Friday, October 20, 2017

Preparing for NaNoWriMo, or How to Write Stupid Fast

According to the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) web site, I've participated every year since 1999. I have yet to "win" -- defined as completing a 50,000-word story within the confines of a single November. So, disclaimer up front here: I may not be the best person to give advice for writing fast.

I did, however, write two books in 8 months last year. So even though only 38,781 of the words (of the second of those books) happened in November, I did learn a few things that might be helpful for folks looking to challenge themselves with a NaNo attempt this year.


1,667 (words a day) is an evil number


The NaNo site advises participants to write 1,667, rounded up, words a day. Doing so slides you into home base with 50k on November 30th. And of course you hear all the time about how writing some-arbitrary-number-of-words every day will somehow magically create a book. I do believe that process works for some folks. I believe that it anti-works for others.

I'm an anti.

I've tried to complete daily word count targets and then put the writing aside and go do, like, laundry or something, flush with the feeling that I've completed my allotted work for the day. Only, that has never worked for me. Not even once.

See, I bake stories. In my brain. So, technically, I can be laundering and writing at the same time. I know: bendy! But really it works like this: I'm deep-diving into story world whilst folding dryer-warm knickers, blanking everything real-world out and allowing the repetitive task of my hands to keep my blood flowing into the story-baking brain. So, I go about two days with zero words, then one with 5,000 words. Average it out, and you still get the story. It sounds mystical, but it totally works.

So even if you have a zero-word day, don't beat yourself up. Just bake your brain.

Social media, even the awesome NaNo support network: also evil


One of the things I love about NaNo is the support mechanism. I mean, dozens of friends targeting the same goal! Together! What could be awesomer! Except, um, no. While I'm happy to cheer folks on once a day during November, I personally need to unplug the rest of the time.

Yes, even Twitter. Even Facebook. Having a really vintage laptop that won't run a browser window and a Word window at the same time with anything like speed has kept me disciplined in the past, but I wouldn't recommend that strategy for, really, anyone. I hear good things about this app called Freedom,which can help minimize distractions. I might need to try it out, as my amazing partner got me a newer, faster, shinier computer as a present and it is the best pressie ever, way better than diamonds.

Focusing mechanisms that actually do help


For those seeking atonement for the social media evils, I offer my personal phone-app holy trinity of wordmaking: Brain Wave, Pomodoro, and Habitica.


  1. Be Focused Pro is a phone app that uses the Pomodoro technique of brain-training sprints. Basically, it's a timer. You write for, say, 25 minutes without stopping. You don't scroll up to edit or do anything remotely un-writey. When the timer goes off, then you can breathe. Some of these pomodoro-method timers even let you collect cute little tomatoes as rewards for finishing your sprints. I've used this app/method to get into a groove, but frankly, once I get grooving, I don't need the timer anymore.
  2. What I do need is Brain Wave. Once upon a time, I made up music playlists for each story and looped those to build the mood while I was writing. That still works, but what works better and faster is Brain Wave, another phone app. This one lays relaxing nature sounds like rain storms or tropical jungle birdsong over a low pulse intended to affect brain theta waves. I use the Medium Rain and Euphoria settings for writing and the Positive Mood Boost for editing. If I were stranded on a deserted island with a broken phone that would run only one app, this would be the one.
  3. I just started using Habitica, a list-making app, but what I really like is the gentle reinforcement for doing self-care things that, when I'm power-writing, I do sort of need reminders for. Like, um, eating. Flossing. Drinking water. Standing up. I know these all seem like automatic tasks, but when I'm really in a must-make-all-the-words-RIGHT-NOW fugue, they aren't a given. Habitica lets you customize an avatar and gives you points for checking off to-do items (er, the eating and such), and you can use those points to "purchase" backgrounds and fun hair colors and weapons and all sorts of cute things for your avatar.


But the one main thing to do...


...is kindness. To yourself. Writing stories is grand, but we're talking November here. In the U.S., that means football and family and thankfulness and PIE. So, indulge where you need to in order to feel human, okay? The story is going to happen--or not--no matter what the calendar says.

Take time to take care of you. And to eat the pie.

Oh! And if you want to buddy up with me on NaNo, this is me. I'll buddy you back.

Also, the first of those two books I wrote last year comes out November 7th. It's called Perfect Gravity, and writing it was one of the great sleep-deprived thrills of my life.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hooray! Horror Movies by Abbie Roads



When I was little, I had horrible nightmares. I would wake up in my bed so petrified I couldn't move and worse of all I couldn't even scream.

The diagnosis: Night terrors.
The recommendation: Nothing scary. No scary movies. No scary TV shows. My parents took this to heart and I didn't watch anything scary until my teen years.

Which means...
I missed out on all the really good horror movies of the times!
I saw none of them.
No Jason.
No Freddy.
No Micheal Myers.

Until last year, when I decided that each Halloween I would pick a classic horror movie series and watch it.

2016 was the Halloween Movies.

Maybe it's their age--or my age--but they didn't frighten me. And I finally got to see what all the fuss was about!


This year my plan is to watch the Friday the 13th movies.

I watched the first one on Sunday. Kevin Bacon was in it. Who knew?

For Halloween 2018 I'm going to watch the Nightmare on Elm Street movies!

What's your favorite scary movie?



*Be sure to grab these books before the sale ends*



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Top Five Ways I Drive My Editor to Drink

Top Five Ways I Drive My Editor to Drink:

5. Describe the crime-scene stuff in my books with waaay too much detail, because I am a huge forensics nerd. What I find “fascinating,” normal people find “really gross.”

4. Write an entire chapter merely to set up a joke (it was a funny joke, though. Maybe “forward momentum” and “plot” should to take a back seat and let humor drive for a while).

3. Completely and utterly fail in my attempt to write short(er). Even after cutting two complete chapters from In Safe Hands (Book 4 of my Search and Rescue series), I added so much elsewhere that the manuscript was even longer than it’d been before edits. I just can’t stop adding words. It’s a sickness.

2. Lament my inability to correctly use the subjunctive mood for an entire (long) email, because, in addition to being a huge forensics nerd, I am also a huge grammar nerd.

1. Dump my insecurities on her head. “Do you like my book? Did the copyeditor like my book? Did your mom like my book? Will readers like my book? Do you think it’s good? Really? Honestly? Tell me again what you like about it.” Normally, I’m a pretty relaxed, easygoing person, but putting my books out into the world seems to push my “needy and insecure” button. Being published has been an amazing experience—and a very, very scary one. My editor has been forced to fill the role of hand-holder and therapist along with her many other duties. I’m sure I’ll calm down eventually. Maybe.


Until then, all I can do is keep my wonderful, long-suffering editor supplied with liquor.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kim Redford’s New Release: A VERY COWBOY CHRISTMAS


I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of my new Christmas romance that says a lot about what’s between the delectable covers. Read on for an excerpt from A Very Cowboy Christmas.

Sydney Steele needs to wrangle cowboy firefighters to model for her charity Christmas calendar, and Dune Barrett—who she has in mind for Mr. December—is just the man for the job.

When Sydney drove past the turnoff for Cougar Ranch, she thought about Dune living there in his cowboy cabin. Suddenly she wanted to see his place, be there with him, try out his bed. Struck by those thoughts, she realized that all her determination to keep him in the back of her mind had just gone out the window. And she didn’t even care. She just needed to figure out a way to finagle an invitation to his home.

She turned off Wildcat Road and drove under the Steele Trap Ranch sign, feeling a little burst of happi­ness. Nothing was quite as enjoyable as being on acre­age that had been in her family for generations, where there was a sense of love and continuity and heritage.

She stopped next to the farm­house. She cut Celeste’s engine and patted the leather seat next to her. She took a deep breath of the cool air scented with dry prairie grass and evergreen trees. Everything appeared to be just the same as when she’d left it early that morning. A lot had happened since that time—not the least of which was a cowboy named Dune.

She retrieved Kent’s camera and put it in her hand­bag. She quickly got out of Celeste and walked up to the house. She stepped onto the porch and was surprised to see a white poinsettia in a red ceramic pot with a large green bow sitting beside the front door. It definitely hadn’t been there when she’d left home that morning.

She opened the front door, set her purse on the entry table, and went back outside. She checked the beauti­ful plant for a note. She couldn’t imagine who’d sent it to her. She found a small gift card, slipped it out of its envelope, and caught her breath in surprise as she read aloud the message.

“Merry Christmas to the cowgirl of my dreams. xoxo, Dune.”

She clasped the card to her chest with both hands as tears filled her eyes at his touching gesture. He hadn’t forgotten her that morning as she’d worried at the photo shoot. He’d thought of her first thing, or he couldn’t have gotten the plant delivered that day. And not only had he thought of her, but he’d wanted her to know it.

She picked up the poinsettia and walked into her home. She carried the plant to her office and set it on her desk. As she ran fingertips across the delicate leaves, she realized that this plant alone could help get her through the daunting tasks ahead, and yet the biggest help of all would be Dune himself—the cowboy of her dreams.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

There's nothing like a firefighting cowboy to keep you toasty warm this Christmas...
Christmas is coming up, and single mom Sydney Steele is determined to make this a holiday to remember for Wildcat Bluff County. She still has to get those pesky, reluctant—and deliciously attractive—firefighting cowboys to pose for her charity calendar. They claim they're too busy pursuing an unknown arsonist to take a break.

Dune Barrett has been flirting with Sydney for months, so he jumps at the chance to give her a hand. And when he agrees to pose as Mr. December, she couldn't be happier. But to really win her over, Dune will have to convince eleven other guys from his crew to exploit their good looks for charity...a task much easier said than done.

Smokin' Hot Cowboys:
A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas (Book 1)
Blazing Hot Cowboy (Book 2)
A Very Cowboy Christmas (Book 3)

What People Are Saying About A Very Cowboy Christmas:

“Delivers fiery passion with a country-western kick…this heartwarming tale perfectly balances sweet and sensual with just a hint of retro chic.”—Publishers Weekly

“Yee-haw! Redford is back with another smokin’-hot tale . . . It is funny, flirtatious and cute . . . a true standout!”— RT Book Reviews

“Who could resist this sweet-as-honey cowboy firefighter? Ms. Redford's descriptions of the Texas town are so vibrant, and the characters so genuinely endearing, that I embraced it all in a heartbeat.”—Fresh Fiction



Kim Redford is an acclaimed, bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at Kim Redford.

Monday, October 16, 2017

10 Great Horror Movies You Can't Miss for Halloween










Every Halloween, people debate the important issues. Candy corn vs. no candy corn? Almond Joy or Mounds? Scary or sweet? And perhaps the most important question: What is the scariest Halloween movie you'd recommend? THIS is the question I'd like to answer, and it's a tricky one to figure, because everyone is afraid of something different.

However, I think many of us can agree that the films on my list are all a good fit for the holiday. So make sure to take note of these and add them to your fright-fest as Samhain grows closer...

In no particular order, I'd recommend the following for your Halloween viewing:

  1. The Exorcist.  Yes, a tried and true favorite. But come on. It's scary, the possessed child pukes all over the priest, and you will never hear noise from your attic and think it's rats ever again. 
  2. Friday the 13th--the original. Yes, this film may look cheesy to a newer generation, but the concept of a child who drowned coming back to take vengeance on the sexualized camp counselors who let him die? A golden trope of the genre. And we say hello to Jason and a spawn of B-movie sequels. (Also, for you Supernatural fans, Jared Padalecki stars in the remake which came out in 2009.)
  3. A Nightmare on Elm Street--the original. This Wes Craven classic put Robert Englund on the map and gave me nightmares for a long time to come. Freddy Krueger is a wonderful, terrible monster. Imagine no escape from an undead creature who haunts your dreams. And the movie had a young Johnny Depp too! I can still remember the spooky song those little girls were singing as they swung their jump rope. "One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four better lock your door..." Gah. 
  4. Halloween--the original. Yes, yes, I know, I'm old school. But this John Carpenter flick enabled us to identify with the villain from the get-go, as we looked through his eyes and watched the horror unfold. Ahead of its time, really. We were introduced to the immortal (does this guy never die? Really?) Michael Myers as he chased scream queen Jamie Curtis (love her!) all over the place. I will go one further to say I truly enjoyed the remake Rob Zombie did in 2007.
  5. Trick 'r Treat--I don't know if many of you will recognize this one, but I absolutely love it. There are four intertwined stories in this collection that work really well together. Anna Paquin makes an appearance in one story, and the final tale is more than creepy. Very well done. This one came out in 2007. I own the DVD and watch it every year.

  6. Creature from the Black Lagoon--Okay, this one isn't that scary by today's standards. It's in black and white, and it came out in 1954. But I LOVE it. A gilled man-like creature in the Amazon is attacked by humans so he kills them. So of course more humans come to investigate and want to study this thing. The creature falls for the token lovely lady on board and is eventually done in. This movie is so classic, though I do hate that the monster does not meet a better end. (Hope I didn't spoil it for anyone.)
  7. In the Mouth of Madness--A wonderful nod to HP Lovecraft. This film is just weird. Creatures from another dimension, a weird writer who is writing the present as it happens. Or is he causing the present to happen? Madness ensues. I wanted to yell to everyone, "Don't read the book!" Sam Neill stars in this one, and it's chilling.  
  8. The Thing--I had to include this one, though it's less Halloweeny. It is a horror movie, and it came out in 1982. (Note, this isn't the original, but a remake and the best one, in my opinion--thanks for the correction, Virginia!) Imagine being stranded in Antarctica and there's an alien assimilating people, only they don't know it! You're already isolated, no one's close to help, and it's eating everyone... Starring Kurt Russell, this one is a definite thriller.
  9. Alien--You can't have The Thing and not have Alien. Space monsters that have acid for blood and incubate in human hosts--unbeknownst to the humans! Sigourney Weaver kicked major butt in this film, which was awesome. Hello female empowerment. She's the voice of reason throughout the film. And of course, the legendary cute baby alien bursting through John Hurt's chest never quite leaves you. Chills and thrills and scares in space. Oh yeah. A must-see.
  10. Saw--Now don't hate me for this, but if you watch the first one, there's so much more to the story than people getting gutted every five seconds. Saw brought back the term "torture porn." The story is basically two strangers trapped together in an unfamiliar place that's booby-trapped. To survive, they must figure out clues and sacrifice bits of themselves, either physically or emotionally. This led to a sequel, which explained so much more about the background of Jigsaw, the villain who puts people through such torment. It's so much more than a blood and guts movie. I just remember being so pleasantly surprised at the story behind the bad guy, though you might need to watch both Saw and Saw 2 to get that. Still, there's a twist behind every action in these movies.
I could go on and on, and as I sit here typing, I'm thinking of a ton of other movies I haven't yet listed. But these 10 will more than get you started. Enjoy the spooky season!  And if you want a little romance mixed with your Halloween masks, read ALL I WANT FOR HALLOWEEN, which isn't scary in the slightest. But the heat between Gear and Sadie might just melt all your Halloween chocolates.

Happy Halloween!

Marie
marieharte.com














Friday, October 13, 2017

Are you Superstitious?


It’s Friday the 13th. Do you pay any attention to that? I don’t so much. I’m not very superstitious. No wariness of ladders, cracked mirrors, and certainly not black cats. I had a lovely black cat for many years, and he was definitely not bad luck. A “good buddy” kind of pet, he liked to lie on his back and sprawl.
His favorite winter perch was a folded towel on top of the radiator. That’s how I think of him now he’s gone, curled up on that warm spot, observing life.
I did knock over and break a full-length mirror once, but the only bad luck I noticed was the need to hunt down all the shards of glass. Have you ever thought that the Lady of Shalott was kind of wimpy? “My doom has come upon me” etc. One Pre-Raphaelite painting seems to show her all tangled up in her weaving.
I don’t worry about spilling salt, crossed fingers, and so on. I will admit that I try to blow out all the candles on the birthday cake. How else am I going to get my wish? : )

Do you have any persistent superstitions?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Turns on a Dime

My dad likes to say, "You never know. Tomorrow, I might get hit by a pizza truck."
Sherri with her dad, no pizza truck in sight. 
I like to laugh at my dad, but he has a point. None of us know what tomorrow might bring. We make our plans. We think we're all set. But we're not really in control of anything. My plan for the week was, Napa vacation. Almost a year ago, I had the inn reserved. I had a list of wineries to tour. I had a driver lined up. Plane tickets, rental car. Dogs in the kennel. And then... wildfires.
Sherri's dogs, Bandit and Pepper, the Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
And suddenly, I didn't even care that all my planning came to nothing and I had to cancel a vacation. I worried about the people who live and work in the Northern California area. And the firefighters, those brave amazing people who go out to take control and save lives, risking their own. Wow. 
Napa, in good times.

And then after fretting over the danger and loss of life, I thought about the land, those beautiful vines that take decades to cultivate and grow, and all that wine and olive oil gone. But my thoughts keep coming back to the people and the animals. Trapped by fire is about the scariest thing I can think of, and many people still are. 

In 2015, I did get to go to Napa with my friends to celebrate a big birthday for one of them, and we had a fabulous time. I will be back! I pray for the safety and well-being of all our friends in the affected areas, and I hope you're all safe and well.
Napa, in our hearts and prayers. We'll be back!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Halloween Comes Early with a SALE on Two Paranormal Romances!



Halloween will be here soon, but you don’t have to wait to celebrate because I’m slashing prices on two cute paranormal romances, VAMPIRE 101 and I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT.

You can pick them up for $2.99 each right now!

With over forty five-star reviews, these books are sure to make you smile and keep you reading long into the night! But hurry, because that SALE PRICE is only good for October!


VAMPIRE 101

"Absolutely delightful and wickedly tempting, Ms. Tyler has put a new spin on the vampire curse giving it a fresh look.”  - Long and Short Reviews

"Hilarious, comical, suspenseful, and downright captivating. Paige Tyler is wicked with a pen and knows how to yank her readers in and leave them breathless." - Dark Angels Reviews

"Ms. Tyler has excelled herself again with Vampire 101.” – Coffee Time Romance

"Ms. Tyler delivers another great story, with a handsome, dreamy hero, and a heroine who is not afraid to stand up for herself." - Romance Junkies

Being a Vampire Isn't What It Used to Be...

Savanna Royce is a weekend Goth-girl who’s always been fascinated with vampires. She doesn't really believe in them, of course, but that changes when she’s bitten by a rogue vamp and left for dead. Fortunately, two-hundred-and-seventy-eight-year-old vampire Kaige Travers is there to rescue her. Unwilling to let her die, he turns Savanna into a vampire to save her life—not knowing if she’ll thank him or hate him for it.

While Kaige is teaching Savanna what she needs to know about being a vampire, neither of them can deny the chemistry that’s there. Somewhere between getting her registered at the local vampire admin office and teaching her how to order blood on the internet, they fall for each other—fast and hard.

Just as things are heating up between the sheets—and everywhere else-they encounter one minor problem. The rogue vampire who attacked her is back and this time he wants to finish the job he started.

Buy VAMPIRE 101 at All Your Favorite Stores!
https://books2read.com/Vampire101


I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT

"​You too will find yourself reading until well beyond the witching hour. Thrilling, suspenseful and passionate ... a wicked read and very deserving of a Gold Star Award!” - JERR

"Humorous, original, and sexy as all get out. Ms. Tyler has weaved a complex and original story full of action that will keep you flipping pages. This book is full of twists, turns and an ending that will leave you blown away!" – Long and Short Reviews

"​​Everything you want in a paranormal romance. Action, plot, hot sex, great characters and a romance you won't forget. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by Ms. Tyler!" - Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews

Drake Parrish isn't your usual zombie. For one thing he's gorgeous as sin. For another, he's not dead. At least not all the time. Thanks to the evil Voodoo priestess who cursed him eight years ago, he occasionally turns into one of the walking dead.

On the upside, it's not like he's a zombie that you see on that TV show. He doesn't eat brains or anything. In fact, he's the same guy as when he's alive. Just a little…well…deader.

On the downside, Drake never knows when he's going to all zombie, which makes having a social life hell. But as long as his new girlfriend, romance author Simone Kent, never finds out that he's a part-time dead guy, it should all be good.

Buy I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT at All your Favorite Stores!


Remember...

The SALE PRICE of $2.99 each is only good for October, so grab your copy of VAMPIRE 101 and I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND I LIKED IT today!


*hugs*
Paige 



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Christmas Stranger

Time is flying and it won’t be long before Santa will ride in on his sleigh. Temps are supposed to drop to 35 tonight here in the Texas Panhandle. Snow will fly soon and I can't wait. I'm praying for a white Christmas this year.

CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY'S ARMS released on October 3rd and I'm so excited to have this out!

I felt truly honored to have a story in a book with Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner,  Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas. Simply an amazing list of bestselling authors. 

And I'm part of it! Doin' the happy dance here!

These six stories are guaranteed to warm your heart and may whisk you back home.

In my story – The Christmas Stranger – drifter, Hank Destry, who has no home or family is struggling to find his way through a blinding blizzard, wearing only a thin coat. He has to find shelter soon or he and his animals will perish. The drifts become too high to continue. Unable to hold on to the reins, he slides from the saddle into the snow.

Sidalee King is returning from visiting a lonely old woman named Miss Mamie and finds him. She loads him into her wagon and takes him home which is on the Lone Star Ranch. She works in the mercantile for the Legend family. Cholera took her family years before but she’s determined to give Miss Mamie a good Christmas. If only she can reunite the old dear with her son George. That would be perfect.

Could he be Miss Mamie's lost son? And what are the rocks Miss Mamie gives as payment for kindnesses? Mystery and love abound this Christmas season as two lonely people receive an unexpected gift.

This story is about finding that one place to belong and a family that isn't by blood, healing old wounds, and giving without expecting anything in return. 

Giving is what Christmas is all about and I think you’ll love the journey Hank and Sidalee take in finding the courage to open their hearts to a happily ever after. Hank’s dog Beau almost stole the story and I guarantee he’ll make you laugh. Such a scamp.

