New book out today!

My full length romantic thriller, BLOOD BOUND, is out today at Desert Breeze Publishing. This is the first book in a trilogy set in The Big Easy. I had a blast writing these books, and I’m just a little bit in love with Sam, the hero of this one. You can read more about this book below and on the DBP website and Amazon. It’s also up at B & N and other online outlets. And be sure to check out my app up at iTunes and in the Android market.

Image

Blurb:

Fueled by grief after his fiancée is brutally murdered, Detective Sam Walker focuses on finding her killer — a calculating predator who binds books with human skin.  Dani Barrington, the newest member of NOPD’s Victim and Witness Assistance Unit and a survivor of another frightening attack, helps him discover the terrifying link between the monster’s known victims.  Despite his anguish, Sam is struck by Dani’s strength and determination, especially when her inquisitive  nature makes her the killer’s next target.  He must find a way to protect her or risk losing the one woman who can bring his dead heart back to life.

Excerpt:

Kristen was gone.

She wasn’t at work. She wasn’t at home. She hadn’t gone out to run an errand. She had simply… vanished.

New Orleans Detective Sam Walker stood in the center of his fiancée’s cluttered bedroom and struggled to piece together the timeline of her disappearance. Last night they were supposed to meet for dinner, but he’d caught a case. They’d talked on the phone around eleven, and he’d asked her to meet him for lunch today.

He hadn’t spoken to her since.

She was supposed to arrive at the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit for work at nine a.m., but never made it. One of her co-workers had called him about ten o’clock. He’d tried Kristen again, but she hadn’t answered.

So he’d come here and found her car in the driveway.

Yet she sure as hell wasn’t here.

Her bed was meticulously made, the way she left it every morning, dumping him out if he’d stayed over. A damp towel lay beside the bathroom sink. Soulful jazz drifted from the iPod dock on her nightstand. What terrified him most, though, was the spot of blood marring the door frame and the lone pink sandal lying in the living room floor beside her purse, keys, and cell phone.

His heart lurched. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Simply could not absorb that she was missing. They’d been engaged for five months and three days, with only a month to go until the wedding. They should be mulling over the guest list, squabbling about where to go for their honeymoon, and deciding where they wanted to live.

Instead, Sam stared at an empty bed.

“There’s no sign of forced entry, so she either let the guy in or he jumped her when she went after the paper this morning.” Major Sabbatini’s voice seemedto come from far away. “I’m thinking she fought him off and ran, and he caught her here in the bedroom.”

“She would have clawed him.” Hell, she would’ve drawn blood with those nails. Sam should know. He had the marks on his back to prove it. Moisture blurred his vision as he eyed the smudge on the door jamb. “She… she just had her nails done a couple of days ago. They’re like talons.”

“We’ll check the blood for DNA. You know that. What were her plans for today?”

“Um… just work, far as I know. She and I were supposed to have lunch.” Sam shook his head. “Then tonight, she was going to a wedding shower. I just–“

“When was the last time you spoke with her?”

“Late — last night.”

 

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Time Travel and the Writer by Michele Lang

RebelAngels[1]I first met Michele Lang when we both wrote for the same publisher that shall not be named. Once the company went belly up in 2007, we both managed to move on to bigger and better things. Michele writes for Tor now. Yet through it all, we’ve remained long distance friends. Welcome, Michele, and congratulations on the release of Rebel Angels!

Michele’s blog:

A lot of what I write falls into the “what if” category — what if I could go back in time and fix a big disaster in the past? I love doing this exercise in my mind, but I sometimes think it’s a kind of character flaw, where I look backwards all the time and regret the choices that I’ve made.

MagicFabulous_prIf I could go back in time and encourage my young writer self, the one who set out not knowing that she could write anything anybody would ever want to read, here’s what I’d say to her:

*you WILL publish fiction. And today, you can self-publish whenever you feel you are ready. When will you be ready, you ask? A very good question, and the topic for another blog post

*writing a lot is the surest path to success. I think this will always be true, that the most prolific writers are most likely to succeed. We’re entering a second golden age of pulp, and the people who can produce for their fans are the ones who will gain market share. So, write!

*join RWA: Romance Writers of America . I think that RWA is a helpful resource for new writers, and in the ancient days when I was trying to find out about writing it was one of the only ones.

Today, with the explosion of writing industry blogs, you can find out a ton of information. I would caution you to get the best information, and don’t believe everything you read simply because it is on the internet. Just find impeccable sources, take what works for you, and forget the rest.

Lady Laz Front Cover*write what you love to read. That was good advice for me in those days…I loved genre fiction in all of its forms, but wrote dreary literary dreck. But I would say write what you love to write — the stories that insist on getting written. The stuff that feels so easy that it is cheating. As you get more confident in your writing, you can expand from there if you want.

*read a lot. And stuff that is fun, not stuff you’ve been told is good for you. This is always true.

*find other writers who are serious about honing their craft. Just as true today as ever, though there are many more places to find them than there used to be. Back in the day, I would have recommended a writing conference, a local chapter of RWA (if one existed back then) or putting up a sign at a local bookstore to start a writer’s group.
But finding other writers these days is as easy as checking out Twitter for a couple of minutes — try the #amwriting, #writegoal, #litchat hashtags for starters.

*write short stories for publication. Find pro short story markets and keep submitting. Especially in SFF, the short story market is stronger than it was in those days. Tough to break into, but diverse and wonderful. Go for it!

dark victory cover*Become a genre writer — and find out what this means. This was, and is, good advice for me, but it may not be for you. Don’t get hung up on labels for your work — write it, and when you’re done you will see where it belongs.

*do not get an MFA or any other kind of fancy degree. You will make the most of the fancy degrees you’ve already gotten, but you don’t need any more. Unless you are planning to teach creative writing at a university, this is still good advice. You do not need an expert to confer the title “writer” upon you — only you can do that.

*don’t give up! You are already good enough! All you need is practice… This was true, is true, and will always be true. Believe in your passion for writing, and keep doing it. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
Now this kind of time travel I like. I don’t look on my past as a dreamer as any kind of a failure, to the contrary I want to go back in time and thank that insecure person every day for continuing to dream. I believe that by learning from the past, we can all change the future.

Michele Lang AuthorAbout Michele:

Michele Lang writes supernatural tales: the stories of witches, lawyers, goddesses, bankers, demons, and other magical creatures hidden in plain sight. Author of the LADY LAZARUS historical fantasy series, Michele’s most recent book in the series, REBEL ANGELS, released March 2013.

Michele is also a lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.

Find her on the web at http://www.michelelang.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/michelelang

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Upcoming ebook release!

BloodBoundCoverArt72dpiI’m excited to announce the upcoming release of my single title romantic thriller, BLOOD BOUND, from Desert Breeze Publishing on April 11. This is the first book in a trilogy set in The Big Easy. New Orleans is one of my favorite backdrops, and I believe the setting definitely adds to the story in this one. Hope you’ll check it out! You can find the “Coming Soon” link here. This will change to a “Buy” link once the book goes live. It will also be available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Sony, and many other online outlets.

Blurb:

Fueled by grief after his fiancée is brutally murdered, Detective Sam Walker focuses on finding her killer — a calculating predator who binds books with human skin. Dani Barrington, the newest member of the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit and a survivor of another attack, helps him discover the terrifying link between the monster’s known victims. Despite his anguish, Sam is struck by Dani’s strength and determination, especially when her inquisitive nature makes her the killer’s next target. He must find a way to protect her or risk losing the one woman who can bring his dead heart back to life.

Excerpt:

Kristen was gone.

She wasn’t at work. She wasn’t at home. She hadn’t gone out to run an errand. She had simply… vanished.

New Orleans Detective Sam Walker stood in the center of his fiancée’s cluttered bedroom and struggled to piece together the timeline of her disappearance. Last night they were supposed to meet for dinner, but he’d caught a case. They’d talked on the phone around eleven, and he’d asked her to meet him for lunch today.

He hadn’t spoken to her since.

She was supposed to arrive at the Victim and Witness Assistance Unit for work at nine a.m., but never made it. One of her co-workers had called him about ten o’clock. He’d tried Kristen again, but she hadn’t answered.

So he’d come here and found her car in the driveway.

Yet she sure as hell wasn’t here.

Her bed was meticulously made, the way she left it every morning, dumping him out if he’d stayed over. A damp towel lay beside the bathroom sink. Soulful jazz drifted from the iPod dock on her nightstand. What terrified him most, though, was the spot of blood marring the door frame and the lone pink sandal lying in the living room floor beside her purse, keys, and cell phone.

His heart lurched. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Simply could not absorb that she was missing. They’d been engaged for five months and three days, with only a month to go until the wedding. They should be mulling over the guest list, squabbling about where to go for their honeymoon, and deciding where they wanted to live.

Instead, Sam stared at an empty bed.

“There’s no sign of forced entry, so she either let the guy in or he jumped her when she went after the paper this morning.” Major Sabbatini’s voice seemed to come from far away. “I’m thinking she fought him off and ran, and he caught her here in the bedroom.”

“She would have clawed him.” Hell, she would’ve drawn blood with those nails. Sam should know. He had the marks on his back to prove it. Moisture blurred his vision as he eyed the smudge on the door jamb. “She… she just had her nails done a couple of days ago. They’re like talons.”

“We’ll check the blood for DNA. You know that. What were her plans for today?”

“Um… just work, far as I know. She and I were supposed to have lunch.” Sam shook his head. “Then tonight, she was going to a wedding shower. I just–”

“When was the last time you spoke with her?”

“Late — last night.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to Guest Blogger Lara Nance

AuthorPicI’d like to welcome fellow author Lara Nance to my blog today. Her new book is titled Memories of Murder, a Paranormal Romance that is on sale for only .99 March 4 – 8th on Amazon Kindle. Welcome, Lara! I’m so happy to host you. Can’t wait to check out your book!

BLURB:

When Maeve McKenna renounces her witch powers and accepts a low-key nurse practitioner position at a Virginia retirement community, the last thing she expects is a suicide her first day on the job.

As the town’s sexy sheriff, Paul Sutton, starts looking into the tragic death of his father’s friend, Maeve can’t help but get involved–with both the case and him. Their informal investigation unveils an old journal that connects the ruins of a nearby asylum and long-forgotten cemetery with the shiny new retirement community’s memory unit–and Maeve’s Alzheimer’s patients.

Maeve senses a sinister presence in the old asylum, calling to the patients, but in order to stop it from killing again, she must first conquer some demons of her own and reclaim the magic she’s denied herself.

cover_MemoriesOfMurderEXCERPT:

“No, stop. Don’t jump!” Maeve McKenna yelled at the man poised on the roof three stories above her. Her heart pounded as he took a step that left his toes hanging over the edge. A wave of cold that had nothing to do with fear pressed about her as though a frigid hand gripped her soul. She frowned at the eerie presence and pressed her hands to her head.

“Damn.” She swirled around looking for help. Across the parking lot and among the small villas scattered about the manicured landscape, elderly couples strolled or walked their dogs. But they were too far away to do more than stare in her direction. The urge to use her powers was pointless, she no longer had them.

“Hey,” she called trying to get the man’s attention as he looked back over his shoulder, eyes wide as he flinched away from something she couldn’t see. If only he would talk to her, she might be able to keep him safe until someone got to him. He had on pajamas, so he must be a patient. She held up her hands. “Hey, back up, stop.”

“Oh, no! Mr. Baker, no!” A woman with short black hair ran from the main entrance of the retirement community, waving her arms.

Both Maeve and the woman screamed as the unfortunate Mr. Baker took a step into the air and hurtled to the ground. He landed in a heap of tangled limbs and bloody splatter on the sidewalk in front of them. The cold presence surrounding Maeve seeped away, leaving her rubbing her arms and puzzled at the sensation.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

ValentineVendettaCoverArt72dpiI’m excited to report that Valentine Vendetta, my romantic suspense novella set in the mountains, is now available, just in time for Valentine’s Day! This book started as a short story, and I lengthened it to make it novella length. I love these characters and was happy to revisit them.

Blurb:

Nikki Brooks never thought she’d ever see her childhood nemesis again after high school, when he played a heartless trick on her that got her kicked off the school paper staff and made her a laughing stock. Until now, twelve years later, when she’s forced to trust her life to Marc Trapani, the strong-willed detective assigned to guard her when a murderer threatens her life—and he lays siege to her heart.

Excerpt:

“Mr. Dawson.” Nikki’s plaintive tone dug its claws into Marc’s skin.

He turned to find her stalking toward them across the lobby, and his jaw dropped. Damn. Gone was the lanky tomboy he’d known way back when, and in her place was a gorgeous, full-blooded, all American woman with kinky red hair, a furious expression, and flashing green eyes. A lioness after her prey.

Those eyes locked on his face, and she lifted her chin. “Well, I see my valiant protector has finally decided to grace us with his presence.”

“Hi, Nikki.” Marc offered her his hand. “Good to see you.”

She ignored his gesture and focused on the AUSA. “How long until the Internet connection is restored in our room?”

“Not for some time, I’m afraid,” he said. “The clerk said they’re lucky to have electricity in the bridal suite. The cable in that section is out right now, and he can’t do anything about it — so don’t ask.”

“The bridal suite?” Marc and Nikki chorused together.

Marc narrowed his eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“You can say that again,” Nikki snapped. “We can’t stay in there.”

“Come on, Dawson,” Marc said. “See if they can’t give us another room. Please.”

“I’m sorry, Marshal, but I’ve already tried. A group of workmen is staying at the hotel to get a jump on repairs, and with the entire east wing out of commission…”

Nikki gulped back another denial. Marc looked too handsome for words. The idea of spending the weekend locked away with him in any hotel room, much less the bridal suite of this upscale lodge, sent her pulse racing out of control, and desire blindsided her. She jerked her gaze back to the perplexed Mr. Dawson. “Is there no place else we can go? Another hotel with an Internet connection?”

“No. We chose this lodge for its remoteness. You and Marshal Trapani should be safe here. I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to deal with the inconvenience.”

Inconvenience? Being offline for a long period of time was more like a catastrophe. Nikki clenched her hands. She’d rather have been smothered in the avalanche that had destroyed the other half of the building.

“Fine. We’ll endure each other somehow,” Marc said. “Where do we go?”

Dawson nodded briskly. “Follow me.”

This book is available at Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and many other online outlets. Hope you’ll check it out!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Guest Blogger Maggie Thom, author of Captured Lies

AuthorPicMaggie Thom made the hard decision to leave her successful, twenty year career in management, to write full time. The leap was easy, the freefall was adventurous and very enlightening. When she’s not running her children around or spending time with her best friend, her husband, she’s writing – anywhere, anytime. Give her five free minutes and you’ll find her busy scribbling down ideas. She lives in the real world but loves to get lost in the lives of her characters – who live, love and laugh and are all figments of her imagination. She is thrilled to release her first novel – Captured Lies – filled with suspense, murder, mystery and romance – available October 2012. She is busy writing her second novel to be released, spring of 2013.

And now for her post:

Stories have always fascinated me. I love being taken on a journey, it can be real, mythical, outrageous, I don’t mind as long as it takes me somewhere. I know when I was a child I read a lot. We always had books in our house and we used the library a number of times. I remember once, I was reading a Dr. Seuss book, Cat in the Hat, I think, I liked it so much I cut the words out of the book. Needless to say my mother wasn’t amused.

Reading was a big part of my life and at some point I began to write stories. I never showed them to anyone, they were just for me. When I was about ten, I was going to write the smallest book about a knight who charged in, only to have the princess save him. And when I mean small, I was writing it on yellow paper, which had been a pad that I cut it up to 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch squares. When I was in my twenties I found some of it, I ended up throwing it out. I’m not sure it made much sense.

When I was in university, I started to write poetry. Some I shared which I got really good feedback to, but since I knew the people, I didn’t believe that anyone beyond them would be interested in what I wrote. After I graduated, I was too busy with a career for several years. Then one spring we moved, and I found myself unemployed, so I started to write again. I hand wrote a 90,000 word romance. I then typed it up, although somewhere along the way, it has gotten lost. From there I continued to write for myself. At one point though and with encouragement from my husband, I decided to work at improving my writing. I wanted to write for kids, so I wrote some children’s stories. Then a couple of young adult novels and then back to writing romance. Somewhere during this time I joined a writer’s group and started to expand my writing skills. I took writing courses and started to pay attention to the books I was reading. How the stories were put together. What made them good. And I started to read about plotting, stories, anything that would help me craft better novels.

Cover_CapturedLiesCaptured Lies was my first venture away from romance. I had always enjoyed a good romance and for some reason thought that was how you became a well known writer, if you were female. Not sure why, except Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown did it and I guess they were writer’s I wanted to emulate. I loved reading science fiction but didn’t think I had it in me to create whole other worlds, so I steered clear of that.

At some point, I decided I wanted to write something with more to it than just romance. I wanted it to be a novel with all the elements – to mainly be a suspense but with murder, mystery and some romance. So when the idea came to me for this book, Captured Lies, I really focused on making it a deeper story.

I have always been interested and saddened when I hear someone is kidnapped, especially when it is by their own family. I’ve heard of kids growing up with one identity only to discover they are truly someone else. I can’t imagine what that would be like. So to find out, I created Bailey’s story around that premise. What if she had been kidnapped but not just once, twice? Might as well make it really hard for her to find her roots. How would she hear that she wasn’t who she thought she was? How would she solve that mystery? The plane crash part, came about because a plane flew over us on its way to the airport. It was flying lower than usual and it just got me to thinking, what if it crashed? What if someone survived it? What if a baby survived? What if there was no record of that baby? How would they trace who it is? What if that baby was taken from the crash and given a whole new name? The two ideas along with several others kind of melded together. Captured Lies was the result.

I didn’t do much with the book for a couple of years. It just sat. Which bothered me to no end. The book meant a lot to me but I wasn’t sure if it was just because of all I had gone through at that time or if it was really good. So I asked several people to read it and give me their feedback. With encouragement from several people, I started the journey to publish it.

The journey has been long but very rewarding, which I would never have known had I not conquered my fears and stepped out. What has compelled you to move beyond your fears?

Now… more about Captured Lies

BLURB:

She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it….

Her life was a lie!

Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs.

Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years.

But can she do it in time…..

EXCERPT:

“I don’t know what to say. She’s the only single thing that was constant in my life. We moved a lot. She was paranoid about everything. I assumed for a long time that it was just being a parent but other parents weren’t like her. She’d come and get me in the middle of the day, from school and I’d never see it again. Sometimes, it would be in the middle of the night.” She stood up and went over to her bed, flipping back the covers, she pulled out the tattered Miss Piggy.

“I cried for a month when I thought I’d lost her. My mom told me to get used to it. I’d lose lots in my life. Why? Why did I have to give up everything?” Her voice became thick with emotion. She hugged the doll to her chest. “There were only two things I ever asked for in my life – this,” she held up her doll, “and a home.”

“You know I was such a good kid. I did everything she ever asked of me. I was loyal to a fault. I did every scheme. Everything she wanted. And what the hell did I get in return.” She jumped up and started pacing.

“What do you mean by schemes?”

“Oh my god. My mom was a master at getting what she wanted from people. I’d play nice to old men and they’d give me money.”

His hand fisted around the cup. “What does playing nice mean?”

Links:

http://www.maggiethom.com

http://www.facebook.com/authormaggiethom

http://www.twitter.com/authormaggiethom2

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6549592.Maggie_Thom

Book is currently available through:

Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/cp2go24

Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/dxs82ld

24 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

New book video for Skeleton Bayou!

Hope you’ll check out my book! It’s up at Amazon and Barnes and Nobles for only 99 cents!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized