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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Meet the Team - Ted Quinn

From The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions:

Name: Ted Quinn

Role: The Hacker

Country of Origin: Charytar

Known associates/affiliations: Cousin to Reggie Quinn

Greatest accomplishment: Hacking into one of the Charytaran military's networks without getting caught, just to see if he could

Biggest fear: Rejection

Additional information
: Ted feels much more comfortable dealing with computers and other electronics than he does with people. Aside from Reggie, his face-to-face interactions with others are very limited. While not necessarily happy, he's content with spending his time on little more than movies and games. Whether it's never occurred to him to aspire to do more with his life, or if he's afraid of trying and failing is anybody's guess.

Trivia: Aspects of Ted are very loosely based on one of my closest friends. I think that ultimately helped with making him a more sympathetic character than he appears on the surface.

While never explicitly stated, the handheld game Ted plays in several scenes is Tetris. I did not have any particular film in mind for the porn that is playing on his TV when Ro and Reggie first arrive at his house. :D

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Meet the Team - Dr. Karin Cassels

Ready for some fun? My good buddy Boobulon has made me some nifty book-related artwork again to celebrate The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions. Now that the book is finally out, I'm ready to present them in profiles of the six main characters. I'll include some backstory that didn't make it into the final book, share some trivia, and otherwise introduce you to this kickass team that's taking on a mercenary cyborg army!

Name: Dr. Karin Cassels

Role: The Healer

Country of Origin: Palavia

Known associates/affiliations: Mother of Vlad Cassels, member of the Midnight Scorpions (though they have not spoken in years)

Greatest accomplishment: Single-handedly maintaining a clinic near the Palavia-Charytar border and offering medical care to those in need

Biggest fear: Never hearing from Vlad again

Additional information: Every now and then she volunteers as a medic with the Palavian military close to the combat zone at the juncture of the three warring countries. It was probably during one of these trips that she learned how to shoot a gun (and pretty damn well!), but the rest of the team never finds out for sure.

Trivia: When I was first plotting out the book, originally Dr. Cassels was going to be male, but Boobulon persuaded me to make Vlad's parent a mother, not a father. Dr. Cassels's role probably wouldn't have changed too much either way, but making her a woman skewed the male-female ratio of the team to 2-4 (rather than the initially planned 3-3). Obviously I don't have a problem with this, and I think I might even like it better this way.

Also, when I started writing, I had recently finished playing Mass Effect 3, and I won't even try to deny that the game influenced me. Once I decided that Dr. Cassels would be a woman, I couldn't help but envision Dr. Chakwas every time I wrote for her. I figured I might as well go all the way and borrow her first name!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy 5th Anniversary, Decadent Publishing!

Decadent Publishing turns five years old today, and we're partying hard! Go check out the Facebook party right this second to have fun with us and enter some awesome giveaways!

Me, I have two titles out with DP and one on the way. To recap, here are the covers, blurbs, and some excerpts:

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?

Anna stared in the steamy mirror over the vanity. Samantha Coburn’s physical appearance resembled her natural features. She’d only needed a trip to the salon at home to have honey-colored highlights added to her dark brown locks, then a layered trim that brushed her shoulders. No colored contact lenses, no glasses, no beauty marks, no wigs; the image gazing at her  felt familiar. She donned the second skin of one of her alternate identities, but the mask settled comfortably around her.

After dressing in an orange sundress purchased for the trip, she slid her feet into flat gold sandals and fastened a thin chain with a butterfly pendant around her neck. As she stared into the mirror one last time while she inserted small hoop earrings, her reflection pleased her: an elegant, confident woman who still maintained an air of delicate femininity. She'd completed the transformation into Samantha,  and planned to play the part with perfection.

She returned to the main foyer and Stuart directed her out to the veranda. Round tables dotted the elevated terrace, overlooking the crystal blue waters of the lake and she spotted a man at the table closest to the edge. His face angled away from her, toward the exquisite landscape.

The soles of her sandals slapped against the smooth gray stones as she approached him. Shifting in his chair, he smiled wide and extended a hand. “You must be Samantha.” His voice was a deep baritone.

Anna returned the pleased expression. “That’s me.”

Amazon B&N All Romance

Two years have passed since April Patterson’s husband was shot and killed in the line of duty, and she’s trapped in a haze of grief and uncertainty. Having grown frustrated by all other efforts to engage her in activities where she could meet new people, her cousin pays for a date via 1Night Stand. Not thrilled with the idea, April nevertheless contacts Madame Eve and requests the impossible: a date with her deceased husband.

