Author Archive | Angela Quarles

Spotlight + Giveaway of Amber Belldene’s New Release SIREN’S TOUCH

SirensTouchSmallI’m excited to feature my friend Amber’s new book Siren’s Touch, which releases today! Congratulations Amber!

In celebration, she’s giving away a copy to a lucky commenter, so just comment below to put your hat in the ring. I’ll draw names next week when I get back from the Romance Writer’s of America conference in New York.

Here’s a bit about the book:

Hitman Dmitri Lisko is determined to avenge his father. Once he takes out the man he believes is responsible for his family’s tragedies, he’s done killing for good. But a mysterious woman may tempt Dmitri to change his plan.

Sonya Truss was murdered in a Ukrainian village in 1968. Now she’s reappeared in San Francisco as a rusalka—the ghost of a wronged woman. And she’s thirsty for the blood of her killer. But she has to make things right before she’s trapped between worlds forever.

Sonya’s enigmatic siren powers stir Dmitri’s long-buried chivalry, and he finds himself compelled to help her. He also can’t resist giving her a taste of the pleasures she never experienced while she was alive. Soon they discover that touch has surprising consequences. Yet when their shared mission comes to cross-purposes, they must choose between deadly sacrifice—or surrendering to the one act that can save them both.

Doesn’t that sound cool? A bit of a twist on the usual paranormal…

Buy a copy at Amazon if you don’t want to wait until next week to see if you’ve won, or add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Comment below to win a free ecopy!


MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL Out Now for 99 cents

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveChainmail_200MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL has released!

I’ve set the price to 99 cents for a few days to reward friends and followers, and then it will return to $4.99…


Trapped in the wrong time, she needs a knight in shining armor, but this damsel in distress might be the real savior.

A damsel in distress…

With a day planner attached to her hip, the last thing Katy Tolson wants is a romance that threatens her well-ordered life. She’s set to marry the safe–but bland–guy, but something’s not quite…right. A careless wish thrusts her through time into medieval Wales and into the arms of…

A knight in somewhat shining armor…

Sir Robert Beucol, half-Norman and half-Welsh, lives with the shame of his father’s treason and vows to reclaim his family’s holdings and thereby his honor. To prove himself to his king, he must be more Norman than a full-blooded Norman. What better way to show loyalty than to fight his mother’s people? He has no desire to be sidetracked by the mysterious wench with pink toenails, peculiar habits, and passion smoldering behind her cool, collected exterior.

A rebellion that challenges both…

The Welsh uprising fits perfectly into Robert’s plans. Katy’s on the other hand? That’s a no. As they embark on a perilous journey through the heart of Wales, each passionate encounter pulls them closer together, but farther from their goals. When everything they value is at stake, can they save each other and their love?

Where to purchase

I’ve posted them on the major outlets, but most of them are still processing. Once a link goes live, I’ll update this post. Print versions should be available within the week.





I thought I’d share a scene you wouldn’t find in the Look Inside feature. Below is from the hero’s point of view, and comes almost near the middle of the story:

Robert stared into Kaytee’s richly textured eyes, a field of green flecked with rich brown, like the exotic spice cinnamon. She was exotic too, a spice. A rare spice. He pinned her to the tree with only the cage of his hand. He did not squeeze—he had no wish to mar such a beautiful throat. But he did need to scare her. A little. She was too calm.

His question—are you a spy?—echoed in accusation around the forest.

Her eyes widened. Good.

Jolting her out of her complacency could help him get at the truth. Her truth. Had she truly heard Madog’s name from Alfred?

“No,” she whispered.

He tilted his head and studied her features, the openness of her eyes, the set of those shapely lips. Dealing with men-at-arms under his command and unruly villeins made him sufficiently competent in detecting falsehood. None existed in that statement.

Very well. But she was hiding something—the sure knowledge an itch under his skin. But if her secret wasn’t a danger to him, or to his king, he could afford the time to coax it out of her, cultivate her trust. For he would know her secrets. Secrets were valuable. Especially if such secrets benefited the English crown, and thus himself.

Then an itch of a different sort tightened his skin and made his blood pound. She was breathing heavily through her nose, obviously struggling to regain her calm, but her chest rose and fell in the small space between. If he stepped forward, just an inch, those lovely breasts would be pressing against him.

He stepped forward.

And…Christ, yes.

The pulse visible in the pale column of her neck vibrated faster, her intoxicating scent washed over him, and he was dizzy with lust.

Even through his mail and gambeson, he could feel her womanly curves crushed against his hard chest. He uncurled his fingers from her throat and ran the tough leather of his palm’s mitten along her neck and to the enticing curve of her shoulder. He nudged her mantle an inch, exposing skin.

He cursed that his hand was covered in mail. How long had he wanted to taste, to touch her precious skin? Unable to resist, he bent and, with his tongue, touched, tasted the heat of the skin on her collarbone.

Oh, Christ, she was lovely. She shivered, and satisfaction roared through him. He dragged his lips up the soft skin of her neck and gently nipped her ear lobe, sipping on the soft flesh. Her hands splayed against his chest.

Expecting a shove, his senses careened when her fingers fisted his surcoat. Their ragged breath overloud in the forest, he eased his face away, nose rubbing against her jaw on his retreat, and sought her eyes. Hers darkened and—Lord help him—held no censure, only interest.

He stepped back.

Curse his newly recovered scruples. Why did she have to excite him physically and dredge up his long-dead chivalry? He dropped his hand, and her fingers loosened from his surcoat. He turned to glower at the approach to Harlech and slowly flexed his fingers.

Do you have a release this week too? If so comment below with a short blurb and a link! 


Cover reveal for MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL



Squee! I’m pretty dang excited about this cover! Like my other covers, it was designed by the fabulous Kim Killion at!

It was a challenge finding a couple who had that fun/flirty feel of the cover of MUST LOVE BREECHES who had chainmail. There’s just not a lot of romance stock photographers draping dudes in chainmail (which is a shame). I found this one at Kim changed his tunic and her hair color for me. :)

But when’s it due out, you ask?

Great news on this front… I’d originally been thinking mid-September, but as the editing pieces started falling into place, I grew hopeful I could launch shortly before Labor Day. That had been my assumption for months now until this past week, when my line editor finished three weeks ahead of schedule! Before, the national Romance Writers of America (RWA) convention was falling right in the middle of production, but now it isn’t, and it’s conceivable that I could have it out by mid to late July. I’m also not doing a pre-order this time around and will be offering it for 99 cents right before launch to reward my followers here and on other platforms. Right after launch, it will go to $4.99. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss this Friends and Followers price notification, be sure to join my mailing list!

If you’d like to add it to your Goodreads pile, click here.

I’ll be sharing excerpts soon, so stay tuned.


Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Carolyn Crane’s Behind The Mask

BehindTheMaskI’m pretty excited to feature Carolyn Crane’s latest release in her Associates series! I first picked up one of them when she mentioned her hero was a linguist and I was immediately pulled into that book and her world, and read all the rest. These are great romantic suspenses with hot, tortured heroes and smart heroines. I started reading this on release day and am already enjoying it. At the bottom is information on a contest she’s holding during release week!

Here’s the Book Summary:


When her estranged sister is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group–and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Meanwhile, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?

Want more? I’ll let Carolyn introduce her excerpt:

Carolyn: This scene is when Zelda, posing as her prostitute twin sister, first meets Hugo. (They’re in South America.) Hugo has just killed a bunch of drug guerrillas who kidnapped her…using only blades and swords…because he’s super badass! Zelda is shocked at what he’s done, and she is trying to figure out if he had once been this legendary masked mercenary (Kabakas) she used to hunt years before while in the CIA. Supposedly Kabakas is dead.

The attacker turned his masked face to her.

