“I’m Still Here.”


Josh grabbed her wrist, his grip tight. “What are you doing?”

“I’m feeling for scar tissue, that’s all,” she said. “I’m a doctor, remember? Sure, I may not be practicing but I’m still a trained medical professional.”

“I appreciate your concern, Livvy,” Josh said. He leaned forward, his face close to hers. “But what are you really doing here?”

This time, Olivia avoided his gaze and her face turned pink. Even her chest turned pink, he thought, now noticing the dress she wore. It was white with red flowers, her chest rising and falling with her breath, her ample cleavage peeking from above the low neckline. Then there was her bright red hair and blue eyes that often looked green, shielded by thick lashes resting on her cheeks when she lowered her gaze. God, she was beautiful.

“Nothing,” she snapped. “I want to help you, that’s all. I care for you, Josh. You’re like a brother to me.”

That was it.

“Enough of this brother crap. That’s a crock of shit and you know it.” He brought his leg down on the floor and got up from the chair, striding toward the casita.

“Then tell me what it really is, Josh,” she said, following after him. “You and I both want this.”

Josh stopped but didn’t turn to face her. “Since when did I become an expert on what we both want, Livvy? How the hell do you know what I want?”

“Since you stopped looking me in the eye,” Olivia replied. “You never used to be like this, so… so angry. We used to be able to talk about anything. Everything.”

“Not everything, Liv.” Josh took a deep breath and exhaled. “But I think we just made things more complicated right now.”

“It got complicated a long time ago, Josh, long before you got shot and I thought I lost you.” Her voice broke and Josh felt a tug in his chest. But he still couldn’t look at her. “One day you were there and then the next day, you weren’t.”

His throat tightened. “I’m still here.”

A Nice Surprise

Today I got this in the mail and I’m so happy. It’s the paperback edition of In His Heart complete with a new cover that best fits Josh and Olivia, the couple inside my head. It’s a novella, about 32K words trimmed down from its original 52K word novel after I thought it was going to end up in a summer box set only to pull out at the last minute and release it on my own.

While most of my other characters have lots of angst, Josh and Livvy don’t have that much. They have some issues, but it’s nothing like the people around them – or the other characters inside my head, that is.

Some books just make me smile and In His Heart, at least in the happy department, is on top of that list.

It’s a Sale!

With the holiday weekend upon us, it’s time for a sale. And in the case of In His Heart, it’s the final weekend before the price goes up to $2.99 and I also need to celebrate its brand new cover!

She’s his best friend’s sister.
Beautiful. Off-limits. And the only woman he’s ever loved.

AMAZON: http://getbook.at/inhisheart
IBOOKS: http://apple.co/2pVkHil
BARNES & NOBLE: http://bit.ly/2qtzy6q
GOOGLE PLAY: http://bit.ly/2pMHDEu
KOBO: http://bit.ly/2qulf1O

When undercover detective Josh Morin is almost killed in a failed drug bust, the one thing that continues to haunt him are the words he never got to say to his best friend’s sister. I love you.

But even as the demons that haunt his recovery threaten to destroy their relationship and unfinished business from his past threaten everything he loves, there’s one thing Josh has never considered until now… Olivia might just love him, too.

While I was happy with the cover I’d chosen for it during launch, the moment I saw this photo today, I immediately thought of Olivia and Josh, my characters for In His Heart. Three hours later, In His Heart officially had a brand new cover.

And that calls for a celebration because it’s just too pretty for words. Just perfect.

So if you haven’t read In His Heart yet, grab it for 99 pennies before the price goes up! It’s one of my all-time favorite stories and my most upbeat, too (well, despite the drama – ya gotta have some drama)! Olivia and Josh always make me smile whenever I think about them. Some characters just come out happy, I guess. And in Olivia’s case, she’s just so different from moody me she’d probably whip me into shape if she meets me!

In His Heart is LIVE!

Yep! In His Heart is LIVE a week early!

It’s a novella, about 28K words, and tells the story of Josh Morin and Olivia Firelli, two characters who were introduced in my first novel, Finding Sam. What I like about their story is it’s more lighthearted than the rest of my stories. Josh and Livvy simply were written that way and I always smile when I think of them.

It’s also set primarily in Ojai, a small town east of Santa Barbara, about three hours north Los Angeles. There are some amazing hiking trails in Ojai and I always thought it would make a great retreat and resort spot, and so the Rosemary Inn (the setting for In His Heart which first appeared in Finding Sam) was born.

So if you’re in the mood for some lighthearted and sometimes steamy romantic fare set in Southern California, pick up a copy of In His Heart! It’s available everywhere where ebooks are sold.

So Hey! I’ve Got A New Book Coming Out!

Life is all about changes and for me, one of them came unexpectedly yesterday. My novella, In His Heart, trimmed from a 50K word novel to fit the requirements of a box set, is out of said box set and is now a free agent. Don’t ask, don’t tell as they say but it’s all good. Just don’t ask me to join another box set. Like, ever.

California Love Series (1)

What’s really cool is that I get to finally name the series that comprise Finding Sam and the upcoming novella, In His Heart, and what could be more perfect than California Love? No, it’s not on that banner thing because I was busy heating hotdogs for the little guy while trying to be creative #fail

Edited to add: I did get my act together and put the series name on there!

But it’s all about new beginnings and changes and that’s what this post is about. It’s not really a formal announcement or anything. More like the usual thinking-out-loud process I go through when undertaking something I didn’t plan at all while in the midst of writing another story due in September… well, until yesterday afternoon when the decision was made that I could leave the box set freely and finally this morning, when I got my cover all spiffed up and the ebook file ready to go.

If you’ve read Finding Sam, then you’ve read the teaser for In His Heart at the back of the book. If not, you can read the full prologue here.

Preorder links should be live in the next three days and for the introductory price of 99 cents, it’s an awesome deal! Oh, and it’s got some steamy bits… probably two.

in his heart pronoun

In His Heart #TeaserTuesday

It was always the same dream. Just like the day it happened seven months earlier, someone switched off all the lights and the living room where the drug buy was supposed to happen plunged into darkness. Panic and confusion filled the air as gunfire erupted around undercover Detective Josh Morin, and within seconds, he lay on the floor, dying.

He should have known it was an ambush. His gut told him that as soon as his partner showed up at the last minute to say that it was going down that night, giving him no time to ask questions. But in his dreams, all Josh could do was to react after the fact, pulling his gun in self-defense against veteran detective Ray Bigby, the partner he’d trusted for the last year since he’d been assigned to the drug detail. He was a rookie, after all, Ray would always say, and he still had a lot to learn.

Ray went down first, or at least, it looked like he did and not from Josh’s gun for backup came then. But the searing pain in Josh’s thigh told him that he’d been shot, too, and his leg buckled beneath him.  They said the bullet almost nicked his femoral artery which, according to the doctors, remained intact until they got him to the Emergency Room where it burst, nearly killing him if they hadn’t stopped the bleeding right away.  They said he coded on the table.  Twice.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was that second bullet—the one that shattered parts of his collarbone and damaged branches of his brachial plexus, leaving him with numbness down the inside of his arm and along some of his fingers months later. Hell, he would never know such anatomical terms if it weren’t for the fact that he’d almost lost the limbs they innervated. But that was life. You never know what you got until you lose it.

It was a major screw-up, and even the press said so when the full investigation began, where everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.

But there a few things that never failed to capture Josh’s attention every time the dreams of his ambush returned. It was as if a part of his subconscious wanted him to take one more look in case he missed something, planting seeds that Ray was not working alone.

In his dreams, Josh would always see Ray turning to look back at him before the lights would go out saying something. At first, Josh thought it was Ray saying something like, alright, kid, here we go, like he always did to break the tension just before a drug buy, and that’s exactly what Josh had said during the investigation. But in his dreams, Ray couldn’t have said those words because his gun had already been drawn and pointed straight at Josh. No, the words that had emerged had been something else.

Sorry, kid. Hate to do this to ya.

And like every night when the dream would come, Josh would wake up, heart racing, sweat coursing down his back that would leave his pillows and sheets soaked. He hated feeling so helpless, so stupid, for he should have known. He should have trusted his gut instinct. But that was probably why he still kept dreaming the same dream and hearing Ray saying the same thing over and over again like a broken record.

But if Josh were honest with himself, it wasn’t Ray’s words that sent Josh into a panic every time he awoke from his dream. It was something he’d never admitted to anyone, not even during his therapy sessions with Dr. Ecklund to deal with the emotional trauma. Never mind the shooting. This one left him weak knowing he’d almost missed his chance.

Three words.

Three simple words he never got to say to the only woman he ever truly loved even though she had no idea how he really felt for her.

I love you, Olivia Firelli.

Okay… that was five words.

In His Heart is one of the fifteen novellas included in Just You & Me Contemporary Romance Collection that’s available for preorder now.

If you’ve read Finding Sam, then you’ll recognize Olivia and Josh, and this is their story.

Revisiting Old Muses

Before I learned all about the alleged importance of writing to market, I wrote from the heart.  I still do although it usually starts as a tug of war inside my head that goes like this:

Business me: Write to market.

Creative me: NO!

Business me: It’s what people want. More sex. More sizzle. More… whatever the market wants.  Maybe whips and chains.

Creative me: No, I want to write about love and pain and trust.

Business me: Write to the darn market anyway.

Creative me: Whatever.

Luckily, the creative part of me wins during the writing phase, leaving the business me to scramble on how to market the finished book to the public.  But this isn’t the point of this post.

I found a few of my older trailer videos back when I was posting most of my stories on Wattpad (and then unpublished when I started self-publishing for real) and one of them is finally coming out of the shadows in a contemporary romance box set that launches in May.

In His Heart first started out as a 50K word romantic suspense novel but I saw major problems with it when I wrote it – like how on earth did I make Hermosa Beach PD look so bad? I lived one block away from the station and they were good people – the ones I knew.

So I knew I had to change a few things like focus mainly on the romance and cut back on the suspense part but I wasn’t ready to read the whole piece all over again when I had another novel to get ready at the same time this novella was due for the box set.

Thank goodness for book trailers because it turns out I made one for In His Heart.  And the inspiration for my two characters, Josh and Livvie, are there along with the original blurb and the mood I wanted to convey. Rose Leslie and Nicolai Coster-Waldau are perfect, and even though I no longer use actors to imagine characters, Rose and Nicolai are the only ones I see in my head for California surfer-detective Josh and feisty Cali girl, Livvy.

Disclaimer: All images of the actors belong to their respective owners.