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
Category: Behind The Scenes

Weekly-ish Update-Sept 8

Look, I did it!  Weekly-ish!

The Book I’m Working On

Working hard on revisions to Deception, eyeing an Oct release date. Another scorching hot medieval adventure with a con man hero and a very desperate, very angry woman who won’t take no for an answer.

The Kind Of Heroes I Love

I don’t think I’ll shock anyone here with this, but I love hard heroes. Men who operate just this side of good.

Deception is a little different from the usual medieval fare–it’s a long con, with a hero who’s been steeped in criminality from his pirate lord father to his time managing connections between wealthy, corrupt movers-and-shakers of medieval England.  He’s a man with no conscience…except when it comes to the only woman he’s ever loved. Which is going to prove pretty inconvenient for him.

Poor guy.

My heroes are generally pretty tortured souls–Kier from Deception certainly is!–but they’re decisive, highly capable men on a mission, so their dark side has focus.  And although they’re 100% alpha, they’re also very confident, so they don’t have any problem with an equally strong woman at their side. Actually, they need a strong woman, someone who can handle the grand adventures and intense passion required for the love of a lifetime. 

If that’s the kind of book YOU like too, check out all my romantic adventures at the website, and get swept away!

The Special Gift I Have For You

Speaking of hard, hot heroes….

 This limited time giveaway is a little gift from 13 historical romance authors, to help our readers find new hot historicals w/ bad boy heroes to love.  Who knows, you might just find a new fav author! (After me, of course.)

Hop on over to Bookfunnel, peruse the covers, click the ones that look especially yummy, and enjoy!

Behind The Scenes: Writing King's Warrior

Thought it might be fun to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes at the writing of King’s Warrior, which just released last week. 

His plan was heartless, ruthless, and simple. Until he met her.

My plan for this story was simple, too.  (Not so much ruthless, but then I’m not an Irish warrior….)

I wanted to write a story where the hero exploits the heroine while appearing to help her, a story that would set up the new series I was starting, Renegade Lords.

I originally wrote King’s Warrior (originally titled The King’s Outlaw) for an anthology with three other author friends, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair, and Jennifer Haymore, Captured by a Celtic Warrior (out of print now).  It was terrific working with these ladies, and if you haven’t checked out their stories, do!

The theme for our Captured anthology was, perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘captured.’  All the stories were also going to have a jeweled dagger running through them.  The same jeweled dagger. And yet, the stories were going to span hundreds of years.

Since my story was appearing first in the anthology, I  knew I wanted to set up a compelling, exciting ‘story’ for the dagger that the other authors were going to be working with.  But I also had to keep the storyline relatively tight, because these were all novellas—no sprawling 400 pg epics here!  And of course, it had to be über-sexy. All within a ‘captured’ theme.

I wrote and wrote, but kept writing around the story, until I wrote what is now the opening scene with Tadhg, the Irish hero of our story. He’s on the docks in a grubby little French seaport, trying to get out of town before he’s captured by the villain, and, boom, the story took off.

I really loved the challenge of this story, and when it came together, it came together fast and tight. Really fun!

But that was only half of it. Because as I wrote, the story morphed and grew (of course!) and kept getting longer. This hero had a backstory, a big one, with complicated relationships that were going to yanked brought back to the forefront and tested.

Clearly this was not a novella.  And so not all of it could make it into the anthology version. But I knew Tadhg (pronounced /tie-g/) needed to have his story told.  As did Magdalena, his simple, innocent heroine, who, Tadhg is about to find out, has the heart of a lion.

King’s Warrior is their story, in a full, single title release, with loads of adventure and scorching hot passion.

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, 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!)

I hope you love it.  Let me know; I love to hear from readers!

Have fun in there! 

Amazon | iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

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.