Follow

Keep in contact through the following social networks or via RSS feed:

  • Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on BookBub
  • Follow on GoodReads
  • Follow on LinkedIn
Subscribe
Subscribe

Weekly-ish Wrap-up: Feb 10

The past couple weeks have been filled with productive but unexciting events of me with my head down, writing. This will undoubtedly result in die-hard readers of this blog turning to one another, if they could turn to one another, and muttering, “Why are we standing here peering through this window when all she’s doing is cursing at a computer screen?”  A fair question.

Rebranding Continues

The rebranding of the historicals continues apace.  And when I saw ‘rebranding,’ I  mean “branding for the first time ever.”  (Full disclosure: you’re in the presence of the worst marketer ever born.)  A couple covers and titles are being revamped, and the entire Renegades & Outlaws series is being renamed, along w/ a new logo.

Gee, I wonder what the new series title is…?  🤔  Okay, actually, I know.   Anyone want to take a guess, comment section is below!

I’ll announce & post pictures when all is done.

King’s Warrior (formerly The King’s Outlaw) off to edits!

Closing in on release date of Feb 28th…. 

You can check it out at Amazon & iBooks and soon, on GooglePlay!  The old title remains on booksellers for now, until the new cover is finished.

Knighting ceremony & Medieval Custard Pie

In the ‘If It’s Medieval, It Counts’ department…at my children’s school, they’ve been studying the middle ages, which includes a “Knight’s Challenge.” This involves the kids setting personal goals related to physical and character improvement (including a 3 hour stint of silence one day!)  and working it on for a month. They also had to do community activity, some service to others.

It’s all wrapped up now, and they’re ready for the solemn occasion of a knighting ceremony & feast to follow!  :rubs hands together:  The kids each make a medieval dish and the parents eat it all.

My child committed to making & bringing apple crisps, which involved very expensive saffron threads (!!) and a deep frying experience none of us will ever forget. Think ‘traumatic.’  It was difficult not to say “I told you so,” but I resisted.

A hasty conference ensued, and the new menu item is a Custard Pie.  Should be easier. And filled with more fat, so it’s a win-win.

A 15th c recipe for fruit daryoles (custard pie) which is NOT the one we used. And aren’t you glad romance writers don’t write in authentic period language??

 

If you’re interested, here’s the amount-adjusted recipe we’re using (God save us, I helped do the math to reduce the original recipe from 2 pies to 1. Will check in after and let you know how it went):

Ingredients FOR ONE PIE

• 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
• 1/4 cup blanched almonds
• ½ c + 1/8 cup cold water
• ½ cup half-and-half cream
• ½ pinch saffron powder
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 ½ eggs
• 3/8 cup white sugar (= 6 TBSP ?)
• ½ teaspoon rose water (NOTE: we may skip because I already bought saffron threads)
• Add all ingredients to list

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Press pie crusts into the bottom and up the sides of two 9 inch pie pans. Prick with a fork all over to keep them from bubbling up. Bake pie crusts for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set but not browned. Set aside to cool.

Make an almond milk by placing almonds in the container of a food processor. Process until finely ground, then add water, and pulse just to blend. 

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then strain through a cheesecloth. Measure out 1 cup of the almond milk, and mix with half and half. Stir in the saffron and cinnamon, and set aside.

Place the eggs and sugar in a saucepan, and mix until well blended. Place the pan over low heat, and gradually stir in the almond milk mixture and cinnamon. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.

When the mixture is thick enough to evenly coat the back of a metal spoon, stir in rose water and remove from heat. Pour into the cooled pie shells.

Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is set, but the top is not browned. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving.

Weekly-ish Wrap-Up, Jan 27

Because I’m that sad, we can’t even have something nice occur weekly. It has to be “weekly-ish.”  You can’t take me anywhere.  

Books On Lists

I was incredibly touched to see all my books made it onto several of All About Romance’s mega lists of the best, noteworthy titles within the tropes we romance-loving souls so desire.  If you don’t know AAR, check them out. They’re one of the go-to sites to get reviews & information on the genre.

Tortured Hero

Jamie Lost (Defiant), Kier (Deception) and Griffyn Sauvage (The Conqueror) all made this list. Do you detect a theme? 

Irish Romances (set in Ireland)

Shockingly, The Irish Warrior is on here…  

Road Romances

The Irish Warrior and Defiant made this list.

These lists are only updated every so often, as in years, so it may be awhile until there’s another round.

Rebranding

I’m in the midst of rebranding my new series. I should just say ‘branding,’ because absolutely no thought ever went into answering the question, “How to let readers know what they’ll be getting in my books, and moreover, that it’s just what they’re looking for, and moreover-over, it’ll knock their socks (and corsets) off?”

That means covers, titles, series title…the whole works.  Stay tuned for more!

 

Glitch in Preorder

The preorder release date for THE KING’S OUTLAW (title to be changed, see above) was accidentally changed by 4 days at Amazon.  Amazon may have alerted anyone who preordered the book. So sorry about that!  I sent a note to my newsletter subscribers to update them, so they’d know it was just an error, and all sorts of sexy hijinks are still on their way. Now you know too.

If you’re not on my newsletter & want to be (it’s the best way get the latest news), you can sign up here.

If you haven’t preordered yet, you can do it here! AMAZON | iBOOKS

Onward to February!

Weekly Wrap-up: Jan 6

Weekly Monthly BiMonthly Wrap-up

I mistyped ‘wrap-up’ as ‘warp-up,’ and that about explains everything.  Also, my weekly warp-up is  stretched out into a monthly one, as warped things are wont to do…

Claiming Her recommended as 2016 Must Read Romance

USA Today’s® Happily Ever After column recommended Claiming Her as one of the Must Read Romances of 2016 by columnist Kathy Altman. So honored!

 
King’s Outlaw Pre-Order up

The King’s Outlaw  is now up for preorder at Amazon & iTunes!

 

Released Print Version of Claiming Her

It’s soooo pretty!  You can get it at Amazon or direct from Createspace, which publishes it.

 
Writing

Working on The King’s Outlaw,  fitting it in around lots of family, kids, and school events.  Let’s just say I’m not an effective creative multi-tasker. Creativity slows wa-a-a-a-ay down when I have to stop and restart.  Creativity is cumulative, like begets like, and breaking the spell does actually, well, break the spell.

Rediscovered brain.fm

If you don’t know about brain.fm, go check it out!  Super cool audio um…system?…to  help focus, sleep, and/or relax.  It’s astonishing how well it works.  I put on headphones, set it to ‘intense focus’ and start writing.  BOOM-words on the page.

 

 

 

Intro The Hero: Defiant

I was updating the ebook file of DEFIANT, and was reminded of what a bad man Jamie Lost is.  Really, not nice at all.  Eva is convinced he’s a menace cast up from Hell to plague her, thwart her, endanger her…tempt her.

True on all counts.

If you haven’t read DEFIANT yet and are in the mood for a big (110K words big!) adventure-strewn, road romance set in the time of King John and his not-so-chivalrous knights, go indulge yourself today!

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

Here’s Eva’s first impression of the devil:

…The rogue’s thick fingertips touched the middle of her back and pushed her the rest of the way inside the tavern.  Then he stepped in too and pointed to a table by the far wall.

“Over there. Sit.”

Again with the commands.

She wanted to growl at him.

He tromped over the bulging plank floors toward the back counter that ran the length of the room, moving through flickering shadows of torchlight.

His hair-roughened square jaw could denote either a dull blade or a rough nature, but his hair, barely tethered by a leather strip, long and dark, bespoke only outlawry.

His cape was nondescript, calf-length. Beneath he wore a black, quilted surcoat, sleeveless, covering what she supposed was a mail shirt, although he wore a longer-sleeved tunic over it, as if to conceal what lay beneath. Both surcoat and tunic hung to mid-thigh, slit up the sides. Mucky knee-high boots completed the ensemble, but it was the dark hose, molded tight over his thighs, that kept Eva’s attention riveted far longer than was necessary.

He wore no insignia on his dark surcoat, bore no identifying colors, yet everyone either had a lord or was a lord. Even the most feared, ruthless mercenary, a Brabançon, identified himself with someone. Here in England, that usually meant the English king.

By the look in this one’s eye, ’twas a simple matter to place him there, among the terrible, ruthless sorts.

But somehow, she couldn’t believe something so…beautiful could be so awful.

And he was beautiful, to a hard line, masculine magnificence, all long, lean contours of hard heat and piercing eyes. A beast in his prime.

Her dark-eyed proteus looked over his shoulder, scowling when he saw she had not ‘come,’ was not ‘over there.’

“Sit,” he growled. “And stay.”

A fissure of anger opened up inside her. She narrowed her eyes and, very softly, barked.

***

For the record, Jamie didn’t like being barked at.

And so the adventure begins….

HAVE FUN IN THERE!

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

Cover Reveal & Preorder-The King's Outlaw

8

 

Gorgeous, right??

Preorder now!

Amazon | iBooks

In THE KING’S OUTLAW, get ready for a sexy, thrilling ride through Crusades-era Europe! 

Travel to medieval France & England and get a taste of the Holy Lands with King Richard the Lionheart.   Visit a sea town shrouded in darkness and corruption, sneak into hidden caves,  sail on ships, and get snowbound in a firelit cottage with no one but a dangerous outlaw and the way he’s looking at you, firelight glinting in his eye… (yes, there is snowbound-ness!) 

The story originally appeared in the anthology Captured by a Celtic Warrior

It’s expanded for this single title release to show more of the hero & heroine’s journey across England, including scenes from the secret cove that forms the nexus of the Renegades & Outlaws collection.

Here’s an except for you!

♥♥♥

The King’s Outlaw©

…She didn’t know how long she listened, or how long he spoke, in his low, lilting voice, drawing pictures so vivid she could almost feel the Irish sun on her skin, smell the grass under her feet. “…and in Ireland, Maggie,” he said, making her shiver every time he called her that, “you’ve got to take care, for the otherworld is close to hand, fey close, so close that on some nights, you lay and listen to things you know cannot be real, but they are, and then you know the world is far more wide and wonderful than ever the priests did tell.”

