Monday, August 29, 2011

New Cover Alert! Forever Summer Coming Soon!

Okay, I'm a little geeked about this one.

First, other than poetry, I haven't entered a writing contest since I was in elementary school. Second, this story was my first foray into the world of *gulp* contemporary romance. So, to have it chosen as a finalist by the people in charge at One Place for Romance and then to have readers vote for it to's crazy exciting for me.

I don't have a release date yet, but I do have cover art. Fantasia Frog Designs was an absolute joy to work with. She not only found fabulous models that really fit my characters, she kept me involved with the entire process. What we ended up with was a cover that embodies the story better than I could have hoped.

Now, as long as you, dear readers, love the book as well as I love the cover, I will feel like I did my job.

With her dreams of a career by the sea shattered by the economy, Katya's trying to be happy with the two weeks she's managed in the Florida Keys. But when the cottage she's rented turns out to be infested, she's ready to go home to Pennsylvania. At least until Jay, the handyman and filmmaker next door, comes to her rescue.

Sweet, talented and sexy, he's everything she ever wanted in a man. Too bad he's only hanging out with her because he's such a nice guy.

Or is he?


He followed breakfast with a walk on the beach where they stopped to admire the elaborate sand castles kids built then kicked down before the waves could get to them and stared in wonder at a large pod of porpoises frolicking just past the breakers. Her new friend changed her miserable morning into the most glorious summer day Katya had ever experienced. Sitting at a table near the sand, sipping a Rum Runner and enjoying the last of her mahi-mahi sandwich, she didn’t think anything could make the day better.

Intent on watching the ocean for more signs of the playful porpoises, she almost missed when Jay said, “Want to head out on the water for a while?”

“Seriously? I’d love to, but I’m not sure I can swing the cost.” With college graduation barely a memory, student loans loomed over her head. Her parents had given her enough grief about taking this trip at all.

Jay stretched, his muscles flexing with the motion, and drew her appreciative gaze for a second until she realized what she was doing and shifted back to the ocean. “No worries; the captain of a certain deep sea fishing boat owes me a favor or ten. What do you say? Want to go out?”

“Is the pope Catholic?”

Laughing, Jay downed the last of his beer and motioned for the bill.

He was too damn good to be true. Fixing her house, letting her stay at his place, and showing her the time of her life? Plus, his long blond hair, baby blues, and crooked grin made him hotter than hell. Everything about spending time with him screamed house of cards, and she couldn’t help but wonder which moment would be the breeze that blew it all down.


All morning, Jay had managed to talk to Katya without his dormant libido rearing its head. Then he got her on the boat—in her bikini—and it was all he could do not to sport tented shorts the entire afternoon. She made it worse by acting self-conscious about wearing the bikini in the first place.

Then again, he spent the whole time wishing she wasn’t in the bathing suit, too.

Her line dipped, the rod bowing as the fish pulled away. Katya handled the beast like a pro, letting it wear itself out before she tried to reel it in. Still, it wrestled with her. Happy for the excuse, Jay wrapped his arms around her and added his muscle to the fight. The fish leapt from the water, and the move allowed them to yank it onboard. With the tension gone from the line, Kat lost her balance and fell against him, both of them tumbling to the slippery deck to join the flopping tuna. She twisted in his arms, and their lips hovered precariously close, electricity dancing between them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Cover Alert! GunShy Coming in November!

The good news just keeps coming :) And good news means new cover art!

When I started this project, I didn't really know where it was going. It seemed like just a cute little short story, but as I was writing, I realized there was more to it than initially anticipated. Even once the mythological aspect came to me, I saw it as a "one and done" project.

If you know me at all, you know how hard a time I have with stand-alones.

The minute I realized this needed to be a series, I panicked. I don't have time for another series! Then I realized it didn't just have to be me. There is only one over-arching component to the series which means...other people could write them too. That's when the giddiness hit...until I realized I needed to sell someone on the concept. Turns out that wasn't as difficult as I'd anticipated as a few places were interested. In the end, I decided to go with a house I'd worked with before but hadn't had the opportunity to do more than a short story with (all my solo series are elsewhere).

So it is with a great deal of joy that I get to announce that GunShy, the first book in the Cupid's Conquests series is coming from Evernight Publishing this November. With a handful of other authors already on board to write stories for the series, I hope it has a long and fruitful existence with the great people at Evernight.

Banished from Olympus with orders to restore love to the world, Eros starts with a match no one sees coming. No one but him.

Straight-laced principal Kira isn’t looking for love, especially not right after getting dumped. Then a chance encounter leads her to Jesse, and damned if she isn’t drawn to the bad-boy with a heart of gold. A night of reckless abandon leaves her confused. Was there something there, or did she imagine the connection between them?

Jesse knows lying to Kira is a mistake, but she's the first woman in a long time to see the man and not just the rock star. When his plan to come clean goes terribly wrong, Kira bolts, leaving Jesse in the dust.

Now Eros has to nudge the star-crossed lovers together and prove to Zeus that love does exist, even among the gun shy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here's the Long and Short of It

I'm not blogging here this week. Instead:

How cool is that? I absolutely LOVE Long and Short Reviews, so I'm really geeked to be there. Plus I even compare (soda) pop to sex. That should be worth the price of admission ;-) If you're a regular visitor here, please pop over to the interview on Tuesday, August 16. Here's a handy dandy link and everything:

I'm also going to be at their author chat on Wednesday, so if you have questions or anything for me, please stop by! I'll also be announcing upcoming releases there!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sometimes It Pours

I've been trying to avoid doing a post like this for...pretty much forever. As open as I am online, there are some things that I just don't like to talk about. It isn't that I'm trying to hide them, they just aren't fun subjects so I don't bring them up.

This time, I don't feel like I really have a choice because it's affecting too much of my life.

For those of you who don't know, I suffer from depression. Most of the time, I can keep it under control and when it gets bad, it only gets bad for a few days before I pull out of it. At worst, I'll disappear from Twitter and Facebook for a bit, but usually I'm of the whole "fake it 'til you make it" school of thought and put on my happy face and plow through.

This time it hasn't been a few days though, it's been a few months.

The worst part is, objectively, it's been a really great few months: lots of travel (which I love), won the first writing contest I've entered in ages, sold a novella, got to hang with some of my best friends, kids are good, husband's good. Basically, life is good.

That doesn't matter to depression though.

Happy moments, no matter how big, have been fleeting at best, and everything in my life feels nothing short of overwhelming. I know some people have noticed that beyond the travel issue, I've been rather scarce on twitter. On my better days, I'm there a little bit, but for the most part it's one more thing that feels like too much.

So, as much as it pains me to do it, I'm going to pull back on some things. Any blog posts and whatnot that I've committed to, I'll still get done, but posts here (and at my other blog) will likely be very brief. I'm going to try to get some reviews in for Wicked Lil Pixie still, but until I get a handle on my life again, I don't know how often they'll show up. For now, I need to focus as much as I can on the writing part of my job (because 1-it's my job and 2-it actually helps the depression sometimes) and my family.

I'm not going to to disappear entirely or anything, I just need to get control of things again.

I hope you'll all bear with me. <3

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seeing Red...and Blue...and Green...

While I was away at the beach, edits came in on a recent story. It's a short, so I figured it was no big deal and I'd be able to tackle them pretty quickly. Now, to give you some perspective, when I'm really on, I can edit a short in a day or two. Then I opened the file.

Holy highlights, Batman!

There was...a lot. And I knew without a doubt I needed more than a couple days of sneaking away from family time to get it done. Most editors who have worked with me (and talked to me while I was editing) know that I can tackle big issues pretty handily. Editor points out a problem, I slap my hand against my forehead, wonder how I could have been so stupid as to not see the problem, and I get to work on fixing it. It's the little things that give me fits. (I'm sure Gina remembers well when I was working on edits in Italy and had one sentence that I couldn't get right. She told me to skip it. I refused, and the answer came to me while trying to sleep on the flight home.) And almost everything I needed to fix in this story was a little thing.

My intense love for edits (yes, I'm weird) quickly turned into a lot of loud groaning about not wanting to do it. You see, I had this illusion that the more stories I had published, the easier edits would get because I'd have been learning to fix all those stupid things I did wrong. The fact is I appear to replace one stupid thing with something new. My "that" problem? Tackled. Gone. Over. (Believe me, it took a long time.) Now I have things that can't be solved with a simple "delete".

But you know what? I'm seeing the tail end of this round of edits now--I'll finish them today--and as much as I hate to say it, I think it was a good experience for me. First, it made me realize there will always be something in need of fixing. That's a really freeing thought. I'm going to screw up, so I just need to worry about writing. Second, I found that even some of the little things need to be fought for. A suggested change of wording to something that your character would never use., a turn of phrase that your betas all loved, intentional use of passive structure--all of those things can be important. The point of edits is to figure out when they're most important, because that's when you dig your heels in (which is hard to do when you haven't made a bunch of other suggested changes--makes you seem like a diva :P).

Now that I've struggled through all the itty-bitty detailed changes, I can say I still love doing edits. I'm hoping when I do my read-through before hitting send later today, I'll be able to smile and say the changes made the story stronger. Because that's the point of all the moaning, groaning, hand-wringing, cursing, and throwing of things--to make it better.

In the meantime, I'll repaint the target on my office wall for the next round of throwing edits.