This is by far my favorite blog post of the year!! Authors I wish more people knew about.
Yes, some of these names are my friends! What good is having a friend who writes great books if you don’t promote her work to others? Some names are of writers I’ve discovered ( who were already famous) but were new-to-me and who I absolutely adore. The publishing indusctry can be cut throat as can any industry, but since the romance industry is so heavily weighed on the FEMALE side of the genetic table, it behooves all of us who write romance to support and lift one another up. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “if we don’t lift one another up, men are gonna walk all over us.” She’s not wrong.
So, in no real order, just how they jumped into my head, here’s a list of some of the writers I feel more people should read:
Lauren Layne. From the very first book of Lauren’s I picked up 3 years ago I was hooked. She’s one of my one-click authors and her writing style is so easy and wonderful to read, that I typically finish her books in a day.
Kari Lemor. Yes, Kari is a personal friend of mine, but from the first book I read of her Love on The Line series, I was a fan! She introduced me to Romantic Suspense Lite – and I’ve never looked back!
Donna Simonetta. Donna is a Wild Rose Press sistah, and her writing is filled with emotion, laughter, and humor! Her River’s Bend books are emotional and thought provoking, as is all her work.
Roni Loren. I discovered Roni on Netgalley when I requested one of her Ones Who Got Away books. I was hooked from the first page!
Catherine Bybee. Another Netgalley find for me with her First Wives Club books. I actually had the opportunity to take a class on social media from her at an RWA conference and she is as engaging, charming, and sharp-witted as her heroines are.
Katie O’Sullivan Again, I first met Katie as a WRP sistah, and was hooked from the very first time I read her words. Her Cape Cod Dating rules all feature people I want to be friends with in real life!!! Her writing style just jumps of the page! Engaging, witty, and emotional are just some of the words I can use to describe her work.
And that’s just SOME of the writers I wish more people knew about!!! Let’s see what the other bloggers in this hop think this week: L&SR
Full disclosure here, kids: I rewrote this article three times before hitting publish. The first time was written from a place of emotion and anger. Not a good head space to write from. The second was a little better, but still sounded too mean girl to me. Third time’s a charm, right? I hope so.
***takes a breath.
Okay, here goes…
Two days ago, this article was circling around the internet, twitter and facebook. It concerns a debut author, the advances she received on her books, and her claim that no one told her the real meaning of the advance and the true workings of the publishing industry when it came to money, promised money of the future, and the possibility of no money in the future.
The author makes ( or tries to make) several points in the article, that had she known the true workings of the publishing business with regards to marketing, author and book promotion, and royalties, she would have done several things differently when she received her advances for her debut novel and the series that came after it. The series she was contracted for and for which she received an ADVANCE.
Let’s look a little closer at those words: Her ADVANCES on her DEBUT novel.
She got an advance – a large one – on her DEBUT NOVEL. She was an unknown author and by the grace of GOD ( and probably a really good Agent) she received a sizable advance against the sales of her books. And she spends the entire article restating that no one told her what an advance really was and that the large one she received on her first book was not promised on future books.
Girl, for real? ( this is the part I had to edit because I didn’t say girl the first time, but something not very nice.)
It’s literally called an ADVANCE against Book Royalties. Even someone who isn’t in the writing/publishing business can deduce from that description that the publisher is giving you money BASED On the projected sales of your book. I find it hard to believe the author didn’t understand what that term meant, and because she didn’t, but thought she’d be making oodles of money in the future, she made some not great financial decisions.
She does admit, that’s on her, so good for that. But then she states that she grew up poor, and never learned the concepts of saving or investing. Well, I’m sorry, but that doesn’t wash with me. I grew up in the PROJECTS. We weren’t even able to live paycheck-to-paycheck because my mother had so many jobs when I was a kid, continual paychecks were never a guarantee. I grew up before social reform and there was no welfare, SSI assistance, or even a free lunch program in my public schools. But you know what? Even though my mother was barely literate, never finished highschool and could barely do basic math, she KNEW that when we did have a little money from a job that lasted more than a month, we saved it. Since every day was a rainy day, we saved it for a catastrophe day.
No one taught her to do this; it was basic common financial sense, something that this author states NO ONE TAUGHT HER.
To quote the author, “Did anyone working with me — agency, publishing team — tell me that a staggering advance was not something I should depend on or get used to and that, in fact, it’s extraordinarily common in the publishing industry for untested debuts to be paid large sums they will never see again? No. Did anyone in the publishing house take me under their wing and explain to me how the company made decisions about future book deals? No. Did the publisher tap a more seasoned author on their list to mentor me, as many major corporations encourage within their companies? No. Did the MFA in Writing program I was part of in any way arm me with the knowledge to protect and advocate for myself in the publishing world? No.”
She then goes on to state (blame) that no one in her publishing realm told her about how to market her books and the publisher didn’t really market them for her. Again, if she truly had an agent, I wonder why the agent never helped her with this or steered her toward the knowledge of how to do it. You can see where this was going for her: her sales weren’t great and future advances were lower than that $100,000 advance she got for her first two books.
$100,000. That amount is mind boggling to me. Why do I not feel sorry for her? Because I really don’t.
I’m a traditionally published author of 15 + books and have never received an advance of any amount on ANY OF MY BOOKS. Not one. Any money I’ve made has been solely royalty based.
And you know what? I KNEW THAT going in. I knew that was the way traditional publishing worked. No one taught it to me. No one sat me down and gave me a blueprint for how to make money with my books. No one had to tell me I had to hustle and sell my soul so I could sell those books.
The article’s author makes the point because she ASSUMED she would be getting more and more money and higher advances for future books, she never thought to save the advance she received. Instead, she spent it. She spent it and racked up more debt, almost to the point that she was bankrupt.
While I find her NO ONE TOLD me defense suspect and, let’s face it, whiney, it’s not an uncommon phenomenon. Athletes who come from humble beginnings and go on to sign multimillion dollars playing contracts, tend to spend their new-gotten money like no tomorrow. If they get hurt, fired, or if their careers end because of injury, and all that income now stops, they have nothing to fall back on either because they didn’t save for the rainy day that was sure to occur.
And we’ve all heard the stories of people who’ve won Lotto or Powerball who wound up penniless and in debt because of bad investments or hungry spending.
So, from that perspective, the author’s point about not knowing how to manage her money is correct. What I really find issue with is the fact that she thought she was all that and a bag of chips and would continue to ring in the cash with her books. To quote the article:
“After that second advance came through, I stepped into my dream life: quit my day job to write full time, moved to New York City, bought fifteen-dollar cocktails, and learned with astonishing speed to not bother worrying about the prices when I ordered at a restaurant.”
She goes on to state, “I said yes to travel (often book research I wasn’t reimbursed for), said yes to concert tickets, to new shoes, to finally being able to buy people the kind of presents I felt they deserved. I gave large sums of money as donations to organizations I cared about, delighted to feel like I was making a real difference. Did I pay off my student loans? No, just a few large payments. Did I set money aside for retirement? No. My reasoning was that the next book I sold, I’d take care of all that. “
I’m being 100% truthful when I say if I won Powerball tomorrow, or, if by the Grace of God I was given a $100,000 advance, I would SAVE SAVE SAVE and not spend with abandon. And you know why? Because I WAS that poor kid who never knew if there was going to be food in the cabinet come the end of the week, or if a paycheck was going to cover more than the rent with little else left for food. Once you’ve been without, once you’ve experienced real hunger, you learn to never take any money you get for granted, and, like squirrels storing nuts for the winter ( and yes, that’s a miserable analogy, but you know what I mean) you always ALWAYS save.
That’s just my opinion for the two cents it’s worth.