Brilliant software engineer Drew Monroe created his company, Elysium, to help give closure to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, through the use of virtual reality. Though passionate about his work, being constantly surrounded by heartache and death has taken a toll on his mental health. When he accepts the case of a young widow referred to him by Madame Eve, her tragic tale depresses him further, but he commits himself to programming April the romantic date she desires.

April arrives at Elysium and prepares to enter Drew’s virtual realm. Will she find the solace she seeks within? Or will she discover she doesn’t need a fantasy world to discover happiness again? 


We sat in silence. It was the first time a client had asked me so many personal questions. On one hand, I worried about coming across as unprofessional, but on the other, it felt good to verbalize those thoughts for a change. Putting that aside, April hadn’t come to play psychiatrist with me. I had a job to do.

“Anything else before we get started?” I pushed off the edge of the desk and straightened.

She didn’t get up. “Do you ever go into your own virtual realities?”

“Actually, I don’t.” I ran a finger along the top of one of the screens. “First of all, it needs to be monitored from the outside. I can’t do both at the same time.”

“Got it.” She nodded. “What else?”

A clammy feeling crawled over me. “Nothing.”

“You said ‘first of all.’ That means there must be a second.”

She’d paid attention, I’d give her that. I tried to backtrack. “Forget it.”

Sliding her arm off the chair, she leaned forward, ginger hair spilling over her shoulders. “I want to know what I’m getting into. Tell me.” Face upturned, she stared at me and I struggled to breathe in a normal rhythm. “Please?”

Don’t say it, don’t admit to it, she doesn’t need to know…. Talking to her eased a little of the tension that had been twisting tighter and tighter over time. I ignored the voices telling me not to make a confession, but the words spilled out faster than I’d intended.

“With all the misery and heartache I see in the world, the temptation exists to disappear into a painless fantasy.” The chill spreading through me intensified. “I’m afraid I’d lose myself and never want to come out.”

April blinked her long lashes and straightened in the chair. “That’s one of the reasons I’m anxious about going in there.”

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions - Available Now!

It's here! The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions has been released! I have some fun promotional events coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to watch this space. In the meantime, have a blurb and a nice, long excerpt!


A year has passed since Ro Bernard escaped from the Midnight Scorpions, a clandestine group of mercenaries that exists in the outside world as little more than myths and rumors. Though haunted by the reprehensible acts she committed and witnessed as a member of the organization, her primary focus is keeping a roof over her head and food on her plate. A chance encounter leads her to Karin Cassels, whose son died in the Scorpions’ underground laboratory. While sharing details about her son’s research, Ro reveals the most disturbing information she has on the group. Their leader, scientist Dane Zedek, has been integrating cybernetic parts with human soldiers in the hopes of building himself a lethal army that will help him achieve even greater political power.

The women hatch a plan to take down the Midnight Scorpions with two ultimate goals: kill Zedek, and rescue Callum, Ro’s lover who was the first of the scientist’s experimental hybrids. For additional assistance, Dr. Cassels directs Ro to Reggie Quinn, a drifter who is no stranger to odd jobs and risky situations. Reggie agrees to join the cause in exchange for a percentage of whatever they loot from the Scorpions’ base.

They embark on an adventure throughout three warring countries to assemble their team and gather the necessary materials for their schemes. Along the way, Ro tries to fight her growing attraction to Reggie, especially as reminders of her unhappy past keep resurfacing. Love and redemption wait for her at the end of her mission to defeat the Midnight Scorpions…assuming she makes it out alive. 

Ro turned around and bent over the map again. Using her previous markings as a guideline, she labeled another potential point of entry to the hidden lair. Before she could measure the distance to the next area she wanted to denote, the door opened again. “Forget something?” she asked without looking over her shoulder.

“I just wanted to check in and see how you were doing,” came Reggie’s voice. “It’s getting late.”

He appeared in her line of vision, standing at the opposite end of the table. “The map’s coming along,” she said. “I just hope I’m remembering all of this correctly.”

“I’m not worried. You’ll get us where we need to go.”


Reggie nodded towards the door. “I saw Mielle come out of here. Everything all right?”