His deep brown eyes met hers, invaded hers. She felt electrified by the darkness, the fury of his gaze, and its endlessness. His eyes were beautiful and terrifying, shining from the kill, or maybe pain or fury. Her heart pounded out of her chest, but she refused to look away or to freak out. She had the deep sense that she knew this man; that she always had.

She glanced down at those hands. He was near enough now that she saw a sunfire insignia on one of the barong swords, a small mark near the hilt.

The sunfire insignia. He was using street-corner mercado swords!

That decided it. This was not Kabakas. No way. He was an imposter. A pretender.

Kabakas’s swords had the ouroboros, an image of a snake swallowing its tail, the insignia of a blacksmith in Mindanao. The CIA kept that detail under wraps.

She stared him down as she tried to work herself free, using everything she had to picture the knot in her mind.

Still, attacking a guerrilla contingent with toys? She didn’t know whether to be impressed or disgusted.

“We will take on any army, any day. Do you understand?” the kid continued. “You will carry this message.”

Still the man looked at her. Her heart pounded. She didn’t know what to do with this eerie recognition of him, this connection.

Fuck you, she thought. You’re not Kabakas.

The boy was on the other side. He yanked open the door on the driver’s side and pulled a rifle and three revolvers out of the Jeep, then a lug wrench. He grunted and stepped back, casually spinning the weapon, eying her. He shot a querying look at his master, who watched her still.

The stars on the mask seemed to glitter. Probably also fake.

The man advanced on her, street-corner barongs shining with blood.

He was coming for her. She sat up, pulsing with anger, aliveness, that strange energy from when she’d heard his name on the plane.

This couldn’t be how it ended.

Time slowed as the barong blade came down on her. In that moment, she wondered if she’d died on that plane, if this was her mind’s weird way of replacing the death.

The blade banged down onto the bar atop the door, severing the rope the held her in place.

She tumbled back into the Jeep seat. Quickly, she scrambled over the door, thinking to run, but the attacker grabbed her hair and forced her to the side—in protection, domination, or ownership, she didn’t know, but all her fight came back suddenly and she rammed against his legs, wishing her hands were free so that she could hit him and loosen his grip somehow.

“Go!” he bellowed, glowering at the last remaining guerilla.

The man jumped into the driver’s side and sped away to spread the tale.

The kid looked up at Kabakas questioningly.

Kabakas stared back at him. The two seemed to be communicating.

Fingers tightened on her scalp. Her heart pounded as she struggled, but it was like struggling against a boulder.

The fighter looked down. Brown eyes speared into her core.

He had the same hair as his sidekick—short, dark, but it was those eyes that got her, seeing so much, containing so much. He seemed near, yet far. Drugged. In a trance. Something.

His voice, when he spoke, was a gravelly baritone. “Do you cook?”

Accented English. Valencian…but not quite.

“Do you cook?”

“Yes,” she said, blood racing.

“Did you graduate from high school?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Twenty-one times six. What is that?” he asked.

She gaped at him. “One hundred and twenty-six.”

He shoved her to the ground and walked off. “La puta viene con nosotros.” The whore comes with us.

Zelda stiffened. Had she heard that right?

The boy aimed his Uzi at her, eyes filled with disgust. “No la necesitamos.”

The man halted in his stride. Slowly he turned. The boy stiffened, slim limbs taut with fright.

Zelda’s heart pounded as the man pulled off his mask, as his wild and stormy gaze zoomed into the boy. He had those high Valencian cheekbones, gleaming with sweat, eyes sharp, dark hair sweaty and tousled. His features were large, like the rest of him, not smooth or polished, but jagged and proud, as though chiseled in stone, all crude power and beauty. “Cómo?”

The kid stiffened even more.

He addressed the child in Spanish, “Free her hands and help her find something to wear. Her outfit disgusts me.” Then he turned to her, eyes dark and expressive. “You run, you die.” A simple statement. He hardly needed to emphasize his willingness to carry out the threat.

The boy whipped off his mask, a small gesture of defiance.

“Nothing bloody,” the attacker added. He picked up a rag from the ground and began to polish a barong.

