Breaking the Rules is LIVE!

Alma and Sawyer’s story is finally live and I hope you got yourself a copy. There is a little bit of faux pas on my part for Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Somehow I missed the deadline to upload last week and the aggregator automatically set the preorder on 6/26. So I’m off to fix that little problem but probably not until morning when someone can actually answer my email…

In the meantime, you can get your copy from Amazon and iBooks.

Get Your Copy

 

Crack Open A Window

 

EXCERPT

From Barstow, we make our way to Flagstaff. I sit in the back seat next to Tyler, entertaining him with the toys I’ve brought along with me. Sometimes I catch Sawyer watching us in the rearview mirror. Sometimes he catches me watching him.

It’s a harmless game between us and I’m grateful for the distraction. I’ve never met any of Sawyer’s girlfriends before but I’ve seen pictures of them, or at least, one of them, a petite woman with a pixie haircut who Drew told me was a massage therapist and yoga instructor. I vaguely remember Drew saying that she was the reason Sawyer spent a lot of time in Sedona although that was a few years ago. The only thing I know about Sawyer’s love life so far these days is that he doesn’t wear a ring.

“You sure you don’t want me to take over driving?” I ask when I catch him looking at me again.

“Nah, I’m good. Take a nap if you want, Al. I got this,” he replies as I lean back in my seat. “You don’t mind country music, do you?”

So far, our playlist has included Phish and the Dave Matthews Band. No country music—yet. “I’d never have figured you for a country music fan, Sawyer.”

“I’m cycling through all the songs on my phone so I think country is next. I don’t think Tyler would appreciate heavy metal.”

I laugh, shaking my head. “I know I won’t, not with him in the car, but country’s fine.”

Sawyer grins. “Country it is then.”

By the time Kip Moore’s Bittersweet Company plays on the radio, Tyler is fast asleep. I prop one of the neck pillows I brought with me against the window and close my eyes. With nothing to look at but barren landscape and cars and trucks zipping past, I might as well join Tyler in his nap.

When I wake up, Tyler is wide awake and kicking happily on one of the stuffed animals by his feet. Sawyer looks at me through the rearview mirror before focusing his attention back on the road ahead.

“Are we there yet?” I stretch my neck, my body starting to get sore from all the sitting.

“Almost. About ten minutes.”

“Oh, good.” I look at Tyler who seems so content in his car seat before I realize why. He’s busy concentrating. “Uh-oh! I think Ty just went number two.”

“Eight minutes,” Sawyer says as he hits the gas. “You may need to crack open a window.”


PREORDER

Amazon US https://amzn.to/2JFoRF0
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2l6RFM4
Amazon CA https://amzn.to/2JBd66r
iBooks https://apple.co/2l3n6a2
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2HIa5LZ
Kobo http://bit.ly/2JwDrTc

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Have You Heard About My Giveaway?!

BTR GIVEAWAY

No? Then let me tell you!

I’m celebrating the release of Breaking the Rules with a Kindle Fire 7 PLUS $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway and you can enter to win here.

Not only will you get a chance to win a Kindle Fire but you get $20 to buy all the books that are not mine haha. But seriously, you can buy so many books with $20 unless it’s Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s latest novel which will probably set you back $17.99, leaving you with only 2.01 left to buy another book.

There are many ways to enter, too. So many choices!

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So whatcha waiting for?

I’d also like to wish all the cool fathers and fatherly dudes out there a Happy Father’s Day!

Three Days

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Already the ARCs went out and I really hope readers will enjoy Alma and Sawyer’s story. The paperback will be delayed because it took me forever to get things started and my cover designer won’t work on it until next week. But one thing’s pretty sure: I think I’m ready to let go and hand it to the universe.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy from your favorite retailer!

Excerpt

Alma sits in the front passenger seat this time, with a clip-on mirror on the sun visor allowing her to check on Tyler who is yawning as I get on Interstate 40. From here it’s four more hours before we get to Taos. We talk about music for a while before she turns quiet again, propping her bare feet on the dashboard as she leans back in her seat. Before long, she’s asleep, the neck roll cushioning her head against the window.

The deafening pop comes half an hour later and smoke and remnants of the rear tire go flying behind the trailer. A shudder reverberates through the SUV just before the vehicle veers to the right. Behind me, the trailer swerves precariously toward the second lane, the car behind me swerving just in time to avoid us. I ease on the brake as best as I can and make my way toward the shoulder, my knuckles white against the steering wheel.