“Yeah, we’re good.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “So now you’re tracking Mielle’s comings and goings? Maybe you should be socializing with her at this late hour instead of me.”

“If I wanted to spend extra time with Mielle, I wouldn’t have come in here.”

“Uh-huh,” she said. “Hey, at least with her around, we can count on Ted to shower on a daily basis in order to make a good impression.”

He laughed. “While I was worried about having to wipe the drool from his mouth when we first met her, I don’t think Mielle’s going to be the motivator for Ted to behave himself. He’s got it bad for Zara.”

“Oh, really?” Ro smiled at this tidbit of amusing information. “What did he say to you?”

“Nothing. He didn’t have to.”

“What, is there some sort of psychic connection between cousins that I don’t know about?”

Reggie placed his palms on the table, bringing his face closer to hers over the map. “Come now, Rosie. Don’t tell me your astute powers of observation have been failing you. Every time he looks at her, it’s easy to tell what he’s thinking. It doesn’t take a mind reader.”

“Subtlety is sometimes lost on me.” She didn’t back down from him. “Don’t tell me your powers of observation have been failing you when it comes to me being rather direct, if not blunt.”

“No, I definitely got that.” The golden flecks in his eyes shimmered in the wan lighting. “An argument could be made for either approach.”

Ro blew out a puff of air. “I never had the patience for silly games.”

“Too bad. Games can be fun.” He pushed off the table, straightening up. “So show me what you’ve done so far,” he said. “I’d love to know how many secret doors and tunnels I’ve passed by without knowing it.”

“Fine,” she said. “The closest one is about thirty miles—”

“Hold on. I don’t want to have to read upside down.” Reggie walked around the table and stood behind her, leaving a narrow gap between them. “Sorry, go on.”

She knew what he was doing and continued as if he hadn’t moved. “As I was saying, the nearest entrance is about thirty miles from here. We might want to go scope it out in the next couple days and see how it looks.”

He peered over her shoulder, his mouth close to her ear. “It’s a good start,” he said. “And I’m sure you have some backup plans.”

His breath tickled her skin. “There were quite a few ways in and out of the base. Elevators, ramps…different areas were used for different purposes,” she said, keeping her voice even and casual.

“I see.”

Warm sensations skated down her neck and flooded through her chest, but Ro wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of squirming or wriggling away. If it’s a game he wants, it’s a game he’ll get. “There’s a big set of doors over here to the northeast,” she said. As she leaned over to the side, she made sure her ass grazed the front of Reggie’s body. “We used it to take the trucks and other vehicles out. It’s probably easy to get into, but it’s pretty far away from the command center. Traveling through the underground tunnels extensively might make us easy targets.”

“And we don’t want that.” The low tones of his voice hummed through her.

“Now, further to the south….” She backed up to indicate a lower portion of the map, pressing against him. Something hard met her in return. “This one’s closer to all the labs and armories and other places of interest, but that means it’ll be more heavily guarded, of course.”

“Every route is going to be risky, but maybe we can find some middle ground.” He rested a hand on her side, cupping the swell of her hip. “See, I knew my confidence in you wouldn’t be misplaced.”

His thumb stroked her back through the thin fabric of her shirt. Though flames flickered up her cheeks, she rolled her eyes and bit back a grin. “You know, if this was supposed to be some sort of lesson in understated advances, you’re not as discreet as you think you are.”

“I wasn’t trying to do or be anything.”


Slowly, Ro turned around. Reggie didn’t release her from his grip, nor did he do anything to untangle their legs and put some space between them. Propping herself up on one hand, she tilted her head back to stare up at him. She’d admitted some attraction to him in her solitary moments, but had sworn not to act on it. Now that one strong arm was curled around her and she stood face-to-face with his alluring smile, she didn’t know whether to give in to her impulses or push him away.



“You’re going to smudge the map.”

She looked down at where she had planted her sweaty palm right over one of her larger markings. “Damn it,” she muttered, rubbing the silvery graphite smears off the heel of her hand.

“I’d better let you fix that.” Reggie stepped backwards and ran his fingers through his hair. “Try to get some sleep tonight, though.”

“Yup,” she said without glancing up. “You too.”

He left her alone in the quiet room. Ro inhaled and exhaled, trying to quiet the pounding of her pulse in her ears and ignore the heat that had crept throughout her body. Shaking her head, she smoothed out the wrinkles in the paper in front of her before resuming her work.