Meet Oreo!

Those of you following my son’s journey to getting his therapeutic service dog… He’s here! Meet Oreo, the sweetest, smartest black lab you’ll ever meet!

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For those of you who donated, shared my links, sent positive thoughts/prayers to my son, I can’t express how grateful I am. The support of my fellow authors and readers has been amazing and heartwarming. I’ll keep updating on Oreo’s progress for as long as you keep wanting me to. It’s not like he’s not photogenic or anything😉

 

 

It’s Here!!!

I’m so excited for the long-awaited release of Boy Meets Nerd!!! I loved writing this book and I really hope my fans enjoy it. It took me a long time to finally publish it after I waffled with signing it to an agent. I did end up signing with an agent but for different projects. Soooo…. I present to you… BOY MEETS NERD!

Oh! But first, make sure you come to the party tonight. I’m unveiling something really cool my intern did for me. You don’t want to miss it. It’s on facebook here at 8pm EST.

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Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mw2ZrI
B&N: http://bit.ly/1u7FizO
ARe: http://bit.ly/1yPNfIJ

 

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Boy Meets Nerd – 1st Chapter Preview!!!

Only 5 days until Boy Meets Nerd – a contemp new adult – releases!!! To entice you to get ready to buy it, I have the first chapter here for you to read! Check it out and I hope you’ll buy it on Monday!

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Chapter 1

“Your boyfriend is cheating on you.”

Silence. She waited for the tears, the cursing, the drama that came with telling her clients her digging turned up a truckload of dirt.

“That fucking coward!”

There we go.

Emerson flinched and held the phone away from her ear as Lauren let out a string of curse words. It wasn’t often someone promised to rip someone’s dick off and shove it up his ass.

“Are you sure, Em?” Lauren asked, after she finally settled down.

If only she could pass it off as a joke. Clients weren’t usually friends but they did pay her to find the truth. And the truth was staring her right in the face. Private messages between Lauren’s boyfriend and a girl named Gypsy Peach filled her computer screen.

“I could send you proof but…” She winced. “I don’t think you want to read this.” The girl needed therapy, not a detailed account of what Gypsy was going to do to his genitals the next time they saw each other. And it wasn’t to shove it up his ass.

“No. I definitely don’t. I already want to kill the motherfucker.” She sighed. “Well, thanks, Emerson.”

How should she respond to that? You’re welcome for ruining your life? And at the low cost of only twenty dollars an hour! Some days she felt like a soul-sucking demon. Not only did she deliver bad news – and it was almost always bad news – but then she billed them for it. Maybe she should do it in person so they could at least use the bill to dry their tears.

Quiet sniffles sounded from the other end of the phone.

“Um, you’re welcome,” she said, then ended the call.

After minimizing the screen with the incriminating evidence, she stared at her desktop background. All black with white words across the middle that read, Stop staring at my screen.

Maybe it was a little off-putting but sharing an apartment with a nosy roommate had made it necessary. The Gmail alert dinged and with a sigh, she opened the window, expecting another boring job offer. She was collecting those. They always started the same – dear Mrs. True, you were at the top of the list for placement recommendation in our company from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, blah blah blah… As if it were any hacker’s dream to work for a corporation. Bosses, cubicles, rules and limitations… She shuddered.

Instead of a job offer, the email was from a Levi Morrison, subject line Help me find my dream girl.

Was she a matchmaker now? Why weren’t her spam filters working? Just before she clicked delete, the sender’s name registered. She’d heard it before.

Lauren’s friend. She’d mentioned giving her email address to a prospective client named Levi. He sounded desperate already. She clicked open the email. She didn’t often have men asking for help. What was his sad story?

 

Hi. I heard you’re a professional spy.

 

Spy? She snorted. Why did everyone think hacking was exactly how it appeared in movies? High stakes government secrets set to a soundtrack of suspenseful music. If her life was set to music, it’d be more like monk chanting. Boring and uneventful.

 

I need help finding out if I’m being catfished. Can we meet up and go over the details? I live on the south side of the city. I’m willing to pay whatever it costs to find out if I’m falling for a real person or not. Look forward to hearing from you.

 

Levi

 

Catfished. So this guy was in love with a girl he’d never met in person and now wanted to know if she was who she said she was. With social media gaining so much popularity, it was easy to steal someone’s identity, or start a fake account with a made up name. But there were also ways to find the truth. This was too easy. She hit reply then began typing a response.

 

If you want to talk, meet me at Starbucks on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. I charge twenty dollars an hour and before you ask, no, I can’t predict how long it will take me to find out who this girl is. But I’ll update you as I go and you can stop services at any time. I’ll be there at 9am on Saturday. Let me know if you can’t make it.

 

Emerson

 

Maybe this job would help pay her half of the rent this month. Her two closest friends from school had moved away months ago. One went to work at Google in California and the other got a government job in D.C. Emerson loved the atmosphere, the weather, and the culture in Boston. Even still, she couldn’t help but feel a little felt behind.

Her grandmother lived nearby at least. They’d grown close since she’d started school. When it came to her traditional Midwestern family, she felt disconnected. Growing up in Ohio had been as boring as most job offers, and she’d been ostracized starting in middle school. Never interested in being popular, she stuck to videogames and computer coding instead. Her mother had no idea what to do with her pierced up, introverted tomboy of a daughter.

Boston was full of her kind of people. Misfits. At MIT, she’d blended in so well. She’d graduated with a degree in Computer Science with a specialty in Information Analysis. A professional hacker. Now she bided her time doing freelance work, waiting until she could land the perfect job. Or maybe she’d discover a new prime number and finally be recognized for her mind. That was the best outcome she could hope for.

Another email came back almost straight away. Levi confirmed he’d be there on Saturday and asked what she looked like so he could find her.

Now how should she answer that? She clicked her short nails on the keys while she thought.

The apartment door opened then slammed shut, making her jump in her seat. “Jess?”

Her roommate turned the corner into Em’s bedroom. “What?”

She pushed away from her laptop and looked Jess over. Her roommate was easy to point out. Pixie cut dyed bright red, olive skin, lip ring, and athletic build. She dressed funky but stylish and was always trying to give Em a makeover.

“How would you describe the way I look?”

Jess smirked. “Like a corruptible little sex kitten.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m being serious.”

Jess bit down on her lip and narrowed her eyes as she looked her over. “Hmm. No. You’re more like a naughty librarian.”

She turned away and faced her computer with a sigh. “Why did I bother asking you?”

Jess left the room, her chuckles echoing behind her. “You just let me know when you’re ready to try girls,” she said from down the hallway.

She stared at the computer. Naughty sex kitten librarian, according to my roommate, didn’t seem appropriate. Finally, she typed her answer.

Short black hair. Glasses. Nose ring.

She tapped the keys again, biting the inside of her cheek. Small breasts, messy hair, and pale skin from lack of sun? She watched the cursor blink a few times then typed again.

Short black hair, Glasses, Nose ring. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth.

Ugh! Delete. This wasn’t a Mr. Potato Head game. Why was this so difficult?

 

Short black hair. Glasses. Nose ring.

Signed, Em.

 

She clicked send before she could change her mind. Shit. Had she just signed with her nickname? Getting personal with clients was a no-no. This guy didn’t seem stable. Only idiots and idealistic romantics got catfished. If Levi was contacting her to investigate a potential online relationship then there were already red flags, and that didn’t bode well.

Another broken heart would be left in her wake. If only it was because she was so hot and cool that she rejected romantic declarations of love left and right. Like that would ever happen. What guy wanted a scrawny girl with unruly hair, big geek glasses, and no boobs? Her tattoos would’ve given her some cool points, except the few she had looked like random numbers to the average person. Unlike most people, tattoos didn’t make her look cool. She made tattoos look uncool.

Did it matter anyway? She wasn’t interested in starting a relationship. Love made people act like idiots. She didn’t have time for that shit. There were prime numbers to find.

She pushed away from the laptop in her bedroom then headed to the main living area, where her real office was. She looked at her four monitors. Two were still running code. With a sigh, she grabbed a Coke from the fridge then plopped down at her desk.

She avoided looking at the clock. At the twelve hour mark on one project, she tended to feel a little guilty. And hungry. But there’d be time to eat later. The world needed her mind and the RSA needed her prime numbers.

RT Sum Up and Photos!

RT is over and I finally have a sum up! Like last year, it went by so fast. Months of build up, a 6 day high, and then a couple days of crashing. RT is a fun-filled, exhausting, sometimes disturbing adventure. Parties, costumes, drinking, eating, dancing, and standing in lines make up most of the convention. Last year I gave a summary on my thoughts about RT, what makes it worthwhile, how to best use it for your career, etc. Every year is a learning experience. Today, I’ll show you some of the fun and share some pictures. Next week, I’ll talk about it from a career standpoint.

The first thing I’ll say is I love New Orleans! Of course, I love music, jazz, and food so how could I not love NOLA, right?

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The food was either fried, spicy, or sweet, and all are okay by me! Even the coffee tasted better. I happen to love seafood anyway. What I didn’t like was gumbo though. It tasted like fishy soup that had fallen on the floor. My favorite meal was shrimp creole.

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The parties were better than last year. Two of them anyway. The third was not so great. More on that next week.

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Let’s see… What else? The company was awesome. Met up with lots of friends, authors, readers, bloggers. More about that later too as it’s the best reason to go to RT. Something about meeting people face-to-face makes a lasting impression. We got to check out the Mardis Gras floats at the Carnivale party. That was pretty cool.

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I got to meet some authors I’ve either fangirled about or networked with online. Including Julie Ann Walker, Nalini Singh, Tiffany Reiz, Shayla Black, Sierra Cartwright, and Cherise Sinclair.

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So the highlights were the food, hanging out with friends, and just being in New Orleans. As far as whether RT is worth it as an author, stay tuned as I sort out my thoughts.

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Countdown to RT Booklovers Convention!!!

Hardcore readers, authors, and beginner writers alike get excited at the acronym RT. If your new to this circle, I’ll explain. RT stands for Romantic Times, which is a website all to do with romance novels. Every year they host a GIANT event called the Booklovers Convention. What makes it stand out from other conferences is that it’s primarily for readers. There’s workshops and panels that have to do with writing, yes, but there’s also parties, and games, and tons of reader based events!

Did I mention there were parties? That’s probably what RT is best known for. Parties, costumes, dancing, themed events, the whole shebang. And attendees dress to the nines. What’s especially fun about RT is that anything goes. You’ll fit in wearing jeans and a t-shirt just as much as someone wearing Steampunk garb. Kitty ears, corsets, and day of the dead makeup have been known to make appearances at RT. If you pay attention to the buzz on the social media sites, most of it is about what people are wearing.

Last year, my conference buddy Sorcha Black, and I dressed up for two events. The formal dinner and the paranormal party (you may have seen pictures). This year, I wasn’t planning to do costumes because 1) I’m broke, and 2) they take up a lot of room in my bag. But at the last minute, I succumbed to the pressure. I have two costumes. One is a steampunk airship pirate and the other is a cute corset/devil horns combo for the saints and sinners party. Here’s a preview of a few things I’ve purchased.

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Anyway, I’m way excited about this year’s RT trip! Where better to party than NOLA? I’ll have pictures and stories to share when I get back!

Character Development

My intern, Kuro, wrote an amazing post about character development. For me, characters make the story. I think, or hope, most writers feel the same way. So creating three dimensional characters is important. Here she is to explain more.

KURO:

I’ve prepared this basic questionnaire in order to assist people of all writing levels with character development. Although there is usually more to it, this form can prove to be quite useful when creating an outline of your character.

Basic Information

Name:

(I like having a name with meaning, and not an obvious one either. For example: Adlai. This is a name of a character in one of my older stories. It is of Hebrew origin, and it means “Justice of God”. Of course, you may have to do some research beforehand, but that’s alright. Take your time.)

Zodiac Sign (optional):

(A zodiac sign gives the reader a notion of the character’s birthday without the author having to worry about choosing a precise date. Although I don’t usually do this, I’ve noticed that many writers fancy choosing a zodiac sign.)

Age:

Gender: 

(You can be more creative than you think with gender. Maybe they are a male that unintentionally gets confused for a female constantly? It’s fun to have ‘trap’ characters sometimes. It can add humor to the story when its needed.)

Family: 

(Talk about this persons parents, their siblings (if any), and their overall relationship with their family. I think that its better to describe it in good detail rather than just “its bad/good”, but it’s your choice. It may not even be necessary depending on the plot of your story anyway.)

 

Mentality

Educational background:

(What kind of school they went to and how this experience was for them? If your character has a rather impressive IQ, it would be a good time to mention that here.)

Personality:

(The personality of a character is my personal favorite part of the character development process. You’d think that there aren’t many different traits you could build this character with, but that’s where creativity comes in. It’s best to make a character with little clichés.  )

Here are a few general traits that are usually worth explaining (optional, but at least do two):

Are they (a/an)…

Sensitive or analytical (do they make decisions based mostly on emotions or on logic)?

If a reason why exists, explain it:

Cautious or daring? If a reason why exists, explain it:

 

Optimist, pessimist, realist, maybe other? If a reason why exists, explain it:

Extrovert or introvert? If a reason why exists, explain it: 

It gets even better…

Gifts/talents:

(Please be careful with this….catastrophes are born in this area. Give a character too much perks and they become severely unlikeable.)

Flaws:

(You should try to keep a good balance between the gifts and the shortcomings, but you must be careful here too. Compensating superhuman gifts with devilish flaws can become just as disastrous.)

Style of speech:

(This may not seem too important, but it actually reflects the personality, the educational level, the social status, etc. of the character. Do they speak clearly, or have a stutter? Do they tend to be profane, or prefer to be formal? What is there tone of voice?)

Life philosophy (optional):

(You can pick a quote for this if you want to.)

Religious stance:

(If relevant, this also includes the character’s relationship with other belief systems.)

Biggest vulnerability: 

(Be careful with this one.)

 

Relationships

View on relationships:

(Try to give an explanation for these views, if possible. Take your time.

There are people who adore solitude and think of relationships as prisons, and sometimes there are extremely dependent people who always need someone by their side. There are all kinds of options here.)

Sexual orientation:

There is a whole spectrum between straight and gay, and I have characters in many of those spots. Knowing the difference between bi-curiousness, heteroflexibility and bisexuality – and knowing which characters are in each group – makes a huge difference when you’re writing about their sexualities. If not straight, is your character in the closet? If yes, why? If not, how did he/she come out?

Past relationships (optional):

(Optional…and awkward) How does he/she view sexual experiences?  What is the importance of sex for this character? This can range anywhere from waiting until marriage, to thinking it isn’t a big deal, to having a severe aversion towards everything about it:

Are they a social person? Explain:

 (Remember. There is such thing as “social introverts”, as well as “antisocial extroverts”. You must be somewhat familiar with the spectrum of different personalities before making a decision here.)

How important are friends to them?

Who are their most salient friends? Write a little bit about how they met, the things they went through, and what made them become so close.And if necessary, what tore their friendship apart:

(Note: “Salient”=most important/most noticeable.)

(Specify please. Which friends are most prominent? Perhaps the oldest, the closest, the one(s) who never left, maybe even the controversial friend that disappeared from your characters life, but remains missed regardless?)

Vocation *

This section is required if your character has a career.

Profession:

Past occupations:

(You don’t need to list an entire resume here, but it’s useful to know.)

Attitude towards current job: 

(Is it your character’s dream job? Are they working towards a bigger goal? Is he/she doing it because they have no choice/is it forced labor?)

(OPTIONAL) Attitude towards current co-workers and bosses:

(Optional. Apply if useful) Salary:

 

Secrets

I love this part.

What are their….

 Greatest phobias, and why? Explain:

Life goals/dreams. Explain: 

(If relevant) Compulsions/obsessions: 

(Can range anywhere from strange, to just plain disturbing.)

Secret skills: 

(Be cautious here.)

Do they want to change anything about their current life?

Do they want to change anything about their appearance?

Physical

Overall description:

(Please explain this as thoroughly as possible.)

Hair color and style: 

(You can use a reference here if you want too.)

Eye color/eye shape

Mannerisms:

(I can use myself as an example. I twirl my hair…a lot. If you find it relevant, go ahead and explain how the character feels about their habits.)

Style:

(Our clothing sometimes reflects who people are more than they realize.)

 

Athletic? Average? Dangerously thin? Explain if necessary:

 

Extra details (everything here is optional)

Daily routine:

Night owl or early bird?

Light or heavy sleeper? Sleepwalking and insomnia can be added here:

 

(Tip: Try to be as general as possible in the next few questions. For example, unless your character has a particular taste for a specific flavor of Sushi, you’ll be just fine with saying “Sushi” or “Japanese cuisine”.)

Favorite cuisine/food:

Smoker/drinker/drug user? (College experimenting counts): _

OOC trait: Everyone has an out-of-character trait. What is your characters? Explain if necessary:

***Special thanks to Kuro for providing this. She definitely gave me a few things to think about, and hopefully you found it useful as well. Anything else you want to add? Leave in the comments below! 🙂

KEPT is now available!!!

I’m so excited to announce the release of KEPT, an erotic anthology featuring 6 novellas by 6 bestselling authors!

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We’re having a party TODAY – Wednesday, March 5th. You can win over $60 in gift cards just for stopping by. Join the party here, and invite your friends, share our links, etc! Oh, and buy the book too!😉

I have a couple snippets to entice you, plus a few photos of my inspiration for my novella, My Scottish Keeper. Plus the buy links below!

Amazon

B&N

All Romance ebooks

Smashwords

Snippet #1:

Heaving a sigh, he held out the cord-like necklace and explained, “You need to wear a mark of ownership. Something that tells the other males you’re taken.” Looking a little ashamed, he added, “This is all I have. If I had more time, I’d have gotten something nicer.”

“That’s silly. You barely know me.”

“Women deserve pretty things. Any man worth his kilt knows that.”

Unable to help myself, I grinned up at him. Jeez. Had my relationships been so bad in the past that I was actually enamored with a man about to make me his slave? That didn’t bode well for my future…or my sanity.

“It’s a nice necklace anyway.”

“Collar.”

“What?”

He stepped back after tying it on then stared at it. “It’s a collar.”

“Like a dog?” I grimaced.

“Like something to be protected.”

“Something?”

“You see it as objectification.” He fingered the cord, making goose bumps rise on my skin. “We see it as an intense and consensual relationship. Women are held in high esteem. We collar them to mark them and protect them.” His eyes glinted with mischief and he smiled. “Nobody fucks with a collared woman.”

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Snippet #2:

“You want tae tease me, little girl, you’ll get what you deserve.”

“And what’s that?”

He took a threatening step forward and rumbled, “My mouth on you for hours before I let you come.”

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Snippet #3:

I looked up at my assailant and froze.

Holy. Fuck.

Fear surfaced – real fear. The kind that made my throat close up and my heart hammer so hard in my chest I thought I might be having a heart attack.

The biggest man I’d ever seen towered over me, still clutching my ankle, forcing me to lie back on my elbows.

“What are you doin’?” he rumbled in a thick accent. Not American. No, he couldn’t possibly be. He was too…thick. Rugged. He looked like a bear. Shaggy beard, long blond hair covering half his face. His wild eyes narrowed at me in suspicion.

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And mine isn’t the only good story in there😉  Holly Roberts, Cari Silverwood, Angela Castle, Sorcha Black, and C.L. Scholey all have fabulous, sexy, romantic books there too. Here’s the blurb…

From the darkest parts of the underworld, to aliens hunting on Earth, to planets far away, each of these capture-themed novellas by six bestselling authors takes you on a wild ride that will heat up your fantasies and keep you up all night long…reading. 

From Holly Roberts – Sergeant Kelly Myers fights a war that humans are losing but there may be a way out. Can she sacrifice her blood and body to a vampire to save her country or is Talon worse than the evil trying to kill them all? 

From Angela Castle – For alien King K’marr, time is running short, he captures and claims the human Ashlyn Sawyer as his. Yet, Ash objects over his methods of persuasion. Can K’marr convince Ash they are Soul Bonds or will she let him succumb to the abyss of madness? 

From Cari Silverwood’s new Preyfinder series – A Preyfinder is trained to withstand hardship and pain, but Jadd would rather kneel before a firestorm than leave his captive, Brittany, to be stalked and killed. The choice between love and loyalty to his soldier brothers may tear him in two. 

From Sorcha Black – Lying tangled in her sheets each night, dreaming of sex, virginal Shiloh never meant to tempt the spying succubus. Even so, the accident of their mutual infatuation wouldn’t save Shiloh or Moth from the Council’s wrath. 

From C.L. Scholey – Lost in a forest, poison ivy for an unwanted companion. Two hot aliens take the form of friends spirit her away aboard their alien vessel. Can life get any stranger for Cali? It can. Add some mind blowing sex and hang on! 

From Leia Shaw – After accidentally turning off a device that could destroy earth, Maggie finds herself abducted by Baen, a man with an accent as sexy as his rugged looks. As he drags her to Scotland to fix it, chemistry between the two explodes, but is it enough for a happily ever after?

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I’d Like to Introduce…

My new intern!

Kuro is going to work with me until June, learning what it’s like to be an author, helping me out with stuff, and hopefully gaining some knowledge and skills that will help her in the real world after graduation. I’m excited for this opportunity, not only because I’m lazy and have a minion, but because I think she has something to offer.

First of all, she’s young and has some of the same interests my heroine in Boy Meets Nerd does. So I plan to pick her brain about gaming and all things nerdy.

Secondly, she can draw! And she’s offered to draw my characters. How cool is that? Her style is anime so it’ll look completely different from my covers, which I think is gonna be awesome. She’s going to be blogging coming up soon about anime — what it is, what it means, some of the history, and then we’ll reveal the character drawings from Boy Meets Nerd.

Maybe, if she wants to keep going, she’ll draw the ones from my PNR series too. So stay tuned for that! I think it’ll be really interesting to see my characters come to life that way.