Updates!

Okay, so what have I been working on?

Well, I got a fantastic idea for a Christmas short story that wouldn’t leave me alone, so I banged out all those words and am in the process of tweaking and editing and fixing now. Deadline for submission is coming up, so I need to get it finished by then and send it in.

Holiday stories are one of my addictions, and I couldn’t let this one pass me by. We’ll see what happens with it when it goes.

I also got the go ahead for the sequel to my paranormal story for the Beyond line. After sending in the first three chapters for critique, I’ve made a bunch of revisions to tighten up the narrative thus far and am now moving forward. I have this one plotted by chapter, a rough guideline to follow so I don’t lose track of where I am, and so I don’t stray too far from what I want. Of course, I’m open to divergences where the muse directs, I always am, but I like knowing where this one is going. I have a deadline that is approaching faster than I would like. Deadlines always seem to do that.

Because of the revisions, I started 800 words down from where I was, which is fine, but that’s why the word meter hasn’t moved that much, even though I’ve made a bunch of progress.

And edits start soon on One in Vermilion, Hearts and Hazelnuts, and the title TBD paranormal.

It’s gonna be a busy summer!

Flash Fic Friday

**A storm raged through my area, and so I was given the prompt of a thunderstorm.  I already have the perfect story, recycled from a couple of years ago. Enjoy!**

It was a dark and stormy night.

I didn’t much care for the dark to begin with, and I fucking hated storms.  So despite having seen my thirty-third birthday, I was huddled under the covers like a four-year-old girl.  Every flash of lightning that penetrated my blanket armor made me cringe, and the ensuing boom of thunder happening at practically the same time was enough to make me shudder.  The fear might be irrational, but it was real.

The worst of storm only lasted twenty-seven minutes (I’d been keeping track) and the flashes and horrible crashes started to taper off.  No longer a constant barrage, there were whole seconds between the lightning strike and the rumble of thunder.  The interval drew farther apart, and now there were stretches of thirty or sixty seconds where all I could hear was the pouring rain. I stayed where I was, unable to relax until the storm had well and truly moved on.

The sudden ringing of my phone scared me badly enough that I shrieked.  And then I scrambled out of the safety of my blankets to answer it.

“Hey,” he said as soon as I’d answered.  “You okay?”

I was going to say yes. I was going to lie and play it up like I was fine.  He didn’t need to know how badly I was affected.  I was going to do it, and then another loud crash echoed and I couldn’t suppress the tiny whimper in time. He heard it, like he always did, and I knew lying was futile.

“Nope,” I said, releasing a shaky breath.  “Nope, nope, nope.”

His chuckle was warm, and it did a fair bit to relax me enough though he was laughing at me.  I loved his laugh.  It was the first thing that drew me to him.

“Come let me in,” he said, his voice a deep rumble far better than any thunder.  I was up and moving almost before the words registered.  It took me seconds to run to the door.  I fumbled a little as I tried to get the deadbolt unlocked, and then managed to work it and pull the door open.

He was a bit bedraggled, but none too worse for the wear.  When he saw me, he smiled, his entire face lighting up.  I took an easy breath for the first time in more than an hour, and practically threw myself into his arms the moment he crossed the threshold.  I didn’t care that he was wet, only that his strength wrapped around me and shored me up.

“You shouldn’t have come out in this,” I murmured meaning it.  The thought of him driving in that storm made my stomach twist painfully.  “But I’m so glad you’re here.”

He leaned back, and then pushed my hair back from my face so he could cup my head and tilt it back so he could really look at me.

“You needed me.  Where else was I going to be?”

I sighed, grabbing onto his wrists and locking my gaze on his.  “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he said, and I heard how much he meant it. He bent and kissed me, and then tugged me toward the bedroom.  “I need to get out of these clothes.  And while I’m naked, perhaps we could do something about getting you relaxed and sleepy, and not thinking about the storm at all.”

I followed him quickly, helping to pull off his wet shirt.  I nearly swallowed my tongue as his defined chest emerged.  The sight of him never failed to get my motor running.  I swallowed hard.

“What storm?”

He just grinned and pulled me into the bedroom.

The Sequel

Just a quick note to say that I’ve begun work on the sequel to my currently contracted title with the Dreamspun Beyond Line. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be submitting it for consideration long about the first of September.

I’m excited about it because I love this pair, and I even went so far as to build in clues and mentions of their feelings. I knew I would have these guys together even if I never got to actually write their story. In fact, when I first conceived of the first story, many man moons (and a couple of years) ago, I knew that these guys would be a secondary pairing. And I could not let the idea go.

So I’m working on Sam and Michael’s story.

I have to rearrange some stuff in what I’ve already written. Go at it from a slightly different angle and sort things a little differently. But I’m off to a great start, and really kind of excited about the whole thing. It’s some of my favorite tropes.

But I need to get cracking because deadlines have a tendency to loom up faster than you expect them too. And I don’t want to get caught in the same situation I was in with the first one. So focus and writing and exploring the wonderful relationship of two guys who want each other but shouldn’t be together. Until, that is, they figure out how.

Flash Fic Friday

**This week’s prompt, to which Ivan and I both wrote, is a bad day at work. Enjoy!**

The front door slammed loud enough to make me jerk, and I jogged in to see my husband forcefully ripping at his tie. His hair was a mess, the way it was when he continually ran his fingers through it, and he was wearing his glasses, a sure sign he’d spent long hours squinting at minuscule code. That he’d forgotten to take them off–he only needed them for reading–spoke more to his state of mind than anything else.

“Bad day?”

Toby’s scowl was epic level. “The worst day in the history of days.”

“What happened?” I asked sympathetically, moving forward so I could take his bag from him. He dropped it on the ground before I got to him, and I winced as his laptop clunked against the hardwood. It wouldn’t hurt it. The thing was sturdy and encased, but Toby was usually must more careful with his precious electronics than that.

“Murphy’s Law in full effect.”

I hid the smile because his boss, who was a disaster of a man, was Mr. Murphy. Murphy’s Law was the patronizing name we called him, because everything he touched turned to crap. We were both convinced Toby had ultimate job security because he was constantly cleaning up messes his boss created.

“What did he do this time?”

“Actual Murphy’s Law.” Toby kicked off one shoe, then the other, both hitting the wall with a dull thud. I hope he hadn’t dented the drywall. “The server went down. Just after we got it fixed and running again, a stupid ass intern searching porn on his computer infected the whole thing with a virus. And then? The auditors showed up at the same time as the state labor board made a surprise inspection. We had wires pulled out and computers everywhere. It was a fucking clusterfuck from start to finish. And Mr. Murphy ran around like a decapitated chicken, blaming me and Raj and Darrell like it was somehow our fault.”

“Oh babe.”

Toby let out a long suffering sigh, pulled off his glasses and tossed them on the end table, then rubbed hard at his eyes. His whole body was filled with tension, and I wanted to soothe it.

“Why don’t you get out of your work clothes and then come outside?”

He looked at me from the corner of his eye. “I’m not in the mood, Simon.”

I fought another smile. “Just please?”

He didn’t say a word, just stomped to the stairs and then up to our room. I detoured to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of wine, two glasses, and then went outside. By the time he joined me on the back deck, the hot tub was running, and I was perched on the edge, holding out a glass of his favorite Merlot. He tried for a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, but after taking the glass, he slid into the water. I joined him, maneuvering behind him, so I could rub his shoulders. I could feel all the knots, and I worked slowly and surely, rubbing them all until they disappeared.

Long moments later, he released a breath and relaxed back into me, letting me hold him and support his weight. His head fell back onto my shoulder and I lifted a wet hand to brush his hair out of his eyes, before kissing his cheek, lingering a little, taking in his smell.

Toby finally smiled.

“This is exactly what I needed.”

I chuckled against his cheek. “Yeah, I know. Shitty days are the worst.”

“Coming home to you always makes it better.”

“That’s why you married me.” I sucked on his neck, going right for his hot spot, and he melted into a boneless heap. I could have had him right there in the water, except we’d used the last of the waterproof lube last time we’d been out here. I made a mental note to get some more next time I was out.

“Thanks, Sy. I love you.” His voice was barely above a whisper, and if I hadn’t been right there, I wouldn’t have heard it.

“As I love you.” I assured him. I pulled him tighter against me, so he could feel all of me, and the very last bit of tension he’d been holding onto disappeared in an instant.

As the sun made it’s final descent, sinking below the treeline, I felt true contentment wash over me. I didn’t matter how many bad days he had, I’d always be there to help him relax out of it. That’s what true love was all about.

A Bit More Good News

One in Vermilion has found a home at JMS books! It’s looking like a July release at this point, and I’m super excited to bring it to you.

This is another one I wrote to a sub call, and the story came from the title. Which I have a ridiculous love for. 😀 This is the story of Wyatt and Tru, a red hat, and their dogs. I loved writing it, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

And Dreamspinner has asked to see the first few chapters of the sequel to my currently contracted Dreamspun Beyond title. There are potentially two sequels here, but I’m focusing on the first one. It’s Sam and Michael’s story, and I’m very much looking forward to writing it. This was a pairing I had in my head since before I started the first book, even knowing it might not see the light of day. I wrote a few clues in the first one regarding it, and now we’ll see if not only can I bring the story to life, but if it’ll be accepted.

So May has been a pretty darn good month, and I’m working hard to bring more stories to you. Stay tuned for details!

More Good News

Just a quick note to say that Hearts and Hazelnuts will be part of the Dreamspinner press States of Love collection. Contract has been signed and returned and anticipated release is sometime in December or January. More details when I have them!

This one took a lot of work, in the best possible way. After I first sent it in, the publisher asked for some revisions, which I happily made. And then sent it back to me again, asking for a bit more. It definitely improved the overall story, and I’m super excited to bring you Jordan and Beckett’s story.

I loved the idea for this collection from the start, and wanted to be a part of it. My first couple of pitches didn’t work out, because the states were already claimed. But when I saw Oregon on the list again, I knew I could write the story. I love the gorgeousness of the Pacific Northwest. And I’d long wanted to write about a farmer. And a mechanic. Maybe not in the same story, but here it all worked out. Beck and Jordan came together easily, and I loved doing research to find out all the bits I didn’t know.

This one is also written in third alternating POV, which I wrote before Ghostwalker (which still doesn’t have a new title)

And in other news, this past Saturday, I finished writing One in Vermilion. So I’m working on getting that polished and cleaned up so I can submit that one as well.

So two contracts and a finished novella, all in a fourteen day span. Plus a solid plot idea for a holiday novella. It’s been a pretty good week.

Freebies

I added a new freebie story on the freebie page at the top.

Back in March, I was part of a huge author giveaway, and the prize I offered was a flash fic written from a prompt of the winner’s choosing. A Chance Worth Taking  is what came out of it. Now that the winner has had her fic for a while, I’ve decided to put it up for everyone to enjoy.

Both stories currently there have the PDF downloadable with a simple click of their titles. I’m only able to put PDFs up on this site. But if you’d like them in a different format, just shoot me a note, and I’ll be happy to send either story along in mobi or ePub if you desire. Just let me know!

And enjoy!