No More Net… or Happy Book Birthday, Harlow and Dax!

Three years ago this month, I released my fourth book. It was a story that had been percolating inside my head about an older woman who falls in love with a much younger man. Originally planned as a novella, one that would have tons of funny and steamy scenes, it would end up taking a different road all its own the moment I sat down to write the first chapter.

I didn’t even know the heroine’s name that night in May. I just knew that she was on some kind of vacation in the Southwest, a place I’d been to in the past and had fallen in love with. There was just one catch.

This was one vacation she planned never to return from.

And so the original steamy lighthearted novella turned into something different but one that I realized was a story I wanted so badly to write. I had to write it like my life depended on it.

Around this time, I had already written three books, all of them commercial failures. I had been so close to quitting writing altogether and heaven knows what my friends and family thought of me and my sad attempt at being a writer. But something inside me decided to give it one more try. One more book.

One more story.

And so, I quit my massage teaching job that summer. I still had my main private practice even if it had already been cut back from five days a week to two days a week because of my son’s schedule which only made childcare costs more expensive because now I was paying per day instead of a monthly rate.

At this point, I’d lost whatever confidence I once had about being a decent writer. I really had no idea if I was good enough or not. I had no idea if the story would resonate with anyone outside of Wattpad (where I was posting each chapter). But I had to try. Quitting my teaching job which I had relied on for that extra boost of income was also that message to myself that said, no more net. Now show them what you got even if you have to bare your soul to do it.

For days and weeks after the book was done, I was so scared of letting it go. If I could have delayed the release, I would have simply because the book, to me, was too raw and too honest in parts. I had also changed my pen name and so people were basically seeing a brand new author at this point. Just another wannabe writer trying her hand in the author world.

But life has a way of reminding you that you’re on the right path. The singer-songwriter whose two songs inspired the book granted me his permission to include lyrics to one of the songs when I saw him perform in Los Angeles two weeks before the release, prompting me to go back and do those additions just in time.

There was no turning back now.

And so if my math is correct, October marks the third book birthday for Dax and Harlow’s story, Everything She Ever Wanted. It marked the official debut for my main pen name and it would remind me that you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. You have to take that first step and put yourself out there.

You have to go after your dream, share your stories with those who need to read them and do it again and again and again.

I also learned that you do need to set a series bible and timeline but that’s a story for another day…

In the meantime, the ebook version of Everything She Ever Wanted is FREE for a limited time. It’s also available in paperback and audiobook.

When her husband leaves her for a younger woman, transplant surgeon Harlow James hits the open road and ends up in Taos, New Mexico hoping to find out where she went wrong.

Instead, she finds the perfect man.

Master woodworker Dax Drexel is gorgeous, funny, and represents every reason to keep going.

There’s only one problem: he’s too young.

But even if everything about Dax is perfect, can their fling stand a chance against the world that betrayed her… the same world she’s about to return to?

For Dax, a naked woman asleep in his bed when he thought his rental would have been available is the last thing he expected to find on his day off.

He could walk away… but he can’t.

For there’s something about Harlow James that he just can’t turn away from.

Sure, she’s thirteen years older than him, but she’s smart, independent, and beautiful.

She’s also broken.


Musings Over Coffee: Write From the Heart

Cleaning my phone photo album because I’m hitting 2TB on my cloud storage and found my first ever self-made trailer for Everything She Ever Wanted from October 2016. Brought tears to my eyes because I never really wrote it as a category romance story but one woman’s journey from darkness to light, from losing herself and finding herself again. It’s women’s fiction at its heart and the two-minute-long trailer pretty much says it all.

These days, if I make a trailer, it’s straight to the point and as succinct as I can get it in 30 seconds or less, the details sacrificed for SEO discoverability and limited attention spans on social media. It’s a gift to find treasures like these because they remind me that once upon a time I wrote for the pure joy of writing, needing to tell the stories I had to tell from my heart.

This is also why I no longer have a publishing schedule like I had last year and at the beginning of this year because there was no more joy, just hustle and hustle and hustle harder because if you slow down, readers forget you. Only in doing so I forgot myself and felt so empty and hollowed out like Bilbo Baggins says in Fellowship of the Ring, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

But I digress.

I need to go back and clean up my phone storage.

Two Years Ago Today…

I press Publish on my fourth novel, Everything She Ever Wanted, the story of Harlow James, a heartbroken surgeon and Dax Drexel, the cocky carpenter who helps her discover the meaning of life.

Of all the books I’ve written, this is the one that “wrote itself.” The moment I found Harlow’s voice, the race was on to capture it and the first chapter, as painful as it is in parts and to some, is where they put down the book and mark it as DNF, was one I would never change for anything. The same goes for Dax’s chapter (Chapter 2). Sometimes, when you write, the characters just come, the Muse.

And you welcome them in. Whether others love or hate them is out of your control. You simply write their story.

I was also at a terrible time in my life when I wrote Dax and Harlow’s story. I was struggling with my son’s autism diagnosis and the absence of any help that summer which meant it was just him and me all day every day. But each night, I wrote and every morning when I woke up and he was still asleep, I wrote.

Thanks to the Wattpad readers who believed in Harlow and Dax and who eagerly awaited each chapter, it was as if we were all going on a journey together (I was a pants-er then, which means I didn’t outline my stories ahead of time).

So two years ago today, I hit that Publish button on Everything She Ever Wanted, obtained permission from one of my favorite singer-songwriters to let me quote the lyrics of the song that inspired the story, and here we are. Not everyone will like their story but that doesn’t change anything on my end. Dax and Harlow saved my life that summer and every day I’m reminded why I write my stories whether anyone else loves them or not.

And to those who’ve followed me from the beginning whether we met during Sam and Erik’s story or Ashe and Riley’s all the way to Sawyer and Alma, thank you for coming along with me.

Happy Hump Day!

Dax and Harlow are “wide” again!

Not wide “wide” but wide as in no longer exclusive to Amazon. They’re now available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I still have to upload the book to Google Play so here’s hoping I remember to do that today!

You can purchase the book here.

I have to be honest, though. If it weren’t for sudden lagging sales, changes in social media algorithms affecting ad reach and ROI, the book would probably have stayed in Kindle Unlimited for as long as it was making money there. But it was also making me lazy when it came to writing the next book because unconsciously, I was relying on the sales from this one.

So now, the pressure is on to finish the third book in the series and then work on the next four new books that are waiting their turn. These four books are shorter than my usual 50k – 70k word novels. They’ll probably be around 30k because it seems that’s the going rate right now with people preferring to read shorter works and more books in a series, especially romance. But we’ll see. My outlines are all set for 50K words but I’ve also noticed that I’ve limited my character’s introspection quite a lot so I’ll shoot for 50k but won’t force it if it doesn’t happen. The important thing is the story.

Just tell the story.

One of the other things I accomplished today was a revamp of my other website. The official one. Liz Durano Books. On a desktop, the images are HUGE but on a mobile device, they’re just right. It’s one thing I’ve certainly noticed while maintaining my ads is that about 80% of the devices where the ads are served are mobile, not desktop. Makes one wonder if the same number of people are reading blogs on their mobile devices, too. I know I do although I write on my laptop attached to two humongous monitors.

What I like about it is that my books get their own “landing page” of sorts like this one. And this one. On a desktop or laptop, the images are huge but on a mobile device, they’re woefully small…

In other news, I was able to have the pirated audiobooks taken down yesterday and I guess it will just be one more thing for me to check on each week. Although in the end, what can you do, really? Pirates are everywhere!



Share-A-Paloosa: Everything She Ever Wanted | Dacia M Arnold

I laughed and cried. I got angry and excited. Durano took me on an emotional rollercoaster in Everything She Ever Wanted… This novel pairs well with Pinot and a nice hot bubble bath. What a super cozy read. I recommend this book to everyone looking for a damn good love story with some juicy conflict.

Source: Share-A-Paloosa: Everything She Ever Wanted | Dacia M Arnold

One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to meet wonderful people from around the world like Dacia Arnold, author of adult light science fiction and whose debut novel Apparent Power is set to be released later this year. She reviewed Everything She Ever Wanted and I’m so happy she enjoyed Dax and Harlow’s story!

She’s also giving away a signed copy so hurry on over to her blog and say hello!

Just Us #teasertuesday


This time, Dax doesn’t answer right away. It’s as if he’s probably wondering how the hell he can get himself out of this crazy woman’s bed as fast as he can and get a real woman in town instead, someone with no silly baggage like yours truly.

“God, Dax, I’m so sorry I messed this up.”

“No, you didn’t,” he says, pushing a lock of hair behind my ear. “Look, why don’t we start over?”

“Start over what? I mean, in what way?”

“Like this.” Dax lowers his head and kisses me softly, his tongue brushing along my top lip. It’s a kiss that sets the butterflies in my belly fluttering. “Don’t think of anyone else. Right now, there’s just us. You. Me. And no one else.” His words alternate in between kisses, and I can’t help but sigh at the sensations that engulf me.  “This is all about you, Harlow.”



Teaser Tuesday: Seven Minutes


She rolls her eyes. “Half an hour is not a quickie. Not by a long shot.”

“Oh, too long? So you’ve been timing it?”

She swats my chest playfully with her hand. “No, I was not timing it, but you said so yourself then, Dax. We only have thirty minutes before Nana comes back with the twins..” She pauses, her hand leaving my crotch and I groan. “Did you know the average length for sex is about seven minutes?”

“Seven minutes?” I look at her incredulously. “I wonder how they went about testing that one.”

“They have their methods. But get this, about 43 percent are completed within two minutes,” she adds, emphasizing the word two like it’s a challenge. She’s a veritable treasure trove of information, important facts like the average length for sex being seven minutes and trivial facts like Michael Fassbender getting married in Ibiza.

“Two minutes is even worse than seven, mi amor. Too bad the researchers didn’t poll us. We could have told them the average length of sex is thirty minutes.” But only when the twins are spending time at their grandmother’s house.

Harlow giggles. “Oh, and did you know that ten to thirty minutes was considered too long by many of the respondents?”

“Then they have the wrong partners… and the wrong respondents, for that matter,” I say, narrowing my eyes as Harlow starts unbuttoning my shirt. “So does that mean I take too long?”

She pulls my shirt open, sliding it off my shoulders. “Oh no, Mr. Drexel. As a matter of fact, you’re perfect.” She starts to unbuckle my belt. “So perfect you have me wanting to prove every single one of those people surveyed wrong.”


She kisses me lightly on the lips before pulling away, our breaths intermingling. “We’ve got thirty minutes.”

“Aren’t you afraid we’re going to disappoint the experts by going ‘too long?’” I ask. “You know, in case we make it to thirty.”

“Screw the experts,” Harlow says, laughing. “They haven’t met you.”