Vampires–my inspiration for my New Orleans Book

Vampires, vampires, vampires! I honestly never thought I’d be inspired by vampires when I wrote this short contemporary romance for the “Love in the City” box set, but when I decided to set my book in New Orleans, I realized that the place has a very rich historical legend about vampires. And, of course, being the person that I am, I decided to make the most out of it. I put my heroine in a huge Gothic New Orleans mansion where she has nothing but the chilling Vampiric rumors there to keep her company… or so she thinks. Because in all actuality, she is not alone in that house. Dun dun dun. Of course, the novella explores every other wonderful tourist attraction that New Orleans has to offer, including their amazing food, cemetery tours, big band music, and walks next to the Mississippi River. And let me tell you, during the times of Covid, google maps and I were absolute BFFs. With the help of my little yellow stick guy, we tromped through the streets and saw everything the satellite and street camera would show. After that, I interviewed quite a few friends who’d visited and loved the city so that they could tell me about the people there, the excitement in the air, the feel of the humidity, and the smell of the Mississippi and Gumbo wafting through the streets, and of course… their vampire tours. Lol.

Check it out here: LOVE IN THE CITY

I HAD THE BEST TIME WRITING THIS BOOK! And I’m thrilled that it’s almost out–February 16th! A huge boxset with 13 other fantastic authors for ONLY 99 cents!

You’re invited to Love in the City Release Party and Goodreads Giveaway Event!

What better way to bring in the New Year by celebrating this fantastic Pre-Release with Amazon Giftcard giveaways!

Get ready for thirteen heart pounding and laugh out loud rom-coms from thirteen bestselling and award winning authors, including Amazon chart toppers and USA Today bestsellers. Filled with mystery, second chances, soulmates, brother’s best friends, bad boys, nobility, and the cute guy in the cubicle next to you, these stories will captivate you and leave you wishing for more.

Release Details
February 16th

Preorder Link:
https://www.amazon.com/Love-City-Limited-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B08JHG2JG1

Giveaway Details

3 Amazon $5 giftcards
1 Amazon $10 giftcard
(Giveaway open internationally)

TO ENTER:

RSVP TO MY GOODREAD EVENTS, COMMENT, AND ADD THE BOOK TO YOUR TBR SHELF. All the details here: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/1078798-love-in-the-city-giveaway

Thank you, everyone! Happy reading and a VERY Happy New Year!

Writing a series with a group of authors

Writing the “Snowed in” Series with a group of authors has been such a fun-filled experience!

We agreed from the outset that our books would be standalone, but that they would have the common theme of being snowed in. So everyone in our author group had these fantastic ideas from their characters getting snowed in at castles, cottages, archives to ranches and Alaskan lodges. The fun thing is that we are all such different writers, and so we made these stories our own. I enjoyed reading my friends’ takes on getting “snowed in,” from the sweet and whimsical (giving me a fun chuckle) to the poignant and touching love stories that put a genuine smile on my face.

Check out the fantastic books in this series HERE

To find my novel, “Snowed in at Silver Lake,” click HERE

My Latest accidental Hobby… gift!

Uhhh… this is happening!

Sooo besides being consumed by my latest writing projects, hiking, dogs, nieces and nephews, genealogy, ANYTHING Scotland… not much else captures my attention until now. I SWEAR I was only trying to figure out what to give my mom for Christmas (Don’t worry, she doesn’t do social media, so she will NEVER see this). I started looking at recipe books because she is pretty much one of the most amazing cooks out there. I feel that chefs, cooks, bakers–whatever they’re called–are all also super good at math and they also have mad science skills because they’re basically doing chemistry projects all the time (not one of my talents admittedly–I’ve burnt spaghetti before and live off peanut butter sandwiches, no joke). Anyway, as I looked through the recipe books for my mom, I found what I dubbed “selfish presents” because they were recipes for junk food and candybar replicas that I would ABSOLUTELY EAT AND DIE FROM PURE HAPPINESS if she made them. But then I ran across the soapmaking recipe books, and I thought… is this too much? She already bakes and sews and stuff. Could she possibly have time for another hobby like this? But then I saw some cute soapmaking kits online and I thought, how fun! It would just be this ONE time thing! No commitments. Nothing big. Something to make neighbors or grandchildren for Valentine’s Day this year. Then I thought… well, I could make those same kits for cheaper and with more bulk supplies. Maybe that’s what got me into trouble. I started collecting a few things off of Amazon, but then I got the soapmaking recipe book in the mail and I was like… wait, I’m almost there to getting ALL these ingredients and soapmaking equipment! I can just get this and this and this and this… and now looking at this picture above, I’m seeing she needs twine too. Uh oh. Suddenly my “kit” has become this sweat factory of work, but I can’t stop!!! And the only way to justify the cost is to say, “Hey, mom! Let’s do this together.” And after that, it will look like I just got her something that I wanted… and who knows? Maybe I did want this! Because this is so FASCINATING! I might actually leave the house to go to the store–Yes, ME!!–AND buy some special oils at a Whole foods store to finish off my collection. Hee hee, and of course, my mom is going to be like, “Wait. Is this for you or for me?” And I’m gonna have to squirm guiltily because she just might be right. It’ll be like giving her a bowling ball with Homer written on it. Yikes!

Anyway, I’m really hoping that this gift doesn’t do a bellyflop… but if it does, I’m thinking I need to have a soapmaker in my next book to justify everything I’ve done in the name of soap this Christmas. Until then (lol), check out my latest Christmas book, “Snowed in at Silver Lake” HERE… In the meantime, I’ll be ordering some more essential oils… and oh… maybe a few more colors… and this mold looks cool! It looks like a cupcake. Oh dear. Someone stop me. Hahahahahaha. Christmas can’t come soon enough, I think!

Snowed in Excerpt–ENJOY :-)




MY BOOK, “Snowed in at Silver Lake” IS OUT! Soooo excited.
To celebrate, here’s an excerpt:

Gracie was freezing. Barron threw more blankets on her to warm her up. His hands ran through her wet hair. “Is that frost?” he asked. “You need to change out of these clothes now.”
She had to remind herself how dangerous he was, no matter how much he tried to protect her. She scowled and knocked his hand away. “Give me room to breathe.”
He sat back on his heels with a sigh. “I want a promise from you that you won’t run back outside and get yourself killed.”
There was no way she’d agree to stay here in this cabin alone with him. She sighed, and it turned into a shudder as the cold found its way into every part of her body. She was soaked through. Why wasn’t she taking him up on his offer to let her change? She’d just been so mad. Now he put his arms around her and she surrendered to his warmth, feeling the steady beat of his heart against her chest. Just like before, the guy was a human heater, and he was quickly making her forget about being angry at him. His fingers trailed down her back in a comforting way. Some of her fear of him started to dissolve. If it hadn’t been for him rescuing her, she’d be at the bottom of the lake. Gracie wasn’t exactly cut out for wilderness survival. She could try to run again, but after what had happened, she wasn’t sure if she wouldn’t get killed out there. The snow pelted against the windows, heavier than it had last night.
She closed her eyes, feeling so tired. “You’re right, okay?” she whispered. “I can’t possibly go anywhere now.” They were horribly snowed in. She wanted to cry at the admission. This moment wouldn’t have been so hard to accept had he just stayed her knight in shining armor. She never would’ve minded being snowed in with that guy, but a fugitive on the run with a scary snake tattoo? She tried to think of a way to make this work without going crazy. “Barron.” She lifted her head to look up at him. “If you just don’t want me to die, then I won’t die. Happy? What more do you want? I can’t get out to tell anyone you’re here, so—”
He grabbed the end of the blanket she’d wrapped around herself and pulled her closer so that they were face to face. Her breath hitched. “I’ll let you wander around freely here,” he said, “but only if you stay out of my way.”
That was unexpected. He was in her way, but she wasn’t about to say that. And she was cold… and hungry. Her stomach growled. His forehead creased with concern. “I’ll make you more eggs. Now get out of those wet clothes. Take the master bedroom while you’re here. Are we good?”
“No,” she whispered. It was more than she’d hoped for, but she just wanted something to warm her up. “I want hot chocolate, too.”
“Hot chocolate?” His lips curved up. Did she see a glitter of admiration in his gaze? “Gracie, we can get you hot chocolate. Everything here is yours.” Still holding onto her blanket, he rubbed his thumbs over her arms, his eyes on her almost protective. For a moment, it felt like coming home. And what am I thinking? She scrambled to her feet, realizing that she was too used to his touch now. If she didn’t watch herself, she’d find herself falling in love with a devil. That was never going to happen. It was just that he made it so easy to forget who he was. She’d do everything to guard her traitorous heart.

Start reading the rest HERE

My New Release is here! Snowed in at Silver Lake

Achingly tender, a heartfelt romantic suspense!

What happens when the sheriff’s daughter discovers that her rugged rescuer happens to be a fugitive running from the law? Snowed in together with nowhere to run, the two must find an uneasy alliance despite their growing feelings. But what will happen after the storm in this intriguing, sweet romance?

Find out HERE

Getting snowed in with a stranger is dangerous—especially for her heart.

Gracie Turner just broke up with her fiancé before Christmas, so after a severe snowstorm causes her car to skid off the road into the deadly waters of Silver Lake, she can’t help falling for her rugged, handsome rescuer. There’s only one problem. He’s a fugitive running from the law.

Barron Hart has a plan to bring his brother’s killers to justice, and it does not involve Gracie. But when the snowy winds batter the backwoods cabin he’s using as his hideout, he has no choice but to wait out the storm with the Sheriff’s daughter. Against her will. Although, if he’s being honest with himself, she’s the one holding his heart captive.

After their first explosive encounter, nothing will warm Gracie up… or stop the sparks flying between them. There are too many secrets keeping them apart. Barron is further dismayed when Gracie uncovers his tragic past. She has the faith to help him heal, but he’s not ready to give up his revenge. Will the mysteries that brought them together, now have the power to tear them apart?
Read it HERE

My book is coming out December 7th! And I’m REALLY excited for this one!

To get you in the mood for some Christmas Snowed In action, I’m thrilled to share an excerpt of my book with you!
EXCERPT:

Trees surrounded her on both sides, and the storm was so thick that she had no idea what was on either side. She traveled this way for about an hour, and was sure that she’d only gone a few miles by how slow she was going. Finally, she inched to a stop… in the middle of the road. She couldn’t do that, right? Not in the darkness where no one would notice her until it was too late. Besides the thick overhanging trees, she couldn’t see what was past those either. What if she was on another cliff?

She gritted her teeth, praying: God, I don’t know how bad this is, but I know you can see the bigger picture and you know what’s ahead. Please be with me right now. Gracie took a deep breath and tried to get her bearings again. If there was someone on this road—anyone—she could find some help. Crawling forward again in her Honda Accord, five minutes passed before she spied a light through the white crocheted branches of icy trees. Relief made her knees weak. Oh, happy day! A light! That meant civilization, maybe a ranger station, someone who could help her. She just hoped she could figure out how to reach the place. The ground was so thick with snow that she couldn’t tell where the roads were anymore.

Gracie kept going, straining her eyes for anything that might mark the turnoff. She spied a wooden post, so completely covered in snow that she almost missed it. Hoping she wasn’t making another bad decision, she inched her car through the trees. The woods were thicker here, so that there were actually spots in the road that weren’t covered in snow.  Her car was so woefully ill-equipped for off-roading that this would be almost laughable in normal circumstances, but if she could only reach that light, she’d be safe. The thought of warmth, hot chocolate, and a blissfully long hot shower kept her going.

Her mind filled with doubts the longer she traveled with no sign of civilization, especially as the trees grew even thicker so that it felt like she was driving in the wilderness, and no longer a road. What if she wasn’t headed for a ranger’s station, but to a beacon meant to warn off air traffic from the mountain?

The light flickered through the trees again. Her breath caught in her throat. Her destination was so close. She could walk if she needed to. She navigated a sharp bend and her wheel slipped. She felt it catch air and her whole car shifted to the side, sliding sideways off the road and through the trees, snapping branches until the trunk of her car crunched into a heavy fir tree and spun her around. Her mouth opened and a scream ripped from her throat as she plummeted even further down the ravine, straight for a black hole. What was that? She knew the moment her car crashed into it. Her seatbelt tightened the same time her bag deployed, whipping her back. Water splashed up around her windows. She’d landed in a lake. Oh, God, save me!

Gracie struggled with her seatbelt, realizing she still held onto her phone. Would it work out here away from the trees? The water seeped past her window as her Honda sank. How deep was she going? She’d never get her door open. Her hand went to the window switch, but the window only went down a crack, not enough to get her through.

The car wheels groaned against the bottom, which meant she wasn’t completely submerged—at least that—until her car rolled back. Her stomach went with it. The rocky bottom wasn’t stable at all. Stinging cold water flowed through the window’s crack, pouring onto her legs. She cried out in pain. The light from the cabin at the edge of the water shot a crooked light through the storm over the roiling lake.

“Help!” she screamed. Whoever was inside would never hear her! She pushed against her horn and it only made a dull moan through the water. She worked to get her seatbelt off again. It was stuck. Somehow the crash had jammed her seat against the door. That was probably why the window wouldn’t go all the way down. The other windows might work, but she had to get this seatbelt off first or she’d just let in more water and drown. If she had a knife or anything—she only had her father’s satellite phone.

It glowed through the watery darkness, told her there was no service. Still, she tried to make a call. She prayed for a miracle in her desperation. “Dad! May Day! May Day,” she cried out in her desperation, but her call hadn’t gone through. She never thought she’d die this way. “Help me. Someone help!”

Her window crashed open. At first she thought it was pressure from the water until she saw an arm reach through and jerk at her seatbelt. The belt wouldn’t budge. The face came next through the churning water, followed by another arm as the frigid water rushed around a man and into her car like a waterfall. “Get the belt off!” the man shouted.

“I can’t…!” Icy water slid past her mouth and she choked on it, not able to escape. She felt a hand tug harder on the seatbelt, so hard that it must’ve ripped the buckle from whatever had jammed it, and she was free, but not from the water. She couldn’t breathe as it slammed into her. Hands hooked under her arms and jerked her from her seat. She fought through the window and was out as the car slid further away. She clasped onto the man who held her. The waves swept over them. She didn’t know where was up or down or how to get out. Gasping for air and choking on more water, she put all her trust in this man. He tugged her through the water until their heads emerged from the freezing surface. She desperately inhaled the arctic air.

The snow rushed down on them. Her body wouldn’t stop shaking, whether from fear or cold or both. “This way!” the man shouted for them to swim. She saw a pier to the side in the blizzard. Grunting, he pushed her up and over the edge. Her body landed hard against the slippery wood. The cold had knocked all her breath from her so that she felt as weak as a kitten. The man shimmied out of the water beside her and gathered her to him in the darkness. He was warm and muscular. She’d felt the power of his body earlier, but now that she was out of the water, she saw how tall he was. She never thought she’d be so grateful to find a Neanderthal like him out in the middle of the wilderness.

He hauled her to her feet, half carrying, half dragging her to the safety of the cabin. She kept her eyes on the lights, hoping it wasn’t some mirage in the distance and that she wasn’t already dead. This man had come like an angel from nowhere. If he wasn’t ushering her to the golden gates, she owed him her life! She might’ve babbled something like that to him, but all her words got swallowed up in the storm and her shivering. He brought her to the front of the cabin, and using his shoulder, pushed the heavy door open, bringing her safely inside.

PREORDER THE BOOK HERE

Tips for “Switching Focus”

So today, I’m getting ready to do edits on my latest book, “Snowed in at Silver Lake.” And I’m just going to have to admit that I am horrible at switching tasks and reorienting myself. I’m in the draft phase of another book that takes place in New Orleans, and I’m LOVING the draft phase and so to put on the brakes on this current project to go back to another one is a Herculean undertaking. By the way… it really ALSO be hard for me to go back to drafting after I’m done with these edits. I really have a hard time switching focus.

So let me share a few tactics (and PLEASE feel free to comment and share a few of your own).
1–Put down social media and/ or set an alarm to make sure you are done by a certain time (yes, this includes writing this blog post).
2–Open the new project. Sounds weird? Maybe, but I can’t tell you how many times I failed to do my work that day because I could NOT even get myself to open the project.
3– Make your first goal. For example, mine is, “I will go through this first set of comments from this reader first, etc.”
4–Set a timer for five or ten minutes and work on that goal. This helps get your body and mind used to the transition.
5–If that fails, find an accountability buddy to report to (and put stars on your forehead if need be!).
6–Rewards. Our bodies and minds are very used to receiving dopamine rewards by scrolling through social media, eating sweets, and spending money and getting almost instantaneous results. This makes it harder to do long term projects and enjoy the more subtle rewards of creating, sooo I do my best to find joy in the new task and at times find artificial rewards until I can get there… which takes me about thirty minutes, I’d say 😉

So happy refocusing today, everybody!

CHECK OUT MY NEXT RELEASE HERE

Happy New Release Day!

I just LOVE Release Day–there is nothing like sharing the book that you’ve had so much fun writing with the rest of the world!

Check out my release HERE!

And just for funzies–I’m thrilled to share an excerpt of my Billionaire Ghost Tour with you:

Mollie’s hands tightened on the seat of the chair where she sat at the front desk. This was going to be a longer night than usual doing the ghost tours, but she made sure that the sudden pit of dread worming its way through her insides didn’t show on her face. Janson Styles wouldn’t get to her like he had last time.

He moved closer to her. Man, he had that walk down—not quite a strut, but more like he had all the time in the world as he walked languidly towards her front desk. Mollie pretended that her heart wasn’t beating out her ears. Instead she found the check-in book as he peered down at her over the counter.

“Huh.” His lips tipped up into his not-quite smile as his gaze ran all over her, almost insultingly slow. He didn’t bother to hide his interest… or disdain, or whatever it was. “You took my advice, Red, and got some color in those cheeks.” His thick, manly accent drew her in, almost as much as the charm behind it repelled her. “You must’ve known I was coming.”

Mollie straightened angrily. “Oh yay, it’s the drug dealer. How’s Breaking Bad going for you?” The insult against his pharmaceutical company slipped out before another one toppled from her mouth. “Or is it Joe Exotic now, plaid shirt?” He stilled, and she took a steadying breath, trying to fetch her professionalism back, though she guessed she’d already been fired. “I mean, how can I help you?”

He blinked. Once. “Oh, I don’t know—I figured you were the perfect person to show us where all the weird things are in this town.”

Her fingers clenched, and she glared up at him. “Well, I’m looking at one. Does that count?”

“No, no.” He clicked his tongue. “I’m paying good money for this, Red. You’re not putting me off as easily as you did last time.”

She sucked in her breath. What was that supposed to mean? Could he possibly have thought back on that date they’d lost as much as she had? Impossible. No man liked to be tortured. Janson’s forehead wrinkled as if he suddenly regretted his words, and he rubbed wryly at the back of his neck.

“Oh, this is so cute!” His model friend picked up a Day of the Dead family of miniatures. The woman danced over to Janson and dangled the miniature in front of him. “It is so creepy,” she cried. “Only its mother could love it.” Mollie immediately noticed the dragonfly ring on her finger before the woman flitted away to look at more unusual knickknacks. So that’s where the famous Molinero ring had ended up. The amethyst bodies and emerald dragonfly wings glittered in the candlelight. Everything was a cruel reminder that nothing in Janson’s world belonged to her, including his heart.

She straightened. Where were these thoughts coming from? Mollie loved her life. Her choices had led her to the experiences and friendships that mattered most to her, so why not let bygones be bygones and try to redo her unfavorable first impression… or second impression of Janson? He clearly was over their fight. She should be too. Janson still stared at her over the counter and she attempted a smile and held up a pen and a clipboard with all the waivers. “Sign in.”

“What for?” He leaned over the counter. His fingers poked out from his thick gray half gloves and they caught hers first before he got hold of her pen. His touch sent a flame of awareness through her. “Am I signing my life away or my soul?” he asked.

He was talkative tonight. She pulled away from him, rubbing her fingers together, trying to forget that his hands had completely dwarfed hers. “Maybe you should read the fine print. I can’t give everything away.”

His brow rose at the rate that others smiled, as he collected the papers from her, too. She tried to avoid all skin contact this time, though he hardly seemed to notice. His breath came out harder as he concentrated on the waivers, his brow furrowed. No one ever read through these things. She hid a smile and tried to forget how cute his sudden earnestness was. Stop thinking that way! For goodness sake—that’s probably his girlfriend with him.