They faced each other. His eyes were gleams of fading firelight, hers of distant hope.

“It sounds a most worthy place,” she whispered.

“I never should have left,” he agreed, regret thick in his voice. “But glory beckoned.”

She knew that thick coating in her own throat, all too well. Impulsively, she touched her fingertips to his hand. “That is the way of it, though, for some of us,” she said urgently. “We leave that which we do have, to seek that which we might have. Sometimes, we stumble along the way.”

Tadhg looked down at her hand, her fingertips barely skimming the back of his. Offering comfort, she emanated innocent desire. Her long hair spilled in glorious disarray over her shoulders, and her eyes were bright and full of fire—he greatly approved of fire in a woman, and so infrequently found it—and her lips were far too full to be only three inches away from his own, half parted, breathing on him.

“A besetting sin, then?” he murmured.

“That is it,” she whispered happily.

She smelled like sunshine, and her smile punched a hole through the densest, darkest part of him, the cloud of him, the roiling, rising thunderstorm in his heart. “Lass,” he said in a thick voice, “I swear on my life, I will settle this debt to you.”

She shook her head. “You already have.”

He smiled grimly to himself. She had no idea what he meant. She thought he meant what had already come, and that it was all over now. But it was not over, and to the almost certain damnation of his soul, he was not yet done using her.

A melodic sound penetrated the walls of her shop. Church bells, calling the faithful to midnight mass, as they would every night of these Twelfth Night revelries.

Magdalena jerked a little, yanked out of the fairy-like cloud that had descended over her shop, almost startled to find herself still sitting behind her counter. In every way but the truth, she’d been far, far away, on the green hills of Ireland, with….

She sat up straight. “What is your name?”

He blew out something that sounded like a sigh. “Tadhg Nessan Cenn Fáelad O’Malley.”

The words tumbled out swiftly, a lyrical and utterly incomprehensible combination of syllables. “My,” she laughed. “It sounds nice and noble.”

“Oh, aye, quite. Nessan means stoat.”

She laughed—she’d laughed more with this man in a half-day of trials and tribulations than she had in a twelve-month of calm, proper living. Or a hundred-month of it.

“You can call me Tadhg,” he said, looking at her mouth.

Tayg,” she whispered, sounding it out. “What does it mean?”

“Poet.”

“And are you one?”

“I’m thinking of one just now.” He looked from her lips to her eyes. “’Tis bawdy.”

A long, wide ribbon of excitement unfurled through her as she tipped her head back and laughed again. He watched her appreciatively.

The bells finished their tolling.

“You should go.” She forced herself off the crate, away from the ribbons of excitement and laughter. “There is only one guard at the gate at this hour, Gustave, and he is quite amenable to negotiation.”

“So now you know the gate guards, too?” he grumbled as he got to his feet.

She pushed gently on his shoulder. “Go.”

Oh, how she did not want him to go.

He did not go. For a long minute he looked down at the ground, and when he lifted his head, there was something in his eye that made her breath slow down and her heart speed up.

“Do you need anything?” she said softly. “Food?”

He shook his head.

“Oh, your money! That you gave me on the quay.” She started to turn to where she’d hidden it, in a pouch under the counter.

He put a hand on her arm, stilling her. “Keep it.”

“But—”

“Keep it.”

His fingers were warm bands encircling her upper arm. She looked into his eyes and felt oddly, shockingly bereft. “Oh, I wish—”

She cut the words short before they did something dangerous, like instill hope, in however small a degree.

He lifted a hand to her cheek, brushed a bent knuckle across it. “No, you don’t,” he murmured. “You do not wish for that.”

“Yes, I do.”

Faintly he smiled, but his voice was hard. “Lass, you do not want what I have.” As if to prove it, he overturned his hand and dragged a calloused thumb roughly across her bottom lip.

All the breath came out of her in a hot rush. “Oh.”

It was a gasp of arousal, of desire and pent-up wanting, as far as she could retrieve the memory from the dusty cabinet of her mind. It made her want to weep for the lost memory of it.

He watched her with dark, unreadable eyes, then slid his thumb back again, a little harder, rolling her lip down the slightest bit. She tipped her head back and let her mouth part under the rough caress.

“That is a mistake,” he ground out. “You do not realize….” He shook his head once. “How much I want you.”

She stepped to him, pressed her breasts up to him. His thighs were hard against the front of hers, the hilts of his weapons bumped against her hips and belly, and dark, dangerous desire burned in his eyes. She wanted all of it. All of him.

“Show me.” She slid her arms around his neck. “For I have been dying to be wanted the way you do.”

♥♥♥

Preorder now!

Amazon | iBooks


Let me know what you think of the cover!!

Scorching hot, epic, lush historical romances, the books in the R&O collection feature heroes & heroines who visit the same secret cove, Renegades Cove. You’ll experience all eras of the middle ages in these sweeping stories of hard-willed alpha heroes and fiery, determined women who use the cove to escape villains, plot perilous missions, and of course, fall in love.

Get ready for these bad boy medieval warriors and their fiery, strong heroines!