This has truly been Hell Month for me. Too much on my plate meant too little sleep and too much stress. Here’s the rundown.
I had to prepare for then attend a conference in Nashville—A Weekend with the Authors—which was fun. But I’ve become such a homebody/hermit it’s tough for me to move out of my routine to do something like that these days.
My dear daughter left two days after I returned from conference to go help her dad with his business for 17 days! As we speak, she still has a week to go, but I’ve been “mom” since she left, staying at her house to make sure kids get to school, animals don’t die, and the house stays clean.
I’ve been editing my little fingers off: first, my story A Long, Hot Summer, then 4 more paid gigs—2 of which were long. I’m wrapping up the last two today, so I start the new month without any leftovers.
I finished writing the last three chapters of Dagger, just in time for it’s release. Whew!
I wrote a story for my sister’s Kindle World, The Brotherhood Protectors. I finished up Reaper’s Ride this morning!
And then there were the releases I had to promote. Take a look in case you missed them!
The Triplehorn Brand, Book #1
A teller implicated in a bank robbery seeks sanctuary from small-town sweetheart she left behind–who happens to be the new sheriff in town…
A lifetime ago, Zuri Prescott kicked the dirt off her boots and fled her small-time, small town, but lived to regret choosing a glam city life over her high school sweetheart. When she’s framed for a bank robbery, she flees to her home town, seeking refuge with her old flame while she figures out her next steps–only to discover he’s the last man she can confide in.
Sheriff Colt Triplehorn knows trouble when he sees it, especially when it’s one familiar naked trespasser, caught between an angry bull and her underwear. Sure she’s up to her usual no good, he grants her sanctuary at his ranch where he can keep an eye on her while he purges her from his system once and for all. When he realizes she’s involved with a robbery, he has to make a career-compromising choice between following the letter of the law and his heart…
Former Army Ranger, Daniel “Dagger” Renfrew, has been a lot of things—an Army Ranger, a Seattle beat cop, a PI, and now, a bounty hunter, which, so far, suits him just fine. In his job, he doesn’t look for easy takedowns. He likes lying in mud or snow with his binoculars trained on a window, hoping for a glimpse of the dirtbag whose mugshot he carries in his hip pocket. If they’re badasses—all the better. Dagger prefers when assholes try to run, because then he has an excuse to mix it up, get physical, and blow off steam in an all-out brawl—when the situation warrants, of course. One morning when he’s working his side gig, repossessing cars, he discovers the car he’s taking belongs to his old high school sweetheart, and there’s nothing like sweet revenge…
Lacey Jones is furious when she finds a very large, scary dude trying to steal her car. It’s the last straw. She’s lost her job and is about to lose her apartment, so there’s no way in hell she’s letting him take her damn car! When she discovers its Dagger, her old beau, she jumps into the car with him. When she learns how he makes a living, she’s curious…and then determined to become a bounty hunter herself. How hard can it be?
Some things never change. And some things change everything…
Gabe Triplehorn can think of no better getaway from his heavy responsibilities at the ranch than to go back to a time and place where he didn’t have a care in the world. When there was just a campground, a river, and a girl. When he gets to Red Hawk Landing, the campground and the river are still there. He just never expected the girl would still be there, too. Only now she runs the place.
Lena Twohig can think of no better place to raise her young son than the family-owned campground that holds so many memories. Especially, the romance with Gabe that lit up one long-ago summer like a wild electrical storm. Now he’s back with a ranch-hardened body she knows she shouldn’t want so badly.
No amount of lies, or the years that have passed, can tame this tidal wave of passion.
I want to start by thanking Delilah for letting me come hang out here with you all today. She’s always very gracious about sharing her space, and that’s something I admire.
So, setting the mood… For a party, for a date, for a story, for romance. It’s a pretty important thing for all kinds of reasons—you don’t want the fun, happy party you’ve planned for your toddler to dissolve into the shrieks of a dozen kids when the clown you hired is too scary, right?—but in a romance novel, setting the mood can mean different things.
What sort of mood would you expect for a sweet romance? Light, not too complicated, still romantic, but nothing extreme, right?
What about romantic suspense? Generally, I would think darker, lots of tension in all situations, romantic and otherwise. Though I will say I like some lighter moments even in those sorts of stories, too. Too much non-stop tension isn’t good for reader or characters, is it?
Paranormal? One of the reasons I like those so much is they can be any mood, any tone, depending on the story. Like them dark? Plenty of choices. Lighter? Lots of those, too.
One of my favorite authors for setting the mood is not even a romance writer, but Stephen King does it so well, drawing a reader into his characters’ stories and making them feel every bit of fear they’re feeling, setting the mood so when the character is sure the monster is about to jump out at them, you feel it, too, then feel the rush of relief when it turns out not to be the monster (yet!) but just a dog or someone innocuous. I think Gerald’s Game is fantastic for that—when that book came out, my mother-in-law started reading it, but didn’t get very far, because she was too afraid, so she handed it off to me without even finishing the book. It scared me, too, and I loved every page of it.
But romance writers do it every bit as well, setting the mood for their stories, the right tone to pull readers in to meet the characters and want to know more, to have to know more. Plus we get to set the mood for other things, like falling in love, like a heroine having her heart broken to bits when it seems the romance really can’t work out. If we’re doing it right, we’re right there with them when we’re writing, the way we hope readers will be when they get their hands on our stories—appalled when one of the characters does something awkward or stupid, perhaps changing our minds about a character we were afraid couldn’t be redeemed, and most especially feeling the emotion when our characters are falling in love.
We know it isn’t supposed to be easy for them. In fact, we try very hard to make it as difficult as we can for them to get to that happy ending. But we want them to get there, so we give them the opportunity to have little moments that help them not give up, to make them want to keep fighting whatever foe they have so they can live happily ever after. Sometimes getting the mood right is easy, but sometimes it’s really hard, and the characters don’t want to cooperate—“What? You want me to fight with John? Well, I don’t want to fight. I want to step back and get some ice cream.”
For me, a good soundtrack helps with getting the mood right, but not always. Right now, I’m trying to figure out the songs that will work best to put me in the right frame of mind for the story. Plenty of good songs for a fight, so many romantic songs to sway the mind into the proper mood.
I’d like to know how you get into the right mood for your ‘story’, whether it’s household chores, or a date with your S.O. Is it music? It is a scent? Is it a piece of clothing? What can you count on to change your mood when you need to? I have a paperback copy of Hunting Medusa to give away, so everyone who comments will get their name entered into a drawing via RandomResult.com My thanks again to Delilah for letting me come and play here again.
About the Author
Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms. Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own. Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.
Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and-though she loves horror- romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.
Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty years. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.
The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1
When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.
Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…
Andi couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. She’d worked into the night after the vacuum salesman’s appearance, until she couldn’t see straight to continue with her beading. Then she’d sunk into the bubble bath long enough to be nearly asleep. Today, she’d repeated everything but the bubble bath. Plus she’d driven into town to ship the big order she’d finished early.
Now she sat in the dark beside the front window, watching the forest. Waiting. Trying to convince herself nothing was coming. No one.
When the phone rang, she jumped about two feet in the air, barely keeping in a shriek. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath, forcing herself to laugh weakly as she picked up the receiver. “Hello, Aunt Lydia.” She didn’t need caller I.D. to know when one of her cousins or aunts was on the phone.
“I didn’t mean to startle you, my dear,” came the quavering voice. “I just wanted to touch base with you. It’s been ages since I’ve seen you.”
Her slightly psychic great-aunt must have spoken to Andi’s mother. “I know. I’ve been busy working.” She thought of the small stack of boxed beaded bracelets sitting on her desk upstairs for another customer whose order wasn’t even due for a month and a half. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve always loved science fiction and stories about traveling to different galaxies. I remember the first time I saw Star Wars with all those interesting planets and the different life forms that occupied them. I was fascinated and totally hooked. Every time a new space show came on television I’d be planted right in front of my set to watch Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Farscape, or Babylon 5. Last spring I started laying the ground work for a futuristic romance series. I had a pretty good idea of the different characters that will be in my stories; the hard part was creating the universe where they would all live.
Good world building is essential for any futuristic or paranormal story. Every world has to have rules that govern how things work. They can be different from the rules we have in real life, but they have to be established and in some way explained to the reader, as well as recognizable. For example, if you have a world with magic, there has to be a limit to what it can do or what creates it, such as energy.
Populating a universe is another essential part of world building. I had to figure out what sort of sentient beings live on the different planets? What is their political system? What are their religious beliefs? Which species get along with each other and which ones don’t? What do they eat? What type of housing do they have? Is it above ground or below? In short, each civilization has to be constructed from scratch.
There is so much detail involved that creating a story bible is an absolute must. You can never remember all the characters, creatures, places, settings, and other details necessary for the story. It saves a lot of time to have it all written down and easily researchable. I use excel spreadsheets for all the things I need to keep track of.
What if you had to make a choice, your lifelong dream or your soul mate?
Scott Southerland has his dream job and his dream woman. What could go wrong? With his mother around, plenty. Scott’s on his guard, and his soon-to-be fiancé, Harper Castille, is, too. Scott has no interest in the other women his mother dangles in front of him, but can his relationship with Harper survive the destruction of his dream?
According to the calendar it is officially spring. The bitter winds have subsided and the snow has begun to melt. Even if winter is still lingering in my neck of the woods, the hope for warmer days, for daffodils and crocuses is there.
I’m like a bear—once winter comes I want to hibernate. And like the bear, I wake in the spring, look outside my home, and wonder what’s happening in the world. The longer days make me want to go outside and do more instead of scurrying from place to place as fast as I can. Being able to leave the boots, scarf, heavy coat, ear muffs, and gloves behind is a sign that the worst of the winter is behind me. I doubt I’ll get quite to that stage for another month or more, but I’ll be able to start shedding some layers as the days progress.
Opening the window on a warm day and allowing the breeze to freshen the air, not having to turn the lights on until much later in the day, watching the birds come back. These are the things I love most about spring.
It won’t be long until the lawn chairs come out and I can sit out on the patio at night and watch the world go by. I live in an apartment, so I miss that during the winter months.
First we have to get through the dirty stage of spring, where the snow melts to reveal all that’s been buried over the past few months. But clean up will begin, the sun will shine, and the warm days will be welcome.
In the meantime, when the days are still chilly, I’ll curl up with a good book. If you’re looking for something to read, you might check out my Blood of the Drakon series.
Blood of the Drakon, Book 4
Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.
Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
My life is a little crazy here! I’ve been ensconced for a week at my dd’s house. I’ll be here for another 10 days, while she’s off helping a relative with a sudden upswing in his business. So, I moved in. I have 2 kids, 6 dogs, 5 cats, and 2 guinea pigs to care for.
And I’ve been working really, really hard between getting kids ready for school, doing mountains of laundry and dishes, and general upkeep around the house. I’m writing a sequel to Reaper, which includes plenty of Dagger, too. And I’ve been working on finishing up 5 editing projects by the end of the month. I’m going from the wee hours of the morning until midnight.
How am I doing it? COFFEE! 🙂
What’s bad is I worry about the fact I’m still not unpacked from the conference I attended and my place across the street needs cleaning, but what can you do?
One of the editing projects I’ve been working on is one of my own—A Long, Hot Summer. And it’s coming out next week!
If you’ve been reading the first two stories of The Triplehorn Brand, I will tell you that this story is the sexiest and the sweetest. Enjoy the excerpt!
A Long, Hot Summer
When two lonely hearts collide, age becomes just a number…
Sarah Colby’s marriage was over long ago, but she’s never shed the scars her abusive husband left behind. One shameful indiscretion, an affair with a younger man one long-ago summer haunts her.
Tommy Triplehorn is happy his brothers have settled down and started families of their own, but he’s feeling a little smothered by all that domesticity. Carousing and drinking no longer provide him any thrills, and he thinks he knows the reason why. He’s waited long enough for Sarah Colby to get over being ashamed of their past. He’s old enough to know what he wants, and he wants her.
Tommy Triplehorn sat back in his chair, drinking while trying to ignore the noise from the scratchy jukebox and the jarring laughter from the blonde at the bar, who couldn’t seem to help glancing his way as she whispered with her girlfriend. After the annual Memorial Day picnic at the Triplehorn ranch, he was ready for a celebration of another sort. Looked like the blonde was going to be his date.
Candy Crowe. Tommy blew out a pent-up breath, relaxing as he gave himself permission to be disappointed. Looked like his partner this night was going to be a rarity for him—a repeat. But a quick glance around the room confirmed the only other women here were married or engaged or going out with friends of his, and he never crossed that line. So, Candy Crowe it would be.
He mustered up a smile and lifted his chin, inviting her to join him, and then cringed inwardly as she sauntered toward him, her wide hips swaying too deeply, a predatory gleam in her green eyes. Like a tiger on the prowl.
Or a cougar.
She topped him by ten years, but that didn’t bother him. He’d had older. Age wasn’t a deal breaker. Fact was, he liked women who knew their way around a man’s body. Liked their confidence. Still, his chest hurt a little as she drew nearer, because even though she was blonde not brunette, and even though her figure was as full as a centerfold’s rather than lean and trim, she reminded him of what he’d never have. Read the rest of this entry »
As always, thank you Delilah for letting me come to hang out and play. I talk a lot about books when I come to visit, and today I wanted to shift gears a little. I wanted to talk about action movies. I grew up in the 70s/80s, and I loved action movies as a kid. I remember seeing The Black Hole in theatres, and Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater—yes, I know, I’m dating myself.
There were loads of other great action films: Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Terminator…you know there’s too many to list. My love of action movies didn’t dissipate in the 90s, or the 2000s, or the 2010s. In fact, we have action movies in the guise of superhero films now.
Now here’s where I pivot a little toward books. See, I said I was shifting gears, but not totally. The primary reason I love action movies and the genre in general is the excitement you feel, the adrenaline rush of a chase scene, the fight for survival, and the laughs or romance or both the characters.
John McClane crawling through the air vents talking to himself. Sarah Connor falling in love with the man who traveled back in time to save her. Martin Riggs wigging out on criminals and his partner alike. All of these characters kicked ass, but they had deep histories, which colored their reactions to everything.
So here we are, racing along, laughing and cheering, and hoping these guys and gals make it to the other side. Remembering how much I loved this part of the movie, any movie, reminded me that I love it in books, too.
In each of these books, I ramped up the action. I wanted to add those touches of laughter in the face of danger, wild chases that keep you on edge, and some crazy antics for survival.
Then came Protecting Pilar, a book which started out action from beginning to end. Cannon had made previous appearances in this series within a series, and he’s even driven a truck through a barn collapsing it. So how could I one up that? How about car chases? Shoot outs? And exploding cars?
Action movies offer delightful fun and rewards. Their very first job is to entertain, but the very best of them balance out their action with solid characters, a good plot, and the emotional immersion that has you pumping your fists into the air and saying yes. Protecting Pilar did all those things for me while I was writing, I hope it brings you equal delight when you read.
Do you love action movies and books?
Love doesn’t come with an instruction manual…
Ben “Cannon” Stone had been called many things—pretty boy, rich kid, and heir-apparent. The one title he earned and made him proud was that of Navy SEAL. Although he wore his scars on the inside, it didn’t make him any less screwed up. He just deflected with a grin and a smart-ass comment. At least until a pouty princess collided with his car…
War isn’t always fought abroad…
Born a Napolitano but raised as a Petrucci, Pilar knew all about blood feuds and the family business. Her personal policy of non-involvement falters the day she overhears her grandfather order an assassination. Worse, the killing promises to launch of a war of retribution with Pilar in the crosshairs of a killer. The last thing she needs is a car accident and some pretty boy offering to help her…
Hell is a road we make…
Cannon doesn’t know where she came from or who is after her, but he isn’t letting anyone hurt her. Isolated. On the run. And unfamiliar with the enemy, this SEAL will use every skill he has to protect the woman who just might be his Mrs. Right.
This series was really the start of my career. Sure, I wrote books before, but none took off like The House of Morgan. I was always in all stores with this series, and I’m a big proponent that authors should be wide and in all stores. But at the same time I know there are tons of readers in Kindle Unlimited. So what I decided to do as these readers reach out is cycle books in and out. So, from the end of March until mid-June, I put the first three books in The House of Morgan into Kindle Unlimited. The eighth book in the series isn’t scheduled for release until October. So, now was the perfect opportunity to let the KU readers at least get a peak at the beginning of this family saga.
And I will say it’s a saga. The stories all begin at a funeral, though it’s the funeral of a man who, in his efforts to keep his family, almost destroyed everyone involved. John the second son walked away from billions and joined the FBI to find out exactly what his father did to his sister, Victoria ‘who died.’ However, his father died before any evidence is found and his sister Victoria ‘returns from the dead’ to ensure her own father is really dead. (She walked away from the family.) And then there is the oldest son, Peter Morgan, who stayed close to their father because he wanted to protect his siblings and take the brunt of his father’s will. This is just the beginning, and all three of them are now out to find out what happens next, when their lives are finally their own.
If this sounds like drama and romance all mixed together then you’re prepared to enter the House of Morgan and see for yourself!
And if you’re in KU, the book is available now!
Plus you can now enter to win a Kindle and get the link to the book at,