The First Excerpt of HUNTED…

on December 31, 2011

Hi all!  On the last day of 2011, I thought I’d post the first excerpt of Hunted.  Here it is:

The warrior in Conn roared to life, overtaking any rational thought.  He shot his arm up to grab her wrist and force the blade from his throat.  “Let go of the knife, Moira.”  Soft skin covered toned muscle under his hand.  He could tighten his hold and make her drop the weapon, but that’s not how this was going down.

“No.”  She took advantage of his movement and dug her heel into his thigh, clapping his ear with her free hand.

Pain exploded in his skull.  His temper howled.  Clutching his fingers into her hair, he jerked her head back.  The white column of her throat stretched.  She yelped in protest.  He lowered his head, his fangs elongating completely.  His lips enclosed her skin.

He struck.

Her entire body went rigid.  The knife clattered to the floor. 

He drank.  Honey and spice exploded across his taste buds followed by a punch of raw power.  His mind swirled.  Arousal, lust, fire whipped through him until the need to get inside her pushed all other thoughts away.  Quick swipes of his tongue sealed the wound and then his mouth was on hers, delving deep. 

She moaned low in her throat, pulling him toward her.  He released her arm, encircling her waist and tugging her forward.  Better.  Now he wanted her naked.  Heat cascaded from the woman.  His tongue tangled with hers, the little whimpers gasping from her boiling his lust even higher.

The boom of a gun being fired jerked him away.  He jumped around, using his body as a shield.  Kell stood in the entryway, calmly placing a Beretta in his waist.  Plaster dropped from the ceiling marred by a large bullet hole. 

Conn snarled.

Kell held both hands out.  At six and a half feet with midnight dark eyes and hair, the witch took a placating stance that had to be unfamiliar.  He wiped plaster off his shoulder.  “I know it’s deadly to mess with a vamp and his mate, but we really have to go.” 

The whirr of a helicopter startled Conn.  He hadn’t heard it arrive.  Not good.  “Where?”

“We’ve been summoned by the Council,” Kell said.  “Now.”

Moira leapt off the counter to land next to Conn.  “We’re already late.”

He grabbed her arm.  “I’m going with you or you don’t go.”  He needed answers.  If the stubborn witches in the room wouldn’t provide them, he’d go to the top.

“While he can’t see the Council,” Kell dropped his gaze to his cousin, “we could use his help.  At least until Daire and Adam return.”

Conn stilled.  “Daire and Adam?”  Kell and his two brothers served as the chief enforcers for the Nine.  Something huge must be going down if they all had been summoned at once.  Suspicion tightened his shoulders.  “Why are you with Moira, Kell?”  Conn’s voice dropped to an octave that should’ve warned his friend.  He’d assumed Kell was with Moira to await him, performing his duty as liaison and enforcer.  Perhaps Kell provided protection for Moira.  If his mate needed protection, someone should’ve called him.

Kell cut his gaze to Moira.  “I believe that’s a conversation between you and the Seventh, Kayrs.”

“Don’t call me that.”  Moira stiffened.  “You’ve no right to be pissed, Kell.”

Kell stepped forward, his eyes blazing.  “No right to be pissed?  Are you kidding?”  He swept his hand toward Conn.  “There’s a good chance I’m going to end up in a fist fight with one of my best friends because you’ve refused to get your life in order.  And now it might be too late to fix our world.”

One step had Conn in front of Moira.  “Don’t yell at her.”  A brawl was guaranteed at this point.  Though the first punch came from the brat behind him.  Two fisted and right to his kidneys.

“That’s it.”  Conn swirled around and ducked, tossing his witch over his shoulder.  She bellowed in surprise.  He pivoted, heading for the exit.  “Since I’m under strict orders from my king not to piss off the council, we’ll go meet with them now.  You can explain what the hell’s going on during the flight.”  He strode through the door and into the sun, not caring whether or not Kell followed.  Moira struggled, smashing her hands into his back.  “Then, mate, we’re going home.” 

Rage burned in his gut.  Moira’s family had power and knew how to wield it.  The second he forced her from Ireland, they’d declare war.

So be it.

See the cover for TEMPTED!

on August 26, 2011

Excellent news, my friends.  The magnificent Megan just sent me the proposed cover for TEMPTED.  Isn’t it hot, hot, hot?!?  Tempted is an e-novella that will be released on March 27, 2012.  It’s about Max (Janie’s bodyguard) and a woman named Sarah Pringle.  Sarah just escaped from a mental institution.  You can buy Tempted on your kindle, nook, e-reader, computer, ipad…

Here’s a quick excerpt:

“Miss Pringle?  I’m coming in.”  The door opened on a gust of wind, and Max stepped inside.