And just FYI, when the article hit Twitter, the twitterverse went nuts with people jumping on the author about her complaining and whining. The author tweeted that she received nothing but supportive comments OFF TWITTER from authors who told her that they felt just the way she did and they thanked her for her honesty in bringing this “problem” to the forefront.
Again, just my opinion here, but the only problem I could identify in the article was the author’s hubris, arrogance, and conceit in assuming she was going to continue to make oddles of money in an industry in which only about 0.001% make any real, livable money.
I know many people are going to disagree with what I’ve written, and that’s fine. This is still America and we are all entitled to our opinions. Since this is MY Blog, this is MY opinion.
Until next time ~ an-always-dreaming-of-an-advance-Peg
So, this week’s prompt is a thoughtful one: WHAT IS MY SUPERPOWER?
Easier asked than answered.
I can tell you what it isn’t:
I can’t –
Fly, read minds, become invisible, breathe underwater, teleport.
I don’t –
have xray vision, bat-hearing, a dog’s sense of smell, inhuman strength, eidetic memory, or the ability to heal someone with a simple touch.
I’m not –
strong, agile, quick/fast, charming or compelling, brilliant, telepathic.
What I CAN do is simple and extremely valuable, though: I’m a human bullshit detector.
I can spot a lie coming from a liar’s mouth after one sentence.
With this superpower I’ve been able to spot con-men, cheats, narcissists, thieves, and psychopaths in a heartbeat.
I’ve known when children are lying to get out of being punished for naughty behavior and adults are lying to avoid censure for bad deeds.
I’ve known when someone is bullshitting me, flattering me for nefarious reasons, attempting to steal from me, and sucking up to me for their own ends.
It’s a gift more than a superpower, I think, and one I am sososos thankful for. It’s helped me remove myself from tricky situations and helped me shove people who were up to no good from my life. It’s saved me from being a lemming many times, too!
I flirted with being a lawyer or an FBI agent for about 5 minutes when I was in my 20s due to this talent. But I liked Nursing more.
Let’s see what some of the other authors in this challenge consider their superpower; L&SR
I don’t usually post full face pictures of myself on this page for a number of reasons, but the biggest one being I hate full face pictures of myself!!!
Cindy Crawford I am not.
I’m not even Helen Mirren and she’s in the same age group as me.
But when I received this award over the weekend, I also received a letter from FCRW that asked the winners to take a picture with the award and their winning book to post on the FCRWFacebook and Twitter pages. Since it was going to be so publicly displayed anyway, I figured, why not blog about it, too, and post the picture.
I am still rehabbing from my surgery, so you can see a tiny speck of the immobilizer covering my right hand as I hold the beautiful award. Yes, I’m in my nightgown, there’s nothing on my face except Retin A, I’m wearing my daytime glasses and my hair isn’t combed because I can’t do that yet ( due to dominant arm surgery!) But it would have taken too much time, effort, and energy – none of which I have, to look camera ready.
But..all that aside, this award truly touched my heart.
The past two months have been filled with self doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and frustration over my writing career. After being dropped by two publishers and receiving some horrible reviews for my books, in addition to still not seeing my sales and readers increase, I’ve been struggling with the concept that writing for publication is something I’m not cut out for. There’s so much more involved than just writing stories of my heart. The time and cash spent on marketing, the query letters, the waiting to hear back, the time delays between book publications – it’s all starting to take a toll on my psyche.
The endless questions: have I peaked out? Is this all worth the time and expense? What am I killing myself for?
Dramatic? Yeah, maybe, but hey: this is me we’re talking about. Drama in my confirmation name.
And then this happens.
I think sometimes the universe, and/or God knows just what to do to make me realize my decisions and my life are worthwhile.
So…no more moping, overthinking, doubting, bitching or complaining.
Now if I could just brush my hair…..
Oh, and because the marketing aspect NEVER ends, here’s the book that won the award, available in ecopy, print and audio.
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him. Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself and his company’s reputation in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family. Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?
I don’t have a cover yet for my next A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN book, just a title: TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This is oldest O’Dowd sister CATHLEEN’S story. Widowed, lonely, and bit of a workaholic, Cathy is despairing she will ever find another man to warm her bed at night and one she can love forever. She agrees to attend a speed dating night, organized by her high school friend, Olivia, a local matchmaker. This little scene is after the event:
The lights were still on inside the house when Olivia dropped me back home three hours later.
“I don’t want you to be discouraged, Cathy,” she said as I unbuckled my seatbelt. “This was just your first event.”
And if I had anything to say about it, it was my last.
“Tonight was a mish-mash of personality types and age groups. I’d invited you so you could get a feel for what’s involved in the process. I didn’t expect you to meet or connect with anyone. We need to get together privately so I can figure out the type of man you’re interested in. Then, I can set up something in the future more to your taste level.”
My taste level? Good Lord. If tonight was any indication, there were no men out there who even came close to an appetizer much less a main course.
“Liv, I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I’m busy with the practice, handling Nanny’s affairs.” I swiped my gloved hand in the air. “I’m not sure I have the energy to be involved at the moment.”
She smiled and nodded. “Going out to dinner or a movie with a nice guy doesn’t mean you have to sign a marriage contract, Cath. According to Fiona all you do is work.”
“Well, yeah. Because I’m busy.”
“I get that. But you can take a break every now and again, you know. Just think about it,” she added when I opened my mouth again, ready to protest.
Resigned, I nodded.
“I’ll call you in a few days and we can grab some lunch, okay?”
“Sure,” I said.
The house was lit and warm when I walked through the front door. I’d thought Frayne had left the lights on so I wouldn’t come home to a dark, empty house. The moment I closed the door behind me I realized I was wrong, because the house wasn’t empty at all.
Mac Frayne was seated at my dining room table, a laptop opened in front of him.
“You’re still here.”
Why that blue-eyed and befuddled stare meeting me through those thick lenses was such a turn on is a mystery I don’t think I’ll ever solve, but the moment his dazed gaze zeroed in on me and then cleared, his eyes widening, then narrowing, my legs got a little wobbly and my pulse jumped.
He tugged the glasses off and tossed them onto the table, his gaze never wavering my face.
“And you’re back early,” he said, rising.
I draped my coat over my forearm, kicked off my shoes, and shrugged. “It wasn’t supposed to be a long, drawn-out evening.”
Frayne took a few steps toward me, the lines in his forehead grooving deeper. “How was it?”
“Horrible,” I said, before I could stop myself. I shook my head as I moved towards the hall closet. “That’s unfair,” I added, as I hung up my coat. “It wasn’t horrible, as much as something not for me.”
I turned and barreled into Frayne.
“Jesus.” His hands shot out and braced my upper arms. “You don’t make a sound when you move.”
“A lifetime of apartment living,” he said. Once I was sure footed and guaranteed not to fall into him again, he lowered his hands.
If I’d had any nerve I would have asked him to put them back. Instead, I swallowed, turned, and walked toward the kitchen, as he asked, “Why wasn’t it something for you?”
I ignored the question. “I’m starving. Have you had anything to eat?”
I wasn’t surprised when he followed me.
“Not since lunch at the Inn. Maureen had soup and sandwiches today, which, like everything else she’s served since I’ve been here, were delicious.”
“Mo only knows how to do delicious.” I peeked inside my fridge. “And speaking of,” I pulled out a glass container. “This is fried chicken she gave me this morning. Want some?”
He leaned a hip against the counter and cocked his head.
“You don’t mind sharing?”
“We both have to eat.”
I put the mashed sweet potatoes she’d sent along in a microwave bowl, then set the timer.
“I hope you like your chicken cold because I’m in no mood to wait for the oven to heat.”
That darling little curl popped up in the corner of his mouth.
“Cold is fine.”
“Did you read any more of Josiah’s diaries?” I asked while I pulled plates from the cabinet.
When he didn’t answer I looked over at him. His quizzical head cock was in place again.
“I’m curious why you won’t answer my question.”
I stared at the microwave, taking a moment to formulate my answer.
“The whole concept of dating is alien to me. I knew Danny since the second grade and we got married when we were eighteen. He was the only guy I ever went out with, and it wasn’t even what anyone would consider dating, since we’d been together forever. Having to start all over at this age is”—I lifted one shoulder—“mentally exhausting.”
“Why did you agree to go, then?”
“Because, as my grandmother succinctly put it, it’s time to move on.”
“And you thought hiring a matchmaker was the way to meet someone?”
“I didn’t seek Olivia out. I kind of got railroaded into it.”
I explained how the situation came about while I put the food on the kitchen table. Once seated, I continued.
“Before I knew it, I’d agreed to go to tonight’s”—I waved my hand in the air—“thing.”
“So, again, why wasn’t it for you? I don’t know a lot about speed dating, but from what I’ve read it’s popular among millennials. Along with right-swipe hookups.” The jagged shake of his head told me all I needed to know how he felt about the way people met these days.
“And that’s the problem.” I pointed my sweet potato-laden fork at him. “I’m in the wrong age bracket. Call me old fashioned but I prefer to meet someone and get to know them organically and over time, not try and stuff the story of my life into three minutes before an egg timer beeps. Even though I didn’t participate I was tense and stressed watching the others who were. It all seemed…desperate to me.”
I stopped, mortified I’d admitted it, because in truth, that’s what I’d been feeling watching the group tonight.
From the moment we’d arrived at the restaurant I could tell I’d made a big mistake. The women were all older than me, had hungry, hopeful gleams in their eyes and when they caught sight of me, a few of their stares turned hostile. I was all set to beat a hasty retreat when Olivia’s hand at the small of my back propelled me forward.
Part of the restaurant had been cordoned off, a half dozen tables for two set-up in a semi-circle. Six women, six men, I assumed.
What’s that saying about what happens when you assume something?
A quick glance back at the hostility bowling my way and I realized it wasn’t because of my outfit or my age, but the fact I had the wrong chromosomes.
With me included, there were eight women. I’m better at words than math, but even a five year old knew that left a smaller number of men.
With a gentle prod, Olivia shoved me towards the gaggle of women. For the first time in my life I understood any sympathized with how Daniel must felt walking into the lion’s den.
“Ladies,” I said, with head bob and a tremulous smile.
Silence came back at me. I could stare down the most antagonistic of witnesses in a courtroom without even a thought, but for some reason all my courage flew south as these women glared at me through overly made-up, amateurly applied smoky eyes.
I swallowed the golf ball of fear in my throat.
“How’s everyone doing tonight?” I asked.
Lame, I know, but I was truly out of my element.
“You’re new,” a voice said. “Haven’t seen you before.”
“Y-yes. I’m a…friend…of Olivia’s.” If they thought I posed no dating threat, I figured they wouldn’t disembowel me.
“You joining in tonight, then?”
“Just an observer,” I assured her.
“Hey, aren’t you Fintan O’Dowd’s oldest?” One of them asked. Well, accused would be more the appropriate word choice.
Another quirk of living in a small community, especially with a well-known parent: everyone knows who you are and who you’re related to whether you know them or not. Since I didn’t recognize the woman asking, I nodded.
“Thought you was married.” Yup, accused was the correct word.
“I was. I’m a widow. My husband died…was killed. In Afghanistan.”
Immediately, their collective animosity flew right out the restaurant’s front door. They approached me in a cluster, cooing, and clicking their tongues in sad support of my plight.
If I’d known that was all it took to get them to put their invisible pitchforks and blunderbusses away I’d have led with it.
And yes, I know that’s dramatic, but their facial expressions up until then were fifty shades of scary.
A few moments later Olivia clapped her hands and called us to order.
I stood with her off at the side while she read the rules and held a stopwatch. A small bell sat on the table in front of her. At the first ding, the room went into motion.
The seven women all took their seats while the five men inspected them like hunters evaluating prey, and then made their way to the tables of their choice. I felt bad for the two women who sat solo.
“Don’t worry about them,” Olivia said, when I voiced my concern. “Everyone will have a chance to meet. You want to sit down at one of the tables and give this a go?”
Having a root canal without anesthesia while simultaneously getting my fingernails removed had more appeal. I declined, nicely, and said I just wanted to watch.
Intrigued? I’ll be posting soon on the cover and the release date, so stay tuned.
I don’t usually do this on this page, but this review ofDIRTY DAMSELSwas so lovely, I wanted to give the reviewer credit and cite her review.
Reviewed By Tracy Young for Readers’ Favorite
Cynderella has battled to create a successful cleaning company despite having an evil stepmother who cut her off from the family. Just like her fairytale namesake, she thrived despite having an “evil bitch” who refused to pay for her education. Dirty Damsels (Dotcom Girls Book 1) by Peggy Jaeger is the story of Cynderella and her encounter with a Prince that makes her toes, and every other part of her body, curl! When Ella finds herself understaffed, she rolls up her sleeves and sets out to clean one of her favorite clients’ apartments. While she is cleaning the fireplace, a jet-lagged hunk with a twinkle in his jade eyes interrupts her and turns her world on edge. A chance encounter in a club seems to be a coincidence that leads to a night of passion. Ella is rocked when it turns out that her sexy Prince is part of a team that is seeking to buy out her company and also the company owned by her best friend Nell. Has he engineered the meeting in order to use personal information about them both? It would seem so, and Ella must decide how to handle her feelings for Buddy.
This is a hot and steamy story of lust and attraction. Ella is a feisty, savvy woman who refuses to accept setbacks. She has close friendships but no man in her life – by choice. Dirty Damsels by Peggy Jaeger is a funny, sexy tale of our times that shows how a successful businesswoman is still entitled to a steamy sex life! Buddy and Ella make the pages sizzle with their encounters and take the reader on a roller coaster ride of pleasure. Peggy Jaeger is a master of romantic fiction and I look forward to reading further adventures of Ella and her Dirty Damsels!
Now here’s an unusual topic. I don’t think I’ve ever given consideration to this before. What do I read when I’m not feeling well.
If I use a little literary ( hahah PUN!) license, I can say that feeling well doesn’t necessarily have to mean sick, like I have the flu or a bad stomach cramps from overeating Milano cookies. In fact, the reason I ate the Milanos – because I was feeling depressed and sad – could be construed as feeling unwell.
I know…sometimes I surprise myself as well. ( hee hee)
When I’m feeling down, dejected, sad, or depressed, sometimes I don’t reach for the Milanos, I re-read a book instead. I really do, I just never realized it could be blog topic before!
In no order – either the depth of my “illness” or the love of the book, I re-read and have re-read these books several times during my lifetime.
NEW YORK TO DALLAS, JDRobb. I’ve mentioned this book so much on this blog that people are probably sick ( hahaha PUN) of it by now, but the book is not only a great futuristic procedural, it also has he best last 3 pages of any book I’ve ever read. Check out this blog post for what I mean: NYTD
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, Lauren Layne. I’ve read this four times since I discovered Lauren Layne. Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps I reread it – even just a few chapters – because the story is so witty, urbane, and upbeat.
LITTLE WOMAN, Louisa May Alcott. growing up an only child of divorced parents I was lonely for siblings, sisters most of all. I must have read this book 15-20 times from the ages of 10-20. To this day it makes me feel joyous about family!
There are a few more, but I think I’ll leave it at these top three for now. Let’s see what the other authors in this challenge use as book-medicine. L&SR.
I’m thrilled to have any book of mine thought of as one that has to be finished in one sitting! I have several favorite authors, who, when they release a new book, I devour immediately, unable to put it down until I know how everything resolves. And even though I read mainly romance, with the ending a guarantee of an HEA, an ending I KNOW is coming, I still can’t wait to finish the book.
SO, this got to me to thinking ( you knew that was coming, didn’t you? Hee hee): what, exactly, must a book have in it to make it a bingeworthy read for me?
A heroine that I can get behind who’s independent, strong willed, compassionate, snarky – if she can be – and willing to stand up to people and situations because she believes in drawing a line in the sand when things are wrong. She will never be weak willed, nasty or mean, and she will always, always, fight for the underdog. She doesn’t go along with the crowd like a lemming, but forges her own path. And despite any troubles or conflicts that come her way, she always believes in herself and her capabilities. Oh, and I don’t care if she’s a size zero or a triple XL. All of Nora Roberts/JD Robb’s heroines are examples of women like this for me.
A hero who doesn’t have to be conventionally tall, dark and handsome, but can have a face he fits into. He must be smart, he must be inherently kind ( even when he’s being an absolute prick), love the heroine as if his life depended on it, be honest and truthful ( even when he needs to lie for plot reasons, hee hee) it doesn’t hurt if he’s witty or snarky and his ability to remain calm in chaotic situations is a must.It also doesn’t hurt if he’s seen the bad parts of life and survived some trauma, either. Sandra Brown and Lisa Kleypas‘ heros are examples of men like this.
Dialogue that flies off the page and makes me feel as if I’m listening to two people actually talking to one another. It takes a special kind of writer who can do this, seamlessly, and make you flip those pages one right after the other, anticipating what these two are going to say to one another and how they are going to say it. Jill Shalvis and Lauren Layne have this gift. In spades.
Secondary characters I could see as my friends if they were to walk off the page. Again, nobody does this better than Nora in her JD Robb persona ( In my humble opinion.) The characters of Peabody, McNab, Summerset, Mavis, et al are all people I could see myself meeting for drinks and going to book club with!
A setting I’d love to visit or live in. The way Janet Evanovich writes her scenes of New Jersey in the Stephanie Plum books is perfect for an example.
Each of the writers I mentioned above is a binge read author for me. The moment they release new books I stop whatever it is I am doing, whether it’s cleaning the house or writing my own books, and readreadread until I am done.
My greatest, secret wish is that I am a bingeworthy author for a reader!!
Hey – did you know I’ve got a sale going on? DEARLY BELOVED, book 1 in my Match Match in Heaven series is on sale ( ebook only) for just 99cents until 8.23.
The sale is in anticipation of book 2, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS being released soon! Get your copy now – if you haven’t already – and get all caught up before book 2 comes out into the book reading world.
Last week I brought you a little sumthin’ from my upcoming WRP release of TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS. This week, I have another new WRP release coming out SOON from a new series called PRIDE OF BROTHERS. The first book is Rick’s Story.
Rick Bannerman’s job is to protect. An elite bodyguard and P.I., he’s used to denying his emotions and ignoring his feelings in order to keep those in his care safe, at all costs. When lawyer Abigail Laine becomes the target of a vengeful client, Rick slips in to protection mode even though Abby refuses his help.
Four years ago Rick left Abby standing on a balcony alone, after walking away from a kiss that sent them both reeling. His refusal stung, and Abby’s sworn to forget it so she can protect her heart and move on with her life. But now she needs Rick’s professional help and her reluctance to accept it could just cost her her life.
Can these two stubborn and independent people put their troubled past behind them and learn to trust one another?
Rick was seated on the couch, his laptop on the table in front of him, an open bag of potato chips next to it.
“Where did those come from?”
“They were in the bag from Kandy,” he told her never looking up from his typing. “Josh took pity on me and sneaked them in.”
She pulled a bottle of water from the fridge. “Why would Josh need to take pity on you?”
If shamefaced had a proper name, it would be Rick, because that’s exactly the expression he wore on his face at her question. His shoulders curled forward a little, his neck almost disappearing into them. The tips of his ears turned ruddy, and he cleared his throat a few times before reaching for his own water bottle and taking a good chug.
He wouldn’t meet her eyes.
“Answer me,” she commanded when he put the bottle back down on the table.
She watched his neck work and couldn’t decide which emotion was stronger: the need to hear the answer to her question, or the desire to crawl into his lap and lick his neck—and every other part of him.
It was a testament to her analytical training that she opted for an answer.
“Maybe pity was the wrong word.”
Rick scrubbed his hands through his hair and cupped the back of his neck. “Fine, but don’t get all pissy when I tell you, okay?”
For an answer, she cocked one of her eyebrows and dropped her chin.
“When we were over there, I happened to mention to Josh you don’t keep any junk food in the house. No cake, no chips, pretzels. Nothing to snack on.”
“Not true. I always have cut fruit in the fridge.”
The breath he blew between his lips told her what he thought of fruit as a snack. “Like I said, nothing to snack on. I kind of told him I was, you know, going through withdrawal, from the lack.”
She couldn’t help it: she laughed.
Rick straightened up in his seat, his eyes squinting at her. “You don’t have to laugh at me. You did ask.”
“How old are you?”
“What does my age have to do with anything?”
“You just said you were going through withdrawal because you haven’t had crappy snacks to munch on. Don’t—” She held a hand up to him to silence what he’d been about to say. “The stuff you like is crappy from a nutrition standpoint. The last time I heard someone complain like you was my nephew Declan when were all at the beach last month. He’s nine. Which is the age I’d expect a kid to be who’s made a statement like you just did.”
Rick shook his head. “I knew you were gonna get pissy.”
“I’m not being pissy because I eat food that’s actually good for me. You don’t live here, Rick. I do. You can fill your apartment to the ceiling with junk food and I won’t care, but this is my home, my space, and I don’t stock it full of bad food choices.”
“Why are you so hyper-vigilant and OCD about snacky stuff? It’s not gonna kill you to have a cupcake or some cheese puffs, you know.”
“Spoken like a man who can eat whatever he wants.”
“The hell does that mean?”
“It means you don’t need to worry about your weight. Ever. You’ve never struggled with an extra ounce of body fat in your life, Rick. I know that for fact. You have no idea what it’s like to count every calorie and watch every single thing that goes into your mouth because of the inevitability it’s going to wind up on your ass. I do. I wasn’t blessed with my grandmother’s metabolism like Kandy and most of my sisters. Ellie and I take after our dad’s side. We’re the only ones who do. One more thing to despise about him,” she added, pursing her lips. “I’ve had to deny myself food everyone else can eat with abandon since my teens. And it’s a struggle. A monumental one. I’m strong-willed, but sometimes willpower can only go so far, which is why I keep healthy foods around me so if I do snack, at least it’s on something I won’t obsess over about the calorie count.”
She took a long pull from her water bottle.
Rick’s gaze stayed on her while she drank. He didn’t seem embarrassed any more. In truth, she couldn’t tell what was behind that penetrating stare of his. She placed the bottle down on the counter next to her broken shoe.
“Come here,” he said, holding out his hand.
He wiggled his fingers. “Just, come here.” When she didn’t move he added, “Please.”
He took her hand when she got close and yanked her down onto his lap with her legs resting on the couch.
“For the record,” he said, winding one hand around her waist, the other across her thighs, “I love your ass. I love every part of your body. And whether you weighed fifty pounds or three fifty, you’d still be the sexiest woman I’ve ever known, Abigail.”
The words seeped into her soul. She wanted to believe them.
“And I’m sorry I dissed you to Josh. You’re right, I don’t live here, and I have no right to complain about anything. So, I’m sorry.”
Abby sat, quietly, staring up at him.
“What?” he asked when she tilted her head to one side.
“Contrition looks good on you.”
Intrigued? Stay tuned for more announcements on cover reveal, preorder links and release date!
And don’t forget, DEARLY BELOVED is still on sale until 8.23.19 Get your copy before book 2 comes out so you’ll be all caught up!