Thursday, September 25, 2014

Looking for a romantic, angsty YA read?

Posey Briggs doesn't "do" the whole "family thing." She's just biding her time until she can age out of the foster care system, and disappear back into the gritty streets of Seattle.

Drew Baxter is biding his time as well...overachieving to keep his abusive father, and the town mayor, from beating him to a pulp before graduation.

When these two are paired in the tutoring session from hell, they discover that they're unlikely allies...and maybe even more.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Another live one here!

Live, live, live! THE THIS & THAT SERIES BOX SET just went live on Amazon! For just $4.99 you get ALL THREE of the books in the This & That Series (Baby & Bump, Apples & Oranges, and Then & Now)..and you save one dollar off of the cover prices on the individual books! Grab your copy of The This & That Series Box Set for your Kindle today! :D


Live, baby, yeah!

It's live! It's live! The new and improved version of UNDERWATER is available for purchase! Check it out right here:

The secrets of Pend Oreille are best left beneath the surface…

After being partially paralyzed in a car accident, wheelchair-bound Luna Prosser is struggling to keep her head above water. Fighting for independence from her over-protective parents and determined to seem normal as she wheels down the halls of her high school, Luna can’t believe the hot new guy on campus actually talks to her—and looks at her with more than just pity in his haunted, aquamarine eyes. 

But Luna has no idea how different Saxon really is, or what agonizing responsibilities he faces. He's been sneaking up and out of the dark waters of the Pend Oreille for a year now, slipping in and out of towns, local classes, and shops, in an attempt to learn more about the fascinating humans he was raised to stalk. But instead of watching them as prey, Saxon watches them with a yearning for normalcy, and to search for a way to aid his rapidly dying Mer clan from extinction.

Together he and Luna find a connection that can't be described. Like a key sliding into a lock, they've found their one mate, and once that has happened, the connection is permanent. But their bliss isn't meant to last, for there are secrets in the dark waters of Pend Oreille—secrets that could drown them both…


Friday, September 19, 2014

Oh, and don't forget what ELSE is coming out this weekend...

Now you can read ALL THREE books in the This & That Series in ONE shot!

The This & That Series Box Set will now be available! I will have prices and links stay tuned!

Here's the cover to look for:

Coming soon, my friends! Over 800 pages of romantic comedy coming your way for one great price!

Yay! An excerpt from Underwater!

Are you as excited as I am to dig into the new & improved Underwater??

Me, too.

“No.” I shook my head. “Not scared. Sorta…mesmerized.”
He wore his signature smirk when he raised one hand out of the water. I reached down and took it. Take a deep breath.
I did and was in the water before I could even think. The water wrapped me in cold and pulled my hair back in a long stream behind me as I dropped. For a second, I panicked, waving my arms at my sides and jerking back and forth. But then I felt Saxon’s hands encircle my hips and pull me against his chest.
Open your eyes.
I did, and the water momentarily stung. Blinking a few times, I grasped his hard shoulders and acclimated myself to my new surroundings. My focus came into view like a camera on auto zoom, and there in front of me was Saxon. His skin glowed in a soft, muted blue; pure, velvety warmth exuded from his touch, locking out the cold. We descended a few feet, and I looked down at his tail. It extended and swayed back and forth at least six feet below us. I was amazed that he could control where we moved with just the use of his fin.
Are you all right?
I nodded, and my hair whirled around my face. The darkness was everywhere but above our heads. I could see the moon through the top of the water, all broken into pieces like a stained-glass window.
Do you need air?
When I nodded, he extended his arms and lifted me up so that my head rose past the surface. I sucked in a long pull of oxygen, then ducked back under and put my arms around his neck. Rubbing my cheek against the side of his face, I noticed that his skin was no longer smooth and soft. Now it was ridged, but slippery like the scales of the fish my dad and I used to catch in the bay when I was little. My grip loosened, so that my hands could find the gills at the side of his neck. Tracing a line along the edge, I felt them open and close underneath my fingertips.
He tangled his fingers in the hair at the back of my neck, then combed through the locks as they danced on the current. I want to show you something.
I pulled back and looked at him. There was no fear under the water. I was safe in his arms, and I knew it right down to my toasty warm core. One side of his mouth pricked upward just before he turned my body so that my back was to him. With one swift movement, he kicked his fin so hard that the water ruffled all around us, arching us backward so we were parallel with the surface of the water.
In the blink of an eye, I was cruising along the lake at least twenty miles an hour, with the stained-glass moon following us as we glided. The surface was no more than three inches above my moving body. Clear—but waved and bubbled, like the old glass in all of the windows of our farmhouse.
Saxon’s tail moved up and down, creating a muted rushing sound and sending us streaming out of Moon’s Bay. My lungs were starting to tighten, but I couldn’t look away from the star-filled sky above us. I was mesmerized by the speed at which we were traveling and by the fact that my body was filled with radiant heat even though I was submerged in icy water.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Underwater got a new cover!

And it's sooooooooooo pretty.

Me likey. A lot.

I was so stoked to get my rights to Underwater: The Mer of Pend Oreille back from my publisher the other day. I've worked with three publishers, and that particular book was pubbed in a house that is known for their super-sexy erotica books, which are not at all a genre my readership was comfortable with. I was hesitant to write the next book in the series, because I wasn't sure I wanted to link my characters to books of that nature in the future, and I found myself dragging my feet to advertise Underwater because of that. And what happens when you don't advertise?

Dismal sales.

Yup. It was sad.

Isn't it pretty??

So I've revamped my cover, and rebirthed my characters! Oh, and the icing on the cake is that I've also made the price much more reasonable for an ebook! Hooray for affordable books!

I will keep you all posted of it's relaunch date! Coming soon!

Ever wondered.....

...what my contemporary YA, The Art of Being Indifferent, is all about?

Check out this excerpt, and grab your copy for only $1.99 today...

