Well, of course I’m working—writers don’t get time off, just days with different chores.
But I’m kicking off 2022 by updating the covers for my Esposito County Shifters series, since the PNR market currently likes saturated jewel tones and my AMS ad for Shifter Woods: Howl kept getting great clicks in 2021 but no sales (I’ve tweaked the blurb as well). I also replaced the couple on the cover because while I thought the male model was hot, he clearly wasn’t connecting with readers (that’s fine—I like having him on the cover of King of Blades better anyway).
The fruits of today’s labor:
And for when I get Shifter Woods: Growl finished and up:
In other writing news I am THISCLOSE to finishing The Crimson and the Black, which is good because it’s out on 1/25/22 (if you like, you can pre-order it here on Amazon). It should be done by the end of the week, at which point I do a quick edit and send it out to the editor and betas. While they’re working on it I’ll focus all of my attention on finishing Crystal Shard and outlining Crystal Blade, then I’ll switch back to editing and polishing mode once the changes come in and send out ARCs. The final step will be uploading the completed book file to Amazon on 1/21/22, at which point I spin the prayer wheels and hope like hell that my marketing plan works.
Oh, an between writing and dealing with Ramón’s exploding tooth/my malfunctioning thigh over the holidays, it appears that I have developed a guilty pleasure. Yes, I have finally started watching Grey’s Anatomy, beginning with Season One. Only sixteen years late, but what the hell.
For other people, normal people who don’t have other people in their heads forcing them to write down their stories, December can be fraught. There are holidays to prepare for, gifts to buy, houses to clean, families to deal with, and all the other joys that come with a massive communally celebrated event.
For writers, we get all that plus deadlines. For instance, as of tonight I have officially pulled the trigger on the pre-orders for The Crimson and the Black (Hidden Empire Book 2), with a release date of January 25, 2022, and Crystal Shard (Paladins of Crystal Book 1) with a release date of March 15, 2022). Are the books finished? Ho ho ho—you must be jesting.
But it is a truth universally acknowledged that Nicola works best with deadlines, otherwise she’ll faff about and waste time reading social media or watching Netflix. And it’s not like this is totally impossible or I’m starting from zero. Crimson is about 1/3rd finished—if I light a fire under my butt I should be able to get the rest of it knocked out by New Year’s Eve, and the editor stands ready to take acceptance of it on January 7th after I do a fast edit. I will also be working on Shard (which is about 2/15ths finished by comparison) in parallel, but that doesn’t have to be ready until mid-February so I can focus on Crimson as necessary.
As I’ll be rapid releasing the Paladins of Crystal books starting in March with Crystal Shard, I’ll be starting Crystal Blade as soon as Crimson is done. The plan is to work on two books at the same time with the focus on the next one to be released in order to meet the release schedule:
- March 2022: Crystal Shard
- April 2022: Crystal Blade
- May 2022: Crystal Reflection
- June 2022: Crystal Citadel
- July 2022: Crystal Empress
Barring death or something bad happening to my hands, I should just about be able to pull it off. And then I’m taking August off because phoo. My writing schedule for the rest of the year will depend on what’s selling best which at the moment are the Two Thrones, Hidden Empire, and Pacifica Rising series. If that’s still the case in August, I may do Mage of Fire, To Love a Wild Swan, and Uncertainty Principle to round out 2022. And yes, I can hear the shrieks of outrage from Olympic Cove fans who are waiting patiently for the last two books in the series. All I can say right now is that I have to work on what’s profitable—if sales of Cross Current pick up, I’ll do those books instead.
But—if Paladins of Crystal does as well as I think it can, I have two related series that I can start working on in September and start off with a January 2023 rapid release schedule. My goal right now is to make $50K in income by the time 20Booksto50k 2022 starts in Vegas, and this is how I’m going to do it.
*touches fingertips together* That being said, I need help from you. I’ve found some places that advertise reverse harem romances and I’m contacting them, but if you know of any reviewers, bloggers, sites, et al that specialize in RH, please please PLEASE point me towards them. I’m going to stack promos around the release of Crystal Shard, but I want the RH fandom to be aware well before then that the book is coming out and the other four in the series will follow quickly.
So, yeah, December is gonna be a busy month for me. But I feel good about this—I have solid outlines, I know my characters well, and I’m going to do my damnedest to write some amazing romances. Let’s get ‘er done.
Under normal circumstances this would be a marvelous Sunday afternoon for writing. It’s 78°F and sunny with a moderate breeze, I have the patio umbrella up, a filter jug of water and a glass by my side, and the only thing I really have to do until 5 PM is write (at which point I have to record a podcast).
Except that as I was lugging everything out to the patio, I noticed a puddle in front of the new massive high-sided litter box in the breakfast nook, and when I lifted it up I saw that the puddle ran under the damn box. JJ, bless his ancient heart, had decided that he didn’t like the condition of the box and watered the tiles. Again. Which I really can’t bitch too much about — it’s tile, his kidneys aren’t concentrating urine anymore and he’s pretty much just passing water these days.
But it’s still something I have to clean up before I can come out here, and in the meantime he’s complaining at me in the most vociferous terms (he has food and water, and I gave him a cuddle and my chair, so I can only assuming he’s yelling, “Staff! Clean up that damn puddle already!” in Cat). Finished that, got out here, and Ramón poked his head out saying that he’d been looking for me, then recounted his latest adventure with the American medical system (his doctor prescribed some kind of new sugar-scrubbing medication, only it’s $1400/month. Yeah, no), and now he’s heading off to the Junky Computer Store to see if there’s any electronic tat he wants to buy and should he bring home anything?
And I have just discovered that my seat cushion was lying to me and was indeed soaking wet in the center. A remote cabin is looking better and better, ideally with a minion who can clean for me and check seat cushions to guarantee that they’re dry.
Yes, I know — first world problems. Still annoying, though. But after going in the house to change my capris and underwear I made myself a toasted bagel, so hopefully that will do something to improve both my blood sugar and my mood.
In writing news, I finally figured out what was blocking me on The Crimson and the Black (note to self: just because a character is Scottish does not mean that the plot has to go racing up to the Highlands) so I expect to chunk out a good 3K this afternoon. What with The Nevers doing so well on HBO I’m hoping to get TCatB finished in the next two weeks and out while I can still ride some promotional coattails. Also, Amalia True is my new patronus, and I still think Pip Torrens is the sexiest thing since sliced bread. Apparently he voices a videogame, and I have never been so tempted to become a gamer in my life.
So, the last time I spoke with y’all, it was August 18th and I thought I was on the downhill slope for Shadow of the Swan. The book was supposed to be 80,000 words or so, and I had just crossed the 60K line so I figured (quite logically at the time) that if I spent the next five days doing 4-5,000 words a day I could be done and dusted by 8/23/20. That would give me a few days to get it cleaned up before I sent it off to my editor and betas. Since I didn’t have to have the final version uploaded to Amazon until 9/4/20, I had plenty of time.
Ha. Ha ha ha. Hahahahahahahahahahaha*SOB*
Yeah, no. For one thing, I felt like absolute crap on the 19th and 20th, so no wordage was achieved. By the time Friday the 21st rolled around, I knew I had lost valuable time and had to make it up with minimum 5K days. But Friday through Monday would do it, right?
Well, it would have if the book had stayed 80,000 words long. But as I got stuck in, I quickly realized two things:
One, my word count included chapter synopses that I stuck in months ago to tell myself what was supposed to happen in each chapter. As I deleted these and replaced them with actual story, I wound up losing anywhere from 500 to 1,500 words. So even though I physically wrote 5,000 words a day, I only wound up with 3,500 – 4,500 words in the end, which meant that I had to write even more to hit my 5K word quota.
Two, this book was not going to be 80K long. When I hit the 80K mark on Monday, August 24th, I still had the climax of Act II to write and all of Act III. Many, many bad words were said at that point.
So I kept on keeping on. Wrote 5K+ day after day, and watched in helpless terror as my characters got themselves into deeper and more complex trouble, and wondered how the actual fuck I was going to resolve all this. By Friday, August 28th, I still had three chapters to go and less than a week now before I had to upload the final version.
I don’t remember much of Saturday, August 29th. I do know that it was a personal best when it came to output because I wrote 8,672 words that day. (And in case anyone is wondering, yes, I got up to take regular walking breaks on the treadmill, stayed hydrated, and did everything I could to keep moving and avoid deep vein thrombosis. I was frantic, not foolish.) I wrote until 5 AM, when I finally added Louisa’s last words in the last chapter, then I checked my total word count.
106,620 words. I wrote 40,839 words over eight days. The old fashioned way, with my fingers on a keyboard. I was honestly shocked that my brain wasn’t leaking out my ears by that point.
I slept until noon, got up and frantically edited, then sent it out that evening to my editor and betas with abject apologies that they were getting, in effect, version 1.5. I immediately turned around and went back to work on a full edit. Is this recommended? No. Is this something I could handle? Yes.
In the end (and I attribute this to experience gained over twenty-five years of professional writing along with a healthy dollop of naked, abject fear) I had somehow managed to write a fairly clean, coherent draft that only needed tweaks here and there to fill the occasional plot hole. I still don’t know how I managed that. My editor, bless her angelic heart, sent me changes live as she went through the book, which helped immensely. My betas both turned it around in record time and got me their lists of grammar, spelling, and punctuation goofs. A very kind reviewer friend who got an ARC sent me a handful of missed goofs and a couple of plot points that needed a bit more work, so I was able to get those incorporated, as well.
By 9/2/20, I had a reader-ready edition. I spent Thursday formatting it, giving it one last review and polish, then uploaded it and the cover to Amazon for release on 9/8/20. So here it is, the day before release (and Labor Day as well), and my stomach is in knots because this is my first new release since November 2018 and I just want people to like it.
So, that’s where Shadow of the Swan currently stands. I now need to finish re-editing and formatting Deep Water and get that out, then go back to work on King of Blades. Because the best thing you can do when you finish a book is start writing the next one.
Although I may indulge in a rum and coke. I think I earned it.
FB just reminded me of what I was doing on this day in 2014, so I thought I’d share it with you:
“Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Cleaning Mortar Chips Out Of a Swimming Pool! Tonight’s contestant is Nicola Cameron from Plano, Texas — let’s give her a big hand!
“Now, Ms. Cameron has spent the last two days removing old cement, mastic, and epoxy from her hot tub rim in preparation for re-cementing and mortaring the missing coping stones back into place, and a bunch of the debris has fallen into her pool as a result. Let’s see how she’s going to get it out.
“Ooh, she’s starting by trying to scoop up the biggest chunks with her skimmer. It’s not quite working as she’d hoped, I’m afraid — too bad, it was a good idea. She’s changing out the skimmer head for a brush head and brushing it all into a large pile — smart move! Now she’s getting out her vortex vacuum head and attaching it and the garden hose to suck that debris right up.
“Oh, no! The vortex caused by the hose isn’t quite enough to pick up the larger pieces. I haven’t heard cursing like that since I was in the Marines!
“On to Round Two — she’s brushing all the pieces into the shallow end and — wow, she’s getting her wet-dry shop vac out and sucking them up! Great move, Ms. Cameron!
“Wait a minute — the shop vac move worked with the small pieces, but the vac is too efficient and is filling almost immediately and there are still large shards at the bottom of her pool. Is she going to throw herself on the mercy of her pool cleaning service for help?
“NO! I cannot believe this, people — she is taking off her glasses, and — YES, yes, she is jumping fully clothed into the pool in her best impersonation of a pearl diver and collecting the shards manually. This woman is determined! Wait, I’m hearing her mutter something about shark week, prehensile toes and ‘See, Mom, I TOLD you they’d come in handy.’ And she’s gotten all of the debris out of the pool! Well done, Ms. Cameron!
“Well, this has been an amazing episode of Cleaning Mortar Chips Out Of a Swimming Pool! Tune in tomorrow when Ms. Cameron is going to don protective gear and use dilute muriatic acid to remove the mortar haze from her flagstones. Good night, everyone!”
In even more entertaining news, here’s another snippet from Shadow of the Swan:
Henry regretted the words the moment they left his mouth. Miss Wallingford recoiled as if slapped, and even Mwanda shifted against the door as if uncomfortable. “Really, Harry,” she muttered.
He cursed his own lack of tact. He could still taste Louisa Wallingford’s blood, its complex flavor lingering on his palate like the finest of wines, and it had the same effect as wine on a human. The bottled stuff couldn’t wash it away, much as he wished it would. Drinking directly from a human was a different matter entirely than drinking stored blood. He would now be able to sense Louisa Wallingford no matter where she was, divine her moods, even anticipate her actions once he got to know her better.
He had been able to ignore the humans he had drunk from in the past, block them from his awareness. But combined with his assignment, it would be impossible to ignore this bright, beautiful, and exasperating young woman. Even now he could feel her fear, combined with a half-angry curiosity as she digested the news he had dumped so gracelessly in her lap.
With care, he replaced the half-full bottle of blood on the table and leaned forward. “Miss Wallingford, you are a sensible young woman. It is not my intention to frighten you unnecessarily, but I would be remiss if I didn’t impress upon you the gravity of your situation. Your uncle has recruited not only the entirety of the ministry but her majesty the queen in order to protect you from this Fae noble. The best solution we have found is your marriage to Robert Bainbridge, which must take place as quickly as possible. Once you are married, you are no longer bound by the terms of this Fae contract and will be safe. That is why everything is happening at such an unusual pace.”
He wasn’t surprised when the young woman drained her glass of wine at a gulp. “What’s the name of my erstwhile suitor?”
He remembered she was an academic like her uncle. Information was what she needed at this moment to stay in control. “Avery, of House Eala. He rules over his own court within Faerie, and his formal title is the Swan King. If you want to know more about him, I would suggest asking your uncle when we return. He knows far more about the contract with your family than I do.”
“Listen to him, girl.” Mwanda came forward, silk swishing with the movement. The mocking expression was gone, replaced by grim seriousness. “The Fae are far more powerful than even the ministry likes to admit, and you don’t want to be in one’s power. If marrying this Bainbridge is the only way of getting away from them, do it tomorrow. Hire a carriage and take him up to Gretna Green, then tumble him immediately afterwards.”
The thought of Louisa Wallingford in bed with another man sent a unexpected surge of rage through him, and he had to will himself to stay calm. You’re blood-struck, that’s all. It’ll fade in time. “Mwanda,” he growled.
“This isn’t the time for prudery, Harry,” she shot back. “The girl needs to protect herself, and if some words before a priest and a bedding will do it, then that’s what she needs to do.”
“Enough.” Louisa held up a hand that only showed the faintest of tremors. “Please. Mr. Carstairs, may we return home? I need to speak with my uncle.”
He glanced at Mwanda, who shrugged. “The carriage should be here soon. I’ll see if Remy has that shirt for you yet.”
So anyway, I’m currently at *checks Scrivener* 8,737 words of a projected 80,000 on Swan, and things are going as smoothly as possible seeing that I also have a day job that cuts into my writing time. But our bills are also steadily dropping (I actually paid off my car in December! Whee!) so I’ll suck it up and shove writing time into whatever available crevices I can find.
That came out weird. Never mind.
I also have what I’m pretty sure is going to be the final cover — still need to make some tweaks here and there, but I absolutely love that Belle Epoque dress and the way the model’s turned head artfully exposes the bite marks of a certain Tudor vampire, ahem. I know it doesn’t scream paranormal romance, but I can already tell this book is going to straddle the boundary between PNR and UF so what the heck, I may as well go with a cover that flirts with both genres.
In other news, the lurgy that I came down with two days after Christmas and two days before Sister and BIL were due to arrive (which made cleaning the house SO much fun, and great accolades have been awarded to Ramón who stepped up to the plate like a champ and did all of the heavy lifting so that I could rest as much as possible) appears to be finally, FINALLY on the way out. After, I must say, producing the most amazing neon yellow mucus I have ever seen. I honestly had no idea my body could make something that color. I’m still coughing intermittently but that seems to be related more to my usual allergy-induced sinus drainage than any actual infection. Nonetheless, I’m going to monitor that bit because a lot of people seem to be getting hit by pneumonia this winter and I really want to avoid it if at all possible.
Happy Wednesday, darlings! Today I’m here with Raven McAllan to celebrate her collaboration with the late and very much missed Doris O’Connor, The Tattoo Artist’s Mate. Here’s what Raven has to say about it:
Hi there and thank you for welcoming to your blog, on this bittersweet occasion. (this is Raven)
As most people know, my bestie, the sister I’d never had, the other half of me, the lovely Doris O’Connor passed away in January from Cancer of an unknown primary.
To say this knocked me for six is an understatement. We knew it wasn’t going to be a good outcome, but it happened so fast. Those of you who followed her on Facebook and twitter will know how it went.
Ironically, she rang me to tell me, just as I was … at a large supermarket collecting for cancer research!
When she went into hospital she was in pain and bored. Nagging me over my Regencies (finish it already, write the sex, just do it) and wondering how to pass the time.
I remember a germ of an idea we’d had a couple of years ago about a tattoo artist who was a shifter. Wrote the first bit and sent it to her with a note … over to you…
I got a giggle gif and a thumbs up. Then Doris’s words. It was, I was told up to me to amalgamate everything.
So the Skype messages went back and forth, and we plotted the story, wrote it both in sequence and odd scenes we knew had to go in somewhere.
Until the time she was in too much pain to write any more. But she did make me promise to finish the book. Add as much as was needed, but finish it.
So I did.
This is the result of our collaboration.
I have two hopes … okay, three.
One, you enjoy it,
Two. you can’t see the seams,
Three, we sell lots and lots and lots and give Doria a fabulous bestseller send off.
When Isla Campbell leaves her so-called Dom, she is determined never to sub again. All she wants is her tattoo removed and to live a quiet life with no dominant, or domineering men in it.
Until she meets Gaspar MacDonald, tattoo artist and unbeknown to her, a bear shifter.
Isla calls to Gaspar in the most basic of ways, he knows she is his mate.
Now all he has to do is persuade Isla of that fact. Oh and explain he’s a Dom, and a shifter, and that subbing for your Dom is not what she thought it was, but much better.
Will Isla trust him enough to discover if they have what would be the perfect match?
I didn’t get a chance to answer. I was too busy trying not to come as he kissed and then sucked my nipples, and saints above, began to play with my clit. Oh Lordy, so bloody good. I think I moaned, but to be honest, I was drowning in the sensation so I had no idea.
Somehow, I managed to find his cock and stroke it. It was Noah’s turn to moan now.
“Fuck it, I want to be in you. Need to be in you, and I’ve no bloody condoms.” He moved away a bit and I took advantage of the fact to get onto my knees, take his cock into my mouth, and lave it.
Not a boy scout then.
“On the pill,” I mumbled around a mouthful of hot, hard, but soft as silk, male flesh. “Clean, and fuck it, fill me.” I took one long hard pull on his dick and let go with a plop. Better than an ice lolly any day.
Noah didn’t hesitate, thank goodness, and had me on my back and his cock poised at the entrance to my channel faster than I could say climax.
“Got to be now, love.”
Just as well.
He pushed. I clenched my inner muscles—thank goodness for Kegel exercises—and held him tight. Noah swore and laughed. I grinned and we set up that age-old motion of in, out, tighten, release until I felt him swell even more inside me.
My nipples hurt in the best possible way.
“Sheesh, now got to be, oh Lord, help please…” I was almost incoherent, sobbing, throbbing, and any other ing you could mention. It was pleasure, it was pain, it was…
“Now!” Noah roared, and his hot, sticky release filled me.
“Yes.” I let myself fly and saw stars as my climax hit me with all the subtlety of a baseball hit by a champion.
Yeah, I was a screamer. Did I care? Not one bit. I moaned, groaned, and wriggled as well. Loved it all.
Where to Buy
About the Authors
Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats — their children having flown the nest — surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.
She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland — the midge.
Her very understanding and long-suffering DH, is used to his questions unanswered, the dust bunnies greeting him as he walks through the door, and rescuing burned offerings from the Aga. (And passing her a glass of wine as she types furiously.)
Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, Sci-fi, BDSM, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
TGIF! Let’s kick off the weekend with Maia Dylan’s hot new paranormal romance His To Protect (An Alpha’s Claim 2). Take it away, Maia!
Thank you for hosting me for His to Protect – An Alpha’s Claim, 2. This book released in November with Evernight Publishing. If your readers would like to they can post questions to me on Twitter tag me using @MaiaDylanAuthor and I will answer them as I see them.
Kaea Hemopo was a man on a mission. He planned to kill the bastard who killed his grandmother, and nothing was going to stop him. He had the man lined up in his sights, his finger on the trigger, and was prepared to die to get it done, but then Kaea found out that he was following the wrong man.
Xavier Mulligan had been stalking his own prey the night he met his mate. He’d been shocked to discover that Kaea was not only there to kill him, but thought he was the asshole who’d murdered his own father. Xavier would just have to make his mate see him for what he was, and accept his very nature. How hard could that be?
Can Kaea and Xavier find a way to work together to avenge those who were taken from them, and retrieve that which was stolen from Kaea’s family, or will Xavier’s need for control be the one thing that could tear them both apart?
Kaea moved a little beneath him, and Xavier had to bite back a groan as his hips nestled a little closer to his.
“Do you—wait, am I naked?” Kaea asked incredulously, and Xavier couldn’t hold back a grin.
“That you are, my lovely. You were damp and dirty from being out in the forest and trying to kill me. I couldn’t very well pop you into bed like that, now could I?”
Kaea frowned as he leaned slightly to the side and looked at Xavier lying on top of him. “And you’re naked because…”
“I was in the shower.” Xavier shrugged. “Again, not somewhere where clothes are necessarily all that helpful. I came out of the bathroom when you woke up. Didn’t have time to go throw any clothes on.”
Kaea nodded, and a delicious red heat swept over the dark skin of his cheeks. “That makes sense, but you could let me go, get up and throw some clothes on now that I no longer want to hurt you, right?”
“But I like it where I am. Do I gotta?” Xavier had never pouted in his life, but he tried in this moment just to have fun with his mate.
Kaea’s laughter was quick and genuine, and had Xavier’s heart doing strange somersaults inside him. “Yes, you do. Come on, it’s very distracting having you lying on top of me.”
Xavier grinned, and knew it was just as wicked as he felt. “I love that you find me distracting, love, because the feeling is most definitely mutual.” Kaea’s eyes darkened, and Xavier knew he liked that particular revelation. “But, you’re right. I’m hungry, and healing this gunshot wound I seemed to have acquired recently has taken a lot of energy.”
Xavier pushed up from the bed, and grinned when he watched Kaea’s gaze wander down his abdomen, but shot back to the puckered scar of the wound on his shoulder. “Crap. Did I apologize for shooting you?”
Xavier resettled the towel around his hips. “No, you did not, and that was very remiss of you. I’ll expect you to make that up to me very soon. Repeatedly.”
Kaea’s soft laughter followed him as he stepped toward the back of the room where he’d put his bag. He grabbed a pair of sweats and pulled them on under the towel, then dropped it to the floor. He turned back toward the bed and laughed himself when he saw Kaea up on his elbows as if to get a better view.
“See something you might like, love?”
Kaea grinned at him, and Xavier could have sworn he felt his heart stutter in his chest. “Maybe, but I’m not a man who gives all his secrets away when he’s just met a man. I prefer a slow build up to a quick flash that’s over too damn soon.” Xavier scowled. “What’s put that look on your face?”
“I don’t like to think of you with other men.” Xavier heard the possessiveness in his own tone, but wouldn’t apologize for it. He was a dominant Alpha bear, and one who did not play well with others. Kaea needed to know and understand that. “I don’t share. You’re mine.”
Kaea arched a sardonic brow in his direction, and it irritated and aroused him at the same time. “Yours?” Xavier could practically feel the temperature in the room fall. “I don’t remember ever being asked if I’d be yours, or even if I wanted you. You presume too much.”
Xavier growled, his anger rising within him. “It’s not a presumption when I could feel your fucking arousal just as sure as you could feel mine, Kaea.”
Where to Buy
About the Author
Mother, wife, author, and all around crazy…
I write the kind of books that I love to read. Love stories between strong men and their independent soulmates. Usually, their path to Happily Ever After is a bumpy one, but there is always a Happy Ever After.
In the world’s I create there is someone (or two, or three) for everyone! Love comes in many forms and I believe it is all beautiful and should be celebrated!
I live, love and write in New Zealand, married to my husband of fifteen years with two beautiful children who I truly believe were sent as a blessing, but sometimes to try my patience, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Wednesday, darlings! Today I’m here with Elodie Parkes and her hot new M/M romance Snowflake Wine, now available from Encompass Ink and other online sellers. Take it away, Elodie!
Thank you for inviting me to your blog with new release, MM romance, Snowflake Wine.
The story is contemporary gay romance with an edge of fantasy, especially written as a sweet but sexy Christmas treat.
Jamie Snow and Nathan Bloom, my characters are as usual, dear to me.
Jamie has battled all his life with his strange, fantastic gift. His is the character that brings the element of fantasy to the story. The inspiration behind the creation of this character came, weirdly enough, in the summer, when I visited a ruined abbey. In the grounds were flowering shrubs that I’d never encountered before. From a distance, the flowers looked like frost, and as I drew close, into my mind came the idea of Jamie, a sprite who loves cold, ice, frost, and to comfort himself in the warm weather, he decorated the shrubs with frost flowers.
Nathan Bloom is the perfect partner for Jamie—gorgeous, calm, loving and open. He’s looking for love. He’s onto Jamie’s gifts long before he lets Jamie know it. This is a love story—romantic, sexy, hopeful.
Hunky Nathan Bloom works late for the company putting up the town Christmas lights and decorations.
Gorgeous, enigmatic, Jamie Snow works late forecasting the weather from his desk in the meteorology office.
Nathan sighs over the prospect of a holiday season with no one to love.
Jamie wonders if he’ll ever find a man to love who will accept his mysterious origins and talents.
One cold night, as Nathan finishes hoisting the wreath lights up the building where Jamie works, they meet.
The brilliant festive lights aren’t the only things to sparkle as the two men connect on a deep level.
Be delighted by a delicious, contemporary, gay romance with an edge of fantasy this season.
Sometimes being different is awesome.
Jamie Snow sat alongside Nathan. He glanced across at the man who stirred his frosty heart. He’s so attractive. Jamie hadn’t loved in a long time. He felt more than ready for it—longed for it on lonely nights. He wasn’t about to give up on the chance that this man might want a lover, that he was gay wasn’t in question. No straight guy looked the way he had at another man.
“My name’s Jamie, Jamie Snow.” He softened his voice as he spoke. The man beside him inspired tenderness and he felt a little prick of guilt. Using the weather to flirt with him had been inspired but maybe a little naughty.
Nathan drove the truck into a wide car lot that Jamie hadn’t known existed behind the furniture store on the end of the main street. “Here we are. The store allows us to leave the bigger rigs here every year. Jamie Snow—that’s an interesting name for a meteorologist—mine’s Nathan Bloom.”
Jamie’s smile infused his tone. “Yes. People tease me sometimes at work, they’ll know we’ve forecast it and as I walk by they’ll say, ‘here comes the snow,’ but I don’t mind. I like this name.”
“You’ve had others?” Nathan asked with a laugh.
Jamie didn’t want to reply. He waited. I won’t be lying to this lovely guy if I don’t answer.
Nathan turned off the truck engine and twisted to talk to Jamie. “It’s a cool name. Where do you live?”
It appeared he’d forgotten his question.
Happiness trickled into Jamie’s soul that the attractive man beside him liked his name, and used the word, cool. Eagerly, Jamie told Nathan his address on the outskirts of the town.
Nathan grinned, his eyes reflecting Jamie’s emotion. “I know it well. I live a couple of streets south from there.”
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About the Author
I’m a writer who is in love with happy endings, currently based in southern UK. I write for Evernight Publishing, Siren, Hot Ink Press, Encompass Ink, and eXtasy Books.
I love music, art, flowers, trees, the ocean. I work with antiques by day and words by night. Like a vampire, darkness is my friend, that’s when the silence is only broken by an occasional hoot of owls in the woodlands opposite my home, and I write.
Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Monday Reads, darlings! Today I’m featuring Allyson Young and her delicious new shifter romance Golden (The Pride of Panthers 1), now available from purveyors of fine online romance. Take it away, Allyson!
Trace da Costa is determined to unite the nomadic and unsocial panther shifters of the Americas in order to add their voice—as a pride—to that of the rest of the world’s shifters. Humans are aware shifters exist which has led to innumerable problems, especially threatening the survival of the solitary big cats.
His followers have already embraced the idea of mating and staying together to raise their cubs and when he finds his mate he must convince her of the rationale behind the change in tradition.
Aura Maas has no interest in males, aside from the occasional one night stand and even if Trace da Costa is her mate she isn’t willing to give up her lonely lifestyle, having become inured to it at an early age. She is well aware of the risks with no one to have her back and resistant to the idea of being responsible for another—especially a cub or two.
But she’s impossibly drawn to Trace and when danger strikes they make a formidable team. Not to mention how great the sex is. She agrees to commit for a month, against her better judgment because her cat has already accepted him and her human side is fighting a losing battle.
But there are other forces at work, from traditionalists to hunters and it’s only when she flees on instinct and Trace follows her that she accepts her fate. She is claimed by him—and him by her.
“Where is she?” The tension in his voice betrayed his need.
Rock Gideon spoke from the side of his mouth. “Secured in the back room.”
His gut clenched as his entire body went on alert. “What do you mean, secured?”
“Tied, wrapped, and gagged. Secured. She should be waking up from the injection right about now.”
“You drugged and secured my mate.” A stupid man might have missed the dire warning in Trace’s tone. Rock was anything but.
Easing up on his elbows, the big male shook his hair from his eyes. Trace held his stare, their beasts close to the surface. The wolf broke first and dropped his gaze for an instant. “It took five of my pack to subdue her. Shade and Blaze are still recovering—in wolf form! It was a fucking bloodbath. Without the injection, you’d still be looking for her, and how I managed to administer that is a mystery.”
Despite the damage to Rock’s people, Trace couldn’t help but feel a frisson of arrogance and satisfaction. Aura Maas was worthy of him and his pride. Not that his loosely knit group of panthers were actually a pride, but they were still connected. And he required a mate to help bind them together before their kind faded into the mist. It was his lifelong ambition and one within his grasp.
He’d outlived his parents, and his sister… Well, he hadn’t given up hope for Ariana, not yet, but most everyone else had, and it was as if he was the last of his line. And so he was determined to build a larger family, both for safety and longevity of their species.
“I apologize for your trouble and offer my regards to your pack. I’ll also increase the prize money.”
With a huff, Rock turned back to his beer. His tone was admiring, if grudging. “Whoever tames that cat will have a lifetime of—”
Whatever the wolf thought Trace would have with Aura was clearly beyond his ability to describe. Trace hid a smug smile and said, “I’ll see her now.”
“Help yourself. Just keep between her and the fucking door once you cut her free.” Rock fished a key out of his shirt pocket. “New deadbolt. And the window is barred. We’ve kept … guests before.”
The information gave him pause but for a moment. Whomever Rock kept prisoner or in a way station wasn’t his business. The alpha wolf had a reputation of being on the up and up. Regardless, he didn’t have time to ponder. His mate awaited him.
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About the Author
Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada where she and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.
She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.
A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of August 2018 she has published seven series and several standalones—all available on Amazon—with others in the works.