Friday, December 26, 2014

Cold Medicine Has Got Me Working Overtime

I write blogs on two different sites.  This one and the Ms J.  This is my personal one.  This is the one where the truly weird will emerge at a moments notice.  And, if you're a very devoted reader, you may catch a drunk blog float by in the wee hours of the morning during a blizzard when I'm home alone and bored and have a bottle wine.  I will delete it very quickly, because we can't have things like that out there.  But if you're clever enough, you'll see it.

Tonight is a very special blog. You see, tonight is a blog derived from the the worst cold of my life and NyQuil.  I should be going to bed.  But instead I'm working.  And blogging.  They're similar but not the same.  I have no idea if this will make a lot of sense or none at all.  I promise to do my best.

But I'm working at the same time, so I keep jumping back and forth to add things here and there as I think of them.  What am I working on?  If I told you, you'd never believe me.  No, really.  It's completely unbelievable and I'm so pumped this is my life.

I sent out the ARCs for THE HOPE THAT STARTS today.  

Can we all just take a minute and think about that?  Like, this is book 5.  Of a series that I never planned on writing.  And I'm so very excited about this one because it has all the nerd references and the nerd love and I get to look at pictures of Miles as I write because he will always be Harrison to me.

In full disclosure, there was a moment in the beginning/middle that got a little sketch.  I wasn't sure if I was going to publish LEARN TO FLY.  I could only get one person to read it (sister shout out!), it was a weird idea for a romance, I had no idea if people would like it.  Come to find out, not a lot of people did.  But enough of you did that I went ahead and wrote book 2 (which still happens to be my favorite, I don't care if you hate it).  And now we're up to book 5.

This band, these characters have been so incredibly fun.  It's going to be difficult to say goodbye.  I have Sway's story left.  And maybe Carl's someday in the future.  But otherwise, that's it.  I don't know if I can actually walk away from them entirely so I've come up with an idea that will probably make me lose my mind.  

I'm going to write a collection of short stories about the band members as chosen by the fans.  I will have a form you can fill out if you want to be a part of it. (See!  Working!)  The idea is that you, the fan, will choose a song that you love, a band member, and a scenario.  Then I write a short story based on that. I will put them all together in a collection and basically give it away.

Do I have time to do this?  No.  Not at all.

I'm also working on a whole new series that I hope to have out to you sometime next summer/fall.  

Plus a super secret project (that's what everyone is doing now, right? something that no one cares about so we call it secret and hope that they start to care), involving writing and writing and tearing my hair out and twisting my brain and writing some more.

And now has come the portion of the evening where I can no longer fight the NyQuil.  I need to go to bed.  I will see most of you on the other side.

I leave you with the very wise words of Nick Hexum:
Stay positive, love your life.


 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Come Over So I Can Cuddle Your Brains

Jumping onto the coattails of the other blog I wrote today, I will further talk about things that have no relevance to your life.  Hurray!

If you haven't read the first one (because, why would you? unless you're stalking me) then you can get it here --> Ms J Bog and Review

Though this one will have no Spike gifs and more introspection.  Boring, I know. Before you read further please note, I'm not trying to be mean.  I've been told that I speak/write aggressively.  *shrug* In my head, I'm just being precise. 

So... here we go.

Perhaps you've noticed (I'm only addressing your notice to be polite.  because I know the likelihood of that is zip. unless, again, you're stalking me *waves*) that we (me, Laura, Kellcie, Jo, etc--basically anyone with an alter ego on Sherlock) talk about our Myers Briggs personality types like it's a real thing.  To us it is.  If you don't get into all that, that's totally fine, I don't hate.  But it's made the way my brain functions so much easier for me to cope with.  Because I'm weird, I've always been weird, and it turns out there's actually nothing wrong with me (har har, laugh it up). 

I don't want to bore you with all of the details of how I got to the conclusions that I have.  Especially if you don't find it even kind of interesting.  If you're curious about my super weird and abrasive personality type (INTJ), you can go here to get a good overview --> http://personalityjunkie.com/the-intj/ But it's not required reading and there will be no test at the end.

What I want to write about today is a small section of my head that most of you (stalkers included) don't know about.  The part where I notice everything.  Especially if it doesn't belong to you.

Let me explain.

I like people.  I like how everyone is different. We're a product of our personalities, our hearts, souls, experiences, geography, perceptions, etc.  No two people are exactly alike.  And they shouldn't be, for Pete's sake!  My brain picks up on the nuanced differences.  The similarities are obvious for obvious reasons, but the things that set us apart are what make us true works of art.  I've been doing it for as long as I can remember.  The way people pronounce certain words, their eyes when they talk about different subjects, their posture, the rate, frequency, and intensity of their laugh, their million different smiles, frowns and blank stares. 

I really like people.  I really like honest people.  I'm not saying that I like it when people spew about their own contrived self-importance because, to them, that's being honest.  What I'm talking about is the honesty of their living.  Their expressions are their own, not borrowed from someone else.

Because there are far too many scavengers out there.  Maybe you think you're getting away with it. Maybe you think no one notices that you pick through the flesh and muscle of real people, tear out what you wish were yours and wear it like the Reavers in Firefly.  Yo might be fooling a lot of people.  But you are not fooling me.

Going back up to what I said earlier. I notice everything.  I don't always point it out (read:never) because I've known enough people like you to know that it would be a waste of time.  You're going to get defensive and dramatic and then roll over and play victim until I "stop picking on you."  

But...  I.  Notice.

You're not fooling me.  Which is why you're boring to me.  Because you're a knock-off.  Like gears grinding in protest, I hear the painful way the bits and pieces don't fit together.  People have a flow, they have a unique energy about them.  It can be confident, cunning, dangerous, insecure even.  But it belongs to them.  You feel like someone wearing eight different Halloween costumes on Easter and still begging for candy.  You.  Don't.  Flow.

When I'm talking to someone who is honest about who they are, I feel it.  It's warm, and soothing.  It feels natural and mysterious and exciting.  They pull me into their rare and beautiful undertow and I'm... enchanted.  


About 10 years ago, Cap and I were dating.  He was out of town with a couple of friends at the Voo Doo Musical Festival in New Orleans.  I was on my own that weekend.  Working, as usual.  One of his roommates, we'll can call him John for lack of  better name, stopped by my work and asked if I wanted to hangout that night.

John was weird.  He freaked people out.  He made inappropriate jokes and deliberately started fights with people becuase he thought it was funny.

I probably didn't fit with the type of people he normally hung out with.

So obviously I said yes.

We sat in the living room of their house in candlelight and played chess for a few hours while drinking beer.  The lights weren't on because they didn't like paying the light bill.  So candles it was. 

We talked about everything.  The posters on the living room wall would probably make another girl uncomfortable.  He pointed that out.  I hadn't noticed.  We then talked about each poster and what it represented and how it made us feel.  It was strange. (If you would like to know what the posters were, private message me. this is a family blog)

It was awesome. 

It was a connection that was new and interesting and amazing.  John frightened me sometimes with his explosive anger.  He had a tendency to overreact.  He fell in love too fast and too hard.  He was a hypocrite who was fine with that trait.  He was also always, always, sweet to me.  Careful, even.  

John was honest.  Sometimes totally messed up, but honest.  And he's still one of my favorite people to this day.  Even if he has pissed off everyone else who loved him and burned those bridges.

Maybe it's just the latent punk rocker in me.  I applaud individuality.  Be yourself, no one is going to do it better.  Even if it's weird and people don't respond well.  Chances are I'm gonna love the heck out of you. 

However, if you're putting on pieces of people like it's your new cardigan, chances are you're going to piss me off.  Chances are I'm going to avoid you. 

I especially notice if you've attempted to steal bits of myself.  Because guess who knows herself pretty well? You can blame the Ni.  So when you start putting on bits of me, I see that too.  Big time.

And trust me, you are not rocking it.


 

 
 
 

  

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12 Days of Christmas: My favorite memory



The holidays are upon us and I have been so busy with regular life stuff that I feel completely unprepared. My plan is to get my tree up today (finally!).  That sounds like fun, right?  And next week, drum roll please, my sister is coming over to help make Christmas cookies with my little guy.

I like the cookie making part of Christmas.  It's my favorite.  I have this recipe that I totally stole from my mom, frosting included.  It's the only cookie that needs to made during the Christmas season.  It should only be made during the holidays because it's that delicious, that special, and that important.

Which is why my sister +Laura Gibson is going to participate in the traditional generational passing down of the Christmas cookie making tradition.  Because my son Bear is 3 now.

It's time.

It's important to teach him all the things we've learned over the years.  And to let him know where to start when he begins his own exploration of the boundaries of cookie making.  For instance, he should know that we've already mixed all the colors of frosting and it will always make black.  And if you make a black snowman, my mom will not be amused, but my dad will laugh every time he walks past the cookie plate.

And if you insist on making a frosting replica of Mount Doom, it is vital you fill the inside with red hots.  Anything else is bush league.

Broken cookies can be eaten immediately as long as you frost it first.

And the frosting itself needs to be used appopriatley.  None of this, so-thin-you-can-still-see-the-cookie stuff.  What even is that?  It's Christmas!  Frost your cookies.  There is no such thing as "too much frosting."  Really.

From the "Frost Off" December 2011



Yes, there were actual cookies under those beautiful piles of frosting.  And we actually ate them.

Make all the colors, use all the sprinkles.  Have fun, be crazy.  Sure, the perfect cookies look nice and are more presentable.  I totally noticed Mama arrange the the tray and hide the "artistic" cookies underneath the pretty one when company was coming over.

But the fun ones taste the best.

Because we dumped a whole lot of laughter into them when they were made.

You know who else loves cookies? Harrison O'Neil. 

Book 5, THE HOPE THAT STARTS, will release January 29.  I'm very excited about this one.  It was super fun to write, even if it made me hungry the entire time.  Here's a special UNEDITED excerpt, just for you, yes, YOU!
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It was really no secret that Harrison loved food. It was the core of many a joke told in and around the band and his family. He ate round the clock and when it had been too lengthy of a time between meals, he could get particularly grumpy. But he'd never been described as being too picky when he was hungry. He appreciated good food, to be sure, but when he was hungry, anything would do.

Sandwiches had been, and probably always would be, his favorite.

They were easy to make. You could change the flavor with the simplest ingredients. The essentials for making a sandwich were usually on hand and it took less than three minutes to construct a meal that would keep him full. Well, at least until his next meal.

This sandwich though, was no ordinary sandwich.

Pastrami, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, avocado, tomatoes and sliced green peppers.

It was nothing he hadn't had a hundred times before, but there was definitely nuanced differences. The texture, the flavor, the essence of the sandwich was like nothing he'd ever experienced.

Right?” Sway asked with a knowing head nod.

Harrison set the half eaten sandwich down on his plate and looked at it cautiously. “What the hell did she do to it?”

Sway barked a short laugh and pushed his hair out his face as he leaned back against the bus wall. He tapped his index finger on the table right by the plate. “That, what you're tasting right there, is love.”

Harrison's eyes connected with the bassist's. That made sense. His mom and sisters often joked that the reason he loved their cooking so much was because they put love in it. That was it. That was the small difference. It had to be. He had no idea love had a taste until this second.

Now, he would never joke about it again.
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Pre-order links:
Amazon Barnes & Noble
 iBooks Smashwords


Merry Christmas!  Now, go make some cookies.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

ARC Request for The Hope That Starts

I am almost ready to send out ARCs of THE HOPE THAT STARTS. It's the fifth book in the Double Blind Study series, but can be read all by itself. If you are a blogger or a reader who also reviews occasionally, consider filling out this form ---> http://goo.gl/forms/vtzKXPAgzn


 




THE HOPE THAT STARTS
You can never have too much music... or mayonnaise.
It's sort of been Harrison O'Neil's credo for the better part of his life.
At least since he first discovered his love for playing the guitar and developed a taste for gourmet sandwiches. He couldn't pinpoint which one happened first, and it didn't matter to him. Food and music have always been equally important.

If there's one thing Zelda Fitzpatrick is good at, it's fandom. She can out-nerd the nerdiest, her devotion knows no bounds. Her love is true, her motives pure. Oh, and she's also a talented freelance photographer, newly hired to go on the road with her favorite band, Double Blind Study. All she has to do is not ruin this opportunity with her plethora of Tolkien references (which are in abundance), or the fan girl inside who has a mind of her own.

And she definitely shouldn't fall madly in love with lead guitarist, Harrison O'Neil... who is taken. Unfortunately.

Zelda is more than the band's new photographer. She loves Star Trek, Doctor Who, and making gourmet sandwiches. This puts Harrison O'Neil in the very awkward position of loving Zelda's sandwiches—with their perfect ingredients, and impeccable construction, and their ability to make his heart happy without even trying—and being in a relationship with another woman... who thinks he should cut out eating sandwiches entirely.

Which one will win out, his heart or his stomach?
Is there a difference?

This story is an ode to a fan girl. Because, male or female, we all have one inside of us. And sometimes, on the rarest and most wonderful of occasions, the fan girl's dream gets displayed in all of it's beauty.

The Double Blind Study series continues. Each book in the series focuses on one band member at a time and they can all be read on their own.
If this book were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Long Overdue Recognition

I have more ideas than I can count for stories.  So many beautiful stories.  Filled with beautiful people.
 

It's my way of saying "thank you" to those people who have made an impact on my life.  It's the smallest way I know how to make them live forever.  They are in my mind, in my heart, then I put them on paper and they go live in someone else's mind and heart for a short time.

My hope is that those who read the stories will see within them what I was trying to say.  

I write romance novels.  I have no presupposition to think that I'll be changing the world any time soon.  

But that's not why I write.  

I'm writing the longest thank you letter to those who have already changed my world.  Whether is was something they said or did, or simply how they changed the radio station that one time without having to be asked, they gave me something.       

If you pick up one of my stories someday and you see the hint of yourself in my hero, that was deliberate.  Don't argue with me either, because you should already know I'm too stubborn to listen.  You might think that I'm romantisicing the facts, making you into a better person that you really are.  But I'm not.  If you don't want to remembered as a hero, then stop being so heroic.  Though, that might be impossible in your case.

I'm trying, as hard as I can, to showcase you.  All of you.  Those rare birds that came into my life during unfortunate circumstances and sang me a song.  I'm not great at displaying my affection broadly.  I'm also not great at putting my inner turmoil out on display for speculation and interpretation.  But I can write it down in my simple stories.  

Thank you for letting me see you.  For being the inspiration to my favorite characters.  For making me laugh on days when I really, really needed to laugh.  For showing me what lovely looks like.  For showing me what people are truly capable of when we just let them fly.

I saw everything.  I committed it to memory.  You were amazing.



     

 



 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rope: Coming Loose

All I want is to listen to really hard and heavy rock and roll while I write. 

Really.  That's it.  

My frustration level has reached an all new high.  I'm terribly cranky right now. I guess when I get even just the littlest tiny bit pissed off I become a great big scary monster that ruins people.  And that's when I'm pulling my punches.

Imagine, for a small terrifying second, what I could accomplish if I truly wasn't trying to be a better person.


Found out two weeks ago that I'm an INTJ.  This realization has answered a lot of questions.  It's helped me put some things into perspective.  It's also made me incredibly thankful for the gift of my sister and my husband.  Because without them and their particular personalities, I would have been left on my own and who knows what kind of monster I would be today.

If you google INTJ and read the description, it's accurate to me by about 95%. I won't tell you which parts aren't true (spoilers).  Anyway, I guess my brain isn't broken after all.  There's nothing "wrong" with me.  So hear me while I shout this at my computer screan, "STOP TRYING TO FIX ME!!"

I know I'm not the easiest person to get to know. I like it that way.  I don't think it's imperative to be besties with every person I come into contact with.  I like knowing there are only a handful of people, chosen and vetted by myself, who know the dark duckling that I am.  Not to say I can't be friends with many people. I totally can and I totally am.  But they don't all get to see the soft squishy that resides behind the Death Glare.  
 
To get angry with me for holding a part of myself separate from the rest of the world just proves my theory that you can't be trusted with it anyway.  Don't take it personally, I'm not being cruel.  I'm being honest.  

True story: One time I had a roommate. I've actually had two, neither relationship ended well.  (Still sorry about that, most of it was my fault.)  Anyway, this roommate, we'll call her Tish, had been living with me for a few months.  She slept in one day and I cleaned the house.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was indifferent towards her, which some people perceive as mad (shrug).  She came out of her room and went to the bathroom, then went back to her room and shut the door. 
I kept doing my thing.  Her boyfriend showed up, I let him in, he went back to her room. I kept cleaning.  A few minutes later they left.  I think I was vacuuming at this point.  I shut the vacuum off and heard the water spigot on the outside of the house running.  I went to the window and looked outside to see Tish brushing her teeth.

Really.
I guess the Death Glare made her believe that if she used the bathroom for what it's supposed to be used for, I was going to kill her. 
Really.

I tell you this story because it still makes me laugh to this day.  I wasn't mad at her.  I was working.  She told everyone I was mad.  Which made me look like Mommy Dearest in training because who makes someone brush their teeth outside?  Really, what kind of messed crap is that? 

Now, she may have been feeling guilty because she set one of my pans on fire when she was cooking a cheddar filled hotdog and then tried to bury the evidence.  I found it later.  And one thing that actually does piss me off is incompetency.  Still wouldn't have made her brush her teeth outside.

Why did I share this?  Because it makes sense now and it's even more hilarious than it used to be.  But also because the extroverts of the world keep trying to "help" me.  Please, for the love of Pete, stop.  I'm fine.  I don't need to be rescued or repaired.  Yes, I'm weird.  Yes, my personality probably freaks you out and makes you uncomfortable.  I appreciate that you are trying to include me.  But understand that I am just as happy sitting in the corner and watching everything 



as you are being the center of attention.



 

 Don't force me to be an extrovert.  If I end up getting too stressed out (see: forced extroversion), I become a nightmare.  And not the fun kind.  The kind where I'm moody and emotional and I HATE EVERYTHING.  When I tell you nicely to "back off."  That is not code for "try harder."  I don't speak in code.  I think about what I want to say and then I say it.  When you ignore the actual words that come out of my mouth, I lose any smidgen of respect I had for you at all.  


Side note:
And if you see me in a coffee shop with my back to the room and headphones in, that is not an invitation to join me.  I will make this face at you
until you leave.  

Don't misunderstand.  Occasionally there will be an activity that interests me and excites me and I will participate wholeheartedly.  Again, my participation needs to be left up to me.  But if you are boring or mean to people or a general dick, I probably won't want to spend time with you.  Because I have learned enough about people (don't knock the corner sitting, it's very revealing), to recognize the ones I want to spend time with.  Don't get bent about it, just find someone else to hang out with.  No one should be expected to mesh perfectly with everyone else.  I'm not a universal donor over here.  I don't fit well with all types.  I know that about myself and I'm okay with that.  Stop trying to force us to mix. I', Red Bull and you're milk.  I will make you curdle.  It'll be gross for all involved.  So stop forcing the issue.

I need new headphones.

And I need to write about these rock stars that I love.

If you've read this far, here's a bonus and rare reveal of feelings:
I write about musicians because I've known so many and I adore them.  Truly magnificent people who made my life bright and loud and made me feel like less of a freak when I was with them.  But maybe that's the nerd characteristic.  The little gene in human DNA that not everyone is blessed with.  If you are a nerd about something to the point of passionate obsession, I probably love you.

Am I a paradox?  Yeah, actually I am.  If you do your research you'll see that that's perfectly normal.  




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deepest Blues TEASER ( Full Prologue)

Final teaser before Deepest Blues releases in less than a week! Pre-Order Links here!

Prologue



Cologne, Germany
3 years ago

After all of that.
Everything.
The secrets kept.
The promises made.
All that he had done for her.
For them.
Mike pushed his thumb and index finger into his eye sockets and breathed against the pain. The physicality of the burn in his eyes was nothing compared to the soul pulverizing drum of his pulse roaring in his ears.
The darkness was smothering. Or maybe that was his own thankless breath that was killing him. His chest was heavy. Like someone had filled the empty spaces between his ribs with lead. It was dragging, pulling him forward. He hunched over his legs, letting go of his face and allowing his head to hang unseeingly towards the floor.
It was still too easy to breathe. He tried to squeeze the air from his lungs, wondering at the brown edges around his vision. Wondering if he could follow the pattern and figure out it's path.
He jolted from his position when he heard someone walking down the hall.
He stood slowly, listening for an indication of identity.
The suite he occupied was massive, plush, beautiful. He had gotten it for her. Just like the spray of blue cornflowers on the table by the entry. Gifts. Distractions. Things to fill the void that threatened to swallow them—him—whole. He'd known he was grasping, scraping desperately at the fabric of his sanity. Or what was left of it.
It didn't matter what gifts he threw at her, the words he promised, the images he pretended weren't there. None of it mattered.
Nothing was the same.
His heart stuttered briefly and he wondered if maybe it wouldn't restart. That would be okay, he decided. But then it continued beating and he moved his attention back to the sounds in the hallway.
A soft feminine laugh rippled through him, and, like an undertow, he was pulled unwillingly to the door. The knob felt cold as he acknowledged the easy way it fit in his hand, the lack of resistance it gave him as he opened the door. Like it had conspired with the universe to bring him to this moment.
The hall opened up before him and his heart did the stutter again. Just as the door across the hall from him was falling closed on Ilsa's long porcelain legs, black skirt swishing just above her knee, her elegant figure hooked around the waist by a man's arm. Her elongated neck highlighted by the short and flirty cut of her iridescent blonde hair tilted to the side as her head rested on the shoulder of...
Of course.
They'd talked about this yesterday. At least, Mike was pretty sure it was yesterday. He'd lost track of time when it had all happened. And there wasn't a whole lot of talking. It was mostly Ilsa crying and explaining, Mike realizing too late what she was saying. Something about him being different. Or was it distant? He remembered thinking how odd that one moment, one breath—or lack thereof, could alter their lives so intensely.
Then she'd left.
He knew she wasn't coming back. Somewhere in his center, he just knew that it was well and truly over.
Hadn't it been over already, though? Hadn't he felt the distance for weeks, maybe even months? Hadn't he seen her talking and laughing with Sway? Laughing.
God, he loved her laugh. He was going to miss that.
The final moments, the death rattle of their love (in a very literal sense now) came suddenly but not unexpectedly. They'd been decaying for weeks. She'd finally put it to rest with her broken words falling from her chapped lips.
He must have stood in the hall for several minutes. He wasn't sure. But he knew he had to do something.
She was gone. And with his band mate—his brother—no less.
Mike wasn't capable of living with that. Not an overly morose person, this feeling of utter devastation and loss was foreign to him. Yes, he'd been broken up with before; yes, he'd experienced the pain of a relationship tearing apart like flesh ripping from bone. But something about this moment was different. Something darker and far more lethal was threatening to take over his mind.
His thoughts skittered to the obvious solution. Though Ilsa had claimed that his recreational substance use was what had pushed her into Sway's arms, he now saw them as his only outlet. His only source of control in this unfair and unpredictable world.
He wasn't an idiot. He knew it wasn't his friend. He knew the risk. But didn't all reward come with risk? He most definitely was acquainted with the reward. The bliss of darkness, of calm. Like crashing into a giant pillow and finding sleep.
He hadn't slept in a week. How could he? All he saw was the accusing eyes of the hospital staff. All he heard was the abundance of heartbeats in his own chest and the lack of them in another.
His door slammed shut on his right. He looked at it briefly, then slid his phone out of his pocket, texting his contact on the crew who would no doubt get him exactly what he needed.
He needed to think. He could figure out how to be okay with all of this if he could just find some time to think and plan. This would help. It always helped. Made him feel connected to the bigger picture when he was usually so wrapped up inside himself.
Besides, the show wasn't until tomorrow. He had plenty of time.
This would help.
That's all he wanted.
Just a little bit of help.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Post From Nicole Flockton!! Plus Giveaway!

Bound by His Desire is released!! I'm so excited to share Nick and Pam's story with the world and I'm doing a giveaway. This is a really special day too because on 22nd October 2012 my very first book, Masquerade, was released. Now my 9th book is hitting the shelves. Amazing two years. This is the second book in the "Bound by" Series. The first book, of course, is Bound by Her Ring. I'm currently working on the third book, titled "Bound by Their Love". Madly editing it actually. But let me tell you a bit about Nick and Pam. Here's the blurb!
Nick Rhodes has been burned before, so when he hires a new assistant, he has one rule: no emotional attachments. On either side. Pamela Bishop is everything he needs in a professional colleague, and comes with an ironclad guarantee – she absolutely will not fall in love with him. Pamela Bishop has only one goal in her new job: getting on top of the mountain of debts incurred through her mother’s medical expenses. Jeopardising this chance by falling in love with her arrogant, if handsome, employer is the last thing she would ever do. But as the lure and romance of New York City surrounds them, and Pamela and Nick find themselves spending more and more time together, they can no longer ignore the attraction flaring between them. Nick has always lived by his own rules – can he learn to break them in time to grab this one chance at happiness? Here are the buy links for you to go grab your copy! Amazon B&N IBooks Kobo All Romance Ebooks And now for a little excerpt! Enjoy! And don't forget to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway here or at the bottom of this post after the excerpt! Excerpt 'This is incredible,’ she whispered as she grabbed hold of Nick’s arm. ‘Pinch me, please. Pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming this and that I’m actually standing here in the middle of Times Square.’ Nick laughed and gathered her close in his arms. ‘It’s real, trust me. You’re here.’ Pam couldn’t help it. She laughed too and pulled out of Nick’s embrace, wanting to explore more. She started to head further down the street so she could get closer to the big screens. She stopped when something registered with her. In front of her, standing tall, was a column of screens all lit up, displaying various adverts. On top was a spire with a large crystal ball on the top. It, too, was alight and she wanted to see it close up. ‘Is that the ball you see on TV at New Year’s Eve, you know the one that “drops” at midnight?’ ‘Yes, it is.’ Pam stood spellbound. Never in her life had she thought she would ever see something so iconic. ‘This is unbelievable,’ she whispered. ‘Let’s move a little closer,’ Nick suggested, and once again placed his arm around her waist. She was so glad she was sharing this experience with Nick and not Ethan. It wouldn’t have been the same. They walked through the crowd, and when they stopped she leaned back against Nick’s warm, hard chest and looked up at the glittering ball. She imagined during the daytime it would still look beautiful, but not as spectacular as it looked that night. She wished she had a camera so she could take a picture. ‘I wish I had my camera,’ she murmured as she looked around, imprinting the image onto her brain. ‘I’ll take one on my phone.’ Nick let his arms drop and reached into his pocket. ‘Pose and smile.’ Pam struck a pose and smiled big. Nick took a couple of photos before he pocketed the phone again. She stared one last time at the ball and walked up to Nick. She went up on her tiptoes and placed her lips against his for a soft kiss. ‘Thank you for bringing me here.’ She went to step away but Nick pulled her close. ‘My pleasure,’ he uttered as he claimed ownership of her lips again. She sighed into his embrace, wanting it so much. She wound her arms around his neck and sunk her fingers into his short hair, caressing the nape of his neck. Pam shivered as his hand gently stroked her bare back. Everything faded out of her consciousness. Her awareness turned inwards on the sensations of Nick’s touch. Her blood sang with exhilaration as his lips moved over hers, encouraging a response from her, which she gave freely. How did they always end up in each other’s arms? She’d only known him a handful of days, but sometimes she felt as if she’d known him a lot longer. This felt so right, sharing a kiss with the most handsome man she’d ever met in the middle of Times Square. A dream come true. Nick pulled his mouth away from hers and kissed along her jawline until he reached her ear, where he gently blew into it. Her whole body shuddered in reaction to his breath. She wasn’t sure what she should do next.   Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Deepest Blues TEASER

Who was she?”
What? Who was who?” Mike asked. Ilsa reared back, eyes wild, hands waving in front of her, palms out like she could not believe what he'd just said.
The woman at the bar? How many times have you slept with her?”
Mike rolled his eyes and ran both hands through his hair. So she was on this again. Whatever. He turned to the living quarters of their suite and flopped onto the sofa. Maybe if he ignored her, she'd go away. Or at least shut up.
Why won't you answer me?” she yelled at his back.
Because you're crazy?” Mike asked sarcastically.
He probably shouldn't be pushing her buttons. But they had had this argument just hours ago.
I can't believe you would say that to me,” she whispered just behind him.
Mike twisted on the couch to face her, one arm along the back. “Really, Ilsa? We just had this fight. I told you I don't know the woman! She was being nice, that's all.”
You expect me to think that a beautiful woman who is all over you means nothing to you?” Ilsa's voice pitched higher.
Mike swore under his breath. “She asked me to sign a napkin. I'm famous, it happens!”
Now he was getting mad. He hated getting mad. She just wouldn't stop. She never stopped. It was the same paranoid bullshit all the time. He stood up and stalked across the room to the front door, picking up his jacket off of the chair. He knew he should have cut her off earlier. She reached incredible levels of insanity when she'd partied too much. Why couldn't she partake in something more relaxing? Why did it always have to be vodka? And why did it always have to be explosive?
Where are you going?” she shrieked.
Can you hear yourself?” Mike shouted at her. “Why would I stay here when I'm getting screamed at?”
He slid his arms into the sleeves and turned his back to her. In those few seconds she ripped the lamp cord out of the wall and hurled it from the balcony. Mike heard the crash on the sidewalk below and he stared at her.
Her blue eyes challenged him to do something about it. He rushed to the open balcony door and looked at the shattered pieces below. People were looking up at them and he was certain he saw a camera flash. Perfect.
Spinning back around, he found her right behind him, a blank look on her face. He grabbed her by her arm and forced her back inside. She struggled and let out a loud yelp of exaggerated pain. Of course.
He closed the door behind him and then lost his temper.
What the hell is the matter with you?! You could have killed someone!”
Ilsa's chin began to quiver and large tears formed in her eyes. “I just want you to notice me!” she yelled.
How could I not?” Mike swung his arms out to the sides. “You make the biggest frickin' spectacle—Oh my God, stop crying!”
She covered her face with both hands and crumpled to the floor just as someone knocked on the door. Because that's what hotel staff did when a guest threw a lamp out the window. And they normally brought security.
Are you happy now?” Mike yelled. She sobbed loudly at his feet. 

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Phoning it in (this is what it looks like)

I know, I know, I know, I'm way behind on posting anything.  This week is the week of deadlines, so my brain is tied up at the moment.  It's so full of all the things I want o share with you.  I just don't have the time.  Tomorrow I'll be over at Ms J's and I'll have a little rant for you or something equally irritating.  
 
Today though, today, you get poetry.  Because it's what I have and it's what is kind of happening in book 5 (spoilers).
 
Without Your Permission
 
I would love you
 
at the beginning and end of your words
at the start and finish of your breaths
in between the awkward pauses
     and broken silences
and even the length of your sighs
 
     and lies
 
I would love you
 
without reason or shame
without remorse or guilt
without absence
     
     or calculation
 
I would
              love 
                      you

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mike has a butt, er, I mean cover. Mike has a COVER!!

The day has finally come.  Well, just about.  This is technically one day of many that haven't yet arrived.  But for all of you waiting for Mike's story, today is important because it's the official cover reveal.  Along with that comes the pre-order links!  (Hurray! Celebrate! Go Wild! Don't forget to order it!)

Now I can finally tell you about how this whole thing came about.  

If you read my last posting, you know that I went to PennedCon a couple weeks ago and got to meet the fantabulous Penny Reid.  (Be-Tee-Dubs: she's just as awesome in real life as on the internet and in her books.  Maybe even a little bit more.)  Anyway, I got deathly ill on the trip.  I had the head cold from hell.  For realz.  So by the time Monday rolled aorund I was stranded on my couch with hot tea and tissues.  Monday night I get a DM from Penny Reid.  I thought the fever had finally spiked to a crazy high and I was hallucinating.  I almost pooped my pants.  For whatever reason, she was reading my book. 

Okay, I have to stop the story here and explain something.  When I went to PennedCon, I went as a fan, not as an author (except for the Mark Coker workshops I went to and took notes).  I actually hate talking about myself, especially in front of people who I know are 85x cooler than me.  I didn't even bring business cards.  That's how good I am at self-promotion. I mean, I didn't lie about it, but I avoided talking about it as much as possible.  In fact, when I met Penny I had the explicit intention to make sure she did not figure out I was the same Heidi as from the internet.  There are lot's of Heidi's out there, I'm one of thousands. We don't all write books.  

Getting back to Penny's DM.  I was frozen for a long time.  Mostly because her message said she was enjoying it and that my covers needed to be better and she wanted to know if she could make me new ones.  I might be bad at self-promotion but I'm not a complete idiot.  So I said yes please!  She went on to say that my covers were "meh" and then she started sending me mock-ups at 1am.  My life got really weird after that.  When I say weird, I mean awesome.

Now my entire series has had the kind of makeover where I half-expected Ty Pennington to holler at me to move a bus when it was time for the cover reveal.  (I may have yelled it out loud in my living room.  When I was alone.) I love these covers.  They're so pretty.  Penny did not have to do what she did.  But I am forever grateful.

Now onto the reveal:
   
Mike Osborn woke up in a hospital in Germany three years ago. He was breathing. They had saved him.

Double Blind Study has been through every rock and roll cliché ever contrived. When their drummer nearly dies from a drug overdose, everything changes. Life is important again. Living is important again.

No one knows that better than Mike. So why does he feel like even though he's breathing and he's happy, his heart isn't beating the way it should be? Maybe it never did.

When Mike meets Clarke Matthews for the first time, he knows he should stay away from her. He knows too much about her and what she's been through. But for the first time, his heart has found another with a rhythm that matches his own. Every beat explodes a beam of light to illuminate his darkness.

Mike's been living life raw, unplugged. He's close to a reckoning. When it all comes apart, and he's faced with every mistake he's ever made, will the darkness win out? Or will the steady drum of a healthy pulse finally pull him into the light for good?

October 28

Pre-Order:
  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

PennedCon2014 : Truck Stops, Wasp Spray, and Room Keys

I haven't written a blog in a long time.  I suppose I've been busy or something.  Some changes are coming.  Which is funny for me to think about because I'm deep in the rough of Harrison's book and Harrison is not a fan of change. He doesn't like it.  Even when it's inevitable and necessary.  Because change can be painful.  And messy.  But the results can be truly amazing.

Released Tectonic into the wild last month.  People seem to be okay with it so far.  Deepest Blues is nearly ready for it's own debut.  I'm looking forward to that one.  I have many projects on the wait list and making more in my head.  I have no idea when I'll get them all finished.  I'll never be able to say I'm bored ever again, ha!

Went to PennedCon last weekend.  It was probably the greatest trip ever of all time.  My companions were fantastic and the new friends I made are stellar.  I also realized that drivers in Iowa are complete dicks. 

This trip was huge for me because I have a fairly severe phobia of transportation. Any kind, really.  I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18.  Driving in downtown traffic makes me break out into a sweat.  I panic and get unbelievably lost.  Which increases the panicking.  It's not limited to driving.  Coupled with my social anxiety it's a wonder I ever leave the house.

I really hate to be controlled, especially by my own issues.  I force myself to do incredibly difficult things so as not to hold myself back from having an adventure.  My sister and I drove all the way to St. Louis.  Just us.  With only two (small) panic attacks, we made it no problem.  I even drove all around St. Louis the morning we left looking for coffee and had no issues at all.  It was a big deal for me.  Huge, in fact.

So this is my update.  I'm skimming over quite a bit of it.  Like the part about Kellcie being totally kickass and Penny Reid making me laugh so hard a little bit of pee came out.  And how Angie is even prettier in person, and Bria's hair is amazing and she's very clever which means I could stare at her and listen to her all day long.  Or about the books I bought based solely on the fact that a man was holding a gun and a soft pretzel.  Or how I'm officially on the Jamie Fraser train (why, oh why has it taken me so long?!). But I only have a minute to get this down.  Then I'm off to finish Harrison's story.

I see a lot of authors talk about their work space.  The writer's cave, Bria has a tree house, Laura disappears into her mind palace.  I thought that I should name my work space.  But I couldn't come up with anything sufficient.  See, when I'm writing it's a lot like standing on a tiny lip jutting out of a sheer cliff face.  I'm holding on by my fingertips for dear life as the wind tries to tear me from my small slat of safety.  And yet, I can't help but notice that the color of the sunset is completely different from up here.  I love it.  So I suppose I have a writing cliff.  Well then.

Also, you can catch me once a week over at another blog where I'll post something completely boring every Friday. msjblogandreviews.com I will leave you with this picture that we'll call a teaser for Harrison's book ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Confessions of a Cover Model- Interview with Miles Logan plus PHOTOS!

Tectonic released a couple of days ago (hurray!) and Deepest Blues is set to be out in less than 2 months.  This has been the busiest summer of my life so far and next summer is shaping up to be just as busy.  Part of the reason for that is Miles Logan agreeing to be on the cover of my fifth book, The Hope That Starts.

I first saw Miles in my newsfeed on Facebook. ( Go there, like his page ) Someone had posted a picture of him and I about flipped out.  I actually yelled out loud, "Holy crap!  That's Harrison!"  It was surreal.  Seeing someone who is exactly what you picture a character to be while you're writing...?  It didn't even feel possible.  I waited a couple of weeks before contacting him.  Mostly because Harrison's book wasn't even started yet, I had barely finished the rough draft for Tectonic (bk3).  It was way too soon to be looking for a cover for book FIVE!  I also hesitated because I'm crazy insecure and I was scared he'd think I was a joke.

Deciding to chance it, I sent him a message, explaining what I was looking for.  He wrote back and we fleshed out the details.  We set the shoot up to happen much later--which I thought was good.  Then I'd have time to finish the ACTUAL book he was supposed  to be on.  In the meantime, I finished bk3 and bk4 and started to try to get those covers together.

Unforeseen circumstances changed our plans and the photo shoot had to happen sooner rather than later.  No big, I'd just be ahead for the first time in my life. 

Our change of plans ended up being the best thing ever.

The day before the photo shoot, I found out I didn't have a cover for book 3.  And the cover reveal was already scheduled for later that week.  And it was looking like the cover for book 4 was also not happening.  When I asked Miles if he'd be all right with being on three books instead of just the one, he agreed easily.  In fact, working with Miles was the easiest thing in the world.  He was polite, easygoing, professional, and patient.

The day was long.  I dragged him and my poor photographer (my sister +Laura Gibson) all over the place to get all the pictures we could in a single day. (Including one where he had to pretend to adore this sandwich.  Once you read the story, you'll totally get it.  I could tell he thought we were crazy, but he did it anyway.)  By the end we were all tired.  And hungry.

And I had three book covers.

I learned that Miles is a pretty private guy.  He doesn't share his personal stuff all over social media, because frankly, it's no one's business.  He doesn't watch TV, or have a computer.  He has excellent taste in music, he's dedicated to his fitness lifestyle, he works hard, he loves his family, and he's completely authentic.  I asked him if he'd do an interview since I'd been getting a LOT of questions from various people who want to know more about him.  He, predictably, agreed.  I emailed him the questions.  But since he doesn't have a computer, he text me all the answers.  One at a time.  Really.

I'm also posting some various pictures from the shoot.  Laura is a brilliant photographer and she captured some amazing moments with Miles.  As a team, we're pretty weird.  I think that worked in our favor though, because we got some great pics of Miles laughing at us.  If y'all like these and share them, I might post more.  I have a ton.  The guy is super photogenic.  


 
 
 
Fitness 
 
Can you talk a little about how you got started as a fitness model? Did you always want to be one, or did you want to be something else growing up?

 I got into fitness modeling by chance.  I was approached and thought I'd give it a shot.  Growing up I never thought about this happening.

What does a typical day look like for you? Can you walk us through it?

 Wake up, work until 5 or so, gym, then home between 8 and 9 to relax and fix meals for the next day.

What's your favorite muscle group to work?

 Chest and calves.  Not sure why, but I love those.

How do you stay so dedicated to your fitness/diet?

'Cause I don't want to be like everyone else.  Be different.  Don't fit in.

Was there some life-altering event that made you take your fitness and health seriously (i.e., you, family, grew up scrawny, poor self-esteem)?

Yes, grew up very skinny so that helped me keep pushing forward.  Definitely a motivator.
 
Any advice for those aspiring to be a fitness model or at least improve their fitness level?

Don't stop.  If you don't go to the gym and don't eat right, it will never happen.  I know sometimes it sucks and you just wanna quit, but don't make a bad day worse by setting aside your healthy mindset.

If Luke Bryan asked you for fitness advice, what would you say?

Do you even lift? Ha ha!

Is there anyone in the fitness world that you would like to meet and/or work with?

No one comes to mind really.  I honestly don't keep up with anyone.  Even though I should be.

You've made your back troubles pretty public on your page. A lot of people would have limited themselves to what they think they can do having a physical issue like yours. Are you aware of how inspiring you are to people out there to keep following their dreams, even if it's hard?

I've never really thought about being that inspiring.  I honestly don't see myself being that person, but thinking back on it, I can see how I could be that person 'cause yes, it's been a rough road that seems to never end.

How's your back doing?

It's slowly getting better.  I have degenerative deteriorating disk disease.  Not much of a fix for that except fusing a few disks which might happen soon.

What eating plan do you follow, carbs, no carbs, only after working out, etc?

Honestly, my metabolism has always been high, so that helps.  But good carbs and high protein for the type of lifting that I do.

What keeps you motivated? (besides the large groupie following, does that help?)

Just trying to be the best I can really.  And of course the following helps.


Book Covers
 
What was the first book cover you were on? What was your initial reaction to being chosen for something like that?

The first book I was on was Angels in Leather by Bella Jewel.  And honestly I was shocked.  Never thought anyone would want me to do something like that.

How many covers have you been on since? 

I've been on 4 covers in all.

What is your favorite thing about a book cover photo shoot? Least favorite?

Meeting new people and usually have a good laugh.  Least favorite if I'm usally far from food. Ha!

You work with other fitness models from time to time. Do you guys get along pretty well or do you try to out flex each other?

I've only worked with a few other models, but we all seem to get along really well.  Always have a lot in common.

Do you read the books that you grace the cover of?

I've started a few, but haven't had time to finish any yet being as I'm so busy.

Do you like doing book covers and will you be doing more in the future? What other goals do you have in the fitness model world?

Yes, I always enjoy them very much.  Always meeting new people and goin places.  As far as other goals, I'd really enjoy moving into muscle mags and things like that.

Confession time. Best/worst moments during the photo shoot for the Double Blind Study series?

Best time during the shoot was probably the shoot at the water tower.  I had a lot of fun.  Worst was definitely the car rides. Haha, there's nothing in the Midwest.  I'm used to trees and mountains and roads with curves.  Ha.

What do you think about being "Harrison" and the awesome exposure you're going to get?

I think he sounds like an awesome character, and I'm very similar to him in several ways.

What do you think of Heidi and Laura, because I've never met them, but I love them.

They are great.  They took care of me my whole trip and both are very talented ladies.

Social Media
 
You have a fairly active Facebook fanpage. How many personal messages do you get a day? What are some of your favorites kinds of messages to receive?

I usually get several messages a day.  My favorite are people who are looking for some help.  I really enjoy helping when I can.  I usually sit down once every week or two and answer them all.


You have thousands of fans who adore you. Is there anything you wish they knew about you?



I wish they knew I really was as genuine as I try to present myself.  It's hard to show that over a Facebook page.

Personal Life
 
Having worked with you recently, I know that you're a fairly private person and you keep your personal life separate from your public image. But people would riot if I didn't ask. Are you single? What's the most attractive thing to you in the opposite sex?

Yes, I'm very private and no, I'm not single.  Most attractive thing about the opposite sex is probably nice lips and someone who lifts.


What do you do in your spare time for fun?

Spare time I go jeep riding, spend time at the lake, love the movies.  Anything outdoors.

While the rest of the world is marathoning Orange is the New Black, what are you doing?

I'm doing my same routine I do day in day out.  The everyday grind.  Definitely no TV though.  Who has time for that? Ha

Who, in your life, do you look up to and respect the most? Why?

A friend of mine that got me started lifting about 6 years ago.  I owe any success to him  He pushed me and helped me get that mindset to keep moving forward.
 
Do you believe in unlikely love stories?

Sure.  You never know what you'll get with love.

Do you think love should be neat and easy, or messy and worth fighting for?
 
If you are with me, it will have to be messy and worth fighting for.  I'm not easy to get along with.  Ha ha

Do you believe in love at first sight?
 
Love at first sight?  No, not really.  But it can definitely happen quick.

How do you stay so humble?

I just try to put myself in everyone else's shoes.  And my momma raised me that way. Ha!