Yeah, I've proved time and time again that I suck at blogging and updating. But here I am with just a short update about what I have coming up and out. ;)
My Cowboy Brett story that I've talked about before was accepted by Amber Quill (yah) and has an ebook release date of August 25 - with a print date sometime in September. I'm happy it will be out in time for me to take a few copies to GRL. It's about 90,000 words so that's a fair size for me - times that by two and you'll know what I've been working on for the last few months. (more about that after)
So I wanted to show off my shiny new cover by the wonderful Trace Edward Zaber. I picked out the cover model and I just love him. So let me introduce you to Cowboy Brett who now has a real title - "Unbreak My Heart" (cue singing the song from the 90's)
It's pretty, right? (you have to look down obviously) - I have a tagline too...
"Is the love and patience of a city kid enough to breathe life back into a rancher who's living in his own world of pain--and unbreak his heart?"
I've already posted an excerpt introducing Brett (sort of) so here's one with my other main character - JT. (unedited, by the way)
JT literally woke with the sun as a streak of light from the bare window zapped him square in the eyes. He pulled himself from a slumber that was way too short, rolling to his side and shading his eyes against the pain of too much light way too fast. He was stiff and sore, his back protesting loudly against the thin mattress he'd tossed uncomfortably on all night. The least he could have done was get blitzed the night before so he had a reason to feel like shit in the morning. But in the greater scheme of things he felt rested and relaxed and ready to start the next chapter of "JT Campbell, this is your life".
Of course, the brawl could have had a lot to do with just how freaking crappy he was feeling and not just the bed. He'd managed to escape with only minimal damage, but there were more than a few aches and bites of pain he recognized as being caused by one of the redneck Neanderthals he'd pissed off at the bar. He figured the bruises would be more apparent in the light of day, and hoped they wouldn't make him look completely unemployable.
Brett had already made it known that he recognized the state of JT's face and he didn't look like the type of man to shy away from any kind of fight himself. That itself was a Neanderthal assumption on JT's part. He'd need to tamp down that bigoted reaction and strike the word redneck from his vocabulary if he was going to work for Brett or anyone else in this neck of the woods, pun intended.
He squinted his eyes into the deadly sunlight, sitting up as he chastised his internal complaints. He'd slept in worse beds, in worse places, with worse opportunities in his immediate future. He admitted to being a little confused, but a lot curious, at his sudden hiring and with Brett himself. And how could he just not be completely taken with Millie—as she had insisted he call her—and her take-no-prisoners spunk and attitude. It wasn't every day a nice lady stopped to pick him up—and not want to get into his pants—especially on a pitch black highway. Damn, if he'd had a mother like that, he might have ended up with a stronger sense of family and home.
Brett hadn't seemed all that thrilled with his mother's force of nature power, but also not so surprised by it either. Maybe it was true what they said about Southern boys and their mothers—mamas’ boys to the end, no questions asked, just a lot of "yes ma'ams" and ingrained respect. It was a nice thought actually, foreign and unimaginable to JT, but nice nonetheless.
Pulling himself from the narrow bed and his rambling thoughts, JT stumbled across the room, finally righting himself when he reached the small bathroom just outside the bedroom. He relieved himself, splashed cold water on his face, then pulled on the jeans he'd discarded to the floor. The purple T-shirt he'd been wearing was a little torn at the collar, undoubtedly from the pissed-off redneck…um, asshole who'd grabbed him the at the bar. The front was littered with red droplets and the bottom with a larger smear where he vaguely recalled wiping his bloody mouth.
Unfortunately he hadn't washed any clothes for over a week, maybe two since he'd been on the road most of that time, but the purple was still the cleanest and least offensive-smelling shirt he had.
"Fine way to start a new job, Johan," his mother whispered inside his head. He shoved her away as he'd been trying to do for the past year and a half or from the time he'd reached adulthood if he was honest. He turned the shirt inside out then slipped it over his head. The rip was obviously still visible, but at least it didn't seem so crusty with blood anymore. It would have to do.
After straightening the pale blue sheets and gray, wooly blanket on the bed, JT turned to take in the room. It had been dark when Brett had left him there, the light outside and the dim bulb in the bathroom illuminating his way to wash up before he pulled the chain to extinguish it then crawled into the bed in complete darkness. He wondered if there were in fact any other lights that worked or if he'd need some old oil lantern to light his way through the dingy, abandoned mess of the bunkhouse. He chuckled as flashes of stereotypical cowboys and campfires and the old west flooded his brain.
He moved out of the tiny space—more of a walk-in closet really—to the kitchen/dining room where a small wooden table and four chairs stood dusty and in need of repair, an old metal mug lonely and forgotten in the center of the table. There was a dirty sink beneath an even dirtier window, also without curtains or blinds, a minuscule cracked countertop, a single burner hot plate and a fridge no bigger than a cooler. JT guessed its history had involved keeping beer cold and nothing else. He gave his head a shake at his judgmental thoughts while he walked out into the Southern morning.
The day was new, the sun having peeked over the horizon for barely more than a couple hours, but there was already a snap of warmth in the air. The smell of summer, warm grass, flowers, maybe even a nearby river or creek, exhilarated JT, bringing him into a greater, more pleasant state of wakefulness. The fresh scents reminded him of California at the beach, without the salty smell of the ocean of course. He couldn't remember having been up so early in the past few years, perhaps even his entire life, except maybe to surf. He missed the crashing waves and the anticipation that quickly grew into radiating excitement, but there was more about home that he didn't miss.
The fresh air also brought out the secret, hippie poet he had buried deep inside him. His mind soared with all the cheesy adjectives and overworked clichés he could think of regarding new, sunshine-filled beginnings and days of promise and light. Maybe he should have just chosen hippy poetry as a profession instead of bothering with the degree that sat unused and unwanted on an expensive piece of paper in an expensive frame.
He sighed when a gentle breeze tickled his face, bristling the tiny prickles of stubble on his chin and jaw. He hadn't shaved in a couple of days and was just contemplating going back to the bunkhouse to do just that when a hint of the most perfect aroma known to man assaulted his nose—coffee. The thesaurus in his head automatically slammed shut, his impending rugged-look quickly forgotten as he sniffed out the source of the God-like scent.
"I want you to meet my son...Lucas."
Only eight little words—but with so much impact. Two years ago, Lucas joined the Peace Corps so he'd never have to hear those words. He left so Danilo would be free to start the next phase of his life, and so Lucas could find a fresh perspective on his own.
But now that he's back in town, ready to kick-start his new life, will those eight simple words send Lucas reeling back into the past or smiling hopefully into the future?
I still suck at blurbs and in the past week I've been doing them for three different books. My last bit of news is that I finally finished the second book in the Family of Misfits series. It's Ali's book - "Ali's Intuition" - as I've probably said before. It's 90,000 words (that seems to the magic number for me) and the lovely L.C. Chase is working on the cover, just as she did for Lucius' Bite.
I don't have a release date yet but my editor says I'll have it in time for GRL in ebook and print so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have a half-assed tagline that will more than likely change but this is it...
Fate has successfully matched spirit mates forever—but fate has never met a witch named Ali.
If you read the first book in the series you know that Ali is a bit of a handful, and since this is his book, he intends to keep up his reputation. The other misfits are all present as well, helping...or not so much.
I don't have a big plan for what's next. I have stories here and there in partial states of being started or just scenes and characters yapping at me in the back of my mind, but nothing solid that I want to work on next. The full novel of "Lazy Sundays" and "Lazy Valentines" is definitely on my plate - I'm hoping to put them both into one book, then add the rest of their story so it's all together. Devon and Scott seem to be quite popular with people who've read them so they deserve to have their story told.
To be honest, I'll just be glad when my two new releases are edited so I can wrap my head around something different, and hopefully shorter. Ali's story ended up almost double what Lucius' was, and the was definitely unintentional. Then writing Brett's story at the same time--and same length--sort of wore me out. There is a lovely submission call that I'm already planning on working on--something close to my heart and under my skin (lol). But that won't be for a while.
That's all for now. I won't promise to see you soon, but I'll certainly try to do better or those dwarves at the top of this post will haunt my dreams - of course, you know I'd really like that anyhow. I'll leave you with some pics of my recent shopping trip online, ;) Oh, and I have a guest doing a give-away next week so make sure you come check it out. Have a good week.
New iPhone case :)
New iPad skin :)
New laptop skin :)
There is nothing obsessive about me at all. ;)
Besides, it was a really great sale.