This is what I think Hank looks like. Does he pass?



Here’s a short Snippet:


Hank slowly tugged the long silk ribbon from around her neck, trailing the red fabric down one arm. He leaned closer. “There’s some mistletoe right over your head. I hope I’m not pressing my luck, but do you mind if I kiss you?”

A happy, warm glow swept over her. “I don’t see anyone trying to fight you,” she whispered.

He pulled her up into his arms and drew the ribbon around her, tethering her to him. Sidalee had never felt more alive, more breathless, more…hot.

She tilted her face to him, feeling the wild beat of his heart that matched hers. He gently anchored her against the hard wall of his chest. The moment his lips touched hers, an aching hunger swept through her, turning her knees to pudding.

The yearning for him was so strong she clutched him to keep from falling in a puddle at his feet. One arm curled around his neck just under his hair. The strands brushed her skin like tiny feathers.

That’s when she knew she was falling in love with Hank Destry.


* * * *

AMAZON  |  B&N iBOOKS  |  KOBO


What says Christmas to you? The warmth of family? The exchange of gifts? The food? The lights?




Monday, October 9, 2017

The Highwayman's Bite is coming soon!



Hey everyone!

Brooklyn Ann here. I haven't blogged in awhile because this year has been crazy. But I have some great news! The sixth installment of my Scandals With Bite series is coming soon! 
Here's the blurb:
One stolen kiss

When Vivian Stratford ruins her reputation by challenging a suitor to a duel, she is packed of to her great uncle’s estate until the scandal blows over. On the way, her carriage is stopped by a rakish highwayman. Vivian unsheathes her rapier and duels with the thief. He steals a kiss before disappearing into the night.
Rogue vampire, Rhys Berwyn, robs carriages to help his mortal descendants pay the mortgage on their farm. Sadly, he cannot steal enough to pay off the massive debt owed to the Lord Vampire of Blackpool, and time is running out before his family will be evicted.

Will change her life forever…

When Rhys discovers that the beautiful swordswoman he encountered is none other than Blackpool’s niece, he abducts her and holds her for ransom for the money to save the family farm. 

While he keeps Vivian tucked away in a seaside cave, Rhys has trouble keeping his promise to leave his delectable hostage untouched.

The Highwayman's Bite will be out December 5th and you can pre-order it on
Amazon
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
Google Play

An excerpt will be posted on the "Coming Soon" page of my website, so you can stalk that, or subscribe to my newsletter, because my excerpts are released there first.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Highland Promise is out now! Find out how Alyson McLayne celebrated release day!

Highland Promise, book one in Alyson McLayne's highland romance series The Sons of Gregor MacLeod, is out now!


Five boys destined to become Highland lairds are fostered together as brothers. Darach, Lachlan, Callum, Gavin and Kerr fight for their clans, for each other, and for their own true loves.

When forced to choose between duty and honor…
Darach MacKenzie vowed never again to let a woman near his heart after his betrothed betrayed him. It sparked an intense feud between his clan and the Frasers. With all-out war on the wind, Darach can’t be distracted—not even by a sweet and charming lass who desperately needs his help.

This Highland Laird will find a way to have both
When Darach rescued Caitlin MacInnes from the clutches of vile Laird Fraser, she vowed to never let men or misery rule her life again. With Darach and the MacKenzie clan, Caitlin finally feels safe. But when Laird Fraser shows up to claim what’s rightfully his, or go to war, Darach will have to use all his brawn and brains to protect Caitlin—even if it means losing his heart.

Alyson is here to tell us how she'll celebrate release day!

There will be Bellinis. Several of them. And clinking of raised glasses. Maybe a teary speech and lots of giddy laughter with my friends and family. What? You don’t know what a Bellini is? Recipes vary, but my favorite is a peach, champagne, rum, and sangria bomb of yummy goodness. Kind of like a slurpee but better. Much better.

And there will be chocolate. Guaranteed. The thick, creamy expensive kind, not the cheap, waxy stuff. And why restrict myself to release day? How about release week? I understand why I can’t be drunk all week, but seven consecutive days of chocolate? Oh, yes.

And I’m sure I’ll make several trips to bookstores in my area, looking for my book and blurting out to anyone who passes, I wrote this! And despite having a whole box of books at home my publisher sent me, I’m sure I’ll buy several copies because—I WROTE THIS!

Much time may be spent alone with Darach MacKenzie, my hero, stroking his, um, cover. Because, well, look at him—he’s the Bellini equivalent of a Highland Laird. A hot Scottish bomb of yummy goodness. And because September tried to kill me, there will be sleeping, lots of it, with Darach tucked in beside me, the smell of a new book—my book—lulling me to napping heaven.

I plan to get my hair streaked and toes painted, finally get the new lenses put in my snazzy glasses, try those magnetic fake eyelashes, find a chiropractor to fix my sore neck that September tried to break, buy myself a fitbit, and dust off my old clothes hanger/treadmill.

Because here’s the last way I’m planning to celebrate my book release—a week of fun in the sun with the family. Yeah, baby!
***

Alyson McLayne is a mom of twins and an award-winning writer of contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. She’s also a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the West Coast of Canada where she worked in film for several years and met her Prop Master husband.

She and her family reside in Vancouver with their sweet but troublesome chocolate lab puppy named Jasper. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Snag your copy of Highland Promise today!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

New release - Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms





In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas




From "Father Christmas" by Leigh Greenwood:

“If you’re going to shoot me, get on your feet first.  I’d hate to have it known I was killed by a woman so weak she couldn’t stand up.”

“I can stand up,” Mary insisted.  To prove her point, she threw back the covers and started to get to her feet.  Immediately she felt faint.

Joe caught her before she fell.

“I never met such a foolish woman in my life.  Stay in that bed, or I’ll tie you down.  You can shoot me when you feel better.  Meantime, you’d better give me this.”  He took the pistol from her slackened grasp.  “Next thing you know, you’ll drop it and put a hole through the chicken pot.  I’m not chasing down another rooster.”

Mary started to laugh.  The whole situation was too absurd.  Nothing like this happened to ordinary people.  She was ordinary, so it shouldn’t be happening to her.

She certainly shouldn’t be experiencing this odd feeling.  It almost felt as if she wanted to cry.  But she didn’t feel sad.  She felt bemused and bewildered.  Her brain was numb.  Here she was, completely helpless, and she had tried to shoot the only human who had come along to help her.

She must be losing her mind. 

###


Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms
A Christmas anthology with stories from:
Leigh Greenwood
Rosanne Bittner
Linda Broday
Margaret Brownley
Anna Schmidt
Amy Sandas

The Beating Heart of Christmas

Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and—most of all—love.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New Release: Drop Dead Gorgeous...

Drop Dead Gorgeous, book 2 in the Bite Nights series is out now!! 




About the book:
Swipe right for Mr. Bite
Mila Hart’s first experience with the hot new vampire dating site is a complete disaster. Turns out, her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and drop dead gorgeous, he’s just the vampire hottie Mila was hoping for.
Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again, even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s first date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story…

EXCERPT
Vincent doesn’t stop apologizing the whole way over to his apartment in Farringdon.
“I should have smelled it,” he repeats for the hundredth time. “I don’t understand why I didn’t.”
I glance across the car at him. The streetlights illuminate his features, accentuating the exquisitely carved lines of his profile. There is a tiny bump on the bridge of his nose I haven’t noticed before, an imperfection that only heightens his masculine looks.
“I only smelled it because I was under the bed pulling out my suitcase,” I explain again. After noticing the rat and reading the note, there had been an awkward moment when Vincent stepped forward to put his arms around me. He froze, hands midair, as if realizing what it was he was about to do. The alarming thing is, I was going to let him.
When we stop at a traffic light, he turns to me. “I’m a vampire. I should have realized it was there.”
“Even if you had, there wasn’t a lot you could do. Besides, I’m sorry to say it’s not the first rat I’ve had in my bed.”
Vincent lets out a hearty chuckle. “Are you always like this?”
“Like what?”
He drums slender fingers on the steering wheel. “Prone to making light of serious situations.”
Of course, I’d been absolutely terrified—and still am—after seeing that dead creature rotting away on my fifty-quid Egyptian cotton sheets. Even without the note, I would have known it was left there by Lopez.
I shiver, a cold dread settling around my shoulders like a fog. “I think maybe it’s a defense mechanism.”
He nods, tearing his eyes from me as the traffic lurches forward again. “It’s incredibly lucky you stayed out all day.”
We lapse into silence, each of us contemplating what would have happened if I had been home when he showed up. I begin to wonder what happens from here. Will they shut me up in some witness protection program? Change my name to Mandy and ship me off to Scotland? Laura is right—this could only happen to me.
I sigh, sinking low into the buttery leather of the seat. “This car really doesn’t suit you,” I say suddenly, staring out the window at the shuttered shop fronts.
He glances across at me. “How so?”
“You’re too young. In looks, anyway,” I add, as his brows shoot up with amusement. “Usually men who drive cars like this are middle aged and bald, and they’ve ditched their wives for some younger woman. Trust me, every time I see a fancy car and check out the driver, that’s what they look like. Every time.”
His eyes twinkle. “So I’m an anomaly, is that what you’re saying?”
“A total anomaly.”
Somewhere between the dead rat and the Porsche, I’d lost my shyness around him. Now it’s full steam ahead on the babble front. He doesn’t look like he minds too much though.
“What car should I drive, Miss Hart?” he asks.
“An Audi,” I say, not missing a beat. “A black or dark blue one. And there should be a space for your suits to hang in the back.”
He laughs. “I’m a cop, not a traveling salesman. What about you?”
“What about me?”
“Have you got the right car for your image?”
I look down at my frayed gray top and jeans. I still haven’t had a chance to change since this morning. “Considering how I’m dressed now, I’d say it suits me to a T. Not that I dress like this all the time,” I’m keen to point out. “I was too traumatized to coordinate clothing this morning.”
“That’s understandable,” he says, pulling off the main road onto a deserted side street. We roll to a stop beside a metal barrier. “This is where I live.”
I glance up at the building. It’s one of the newer ones, all sharp angles and gunmetal-gray panels with glass balconies jutting out of huge oblong windows. In the glow of the city lights, the whole building glistens like iron. An iron home for an iron man—well, an iron vampire.
Though I’ve never hankered after one of these serviced places myself, I know enough to appreciate that living in one costs a small fortune. I’d put money on it that inside there is a range of luxurious facilities—gym, spa, pool. It’s an unusual choice for a Met Police inspector who claims not to be home much.
Vincent maneuvers the Porsche down a spiral ramp into a low-lit parking garage and pulls into a space. The other cars down here are just as impressive—Maseratis, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis line the concrete walls.
“Oh, how the other half live,” I mutter as he shuts off the engine before slipping from the vehicle in a gray blur of movement.
Before I know it, he’s beside me, opening the passenger door and offering me an outstretched palm as if we’re courtiers arriving at a ball. Not needing to be asked twice, I give him my hand. His warm, rough fingers briefly curl around mine as he helps me to my feet. I stand on the concrete, slightly dazed, while he lifts my suitcase from the tiny trunk and pulls up the handle.
“The elevators are that way,” he says, motioning across to a pair of red double doors. It takes a few seconds to catch on that he’s waiting for me to walk ahead. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to this good-manners thing. Scott’s idea of gentlemanly behavior had been occasionally closing the door while he was on the toilet. But then, that’s to be expected from a total douche.
Vincent follows me through the door to the elevators. “Which floor?” I ask, jabbing the call button.
“Top,” he says.
I shake my head, smiling.
“What?”
“Like in Pretty Woman—it’s the best.”
He narrows his eyes in confusion, murmuring, “pretty woman” under his breath.
“The movie,” I explain. “Julia Roberts is a call girl and Richard Gere is this rich but lonely man she falls in love with, and he stays in a penthouse suite even though he hates heights, because it’s the best.”
“Never seen it,” he says, shaking his head.
“You really need to stay in more.”
He chuckles. “I don’t own a TV.”
I widen my eyes dramatically. “Oh my God. No wonder it took you people so long to be accepted into society.”

What the critics are saying about the BITE NIGHTS series:

"Snarky, sexy, and steamy as a sauna, Dating the Undead will have you throwing out your vampire slaying kit." - Katie MacAlister, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Dragon Fall and Aisling Grey, Guardian series

"Quick, sharp wit that sinks its fangs into the reader and doesn't let go!" - Molly Harper, acclaimed author of Sweet Tea and Sympathy and the Half-Moon Hollow series

 

"Combines the familiar with the new to bring a fresh spin on the vampire romance." - Kirkus
 

-A madcap adventure of biting humor, steamy chemistry, eclectic characters and some over-the-top antics. A strong and personable heroine delights as she navigates her way through the treacherous waters of online dating.- - RT Book Reviews

 

-Charming and racy romance meets rousing mystery . . . relatable characters and a well-crafted setting make this a promising start to an intriguing series.- - Publishers Weekly
 

"Lyons delivers with hot and heavy scenes that take the sexy vampire trope to an all new level." - Booklist

"If you're looking for a story both light and sexy, this may just be the one for you." - Heroes and Heartbreakers

"Guaranteed to keep you reading well into the night." - BookPage


About Juliet
Juliet Lyons is a paranormal romance author from the U.K. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Find out more at www.julietlyons.co.uk