#FridayFreebie

A quick look at the first meeting between our plucky heroine, Airie, and her much unwanted fiancee, King Trevalyn, Treb to those he isn’t trying to piss off. He certainly knows how to make an impression … the wrong kind.

Balls deep in … shit, what was her name? Crap, Lara. Right, Lady Lara from London. She was as thin as silk and felt just as good. Fucking Nero, coming in without knocking and acting like he’s king. Nero might not like that Treb was sitting on the throne, but he had no intention of giving it up even though he had to marry some fat American.

Or was she English?

It didn’t matter. The only way to save Paxtonia was money. The only way to protect himself and his people was money.

The only thing he didn’t have was one thing. Money.

By the time he recovered from his grief over the sudden loss of his parents in a freaking avalanche, he was informed by his Exchequer that the country was broke.

Speaking of his Exchequer, he was still standing in the doorway with a blank expression. Beside him was his supposed fiancée who was as pale as a sheet. His eyes moved slowly over her body, horrified at what he was being forced to do. Her hair was a tangled mess, her clothes appeared to have been dragged through the gutter, and she looked lumpy.

Glancing down at the beauty before him, he moved slightly trying to recapture the relief from his grief and shame at how low he’d come.

It was gone.

“Metairie, I’m King Trevalyn, but most people call me Trebuchet. Welcome to Paxtonia.”

“Your Majesty,” she said stiffly.

Great. The only thing skinny about his bride was the stick up her ass.

“This is Lady Lara. Say hi to her, Metairie.”

“Lady Lara,” she nodded stiffly.

Trevalyn realized that Lady Lara had a cloud of pink moving over her skin. What the hell was wrong with her?

“Your Grace,” Lara said. She gave a small push against him.

“Lady Lara is gorgeous, isn’t she Metairie? What do you think of her?”

“You are quite lovely.”

The looks passing between Metairie and Lady Lara were brimming with subtext.

He never did learn how to speak subtext, damn it.

“Come now, Metairie. Isn’t she beautiful? Why don’t you tell her what you think about how she looks?” The expression on his betrothed face was so lethal he almost checked for punctures. “Speak,” he commanded her.

“I think …”

“Yes,” he pushed.

“I think Lady Lara looks most unsatisfied.”

“What?”

Her head went up, and her spine straightened. At that moment, Trevalyn understood that no matter the exterior, this woman was definitely made to be a queen.

“What the hell were you thinking,” Nero hissed at her.

“I’ll happily repeat it. I was thinking Lady Lara appears most unsatisfied.” Her eyes never left his face. “I really pray you’re a better fiancée than a lover, your Majesty. For from where I’m standing, I have nothing to look forward to.”

“You little—”

“Lady Lara, it is a pleasure to meet you. I do hope you find much more from this encounter than I have.” Her voice changed when she spoke to his lover. It was gentle, charming, and kind.

Now, without a doubt, Trevalyn knew she was made to be queen.

She turned and walked away.

Nero, in the first act of wisdom he’d shown that day, closed the door behind them.

“Well, that was … different.”

New Year New Books

Still Team Damon at heart.

I wonder if all authors get nervous about releasing their babies … I mean books into the world. My family wasn’t much for holding the kid back. It was more of a toss ’em out of the nest and see if they fly. The next part of the Omega Chronicles deals with Stealth, who is all things gentle and kind. And our new resident bad boy extraordinaire, Turbo. Unfortunately, Turbo’s heart leads him to the one female he would prefer not to end up with … the girl his cousin loves.

In the Air and Feel It Coming are going to be a two-part release with loads of panty-dropping, laughs, and even more heartbreak for our weary noble Clan Lords.

The Dowager Countess is my Life Coach

I’m told I do better with deadlines.

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Not sure if that’s true. I write because it’s the only way to get the movie playing in my head to stop.

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My characters tend to have BOOMING voices and carry weapons, so they don’t like being ignored for too long. Writing also releases all those emotions that get stuck inside my soul. Passion. Yearning. Guilt. Stress. Joy. Sorrow. It all gets injected into the people in the movie and makes the characters real. I always think others are the same, but maybe not.

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I have writer friends that think this makes writing easy. It doesn’t. It’s more like it makes writing a survival tool, and I am trying to not just survive … but thrive.

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Still. This year the goal is to release two full novels and two short stories/novelettes. I think my publisher is trying to kill me.

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Or I could just give up.

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The thing about writing that it’s rarely something you DO and more something you ARE. Other friends are always talking about vacations, I can’t imagine getting away from my own mind. There is no off-switch for my imagination. And my “life coach” rarely accepts excuses.

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So men of the Omega clans, go right ahead and take the wheel. We have loads of work to do, a life coach watching over us, and very little time to get it done. Buckle up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a hell of a year!

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A NEW HOPE

I don’t mean to rip off Star Wars, just encasing my feelings for 2018 as best as I can.

I have a new hope. Not sure where it came from–

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No. Not him. I didn’t even write Santa this year. Somehow, some way, I have a new hope. I think a lot of it came from the sheer amazingness of the romance community. My family and friends exsist in several different worlds of writers. We cover everything from rogue Hollywood scriptwriter, to genre fiction, to legacy publishing. Pretty much small press to large press to movie world. Out of all of them, I have to say the romance world is the best

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and yet, also the most maligned.

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Romance writers are the most open, welcoming, and informative of any of the writer groups I’ve seen/heard of/interacted. I don’t always get a YES when I ask for something, but I do always get a polite answer with some kind of encouragement. I learned so much from reading romance growing up. It gave me a love of history that inspired me to pursue college degrees and succeed. It taught me about honor, integrity, passion, and well, the sex doesn’t suck. But it’s not always about the sex. It’s about going after your dreams. It’s about believing in yourself. It’s about being true to your self and the people in your life.

And this Christmas it gave me a big box of hope.

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So I’m going to make it last all year long. Happy New Year everyone! May it be as filled with love and light as mine is.

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#WIPWednesday

A two-fer kind of week.

I was all set to happily send the newest installment in the Omega series to the editor, when the Content Goddess informed me I made a mistake.

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Content Goddess explained I wrote two books and accidentally entwined them.

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Now I have to take what I thought was a wonderful, fast-paced, way packed story and split it apart. Plus, the publisher girls are pissed because they need to gear up on launching two stories at the same time, since none of us are fans of cliffhangers.

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So for the love of this sensitive writer’s sanity … please wish me luck? And if you don’t hear from me soon, send help. Preferably some that looks like this …

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#WednesdayWisdom

Romance. Romance. Romance. How much do we all need some more love in our lives right now? Our country is being led by a man who seems to eat hate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … with a side of ketchup and treason. I hope you have someone in your life you love, whether they walk on four legs or two. Take the time to do something nice for them. Put a little more love in your heart and theirs.

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Being a Woman

I considered talking about a few different things today. My on-going battle with procrastination to keep this blog updated more often … my horror at the state of the world … my feelings of betrayal that my favorite ice cream flavor seems to have disappeared (giving the side eye to you HaagenDaaz).

Then I saw this …

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Yes, ladies. It’s true. That is Vladimir Putin MANSPLAINING to Angela Merkel. Angela FREAKING Merkel. At first I thought, ok, so mansplaining basically happens no matter how far you rise in the world. Good to know. Then I realized how tired I was of having that accepting attitude. I seriously wish fire came out of her eyes for whatever topic was being discussed. I try to console myself with the thought that fire was coming, and she rolled her eyes to protect the free world.

Because after all, that was Angela Merkel being mansplained.

I recently did a book coach seminar for about a hundred GenZ kids. When I brought up the term (and explained it for those who couldn’t google it fast enough), they promised me that mansplaining is becoming a thing of that past. They don’t think about gender with the same stereotypes that previous generations suffered under.