I heard Posey before I saw her. She was on the beach, screaming cuss words into the night air like a lunatic. I didn’t go to the beach thinking I’d see her, but as soon as I heard her, my heart started thudding so hard inside of my chest, I thought I might pass out. I had to get to her. I needed her. And I didn’t care how pathetic it was.
The only thing that mattered was that when I’d wrestled my way out of my dad’s grip and run for the door, I instinctively ran right to where Posey was.
That mattered. A lot.
She turned as I ran towards her, her black hair whipping in the wind, and my heart leapt to my throat. Damn, she was beautiful. How hadn’t I seen it before?
“Drew?” she called, her voice cracking.
As I got closer, I realized Posey was crying. Or… close to crying. My throat clenched. Shit, had Mr. Kingston called the Coulters to rat us out for skipping? It was my fault. My idea. I’d made him and Coach swear not to get Posey in trouble.
She wiped at her eyes with the ends of her coat sleeves. “What are you doing here?”

Slowing my pace to a walk, I forged through the thick, wet sand. I’d run out of the house without tying my shoes, and I’d stumbled five times on the trail. “I needed some air.”
“Me, too.” Posey smiled, but it didn’t hold. Her lip started to tremble, and redness stained her cheeks and nose. She covered her face. “Sorry.”
I strode towards her. “What’s wrong? What happened?”
My stomach was in knots. The adrenaline from my run-in with my dad had started to wear off. The hell with my problems. Now I only wanted to know who’d hurt Posey. It made me want to punch something. Break something. Where was the old man when I needed him?
Oh yeah. Back at my house, washing my blood off his knuckles.
“Nothing. I… I’m fine.” The wind picked up, opening her coat, and I noticed she wore pajamas. The tight black thermal shirt and grey sweats hugged her body like nothing I’d ever seen Posey wear before.
And dang, she had a figure. A good one. The muscles in my abdomen—and elsewhere—tightened.
Her skin paled when she saw my face. “Oh no, what happened?”
I grimaced. I’d seen my reflection in the stupid gilded mirror in our front hallway my mother spent about a bazillion bucks on. I knew what I looked like. A split in the middle of my eyebrow dripped blood down the side of my face. By morning, I would look like I’d gotten into a fight with a mouthy freshman. I’d probably tell all the guys on the swim team that just to shut them up.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said, my voice thick as I closed the space between us.
Without pause, without thinking about what I was doing, without considering whether Posey even wanted me to do it… I wrapped my arms around her. Anchoring her body underneath her coat against mine, I leaned down and brushed my nose against hers.
I couldn’t hear the wind anymore. Hell, I couldn’t hear anything except the pounding of my heart in my ears as Posey gasped. Her eyes, icy and blue, widened for a second before slowly sliding closed. Her frame melted against mine, contouring against me. Posey felt amazing. She felt perfect.
I kissed her. Hard. So hard, explosions of light popped behind my closed eyelids, and the ground underneath my feet swayed. It was incredible. Like every girl I’d kissed up to that point was just a prelude to this moment.
Man, I was becoming a sap. But I couldn’t help it.
When we pulled apart, her eyes were heavy lidded and foggy. We were both breathless, our shoulders rising and falling in unison as we panted.
“I didn’t think…” She swallowed and licked her lips. “I wasn’t sure if you… wanted that, or not.”
I cupped her face. “I’ve wanted that for a while.”
“Me, too.” Posey grinned, her eyes dancing. Then they focused on my eyebrow, and her smile dropped. “You’re hurt.”


Not ready to pull the trigger....

...on book 2 of the This & That Series?

Marisol's story, Apples & Oranges, was a blast to write...check it out in this excerpt now, and remember that her story is on sale now for just $1.99!

He tilted sideways, and burped. “That’s… stupid.”
I gestured towards the inn. “You’re looking a little green around the gills, buddy. Why don’t you let me make you some coffee inside? I’ve got a Colombian roast that will—”
“Shut up.” Greg’s hand came down on my forearm with a slap. It was with more force than I was expecting, and I gasped. As soon as I stopped talking, his demeanor softened. “Come on. Let’s walk down to Benny’s for a nightcap.”
Jerking my arm away, I clenched my teeth together. This guy was ticking me off now. “No, thank you. I have plans.”
“Oh, come on.” He drug a hand down his face, making his eyes even redder. “You don’t have plans. Give it up.”
I drew a deep breath, then released it slowly. “Go home and get some sleep.”
“Tease,” he spat down at me, his red face glowing in the dim light.
“Gotta go, Greg.” Forcing a tight smile, I sidestepped his arm and headed towards the kitchen door. I didn’t scare around men easily—you can’t remain single and independent into your thirties and not know how to watch out for yourself—but I was sort of rattled. We were back far enough from the street that there weren’t any other people within earshot, the dinner guests were long gone, and the last of my staff had left. It figured.
“Aw… come back.” He groaned.
“No, thank you,” I yelled over my shoulder. I was going to throttle the bartenders the small business bureau hired for the night. They apparently had no concept of when to stop serving someone.
“Hey, bitch!” Greg’s voice cut into the night, and his heavy footsteps thudded on the pavement. “I’m talking to you.”
Picking up my pace, I touched my pocket for my new iPhone. Lexie and Fletcher only lived a few blocks away from the inn, and Fletcher wouldn’t mind coming down here to scare away a persistent drunk. It was rare, but official: Drunk Greg was starting to freak me out.
And true to form, I’d left the damn thing in the kitchen. I was going to have my iPhone surgically connected to my hand first thing tomorrow.
Greg grabbed my shoulder, jerking me backwards. “I said I was talking to you,” he snarled into my ear.
“You need to get your hands off of me.” I twirled around and shoved him in the chest. When he stumbled backwards, I yelled, “Go home and sober up, before I call the cops.”
Greg’s expression morphed from confused, to belligerent, to ticked-off in the span of a half a second. “Call the cops? Call the…” he grabbed my upper arms. Hard. “Who do you think you are?”
“Let go!” I yelped when he gave me a shake.
“Hey! Get your hands off her!”
I heard the deep, gravelly voice before I saw Demo through the corner of my eye. He barreled towards us with his fists clenched at his side, ready to swing.
“Who the…” Greg looked from me, to Demo, then back again. “You sleeping with Antonopolous?”
“I’m not sleeping with anybody,” I growled, wriggling out of his grip. There were red marks just above my elbows that would probably be bruises by morning. Super.
Demo was nose to nose with Greg in an instant. “You like roughing up women?”
“Roughing up? What? What the hell are you talking about?” Greg skittered backward, but Demo followed. “We were just talking.”
“Talking?” Demo’s chest was pressed against Greg’s, and I was pretty sure his biceps were vibrating. “You expect me to believe that?”
Greg laughed, and it came out high pitched and hysterical. “Tell him, Mary. Tell him we were talking.”
“Her name is Marisol,” Demo growled.
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t dig your hole any deeper, Greg. We weren’t talking.”
A cab rolled into the parking lot, stopping right beside our little testosterone faceoff. A cabbie with a backwards Mariners cap emerged. “Hey. Everything all right out here? Somebody call a cab?”
I gave Greg’s shoulder a shove. It was a lot easier not to be scared when Demo was here, in all of his puffed up glory. “Yes, sir. Our friend here needs to go home.”
“Come ooon, Demo, you know mmme.” Greg’s voice cracked as he backed away from the hulk of muscle that was my mechanic. “We were jusht hhhaving some fun…”
“Grabbing a woman like that’s not fun.” Demo opened and closed his fists a few times. I thought I could see his heartbeat in the side of his neck. “Never let me catch you acting like that again, or I’ll put you in the ground. Understand?”
Gregs hands went out defensively. “Hey. Whoa. Whatever, man.”
Demo pulled a ten-dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to the cabbie. “Get him home, and watch him walk in.”
“Yes, sir,” the driver said, sliding back into the driver’s seat.
Greg fiddled with the door handle a few times before getting it open. “No harm in trying. Boy’s got a right to get laid once in a while.”
I cursed under my breath. This guy was a piece of work.
“Sit down and shut up.” Demo gave him a shove, making Greg flop like a doll.
Greg’s head hit the door when he flopped into the seat. “Ow, dammit. Bros before ho’s, right, buddy?”
 “Go home,” Demo ordered. The car door slammed, and Greg rested his forehead against the window, promptly falling asleep.
Demo and I watched in silence as the cab pulled away and left the lot. I couldn’t believe that just happened. In all my years of working and dating, I’d never felt afraid before. Maybe Candace was right when she’d suggested a self-defense class a few years ago. I’d scoffed at the idea then, but now I wish I’d considered it. It would’ve felt increíble to ram my knee so far into Greg’s balls that they popped out his ear canals.
It was then that I realized how hard my heart was thudding in my chest. I pressed my palm to my chest and gulped in a pull of the warm night air. I needed to get a grip. It was just a drunk moron. It didn’t mean anything. I wasn’t in any real danger. Right?
As soon as the cab’s taillights disappeared, Demo turned to me, and put a hand on my shoulder. “You all right?”
“Fine. I’m fine.” I stepped away from his touch, and fanned myself. Those pesky tears were poking at the backs of my eyes again, and I wasn’t about to let them fall in front of Demo-the-mechanic. “He was hammered. I could’ve taken care of myself.”
He shook his head. “Greg was out of line.”
I waved off Demo’s words. “You didn’t need to do anything. I can handle things.” But my voice shook.
“You’re welcome.” Demo said softly.
Dammit, he felt sorry for me.
“I…” My voice cracked, and I cleared my throat. “I didn’t need…”
Okay. Between me, myself, and I, that little situation was scary. The way Greg’s moods vacillated between sloppy, goofy drunk and ticked off. The way he’d grabbed me. Twice. What if Demo hadn’t come out of nowhere like that? Would I have been able to fend that creep off?
My eyes filled up and spilled over. “Okay. All right. I’m sorry.” I covered my face with my hands. “Thank you. I appreciate your help, Demo.”
He wrapped his arms around me, tentatively at first, but we melted together quickly enough. Pressing my face into the worn cotton of his shirt, I cried for a good two or three—maybe five—minutes. His scent, minty soap and the faintest hint of gasoline, danced through my nose,. My shoulders shook as I wept for the first time in more years than I could count, but for some peculiar reason, I didn’t care. It was that odd rush of honesty I seemed to feel every time Demo was around. There was no BS-ing this guy, and as much as I hated it… I loved it, too. It felt good to cry. Maybe I needed it. I don’t know.

Grab a copy of APPLES & ORANGES by clicking here!

Not sure if....

...the This & That Series is for you? Well, do you like romance? Do you like giggling while you read? Do you like waking your significant other because you're laughing and crying at the same time while trying to read in bed?

I do, too.

Here's an excerpt of book 1, Baby & Bump, (on sale for 99 cents today) for you to enjoy:

His hair was blond streaked with platinum, probably the result of a summer spent on a beach somewhere, and it was tousled into a disheveled “I need a haircut, but I’m too busy wakeboarding and mountain biking to care” look. When he raised his eyes off the manila folder full of my medical facts—height, last menstrual cycle—and, gulp—weight—I noticed that his eyes were the most crystal aquamarine blue I’d ever seen. They were the exact same color of a Tiffany jewelry box. And, as if I weren’t ready to howl like a dog in heat already, when he opened his mouth to greet me, his deep voice positively oozed charm with its Southern accent.
“You must be Lexie. Hi, I’m Fletcher Haybee. How are you?”
“I… I… uh…”
My brain had shut off. I was sitting there, naked from the waist down, covered in a glorified quicker picker upper, staring at the best-looking man I’d ever seen.
“She’s fine.” Candace snickered.
The lovely doctor’s eyes brightened. “Candace? What’s up? Is this your sister?”
“Cousin. She just found out she’s pregnant.” Candace nudged me. “Say hello, Lex.”
“Hello, Lex. Er, Dr. Haybee.” I blinked a few times and focused on the tee shirt underneath his worn denim button down.
Holy hell, it was a vintage Aerosmith tee shirt! If there had been water in the examination room, he could have walked on it.
“Call me Fletcher.” His accent made my toes, clad only in blue and white striped socks with dancing hippos on the heels (what was I thinking?) curl deliciously. “Any cousin of Candace and Brian’s is a friend of mine.”
I ignored Candace’s knowing grin as I tried to put on my game face. Well, as much of a game face as I could have without any pants on. “You… you don’t look like a doctor.”
“Thank you. I take that as a compliment.” He grinned and the corners of his eyes crinkled. I swear to God a ray of sunshine busted through the roof, illuminating him.
“He’s the best OB in town.” Candace announced proudly. “Remember when I had preeclampsia with Ellie’s pregnancy and had bed rest?”
I peeled my eyes away from Fletcher. “Uh huh.”
“Fletcher did all of the appointments in my last trimester at our house.” She beamed. “How many doctors do house calls these days?”
Glancing back at Fletcher, who was nodding humbly, I replied, “Not many.”
He laughed, and the deep, rumbling sound made the hair on the back of my neck stand at attention. “That’s just one of the perks of being friends with your obstetrician.”
I was staring at him. I couldn’t help it. How did I miss this guy through all three of Candace’s pregnancies? Why hadn’t she dragged me to this office sooner?
Say when I wasn’t pregnant and my face wasn’t the same shade of grey as a gas station bathroom?
Fletcher put down my file and approached me. “Well, Lexie, it’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you, too.” We shook hands, and I bit the insides of my cheeks.
“My nurse tested the urine sample you left in the restroom, and as you know, you’re pregnant. Congratulations.” He tucked his hands into his pockets. “Otherwise, your white cell count looked good, and there wasn’t too much protein in your urine, so that’s great. Was this a planned pregnancy?”
I swallowed and ignored Candace’s eyes probing the side of my face. “No.”
His expression softened. “Do you want to discuss options? Are you planning to parent the child?”
“Yes. Of course.” I tucked my hair behind my ears. “I always hoped to have children. Just didn’t plan on doing it alone.”
Fletcher appeared surprised. “Oh, you’ll be a single mom?”
“Yes. Unless you’d like to marry me.” I mumbled that last part.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
“Nothing!” I squeaked.
I fought the urge to slap myself on the forehead, and looked away from his bright eyes. There was something really wrong with me if I was this attracted to my obstetrician. I mean, within a matter of minutes, he was going to be looking at my crotch, for Pete’s sake. And not in a Fifty Shades of Grey way, either. Argh.
“I’ll have my receptionist give you some information about some local single mother support groups. That might be a great outlet for you.” Fletcher made a note on my chart, then gestured to the papered examination table behind me. “Why don’t you lay back, and I can do the examination.”
“Oh, um, okay.” I looked at Candace dumbly, who gestured for me to lie down. A wave of self-consciousness rolled over me.
The last time I’d been partially unclothed in front of a man, I’d been drinking overpriced merlot and watching made-for-TV movies. My buzz had made me feel invincible. I most certainly did not feel invincible on Fletcher’s examination table. I felt unbearably naked, and suddenly aware of every single ounce of cellulite and every single freckle I had on my ultra-white skin. I wish I’d had the good sense to get a decent spray tan before coming to the obstetrician’s office.
“It says in the medical records you had transferred that you had your breast examination just four months ago. So I won’t need to do that today.” Fletchers voice was soothing and calm, and would have made a normal woman feel relaxed as they lay there with their knees clamped together.
Unfortunately, I’m not a normal woman.
A plethora of off color jokes involving breast examinations came to mind as I lay there, his warm hands touching my calves. I’d always been the person that laughed inappropriately at funerals. During Speech 103 in college, when Professor Lidgerwood used the work “rectify” four times in one sentence, I’d been the one to make cheesy jokes. When my mother passed gas during Easter services at church two years ago, I’d been the one with tears rolling down my face. The idea of Dr. Haybee giving me a breast examination was almost too much to handle.

Grab YOUR COPY of BABY & BUMP today!

Still on the fence...

....about buying Then & Now, book 3 in the This & That Series? (On sale for just $2.99 now!)

Here's an excerpt:

She frowned sadly. “You won’t always be alone.”
I barked a laugh. “According to my mother-in-law, I should be.”
“She’s old and lame.” Marisol waved a hand. “Your aunt Patsy said the same thing, and she was porking the pastor the whole time. You gonna listen to some old broad who lives in gold lame jogging suits?”
I opened and closed my mouth four times before answering. “No. Yes. I don’t know. I know it would be nice to get rid of the loneliness for a while.”
“Well, I could call—”
“No.” I put up my hands to stop her. “I’ve got it all under control.” Gesturing to the typewriter, I added, “I found that passion you were nagging me about.”
“So is this really something you’re going to pursue?” Marisol’s eyes lit up. “I’ve almost forgiven you for chasing Lexie out of here like a stray cat.”
She pointed a manicured finger at me. “You need to talk to your cousin once and for all. Air all this crap out, and move on. If you don’t do it before your kids come back, I’m going to schedule an intervention. I mean it. This garbage has to stop. I miss my gang. My posse.”
“If you say peeps, I’m kicking you out.”
“If you kick me out, I’ll just break in.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re insane, do you know that?”
“Shut up. I’m being serious. Fix it.”
“Okay.” I sighed. “I will. I promise.”
“So…” Marisol looked at the papers on the floor. “You’re going to be a writer.”
“It’s just a hobby, don’t go buying me business cards yet.”
“Why not write for a living?”
I let that marinate for a moment. I would’ve been lying if I didn’t admit the idea had crossed my mind a time or two in the last twenty-four hours. After all, it was what I’d always dreamt of doing. And it sure as heck beat the idea of working under Corinne every day.
Releasing a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding, I nodded. “Maybe.”
She grinned. “I can’t believe it. I’m so happy.”
“I am, too.” I shook my head. “I mean, I think I am. It felt really good to sit and write all day. But I don’t know if it’s a realistic career choice.”
“Why not?” She blinked at me, clueless. Marisol had become a caterer purely out of a love for food, and not because she had bills to pay. She had a trust fund from Daddy for that.
“Because I’ve been a single mother of three kids.” Releasing my legs, I stretched. I’d been sitting for most of the day, and my backside ached. “I’ve never had to support my family on my own. Brian’s money won’t last forever. I’ve got a few years, and then the money is going to start to run out.”
“So write books.” Marisol grinned. “Or plays. Whatever.”
“There is not going to be a reprise of Yonder in Thine Roots.” I laughed, and tried to fasten some stray strands of hair back into my ponytail. “I don’t know if my memoir will bring in any money, either. It’s light, romantic, funny. Maybe a bit tear inducing. But it feels good for now. I have other plot ideas, too. Lots of them. But, I don’t know… Corinne said she’d hire me.”
She frowned. “You’re not going to let your sister talk you into becoming a pencil pusher, are you?”
“No.” I bit my lip. “But pencil pushing pays the bills.”
“Yeah, but is it your passion?”
We sat there staring at each other for a moment. Marisol could always cut through the bull crap, and ask the one thing on her mind—on everyone’s mind—in situations where other people are too polite. Politeness wasn’t Marisol’s thing.
“Come on, Can.” She blurted. “It was your favorite thing to do as a kid.”
“Writing was my passion twenty years ago. But, I…” Glancing out the window, I noticed a police cruiser rolling up my street. “Wonder what that cop’s doing around here?”
Marisol followed my gaze. “Was the kid across the street doing donuts again?”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “He’s in college now.”
“Hmmm. Did the fuzz find out about your drug ring?”
I tossed a throw pillow at her and leaned forward to see where the cop car was parking. “Shush.”
She patted her crowning glory. “Watch the hair. Where is it parking?”
“In my new neighbor’s driveway.” I wondered what that kid had been caught doing. So help me, if I had some sort of weed-growing thug living next door, I was going to flip. What was that website my mother was always telling me to go to? The one that told you where all the neighborhood creepers were? I’d looked at it once since Brian died, and was too chicken to go back to the website after that.
“Oh, super. You finally get a neighbor and it’s a family of arms dealers.”
“No. I don’t think so.” I chewed my thumbnail, craning my neck to see. “I mean, it’s just a guy.”
“A single guy?” Marisol got onto her knees and peered out the window. “You didn’t tell me a hot dude had moved in next door.”
“I didn’t say he was hot.”
“You didn’t have to.” She gave me a sideways glance. “Your demeanor said it.”
Ignoring her, I watched as the cruiser door opened and an officer emerged. He was clad in a blue city of Spokane police uniform, adorned with all sorts of shiny badges and do-hickeys hanging from the belt, and a gun. I was glad Quentin wasn’t here. He would’ve been all over that.
When the cop turned towards my house, tilting a water bottle to his lips, I gasped. “That is my neighbor.”
“Holy hell, that’s him?” Marisol leaned so close to the glass that the tip of her nose touched. “Candace, he’s tasty.”
I swatted at her. “You’re married.”
“I didn’t say I wanted to bite into him,” she reminded me. “I said he’s a tasty treat. For you.”
“What?” I gaped at her. “No. Marisol, no. Look at him, he’s practically a baby. I can still smell the Clearasil on his skin.”
“He’s old enough to be a cop. He can’t be that young.” She drew a sharp breath when Mason noticed us watching him and offered a wave. “Did you see that smile? He’s got a wicked side. I can tell.”


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Squeeeeee! Rights back, baby!


I got the rights to my fantasy YA, Underwater: The Mer of Pend Orielle, back today!

I'm so excited to give this awesome book a facelift with a new cover, and to present it at a better price for my awesome readers!

Want to know what Underwater: The Mer of Pend Orielle is all about? CLICK HERE.

Stay tuned, peeps............

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I heart frozen yogurt.

So the hubby and I took three of our four kids out for frozen yogurt on Friday night.

Our teenage son had a dance to go to on Saturday, so we forced him into having some family time on Friday. He was unenthusiastic right up until we announced we were going to Froyo. (Froyo is a yummy serve-yourself frozen yogurt joint in our neck of the woods. Our kids go nutty when we go there. It's a sight to be seen.)

Here is a forced picture of two from our adventure. After we ate our frozen yogurt, we went home to watch a movie "Mom's Night Out" (which was hilarious) and I worked on my WIP, Cabin Fever. 

What did YOU do this weekend?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book giveaway! Hooray!

Book Giveaway! 

On October 1, I will be giving away ALL THREE books in the This & That series (ebook) to a random reader! 

All you have to do is spread the word and tell your peeps to "like" my fan page! 

On Oct 1, I'll pick a random reader to score not one, not two, but THREE free ebooks! 


Monday, September 8, 2014

My muse is baaaack!

My muse is back after a long (try about 4 months) hiatus.

I'm so freaking glad. No, seriously. I'm loving my new book, Cabin Fever. I can't wait to share it with everyone!

Welcome back, muse. I've missed you so.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I love Posey and Drew...

Have you read my contemporary young adult novel, The Art of Being Indifferent, yet?

Yeah. I love this book. I wrote it at a time when I desperately needed to tell a story about a foster kid, mostly to heal my own heart. Posey Briggs was a character that cut straight through my heart, and her adoptive family was one that I wished I were a part of. Oh, how I love them.

Know what else I love? Broody, romantic stories about first love. In The Art of Being Indifferent, Posey is about to turn eighteen, thus meaning she is about to age out of the foster care system, and Drew Baxter is the handsome, athletic son of the town mayor. Posey is a social reject, and Drew rules the school. When they're paired together for a tutoring project by a teacher who sees through BOTH of their hard exteriors...magic happens. Posey's defenses go down, and Drew's facade crumbles. They not only discover that they have abusive parents in common, but also discover that they're utterly made for each other.

Want to know how I pictured Posey?

Yeah. Beautiful but dark and peculiar.

And what about Drew?

Yup. Handsome, athletic, and "hometown Golden Boy" like.

The Art of Being Indifferent is on sale now (ebook) for just $1.99. CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Geez. My hair is SHAWT.

So I recently started wearing my natural hair again.

(Those who follow me, know that I wore wigs for about 7 months this year, and that I am struggling with some alopecia for varied reasons. I.e. weight loss, stress, etc...but the good news is, it's growing back!)

And wow. It's short.

My whole life I've wanted to rock a short pixie cut, a'la Winona Ryder.

Unfortunately, I always felt too heavy for that haircut. Oh, and I'm also definitely not Winona Ryder....I don't shoplift, and I'm also not as gorgeous as she is. So now that I am 95 pounds lighter, I feel more confident rocking the super short hairstyle of of dreams.

Well......that is, until I started wearing it.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's cute. My hairdresser is a Godsend, and she's got skills. But I am reeling, because this cut is so incredibly short. It's taking some getting used to. I feel very self-conscious most of the time, despite its cuteness.

And for some reason, it makes my neck look about two or three inches too long.

Here's hoping it grows quickly. And thank goodness for headbands and flowers. I'm feeling a serious need to prove my femininity right now.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Excerpt time!

Wondering what to read this week? Here are some excerpts from some of my most popular novels....

An excerpt from my bestselling romantic comedy, BABY & BUMP, on sale now for just 99 cents!

“Anytime.” I looked up at Fletcher, who was beaming at us. “What brings you guys to the market today, Fletcher?”
His smile tensed. Just a bit. “Well, Marisol said you guys were setting up a booth.”
“Oh, okay.” My heart coughed at the mention of Marisol. “She’ll, um, be right back. She went to grab a mango.”
She was still pretty sore about the fact that I refused to share who the father of my baby was with her. In fact, as she’d stalked away from our booth with her keys fifteen minutes earlier, Marisol looked over her shoulder and called, “Your stomach is growing by the millisecond, and if I don’t find out who the father is soon, I’m going to stop speaking to you. Serving appetizers with me all winter is going to blow if I’m giving you the silent treatment.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll just wait.” Fletcher’s voice brought me back to the present. “Martha and I needed some produce, anyway.”
I forced myself to grin up at Fletcher. “Well the market’s the right place for that. What are your favorite vegetables? How about you, Martha?”
“Tomatoes. Broccoli. And corn.” She rolled her eyes towards her father. “He hates all of them, and whines when I cook them.”
My mouth dropped open. “Doctor Haybee, you should be ashamed of yourself. Didn’t you tell me I needed more iron from leafy greens at my last appointment?”
“I did. But I’m a hypocrite.”
“You totally are.” I snickered, cutting into another roll. “I’ll bet you don’t take vitamins every day, or get a full eight hours of sleep, either.”
“Wait a second. I do too take a vitamin.” He winked, and my stomach tightened. Well, the stomach muscles around my ever-growing offspring. “But I’m lucky if I get six or seven hours of sleep.”
“You might try eating some edamame. It has tryptophan.” Apparently my flirt was set on high, because I tilted my head to the side and offered him a coy smile. “Or some spinach. That’s a vegetable guaranteed to get you into bed.” I bit my lip. Did I just say that?
 Fletcher stepped closer. “I just haven’t met a vegetable I like yet.”
“That’s because you haven’t had my pasta primavera.” One of my eyebrows arched, and the corner of Fletcher’s mouth tugged upward. “It’s been known to convert even the staunchest of vegetable haters into vegetarians.”
“Really?” His voice had lowered by at least an octave, and he leaned forward with his palms pressed against the table. “You sound pretty confident about that.”
My stomach whirled. The closer he got to me, the more my skin started to sizzle and pop like bacon in a pan. “Oh, I am.”
Fletcher paused, and for a moment, all of the noise of the farmer’s market melted away. Through the corner of my eye, I saw Martha’s head bobbing in both directions, her gaze going from her dad to me and back again. My insides melted into goo, then churned inside of my belly.
He stepped even closer. “I find your cocky side very compelling.” A smile was making his lips twitch and his eyes dance, and it was completely irresistible.
He’s flirting with me. There’s no mistaking it this time.
Fletcher’s grin widened. Our faces were only a foot apart. “Listen, Lexie, I—”
“Hey, handsome. What are you doing here?” Marisol’s voice shattered the moment into about eighteen dozen pieces that scattered all over the grass. The melted goo in my stomach hardened into a large, guilty block.
Fletcher tore his eyes from mine and stood upright. As soon as his attention was off of me, it felt chilly. Like when the sun slips behind a cloud.
“Hey!” He pulled Marisol in for a quick hug. “There you are. We were looking for you.”
Marisol leaned in with her cheek pointed at Fletcher’s face, but he released her and let his hands drop down at his sides without even noticing. My heart did a little victory dance, but I quashed my joy when I saw a flash of disappointment in Marisol’s eyes.
Bad friend.


How about an excerpt from APPLES & ORANGES, the second romantic comedy in the This & That on sale for only $1.99!

Cocinero bounced around the river rocks that bordered my lawn, undoubtedly taking his time to find the proper place for taking a crap, when my home phone rang inside the house.
I glanced at my watch. It was almost ten o’clock. Nobody called me this late, except for the occasional booty call. But I wasn’t currently involved with anyone, a fact that irritated me almost as much as the fact that my cat insisted on taking a hour to take a dump every night. A booty call sounded nice right about now.
“Probably Lexie,” I murmured to myself, slapping across the hardwood floors with my bare feet—which were still repulsive on the bottom from my little adventure earlier. She was probably up feeding the baby, and fretting about the quiches. She was infamous for adding an ingredient at the last minute that transformed dishes from good to great, and unfortunately that inspiration only seemed to happen long after we’d stopped cooking for the night.
I plucked up receiver, and answered without looking at the number. “Lexie, this is the worst booty call I’ve ever gotten. You know I haven’t swung that way since that one kegger in college.”
There was silence on the other end.
“Lex?” Pulling the phone away from my ear, I looked at the tiny screen. “Oh, um. Sorry. Who is this?”
“Is this Marisol Vargas?” The deep, gravelly voice on the other end sent a whirl of excitement shooting up my spine.
Demo-the-mechanic. I’d left him my home number back at the shop, since my iPhone was still missing. Note to self: replace cell tomorrow. Well, well. Maybe it was a booty call after all.
Not interested, my ass, I snickered to myself. “This is she,” I purred. “And let me guess. This is Demo… Demo… uh…”
Dang that crazy last name of his. It was blowing my sexy cover all to pieces.
“Antonopolous,” he replied.
“Right.” I pressed my lips together and reminded myself to keep my temper in check. “So why are you calling me so late? A little lonely in the garage at night?”
“I towed your car after we closed,” Demo said simply.
My eyebrows rose high on my forehead. He’d done something nice for me. Maybe there was hope after all. “Oh. Well, thank you.”
“Since it was after hours, I’ll have to charge time and a half.”
My eyebrows dropped back to their normal spot. “Of course.”
“You made it sound like money wasn’t your primary concern,” Demo explained in a flat voice.
“It’s not,” I hissed. “Do you always work this late at night?”
“I knew you wanted it back quickly,” he answered simply. “So I brought it back and took a look.”
I leaned against my kitchen countertop and waited for the bad news. The booty call scenario fizzled right before my eyes. “So what’s the verdict?”
I heard him shifting some papers, and then the clang of something landing on the metal desk. “You’ve got a bad alternator.”
“The car’s only a year old!” I blurted.
“It happens. Got a buddy across town who works with BMWs all the time. He says your make and model are infamous for alternator problems.”
“Can I get his number?” Grabbing a pen and paper out of my nearby mail stack, I readied myself to write. “Maybe he’ll be able to fix it.”
“Oh, I can fix your car.” Demo’s voice took on a defensive edge. “I’ll have it ready by ten tomorrow morning.”
“You can?”
“I can.”
“You’ve got the right parts, and everything?” I didn’t know much, but I knew enough to know that BMW parts weren’t usually sitting on the shelves in most Spokane mom and pop auto shops. That was the reason why I usually took it to the specialty shop at the dealership for maintenance.
“Got a buddy who owns a parts store.”
“My, you certainly have a lot of buddies. He let you into his shop to get the part this late at night?”
“She opens at six am. It’s in stock.”
A random spark of jealousy blinked inside my chest. I really needed to get a grip on myself. “Well, I underestimated you, Mr. Antonopolous.”
Yes! I got his last name right. Score one for me.
“Seems to be a habit,” he grunted.
I grit my teeth together. “And you’re telling me that you’re going to fix my Beemer first thing in the morning?”
“For time and a half, right?”
“The tow was more,” Demo growled. “The labor will be standard cost. Unless you’d like to pay more, Princess.”
Seeing red, I pushed myself away from the counter. “Hey, who do you think—”
“Sorry. Listen. You want me to work on your car?” he interrupted. “I’ve got a client who needs new sparkplugs in his delivery van real bad. I can do that first, if you like.”
“Just one moment.” I put the phone down on the countertop and kicked the back of my couch a few times, leaving black footprints. “Estúpido, grosero culo limpie!”
I thought I heard a chuckle when I picked the receiver back up and said, “I would love it if you fixed my car first thing tomorrow.”
When Demo spoke again, there was a smile in his voice. “You know I speak Spanish, right?”
I scrunched my face up and slapped a palm to my forehead. Whoops. I’d focused so much on his bulging biceps and surly attitude, that I’d forgotten that detail. “Yes,” I lied. “Yes, I do.”
“Well, it’s settled then. See you at ten.”
“Right.” I felt like punching a hole in something. Anything.
He hung up before I could say another word.


Enjoy an excerpt of THEN & NOW, the last book in the This & That Series that rounds out the love lives of three best friends. This book has been described as "cougariffic". You're welcome.

I set the zucchini down in the middle of the table. “Let’s eat right now, then. Kids, dinner’s ready!” The kids ran to the table, the sound resembling a herd of small elephants.
“It looks yummy, Candace.” Mom leaned in and smelled the food, as she helped Aubrey into her chair. “Did you grow these veggies yourself?”
When I shook my head, my dad banged his hand on the table. “Take up gardening. Do that for a living.”
“Mommy’s going to sell vegetables?” Ellie poured herself some milk, and it splashed onto the tablecloth.
“She’s not becoming a farmer.” Corrine asked. “I think she should work for me. I’ve got some entry level positions that would suit her just fine.”
Mom shook her head. “I don’t know. Candace was never very good with numbers. She was a Lit major in college, remember?”
“I like numbers,” Quentin announced, playing with his fork and spoon.
“Always reciting Shakespeare or reading or dragging someone to an obscure play.” Dad rolled his eyes. “It was exhausting. Hey, I’ve got it. Why not become a librarian?”
I smiled to myself. I’d considered that a time or two. The local library was always hiring pages, and nothing sounded better to me than being surrounded by books all day. Except maybe writing books all day. That sounded even better.
I used to write stories, years and years ago. I created worlds and put them down on paper, then made my friends read them. I wonder what it would be like to take that up again? To actually write for a living?
“No way.” Corrine’s voice jerked me out of my thoughts. “Librarians don’t make good money at all.”
“Well, maybe your sister doesn’t want to be rich.” Mom adjusted her glasses. “Not everybody has it in them to live the high life like you do, Cori.”
“It’s Corinne, and I’m not saying she has to live a high life,” my sister snarled.
“She’s got kids to support.” Dad gestured at my children, then stabbed one of the steaks with his fork. It landed on his plate with a thud. “She can’t work for peanuts. You know that.”
Mom nodded. “The house may be paid for, but there are monthly bills to consider.”
My eyes bounced between the three of them for a few minutes, and a dull ache started to throb between my eyebrows. Did they not realize that I was right here? My family acted like I was stupid. Or invisible. Or both.
Corrine huffed. “She’ll make more than enough money if she works for me.”
“But will she be happy?” My mom threw out her arms. “Nothing makes her happy. She doesn’t work. She doesn’t date. She doesn’t spend time with her friends.”
Dad cut into his steak. “What friends? She doesn’t go anywhere or do anything.”
Frustration built in my chest. “Hey, wait a second. I can hear you right now.”
“Mommy goes on dates,” Ellie announced, helping herself to a spoonful of pasta salad. “She went on one a few nights ago.”
My parents and sister looked at me. “You went on another date?” Mom asked.
Heat scalded my face. “No.”
Corrine’s mouth spread into a smirk. “You sure?”
“Well, fine. Okay. Yes.” I used a potholder to wipe sweat off my forehead. “Marisol set me up again.”
“And how did it go?” Mom’s eyes were wide and hopeful.
“It didn’t,” I muttered. “It was over before it started.”
“Candace didn’t score.” Corrine served herself a steak and dug in. “Bummer.”
“No, I didn’t,” I snapped, glancing at my kids. Thankfully, they were preoccupied with their food. “I told Marisol no more set ups. If I meet someone someday, it’ll be because I met him myself.”
Corrine put her fork down, and covered her eyes. “Were they all strippers and pimps?”
Dad jerked around in his chair to gape at me. “You dating a male stripper?”
“What’s a pimp?” Quentin asked.
I glared at Corrine. “Real nice.”
“Why don’t you let me fix you up again? Maybe someone nice from church, perhaps?” Mom asked, taking a bite.
“No, thank you.” I wiped my mouth with a napkin. The back of my shirt was sticky with sweat now. “The last guy you set me up with turned out to be emotionally unstable.”
Dad frowned at me. “Your mom’s just trying to help—”
“I know, but…” Taking a breath, I willed my pulse to slow down. My family loved me, but why hadn’t I noticed how much their interference strangled me? And, damn it all to hell, why was it so hot in my house? “I can handle it myself. Besides, I’m too busy to go on another date now. I’ve… I’ve got a lot of things going on.”
“Well, we know that.” Mom started cutting her meat, her eyes never leaving my face. “But other than the children, have you already got a job you haven’t told us about?”
The pain in my head flared, and my skin heated even more. Seriously, had I forgotten to turn on the air conditioning? “No. I’m not working.”
Dad grunted. “Well, if you’re looking for a man so you don’t have to work, can you at least have the decency to stay away from strippers and pimps, for hell’s sake?”
“She’s not looking for a man so she doesn’t have to work,” Corrine said. I opened my mouth to thank her for defending me, but she cut me off. “She did that last time, and look where it got her. Alone with three kids.”
My mouth dropped. “Hey—”
“Brian passed away.” Mom leaned over to press a quick kiss to Aubrey’s head, then dropped her voice to a hiss. “He didn’t leave.”
Dad frowned at Corrine. “No, he didn’t, young lady.”
“Sorry.” She shrugged, and went back to her food. “I just don’t want my big sister reverting back to being a wife and mother, when she has the potential to do more with herself. Especially if she’s marrying a stripper.”
“Mommy, are you getting married?” Aubrey asked around a mouthful of food. Ellie and Quentin looked up from their plates curiously.
“No.” I tucked my hair behind my ears. My head throbbed, like my eyeballs were going to fall out and land on the table any minute. “Of course not.”
“But you’re looking for a new man,” Corrine pointed out.
“No!” I rubbed my eyes. “I’ve been set up a few times, but wouldn’t say I’m dating anyone at all.”
“Because you don’t want to?” Mom searched my face. “Or because you haven’t found the right man? If you let me help, that might change.”
“I like men like daddy,” Ellie said, matter-of-factly.
“We all did, kid,” Dad agreed, shoving another bite of steak into his mouth.
Sweat trickled down the back of my neck. “Hey, weren’t we talking about work? Let’s go back to that topic.”
“I’m not sure I understand why you won’t work.” Mom used her napkin to wipe a drip of catsup off Aubrey’s chin. “Is it because you’re dating a stripper? Do male dancers make that much money? I’m not familiar with that sort of thing.”
Ellie licked food off her fingers. “Can I be a stripper? I like to dance.”
All of the adults in the room replied in unison. “NO.”
“I want to be a construction worker,” Quentin announced. “I want to hold the slow sign on the road. That job looks fun.”
Corrine looked appalled. “You can do better than that.”
“It’s honest work,” Dad quipped. “Beats marrying a male stripper.”
“I’m not marrying a stripper!” I slammed the potholder down on the table. It skidded across the table, knocking over Quentin’s empty cup. It rolled off the edge. Everyone went silent and stared at me. I heard a car door slam somewhere outside, and the neighbor’s Pomeranian bark. After a few beats, I cleared my throat. “Sorry.”
Corrine went back to her steak with raised eyebrows. “Well, that was dramatic.”
“I need…” I took a deep breath to steady myself. My head ached so bad, I felt sick to my stomach. And the heat in my house was un-freaking-believable. I made a beeline for the front door. “I need some air.”
“Air?” Mom put down her fork. “It’s ninety-three degrees outside. You’ll get better air in here.”
“Let her go, Dory.” Dad waved a hand, dismissing me. “Candi needs to chill out. It’s a girl thing. Remember when they were teenagers? All those hormones and mood swings? Boxes of Tampax everywhere?”
“Oh, here we go again.” Corrine put her fork down. “Mom, why do you let him bring up menstruation every time he refers to our adolescence?”
I slid out the door and pulled it closed behind me with a decisive click. I couldn’t hear anymore, otherwise I was going to go postal. I don’t know what I would have done had I not been able to lean on my parents over the last two years. But put me in a room with them now, and then pepper the mix with my feminist sister, and it was a shit salad with extra drama dressing on the side.
It was almost July in eastern Washington, and the heat was stifling, the air as dry as Melba toast. It settled on my skin as I settled down in the chair on my front porch and tried to draw a few deep breaths to calm my frazzled nerves. I didn’t know what I would do with my time without the kids, but I wouldn’t be hosting any more family dinners for a while.
I had to figure out what I wanted to do with myself. For the first time in fifteen years, I found myself completely free to do as I wanted. No husband to consider. No career path laid out for me. Just total freedom. I could go into anything, if I wanted. The freedom itself frightened me more than the idea of working again. How lame was that?
I’d fallen a long way from that free-spirited girl who dreamed about writing fiction and living in a New York loft. Back in college, I thought I could go anywhere, do whatever my heart longed for. Then I’d met Brian, and happily surrendered every wild dream I’d ever imagined for a life in the suburbs. Now I was a widow who rarely did anything besides read books written by other people and drive my kids around in a dusty minivan.
I jumped at the sound of metal grating on metal. Glass broke. There’d been a moving van in the driveway next door all day today, and I’d assumed the new neighbors were all done moving in by now. Guess I was wrong. They were apparently still moving in… minus one lamp.
I heard the muted sound of a man’s voice from within the back of the moving van, and craned my neck to get a glimpse of the new people. I hoped it was a family, so the kids would have some new friends to play with.
A teenage boy emerged from the van, shirtless, with low-slung jeans hanging on his hips. Sweat glistened on his back and shoulders as he hoisted the remnants of a lamp on his shoulder and hiked down the ramp towards his front door.
My eyebrows rose high on my forehead. That teenager was cut. His lean torso was defined like a washboard as it descended into the waistband of his boxer briefs, and his arms were corded with muscle just enough to look strong, without appearing like a poster child for adolescent steroid use. Though I couldn’t see this kid’s face, one thing was clear: he was probably very popular.
“They didn’t make boys like that when I was in high school,” I whispered, forcing myself to look away. Good Lord, lonely or not, gawking at an underage moving boy was wrong. Super wrong.
I heard the shuffle of his feet walking back up the ramp, but didn’t look up. Didn’t want to get caught checking out a kid. A kid whose mother I would probably deliver welcome to the neighborhood cookies to by the end of the week. I needed to get back inside, and make nice with my family.
He started to whistle, the sound echoing inside the back of his van, and I glanced back in that direction.
This is so wrong. I’m a creepy old lady checking out a pimple-faced kid. I need help.
My front door swung open, and the screen whacked into the side of my chair with a smack. “Mommy?”