Category Archives: Olympic Cove

2019 Holiday Blog Tour – Nicola Cameron

Hello darlings, and let me send a big shout out to Cameron Allie for organizing this wonderful blog tour! Today I’ll be giving away copies of my Olympic Cove series (Storm Season, Breaker Zone, and Deep Water) as part of the festivities, so don’t forget to leave a comment here or on Cameron’s blog and tell me what’s your favorite thing about the holidays!

  1. What is your favourite Christmas song?
    All I Want For Christmas Is You
  2. What food do you most look forward to over the holidays?
    Proper homemade fruitcake, soaked in dark rum – it’s delicious!
  3. Do you have a holiday beverage you like? Alcoholic or non-alcoholic?
    My mom used to make an alcoholic holiday liqueur called glögg — we used to call it Swedish Rocket Fuel. My BIL had a big glass of it and wound up sleeping through Christmas. As for non-alcoholic bevvies, eggnog is always a favorite.
  4. Is there a book you like reading at this time of year?
    No, but I do like listening to the Patrick Stewart version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL while I’m cleaning.
  5. Do you participate in Boxing Day shopping? Is Boxing Day a tradition in your country?
    The husband is English so I know what Boxing Day is, but we don’t really have it in the States.
  6. Do you get your shopping done in advance or leave it to the last minute?
    I try to get it done in advance – that way I can focus on trying to finish up projects before the end of the year.
  7. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
    Scrooged.
  8. When do you decorate your house?
    It depends – sometimes it’s the day after Thanksgiving, but last year was insanely busy and I didn’t decorate the house until a few days before Christmas, and that was only at the husband’s prodding.
  9. When you were a child what was the best Christmas gift you remember receiving?
    A Barbie Dream House. That was awesome.
  10. Is there a unique holiday tradition your family keeps?
    See #3.
  11. When do you open Christmas presents?
    Christmas morning.
  12. What’s your favourite outdoor winter activity? If it doesn’t snow where you live what makes it feel like Christmas to you?
    I live in northern Texas so we don’t get a lot of snow. Favorite outdoor winter activity is raking the leaves.

Milestones and future goals

Yesterday my MMF historical romance Behind the Iron Cross released on Amazon and Smashwords, with Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes to follow soon. While it’s my tenth full-length novel to be released, it’s also the first romance novel I ever started, back in April 2012. I quickly realized that 1) I would have to do a buttload of research on the period, and 2) I really didn’t have the novel writing chops necessary to do the story justice. While working on my assorted series over the next six years I wound up picking at Iron Cross on and off, doing research when I could and picking up information that would add to the background and worldbuilding of the story.

And then this September something clicked and I decided, “Okay, time to finish it.” Which threw my schedule completely out of whack, forcing me to drop Uncertainty Principle until next year, but I felt like it was time to get Iron Cross done and out. The weird thing is, I wasn’t consciously aware that this year was the centenary of the end of World War I, which plays a big role in the story. All I can say is, the subconscious is an amazing thing.

This is also my longest and darkest romance to date. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a historical romance set in between-the-wars Berlin or what, but 105,000 words still amazes me when I think about it. As for the dark themes, well, 1923 Berlin was not exactly Disneyworld, although God knows there was a buttload of partying going on at the various clubs and restaurants if you had money. As for the concept of a German army officer turning to prostitution to support his family, that was actually pulled from real life reports. The economy was absolute crap, hyperinflation was rampant, lots of soldiers were decommissioned and unable to find even menial jobs, prostitution had been normalized in Berlin, and if you didn’t want to join the criminal gangs and the right-wing militias called Freikorps wouldn’t take you, you didn’t have much of a choice.

Like I said, not the happiest of places. That being said, I very deliberately toned down the harsher historical aspects because this is a romance, after all, and I needed these three very different people to fall in love with each other. According to my editor and betas I succeeded, but time will tell with reviews.

Next up on the writing table are King of Blades (Two Thrones 4) and Windrider and the Deuce, which I’m writing concurrently. Windrider should be finished in two weeks and will be released as my holiday novella following the adventures of Bardahlson son #2 Ewan and a lovely and dangerous messenger from Ghobos who find themselves joining forces to stop a blackmailer from ruining a priestess’s life during Frostfair. That should be out by mid-December and King of Blades should be out by late December, so you’ll have lots of stuff to read between Christmas and New Year.

As for 2019, my current schedule includes the to-be-named romcom about two actors who find out they were accidentally married for real during a movie and have to get a divorce, Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2), Shifter Woods: Scream, the yet-untitled Two Thrones 5, another romcom about Lily’s best friend Theresa, plus the re-release of Breaker Zone (Olympic Cove 2) and Two to Tango, which will be expanded and retitled Stealing Dmitri. So, yeah, busy year next year. But hey, it keeps me off the streets.

Mid Week Tease: Cross Current #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Mid Week Tease buttonIt’s Wednesday? Awesome! Because I have a little teaser for you from Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4). Matt Taber, my divorced history teacher who just wanted to spend a couple of weeks on the beach before school starts, has just learned that he’s living next door to Poseidon and his mates Amphitrite and Griffin, mermen and selkies are real because one of each just showed up on the beach with the Oracle of the Waters, and things are never going to be the same for him again. Muwahahaha…

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

Matt’s tentative knock at the green cottage’s door was met by an unsmiling Griffin. “Hi. Welcome to Greek God Central.”

The repetition of Atropos’s phrase from his dream sent a chill down Matt’s spine. “Hi. Pythia said that I should talk to Amphitrite?”

Griffin moved to the side, letting him in. “Right. She and Poseidon are busy with Donald at the moment. It might be awhile.” He gave Matt a sympathetic smirk. “How are you holding up?”

That was a damned good question. “I kinda feel like I got sucked into an episode of Stranger Things,” Matt admitted. “Apart from that, I seem to be okay.”

“Good on you, mate.” The Englishman took him into the kitchen, where he pulled two brown bottles out of the fridge and handed one over. “This’ll help.”

Matt noted the microbrewery label. “I thought Brits didn’t chill their beers.”

Griffin scoffed. “We do when we’re in Florida. I take it Nick gave you the scoop on what’s been happening here?”

“Crazy goddess trying to destroy Earth, a bunch of gods and other mythological creatures fighting her, yeah, I know.” He twisted off the bottle cap and took a welcome swig. “I’m not involved.”

“I’m not arguing. I’m new to the whole thing myself.” Although the knowledgeable look in the Englishman’s eyes gave lie to his words. “How are your guests doing?”

When Matt had left his cottage, the doctor had been asking the mer about how far they’d swum. “Nick’s treating them, I think. The blond guy’s really a merman?”

“Yep, just like Aidan and Liam. You can probably talk them into going for a swim and showing you their tails.”

“Yeah, no, that’s okay.” He leaned against the counter, rubbing his thumb over the cool, sweating surface of the bottle. “I’m thinking maybe I should go back to Jupiter. If I can’t get my deposit back, I can crash with a buddy until school starts.”

The Englishman folded his arms, leaning against the opposite counter. “If that’s what you think you should do, then do it. Nobody’s going to keep you here against your will.”

Amphitrite picked that moment to appear, looking concerned. “Oh, good, Matt. You’re here. Donald wants to speak with you.”

Matt straightened up. “Donald?”

“The Oracle of the Waters. Tall man, white hair and beard, came out of the water with our other guests?”

A faint wash of dread tingled down his spine. He tried to get his tongue to work properly. “I—why does he want to talk to me?”

“I don’t know,” the goddess said, exasperated. “That’s something you’ll have to discuss with him.”

She gestured towards the hallway she’d just exited. Feeling like he was walking towards a firing squad, Matt reluctantly headed deeper into the cottage. Soft voices were coming through an open doorway and he peeked into what was clearly a guest bedroom

Inside, the old man from the beach had been dried off and tucked into bed, wet clothes piled on a chair next to the bed. Poseidon stood over him, handsome face lined as he listened to the man’s words. He glanced up at Matt’s arrival. “Oh, good, you’re here. Donald needs to talk to you.”

“Yeah, I know.” Matt edged into the room, studying the occupant of the bed. The man looked to be about seventy, with Santa Claus-white hair brushed back from a high forehead and a slightly overgrown beard hiding a craggy face. His eyes, however, were his most notable feature. Pale as sea glass, they seemed to burn in that pale face.

“Ah. Matthew,” the man said, a faint lilt coloring his voice. “You’re quite the difficult man to track down.”

Dunn—no, Poseidon—turned and considered him. “You’re going to want to listen to him, Matt.”

The affable host from last night was gone. Replacing him was a being who radiated power and authority like nothing Matt had ever experienced before. Every rational cell in his body screamed at him to turn around, leave, jump in his car and head north until he was out of reach of the divinity standing in front of him.

Instead, he stepped forward. “Amphitrite said you wanted to talk to me?”

The sea god left, and the old man chuckled wearily. “Poor Poseidon. I don’t think he ever expected me to impose on his hospitality. But if Mohammad won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammad.”

More of the Fates’ words from his dream came back. “Are you talking about my trip to France?”

“Yes. You were supposed to visit Marseilles, you see. While you were there, you would have found your way to my cavern and I would have begun your instruction.”

Another of those cold washes of dread trickled down Matt’s spine. “Whoa, wait. Instruction? For what?”

“To replace me as the Oracle of the Waters.” Another ferocious smile. “I’m not actually immortal, you see. Just very long lived. But even my life is winding to a close, and someone must take over my position and my responsibilities. And out of all the mortals on this planet, I’ve chosen you to do that.”

****

Ten minutes later, Matt slammed back into the cottage and stalked into the kitchen. Grabbing the bottle of Scotch from the counter, he found a glass in one of the cabinets and poured himself a triple. He barely felt the liquor as he swallowed it in two huge gulps.

Nick materialized, pausing in the doorway. “I take it that didn’t go well?”

Matt glared at the doctor. “That’s a fucking understatement, my friend.”

“Okay. Well, it’s never a good idea to day drink alone, so…” Nick pried the bottle out of his hand, then grabbed another glass and poured himself a reasonable single. “You’ve been given your marching orders?”

“Marching orders? Marching orders?” His voice rose to a bellow on the last phrase. “Do you know what that old hippie in the cottage over there just told me? Apparently I’m the new Oracle of the Waters.” He started to pace the length of the kitchen, clutching the Scotch glass like a life preserver. “I’m supposed to give up everything in my life and go live in a fucking cave on the coast of fucking France so that fucking sea creatures can come and get me to consult with the fucking Fates on their problems.”

“Huh. Yeah, that must have come as a surprise.” Nick took a sip of his Scotch. “Is it the cave part that bugs you?”

The sheer laid-backness of the doctor made Matt want to throw the glass at a wall. “What’s bugging me is that I came out here for two weeks to get over my damn divorce before I have to go back into the trenches. And suddenly not only do I get dragged into some sort of weird-ass battle against a crazy goddess, but I’m supposed to become the supernatural world’s version of Dear Prudence. In a cave.”

“So it is the cave part.”

“Gimme that.” Matt snatched the Scotch bottle back and poured himself another double. “How the hell do I get out of it?”

“I don’t think you can. It’s one of those fated things.”

Nick’s matter-of-fact tone made him flinch. “Jesus Christ. I dreamed about them last night,” he said. “The Fates, I mean. We were having beer and hot wings at a sports bar. They told me—” He stopped. “They told me I was about to get a new job. And a new romance. Who the fuck is going to want to date a guy living in a cave?”

nicolacameron

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Mid Week Tease: Cross Current #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Mid Week Tease buttonIt’s Wednesday? Awesome! Because I have a little teaser for you from the WIP currently up on Scrivener, Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4). Here, my main character Matt has not only learned that Greek Gods, mermen, and selkies are real, but he has his own role to play in the battle against the Mad Goddess Thetis. He just wanted a few weeks of sun and fun before school started, poor sweetie.

Thanks go out to the lovely Angelica Dawson for doing this every week, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

Matt’s tentative knock at the green cottage’s door was met by an unsmiling Griffin. “Hi. Welcome to Greek God Central.”

The repetition of Atropos’s phrase from his dream sent a chill down Matt’s spine. “Hi. Um, Pythia said that I should talk to Amphitrite?”

Griffin moved to the side, letting him in. “Right. She and Poseidon are busy with Donald at the moment. It might be awhile.” He gave Matt a sympathetic look. “How are you holding up?”

“I kinda feel like I got sucked into an episode of Stranger Things. Apart from that, I seem to be okay.”

“Yeah, sounds about right.” The Englishman took him into the kitchen, where he pulled two brown bottles out of the fridge and handed one over. “This’ll help.”

Matt read the microbrewery label. “I thought Brits didn’t chill their beers.”

“We do when we’re in Florida. I take it Nick gave you the scoop on what’s been happening here?”

“Crazy goddess trying to destroy Earth, a bunch of gods and other mythological creatures fighting her, yeah, I know.” He twisted off the bottle cap and took a welcome swig. “I’m not involved.”

“I’m not arguing. I’m new to the whole thing myself.” Although the knowing look in the Englishman’s eyes gave lie to his words. “How are your guests doing?”

“Nick’s treating them. The blond guy’s really a merman?”

“Yep, just like Aidan and Liam. You can probably talk them into going for a swim and showing you their tails.”

“Yeah, no, that’s okay.” He leaned against the counter, rubbing his thumb over the cool, sweating surface of the bottle. “I’m thinking maybe I should go back to Jupiter. If I can’t get my deposit back, I can crash with a buddy until school starts.”

Griffin folded his arms, leaning against the opposite counter. “If that’s truly what you think you should do, then do it. Nobody wants to keep you here against your will.”

Amphitrite picked that moment to appear, looking concerned. “Oh, good, Matt. You’re here. Donald wants to speak with you.”

He straightened up. “Donald?”

“The Oracle of the Waters. Tall man, white hair and beard, came out of the water with our other guests?”

He tried to get his tongue to work properly. “I—why does he want to talk to me?”

“I don’t know,” the goddess said, just a bit exasperated. “That’s something you’ll have to discuss with him.”

She gestured towards the hallway she’d just exited. Feeling like he was walking towards a firing squad, Matt slowly headed deeper into the cottage. Soft voices were coming through an open doorway and he peeked into what was clearly a guest bedroom

Inside, the old man from the beach had been dried off and tucked into bed, wet clothes piled on a chair next to the bed. Poseidon stood over him, handsome face lined as he listened to the man’s words. He glanced up at Matt’s arrival. “Oh, good, they found you. Donald needs to talk to you.”

“Um.” Matt edged into the room, studying the man in the bed. He looked to be about seventy, with Santa Claus-white hair brushed back from a high forehead and a slightly overgrown beard hiding a craggy face. His eyes, however, were his most notable feature. Pale as sea glass, they seemed to burn in that pale face.

“Ah. Matthew,” the man said, a faint lilt coloring his voice. “You’re quite the difficult man to track down.”

Dunn—no, Poseidon—turned and considered Matt. “You’re going to want to listen to him, I’m afraid.” The affable host from last night was gone. Replacing him was a being who radiated power and authority like nothing Matt had ever experienced before. Every rational cell in his body screamed at him to turn around, leave, jump in his car and head north until he was out of reach of the divinity standing in front of him.

“Hi.” He raised a hand and realized he was still holding the beer bottle. With a sigh, Poseidon plucked it out of his hand. “Um, yeah. Ammie said you wanted to talk to me?”

The sea god left, beer bottle in hand, and the man in the bed chuckled wearily. “Poor Poseidon. I don’t think he ever expected me to impose on his hospitality. But if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed.”

More of the Fates’ words from his dream came back. “Are you talking about my trip to France?” That didn’t make any sense.

But the man nodded. “Yes. You were supposed to visit Marseilles, yes? While you were there, you would have found your way to my cavern and I would have begun your instruction.”

“Whoa, wait. Instruction?”

The old man gave him a wide, white smile. “Yes. Every good teacher knows that learning never truly ends. I’m Donald, by the way.”

“Matt.”

“I know. Matthew Taber, teacher of history to indifferent teenagers, warrior, scholar. You’re my personal choice, you know.”

This was getting far too weird. “Okay, wait,” Matt said, grabbing the wet clothes off the chair and putting them on a nearby dresser. After wiping the seat dry, he sat down in it. “Personal choice for what?”

“To replace me as the Oracle of the Waters.” Another ferocious smile. “I’m not actually immortal, you see. Just very long lived. But even my life is winding to a close, and someone must take over my position and my responsibilities. And out of all the mortals on this planet, I’ve chosen you to do that.”

****

Nick closed the guest room door in time to see a red-faced Matt storm back into the cottage. He went straight into the kitchen and grabbed the bottle of Scotch from the counter, opening a cabinet and grabbing a glass before pouring himself a triple. Nick winced as the other man tossed back the drink in two huge gulps. “I take it that didn’t go well.”

Matt panted and blinked, sniffing hard. “That’s a fucking understatement, my friend.”

“Okay.” Nick reached down a glass for himself and pulled the Scotch out of Matt’s hand, pouring himself a reasonable finger. “You’ve been given your marching orders?”

“Marching orders? Marching orders?” Matt’s voice rose to a bellow on the last phrase. “Do you know what that old hippie in the cottage over there just told me? Apparently I’m the new Oracle of the Waters. I’m supposed to give up everything in my life and go live in a fucking cave on the coast of fucking France so that fucking sea creatures can come and get me to consult with the fucking Fates on their problems.”

“Huh. Yeah, that’s got to come as a surprise.” Nick took a tiny sip of his liquor. “Kinda know all about that sort of thing myself.”

Matt had started to pace the length of the kitchen floor. “Really? Because I don’t see you going off to live like a fucking monk in a goddamn cave.”

Nick had to give him that. “Is it the cave part that bugs you?”

The pacing man stopped, glaring at him. “What’s bugging me is that I came out here for two weeks of sun and relaxation to get over my damn divorce before I have to go back into the trenches. And suddenly not only do I get dragged into some sort of weird-ass battle against a crazy goddess, but I’m supposed to become the supernatural world’s version of Dear Prudence. In a cave.”

“So it is the cave part.”

“Gimme that.” Matt snatched the Scotch bottle back and poured himself another healthy knock. “You say you know about this sort of thing. How the hell do I get out of it?”

“I don’t think you can. It’s one of those fated things.”

The teacher twitched at that. “God. I dreamed about them last night, you know? The Fates. We were having beer and hot wings at a sports bar. They told me—” He stopped. “They told me I was about to get a new job. And a new romance. Who the fuck is going to want to date a guy living in a cave?”

“I think you’re a little fixated on the cave thing.”

They both turned. The blond merman leaned into the entrance to the kitchen, hands on either side of the entryway and still naked as when he first came out of the water. Nick gave him an admiring once-over. The wide shoulders, thick chest, and well-muscled arms common to merfolk tapered down to a narrow waist and a nice Adonis belt of V-shaped muscle. And under that was a great cock, not too large and not too small, nestled on top of a set of heavy balls and surrounded by a short cloud of dark gold hair.

From the corner of his eye he spotted Matt going very still, then looking away quickly. Interesting. “Uh, hi,” the man muttered.

“Sorry. You were shouting. Kind of hard to ignore it.” The merman padded over to them, holding out a huge hand. “I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself. I’m Finn.”

Nick shook his hand. “Well, that’s appropriate.”

Finn chuckled once. “I know, right?” He offered his hand to Matt. “Thank you for taking us in. You’ve got my eternal gratitude for that.”

“No problem.” Matt’s voice was slightly strangled as he shook the mer’s hand. “Do you want me to get you some pants? I think I have a pair of sweats that’ll fit you.”

Finn glanced down at himself. “Sure, why not?”

“Okay.” Stumbling just a little, Matt headed out of the kitchen, Scotch glass still in hand. Cheerful, Finn watched him go. “He’s cute.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Thanks to his agapetos Nick already knew that most mers were bisexual. “How’s your friend?”

Finn sobered. “Still sleeping. He’s not used to swimming that far. I told him to stay behind, but…” He grimaced. “Damn Fae. Stubborn as all hell.”

“How did you wind up with the Oracle, anyway?”

Now the big mer looked uncomfortable. “We’d gone to him to get some advice. When we got there, he told us the price for it would be us escorting him here. I wanted Duncan to stay at the cave, but he insisted on coming along.”

From his accent, Nick placed him as somewhere along the upper East coast. Swimming back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean was something a mer could do, albeit with effort. But to have a seal, even a magical one, in tow turned it into something impressive. “How are you feeling?”

Finn spread his hands. “I’m fine. Hungry. Worried about Duncan. Is the Oracle all right?”

“I haven’t had a chance to go check on him yet. I was going to go do that now. Will you be okay if I leave you here?”

“Oh, sure.” Finn glanced in the direction Matt had taken. “He’s not going to shoot me or have me stuffed and mounted, right?”

“I think his mind is on other things at the moment.”

“Then I’m good. And thank you again for taking care of Duncan.”

The sudden tenderness in his voice said a lot about his relationship with the selkie. Nick was used to unusual hookups happening on the cove, but a mer and a Fae getting together was something he wanted to hear about later on. “If anything goes wrong, I’m in the yellow cottage own the beach. Come get me, okay?”

“I will.”

Nick headed out, wondering how well Matt was going to adjust to his new reality.

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Meanwhile, back at Olympic Cove…

I can tell that I haven’t worked on this series for awhile — getting back into the rhythm and the voices of the established characters has taken a bit of work, and I’ve also switched up the new characters for this book (my MC was originally ex-military, but that was making him a bit too hard-assed for the purposes of the book so I switched it out — he now practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which should be more than enough for the heroics he’ll be doing later on in the book). I think I’m solidly back in place now, and chapter 1 of Cross Current will be done by the end of the day. With a good tail wind and some effort I may have all of Act I done by the end of this week, which would be nice.

Now if the Sudafed and Tylenol I just took to relieve this damn sinus pressure would kick in, life would be a dream.

OH! One last thing — I’ve joined Instagram. Yeah, it was bound to happen eventually. Anyhoo, you can follow me and get an inside look at the life of a hybrid romance writer. A warning — cats will be featured prominently. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

An update, because I know you love those

This has been one fraught week, angels. Last week, Ramón learned that his mom had broken her thigh bone (ironically, it happened in the doctor’s office which she was visiting to determine why her leg hurt). She was taken to the hospital and received multiple scans, after which it was determined that she needed surgery to install a plate on the thigh bone to hold everything in place.

And then a consultant took a closer look at the scans to figure out what was causing the pain in the first place. He discovered a tumor. More were found, and suddenly we went into full “Get Ramón back home to see his mom NOW” mode, which was complicated by work duties and a very welcome house guest who just happened to show up at a difficult time. But the house guest is now on her way, the work duties have been fulfilled, Ramón is packed and I’ll be schlepping him to the airport in a couple of hours, and he’ll be landing in the UK tomorrow. Any good thoughts/prayers/white light/whatever you have directed to a very nice lady in Chesterfield would be quite appreciated at the moment.

In other news, I posted polls on Facebook and Twitter to ask people what series they would like me to work on next. To my surprise and gratification it turned out that Olympic Cove was the clear winner, so I’ve put the Pacifica Rising and Two Thrones books on hold and am back at work on Cross Current (Book 4). I hope to have that off to Evernight by the end of May, so for everyone who’s been waiting for the continuing adventures of the gods, mermen, disciples, and other residents of Olympic Cove and their battle against the Mad Goddess Thetis, you’ve got something good on the way!

Well, I didn’t expect to see this during the Olympics

And no, I’m not going to post any cute gymnasts or divers (although the pics coming out of Rio are indeed yummy). No, my unexpected moment was a letter from Redbubble saying that the Australian Olympic Committee sent them a DCMA takedown notice for my “Olympic Cove: Get Wet!” design, so they’d taken it down. This, by the way, is the image that the AOC says is violating their copyright:

OC_GetWet_Blk_final

Because clearly this image immediately makes you think about the Olympic Games, right? No? Oh.

*sigh* I’m sending a contesting letter, but I don’t expect it to help. Apparently the IOC managed to get some pretty ridiculous laws passed about copyrighted use of Olympic words, symbols, et al during the London Olympics and some bot came across my Redbubble page and found this. So in the interim this shirt will no longer be available on Redbubble, sorry.

A blast from the past

JessicaHowUDooinToday’s writing project was Cross Current and despite not one, not two, but THREE cats insisting on jumping into my lap to help I finally finished knocking out 3K on it, bringing my total word count up to 6,409 words. I’m also very pleased to announce that I get to use one of my very first characters in this novel — yes, for fans of my novelette A Boon by Moonlight I’m bringing back Lord Jerrek of House Carwin as a consultant for the Olympic Cove crew on how to handle the runaway selkie prince who just landed on their shores. As it turns out Jerrek owes Poseidon a favor or two, and he’s being deliciously snarky as usual as he negotiates the trade of information with my two lead characters.

Oh, and Ceit? Your namesake just made her first appearance (in discussion, at least). The beautiful, brilliant Lady Ceitlin of House Selbach is waiting for her wayward groom to get his ass back to the pod and go through their marriage ceremony. But will that be the end of it? Oh, hell no — things just get more interesting from here on in.

Also, apropos of nothing I’ve somehow managed to wash all of the master bedroom bedding today. Considering that we sleep with a ridiculous amount of bedclothes (all my fault — Ramón calls me the Greater American Nesting Female) that’s about seven loads of laundry, plus I carried all the clean clothes upstairs and put them away. I think I can take the rest of the night off, yes?

Happy Tuesday

It’s Day 2 of A More Productive Me and so far it’s been going pretty well. I knocked out 3K of the Empress of Storms sequel outline yesterday (working title is Palace of Scoundrels), made dinner, did laundry and food shopping, and realized that the fingerless mitt I’ve been working on for the last year or so is way too big so I frogged that back and started over again with a smaller size. That shocks me, to be honest, because I have man hands and I’m so used to going to the largest size possible. The fact that the pattern includes a size that’s too big for me is kinda impressive.

Today’s goals — 3K on Iron Cross and finish off the Palace outline, finally get around to taking down the Christmas tree (yeah, yeah, I know I suck), crit the two manuscripts due at my writers’ group meeting tonight, finish an editing project for a friend, and see if we can squeeze in a showing of Deadpool at some point (we were going to see it on Valentine’s Day, but I took a nap after the con that turned into a coma). I also think the writing goals for the next two months are:

  • Finish Iron Cross by the end of the month, get off to the agent by mid-March
  • Finish Cross Current by the end of March, get it off to Evernight by mid-April
  • Concurrently finish Palace of Scoundrels by the end of March, get it released by mid-April (or sooner if possible).

Plus there are some short story goals scattered in there when I have time. Seems doable to me.

Mid Week Tease: Cross Current #MidWeekTease #MWTease

Mid Week Tease buttonHello, chumrades, and welcome to Mid Week Tease! This week I’m featuring anohter snippet from Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4), where our hero Matt winds up being abruptly introduced to the paranormal world. No pressure.

Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!

Matt choked on his wine.

Griffin leaned over and whacked him on the back as he spluttered. “You all right, mate?”

“Yeah,” Matt managed, grabbing a napkin and wiping his chin. “Sorry. Uh….”

He pointed at the beach, where a guy who could have worked as a body double for Chris Evans was climbing out of the surf. Shaggy blond hair surrounded a face that should have been on a romance novel cover, while the water slid off muscled arms and a perfect V-shaped torso, drops trickling down to—

Matt swallowed as the man’s naked and well-hung groin cleared the water. Jesus God, how does that thing not act like an anchor?

If that wasn’t enough, a sleek brown head also emerged from the water, letting out a ringing bark. One of the biggest seals Matt had ever seen thumped out of the water with the aid of powerful flippers. Man and beast headed straight for Dunn’s cottage, where Naked Guy dropped to his knees at the stairs, bowing his head. “My lord,” he said, voice rough and exhausted, “I come to ask a boon.”

My lord? And then Matt noticed Dunn’s expression. The amusement from the meal had turned into grim authority, while Ammie’s delicate features firmed into a more feminine version of her husband’s glower. Griffin leaned back in his seat, rubbing his mouth.

Matt turned back to the newcomers just in time to see the seal start writhing on the sand. It let out a series of pained noises, deforming as if something inside the creature was trying to get out.

And then the sleek sable fur on the breast split, a human hand pushing through it. The animal abruptly turned into a seal-shaped balloon that slid off the shoulders of a dark-haired man who crawled out of its skin.

Also naked, a hysterical little voice in the back of Matt’s head said. Although not quite as well hung…

The seal man got to his feet with an effort, looking drained. “Lord Poseidon,” he said to Dunn with a weary bow, “my name is Malcolm Muir, and I formally ask for sanctu—”

Before he could finish the sentence his eyes rolled up. With a gentle smile he collapsed face forward into the sand.


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