Tag Archives: Romance

Blurbing it Up

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Elaura Maitland is searching for her missing sister in the deepest, darkest shadows of New Orleans when she unwittingly gets pulled into an underground war between the vampires of the French Quarter.

Max has been the most powerful vampire in New Orleans for decades, ensuring a peaceful coexistence with humans.  Now people are disappearing, which can only mean one thing: a vampire uprising.  If Max can help Elaura find out what happened to her sister, maybe he can discover who’s trying to wage a war against him.

As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Max’s longtime enemy, a vampire hunter named Trevor, is back in town.  The mysterious hunter and the beautiful Elaura have developed a close relationship, which complicates things even further, as Max tries to fight his own growing affection for her.

Lost in a world she never could have dreamed existed, Elaura must find out what happened to her sister, before the entire city goes down in the flames of a war waged to destroy humanity.

 

Vital Spark.  Coming to you October 1st!

Thoughts?  Questions?  Comments?  Let me know!

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Cover Reveal

We finished the cover…so there’s that!

My husband has the patience of a saint, but if you never hear from me again, it’s safe to assume he smothered me in my sleep.

I think this is the millionth try. He had to keep tweaking and moving things to make the cover exactly how I wanted it. That would have been easier if I hadn’t kept changing my mind about exactly how I wanted it.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to my husband, Phil! I LOVE it!

Vital Spark, coming October 1st!

Something About New Orleans

So, I’m getting ready to wrap up my latest novel, a paranormal romance set in New Orleans, specifically the French Quarter. I had the unexpected privilege of visiting the area last year, and along with a few souvenirs, I walked away with inspiration like I’ve never known.

I’m not much of a “city girl.” The fast pace, overcrowded, maze of buildings is overwhelming, and people who poop in the streets make me nervous. I’ve been forced to visit Chicago on many occasions, and San Diego once. I never had any desire to visit New Orleans. The only things I knew about New Orleans I learned from watching reruns of “Cops.” Beads, a million rowdy people screaming and vomiting in the streets, and one of the highest crime rates in our nation isn’t really my scene. I’m more of a get-lost-in-the-trees, sleep-under-the-stars kind of girl. But as usual in life, fate had other plans.

When I first heard I would be forced (by my husband) to visit New Orleans, I started my research. First I Googled “is it legal to murder your husband if he’s making you go into the city.” It turns out murder is illegal with pretty much no exceptions. Then I googled the city itself and learned a few things. First, it’s extremely dangerous there, statistically speaking. Also, there was something about scammers trying to guess where you got your shoes, basically waiting to rob you if you didn’t fall for their riddle. I don’t know, it sounded like you just shouldn’t talk to anybody. Second, it has a deep, rich history. And third, it is full of myth and folklore, mostly vampires. What?! Sold! Screw the statistics, they can have my dumb shoes…I want to see history and hear legends! I love a good story.

The first thing I learned is that New Orleans isn’t any more dangerous than any other major city. In my own experience, I never once felt threatened (by neither people nor the supernatural) or as though I was in danger. I should mention I kept my ass off Bourbon Street and followed common sense practices that should always be applied when in a new location jam-packed with unfamiliar people and places. I found New Orleans was pleasantly slower paced than other cities I’ve had to visit.  (I mean, they don’t call it The Big Easy for nothing!)  People were super laid back and friendly. img_3506

I’m not the type to ever venture out into a city by myself, but here, I was comfortable enough to grab my two kids and hop on the trolley to the Garden District. I was expecting it to be like the South Shore (train) in Chicago…eyes down, face forward, talk to no one. But it was more “smile at everyone, shake hands with strangers, young people giving up their seats for the elderly.” Our mission: to view the house where American Horror Story: The Coven was filmed. Any fans?

My daughter and I got hooked on the series, and we were so excited to be standing in this location. We did not see any witches, in case you’re wondering. But if witches are your thing, I highly recommend checking out my book, The Grimm Curse. And of course, season three of American Horror Story. Each episode has a hint of historical truth mixed in with its creative paranormal aspect.

Next stop, Jacques St Germain’s old place.

Gorgeous house, no? You can see the inside here. So in a nutshell, mysterious, aristocrat newcomer brings a horny chick home from Bourbon Street. She jumps screaming out of a second story window, breaking both legs in the fall. She claimed the guy attacked her with superhuman speed and strength, trying to bite her neck. When the police came by to investigate, he had disappeared, leaving behind barrels of wine that turned out to be blood. I guess he turns up every hundred years or so. You can read more about him here.

Next stop, Madame LaLaurie’s mansion, allegedly one of the most haunted places in America.

You can read more about this crazy lady here, but basically, she was accused of horribly abusing and torturing her slaves at this location. Her story is both repulsive and heartbreaking. Madame LaLaurie is a main character in AHS: The Coven, so it was a must see for us.

Our tour guide said Madame LaLaurie is buried here, and I’m pretty sure the iron bars are there to keep her evil spirit locked inside.

We couldn’t resist stopping by the Ursuline Convent, home of the Casket Girls legend.

They say that vampires are locked inside the attic, and the shutters are sealed shut with nails blessed by the pope. The convent says there are no vampires in there, and the shutters are just average, everyday hurricane shutters. Personally, I’m not sure why the convent would want to keep pet vampires in their attic, but who knows in today’s world.

Other cool highlights from the trip:

The streets themselves inspired feelings of desolation, in a lonely, romantic kind of way. The flickering lanterns cast dancing shadows on the old, historical streets. My imagination went wild with the endless possibilities of what could be lurking in the shadows. Mostly rats, I’m sure.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 was by guided tour only, so as to protect us from getting mugged. By Ghosts.

Nicolas Cage’s future resting place. Some people say he’s a vampire, based on this photographic “evidence.”

Next up…Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen! It was interesting to hear about voodoo and its relationship with the Catholic faith in the French Quarter. People still come from all over to desecrate her grave in the hopes she will grant their deepest wishes. (I believe what you’re searching for is a lamp with a genie in it?) Seems like an odd way to gain favor from a powerful spirit, but what do I know about the afterlife?

Cafe Du Monde. These beignets were so flipping delicious, I didn’t even care that I looked like I’d snorted a pound of cocaine when I finished eating.

The following is the view from my hotel, The Doubletree, just across from the French Quarter. It was a nice hotel, and the best part was they gave you free chocolate chip cookies, served warm every time you came up to the desk! We stocked up and ate cookies for breakfast and lunch every day that week.

Here’s a creepy crow that kept screaming at us. Its shrill call echoed across the empty streets. It followed us for blocks, flying rooftop to rooftop just watching us and yelling. I’m not sure what I did to offend it, but the crow was definitely targeting me, and it freaked me out, how long it stayed with us. His creepy ass made it into the novel.

This building was so beautiful in a lost and haunting sort of way.

Pirate Alley. Historical shit went down here. A man ranting on a set of steps tried to lure my little guy over to him. We politely declined, and the gentleman inspired a character for a brief role in my novel.

The railings on the galleries were so intricate, I’ve never seen anything like it! And the ferns! Those ferns hung everywhere. I had a fern once. It didn’t make it.

I hope to visit this amazing city again one day. We walked away with some amazing memories. But best of all, I walked away with loads of inspiration for my latest novel, set to be released this October.

Have you been to New Orleans? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments!

Best Nook to Read a Book

The left is all me, but I’d be happy anywhere! How about you?

Worlds Apart: Happy Book Release Day!

It’s finally here!  HAPPY BOOK RELEASE DAY!!!

Looking for an escape from the monotonous reality of everyday existence? Let WORLDS APART sweep you away into the colorful landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains on a crisp, cool autumn day!

Meet Therran, and journey with her on the path of love and adventure, as she fights for survival against an enemy whose existence defies reality as she knows it, and forces her to consider there is so much more to our world than we ever could have imagined!

WORLDS APART, available now!

CLICK HERE TO OWN YOUR COPY TODAY!

Worlds Apart

Therran is cute, funny and extremely down to earth but she has a major problem. Someone, or something, wants her dead. The powerful, sexy, Decklan, whose origins are mysterious, was sent to protect her, but she would rather fend for herself. Unfortunately, she has no idea what she’s up against. Through a series of close calls and unexplainable circumstances, she finds herself relying on Decklan, as she gets pulled further into his world, a place she could never have imagined.

WORLDS APART follows Therran on a romantic journey filled with laughter, mystery, and suspense. Therran moved to the Tennessee Mountains hoping for a fresh start in life. But as she was being stalked by something “otherworldly” from inside the woods behind her house, she quickly realized there was more to reality than she thought. She fell into an unbelievable world full of shape-shifters, parallel universes and…whatever Decklan was. With his dark, sexy looks and his powerful presence, Therran is instinctively drawn to him, but the fact that they are from two separate worlds makes things complicated.

Worlds Apart: Countdown to Release!

Brass Pocket Watches

It’s just a matter of hours before WORLDS APART is finally released!  I’m so nervous and excited!  What are you reading tonight?

Eww, Valentine’s Day

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As a romance author and hopeless romantic, it comes as a shock to some people that I don’t like loathe Valentine’s Day.  But wait!  Hear me out.

So, I love love.  And I don’t like too many regulations.  As a compulsive rule-follower, too many rules are hard to keep up with and it stresses me out.

Valentine’s Day, which in my opinion should have no authority in our lives whatsoever, regulates how and when someone should love their significant other.  For example, you should love your other by buying them diamonds, chocolates, flowers, and of course, the master indicator of love…the greeting card.  Also, you should do it on February 14th. Every. Single. Year.

Come on, really?!  Who decided that’s how you show love on this pretend holiday?  If you want to show your love, do it whenever you want, and with your own personal flair.  Not the generic flowers and chocolate crap. (Unless the generic flowers and chocolate crap is your own personal flair, then please accept my apologies.)  My husband and I show our love by snuggling on the couch, having a meaningful talk while collapsing in an exhausted heap of tired parents, in the middle of the active conversation we are having.  But we do that all the time, so February 14th means nothing to us.

According to the National Retail Federation, spending this Valentine’s Day is expected to hit 19.6 billion dollars.  What if I’m broke, and can’t afford diamonds?  I have a pantry stocked full of chocolate, you know, in case of an apocalypse, so I don’t need any more of that nonsense.  And while flowers are undeniably beautiful, in reality, I just have an overpriced glass of rotting plant in the center of my table, and the newly acquired chore of watering it as I watch it slowly die.  Nothing says “love” like more responsibility, am I right?!

What about those who can’t be with their loved ones on this day, or who don’t have a romantic partner for the occasion?  This commercialized, fake holiday just worsens feelings of inadequacy, loss, and depression.

Or what if I’m just crabby on Valentine’s Day, or something happens and my husband and I get into some kind of argument?  It’s, like, ten times worse if it happens on this specific day, because of the unrealistic expectation that everything concerning love is magically perfect on February 14th.  Suddenly, I’ve convinced myself that I’m a failure at love, when in fact I’m not, I’m just PMSing.

Real love is ugly, messy, and hard, and sometimes it hurts.  It’s also beautiful, fulfilling, and can leave you breathless.  None of that changes because someone (Hallmark) says love, somehow, should be extra special on this calendar date.  It’s too much pressure.  Love just is what it is, regardless of how you want it to be.