Review Excerpts


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024!

So I swore that for 2023, I would get my "year in review" post done by the end of December...and then it didn't happen. Oops. Sorry. But, to be fair, a LOT happened and even more new and exciting things are in the works for 2024!

First, the recap:

2023 was the year of eight books. It was fun and I'm so happy the Searching the Skies series is complete and out there for the world to see...but I'm not sure if I ever want to do that again. I also finished and released Sonata for Springtime, which was an achievement considering how long the first third of that manuscript sat on the time-out shelf, along with two spicy novellas, Train Hard, Rest Harder and Tangled In His Possession.

2023 also brought about a new logo and an Etsy shop for physical products (focusing on personalized signed paperbacks, but there are some stickers and bookmarks in there too!). 

A lot of what I started working on in 2023 was in preparation for my big plans for 2024. In no particular order:


The rerelease of The Edge of the Sphere is now available for pre-order! This is the last of my earlier books where the rights reverted back to me when the publisher shut down. Obviously it has some gorgeous new cover art, and I edited the hell out of it to bring it up to my current standards. Part of me can't believe I wrote this book twelve -- yes, twelve -- years ago, but I still love the characters and their story. Paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited will be available on January 19th!

Next, people keep asking me about audiobooks, and I've finally decided this is the year. At some point, I'd love to have the majority of my publications where I own the publishing rights available in audiobook, but since this is a brand new adventure for me, I'm trying to take things slow. (But let's just say one may already be in the works...)

Lastly, remember the logo rebrand and the physical merchandise I mentioned? Much of that is due to me booking my first in-person appearances at signings and conventions, starting this year. As of right this second, I'm booked for two in 2024 and two in 2025, but I have some applications and feelers out for a few more. I'll post a schedule soon!

Here's to a happy and productive 2024! Cheers!

Friday, November 3, 2023

Always Moving Forward

[insert standard "oh my goodness, can you believe it's November already??" here]

Now that that's out of the way, I figured it was as good of a time as any to write an actual blog post, which I haven't done in a while. All my scheduled 2023 releases are now out in the world, but I'm still writing and prepping for 2024. There are a lot of fun and exciting things coming up in the next year and beyond!

First, you may have already noticed the new logo and header here! I decided it was time to make my branding more consistent (whatever my "branding" is, anyway) and went back to Emily's World of Design for a kick-ass logo. I am madly in love with this and am currently in the process of sticking it on stuff. That's a highly technical term, by the way.

"How can I get one of those nifty bookmarks?" you may be asking. Another fun recent project was creating an Etsy shop to streamline my process for selling signed copies of my paperbacks. I may eventually make a listing for the bookmarks alone, but for now, I'm just sticking one into every book I sell, so hop on over to TheaLandenBooks and take a look! You definitely want a signed book to go along with it anyway, right?

The last bit of exciting news that sort of ties into the previous two: Since I've been releasing more books in paperback, I thought it might be fun to start investigating book fairs and author signings and other in-person events. As of right this second, my first scheduled appearance is in Fall 2024, and some of them book waaaay in advance, so I have some scheduled for 2025 already! I probably should make a new tab here for listing these events so, uh, keep an eye out for that.

(Revamping this entire website is also on my to-do list...)

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Tangled In His Possession - Available Now!

 

Woo-hoo! This year, I actually got my spooky season story out on time! (To be fair, last year wasn't 100% my fault, but I'm going to enjoy this anyway.) Tangled In His Possession is my latest paranormal romance, and I love it so much, I have two different marketing pitches for it. Take your pick!

You know those TV movies where the uptight high-powered businesswoman has to move from the big city to a small town because of [whatever reason], but it's all worth it because she finds love? It's like that, but the love interest is possessed by a demon. Whoopsie.

OR

Longtime readers and followers will know how much I love the game Dragon Age 2, especially the Hawke + Anders romance, which is most likely my most favorite video game romance EVER. So, is this technically a modern alternate universe retelling of part of one of my favorite games? ...possibly. But hey, since I'm in charge here, it means I get to pick the ending. 

Blurb and excerpt time? Blurb and excerpt time. 

Blurb:

When her great-aunt dies, leaving The Yarn Barn in need of new management, Lucy Hawkins jumps at the opportunity to quit her stressful sales job. She moves to the quaint tourist town of Willow Vale, ready for a fresh start when she takes over the business. While introducing herself to her new neighbors, she meets Zeke, the owner of the occult shop next door. Friendly yet reserved, Zeke piques her interest, but he turns down her suggestion of a date.

Late one night, a frightening incident causes Zeke to reveal why he doesn’t want to risk getting too close to Lucy: he is possessed by a demon, an evil spirit that killed his grandfather several years earlier. Though he has been able to prevent it from harming anyone else since, he agonizes over what could happen if he loses control. Despite his worries, Lucy persists, and ultimately persuades him to allow her to provide the companionship he’s been too afraid to seek out.

They embark on a romantic relationship, with Zeke becoming the doting, compassionate partner Lucy has always dreamed of. The demon within him, however, remains a lingering concern, especially when it comes to intimacy and his fear for her safety. After a traumatic outburst, he vows to rid the world of the malicious force, even if it costs him his life. Lucy accepts his choice, but there’s one thing she needs from him before he carries out his plan. Can she convince Zeke to share every part of himself with her, demons and all?

 

Excerpt:

"I convinced myself it would be a mistake. Even last night, after I told you my darkest secrets, I believed it would be better if we avoided each other." His knuckles whitened on the countertop. "But when you touched me, the first time anyone’s touched me in years, I surrendered for a few blissful moments. Which was also a mistake, as I haven’t stopped thinking about it since."

She sensed an opening. "I could do it again, if you’d like."

A faint groan rumbled from his throat.

Shifting to the side, Lucy reached over and rested her hand atop his. His skin was warm beneath her palm, and she entwined their fingers together.

His eyes closed as he swallowed. "Why do I find it impossible to resist you?"

"Because I made a career out of being very persuasive." Her grip on him tightened. "Deep down, you know I’m right. You can’t spend the rest of your life pushing people away."

Zeke swiveled toward her, his hand slipping out of hers. "You really are stubborn."

"Yup."

"I don’t think you know what you’re getting yourself into."

She refused to back down, tilting her head to stare into his chocolate-brown eyes instead. "I think I know what I can and can’t handle."

Indecision washed over his face and he turned away from her. With the faintest of touches, she used her fingertips to guide his head back in her direction. Electricity sparked between them as she drew her thumb across his cheek, memorizing the rough feel of his stubble and enjoying the shudder she elicited. He leaned into her cupped palm, his hot breath floating over her wrist as he pressed his lips to her skin.

Need consumed her, both her desire to explore more of him and her wish to erase some of his anguish. "Let me be closer to you, Zeke," she murmured. "It’s okay to give in."

The intensity with which he kissed her caught her off-guard, ripping the air from her lungs. She recovered quickly, though, and planted her free hand on the other side of his face as his tongue plunged between her parted lips. The ends of her fingers threaded through the silky strands of his hair as she kissed him back with fervor, enthralled by the taste of his soft lips. His arms snaked around her waist, holding her tight.

He drew back far too soon, and she whimpered at the loss of contact. "We shouldn’t be doing this," he said, his voice strained and unsteady.

"Too late." Lucy steered his mouth back to hers and delivered a teasing nibble to his lower lip. "We already are."


Tangled In His Possession is available in paperback and on Kindle Unlimited!

Monday, September 4, 2023

Train Hard, Rest Harder - Available Now!

 


So, I finally did it. I finally wrote some gym-themed smut! And I had such a good time writing it, the whole process went FAST, and I didn't have an opportunity to blog about it. Whoops.

It's funny - while I originally set out to write something on the lighter side, something interesting happened. While the “wild weekend with the young, hot trainer” plot is fun enough on its own, it became a framework for something a little deeper and more poignant. For a lot of stressed-out, overworked women—myself included—the real fantasy is the idea of having a few days free of all responsibility and letting someone else handle everything. (Okay, fine, having that “someone else” be an attractive man waiting to fulfil your every need does sweeten the deal a bit.) 

Shall we have a blurb and excerpt for Train Hard, Rest Harder? (Yes, we shall.)

Blurb:

Between her fast-paced career and managing her household for her family, Julia is always on the go. Her busy schedule leaves little time for her to pursue her own interests and hobbies, save for one activity: the gym she attends with her husband, Rob. The high-intensity classes they take allow her to destress, yet, as with every other aspect of her life, she constantly pushes herself to achieve her fitness goals.

Afraid his wife is at risk of burning out, Rob conspires with Tristan, one of the trainers at the gym, and forms a plan in order to encourage Julia to take a break from all her obligations. They present her with their scheme, informing her how she and Tristan will be staying at his family’s secluded lake house for a long weekend, during which she is under strict orders not to cook, clean, or answer any messages from work. As she processes everything they’ve plotted behind her back, Rob privately tells her he’s noticed her attraction to their trainer. To her surprise, he grants her permission to do anything she wants with Tristan during their weekend together…anything.

They embark on their trip, and Julia wonders if she’ll be able to disconnect from her responsibilities and relax for a few days. She also contemplates whether she can be intimate with another man, despite Rob’s reassurances. Will this weekend with her trainer fulfill all her fantasies? 


Excerpt:

Once I stood, I let him coach me through weighted lunges in all directions and a few rounds of deadlifts. “Almost done.” His gaze flicked back and forth between me and the stack of weights. “Sorry there’s no squat rack here, but I think, as we established last night, we need to make sure you’re keeping up with your squats.”

His words, combined with the memory of his hands on my body, increased the heat simmering inside me. “I’ll make do with what we have. Front squats or goblet squats?”

“I’ll let you choose.”

I bent down to retrieve the dumbbells I’d used for the lunges. “Uh-uh. Try again,” he said from behind me.

“What?”

“We both know you can go heavier than that.”

I glanced back at him over my shoulder. “Yeah, but it’s different without the rack. I have to be able to actually pick these up.”

Tristan inched closer and rested one hand at the small of my back. “I know how strong you are.” His breath fanned across my neck as he spoke. “Give me ten good squats and we’ll call it a day.”

He let his hand drop and gave my ass a quick squeeze before stepping away. I didn’t realize how much I craved more of his touch until he let go of me, but there was only one way to earn it. I went to the rack against the wall and returned with the heaviest weights I thought I could get up to my chest. Blowing out a puff of air, I hoisted them into position and steadied myself for the first squat.

“Slow and controlled,” he said. “And get nice and low with good form, or else I’m going to make you start from the beginning.”

My legs already ached from the run followed by the lunges, but I kept my knees pressed out to the sides as I dipped down and back up. One, I counted to myself. I repeated the movement, fighting to keep the tremble out of my arms as I held the dumbbells up in front of me.

“Almost there.” His raspy whisper sent a different kind of shiver through my tensed muscles. “You got this.”

How the weights didn’t slip out of my hands, I had no idea. I maintained my grip and sank down into my heels yet again. Every time I rose presented more of a struggle, but I was determined to complete the set. Once I finished the tenth squat, I exhaled a long sigh of relief and set the dumbbells down.

Tristan was on me in a flash. He grabbed me by the waist and yanked me backward, sending me crashing into his bare chest. “I love watching you move,” he growled in my ear. “Your powerful body, your flawless form…do you know how long I’ve been dreaming of a moment like this?”


Train Hard, Rest Harder is available in paperback and on Kindle Unlimited!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Chasing the Skies and Conquering the Skies - Available Now!

 


IT IS DONE.

I started my blog post of July 13, 2022, with that same exact sentence. (Yes, I actually looked something up!) A smidge over a year ago, I had finished up the actual writing of the Searching the Skies series and sent it off. Now, after editing and cover design and whatnot, the entire series has now been published. PHEW.

I'll get to the blurbs in a moment, but since this feels like a pretty big achievement, I'm going to take this opportunity to recap the history of this series, especially since I've picked up some new readers along the way. If we're going allllll the way back to the beginning, I might as well start in late 2010, which is when I got laid off from my then-job and got back into writing fanfic.

Fanfic was fun enough, but in time, I wanted to see if I could write something 100% original. E-readers and indie publishers were on the rise, and I thought I had a halfway decent shot at getting something published. By this point, I don't even remember where the original idea for Geneva's space adventures with her two doting men came from, but I wrote it in the fall of 2011. I submitted it to a publisher I had in mind...and was rejected. Not terribly surprising, actually. But I kept at it and eventually got a "yes."

And then I started learning how much I really didn't know, and I will forever be grateful to that first kind editor who started gently whipping me into shape.

The first edition of Searching the Skies released in 2012. I'd started working on my next book by then, since everything I'd read said the best way to sell your first book is to write a second. Even though I was focusing on other projects, my mind kept wandering back to Geneva & Co. When I plotted out the first book, one of my big concerns was how to make it realistic that Ash and Marcus would be willing to engage in this threesome. I had some ideas for a dramatic rescue mission, but since Searching the Skies was my very first book, I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew, so I abandoned that plot line and kept it simple.

Then I thought about revisiting the characters and making the throuple more "equal" - as in instead of Geneva always being in the middle, the two men engaging in intimate activities with each other. I combined that with the aforementioned plans for a dramatic rescue mission, and Defying the Skies was born. I admit that when I wrote my very first book, I had zero plans for a sequel, yet once I had the plot fleshed out in my head, I wanted to write it. The first edition of Defying the Skies released in 2013.

Back then, I did sort of have a rough outline for a third book, but a lot of other things were going on. First, I had other shiny new book ideas that I wanted to write. Second, I finished up my coursework for my career change and went back to work, leaving me with a lot less free time. Lastly, while the original publisher I was working with wouldn't shut down for another few years, by that time, I kind of saw the writing on the wall and had concerns about its future even then. I sent one more sequel to them (The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions, the sequel to Disintegration) and decided that would be it.

Time passed. I wrote other things. I had two kids! (At the same time, but still!) As the years went by, somewhere in the back of my head, I vaguely remembered the rights reversion clauses in the contracts and knew I was approaching the point where I could request that. Again, though, I was working on other books, and while it was an interesting idea, it wasn't a priority. 

Then...the decision was made for me. The publisher was shutting down/being absorbed by another company, and unless we wanted our books relisted with the new company, all rights reverted back to us. Well, that turned out to be easier than expected, I guess. I was glad to have my books back with me, but I needed to figure out what to actually *do* with them.

I focused on rereleasing the Disintegration series first before revisiting Searching the Skies. And what I found...oof. OOF. Don't get me wrong, there was still a lot of good stuff going on in there, and I guess it's nice to see how much you've grown as a writer, but I was cringing all over the place. Like, a tiny part of me wanted to reach out to everyone who read the first version and apologize to them. It was painful. But, I sat down and got out the electronic red pen. It was tough at times, and I did consider giving up once or twice, but I wound up with a better version of my original book baby. Thankfully, Defying the Skies didn't need *as* much work.

The rest of this saga has already been documented more recently, but to wrap up this recap: I did write that third book, decided it wasn't a satisfying ending to an entire series, plotted out two more books, and offered the whole thing to Decadent Publishing, who I'd always enjoyed working with. (Really, they're great! I highly recommend them to anyone who's looking for a smaller romance publisher.) They accepted it, contracts were signed, and my first book and its sequel found a new home.

So, here we are. This has been a journey of almost twelve years. That's older than my kids. That's older than this website! It's kind of crazy and surreal to think about, but anyone who knows me will tell you I rarely give up on projects and I like to finish what I start. And today, the Searching the Skies series is officially finished.

Thank you for indulging me in that bit of rambling. As promised, here are the short blurbs for the last two books in the series!

Chasing the Skies:

Geneva’s new job as a private investigator leads Marcus to contact her when Adele witnesses some potential illegal activity at her office. She reluctantly agrees to look into the matter, all while fighting her lingering attraction to him and missing Ash, who has been deployed on a dangerous mission with the military. Can she keep her loved ones safe while navigating her new roles?


Conquering the Skies:

Big changes threaten to disrupt Geneva’s comfortable routines, forcing her to make significant decisions about the future she wants. Throughout weddings, new jobs, and travels to distant planets, will she finally find a place in the galaxy to call home?

All five books of the Searching the Skies series are now available on Kindle Unlimited!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Sonata for Springtime and Surrendering the Skies - Available Now!

 


Phew! June was such a busy month with THREE book releases, I forgot to post here about the second two. (But you're all subscribed to my newsletter and following me on social media, so you knew about them, right? Right??) At least I remembered to update all my tabs and buy links here, so we'll call that half a win.

Sonata for Springtime, my slow-burn contemporary romance, was released on June 16th, and Surrendering the Skies, Book 3 of the Searching the Skies series, was released on June 30th. And after all that, we still have two more books of the Skies series to go! Double phew!

 

Short blurbs for consistency's sake:

Sonata for Springtime:

Jonathan falls in love with aspiring concert pianist Natalie when she tries to teach him how to play, but she’s engaged to someone else. After she reveals his feelings are reciprocated, she becomes distraught and cuts off contact with him. Can Jonathan find a way to discover his inner passion, with or without her?


Surrendering the Skies:

Harrowing job assignments, Ash’s personal tragedy, and Marcus’s new relationship with another woman leave Geneva feeling lost in the universe. Can she find a path back to where she was, or is it time for significant change in her life?


Chasing the Skies releases on July 15th!

Conquering the Skies (the grand finale) releases on July 29th!

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Defying the Skies - Available Now!

 

Whoops, I'm a couple days late, but Defying the Skies, Book 2 of the Searching the Skies series, has been released! This is also a re-release, but I'll post a short blurb and excerpt for a refresher.

Before I do that, though, here's the schedule for the rest of the series. The remaining three books are all brand-new, and I'm so glad I finally got to bring this series to an exciting, satisfying conclusion!

Surrendering the Skies - June 30th

Chasing the Skies - July 15

Conquering the Skies - July 29

The whole series will be available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, so don't miss out!

Blurb:

Geneva has settled into a comfortable routine with the two men she loves, but Marcus wants more…not from her, but from Ash. Before he can confess his attraction to the other man, he’s abducted in a terrorist attack. Can Geneva and Ash find him before it’s too late for him to fulfil his fantasies?

 

Excerpt:

Marcus let out another sigh. “A year ago, if someone had told me I’d be sharing my bed with another man every now and then, I would have said they were crazy. I know we were all a little skeptical at first, but I really did just want to make you happy because I was terrified of letting you slip away.”

She tapped his wrist. “I’m still not seeing what the issue is.”

“I’m trying, I’m trying. Bear with me.” He rubbed his eyes and covered his face with his hands. “I care about you, and I love how you make me feel, all the things you do to me. Then there’s Ash, who I’ve also developed some sort of intimate connection with, and he’s there with us in the heat of the moment, and….”

“And?”

“We’ve always focused all our attention on you, and you on us individually, which is fine. As I said, I’d do just about anything for you. The look on your face when you’re with both of us is a substantial reward.” His eyes remained shielded from view. “That look is part of what’s been haunting me. I’ve watched the two of you together. When you’re clinging to me as he’s moving inside you, sheer bliss illuminating every part of your body…sometimes my mind can’t help but wonder what….”

Realization set in as he trailed off. “You’re attracted to Ash.”

A pained grumble emanated from behind the barrier he had created. “Well, when you put it so bluntly, of course it’s going to sound strange.”

Geneva contemplated his distressed confession. Despite having been with both of them simultaneously on numerous occasions, she had never envisioned a situation in which her men derived pleasure from each other. The idea intrigued her. “I don’t think it sounds strange at all.”

“You don’t?”

“It makes perfect sense to me.” She leaned closer to him and nudged his hands. He finally uncovered his face and looked at her. “Both of you make me feel amazing. And if you want to feel the same way….”