them.

Pacing back to the center of the room, he stopped to admire the hourglass lines of her figure. The heels looked even better from the back. Balancing on their slender points gave extra definition to her calf muscles.

“Do you know why I summoned you, Ms. Jones?”

Her breath seemed to catch in her throat. Her voice barely above a whisper, she said, “No, Mr. Smith.”

“You will call me Daniel.” The visceral need for her to know who was about to touch her surprised him. He wanted to hear his name on her lips as she sighed, moaned, and fell apart at his command. Her head bobbed in acquiescence, and he spoke again. “I summoned you because you canceled our appointment this evening.”

She half-turned, seemed to catch herself, and straightened to face the front again. A thrill of satisfaction curled in his gut. Each little act of submission from her proved sexy as hell. “Did you do as I requested?” he asked. Her skirt clung to her hips and ass with no hint of a panty line, but he couldn’t be sure.

“Yes,” she murmured.

A bolt of lust rocked him on his heels. He wanted to crawl on his hands and knees and fawn at her feet, but she had been very specific in her email—her fantasy required him to be the boss, to take control and dictate his desires upon her.

“Show me.” The rasp in his voice couldn’t be helped; his body tingled with anticipation. Her hands gripped the hem of her skirt and began to raise it, inch by tantalizing inch. The material cleared the back of her knees, gliding higher to reveal the lacy tops of her thigh-high stockings, the soft expanse of her tanned thighs.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Merryn Dexter is a military spouse who, after a varied employment career (from selling sandals to old ladies with bunions to being a health and safety coordinator for a construction company), is thrilled to be pursuing her dream career as a romance writer. She likes The Winchesters, Spike, Hotch, Loki and watching complicated European Noir. Her hobbies include crying at books, crying at movies, crying at tv serials (there’s a theme!) and believes all stories should have a Happy Ending. 

Contact links

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Forging Ahead Into the New Year

Happy New Year! Okay, I'm a couple weeks behind. I'll be honest - while I do love the holiday season and it's one of my favorite times of the year, part of me is really glad to be settling back into our usual routine. I was a creature of habit even before having kids, and now I have two little people who benefit from having structure. So even though it was great being around friends and family, celebrating and doing other fun stuff, I'm not terribly disappointed that it's all over.

With that return to normalcy comes a new burst of writing energy! I've noticed this for a couple years now. Something about the new year gives me the push I need and I get a lot done in the early months. I wish I could bottle up whatever it is and whip it out in, say, August, but I'll take what I can get. Who knows, maybe the darker, colder months just lend themselves to better writing when there's little else to do.

I'm moving right along on Seductive Suspect. The chapters are getting longer; I plan to finish one this week, and then I only have two more, plus an epilogue. I'm on track for my estimated word count, and I have very firm plans for the final chapters/epilogue. When I started this book, I had a pretty comprehensive outline for a change, but there were still some blanks that needed filling in, and I struggled there a few times. For where I am right now and one point near the climax, there's a couple minor little details I need to work out, but I think/hope it'll be smooth sailing until the end.

I'm all about realistic deadlines. Knowing real life can get in the way, I *think* I can be done with this and ready to submit by the end of February. I have a few weeks of wiggle room, but I NEED to be done by mid-March. Why, you ask? Some major life event? An exotic vacation? Vanishing in a glamorous poof of mystery?

Nope. Mass Effect: Andromeda comes out then. I pre-ordered it a while ago, and since I'll only be able to play in the evenings once I have it, I anticipate it's going to take me a loooooooooong time to get through it. As they say in the games before the final quests, I'd better wrap up any unfinished business before then, since I'll be disappearing off the face of the earth for a while. ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays!

I got to check a lot of things off my to-do list today, so I figured I might as well add blogging. Like many other people at this time of year, I've been chugging along non-stop lately. Being sick all last week (as in, barely able to get out of bed) and then some unexpected car trouble set me back a bit, but I'm back on schedule and just about ready for this Christmas weekend. (Somehow I wound up with an expected houseful of people on Christmas Eve. I'll start cooking and cleaning tomorrow.)

I'll be honest, this year it was kind of tough to get into the holiday spirit. Aside from the illness and being crazy busy, I was just kind of bummed out for a while. The current political climate worries me, and it's difficult not to become anxious about the future. While my immediate family doesn't have any major complaints about anything, other people close to me were going through some tough stuff, and it was hard to sit by and not really do anything useful. And though we didn't have any super serious issues going on in the House of Landen, it was hard to muster up the energy to do things like wrap the Christmas presents.

I did my best to try to combat these blah feelings. I made some charitable donations, was generous with my planned gifts, and opened my house to people who otherwise wouldn't have a place to go for the holidays. I'm not going to say any of that was a magic cure, because it wasn't. But it helped a little, and those little bits eventually add up.

It should come as no great shock that writing has taken a backseat to other stuff for a while. I haven't touched my WIP in around two weeks (I think; hopefully not too much longer), but I know I'll always get back to it. I don't know if I'm firmly on the "2016 was the worst year ever!" bandwagon, but no matter what, I think most people go into the new year with the optimism that it'll be better than the last.

So here's to a fantastic 2017, and lots of future good things...and good writing! See you next year!