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Coming Soon!

On Saturday in fact. It can be in your hot little hands on October 8. You can pre-order it now, and it’ll be delivered right to your device if you so wish. Check it out at JMS or Amazon

Sequel to The 12th Witch

Justin Trews lucked out when he found Cole Demauro and the coven he’s joined. He’s still working through his trauma, but he now knows what it’s like to be supported and cared for. His magic is thriving, and so is he. And of course, dating Cole has proven to be the best part. The past three months have been the happiest of his life.

When the veil is the thinnest, Justin experiences Samhain as it is meant to be. It’s a far cry from how he celebrated in the past. With the coven gathered, he participates in the ritual to honor the dead and the end of the harvest season. His magic is full and so is his heart.

But when Justin’s past rears it’s ugly head, he’s faced with dealing with his family. Old hurts run deep and insecurities resurface. Its hard not to feel like a burden and an imposition. With his coven behind him, and Cole’s love buoying him up, Justin finds the strength not only to confront his family but to rely on his coven for help. And when the dust settles, Justin has taken great strides toward healing. Now Justin needs to show Cole just how much he loves him.

For the greatest enjoyment, you really need to read The 12th Witch first as it is the beginning of Justin and Cole’s story. Click here and scroll down to find buy links if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

I love these guys, and I loved writing them again. This time, the story is from Justin’s POV, so we get a different perspective on the next stage of their relationship and the things going on in their life.

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So That Happened

You may have noticed that there was no Flash Fic Friday these past two weeks. There’s a valid reason for that.

Most of the time, I don’t write it until Friday morning. It’s how my schedule works out and it puts less pressure on me. Since the serials here on the blog are for my fun and enjoyment as much as yours, I strive to make it the most stress free I can.

Let me preface this story by saying I’m fine. Totally fine, other than some bumps and bruises.

But Friday 23 Sep, as I was driving to work, I was suddenly going off the road and crashed into a tree. A small tree, but still. Tree. It turns out someone was backing into the street, hit my car, and sent me off the road. Now, there’s a whole story about how she tried to blame me but it’s not worth it to rehash it here.

Needless to say, my plans got very derailed that day, because I went home and there was no way I was going to work. And it took me hours to fully stop shaking from the adrenaline rush. So I just made a mental note I would write one for yesterday and tell y’all why and move on.

Except yesterday ended up being another day where stuff happened. I was told that my car was deemed a total loss, so I had to go to the towing place to get the last of my things out of the car (because I didn’t completely clear it out on the day). I also ended up speaking with the loss team from my insurance and find out just how much I would be getting for the car. So I had to deal all of that as well.

All that is to say that I didn’t get anything written again. And while I debated writing something for today, and just posting a Saturday edition, but in the end I just had to chalk it up to stress and nonsense and postpone Lane and Walker for another week.

I have a book release next week, October 8th, so I’ll post info about that this week. Crystal Clear is the sequel to The 12th Witch and features Justin and Cole again. They do need to be read in order though! So make sure you pick up The 12th Witch if you haven’t already. As I said, more info soon on that.

Anyway! Take care of yourselves out there. I’ll have more good stuff coming your way soon.

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The Thing About Wolves

You may have noticed I’m a fan of shifters. Always have been. And don’t get me wrong, I do like me a non-traditional shifter. Show me your elephants or Guinea pigs or dogs or, I dunno, fish. I always find it interesting how these shifter balance their animal selves with the human.

But I will always, first and foremost, be in love with wolves.

Werewolves were always my favorite monster. The thing I should have been afraid of but never was. And as I grew up and the more I learned about the different myths and legends, werewolves cemented themselves in my heart and soul.

Besides there’s no denying that wolves are one of the most majestic and beautiful animals out there.

As I delved into writing PNR, and created my own lore, wolf shifters were what I naturally gravitated toward. And they continue to be where my heart lies.

So you may see other kinds of shifters show up in my books. But it’s mostly gonna be wolves. And I’m perfectly okay with that.

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Quick Updates

Hey all!

Firstly, the day job is still kicking my butt. Mostly in stress and there’s no need to rehash it all here. But is is taking up a great deal of my mental capacity, and when I get home all I wanna do is play animal crossing and decorate my island and not worry about anything. But despite that…

I finished the sequel to The 12th Witch! It’s been submitted and contract signed. So look for that in October. It’s the story of Justin’s continuing journey of healing. With Cole, and his love, right at his side. I had a heck of a time writing it as for a while I was having trouble getting going. I must have restarted like 4 times. Because every iteration was just very not right. Until it was. I’ll have more details when release gets a little closer.

And that’s not the only thing that will be coming from me. Soft Dom is Coming to Town will be out in December. It’s set in my fictional Landry’s Fall and features friends to lovers with a healthy dose of kink thrown in (if you couldn’t tell from the title.). I adore Garrett and Mason, and I hope you will too.

I haven’t yet cracked into a new story and I’m taking a little break. Hopefully not too long of one. I’m tossing around a few ideas and characters. I have a million plot bunnies to be sure. So we’ll see where that goes. As soon as I can get my writing brain back online.

Everyone be well and take care of yourselves!

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Out Today!

It’s JMS Books’ anniversary month! Books are on sale! And today, Cole and Justin enter the world. It’s currently on sale directly from the publisher so you can click here.

Cole Demauro is the de facto leader of his coven and he takes that responsibility seriously. But the coven is one member short and finding a witch to fill the spot has proven difficult. It’s not easy to find a person who not only has magic that resonates with the coven, but also fits in. But there’s no doubt the coven needs another witch to bolster everyone’s magic. After all, covens work best with twelve witches.

Enter Justin Trews.

New to the area and reluctant to join a coven, Justin’s been managing on his own. But it’s no longer enough. When they meet for the first time, Justin’s magic is a mess, and Cole is determined to help. Not only is the beautiful man clearly suffering, but Cole is the type to want to fix it. His attraction to Justin only increases that need. But what neither man expects is how well their magic fits together.

Justin is cautious, but Cole is nothing if not patient. He works to coax Justin out of his shell and persistently shows Justin there’s nothing to fear. When Justin agrees to take the risk, everything falls into place. Justin is a perfect fit for the coven. More than that, he’s the perfect fit for Cole.

I was super excited to be a part of this anniversary celebration, and I fell in love with Cole and Justin along the way. Which I’m sure surprises absolutely no one. This story has magic and two men who find their way to each other. Low angst, lots of good feels, and crystals and weather magic.

When I finished the story, though, I knew I wasn’t done with these guys. This story ends with an HFN, which is great. But Justin immediately told me that not only is there more to their story, but that he was the one to tell it. The 12th Witch is told from Cole’s POV, but Justin has some things to say. So I’m in the process of writing that down now, and if all goes according to plan (because I always need to hedge my bets) you’ll be able to pick up their next installment in a few months. Tentatively titled Crystal Clear I hope to have it out in October, just in time for Samhain.

Anyway, I hope you pick this up and enjoy it as much as I did writing it. As I said, it’s on sale now if you get it directly from JMS. And it’s available at the rest of the usual places, if you prefer to read a different way. Here’s a few links!

Amazon Apple Books Dreame Kobo

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Here it is! Episode 9 and the conclusion for Rowan and Luca. It’s been a ride, and went places I didn’t expect, but now they’re settled. Or at least getting there! We’ll start a new one soon, but in the meantime, enjoy!**

I closed the door behind Agent Willis and let out a sigh, leaning against the cool wood for a moment. It didn’t take a whole second before Luca was behind me, gathering me into his arms and holding me tightly. I turned in his arms and rested my head in the crook of his neck. It was as though the spot had been made for me since my forehead fit there perfectly.

Luca rubbed my back but didn’t say a word, just held me and let me breathe. It was what I needed. The interview had lasted hours, Agent Willis had done his best to be kind and gentle with his questions. His partner hadn’t shown up with him, and I’d let him record everything. Before he turned on the device, he implied his partner wasn’t as compassionate as he was. Or maybe empathetic was a better word. Either way, I appreciated that he took care to ask me what he needed to but had been kind about it.

“You okay?” Luca’s voice rumbled through his chest, and it comforted me even more. I snuggled in closer, though it wasn’t really possible, and then squeaked when he picked me up. It startled a laugh out of me and I clung on while he walked the few yards to the couch and sat, settling me half across his lap. 

“Eh. I don’t know.” I took a few moments to really take stock of my emotions, then pursed my lips. “Is it weird that I feel kind of, I dunno, relieved?”

“No.” The firmness in his tone made me smile. “It’s not weird at all. You’ve been in fight or flight for most of your life. It has to be a relief to know your abusers can no longer hurt you. Or anyone else, for that matter.”

I squinted one eye at him. “You’ve been talking to Tenley, haven’t you?”

He shrugged one shoulder, not the least bit ashamed. Not that he should be. Our pack counselor was as wise as she was fair, and had a way being blunt without being harsh. Without her, I wouldn’t have made the progress I had.

“She’s going to not so gently insist I see her regularly again for a while.” I sighed, but I wasn’t upset. Right this moment, I was okay. But I was sure that wouldn’t last. I licked my lips. “I might, uh, have a little bit of a setback. So just, you know, you need to be—”

Luca stopped me with a quick kiss. “Sidestep, not setback. Healing isn’t a linear process. See her as much as you need to.”

I smiled then. He was so supportive, and I appreciated it so much. But then a thought struck, and I sat up straighter, grabbing his biceps.

“Luca, you have to…I mean…” I stopped and took a breath. “Yes, this brought up a lot for me. And it’s going to be rough for a bit.” I paused again, squinting as I thought. “Though probably not as bad as before, since I’ve come along way. But what I’m trying to say is that if you need some time for yourself, or a break or—”

“We aren’t breaking up!” It wasn’t a roar, exactly, and time was even that much would have made me flinched. But it was Luca, and I trusted him, so I didn’t.

“No, no,” I soothed. I loosened my hold and started petting. “That’s not what I mean. But your mental health is as important as mine, and even though I’m a little broken—”

“You aren’t broken!”

I continued like he hadn’t interrupted. “Doesn’t mean that I take priority. Remember? So if you need some time for yourself, I want you to take it, okay?”

He made some grumbling noises but didn’t say anything as he gathered me in close again. He stuck his nose against my neck, rubbing and scenting me. I just smiled and held on, let him do his thing, because I knew there was a comfort in that for him. When he was done, he adjusted our positions until he was lying down and I was lying on top of him.

For a few minutes, we just stayed like that, breathing in sync and listening to the ambient noises. Luca hand creeped in my hair and started rubbing my scalp. It was so soothing that I almost nodded off. I knew that was part of the stress of the day, the high emotions crashing down, but the rest was all him and the contentment I felt in his presence. A couple of months ago, I wouldn’t have expected that. Wouldn’t have believed it even. But the time spent with Luca had changed it all.

“Rowan?” his voice was barely above a whisper. 

“Hm?” I stretched a little, then snuggled into a more comfortable position.

“I love you,” he murmured, tone sure. “Just want you to know.”

“Mmm. That’s good.” 

“Yeah?”

“Mhmm.” I kissed his collar bone. “Because I love you. And it would suck if it was just me.”

Too quick to track, Luca flipped us over, so I was on bottom, and he was crouched over me, staring into my eyes. I smiled and reached for him, putting my hands on his face just so I could touch him. When he bent to kiss me, it was sweet and loving, with just a hint of the passion he’d shown me before. I was ready to take it there, but he pulled back before I could. I wasn’t worried. I knew we’d get there soon enough.

Then he settled his body weight on me, and the deep pressure relaxed me even further. It was like my own personal weighted blanket, but with the exact right amount of pressure, and I sighed happily.

This was just the start of us, and it wasn’t always going to be easy. But I knew it would be good and exactly what we both needed.

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Looking Back: Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love

**Looking back is a series here where I take a meander down memory lane and talk about my past books. I’ll bring insight to the inspiration behind the story and what the writing process was like. Hope you enjoy!**

This book. This is one of those books that stemmed from my own life in a lot of ways. It’s full of little easter eggs meant just for me and for my friend living all the way across the country. I was in a rut, to be sure, but there was a sub call (see, I told you there would be a pattern) for a story with an older MC. But I was stumped.

Until I almost fell down the stairs and busted my noggin.

From there, a story was born. Of Josie falling down the stairs and getting concussed. Of Ben, her friend across the country who gets an email in the middle of the night that his friend is hurt. And of Zack, Josie’s younger brother who contacts Ben. Of Ben getting a flight across the country to be with the sister of his heart, even though they’d never met in person.

Of Ben and Zack falling in love. Which is the most important part. Of course, it’s not easy. There’s an age gap to content with. The distance poses a problem. Ben hasn’t been in a serious relationship in a while and has resigned himself to the fact that it’s just not going to be an option for him. And of course, there’s Josie, who Ben would do anything for, and perhaps falling in love with her brother isn’t the best idea.

Zack, on the other hand, sees all that he wants in Ben. He’s the driving force for them to try, and he’s the one that brings them back together after they have to say goodbye. Zack is a ray of sunshine and optimism. He knows he’s what Ben needs.

And those Easter eggs I mentioned? Well they’re maybe not as amusing to the average reader as they are to me. There’s the title, for one, which comes for the song by The Outfield. (And happens to be a song that stalks both me and my friend.) It’s where Josie’s name came from as well. Josie is a knitter. Those emails Ben and Josie exchange, and how they met? Copying real life.

Needless to say, this one has a special place in my heart. I needed to get out of a writing slump and I needed something I adored. This story was exactly that in my time of need. For most readers, it’s just a cute little story about two men falling in love and overcoming obstacles. For me, it’s little pieces of my life put into a story because it amused me so.

You can read the blurb and find by links here. You can also find some additional flash fics I wrote there too. Just scroll down 🙂

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Episode 8 for Rowan and Luca. It’s been a journey, and I’ve missed a week here and there, but here you go. There’s one more episode after this. Enjoy!**

It wasn’t exactly surprising that Luca’s Jeep was in my driveway. Over the past few months, he’d been here more often than not. He claimed he liked my house better than his, but I just thought he liked to spend time with me and knew I was more comfortable in my own space. He didn’t seem to care where we were though, so I didn’t worry about it. It had taken time, but we were pretty good at communicating, and I trusted him to tell me if that change.

That being said, I wasn’t sure why his Jeep was in my driveway now. I’d been out running errands, but Luca was working today. Or at least I thought he had been. If his grumbles this morning as he forced himself out of my bed were anything to go by, then he and his crew had a lot of work to do on the house they were renovating, and I hadn’t expected him to be back until early evening.

The timing of his return was suspicious.

It could be that they’d actually finished early. Or run into a problem that stopped their work for the day until it got resolved. Hell, it could be that he just decided to cut out early to spend some time with me. Except he’d never done that before because Luca was too dedicated to his work. So it probably wasn’t that, no matter how much I wanted it to be.

Even though the logical part of my brain tried to tell me that it was most likely one of the former reasons—since odds were it wasn’t the latter—my rising anxiety immediately jumped to worse case scenario. Panic burbled in my gut, making my stomach ache in that way it did. I had to swallow hard just to keep myself breathing normally.

I had groceries in the car, but I was too anxious to bring them all in, so I just grabbed the cold bag that contained the refrigerated and frozen items from the seat beside me and rushed into the house. The front door was open, but the screen door had a tendency to stick, so I fought with it for a second before I managed to yank it open.

“Luca!” I dropped the bag and headed toward the living room

“In here.”

“What’re you do—” I sucked in a breath as I rounded the corner and saw not only Luca sitting in his favorite recliner but my alpha perched on the edge of the couch. Both men held themselves stiffly, concern etched into ever line of their body. My heart went wild, adrenaline bursting through my veins. “What’s happened?”

Luca tried for a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. He held out a hand. “Come here. It’s okay, baby.”

My legs shook but I managed to make it across the room and take his hand. When he tugged me right down onto his lap, I went, even though I didn’t really fit. I wasn’t worried about being too heavy for him. It took a little finagling before we were comfortable.

“What’s going on?” I asked and my voice shook but I didn’t care. Luca’s arms tightened almost to the point of pain, but the deep pressure helped to settled me. I had a feeling, just from the look on Tom’s fac, that I was going to be needing a lot of that.

“I hope I didn’t overstep by calling Luca and asking him to be here. But I felt you’d want the support.” Tom’s voice was gentle. “I received a visit from the MBI. A Special Agent Willis. He came to speak to me about your former pack.”

For a second, I couldn’t breathe, but then Luca nuzzled my neck and held me even tighter, and air moved through my lungs again. I nodded, a jerk of my head, and Tom let out a breath.

“He would like to speak with you, but he allowed me to talk to you first. Not that he had a choice. I’m your alpha.” The possessive and protective growl in his tone helped me relax even further. I tried for a smile.

“What happened?” I’d asked it before, and I appreciated Tom’s attempt to ease me into things, but it was making my anxiety worse. Luca lifted his head, and I felt more than heard the growl, but Tom put him in his place with a look.

“He and his partner were investigating your old pack due to a death—”

I let out a mirthless snort. Tom quirked an eyebrow. I gave as much as a shrug as I was able due to Luca’s tight hold.

“Death is nothing new in that pack.” My voice wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be, but it was no longer shaking, and I called that a win.

“Perhaps.” Tom let out a sigh and clenched his hands together. “The death was a daughter of another pack, though. She was kidnapped and tortured before being beaten to death and left in a field. She was found two days later, and an investigation was immediately launched. It didn’t take long to find the culprits. Or to have them remanded to custody.”

None of that surprised me, exactly, even though it was horrible. I always knew my former alpha and his cronies were capable of such things. I just didn’t think they’d be so stupid as to do it to someone who wasn’t pack. If it was a wolf under the alpha’s control, he could almost always explain away the damage. But a wolf belonging to a different pack? That was another matter entirely.

“Who?” I had to clear my throat. “Uh, did they tell you who was arrested?”

“The alpha, two betas, and several other pack members.” Tom’s voice was low. He looked me straight in the eye. “Including your mother.”

I sucked in a breath as emotions warred within me. Most of me was fiercely glad they’d been arrested. Since the MBI was involved, chances were good that they’d not only be held accountable but that they’d get the harsh punishment they deserved. But there was also a part of me that was sad the woman who gave birth to me had been involved in it.

“Baby?”

I gripped Luca’s hands tightly where they were crossed over my chest but didn’t take my gaze off Tom. “Good.”

Tom studied me for a long moment, and then some of the tension left his body. “You don’t seem surprised.”

It wasn’t a question. I answered it anyway. “I’m not. Or rather, I can’t believe that they took the violence to an outside pack like that. But that they were capable of it? That’s not a shock.”

“Even your mom?” Luca’s voice was soft and his breath tickled the skin of my neck. I shivered but shook it off.

“The woman who birthed me was indifferent at best and cruel at worst. She allowed this to happen to me and others without doing anything to stop it. She didn’t even try. And it’s not because she was controlled like the rest of us.” I breathed deeply, using my coping techniques. I consciously let some of the tension go. I wasn’t in that place anymore, hadn’t been for years, and I was safe and secure now. Especially with Luca’s arms around me. “You said the agent wanted to talk to me?”

Tom took a moment to make sure I was actually okay. Then he nodded. “He’s willing to wait until you’re ready. He understands the trauma you’ve experienced.”

“Can, um, can Luca be there with me when I talk to him?” I gulped. “Or you?”

“He can just try and stop me,” Luca growled and then bit my neck. Not hard, it was just a nip. Just letting me feel him so I knew he was there. As if I could miss it. I turned my head to nuzzle his cheek.

“Are you up to speaking with him?”

I nodded, squeezed my eyes shut, and took a breath. “Yeah, okay.”

“All right.” Tom stood. He walked right over and cupped the back of my neck, rubbing his fingers and leaving his scent. “I’ll let him know.”

“He’s still around?”

Tom nodded. “He is. I’ll give you some time then send him over.”

With another squeeze to my neck, he left. Luca didn’t even wait until the door shut behind Tom before he turned me around and cuddled me in close. For a long moment, he didn’t say anything.

“Tighter,” I whispered and Luca squeezed so hard I could barely breathe. It was perfect.

“You okay?” He murmured into my ear.

“No.” I made it a point never to lie to him and I wasn’t going to start now. “But as long as you stay with me, I will be. Eventually.”

“Not going anywhere.” Luca’s voice was quiet but full of conviction.

Flash Fic Friday, Serial

Flash Fic Friday

**Episode 7 is finally here. Sorry for the delay. Sometimes the boys just don’t want to talk to me, or other things get in the way. But our wolves are back and they have one more episode after this. Enjoy!**

I was out watering the garden when I heard him. I kept my gaze focused on my task, but I dialed up my hearing, tracking his movements. Luca wasn’t trying to be quiet, and I smiled even though I didn’t turn in his direction. He was so good about letting me know exactly where he was at all times, so he never snuck up on me. And that took effort, because as wolves, we were naturally stealthy.

He came up alongside me, and I still didn’t turn, but I knew he could smell how happy and content I was. I wanted to see what he would do.

“Hey.” Luca’s voice was soft and low. He stepped closer, then behind me, and wrapped his arms around me, hugging me. I tilted my head, exposing my neck, and I shivered when he bents and kissed my skin. “Whatcha doing?”

I snorted a laugh and lifted the nozzle of the hose high, because I thought it was pretty obvious what I was doing. Luca playfully nipped my skin, a reprimand for my cheek that he wasn’t serious about. His amusement came through clearly in his scent.

“I meant when you were done.” Another nip to my neck, this one lower down, right at the juncture of my shoulder. A frisson of arousal shot through me, and I let out a little gasp that made Luca chuckle wickedly. I dropped the hose and turned in his arms, wrapping my own around his neck and pushing against him. 

Luca rumbled out his approval, pulling me even closer, so our bodies fit together perfectly. He pushed my hair back with one hand, then settled that same hand on the back of my neck. The arousal was still simmering, but it was pushed back but the happy hum of contentment at just being held. At being looked at like I was important and special. And as much as I wanted to jump his bones—especially because we hadn’t gotten that far yet—I was just as happy to stand there and let him hug me.

“I can be done,” I murmured, pushing up on my toes so I could reach his jaw. I kissed him there, lingering a little, and then settled back down and tucked myself tighter against him. He pushed his face against my hair at my temple, scenting me. 

“Wanna shift and run with me?” He grinned, then waggled his eyebrows, making me laugh. He kissed the smile off my face. He pulled away gently, adding a few quick pecks, and then lifted a brow as he stared down at me.

I was breathless when I answered. “Yes, please.”

He released me so fast I almost stumbled, but he was there to steady me. then he started stripping, dropping his clothes where he stood. I rushed to catch up, but stopped in the process of unbuttoning my jeans when he whipped off his boxers, whirled them in a circle and tossed them away. I didn’t know whether to laugh or moan, and in the end, the sound I made was a mixture of both.

Luca took a step toward me. I couldn’t tear my gaze from his body, all sleek muscle, toned and cut, and golden skin. He was simply breathtaking, and my libido reminded me that it did, in fact, exist. And was very healthy. I licked my lips, Luca’s expression turned heated, and he stalked closer a few more steps before freezing. I jerked my gaze to his, but he just smirked, shook his head, and dropped to one knee to let the shift overtake him.

Ah well. He was probably right. If he came closer, we’d never get to run in our fur, and we both needed it. Besides, I loved running with Luca. He made it fun and joyful, while also making me feel wholly safe and protected. I quickly got rid of the rest of my clothes, a little less carelessly than Luca had, then shifted. It took me longer than him, and by the time I was shaking my fur to settle it, he was sitting next to me. I approached, head lowered, and he licked my muzzle then rubbed against my face and neck, leaving his scent all over me.

I loved it.

He yipped and took off, and I raced after him. Wherever he went, I followed. Any time he stopped to scent the air or investigate an interesting smell, I did the same. He lead, and I was only to happy to follow.

Eventually we made it to a clearing on the far side of pack territory. I wasn’t tired, exactly, but we’d come a long way and I was pleasantly fatigued. I sat on my haunches and panted as Luca inspected the the entire space. Then he found a shady spot under a maple, laid down and yowled out a sound that I clearly understood.

Come here.

I obeyed, eager and happy, and pushed against him. Luca didn’t move, but he did give me the side-eye. I huffed out a wolf-version of a laugh, and he grumbled, so I pushed against him, tucked myself into the curve of his body, and laid down as well.

There was no denying his contented sigh. I echoed the sound.

Behind me, Luca adjusted until he could get one paw over my shoulders. I pushed in tighter. Only when we finally settled did a realize that we were cuddling there on the ground. Wolf cuddling. I’d never done it before. Not like this. I’d settled into a wolf pile before, of course. Wolves were tactile in any form. But this, with Luca, was something else entirely. It was intimate and comfortable, and meant more to me than I even could words to.

I breathed out, Luca set his bit head on top of mine, and cuddled together, content and happy, I fell asleep.

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Looking Back: Requiem Inc.

**Looking back is a series here where I take a meander down memory lane and talk about my past books. I’ll bring insight to the inspiration behind the story and what the writing process was like. Hope you enjoy!**

Today I’m revisiting the Requiem Inc. series! This is one of my most popular series, and the one I get asked about the most. Not only has it been well received, but readers want to know if Tyler will get his own story.

But first, we need to start at the beginning.

Years before I wrote Ghost of a Chance, my brother told me a story he imagined in his brain. Of a man who went to work everyday, was stabbed through the chest and “died” in order to do his job. My brother’s details were slightly different from mine, but the story he told me stuck with me. For years, I would randomly think about that scene as I imagined it while he was telling me. It came back to me again and again.

So I asked him if I could use it. And he said yes.

Which is how I came up with ghostwalking, and Requiem Inc, a company that, through private and government funding, has operatives who find lost souls and help them pass on. Blake and Derek were not the first iteration I came up with. In fact, it took a few tries to get their story, and their characters, right. But when I hit on this combination, the story bloomed before me. Not only were they a ghostwalker and anchor pair, but there was an anchor bond as well. Of course, their relationship isn’t always easy. Blake, in particular, has baggage he needs to unpack before he can move forward. Which, with Derek’s help, he is able to do.

Derek is a big sweetheart. Like, he’s almost too good to be true. And I wanted him to be that way. I wanted him to be perfect in every way for Blake, and to have a huge heart, and be an outstanding cook, and absolutely love taking care of Blake. Blake needed the care taking, for sure, but I leaned hard into just how good and perfect Derek was, because he was an utter joy to write that way.

This series isn’t heavy on the angst, but there is a bit. There’s also a wonderful mix of science and paranormal in the world building. And from Blake and Derek’s story, other stories arose. Sam, Blake’s brother, was pining for Michael King, their boss. It was originally meant as a throwaway side plot moment. It grew into more. And then I had to write their story, and all that entailed. Their problems were different than Blake and Derek’s, of course, even more so compounded by King being a Guardian and Sam being a little reckless. I faced new challenges with Lost Souls Found as I had to walk a fine line between being too cliched while also telling their story. And of course, they had their own sort of bond, but I had to figure out what that looked like as their roles were hugely different.  

Avery made an appearance in book 1, and then a cameo in book 2, and he deserved a new love and a new life as well. Somebody to Die For was more of a challenge to write as Avery was still grieving the loss of his husband and anchor, but was also healing from that. There was a heaviness to that I wanted to do justice. But Jameson was a light not only for Avery, but for me as well. Far from perfect, but also so giving and open to learning. In a lot of ways, I had the most fun writing this third book in the series, because even though the subject matter was, at times, heavier, the world was well established and it was great to see all our boys, as well as other secondary characters again.

The other thing of note, here, was that I was laid off in 2017, and though Ghost of a Chance had already been written at that point and was in the works to be published, the other two were on spec with the publisher. And because I’d gotten laid off, I had plenty of time on my hands. I was able to write them back to back, pounding out the words. I managed to write the 100+k words between both books in a shorter amount of time than I’d ever been able to write that many words before. And I was thrilled with their releases, and the overwhelmingly positive response I got to the world building and the characters and their stories.

(And yes, for those of you who know, I still feel bad Tyler hasn’t gotten his story and yes, every once in a while he pokes me and reminds me that he deserves his story told. I haven’t said it’ll never happen for a reason.)

I love this series for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I think it showcases my world building skills the best, and is something different. Not wholly unique, to be sure, but interesting and creative certainly. I love stories with bonds as well, both to read and to write, and while not every story has an actual bond, the MCs are all incredibly connected.

This series is one that originally was a part of a particular line, and I was exceedingly proud to be pat of it at the time. This series also kicked off my foray into writing with paranormal elements in my stories, which is something I’ve always loved to read and couldn’t quite solidify in my mind to write. So this was the first, and it’s only grown from there, as a lot of my recent releases have been PNR.

All in all, this series has been a roller coaster to write, is one of the series I’m exceptionally proud of, and one that just might not be finished yet. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can find blurbs and buy links here.