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Happy Holidays!

Hope you all had fun celebrating whatever you celebrate! I finished my short story, persuaded a friend to give it an extra proofread, and submitted it the night of the 23rd, so I sailed through the holidays with a clear writing conscience! (It’s well before the deadline, so I won’t hear anything either way for a couple months.) We’re leaving for a mini-vacation tomorrow, and then Mr. Landen and I are going to FINALLY watch the latest BBC adaptation of And Then There Were None over the weekend, so I’ll probably take a few more days off from writing. Once the new year hits, though, back to the novella-in-progress I go!

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and productive 2018!

To the Finish Line! (Also, Let’s Talk About Word Count)

The end is in sight for the current short story (which does have a title now, and no, it’s not what I previously posted). I think I’ll definitely be able to get the first draft done by the end of the weekend. Then comes proofing/editing, and I’ll see which of my friends I can sweet talk into looking it over for me. I have plenty of wiggle room with the deadline, but I like to get things in early.

What I don’t have as much wiggle room with is the word count. The “preferred” word count is 3K – 6K words, but according to the guidelines, 2K – 7K is acceptable, if necessary. I can read between the lines and know that the story has a better chance of being accepted if I keep it under 6K, which I don’t think I’ll have a problem doing. I’m quickly approaching that limit, though, and it’s affecting certain choices I need to make.

I know I really should turn off the word count display, write the damn story, and then edit it down later. But at the same time, it’s making me focus on what’s important. This is erotic romance, after all, so as my friends and I like to joke, there’s the climax and the “climax”. The plot stuff is done, I’m just giving my characters their well-deserved happy ever after. (And yes, the submission guidelines state that a scene like that has to be in there.)

As always, there’s no good answer. I’m sure I can put together something submission-worthy and get it to the right size. I just need to whine about it here a little. 😉

(Anecdote time! Years ago, a friend in my informal writing group told us he’d submitted a short story for a magazine, I think it was. He got a rejection letter, and we all commiserated. But then it came out that the submission guidelines asked for stories with a word count around 1K – 3K…and he sent them a 7K-word story. The ship had sailed at that point, but privately, some of us were all NOOOOOOOO!

So yeah, don’t do that.)

Title Woes Part the Millionth

As planned, I’ve put the novella aside for now, and I started the anthology submission. I’ve frequently said here that titles either come to me right away or they don’t. For this short story…I got nothing. Nothing good, anyway.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say I have nothing, as I have been brainstorming a few ideas with friends. A lot of what I came up with just seems so generic, though, like it could apply to a hundred other stories. Also listed in my criteria was that I don’t want the title to give away any major plot points. Unfortunately, with a ~5K word story, there’s not a whole lot to go on except major plot points.

But then I realized something: Does a title matter as much in an anthology? I mean, obviously I do want something better than average, but if it does get accepted, it’s probably not likely that the title of my story will make or break whether or not a reader buys the book. I guess it also depends on how people read anthologies—do they start from the beginning and blaze right through, or do they start with the title that grabs them the most and then jump around? (In what should come as a surprise to no one, I’m a “start at the beginning” person.)

I don’t have a good answer. Right now, the frontrunner is “Another Hero”. Which, yeah, I know. Snooooooore. It’s not set in stone, and I still have some time to figure it out. At least I won’t be kicking myself too much if I can’t come up with anything better.

Multi-Tasking (or maybe not so much)

So I’ve been plugging away at the novella-in-progress. Not as quickly as I would have hoped, but it’s moving along. I’d given myself the tentative goal of finishing the first draft by the end of 2017. It would have been a stretch, and I’m not sure I would have succeeded, but it was within the realm of possibility.

But then! (And this is a good excuse, I swear!) Every so often I remember to check my usual spots for anthology submission calls. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I submitted anything like that. With the calls I see, usually one of two things happens: either the theme/content doesn’t interest me that much, or by the time I see the call, the deadline/word count combination is near impossible. 

Last week, I finally stumbled across something that caught my interest, had a short-ish word count requirement (2K – 8K words, though 3K – 7K is preferred), AND the deadline isn’t until February 1, 2018. Woo hoo! Totally manageable! I can do that!

Except…I’m in the middle of this novella. And I’m sure I’ve said dozens of times on here that working on simultaneous projects isn’t really my thing. But new shiny fun submission call!

My plan is to finish up this current chapter of the novella, and then knock out the short story. It might not be the speediest “knocking out”, but I’m confident I can get it done well before the deadline. I already have my idea and my outline, so I’m hoping everything will go smoothly. And once that’s in, I can get back to my novella and hopefully pick up some momentum again. Wish me luck on my multi-tasking!

Seductive Suspect Virtual Tour!

The Seductive Suspect virtual tour kicks off tomorrow, with interviews, guest posts, and fun new material at every stop – how exciting! The full schedule is below. I encourage you to check out all these great sites, show some love to the hosts, and enter to win the giveaway!

October 23: Erotica For All
October 23: Fabulous and Brunette
October 24: The Reading Addict
October 25: Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog
October 26: Long and Short Reviews 

October 27: Lock That Door!
October 30: Books, Dreams,Life
October 31: The Avid Reader
November 1: Deal Sharing Aunt
November 2: Wendi Zwaduk ~ Romance To Make Your Heart Race
November 3: Romance Novel Giveaways

This Month Needs More Than 31 Days

As the post title implies, I’ve been running around like crazy for the past couple weeks, and things aren’t scheduled to settle down AT ALL until the first week of November or so. (And then something new will come up, I’m sure.) But! One of the things taking up some time has been prepping for the Seductive Suspect tour, which kicks off on October 23rd! I hope to have the full schedule finalized soon, and of course I’ll post it here. In the meantime, gaze adoringly at this banner and pretend I said something meaningful about books and writing and stuff.


Promo – Torn Avenger, by Lea Bronsen

I’ve always been surprised that vikings don’t seem to have taken off in the same way as vampires and werewolves. But Lea Bronsen is doing her best to remedy that situation with her new release, Torn Avenger. Gaze upon this spectacular cover a little more (which is what inspired her to write this book), then read on for the blurb and a super-steamy excerpt.

As the second son of a Viking earl, Alv Gunnulfsen wasn’t meant to inherit a throne or avenge a murder. But when his brother is slain during a raid and their father dies of grief, Alv is expected to take command and claim the killer’s death. In a world of ruthless retaliation and strict social codes, he must also maneuver cleverly to protect a troublesome secret: his attraction for men.

Roeland van Dijk, a wealthy Dutch merchant settled in Norway, has done the unthinkable to protect his family — hacked off the head of a Viking rapist. The wrath of the blond savages will cost him his freedom, and possibly his own head… Unless he’s willing to accept the love of another man.

After a moment, Alv looked up again and almost gasped from the erotic vision in front of him. While shaving Roeland, he’d only seen his wet, hairy chest and stomach, but the handsome man moved to a kneeling position in the basin and washed his lower body. His stunning maleness made Alv hot and bothered. They had discussed, argued, shared personal details, and apologized to each other, but now, the seriousness of their conversation faded. The sight of Roeland’s cock bathing in white foam between his legs had Alv’s own cock jolt and press painfully against his pants.

Oh, Roeland attracted him on several levels—mental, emotional, and physical—and Alv longed to discover and develop more of everything with him. Hedin was an exciting lover, but nothing like what Roeland had the potential to be.

Speaking of Hedin, it’d been a surprise to see him again this morning, right after Elke left. He’d arrived in a terrible mood and refused to excuse his disappearance act. It was outrageous of a slave to come and go like that, but Alv had too much on his mind to think of punishing him.

For one, he worried about Roeland’s future. He’d inherited part of Father’s wealth, but not his title. After returning to Eðni, he’d claimed to be the only one who could decide of what to do with his brother’s murderer, but it wasn’t true. He had no standing, no support from his fellow citizens. They could choose to kill Roeland if they wanted to—all it took was a word from Mother. It made her idea to have Alv marry Elke and adopt the community’s natural heir that much more important to push through.

“There’s something we need to talk about,” he said, hoping Roeland wouldn’t oppose to the plan.


“Normally, I would ask you, but since you’re not in a position to make decisions, I’m just going to tell you.”

“About what?” Roeland frowned.

“I’m marrying your sister.”

Roeland stood so fast in the basin, water splashed to all sides. He stepped out and leaned into Alv’s face. “Don’t you dare to touch her!”

“But I’m not…”

“Hasn’t she suffered enough?” Roeland bellowed, his dark eyes slit with anger.

By Thor, he was insanely sexy, standing naked and wet, so near Alv could feel his damp bodily heat, water drippling from his hair and rolling alongside his tanned, chiseled cheeks. Alv couldn’t help hardening more, and needed to focus on the words that came out of Roeland’s luscious mouth to be able to answer. “She has already accepted.

Buy Links:

Add it to your
shelf on

About the Author: 

Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her
own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime
drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between
psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

For more
information about Lea Bronsen


Next up for Lea is The Audition, a dark erotic crime menage out on October 20th. Have another cover and blurb!

Ruthless drug lord Ricardo “El Loco” Ferrer launders his black money by investing in movie productions. As a teen, he learned to enjoy blow jobs in jail. Now a man of power, his favorite pastime is checking out new acting talent…and convincing them to “please” the team of producers.

Young wannabe actor Jaden Moore comes to a shady side of town to audition for a movie part. He longs to shine, wants to walk the red carpet with cameras flashing and a crowd cheering. He assures the film director and the investors he’ll do anything to reach the top, but is he willing to comply with their dirty fantasies?

Decisions, Decisions

In case you missed it (unlikely, I know), Seductive Suspect has been officially released. You can tell it’s official because it now has its own entry under the Books tab. 😀

They say the best way to promote your current book is to write the next one, so I’m happy to report I’ve finally gotten started on my next project. I hemmed and hawed for a while as to what to start next. I suppose it’s nice to have too many ideas, but that just adds to the indecision. Here were my choices:

Option A: Fully outlined (a rarity!), projected word count not terribly high. Still a novella rather than a short story, but a short-ish novella. (Which might be redundant?) I know exactly how it will begin and end.

Option B: Somewhat outlined. The basic structure is there, but some details still need to be filled in and some dots need connecting. I know certain scenes I want to include, but I’m not positive about the order. I know how it will begin, and I have a general idea of how it will end, but not the exact words.

Option C: Still needs some baking. I know how the prologue will go, and I have a very basic timeline, but it needs a lot of work. Pacing is going to be a big one here. I know the general idea of the conclusion, but obviously books don’t stop immediately after the climax. However, out of the three, this is probably the most unique, imaginative idea, and that calls to me.

I waffled between A and C instead of actually writing for a long time, even going so far as to do more research on C. Ultimately, I decided on A, figuring it won’t take me *too* long to knock it out. We don’t talk about how long Seductive Suspect took, even though I have plenty of valid excuses, so I felt like I needed an easy win, so to speak. It’s coming along nicely so far, and while I don’t have a specific set goal in mind at the moment, I feel like I can get a pretty decent-sized chunk of it done by the end of the year.

(Though I might have to take some time off in October for the upcoming Seductive Suspect book tour, shhhh…. 😉 )

Seductive Suspect – Release Day!

Today’s the day! Seductive Suspect is now officially out and available, which means you can jump right in and find out who the killer is. (Because I know you’ve been dying to know.) Here’s the blurb and an excerpt, all fancy and edited and everything, plus the buy links at the bottom. Happy reading!


When Veronica
Campbell agrees to take her sister’s place at a murder mystery weekend getaway,
she has no idea what’s in store. The events at the mountaintop lodge get off to
a good start, especially when she meets Adam, the handsome man staying in the
room next door. By the end of the first night, however, the role-playing games
take a dark turn when one of the participants is killed for real.

Violent storms
and sabotaged cars trap the guests at the lodge with no escape. Frightened and
surrounded by strangers, she not only has to stay on guard against the danger
that lurks in every corner, but fight the attraction to her sexy neighbor.

One by one, the
murderer picks off each guest as the storm rages around them. The number of
suspects grows smaller, and soon, the moment of truth arrives. Can she trust
Adam, or has she wound up in the arms of a killer?


Mr. Steele lay
face down beside the pool table. A small, dark hole marred the back of his
blazer. As we all gaped at him, a dark red puddle slowly seeped out from
beneath his body. Several feet away from his head, a gun rested on the floor.

Victor hurried
over, nudging people aside until he saw what had captivated our attention.
Shock and concern washed over his face. “Oh my….” Regaining his composure, he
cleared his throat and straightened. “My dear guests, in light of recent
occurrences, I think it would be best if you all retired to your rooms for the night.”

“Now?” Big Guy
shook his head. “The party’s just getting started!”

Victor stepped back and gestured toward the door. “The storm may cause us to
lose power again, and, due to these other…unexpected circumstances, you need to
return to your rooms. Now.”

His tone left
no room for argument. We shuffled out of the library into the foyer in one
huddled clump. As we moved up the staircase, murmurs rumbled around me about
how the mystery portion of our weekend had started amidst speculation about
what clues we’d receive the following day. I agreed with those who admired how
realistic the murder scene appeared and the perfect coordination with the
thunderstorm’s effects. Whoever had outlined and orchestrated our little story,
they’d done a good job of surprising us and piquing our interest.

On the landing,
we parted ways, and I headed toward my room.

Mandrake guided me to my door, his hand at the small of my back. “I very much
enjoyed meeting you tonight, Miss Harrington.” He smiled at me. “Sleep well.”

I said my good
nights and slipped inside my room, cheeks warm. The evening had been pleasant,
even fun, though shorter than predicted, like Big Guy had complained. At least
I’d had a good time, and I anticipated the rest of my stay at the lodge.

While I
undressed and prepared for bed, I contemplated the evening’s events and tried
to piece together some clues. Nothing in the characters’ backgrounds stood out
to me yet, and efforts to remember who stood where when the lights went out
fell short. “I’m sure we’ll learn more in the morning,” I mumbled, climbing
into bed.

After setting
the alarm clock so I’d have time to shower before breakfast, I switched off the
lamp on the nightstand. With a lengthy yawn, I snuggled under the covers, tired
from the day of travel and subsequent activities. I waited to drift off to
sleep, but something tugged at the back of my mind.

For some reason, I
kept thinking about Victor’s expression when he first saw Mr. Steele lying on
the floor.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Cover Reveal – Winter’s Siren, by Krystal Jane Ruin

Longtime writing buddy Krystal Jane Ruin has a new book coming out in November, and today’s her cover reveal day! Let’s pull the curtain back and take a peek!

Cover by Najla Qamber Designs

Winter’s Siren will be released on November 1, 2017. Now that we’re done admiring that fantastic cover, let’s read the blurb:

For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.

(a dark reimagining of Swan Lake)

If you’d like to read the first chapter, you can do so right here. More information is also already available at Goodreads. Here’s the full cover, front and back: