A Valentine’s Day Steamy Shorts and A Giveaway!

I’m so behind on everything that I almost forgot to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! As a romance author, I’d be remiss to miss this day, right?

I even treated myself to one of these cookies when I was buying a cupcake (with a similar cookie on top!) for LilDude’s homeroom teacher.

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Today is also the day that my Valentine’s Day novella Every Breath launches as part of Steamy Sensations Holiday Love, a project where ten authors get together to write ten steamy stories for ten holidays in 2019.

Ambitious, no? But I’m actually having a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to be in the company of these amazing authors!

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You can find all the stories here: Steamy Sensations Holiday Love

I’ve also got a few giveaways going on! Three of them can be found on my Facebook page while this one, which is a Valentine gift pack that includes a signed copy of Everything She Ever Wanted (or if you already have a copy, another one of my books), a Phenomenal Woman drink neoprene wrap, a notepad/pen set, a Papaya Arts coin purse AND a $15 Amazon Gift Card ends at midnight! And yes, that memo pad/pen set is upside down. I didn’t even notice it until right now...

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What about you? Any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Talking Out Loud: So… What’s Next?

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Now that my first story for 2019 is out, I honestly don’t know what’s next. I’m too busy procrastinating doing everything else but start a new book or finish the one I’ve been procrastinating about.

That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m writing.

Kinda.

There’s The Replacement Fiancee that I just swore on Twitter that I’d set aside until way later because I lost my grip on the story and I had no idea who the heroine really is. She actually started out being a successful programmer who is so used to technology that when she finds herself face to face with a wood stove, she has no clue how to get the fire going.

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One of these things

I said “going,” not started. She can start it alright. She just can’t get it going warm and hot.

But somewhere along the way, I questioned everything about her, wondering if I’m being too ambitious about my heroine being SO accomplished, and so she became this clueless, hapless socialite who can’t light a stove to save her life (or figure out her life, for that matter).

But the programmer heroine is having none of the change and she wants back in and there, I think, lies my conundrum with the story. While the muse of the story (the programmer) has been trying to get back into the pages, I’ve been busy pushing her out and shaping her to be someone else, the abovementioned socialite. It’s the same struggle I go through now when I write my stories: do I write to market or write what I really want to write? Because let’s face it, writing the stories I want to write hasn’t helped my sales numbers lately.

But in the end, it’s all about Kondo-ing this part of my life. I need to keep the things that spark joy, as Marie Kondo says, even if I have to talk out loud on my blog to do it.

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Happy Book Birthday to Me!

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Yup! Every Breath is live early and that’s the first story done and dusted for 2019. Twelve more to go!

Celebrations have so far included home-brewed coffee and breakfast that’s yet to be decided on. Toast or oatmeal… or bagel with cream cheese? Nothing too fancy because I have to get back to work on the next story.

Right now, Every Breath is $0.99 for a limited time and it’s also free to read in Kindle Unlimited!

No Commitments #TeaserTuesday

Tall and tanned from collecting samples by the San Juan River, it was a shock to the system to see him again. He’d cut his arm when the truck his colleague drove rolled off the embankment and broken glass from the side window cut through his bicep. I cleaned it and under the harried doctor’s orders, stitched it up. All that time, we never showed any sign that we knew each other. He was too busy watching my every move while I kept reminding myself to remain calm, the words It’s only Benny running through my mind like some mantra as I gave him a tetanus shot.

But this time, I knew if he’d ask me out to dinner or suggest we play hopscotch under the covers, there was no way I’d say no. And when he did, I didn’t. It was as if all the foreplay had been done back in Albuquerque two years earlier and we were ready to take it further—but just far enough so we were still comfortable, still believing we didn’t need each other for more than just sex.

No commitments, okay? I’d told him while making dinner at his apartment that night because he ended up with a fever from the tetanus shot and I told myself he needed a bit of TLC. I don’t have time for complications.

No commitments, he’d agreed as he stood behind me and planted a kiss on my shoulder. Fine with me, Sarah.

So much for that. Twelve years later, here we are.

No commitments.

#teasertuesday

Bad Boy or Good Guy Love? #awritersfebruaryromance

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I’ve recently joined an Instagram challenge called #awritersfebruaryromance and what I like about it is that it’s geared toward authors. Most of the ones I’ve seen are usually for readers and so when I spotted this one two days late, I jumped right in.

Today, the challenge was Bad Boy or Good Guy Love? Based on what my Liz pen name writes, it’s all good guys with the exception of Gareth Roman (Loving Ashe/Loving Riley) who does some pretty bad things.

My naughty pen loves writing about rich bad guys and I’m about to dive into writing a Reverse Harem romance featuring some badass security guys. But most likely, I’ll probably end up giving them hearts of gold and have to stop myself from turning them into cinnamon roll heroes before I know it.

Did you know there’s even a term for that kind of hero? I sure didn’t but turns out, I write about them… a lot. There are five of them so far in one series alone!

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Why Do You Write Love Stories, Mom?

On the drive to school this morning, Lil Dude asked me why I write “love stories.” He’s just turned nine and has seen my books and keeps the first editions of them (the not so steamy ones) on his shelf.

I didn’t answer his question right away. I kinda hemmed and hawed before I realized that I was a bit embarrassed to write love stories instead of serious literary fiction ones. So I told him that I didn’t use to write love stories when I started out. I wrote women’s fiction, historical adventure fiction specifically, and then paranormal stories about vampires, changelings, and ghosts.

He made a face when he heard this but I added that with all the stories I wrote, many readers said the same thing: You write about relationships very well.

So to make a long story short, my readers made the decision for me. Sure, I write stories that have adventure, mystery, even a ghost or two depending on my mood, but in a world where everything needs to be put in categories, genres, and tropes, my readers helped guide me to the right lane.

I write love stories. Real and honest romance, as a few of them have said.

“I like your love stories, Mom,” he said and my day has been going great ever since.

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Every Breath: A Valentine’s Day Slice-of-Life Novella falls on the very very steamy side of romance and will most likely not end up in LilDude’s bookshelf, but if you like steamy love stories, then definitely check it out! It’s scheduled for release on February 8, 2019.

Take It Easy… or What Happens When You Find a Working Walkman AND an Eagles CD in the Garage

“What about the Eagles?”

“Perfect,” Dax says as I press Play and the music plays on the cab stereo speakers. For the next few minutes, I sip my coffee in silence, listening to Glen Frey telling me to take it easy as I take in the landscape in front of me. With Bandolier located southwest of Taos, it’s less than a two-hour drive with the sun to the east of us, and I can’t help but thank my lucky stars he’d asked me to come along. I’ve been behind the wheel for so long that I can’t remember when I let go of directions and itineraries and let someone take over for a change. And right now, with Dax in the driver’s seat and taking control, it feels good.

What do you do with your old CDs now that everything has been digitized or worse, only available via streaming?

You keep them, that’s what you do—or at least, that’s what I’m doing! I probably have a thousand CDs in my garage from classic rock like the Eagles to 80’s hits like Duran Duran and Culture Club to Buddha Bar compilations (remember them?) to New Age music I played for my massage sessions.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be sorting things that will go into the donation box but when I find one working Walkman AND an Eagles CD, you know the sorting is gonna be moved to another day.

Everything She Ever Wanted was my homage to the many people, places, and things I loved. From loud and fun family dinners, best friends, introspection about growing older and bodies aging as gracefully as we can manage to road trips while listening to my favorite songs like Take It Easy, it’s home away from home for me (in a book).

What CDs, if you still have them, will you never give up?