Friday, December 28, 2012

The Marine Cowboy Releases TODAY! Guest author--Heather Long

The seventh installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing. 1Night Stand is the business name of an exclusive online dating service run by Madame Evangeline who provides her clients with a possibility of happily ever after or happily for now.

The Marine Cowboy 
Always a Marine #7

Purchase Now:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks| Decadent | Siren Bookstrand

 Turning down a billet at Mike's Place in Dallas, Sergeant A.J. Turner left Iraq for Freewill, Wyoming with one goal in mind—to forget the last five years. Trading his MARPATS for jeans and his cover for a cowboy hat, he plans to work his ranch and pray the green grass, tall trees, and sweet mountains can wash away the taste of the desert.

The last thing he expected was a reminder of a promise made to his buddies: one night to help them all start again.

Sheri Vaughn quit her corporate job, sold her house and moved to Freewill on a whim. Six months after her divorce, she's hardly ready to put her toe in the dating waters again. One bottle of wine later, however, she signs up for Madame Eve's exclusive 1Night Stand service and lists a very particular set of qualities she wants in a man; he must be honorable, courageous, forthright, single, have served as Marine, but be a cowboy at heart. If she wants to dream, at least she can dream big.

But when local hero A.J. Turner arrives home, Madame Eve comes through, and Sheri has to find the courage to make her dream a reality…

 Can one night, even a night arranged by Madame Eve, fulfill both a promise and a dream?


Holy hell in a hand basket. Her gaze tracked the rugged stranger as he left the café and crossed the street. The jeans he wore hadn’t been spray painted on, but they definitely gave her a great visual of hard muscle and male confidence. He walked like he owned the town, but without any hint of pretentious air. That was a man who belonged in Freewill. She didn’t know who he was. She thought after six months she’d met most of the locals, but she would have remembered him.
“A.J. Turner.” Bea poured fresh coffee into her cup, heating it up.
Sheri spent nearly every morning at the café reading before she walked one block down to open the library. Trading her job as a corporate executive at a Fortune 500 company to be a small-town librarian didn’t suggest upward trajectory, but the town of Freewill healed that broken empty place inside left by her ex-husband’s series of affairs.
“The war hero?” She blinked and glanced back at the window, but he’d already disappeared.
“One and the same. Boy hasn’t been home since he left and didn’t tell anyone he was coming back either.” Bea clucked her tongue and wrote out the check. The café preferred the old pen and paper method, and since Sheri ate fruit and drank coffee every morning, the price was always the same.
“What branch did he serve in again?” Curious, she glanced at the waitress. Bea had been born, married, gave birth to her children, and buried her husband in Freewill. The town fixture wasn’t going anywhere. She also took Sheri under her wing from the day she arrived, treating her like an old friend—or a daughter.
“Marines, honey. That young man is definitely one of Freewill’s proudest.” She winked and went back to work.
A Marine. A tremor raced over her and her stomach seemed to bottom out.
The message waiting in her email that morning from Madame Eve made so much more sense. Biting her lip, she strained to look down the street. She wished she’d paid closer attention to him when he walked in, but she only got one good glimpse at his face when he turned and caught her staring.
Her cheeks heated at the memory. He’d caught her attention the moment he entered the café. She hadn’t missed the corded muscle in his arms, tense and well defined even as he drank a cup of coffee. The man was gorgeous and wore his masculinity like a second skin.
But his smile.
Her heart squeezed. The polite smile creasing his rugged face transformed him from handsome to a full-blown heartthrob. Her body hummed in reaction. To a smile.
Wow. He just got home, Sheri. Dial down the hormones.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I think you're swell

This song is for you, my readers.
Thanks to my readers.

Because of you, I managed to become not only a multipublished author but multipublished with different publishers in 2012.  Because of you, I managed to go to my first conference, to dare contracts I wouldn't have tried dare.

In 2012, we shared two Decadent releases--Hypnotist and Taking Control.
A rerelease of my menage, Clothing Optional, with MuseItUp.
A rerelease of my paranormal romantic comedy, Odd Stuff, with Red Rose.
We saw Accidental Pirate and Lips of Velvet come out as self pubs--another first.

My YA was also rereleased under my penname and my free read stayed out there for you.

So... What Is Next?

Turn Me On is currently available for preorder from MuseItUp Publishing and will go out the door on February first of 2013.  It's a FF erotic romance.

Taming a Sex God will be available from Champagne Book Group in March of 2013.  It's a short carnal story set on a tropical island of fantasies.

Dom of the Dead will be available somewhere in March/April of 2013 from Decadent Publishing.  A paranormal BDSM, I'm hoping you guys will find it like nothing you've ever read before.

Rumor Has It will be available from Champagne Book Group in April of 2013.  A contemporary romcom, this story has a little bit of everything...even Elvis.

My contemporary romantic comedy Watkin's Pond series is under consideration.

I have three other books on their way out to join those.

I've never started a year before with a publishing schedule that spread into the new year.  Hopefully, this is the sign of things to come.

But all of this is because of you.

Sincerely, thank you.  I really do think you're swell.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


So, there is this huge snowstorm pummeling us all.  Lots of snow, wind blowing it into drifts on the road and causing whiteout conditions and it is CoooooOoooOOOoOOooold.

Due to this, I figure it's the perfect weather to snuggle up with a book.  Since I recently rereleased my sexy short Clothing Optional, I figure I have just the thing for you.

If you want a chance to win a copy of Clothing Optional, comment here or my facebook and tell me you need something to read from now (2:30 EDT) until 6pm (also EDT) and one of you lucky folks will win a copy.

If you already have Clothing Optional, let me know when I contact you to tell you that you won and you can pick another of my books.

If you don't want to wait and you want to go buy a copy of Clothing Optional, go here.

Or you can preorder my other MuseItHot release, Turn Me On, releasing in January here.

Happy Snow Day!!

Stay warm and stay safe!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog!! ~ Rumor Has It

I got tagged in the Next Big Thing blog hop by Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel!  So this is my Next Big Thing blog, featuring my April release with Champagne Book Group.

      1)      What is the working title of your novel?
Rumor Has It
      2)      Where did the idea for the novel come from?
I was listening to a song, actually.  I live in a very small town where everyone knows your name, backstory, and projected future.  Whether their opinion on any of these things are correct or not has little bearing on what everyone ‘knows’ so rumors tend to make the world go round.  Just thinking back to some of the more interesting things I’ve heard about myself—most stranger than any fiction I could concoct—I found the premise for this fun erotic romantic story.
3)      What genre does your novel fall under?
Contemporary Erotic Romance
4)      Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, it’s sort of got a romcom feel, so Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds would be awesome.  I adore Ryan’s chest.  *purrs*
5)      What is the one sentence synopsis of your novel?
An Elvis Impersonator, a single mother/former showgirl, The World’s Longest long game, and one precocious child…Rumor Has It things are getting interesting.
6)      Will your novel be self-published or represented by an agency?
Rumor Has It will be out in April from Champagne Book Group.
7)      How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Oh, two days?  It’s a shorter story.  Edits took longer than writing it.
8)      What other novels would you compare this book to within your genre?
Um…I don’t know.  I’ve not really tried to compare my work to others.
9)      Who or what inspired you to write this novel?
I have a friend who asked if I wrote a book about him.  So, this one is very, very loosely my response.  Lol!  He also lives in this small town and the rumormills have run him through their storytelling before so I figured he would see the humor there.
10)  What else about your novel might pique the reader’s interest?
Elvis? Check.  Showgirl? Check.  Small town? Check.  Hot romance? Check.  Um, besides that, it’s full of snark and humor…

Elvis left the building a long time ago…

Liz knows that there are some things you just can’t live down. Marrying an Elvis impersonator was one of her biggest mistakes yet when he comes rolling back into town, needing a place to couch surf, she can’t say no to the father of her child.

And someone else took his place…

Jeremy has been engaged in the world’s longest long game. For thirteen years he has loved Liz and her daughter but never made a move, waiting for the right moment. When her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, he realizes it is time to put up or shut up.

But now that Elvis is back, the rumors are flying.

Jeremy makes his move, leaving Liz in a tailspin. Elvis comes back, the man she has always secretly loved is making moves…but why now? The sparks fly and the gossips mouths are running…but will Liz find the love she has been waiting for or will the small town gossips destroy her like they did so long ago?

I tag and nominate the following bloggers as The Next Big Thing:

Liz made some dumb mistakes in her life...marrying an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, for instance. That shit they tell you about stuff staying in Vegas? Lies. Just sayin’.
The Elvis was a guy she knew since high school. Vernon decided he was going to be a professional poker player, moved to Vegas and became an Elvis after he was there but still…
No one lived down being the small town girl who married Elvis. Not where Liz lived.
Small town Ohio is good for one thing. Gossip.
Slamming her car into park, Liz glared at the man outside her window. “This better be good.”
“You know I am good, baby. We had a few years solid of good and—”
Glaring at her ex-husband, Vernon, the Elvis impersonator, Liz let her lips turn up in a smile which said nothing about being happy and a whole lot about being threatening. “For starters, I spent about four thousand dollars to stop having good times about a decade ago, Vernon. Call me baby again and I am gonna shove my foot up your ass sideways.”
Clearing his throat, he tried another route. “A child needs her father and I came back to—”
“You can stop that line of bullshit right there. Don’t tell me after seven years of running around doing everything to avoid child support, and anything else considered parental, you are having a sudden wash of caring for your child. How about you try again, sans bullshit?”
“Lizzie, you don’t know how hard my life has been and—”
“Vernon, if this is why you called me, I am driving away and leaving you and your bag right here at the Greyhound station and you can just plop your ass on the next bus outta here. I don’t want to hear about your life.”
As if someone flicked a switch, his inner asshole shone through his plaintive expression. Angrily, he jabbed a finger at her. “You never did understand me. You always were judgy and superior and did everything just perfect, didn’t you?”
At this, she laughed but the laugh held as little humor as her earlier smile. “Apparently not. I married you.”
Silence fell as they glared at each other. Liz couldn’t be sure what he thought but her brain whirred with possibilities, all of which ended with his demise. Cutting his black heart out with a spork gained high marks in the pro column. He sighed, shoving one hand through his Elvis-thick hair. “I need a place to stay. Just for a week or two. Until I can get on my feet.”
She snorted. “I have known you thirty-four years, Vern. You have yet to get on your feet. What is going to change in the next two weeks?”
“I don’t want to fight, Lizzie.”
“Elizabeth,” Liz corrected, but she weakened. “If I let you stay with us for a couple weeks, you can only sleep above the garage, not in my house. You are not confusing Sara with your bullshit.”
“Baby, if you want me in the garage after a couple days of having me around the house, I will gladly stay there. You are looking good, by the way.” His smile practically leered.
Rolling her eyes, she tilted down her sunglasses so she could give him a quick once over. “I can’t say the same. The years have not been kind. And quit calling me baby.”
Snagging his bag, he moved to her passenger side and slid in the car. “Whatever makes you happy, Lizzie.”
“We aren’t doing what makes me happy. If we were, I would be driving away from the bus station and you would be still standing there.”
He laughed. “I always loved your sense of humor.”
Slamming the car back into gear, she ignored him. Shit. This was not how I planned to spend spring break.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bring the Light

When I was a kid, I read Madeline L'Engle's book like an addict.  I loved her storytelling and the mixing of science fact and science possibility to create a world just like ours but somehow better.  The characters came from families who promoted knowledge, books, scientific discovery and, like Calvin in the Wrinkle in Time books, this was not the world I knew.  Imagining people like this were out there got me through some very dark times.

When I read A Ring of Endless Light, I cried.  Vicky was like me--an artist, a creator.  Identifying with her worry over the swallows nest, her fears about things like dying dolphins in tuna nets and finding joy in the water with Basil and his pod really got to me.

Being swallowed by the darkness was something I understood.  One of my best friends--my first boyfriend--died of cancer before I read this book.  I understood darkness that welled up, swelling and growing like a festering glob inside you, until the balance of light and dark shifted and the bleak things, the unholy ugly bits, ate your world.

I'd been in the darkness.  It had swallowed all my light until I just lay in bed curled into a ball, unwilling to even dare look for the good in the world.

And it's Christmastime and I'm remembering that book.  Grandpa dies, leaving Vicky to mourn not only the loss of him but also a child that passes in her arms.  This brush with dark is too much for Vicky.

She gets swallowed by the bitter and is afraid to search for light.

Our nation is trembling in a mix of shock, horror, fear and grief.  The loss of light is a vacuum which sucks at our souls, leaving mothers afraid and fathers not sure how to combat the dark.

Children are afraid, too.  At Christmastime, no less, when their eyes should be lit with a glow of hope and anticipation.

The darkness is thick and pervasive.  Going to my kid's school today, I found my eyes darting around, afraid.  I looked at the staff and was overwhelmed with the bravery it took to keep things business as usual when I know they know.  I know they understand what they could face and yet are couragous enough to sit in their chairs, smiles on their faces, and keep functioning. 

They're willing to be there, willing to face what may come head on, because of the children they care about in that building.

If you're looking for light in the darkness, it's there.  On their faces.  On the children's faces as they plan Christmas parties and write letters to Santa and whistle in the darkness.

It's easy to be 'replete with very me' in a time like this.  It's easy to give into the fear and desolation and live a life with choices that are made by fear.

But Vicky learned to look for the light.  She learned to be the light.  We can all be the light in the darkness by not acting out of fear.  Not giving into hatred, anger, mistrust, frustration and instead sharing a laugh.  A hug.  A smile.  By looking at the sky and finding wonder in the world around us, which isn't all darkness, not if you really look.

L'Engle said it better.

"Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light."

"It's hard to let go of anything we love.  We live in a world that teaches us to clutch.  But when we clutch, we're left with a fistful of ashes."

"I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright,
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled."

“It is possible to suffer and despair an entire lifetime and still not give up the art of laughter.”  

“A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.” 

Bring joy.  Bring laughter.  Bring light.
Heal the world with your brightness and dance among the stars.

Just some thoughts I was having today.  Happy writing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Day In The Life

So, I've been doing a lot of promo lately and figured it was about time to do a real life blog.

It's named a day in the life in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt--who I now know a whole lot about due to studying her and her husband for finals--since she wrote a series of articles about a day in the life of a first lady.

I'm not a first lady.  I'm a glamorous romance writer.  My life is the stuff of Romancing the Stone.

Or not.

After cramming for finals and getting hardly any sleep this week, I crashed early last night.  I then got up at the buttcrack of dawn.  Checking emails, I saw first round edits for Proper Care and Feeding of a Sex God, now renamed Taming a Sex God.  Coffee in hand, I whipped through them and fired them back to my editor.  I realized I was late.

I jumped in and out of the shower in record time and stuffed my kiddo in the car.  Realizing I forgot to get cash out of the bank for the Santa Shoppe he was headed to (and I was volunteering at) we popped in and out of an atm and went to school.

Signing him in late, because I'm a rockstar of a mama, I headed off with a friend to do some quality volunteer time.  It was actually pretty cool since I got to play store (aka work the register) and chit chat with my buddy.  Then I had lunch with my kiddo and helped tiny humans. 

Although fun, this was tiring, and more socializing than I usually do in a month, so I headed home, checked on my oldest and then passed out for an hour (Note: I mentioned this is finals week for college, right?)

I woke to an offer of cookies in exchange for my mad artistic skills so I got cookies.  I then checked my cell phone because the boys were riding bikes on the dirt road behind our house, mucking around in the woods and around the creek.  They texted me pictures of a frozen deer corpse they found in the creek.

KID YOU NOT...they texted me pictures of a body in frozen water.  Apparently this was a fascinating find for the boys.  Gruesome but fascinating.

Gaaaak.  They had hot cocoa and cookies and I packed up my stuff to go to the high school for a meeting with the music boosters.

I got all fired up because they don't have a music program in our elementary school right now (budget cuts) so I threw out ideas, thoughts, and am planning on now playing advocate for replacing our depleted performing arts program.  Yes, I'm now the secretary of the music program.  *bows*

Now I'm back home, with another round of edits in my inbox, plans to research music grants and the positive and negative impacts of no music program, cramming for an art final tomorrow and...oh yeah, I have work to do.

So, yes, this is a day in the life of a glamorous writer.  You're all jealous right now, aren't you?

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The End of the World as we know it...and GenX feels fine...

So, we're days away from the "End of the World."  Again.

Or so the internet keeps telling me.  Government officials, due to a rash of frightened emails and letters, have responded that the world is not going to end in a few days.

Which means I still have to go take final exams.  *sigh*  You would think if we were scheduling an apocalypse that far in advance, someone would have ensured they did it before finals week.  I mean, who wants to admit they spent their last days cramming?

Not this kid.

I would rather say I spent my last days with my children.  On a beach. In the sun. 

(Who worries about sun damage to the skin when the end is nigh?  Not this kid.)

But I've noticed that we're having the End of the World more frequently.  I mean, back in the day, you only had the end of the world once a generation or so.  This is what?  Our second AT LEAST.  I mean, we partied like it was 1999.  We faced the Y2K bug.  We've done this and none of us got a teeshirt.

Well, I didn't get a teeshirt.  Maybe you did. 

I guess the question this creates for me is...why is our generation so prone to believing the end is coming?  Why are we waiting for fire to rain from the sky and zombies to steal our twinkies?

*moment of silence for the twinkies*

I think it's because, at the end of the day, the end of the world is easier to think about than endless Thursdays.  If we view our lives as continuing on, just as they are, for the rest of our lives and ending in a nursing home, our generation has to deal with the fact we're getting older.

Generation X is becoming Generation somewhat wrinkled.  We've gone from being the trend setters to borderline bed wetters.  It's scary stuff.

Easier, then, to consider how we would cope with a zombie apocalypse or an ending Mayan calendar than how we'll deal with facing the middle aged faces that stare back at us in the mirror.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Laci's Place: Author Virginia Nelson Is A Little Odd

Laci's Place: Author Virginia Nelson Is A Little Odd: Today I have an odd guest author. The one and only Virginia Nelson is here at Laci’s Place. First I’d like to say thank you for stop...

Monday, December 3, 2012

You're beautiful

Yesterday I saw a picture taken of myself and was grossed out.  I got really depressed about it.  I shared the pic with my best friend who looked at it and said, "You're beautiful."

I rolled my eyes.  She wasn't lying to me.  I could see the image.  Fat, obese…society has lots of words for it and I was all of them.  She repeated, “You’re beautiful.”

Of course, I looked at her like she’d gone batshit crazy.  “Look!  My arms!  My thighs! My arm is as big as my head!  It’s gross!”

She shook her head.  “You’re beautiful.  You’re a good mom.  A good friend.  You help others everyday and sometimes that means your last priority is you.  If you’re more concerned with the difference you make in the world, in the people you love, than how you look, how can you not see what I do?  You’re beautiful.”

I might have paraphrased her but almost exactly that.  I stewed on her words.  Yeah, she has a point.  One I thought I should share because I’m not the only one who forgets it.  The world might think my size isn’t quite right.  Probably, some of you have been trained to look at yourself in the mirror and gauge your self worth based on the image reflected back at you.  You probably get as disgusted as I do with that image you see sometimes.

But if you’re like me and you spend your days worrying about everyone else and don’t get around to worrying about your hair, your size, your nails, your dead sexiness…Is there anyone on the face of this planet that can hold a candle to your beauty?

You’re beautiful.  I’m proud to know you.  I should tell you that more often.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday--The Tourist Trap

Here's a sneak peek of one of my coming soon books, The Tourist Trap.  A romantic comedy coming soon, this one is more a comedy scene than a sexy one.


She chose money over love.

Moving to New York years ago, Phoebe Winters knew the only way to make it to the top was to buckle down and work harder than she ever had before.  Ten years later and she is a bestselling romance author who steams up the glasses of women—and some men—worldwide.  But for what? The man she loved asked that she tour all of the must-see sights the city had to offer and she refused, choosing to work instead.  He’s gone, lost in the past.  A letter to the 1Night Stand service asking for a romance hero in real life begs the question…can a real man be as good as the ones she writes?

He is drowning in family.

Nathanial Parnell is a good Italian boy.  He loves his family and would do anything for them but he is ready to start a family of his own.  Finding the right woman?  Since none meet the high standards he wants, he contacts Madame Eve for a set-up.  When his mother demands a trip to New York City to see the sights, he agrees to show her the time of her life.  But one city slick woman seems determined to ruin their day out, making him risk running late to meet the woman of his dreams…even if fighting Phoebe makes him feel more alive than he has in years.

What could be more romantic?

From SoHo to the Statue of Liberty, Phoebe and Nathanial both seek their planned day and neither find it. Phoebe is on a trip to recapture the past, Nathanial on a journey to please others.  Will Phoebe pass up another chance at love?  Or will they both fall into a Tourist Trap?

The Six
“I know, Mom.  But look, she’s okay.”  The man towering over her looked like a cover model from one of her books.  Golden hair hung in a shining cap around a face as wholesome as apple pie.

“I’m not okay,” she advised him.  “You hit me with a car.”

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Release!! Odd Stuff Available Now!

My first book ever published.
My first paranormal series project.
My first time that any one really believed my writing might have value other than amusing me...
Odd Stuff was a lot of things to me when I wrote it and still holds a special place in my heart because of all of that.  I'm glad to say it's been rereleased and is now available for you all to enjoy.  For readers who fell in love with these characters so long ago, thanks for believing in me.  For those who haven't read it yet...

Well, what are you waiting for?  Go grab your copy today!


Janie Smith tumbles through the paranormal world making mistakes and not keeping her sharp tongue in check. Pretending to be normal is what she has spent her whole life perfecting. But when her best friend, a witch named Mia, gets tangled in a murder investigation, Janie tries to stick to her guns and solve it without any “extra” help, be it supernatural or sexual. The hitch is that Mia is suspected to have murdered a vampire...and how do you prove you haven't killed someone who has no pulse?

What are the reviewers saying?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and would love to read more about Janie and her friends. Bitten By Books
Odd Stuff is hilarious. This story is fast paced, laugh out loud entertainment. Night Owl Reviews (top pick)
All in all, a don't-put-it down read that will have you smiling and giggling for Janie's inner thoughts are priceless. A must read for anyone who is a fan of the paranormal. Happily Ever After Reviews
The humor alone is worth buying this book. I laughed so hard in places that I had tears running down my face. Coffee Time Romance
Virginia Nelson's story is an absolute delight. I highly recommend it to readers who revel in stories filled with magic, secrets and fascinating characters imbued with powers that can only be imagined. The Romance Studio

Find it here: