“… Best Decision I Ever Made” #teasertuesday

Campbell finds me in the living room two hours later, sitting on the lambskin rug on the floor in front of his Christmas tree that’s all lit up. Fully decked out with the decorations we’d purchased at the holiday market, he added white string lights that make the golden ribbons and tinsel glisten like stars.

“What are you doing here?” He settles on the rug behind me and brings the blanket over our shoulders, his body so warm against my back.

“I remembered the tree. I missed it on the way in.”

“Ah, yes. I forgot to set the timer for the lights.”

I turn to look at him, his stubble grazing my shoulder as he leans forward. “I found the switch for it and turned it on. Hope you don’t mind.”

“No, of course not. Thank you.”

“You did a great job with it, Cam. It’s beautiful.”

“Thanks to you,” he says, chuckling. “My mother’s probably still in shock after I sent her pictures of it. She figured hell must have frozen over.”

I giggle. “No, Caitlin just stormed through your apartment and demanded you put a tree up.”

Campbell scoots forward, his legs on either side of me and his arms circling my waist. “Thank you for this. It’s the best decision I ever made.”

“To put up a tree for Christmas?”

“To be with you.”

Friends with Benefits is now live and available on Kindle Unlimited

Hard to believe it’s been a week since I released Friends with Benefits and I’ve yet to celebrate its launch. If I did, I don’t remember because it was pretty hectic since it was also Thanksgiving weekend in my neck of the woods. But it’s live and I’m really very proud of it.

Campbell and Caitlin grew on me while writing Falling for Jordan and they were such strong happy characters that I knew they needed their own book even if they’re basically a tangent away from the series’ main characters of Dax and Harlow. Like the rest of the series, it’s only available on Amazon and included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

Thank You!

It’s been three days since The Replacement Fiance was released to the world and I want to thank everyone who purchased and read Mariah and Logan’s story. You made this one of my best release weeks ever!

I also swore high and low I wasn’t going to write another holiday story but these two lovebirds managed to work their way into my heart and now two of Mariah’s siblings will have their stories coming up as well. One in November and the other may be after the holidays.

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LIVE: The Replacement Fiance

My holiday novella went live at midnight and that’s one down for the Holiday Fiance series and two more to go before the year is over! Have you gotten your copy yet?

I also have a giveaway going on that’ll end at midnight for a signed copy of The Replacement Fiance and a $10 Amazon Gift Card here.

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AMAZON

THE REPLACEMENT FIANCE
(Mariah & Logan)

What happens when a charade between friends turns into the real thing?

After learning that her ex-fiancé will be spending the holidays next door to her parents’ home, the last thing florist Mariah Peters wants is for him to see that she’s still single two years after they called off their wedding. And so she comes up with the perfect lie… that she’s engaged.

Too bad the man she hired to pretend to be her fiancé is grounded on the other side of the country and can’t make it in time.

Enter friend Logan Garrison who volunteers to be the replacement fiancé. After all, that’s what friends are for, right?

But that’s before a practice kiss changes everything…

AMAZON

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Sweet Holiday? Or Steamy?

I accidentally set yesterday’s post to Draft while carrying my iPad from one room to the other, my thumb apparently somewhere it shouldn’t have been. But just as I was about to click Publish, I realized it would send the notification that I published the same thing again to followers so I said, meh, and moved on.

So if you’re wondering where it is, it’s in my Drafts tab.

As a recap, yesterday I decided to leave the holiday anthology/box set for personal reasons. It was a tough decision, one that I knew would burn bridges I’d worked hard on building the last two years. A part of me wishes I stayed but another part tells me life was never meant to be easy. And sometimes, growth is painful. So I’ve decided to just call it collateral damage to a Twitter storm that involved race and identity and appropriation in fiction about people of color, #ownvoices. One day I’ll truly understand but for now, I just want to write my stories the best way I can.

So now I’ve got a holiday novella to release although I need to go back to it so I can expand on the plot points that couldn’t be expanded because of the anthology requirements. I get to expand it to 30k+ words from its original 25k. I also need to write the second story that follows right after it featuring one of the side characters.

One thing that struck me with this story as I mentioned in a previous blog post was how squeaky clean it is. No steamy sex scenes at all, again because of the anthology requirements (25k words and no sex on the page). Now I need to revisit that decision and see if I’d like to add steamy sex scenes or not.

To give you an idea of how the cover looks, here it is. What do you think? Sweet or steamy?

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I still need to plot the second story though and I hope I get that done fast because that character is quite interesting and one I’d like to get to know more of. I did write the first book in 15 days so I think I can do the same for the second book and get both finalized by October 25.

So to recap my schedule (also for me to see it here):

  1. Expand Friends with Benefits, Book 4 of A Different Kind of Love series. I need to expand it to 45K – 50K words from its current 36k count because there were two plot arcs that I had to abandon when I was initially writing it for the holiday anthology/box set. So if you’re wondering why Campbell’s story has no release or pre-order date, this is why. Setting a pre-order date when the story is not completely done also dooms my creative process. I’ve seen it happen three times already so no more preorder dates.
  2. Expand Holiday Book #1 to 30K+ words. Decide whether to make this a steamy holiday story or keep it sweet and probably more universal?
  3. Plot/Outline Holiday Book #2 for the side character from Book #1. Set a goal for 30K words as well and if Book #1 is sweet (meaning no sex on the page), then this will be, too)
  4. Naughty Pen has goals, too, by the way! She’s writing a Halloween erotic short! What’s your idea of a naughty Halloween night?

Hope you are having a wonderful Fall Equinox! Can you believe it? It’s the first day of fall already!

 

Done and Dusted: Christmas Romance Edition

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As of today, I am done with writing Christmas romances for the year.

Sad, because it would have been nice to write another one to round out the count to three or so even if only two of those would have been in the same series. But after telling myself not to fall into the “let’s write another holiday story” hole (but you never know, I just might!), I’m back to editing Campbell’s story so I can release it and then jump right into Naughty Pen’s line up of dark romance and erotic romance books.

That means, other than releasing Friends with Benefits in the fall, Liz’s books will be on hiatus until 2019.

This is what happens when one has more than one pen name, by the way. I don’t know how people (not conglomerates or group pen names) can juggle more than two at a time although heaven knows I’m trying!

But one thing I actually enjoyed about writing the latest holiday story was that this one had NO sex whatsoever. Just one sensual kiss and that was about it. Imagine that. No sex since that’s what the box set required. And even though I hated it in the beginning and my first story ended up with tons of steamy scenes, the second story stayed within the lines. Who knows? It’s probably boring as heck but it’s done.

And now I can go back to having my mind in the gutter once again. But even that has limits. Today, this showed up on my FB feed and people were asking why FB was showing them a dildo ad.

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You know, there’s a thing such as context and maybe people are so far gone in that gutter but even I know it’s a bicycle chain cleaner.

And I don’t even ride a bike.

 

 

“Let the Phone Ring…”

I’m halfway through the holiday novella and I need to get this baby done in the next three days. 15k more words to go before I can then tackle all the other projects waiting their turn for the last two months. Sometimes I don’t know why I do this to myself but when I get to certain parts of my story that make me go “aaawwww,” I realize it’s all worth it.

So allow me to introduce you to florist Mariah and her friend Logan, the main characters in the upcoming novella (November 1, 2018), Her Temporary Engagement:

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“Alright, let’s try this.” Logan takes my hand and brings it to his lips. They’re warm and soft, his day-old stubble tickling my skin.

“That’s… that’s nice,” I whisper, feeling my cheeks burn with embarrassment. Do I really need tips on how to react to a man kissing the back of my hand? Well, apparently, in Logan’s case, I do.

“And this?” His other hand moves up toward my face, his hands warm against my cheek, his thumb along my chin.

“Um… that’s nice, too.”

“Don’t giggle,” he murmurs. “I’m serious here. He’s still watching us, you know.”

My eyes widen. “He is?”

“Him and a woman. They’re standing by the front door.”

“Oh, sh–”

“Close your eyes.”

I should know what’s coming next. After all, I’ve secretly wondered how it would feel like to be kissed by Logan Garrison. I close my eyes as he moves his face closer, his cologne mingling with the faint scent of leather and motor oil, making my stomach clench. The kiss is faint and soft, our lips almost touching, our breaths warming the barest of space between us. It’s as if time decided to stand still at that moment, making every millisecond count until our lips touch.

But they don’t.

That’s because my phone buzzes from inside my jacket and in my panic, I pull away. Why do I feel like I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing? I fumble for my phone and tap on the display, a text message from my manager appearing on the screen.

Merry Christmas, boss! Just uploaded the day’s numbers and will be back at the shop on the 26th.

I make a face. I’ve never been so annoyed by a text message before.

“Work?”

I nod as I turn off my phone and slip it back into my pocket, the kiss I didn’t realize I’d been waiting for all these years now gone.

“Talk about timing, right?”

“It is practice,” he murmurs. “I just don’t want you acting surprised when it happens in front of everyone.”

I take a step closer. “Why don’t we try it again? You know, just to be sure we get it right.”

“Next time, Mariah,” Logan murmurs as his head dips lower, his fingers soft against my cheek, “let the phone ring.”