“Wow.”  She could only gape.  Wet brown hair, thick and wavy, plastered to his head.  A soaked black t-shirt and jeans revealed rock hard muscle.  No injuries from the fight?  Perfectly healthy.  Not even winded.  He was the largest man she’d ever seen.  His face was rugged…strong.  Not handsome…but, well, masculine.  Yeah.  That was the term.  Deep, dark, and shielded brown eyes took her measure. 
A shiver slid down her spine—some fear—some intrigue.  “How did you find me?”

“You left a trail a first week Boy Scout could follow.  I saw you heading for the tower, so I just kept pace until you got here.”  He eyed her sopping clothing, dark gaze wandering up to her face.  “Your lips are blue.”  Three steps had him at the cabinets, yanking them open to grab a sealed bag.  Those large hands ripped open the bag and yanked out two wool blankets.  “Take your clothes off.”

“No.”  It came out on a croak.  How insulting.  He’d been tracking her, easily keeping her in sight.  So much for getting to freedom.  “We need to run.  If you’re here…they’re coming.”

He wiped his forehead with his arm.  “No, they’re not.”

Her mind spun.  If they weren’t coming—they were dead.  “You killed four of
them?”  She backed away, knees hitting the cot.  Her teeth chattered and she
clenched her lips together.  How had he survived?  “What the hell are you?” 

“A damn good fighter.”  One broad hand ripped his wet shirt over his head to hang on a nail. “We’ll wait the storm out—but you need to warm up.”

A good enough fighter to kill four deadly monsters?  That good of a fighter didn’t exist.  Neither did absolutely perfect, harder than granite, sculpted male chests.  Oh she
wished he’d put his shirt back on.  The breath heated in her lungs.  “No.”

“No to what?” 

No to you beating the Kurjans.  No to there being Kurjans.   No to taking off clothes.  No to it all.”  Hysteria had her vision blurring.

“Stay calm, sweetheart.”  He moved toward her, slow and steady.  Like an animal stalking
prey.  Except he looked more like a mountain than an animal.  Not one of those rolling hills from home…but a real mountain.  Jagged and wild—yet solid with the earth.  Unmovable.

Instinct had her raising her fists, preparing to fight.

He stopped cold.  Those eyes warmed and he cocked his head to the side.  “Honey, take your thumbs out of your closed fists.”

The Launching of FATED

on February 24, 2011

The launching party at the Gourmet Way was wonderful and I so appreciate everyone who came by and bought a book!  I thought I’d write a quick run-down about FATED’s release day…in outline form since I’m trying to get organized.

  • Got up, sent kids off to school and jumped on the internet.  Friends already tweeting about my release day on Twitter—friends rock.
  • Return ‘happy release day’ emails to both Cynthia Eden and Jillian Chantal.  Very happy to be sharing a release day with these two.
  • Run down to Hastings.  Find book.  Try not to cry.  Take several pictures, ignoring the odd looks from other people.  One elderly lady finally asked what I was doing.  Said… “That’s my book.”
  • Drove to Borders, hoping but not expecting to find book on shelf.  Not there.  (Borders filed for bankruptcy last week…lots of books not there.)
  • Drive away, get phone call from sister who just had surgery on her lower leg…sister needs a latte.
  • Take sister a latte.  Sit and listen as she calls the Spokane Valley Barnes and Noble, using a high voice with slight accent asking about my book.  Don’t know why sister is using the accent, but it’s hilarious.  Then high-five sister when she finds out that not only is FATED there, it’s on the front table.  BTW, sister’s name is Debbie.
  • Swing by Gourmet Way.  Everything is in order and I’m just in the way.  Do happy hop and take off.
  • Grab a sandwich from a deli—carbs don’t count on release day.
  • Go home, get on internet.  Lots of best wishes.  Brandie calls, has a surprise, lasts about thirty seconds before she reveals she bought some really cool cookies with FATED on them.  Am impressed Brans lasted half a minute.  Am also thankful Brandie has arranged launching party.  Brandie rocks.
  • Look outside; realize it’s starting to snow.  Think…crap.  Roads will be bad and nobody will come to launching.
  • Get text from critique partner Sayde Grace that says…”relax.”  Am happy crit partner knows me so well.
  • Go and get ready.  Hate outfit I thought I’d wear.  Try on sixteen other outfits.  Finally put the first one back on.  Husband comes home, says ‘great outfit…but you have lipstick on your teeth’.
  • Wipe off teeth.  Head to Gourmet Way.  Nearly sigh at the pretty flowers from family and nuns.  Notice Deb’s eyes dilated from the pain meds from her surgery…prop her next to table.  Notice she is drinking white wine too…figure she’ll be fine.
  • My folks show up with big smiles. My folks are the best.  Husband and kids arrive…son wants to know when the paparazzi are showing up.
  • Friend Bonnie Paulson shows up with a cool mat for people to sign.  Bonnie rocks.
  • Sister Stephanie shows up with camera…she’s ready to roll.
  • The doors open.  Spend three solid hours signing book.  Lots of family show up from the Silver Valley and all around.  The Hintz girls bring goodies and Aunt Lisa brings gorgeous flowers.  Lots of friends from town, as well as people I’ve never met walk through the door.  My entire town rocks.

 So, that’s my debut launching day in a nutshell.  It was a truly wonderful day and I’m so grateful for everyone who shared it with me-both online and in real time.

So yeah, I like Mac N Cheese…

on February 17, 2011

Hi all!  I’m over at Bonnie Paulson’s blog today admitting everything.  AND giving away a copy of FATED.  I have to admit, my copies are going fast, so only a few giveaways left.  Drop by and leave a comment!  🙂

Interview with the Magnificent Megan Records

on February 16, 2011

Hi all!  I’ve been interviewing industry professionals the last month or so during the countdown for FATED to be released.  As you know, the release date is next Tuesday, Feb. 22nd!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my editor at Kensington is Megan Records.  You also know that her authors fondly refer to her as ‘magnificent.’  Yes, the alliteration works well with her first name.  But it’s also true.  She’s fantastic to work with and even took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us today.

1)      I was hoping you’d share your statistics for 2010.  How many queries did you receive?  Out of those, how many partials and fulls did you request?  How many new authors did you sign?  How many of your current authors did you re-sign?

I don’t keep stats on queries, but my guess is that I request about 50% of the time. I got roughly 300 submissions, out of those I signed 5 new authors. I re-contracted 3 authors.

2)      What makes for an excellent work day for Megan Records?

I have a ratings system. I rate the day’s good happenings from 1-3, and bad things from -1 to -3. Any day that totals 3 or over is an excellent day. Examples of excellent things: a new quote or the promise of a read from someone really big, extra special promo news, making “the call,” reading an awesome new manuscript from one of my authors, etc.

3)      You work with a myriad of different authors.  Do you find your style adapts to each one?  Or is your process pretty much the same with each author?

I have the same general process, and then adapt according to the needs of each author. For example, some authors prefer specific edits, whereas with some, I can say, “This part with the killer? Not buying it,” and they can go in and fix it. In order to maximize the talents of each author, I have to be willing to adapt.

4)       Are you looking for any type of book in particular right now? 

I am always looking for AWESOME. That is all.

5)      How far into a book do you usually know it’s a keeper?

Honestly, I don’t usually know until the end. I can like a book just fine, and read the whole thing, but be able to put it down and forget it. My “keepers” are ones that I think about the next day, and a week later, and then I try to convince other people to read. It’s a necessary distinction…I currently have 600 keepers at home, and that’s not including my own authors’ books (which are all keepers!).

6)      If you weren’t an editor, what career path would you choose?

You mean I should have had a back-up plan?!? I think I’d probably be a computer programmer.  I do enjoy puzzles and have always been good at technical things. 

7)      I notice most of your authors are on twitter, facebook and have their own blogs.  Do you check in with these sites once in a while?

Yes, I follow and friend my authors usually, but I only check out blogs once in a while. Back when I was a baby editor, I was much more attentive, but then I kept acquiring authors and now it’s too overwhelming. I would get NO work done!

8)      Is there any advice you have for new writers?

RESEARCH. And I’m not talking about researching facts for the actual manuscript (which is also necessary). I’m talking about researching publishers, editors, agents, query letters, the publishing process, etc. With all the information available on the internet today, there is absolutely no excuse for sending me a query addressed to “Dear Editor” about a cozy mystery (which I have zero interest in).

Slight tangent: If you are sending me a query about a cozy mystery because you have queried every editor you can find who represents cozies, they have turned you down, and you are now thinking, “Well, it never hurts to ask!”, don’t. It does not come off as daring, it comes off as, “Cannot follow directions,” which, in case you weren’t sure, is bad. Most likely there is something not right with your query, your manuscript, or both. Revise.

Okay, back to main point. Before you even THINK about sending that query, you should be researching which publishers are likely to publish this sort of book, which editors seem to like books similar to yours, etc. If you can’t be bothered to Google my interests, I assume you can’t be bothered to make edits, promote your book, or anything else I would ask of my authors.

Let me put it this way: I am much more likely to forgive an earnest, well-researched query that is a bit unprofessional (e.g. names all the author’s children, their ages, and their schools) than a query addressed to Mr. Records.

Kensington does take unagented submissions.  There’s more information on their website under submission guidelines.   So, thanks everyone for dropping by my blog today.  I hope you’re enjoying the interviews this February!