The boy gestured with his gun. “Up.”

So the boy spoke English, too.

Kabakas was from Valencia. Kabakas reportedly spoke English. But Kabakas would never show his face. Unless he meant to kill her.

The jungle chatter had started back up.

About the Book

Title: Behind The Mask (Associates, #4)
Author: Carolyn Crane
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Category: Romantic Suspense

Buy Links:
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | ARe | Smashwords

About the Author

Crane Author PhotoI am a RITA-winning author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of love and adventure (and erotic & dark romance as NYT bestselling author Annika Martin). My books have been published by Random House and Samhain, and I also go the indie route. I work a straight job as a marketing writer, I love to read in bed and run, I’m passionate about helping animals, and I make my home in Minnesota with my husband and two cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Giveaway Information

(1) $75.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice & open internationally)
(32) Digital Copies of either Against the Dark, Off the Edge or Into the Shadows (winner’s choice & open internationally)

To enter, visit her Rafflecopter entry page!


Need Your Vote: MUST LOVE BREECHES up for a RONE

Indtale-Magazine-logo-150MUST LOVE BREECHES is a nominee in InD’tale Magazine’s RONE award. Right now it just means that I got a 4 star or above last year. How it works is that this list is now open to public voting to advance to the next round, which will then be judged by select judges.

I hate that this round is a who-can-get-out-the-most-fans test, but there it is. If you read and enjoyed this book, please consider registering and voting for it. Right now there’s a glitch that doesn’t show the nominees until after you register. After registering, if you see a book you enjoyed better than mine, please vote for it. I’d like this to be about merit! Thank you!

How to vote:

  1. Register by creating an account
  2. Go to the time travel nominees and cast your vote

Voting for this round ends TODAY. The 4 with the most votes advances to the juried round.

Thank you!


SELF-e: Another way to get your indie book into libraries–a success story


As an indie author, I’m always looking for avenues to get my books into the hands of readers. At this stage, that’s more important to me than the revenue. So, when I first saw mention of LibraryJournal’s new curated collection for BiblioBoard back in September, I submitted Must Love Breeches, and then Steam Me Up, Rawley when it was published.

Curiously, I was notified earlier this month that Steam had been selected, but not Breeches. The email for the latter said they hadn’t yet made their selections for that genre.

What is it, and why am I posting about it?

As an indie author, it can be difficult to get into libraries. One way, is to use SmashWords to publish to Overdrive, a popular library software that allows library patrons to check out ebooks. Via Smashwords, the library pays for your book, like a regular book reader would. However, getting a library to even want to can be hard. We’re competing in a sea of self-published books, and getting noticed is growing increasingly difficult. Using NetGalley can help, as librarians use it to find books. As does getting a review in Publisher’s Weekly.

Now LibraryJournal has launched a new discovery tool to make it easier for librarians to stock indie books: SELF-e. Here’s what they say:

SELF-e is an innovative collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard® that enables authors and libraries to work together and expose notable self-published ebooks to voracious readers looking to discover something new.

Finally, a simple and effective way to catalog and provide access to ebooks by local authors and build a community around indie writing!

Here’s how it works. You submit your book, and LibraryJournal will put it in their pool to evaluate. Then two things can happen. 1) Your book is selected for the nationwide module that will go to participating libraries that use the BiblioBoard software 2) Your book isn’t selected, but goes into your state’s module for check-out by patrons of libraries in your state that use BiblioBoard.

According to the email I received about Steam, it will be part of the nationwide module that goes out this summer, and will be waiting to go into the state’s module as soon as enough Alabama authors submit.

NOTE: Unlike OverDrive via Smashwords, you will not be paid for your book. However, I’m willing to gamble that the trade-off is worth it. Many readers discover new authors via their library, and this will be another way to have that happen.

How to Submit

It’s pretty easy, but make sure you have all of your book’s metadata to hand, as you need to do it in one sitting.

  1. Go to their Submit Your Book page
  2. Agree to their TOS, and also have the name of your local library handy
  3. Upload your book in either epub or pdf
  4. Answer the rest of their questions
  5. Submit and wait. Good luck!

Have you submitted yet? Do you know of other ways to get your indie ebook into libraries?


So, Apparently My Cover is Too Prurient for an Amazon Ad + Mini Rant

AngelaQuarles_SteamMeUpRawley_400pxBehold, a book cover too salacious to get an ad on Amazon. I’m not kidding.

Yesterday, Amazon opened up advertising to non-Beta testers whose books are enrolled in KDP Select. For various reasons, I’d decided a week ago to put Steam in KDP Select (for non-authors, this means I decided to make the ebook exclusive to Amazon for 90 days), and I thought I’d try out this new opportunity.

Some early Beta testers are saying it was a total flop for them, but I’ve always been of a mindset that no book’s path is the same as another’s, and I couldn’t know if this wouldn’t work for my target audience unless I tried. Plus, I’d decided to make it super-granular to be sure it was only my target audience that would see it, thereby reducing the chance that a click wouldn’t convert to a sale.

Here were my other arguments for trying it:

  • The cost wasn’t out of line with other promo opportunities, and if it performed well, it would be even better.
  • Publishers pay for coop space with online and brick and mortar stores all the time, so why not do the same for my indie title
  • Even if I got zero clicks (and so would have spent zero bucks), I got free impressions. That’s eyeballs on my cover, which helps inch me closer to that adage of ‘you have to see a product x times before you buy’ or whatever that adage is.
  • There was a chance (slim, probably) that Amazon listened to the feedback from the Beta testers and tweaked the code for better ROI. Stranger things have been known to happen.

So, I chose to show my ad on only 38 books’ product pages whose audience might enjoy my book too. So I selected Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, Kristen Callihan’s books, Bec McMaster’s, and Delphine Dryden’s steampunks, etc. I also unchecked the box that would allow Amazon to also show it on books that were similar. The way I figure, that meant my book would only compete with others to appear on the book page of just those 38 books.

Several hours later I got a rejection email saying my cover didn’t meet their advertising guidelines. I can only assume it was this part of the guidelines that flagged my cover: “Overtly provocative imagery such as partial nudity or blatantly sexual prurient content.”

I sent a reply asking: “So a bare-chested guy, which a child can see at the beach or even just seeing anyone jogging or mowing their lawn in the summer, is partial nudity??” I haven’t heard back yet, but someone else suggested that the pose is a little suggestive, and yes it is. It’s supposed to be. But is it “overtly provocative” or “prurient”?

Which brings me to my mini-rant

Why, why, why is sex in a loving relationship “bad” in our society? Why does our society find it okay to allow kids to see violence, but not images with sexual overtones, etc?

My parents were pretty awesome–when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, nudity and sex weren’t taboo subjects for me. Heck, my mom’s an artist and she let me tag along to sessions where her and her fellow artists had a nude model, etc. Nudity was beautiful. Love was beautiful.

However, violence? No way! So I was the odd child in high school whose parents let them see Rated R movies that had nudity/sex, but Jaws? I still haven’t seen it. It came out when I was of an age where I was still under parental guidance, and since then I just haven’t gotten around to it.

So my book has a woman sitting in a guy’s lap in a playful, suggestive manner, and the amount of man titty (or mipple) is less than you’d see on any given summer day down here in the hot South, and it’s unacceptable to be shown?

On The Passive Guy, a commenter noted that hers was rejected because it had manchest too, but hers was just a surfer. No suggestive pose apparently. So it’s just a bare manchest that’s got their panties in a wad?

The rejection is also illogical

The thing is, this cover passed their review when it went live, meaning that it didn’t get flagged as erotic and so didn’t get put in what’s been called the Amazon dungeon where some erotic novels are shunted. (And to be clear, my book is not an erotic romance.) The Amazon dungeon is a place where they stick titles so they will not show up in a search, not even in the list of books by that author. So that means that my cover is showing up on other book pages right this very minute! Gasp! So Steam is currently showing in their “Customers Who Bought, Also Bought” pane, or their other search and display mechanisms they have in place to sell products that people want. So why is it that it can’t show in a sidebar ad? And if I really get lucky, and sales take off, I might even show up in the Also Bought pane for one of those 38 books… So weird.

What’s left?

Yesterday, an indie thriller writer reported that hers was rejected and the only thing she can figure is that her cover had some blood spatters. Another author in a private forum quipped that the only thing that sidebar ad pane will be able to show are sea adventure novels and women’s fiction.

What do you think? Leaving aside that this could probably be a big waste of money for an indie author, do you think this type of cover shouldn’t be seen? Did your cover get rejected? If so, for what reason do you think? Feel free to post your rejected cover in the comments so we can get a feel for the range of rejected covers.

ETA: If you’d like to post your rejected cover in the comments, use this code: <img src=”URLofYourImage” width=”150″ />


Hot For Fridays: Hot Kiss

BBC+blog+logo+final+whiteTrying a new blog hop, this one has a different challenge each week, which sounds fun! This week’s challenge is to post a hot kiss. Well, no prob! Since I did a hot kiss from Steam Me Up, Rawley this past Sunday, I thought I’d pull one from Must Love Breeches today.

Here’s the blurb:


A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.

The Hot Kiss

A little setup–the hero and heroine are at the British Museum:

The suddenness of the kiss stunned Isabelle. His strong hands, cradling her face firmly. His body, pinning her to the wall.


Probably the sexiest thing anyone had ever done to her. So manly. But she didn’t have time to analyze it, oh no. Right now, it was all she could do not to let her knees buckle as his mouth moved on hers and sent delicious shivers up and down her whole body.

She opened her mouth to him. His tongue hungrily plunged in and claimed her, made her his. At least, that was how it felt to her: possessive, primitive, and damn good. In desperation, she twined her arms around his back to steady herself.

A groan issued from deep within him and he pressed his body more firmly against her, his arousal hard against her lower stomach. She had caused this reaction? Hoo.

A hand left her cheek and slowly caressed her neck, each finger leaving individual trails of fire. She couldn’t help it—her neck was sensitive—and a little moan escaped her. Waves of delight chased up her spine and she arched her back. His lips abruptly left hers and traced a steamy path across her chin and down her neck, while his hand brushed across her shoulder and ever so slowly came to rest on her breast. She sucked in a deep breath and rested her head against the wall.

She should stop him, they were in a public place, after all. Though deserted. Still. But, wow, his lips… Now they suckled the soft skin of her ear lobe, and the puffs of air from his nose tickled her ear and shot warmth through her. She shuddered. He stroked her breast, and she held him tighter. How in the heck was she still able to stand?

Abruptly, he tore himself away and stood several inches from her, breathing heavily, one hand on her shoulder, another pawing his hair. He closed his eyes and took more deep breaths.

Isabelle breathed heavily, too. Wow, had they been making out in the British Museum? The thought turned her on even more. With shaking hands, she smoothed her skirts, trying to calm herself, and trying to think straight. He certainly knew how to mess with her senses, that was for sure. What were they going to do now?

She’d been telling herself he didn’t feel the same attraction, that the kiss at the Crosley’s had been only a cover. But clearly his reaction now screamed otherwise. Someone of his demeanor and control, to suddenly toss that aside and kiss her so passionately, so spontaneously? In a public place?

Lord Montagu straightened. “Forgive me, Miss Rochon. I have behaved abominably. Shall we depart?”

Shall we depart? Gah!

If you’d like to read more hot kisses, visit this page for links to the rest of the participants!

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveBreeches_200pxMore about Must Love Breeches

She’s finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.

“A fresh, charming new voice” – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

“a delicious twist on historical drama and romance” — USAToday

“Filled with historical tidbits and larger-than-life characters, the sweet story is a delight…” –Publisher’s Weekly



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Weekend Writing Warriors – STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY – An energetic kiss

wewriwa_square_2Back from a long absence. I keep meaning to be regular about this, but, well. It just hasn’t happened :(

Those warriors who know the drill, my excerpt is below. For newbies, this post is part of a weekly blog hop where participants share eight sentences from their work. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to find new authors, so be sure to visit the link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors.

Today, I’m going to share with you the first kiss between the H/h in my steampunk romance STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, which released this past Wednesday *throws confetti*. Also, today (Sunday) is the last day to get it at it’s release week price of 99 cents!

And he couldn’t help it–he cupped her face, pushed her against the wall, and crushed her mouth with his. Heat speared through him, tightening his loins. Just one taste of that fire, that energy. He had to feel that energy, experience that energy. He had to know that energy. What made her unsuitable also made her so delectable. Just. One. Taste.

Poor guy has no idea what he’s in for… To read more excerpts, visit Weekend Writing Warriors!



Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying?

In an alternate Deep South in 1890, society reporter Adele de la Pointe wants to make her own way in the world, despite her family’s pressure to become a society wife. Hoping to ruin herself as a matrimonial prospect, she seizes the opportunity to cover the recent Jack the Ripper-style murders for the newspaper, but her father’s dashing new intern suggests a more terrifying headline—marriage.

Dr. Phillip Rawley’s most daring exploit has been arriving at his new home in America in a hot air balloon. A tolerable sacrifice, if it means he can secure the hand of his new employer’s daughter in a marriage of convenience. But Adele works, she’s spirited, and she has an armored pet monkey running her errands. Not only does she not match his notions of a proper lady, she stirs up feelings he’d rather keep in tight control.

With Adele hunting down a headline and Dr. Rawley trying to protect and pursue her, a serial killer is spreading panic throughout Mobile, Alabama. Can Adele and Rawley find the murderer, face their fears, and discover true love?


United States
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Amazon International

Release Day for STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY + Giveaway!

Note: Stay tuned to the end for a giveaway!

To all outward appearances today, as I put out my second full-length novel, this is me at the start of this GIF, trying to be all cool and stuff, and then at the end, that’s me on the inside! This poor story had a rough start and I’m so excited to be able to finally share it.

Journey to Publication

I originally wrote it in May of 2012, all excited about the steampunk world I was imagining in Mobile, Alabama in 1890 and was eagerly revising it when I signed with my agent, who quickly shot it down, saying steampunk was dead. When New Adult started gaining in popularity, I tried to tell her this was New Adult, but it didn’t grok until a year later and then she wanted to see it right then, and I’d stupidly set it down and never revised it, so it wasn’t at all ready for my agent to see it. I delved into revisions and sent it out to Betas, but when I got them back I was also getting burned out and took a break from writing, so when I finally picked it up again last year, my agent wasn’t as keen to see it, which served me right. And then we amicably parted ways.

I had it in my head, even after I decided to self-pub Must Love Breeches, that I would seek new representation for Steam, but then luckily a lightbulb went off when I realized I didn’t have to shop it first. I looked at it objectively–did I love the story and hope others would too? Yes. But was it something that was sooooo commercially appealing NY would want it? No. I’d missed the boat on steampunk and according to what I was hearing from my agent and others, New Adult (from a NY perspective) wasn’t interested in NA that wasn’t contemporary, and after coming off of several years of waiting to see if they’d pick up Breeches, I just didn’t want to wait on something I knew they wouldn’t want. This doesn’t mean I won’t pursue a traditional deal, and I do have a project that’s in revisions that I think might stand a chance, but there was no sense putting Steam in the long queue for the inevitable rejection. This isn’t meant to be negative or sour grapes. On the contrary, I found it rather freeing, as it gave me options, which I love, and I think if one is to be successful, one has to look at one’s work in an objective, business-like matter. That’s what’s so great about indie publishing, as we’re able to fill a need for books of our flavors, but which aren’t in high enough demand to make it a viable business proposition for NY to take a chance on–NY can’t make a living catering to niches, whereas indies can.

So Steam got more revisions and Beta rounds and it went off to a developmental editor, who had fantastic feedback and made it much better (Thanks Jessa Slade!). Then it was off to my copyeditor, who I was really excited about bringing it to the next level. But luckily, I gave a launch date to Amazon that was a month later than I anticipated having it ready, because several days after it was due back to me, and I’m wondering what’s happening, I learn she’d been struck down by the flu, poor thing! So it was a mad scramble to find a replacement that could give it a good edit during that first week in December and Julie Glover did me a solid, thank you!

So what’s the deal with Steam?

  • it’s set in the Deep South, in a world where Lincoln doesn’t get shot
  • it’s got an armored pet monkey
  • it’s got a hot, well-intentioned, but bumbling hero
  • it’s got a Jack-the-Ripper style murderer terrorizing the good folk of Mobile
  • and a heroine who finds that less terrifying than marriage

I forgot to do a blog reveal of the trailer I made a week or so ago, so here’s the visual for ya:

Here’s the blurbage:

Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying?

In an alternate Deep South in 1890, society reporter Adele de la Pointe wants to make her own way in the world, despite her family’s pressure to become a society wife. Hoping to ruin herself as a matrimonial prospect, she seizes the opportunity to cover the recent Jack the Ripper-style murders for the newspaper, but her father’s dashing new intern suggests a more terrifying headline—marriage.

Dr. Phillip Rawley’s most daring exploit has been arriving at his new home in America in a hot air balloon. A tolerable sacrifice, if it means he can secure the hand of his new employer’s daughter in a marriage of convenience. But Adele works, she’s spirited, and she has an armored pet monkey running her errands. Not only does she not match his notions of a proper lady, she stirs up feelings he’d rather keep in tight control.

With Adele hunting down a headline and Dr. Rawley trying to protect and pursue her, a serial killer is spreading panic throughout Mobile, Alabama. Can Adele and Rawley find the murderer, face their fears, and discover true love?

I’m trying something new with this launch, and that’s pricing it at 99 cents for release week, so if you’re at all interested, pick it up before Monday, as it will go on it’s normal price of $3.99. Have no idea if this will help get it more exposure and find its audience, but I figured it was worth a try.

I’ve made some image quotes, which you’re free to pin or share:

SMUR_Quote3 SMUR_Quote4

Here’s some tweets, if you’re so inclined. Just click on the image or the text and it will prefill it for you:

Tweet: It's release day! Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY Tweet: It’s release day! Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY

Tweet: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY releases today, a #steampunk #romance at the release price of #99cents until 1/19 Tweet: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY releases today, a #steampunk #romance at the release price of #99cents until 1/19


Over 20 blogs are part of my release day blitz tour hosted by Twinsie Talk Book Reviews (thank you, Angie!) and some will be doing reviews, if all goes well. Also, there will be a 3 chances to win an ecopy of both Breeches and Steam over on! Here’s the tour participants:


TwinsieTalk Book ReviewsStephanie’s Book Reports | Eyes on Books’ Next Favorite ReadLittle Shop of Readers

Blitz participants:

Rough Draft Book Blog  | Literary Treasure Chest | Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog | The Shadow Portal | Indies Steal Our Heart | Reading by the Book | Pinky’s Favorite Reads | Eskimo Princess Book Reviews | A Pair of Okies | author sandra love  | Writing Between Corsets and Bustiers… | D&S Book Blog | Musings by Mandy | Sweets Books  | Evocativebookreviews | Becca the Bibliophile | A Dirty Book Affair | Spreading The Word With Denise & Donna  | Imaginative Dreams | Verna Loves Books | Not Your Average Book Blog

Thank you!

Thank you bloggers participating in the blitz, and thank you to all who’ve followed me on here over the years and have supported me–the online writing community is truly amazing! This is me poking my head against the internets and saying:

Thank you


I set this all up last night so it’d be ready to publish when I woke up, and I forgot the buy links!

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