Friday, February 10, 2017

Good News Comes in Threes, But Beware Stormy Seas

You know what day it is! No, not hump day. Don't start that junk. I don't want to hear it. It's the five year anniversary release day of THE TREASURE HUNTER'S LADY! What are we doing to celebrate? Um...not much. Go get a copy free on Kindle Unlimited. After you download that, download the other two too. You won't be sorry.

If you go back five years and read all the posts leading up to and after the release, I was a nervous wreck. It seems like a hundred years ago that it happened. In honor of five years of publishing, all The Guardian Chronicle books got new covers. Good times.

Speaking of new covers...

I imagine the publishing world is abuzz with the not-so-new news of Samhain's latest closure. I got the email yesterday afternoon. I won't lie about it. I'd requested my rights back for The Heckmasters a few months after the first closure announcement, then after Cris decided to stay open. I was actually waiting to hear if I was going to get them. It's a terrible situation for a good publisher. I was honored and thrilled when I signed all three contracts for The Heckmaster books, but I have to admit, I will be relieved to have my demon cowboy trilogy back in my loving arms. So, they're getting some updates and new covers as well. Watch out for that. They are fantastic. I'll let y'all know when the Heckmasters will be back!

And...the other day, after I'd had my fill of Vikings for the night, I opened a document that hadn't been open in two years. It's a thing with me. Wait almost two years to think about previously started projects. It was a historical romance that I began working on shortly after the last book I published with Kensington. I worked my way through 43,000 words, then quit because I wasn't sure it was making any sense. I couldn't figure out how to dig the hero out of the ditch he'd fallen into. So I abandoned it in a similar fashion that I left The Convict and the Cattleman out in the cold. I began reading through it. The first chapter was if-y, but the second chapter was really good. In fact, on the whole it was not the worst thing I've ever written. When I finished reading through it, I thought, bet I could finish that in 10-15k. I started a cowboy novella in addition to Erik Agmar, the Viking, whose story I started recently. I shoved them both aside and plowed through 11,000 words to write the end of this historical romance this week. I wrote yesterday until I thought I would cripple my left hand, because it is literally perfect for a western historical box set I want to put out this year. Ching! Done! Go, me.

But with all the good news comes some bad. I also found out this week that Amazon pulled the Treasured Love box set. Something about blah, blah, blah, they're tetchy about box sets that authors don't have contracts for and pirated books and whatnot. And sadly, the set was doing more sinking than floating in the vast sea of books. I really don't know why. Pirates are awesome!

I did find some great images that will make a perfect cover for Sin & the Sea, but I intended to add more to the story. It's only 23,000 words. I'd like to bump it up quite a bit. Instead of focusing on that, I wrote the end of that historical this week and added words to the Viking novella. I thought I would have more time before Sin & the Sea sailed back to me. Now with that and the Heckmasters, I'm going to be busier than ever.

Say, did you pre-order Lawless yet? While you're over there getting your copy of The Treasure Hunter's Lady free on KU, pre-order Lawless too. It's also free on KU and will be delivered in no time!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lawless Cover Reveal

Title: Lawless
Genre: Western paranormal romance
Length: 64,000 words
Publisher: Demoiselle Books
Publication date: March 7, 2017

His redemption lies beyond death. Hers lies in changing his heart.
A moment of pity costs outlaw Clayton Wilder his life when he steps in front of a bullet meant for a young boy. While his bank-robbing posse escapes, he earns a trip to the gallows. Nothing less than he deserves, but the afterlife isn't what he expected. Instead of a one-way ticket to Hell, Wilder's given the chance to redeem his soul in the Purgatory-like town of Windfall. And instead of a guardian angel, he's saddled with a being who's been dealing with souls so long, she's forgotten what living is.

After ninety-nine years as a Second Judge of Men, Joanna Casimir hopes her last assignment is an easy one. Showing her charges the error of their ways has given many a second chance at Heaven, but Wilder continually ignores her good intentions. The revenge he took on the men who killed his family left unthinkable darkness shrouding him. Even the startling revelation that he may be more than an average soul doesn't give him reason to change. When Windfall is attacked by Revenants, twisted spirits of the dead, Joanna and Wilder flee the afterlife. As humans returned to earth, Joanna is confronted by the difficulty of remaining alive in harsh circumstances with an outlaw for a companion.

Joanna's vulnerability and dedication to her belief that the afterlife can be reclaimed force Wilder to take her under his protection. With Revenants tracking them, his old gang members haunting his hideout, and a woman determined to prove there's still some goodness inside him, he'll never find peace until he promises to join the good guys and confronts the past that forced him onto the wrong side of the law.

Integrating the newcomers often led to headaches. The roughshod outlaw gaping at his hands didn’t inspire much hope for an easy day. Like it or not, when Grand Judge Ward declared the sentence, it was up to Joanna to follow through.
She squared her shoulders. “I am Joanna Casimir. Welcome to Windfall. You’re lucky, you know. Not all the men who stand in this room come out with a sentence as light as yours. It will take some time for you to adjust to our ways, but you will be better off if you pay attention now. I expect you have several questions. This is the time to get them out of the way.”
Wilder met her gaze. “What the hell is happening?”
His leaf green eyes rounded with shock. Dark auburn hair a shade too long curled below his ears. A scruff of week-old beard colored his square jaw. Years in the sun left his skin tanned and his eyebrows bleached lighter than the rest of his hair. He still wore the clothes he’d died in. They were filthy from road wear. The worst was his scent—a collective of fear and tension.
Wilder wasn’t the most promising specimen the grand judge had thrown her way. Nevertheless, it was her duty to straighten him out. She didn’t fail. Only once, and that was early in her career. Since then, she’d kept a tighter noose on her souls.
“What do you think is happening, Mr. Wilder?”
He cast a look around the empty room. “This is a dream.”
Decades in this job and still the first thing the newly acquired blurted out was how they must be hallucinating. Joanna folded her hands together. “I’m afraid it isn’t. Do you recall your last moments on earth?”
“The hanging.” He touched his neck. “I died.”
Not a single mark from the noose showed on his skin, but that didn’t mean his trials and suffering were over. In a way, they’d begun all over again.
“Right you are. Depending on how well you behave, this place might be your home for years, though time moves a bit differently here. Your attitude and willingness to display proper behavior and repentance will determine how soon you move on.”
“Move on?” Wilder blinked. “I didn’t go straight to Hell.”
“No, but that’s still a possibility. As Grand Judge Ward explained, when you saved Joshua Peyton, you earned a chance at redemption. One chance, Mr. Wilder. I suggest you don’t squander it.” Based on his history his odds of success weren’t high, but she had to give him the benefit of the doubt.
“I’m dead,” he repeated. “This is...”
“A way station in the afterlife. You no longer have a body. The figure you’ve assumed is in the shape of your former vessel, however, you have no substance.”
Wilder flickered. His eyes sparkled with the radiance of a soul even though his skin turned translucent. Despite everything, his soul, though tarnished with the sins of his past, clung to the earth and the life he’d known.
He pressed his hand over his nose and mouth.
She met his gaze. “Although you may think you do, you don’t breathe. Your heart doesn’t beat. It’s just your soul’s way of adapting to the afterlife. You’ll never get hungry or tired or sick—barring certain circumstances. The concerns of human bodies aren’t anything to take into consideration here. Forget all that. There are ways of wearing down a soul, but we won’t worry about them now. What we must do in the time Grand Judge Ward allowed is purify your soul.”
“The woman who called me murderer.” His Adam’s apple jumped. “She was the kid’s mother?”
Joanna nodded. “Molly Peyton. She was merely passing through on her way to the other side. There’s no reason for her to stay here. She must be unhappy with the sentence, but it’s no concern of hers now.”
“Why not just send me to Hell? I deserve it. I’ve done bad things, lady. Killed, stolen, hurt people.” The shock vanished from his expression, replaced by the nastiness he’d displayed the moment he’d strolled into the courtroom. “What makes you so sure I won’t do it all again?”

Pre-order now!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Looking Back & Ahead

I'm sitting here right now thinking about how five years ago I was getting ready to release The Treasure Hunter's Lady. February 10th marks the anniversary of the release date. And of a journey that branched wildly out into the publishing world.

Where I'm at now isn't so different as it was then. Way back as a naive writer who only had two/three books done or nearly done, I wasn't writing for a house. Today, I'm not writing for houses. Then, I wanted to. Funny how things change.

I wanted new covers to the anniversary and veered way off from the original "romance-y" looking covers because they're strongly romance, yes, but I've learned some things on this wildly careening journey about appealing to broader masses.

I've learned a ton, actually. Enough to go back and correct what I didn't know would drag down the writing then. Some of the things I learned were hard lessons that involved a lot of pain. And complaining. And I'm still kind of mad about some of those things, even though I know it was for the best. Five years ago me would probably be impressed with the changes in voice and skill.

Something five years ago me and now me have in common is that we're both still nervous wrecks about putting a book out. Lawless will be my next release and I'm anxious about it. I want to say it's better than The Guardian Chronicles, better than The Heckmasters, but I'm just the author. What do I know? Print copies are coming to VisionCon. Pre-order for the Kindle book is coming soon. Keep an eye out.

And now me is also procrastinating because she doesn't want to work on a Viking book in the heroine's POV. Some things never change.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Best Laid Plans

My intentions to begin blogging again kind of fell by the wayside. Naturally, because this is me we're talking about. I have a PhD in procrastination. But, here I am, trying again.

VisionCon is coming up. It begins February 24 and goes to the 26th. I. Am. So. Excited. I have boxes of The Guardian Chronicles ready to go. Do I have Lawless yet? Erm...well, I was going through the MS again the other day after I got the files reviewed and I found some stuff that needed to be changed. This is about the fourth time I've uploaded that file. I think I'm finally finished now. I pray to be finished because this is the most I've messed with a MS in I don't know how long. I've got to get my rear in gear because the cover reveal is February 8th. Be there.

I'm semi-hard at work on a third Viking novel. Erik Agmar has been whispering in my ear for some time that he would like the chance to be the hero. So...I basically started writing his book and I yanked the rug out from under him. I'm tearing him down right from the start so I can build him into something better. No breaks for Erik.

I'm also less semi-hard at work on a cowboy novella for a set coming out in the summer. I have about 11,000 words down. My crit partner says it's going good. I'm enjoying writing it, so yay. Plus I've got a Victorian romance to plot for a late summer release. I have plans. It's nice.

I also have a week of vacation time coming up that I was absolutely dying for. Yeah, right at the end of winter. I don't know how I'll drag myself back to work after lazing about for so long. I've taken to writing late at night (which was my thing back when I was a teenager on summer breaks). I spent a lot of late nights on The Convict and the Cattleman too, but these days I find myself yawning at 11 pm unless I know I don't have work the next day. Then my stamina stays up, which is how I got started writing Erik's book. Well, that and pirates. I could not get enough Black Sails, and all the violence and angry pirates made me think about Vikings, so here I am again. Seems to be a trend, writing these Vikings during the winter months.

I'll (try to) keep you updated on cowboys and Vikings. On covers and excerpts and all the good stuff. Because you want it, don't you? Yeah. You do.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What's Up, Buttercup?

The last couple of years, blogging hasn't really been my thing. Of course, the last couple of years has been chock full of doubt, worry, and procrastination in the name of both those things. I hope to rectify that this year.

I could tell stories that would make any author cringe. Or maybe I'm just overly sensitive to what happened that made my writing career look bleak. Doesn't matter. We've all got a story about an experience that knocked us to the ground. And if we're lucky, we rose from it. This year I'm hoping to wipe the tarnish off what happened and make the future look brighter.

It starts with getting Lawless published. We've done the formatting. I'm waiting on the print proof to arrive. Should be next week. I'm gearing up for Visioncon in February. I'd love to do more comic cons because I had a blast with them last year. I'll be debuting the print version of Lawless at Visioncon. It'll be available for pre-order on Amazon as well.

I've got a couple of box sets lined up for this year as well. Another cowboy set, a Victorian, and A Duke Worth His Salt will be re-released in a set. I'll give the heads-up on those. Plus, I've been sitting on two historical romance novels for a while. Time to push them out into the world too.

It's going to be fantastic. Better than ever. I have a lot of hopes for this year.