Everything would have been fine but as the SUV slows to a stop along the side of the interstate, I might as well have been on the edge of some Afghan’s farm with my unit seconds before Smith stepped on the IED, the smell of blood and sulfur filling the air. And instead of Alma’s startled gasp, I hear the shouts of my fellow Marines as we do what we can to get out of the line of gunfire and RPGs.

Getdowngetdowngetdown!

On Writing: What’s Essential?

I found this Twitter thread that’s so valuable that I have to park it here before it disappears into the depths of my newsfeed:

Click on the tweet and read the whole thread. It was what I needed to hear after five months of agonizing over plot and story and everything else.

Hope your day is filled with lots of stories worth telling and writing about. As for me, it’s the kid’s first day of summer vacation and we’re staying home so far. I’m still nursing a cold and so outdoors stuff will have to wait until tomorrow.

Four Days

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Songs have always inspired most of my stories and Breaking the Rules is no exception. For months, I agonized over the Prologue the way it appears. I’d take it out, rewrite the beginning and then put it back in and then rewrite the beginning again. I was too afraid that it would turn readers off—and I know it will. But if I played it safe with my stories, then what’s the point of telling them if I tell them guided by the fear of, “OMG what will they think?”

With four more days before the release of Breaking the Rules, I’m finally at a point where I can look at the whole picture (in this case, the book), pick out my favorite lines, and look back at the song that inspired the characters.

This is Alma’s:

EXCERPT

I take a few deep breaths, letting my gaze wander around the hotel room, the time, 3 AM, flashing in the semi-darkness. I wonder when the dreams will stop, when my fears will finally allow me to move on.

After all, wasn’t that why I took that apartment even when it was right next to a car repair shop? I’d allowed my apathy to take over after Drew’s death, the guilt I carried spilling over everything I touched. I’d always prided myself as someone who was able to get up and move on quickly but Drew’s death was something else. The guilt was worse.

But things are different now. I’m taking control of my life and this time, I’m determined not to let my grief and apathy win.

Five More Days

While finalizing the playlist for Breaking the Rules, I realized I hadn’t shared some of the songs that inspired the story. There are a few but I’ll start with Sawyer’s song, Are We Too Late by singer/songwriter Tom Leeb.

Excerpt

Half an hour later, I step out of Tyler’s nursery and find Sawyer drying the last of the dishes and putting them away in the cupboard. Tall, broad shoulders, slim hips, he’s perfect in every way. He even puts the dishes away.

“How was the water pressure?” I ask as he turns to face me, drying his hands and setting the towel on the rack.

“Just like dinner, perfect,” he replies.

I hate having to put him on the spot but I don’t want to play any more games. “Sawyer, about the other day–”

“I’m not sorry for kissing you.”

“I’m not either. But why do I feel like you’re pulling away?”

“Because I promised Drew I’d take care of you, not take advantage of you.”

“Who says you’re taking advantage of me?” I ask. “You’ve helped me more than anyone I know. You offered this place when you didn’t have to. You drove with us when you could have flown instead. That’s not taking advantage of me at all. That’s being a… a good friend.”

“That’s the problem, Al,” he murmurs as he closes the space between us. “I don’t want to be just a friend.”

PREORDER

Amazon US https://amzn.to/2JFoRF0
Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2l6RFM4
Amazon CA https://amzn.to/2JBd66r
iBooks https://apple.co/2l3n6a2
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2HIa5LZ
Kobo http://bit.ly/2JwDrTc

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He Made It! #MPRaccoon

I was going to wait it out last night, and sure enough I did, but I was too busy fixing timeline issues with my book to post it in real time. So here it is, MPRaccoon making it to the roof of the building, to safety. Where he is now, though, and his fate is up to Animal Control.

Like someone tweeted, he’s the perfect metaphor for 2018.

Oh wait, you haven’t heard of #MPRaccoon? Here’s a Twitter Moment rundown:

The State of Things

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A quick summary so far:

  1. I finished the book. Now everyone has to scramble to get it all edited, proofread, and looking nice and purr-ty in seven days.
  2. From here on, no more preorders and no more planning. Just write it and if it’s done, good. That’s one book down. No pressure. I’m sick of the stress, honestly.
  3. I have a nasty cough and cold thingy where I sound like a man and I’m currently on antibiotics.
  4. It’s ugly out there in indie-romance-land where everyone is posting screenshots of private chats, doxing fellow romance authors/publishers and carrying out witch hunts. It doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon.
  5. My secret list of authors I really admire is falling apart faster than a Nature Valley granola bar.
  6. I really hope #MPRaccoon lasts one more night. I want him to prove 2018 wrong, that good things STILL happen, damn it. Even if it’s just this one.