Then their teacher came back from break and started to tell them that gender roles never truly get broken, and I should start to teach this class this way … blah, blah, blah, blah …

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#WednesdayWIP

Guess what’s coming? YUP. Some more from Omega Book 3, THE ICE DRAGON RISES, just for you. Get ready …

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Perhaps once again, Luke was just … not … enough.

“I left her a note in the pantry,” Sally said. “If you really wish to speak to her, go and see if it’s gone. If it is, you can try the same method.”

“A note?”

“Yes, Luke. Pen. Paper. All the new kids are doing it.”

Luke left the room, his mouth hanging open. A note. Right. What a good idea. He’d leave the girl haunting his days and nights a note. That should work. He could ask her to move into the mansion. He could tell her he was sorry he hadn’t stayed by her side during the mercenary attack. He could explain he was a sad excuse for a leader but it was all they had. He could even ask how the hells she found the Gem Warriors and why they hadn’t come to him for command.

Sure. He could ask all of those things. He just had no idea if she’d answer.

#ThrowbackThursday

I’ve posted so many pieces from The Last Dragon, I thought a piece from book two, The Tides Turn, would be a nice change. I hope you like it.aquos3-2

Sally piled the pickles on the slices of raw meat, slapped some cheese on top, rolled it together and started to chew. This baby was going to kill her. She’d never wanted to eat meat in her entire life, and now she couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Not to mention the pickles, little bombs of pure delicious salty goodness. As the flavors combined, bursting on her tongue, she moaned with joy. The baby seemed to do the same, settling for the first time in hours as he recognized she was finally giving him what it needed. Screw needed. This prince knew how to demand.

Even though he was still in her womb.

“I warned you that your disgust of flesh would eventually be overruled by the life growing within you.”

She scowled as she continued to make more of the roll-ups, ignoring the male standing behind her, clearly passing judgment. “Tamar.”

“My liege …”

“Go home.”

“I fear I cannot.”

“Why is that?”

“You have experienced your first kanji. Your dragon is quickening, my Queen. It is my sworn duty to be by your side until the King is hatched.”

Grimacing, Sally tried to push away the disgust she felt every time the dragons used the word hatched. It just felt so wrong. Somehow she was supposed to give birth to an egg, as if that wouldn’t give her alien-like nightmares every day for the rest of her life … but she was expected to pop out an egg, and then give it to Drake to watch for a whole year until the baby within was ready to break the shell and be officially born. On one hand … no midnight feedings. But on the other hand … no midnight feedings. She felt both blessed and cheated at the same exact time. Turning, she realized that not only was Tamar intruding on her private just-let-me-eat-in-peace moment, but he’d brought a friend. “Hello Hunter. Tamar, you seem to be slacking. Why is Hunter here and not guarding the portal?”

“Others have been given this task.”

“So why are you here?” She tried to push away her desire to throw the food in her hands at the intruders. If she did, she wouldn’t be able to eat it, and right now, she really wanted her child to stop kicking her inner organs. Women should be warned, when they hit puberty, what motherhood was really like. No girl would ever fall in love again, or at least not have sex. This baby had better be freaking adorable. She was eating actual meat, raw meat at that. Taking a big bite, she gestured to the two men. “Speak up. Your Queen demands it.”

“I find it humorous that you call yourself Queen only when you wish us to do something that is against our law.”

“There’s a law that the two of you have to bug me?” Hunter flinched as if she’d struck him. She let out a sigh and held up her hands. Rudeness was not royal. Or at least it wasn’t in her book. “Forgive me.” Sally took a large bite of the meat, and patted her stomach. “A hungry baby makes a hangry Queen.”

“Hangry?”

“Hungry and angry. It’s an Earth thing.”

The two men nodded as if they understood what she was saying, even though their eyes clearly reflected confusion. “Why are you here, Tamar? You never leave the limbo lands lightly, and you wouldn’t pull Hunter off the portal unless something was seriously wrong. So please explain this to me.”

“My Queen, your dragon is quickening. The future King grows stronger.”

#FridayReads

Also, sort of a #WIP, another piece of the third installment of the #OmegaChronicles, #TheIceDragonRises …

Luke was standing in the living room, flipping the remote in his hands as the minutes ticked by. He’d sent the elementals out to gather the Omega. It was time for them to talk. Blade was the first to arrive. A warrior through and through. When his commander called, the warrior clan was always ready to heed the alarm. “Angel face.”

He grimaced. He’d curse M.J. for that hideous nickname but the female was such a positive sign for all of them it didn’t feel fair. “Call me that again, Blade, and I’ll make you wish for an angel after I finish with your face.”

“Nice. Works for me.” The warrior smiled, sprawled on the leather couch, put his feet up on the distressed wood coffee table, and began to do the same flipping thing he was with the remote, though the warrior was using a dagger. They were united, Luke forced himself to remember. They no longer clung to the old ways. Each clan had a specific function on the Omega. Here they had one function. Find the answer to resurrect their world and go home. Rebuild.

This wouldn’t happen if one of them was a pre-historic beast running around the woods.

How did Mach, the only other speedster, not notice his cousin had changed into a catsu?

Stealth and Altea came in next. The mage clan, one of the most feared and xenophobic on their planet, he’d taken to coming by the house more often ever since Sally had singled him out to include him at Christmas. It was as if the Mage might only have hidden in the past because they didn’t feel they were wanted. Which made him, as the leader of their world, feel ridiculously inadequate. They joined Blade on the couch. The remote magically levitated off of his hand and over to the three men who were waiting for the rest of their people for the conference to begin. Standing where he was, he could see the effects that the tragedy was having on each of them. There were lines on their faces where there didn’t used to be. Dark shadows under their eyes. And a muting to their normal boisterous ribbing that he was profoundly uncomfortable with the first thousand years of their existence here, and now was only deeply uneasy with it, though would do anything to hear right now.

Luke went back to the pacing thing. Who was missing? He didn’t expect Aquos and M.J. to come. They were on something Sally called a honeymoon, and disturbing such an event, especially given the turmoil of their wedding day, appeared to be an absolute crime. Sally and Drake were also absent, but since Sally was growing a child and the hereditary Queen of the Dragons, he tended to let them do their own thing. Keva was still gone, lost to the winds. The destruction of the scout clan was now a crime for which he would never receive absolution. The dragon knights who moved in at the announcement of Sally’s child were next to arrive. He technically didn’t have dominion over them, this was the honor that belonged solely to Sally’s line. He gave them each a nod of welcome, which they returned. They joined the other three on the couch, who were currently watching a movie about something called Musketeers. Blade and Tamar immediately began to debate the form the actors on screen were using in their mock battle.

Where was Mach?

His humor could be of use under the worst circumstances. And since this was about his clan it seemed like the very least he could do was show up.

One of the gold elementals appeared, bowed to him, and drifted into a corner. This was clearly M.J.’s doing. She’d insisted they pick one representative and started to integrate them into the decisions and path Sanctuary took. Luke had been equally shocked to see the former servants turn smoothly into trustworthy members of their society.

Lastly, Mach showed. “Brother.”

He shrugged. The speedster didn’t bother bowing, or even verbally acknowledging everyone assembled. He just slipped into one of the club chairs and turned blind eyes to the screen with the others. Before, Mach was one of the most vocal of their group. He should be calling them each names they hated, and making references to horrible movies and brain numbing games.

This change in the speedster wasn’t due to the tragedy. It had happened before that.

When Turbo and he were taken, it was only due to Sally’s miracle that they managed to get them both back. But Turbo had died in the explosion and Sally, or Sally’s child, had to resurrect him. This was when things changed for the speed clan. Luke just didn’t realize how much it changed, and how deep the danger the rest of them would be in because of it. “Mach. Where’s Turbo?”dragon-1829827_1920