It’s Been Awhile

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s going on in my world — writing and otherwise.  So, since I am procrastinating (a COVID-19 pandemic side effect, I’m afraid), I decided to update the look of my blog.

What do you think?  The other theme was dark and hard to read — and I decided I needed something brighter with a flower. So this is what you get … until I change my mind. 😉 By the way, the garden and statue are located on the approach to my front door.

On the family and personal side, my hubby is fine. Some of my long-time followers might recall he had heart-bypass surgery in 2015. Thus, we are being careful and staying close to home. When we do go out, we wear our masks.

PSA: Please, wear a mask — you protect those around you. COVID-19 carriers can be asymptomatic.Thus, everyone wearing a mask has proven to be the most effective way to keep the spread of this deadly virus down.Trust me on this — I’m married to a pathologist! I am well-informed. Daily!

We also wash and sanitize our hands — and anything else that is washable or can be sanitized. Our house is a safe zone. Once inside, my husband is assured of not getting infected. This is because I am obsessive about wiping down door handles and anything that comes from the outside that could carry microbes be they viral or bacterial.

Okay, I’ve always been that way — but I am really on it now.

Our son has moved back in with us after being away for four years. His employment had ended, and he was looking for a new job and then the pandemic hit. Since living in Silicon Valley is expensive while unemployed and no new job lurked on the horizon, he left California (the day Newsom shut it down!!). I sweated bullets each day he was on the road, hoping he could find places to eat and a place to sleep at night. He was fully prepared to sleep in his car and had provisions if nothing was open. Luckily, for him but not for the poor inhabitants of the states he drove through, most of the states he passed through had not shut down (this was in March) for the virus (except for Illinois and Indiana where we live). It is nice to have him home where I know he is safe. Of course, he’d rather have a job and his own place to live. And I can understand that.

~~ Note to potential employers:  I can vouch for him — because I raised him. 🙂 He is a hard worker and reliable. He adapts well and is very creative. He is willing to relocate. Big Data is his thing. He’d be considered a Senior Programmer and is willing to learn “new” things. He has three Bachelor of Science Degrees — Accounting and Finance from IU’s Kelley School of Business and Computer Information Technology (computer software engineering) from Purdue — and also has a bunch of certifications (Sales Force and Agile come to mind). See? He likes learning!! ~~

As for the writing front, which is why most of you follow me, I am currently working on my fourth What A Witch book in the Magic and Mayhem Universe. What A Witch Finds will take up where What A Witch Desires left off, with Paul, the pooka, finding his mate and carrying her to Dale and Bree’s house. This book will come out in October of 2020 along with a slew of other fun and fabulous Magic and Mayhem Universe books.

After that book is completed, I will write an SSI novella, Ride Out the Storm, # 6.5.

This book will reintroduce SSI-East in the Upper Peninsula Michigan. Risto Smith is in charge of SSI-East, located in Osprey’s Point, and his biggest concern at the moment is his wife Callie is due to have their first baby any day.The novella will also reintroduce Big Earl and his wife Tessa, the four Walsh brothers who’ve yet to find their perfect partners, and Dr. Anton Vasilov and his new wife Lucia.

The conflict in this novella arises from Anton and Lucia’s past as depicted in An Ill Wind, SSI #5. When Lucia’s cartel-connected relatives hit Osprey’s Point, Anton will have his hands full delivering Callie’s baby and protecting his own pregnant wife.

After Ride Out the Storm is finished, I will consult the four Walsh brothers to see who wants his happy-ever-after first. For Book 7, I know who the heroine will be and what chases her to Osprey’s Point to find her future, and I’m leaning toward one of the brothers over the other three. He has yet to convince me that he should get the girl. Book 7 will be titled:  Before the Storm.

You can keep up-to-date on what’s next on my web site on the Upcoming page.

 

Firestorm, Only Three More Days

Book 6 in the Security Specialists International series will go live on Monday, January 13th!!
Blurb:

She’s a survivor.Former Air Force pilot Tara Nightwalker survived wartime flying only to come home to a civilian life that was anything but safe. Two years after surviving a brutal kidnapping, it’s time to get on with her life. She finds a job in Idaho as a park ranger and wildland firefighting instructor. After what she’s been through, men aren’t appealing at all. Not until she meets SSI operative Price Teague. He’s strong. Honorable. A warrior. And she knows in her gut … he’s the one.

The only problem is—he doesn’t seem interested.

He’s a patient warrior.

Price Teague envies his fellow SSI operatives who’ve found women to love, because he sure hasn’t been as lucky. Not until the tough, beautiful firefighting instructor comes into his life. The day that some bastard in the woods shoots at them, Tara is cool, calm, and courageous in the face of danger. He recognizes instantly this is the woman he wants.

He’s usually a direct-action sort of guy, but he can see Tara is wary about men. Maybe she’s been hurt in the past. He’ll take it slow … even if it kills him. But when her kidnapper escapes prison, bent on revenge, Price throws out the slow-and-steady approach. Time is not on his side, and there’s no way he’ll let anyone hurt her.

Danger is all around. Then fire season kicks into gear.

Sneak Peek: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/KtP1i1Tg

Universal Book Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bM9jPV

 

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Website: www.monettemichaels.com
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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MonetteMichaels
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Yes, I Am Alive and Writing

I have to confess, I am horrible at social media. I apologize for not being a regular blogger. To be quite frank, if I am going to create, I’d rather be spending that time on writing novels.

If I didn’t have my Gal Friday, the lovely Janet Snell, doing regular fun posts to my Author FaceBook page (you are following that page, right? — if not here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/authormonettemichaels), I most likely would not interact as much as I do with my fans. I do update my website when there’s something to update and that’s usually when a book is coming out. Same goes for my newsletter (you are signed up for my newsletter, right? — if not, see the link in the right-hand column). With current FaceBook changes and a concentration on Groups over Pages and Timelines, I may have to bite the bullet and create a Group to go with my Author FaceBook Page (picture me hiding in a corner, curled up in a ball; yes, I am a social media introvert).

Since I am here, I bet you’re wondering when the next SSI book, Firestorm, Book 6 in the Security Specialists International series, will be out. If you’re already a fan, you’re aware I put this book up for pre-order back when An Ill Wind came out. At that time, not one word had not been written in Firestorm, but I was advised by my distributor that pre-orders were the way to go even if the book wouldn’t be out for months and months.

Taking this advice–because what do I know about marketing? (less than nothing)–I set the release date on the pre-order as December 1, 2019.

Good news is  — I will beat that, but can’t tell you by how much.  Because—I have a drop-dead deadline to upload a novella for Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe by September 30, 2019 (publication date, October 21, 2019). That puts Firestorm on the back burner for now while I write What A Witch Desires, Book 3 in the What a Witch series.

Be assured, Firestorm is done, BUT not “done” done.

You all know I tend to write long. Mostly because I write layered novels with a romance plot, a suspense plot, and an action plot. This book was supposed to be less lengthy at around 75,000 words. Ah, no. Final first draft exceeded that by about 10,000 words and once I revise (will get to that in a moment), it could be over 100,000 words. Since I am not the fastest writer (cough, life intrudes, cough), it took me awhile especially coming off a long book four in the Prime Chronicles series.  Also, switching back and forth between two series is often a culture shock and I have to get back into the series world I am currently writing (my SSI world bible is in two HUGE binders, see picture below).

I was in the early revision process for Firestorm when I realized I needed to write What A Witch Desires. Like now! Sigh.

Happily, the novella is coming swiftly (13,000 words in less than a week and about to the half way point, so yay!), and I hope to soon be back to whipping my SSI novel into shape.

And, yes, it needed a good spanking. The story is there (my crit buddy and two beta-readers have said so); it just needs a tweak here, a total rethinking on an aspect of a character there, maybe some more nuances here and there, layering in of more scene setting, cutting repetition, etc. — what can I say? It’s a process. Almost as hard and involved as writing the book in the first place. Good news is, I am much faster at editing and revising than I am at writing a full first draft.

The take-away from today’s blog is the following:  (a) Moni is a slow writer , but a fast reviser/editor; (b) she needs to get her life more organized (and since she is A-type, that’s saying a lot); (c) she sucks at social media; and (d) she will have two books out in the latter part of 2019 (yay!). If you need more updates, follow me on FaceBook. If you want a sneak preview of Firestorm later this summer, sign up for my newsletter. Thanks for reading and being a fan.

SSI Bible (two binders) and the Firestorm Binder

 

 

What A Witch Needs

Pre-Order Now!!

Yes, it is time for another novella from the Magic and Mayhem Universe.  What A Witch Needs is book two in the What A Witch series and once again a witch finds her Shifter soul mate an ocean away from home in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.

Blurb:

A witch on the run…

All Gloriana Anora St.John wants is to serve the annulment decree on her never-really-a-husband. She didn’t expect to barge in on a blood sacrifice. After rescuing a young girl, Gloriana and her familiar are cornered by the coven of dark warlocks. It’s no wonder her hasty transport spell—and why hadn’t she practiced the damn spells when she was supposed to?—lands her in the middle of nowhere West Virginia.

A lonely bear Shifter with issues…

Former Marine and bear Shifter Liam Hardisty is minding his own business, popping a thieving honey badger and fishing for his breakfast. Before he can even snag a fish, a turquoise-colored transport cloud dumps a witch and her familiar practically at his paws. One sniff and Liam knows he’s found his mate. Her name is Glory.

Gloriana just rid herself of one male. Plus, she has a dark warlock in hot pursuit. She has more than enough man trouble—she doesn’t need a mate, even one a delicious-smelling hunk like Liam.

Liam knows he’s working on a short clock and has a lot to do before he can give Glory his mating bite—he needs to gain Glory’s trust, prove he’s what she needs in her life, and then protect her from the evil asshat warlock.

What a witch needs isn’t always what she thinks she needs—sometimes, it’s better.

Check out that cover!!  My fabulous cover artist, April Martinez of Graphicfantastic, took my vision and made it real.  How did she do it?  Well, here is a short video showing the cover process from concept to finished product. 

Magic and Mayhem Blast-Off

WE’RE BA-A-A-C-K — AND BETTER THAN EVER!

 

Did you miss us?

When Kindle World shut down, it left a lot of homeless worlds containing a lot of very talented authors with fabulous books.  Robyn Peterman, whom I’m lucky to call a friend, made the decision she wasn’t going to let all her hard work and that of the many authors who wrote in her Magic and Mayhem Universe (formerly World) be put out on the streets.  Thus, she set her prodigious energy and mind on the path to finding us all a new place to cyber-shelve our books.  Thanks to the wonderful folks at Draft2Digital, fans of Magic and Mayhem will now be able to buy the books in all formats, across many retailers, and with world-wide distribution.

Okay, you didn’t miss us, because you have no clue what the Magic and Mayhem Universe is.

I’ll let Robyn Peterman tell you, in her words, what this gig is all about:

What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe, you may ask?

Well, let me explain…

It’s basically authorized fan fiction written by some amazing authors that I stalked and blackmailed! KIDDING! I was lucky and blessed to have some brilliant authors say yes! They have written brand new stories using my world and some of my characters. And let me tell you…the results are hilarious!

So here it is! Blast off with us into the hilarious Magic and Mayhem Universe. Side splitting books by fantabulous authors! Check out each and every one. You will laugh your way to a magical HEA!

For all the stories, go to https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/. Grab your copy today!

The series that started it all by Robyn Peterman:

My re-release Blast-Off Book:

 

Blurb:

Magical artifacts can be deadly…or seductive, and Amethyst St. John delights in them all. She’s curator for the U.K. Covens’ Magical Artifacts Library, and her magic isn’t the usual run-of-the-mill hocus-pocus. Oh no. With her powers, she can turn the nastiest artifact harmless.

Unfortunately, her magic is useless when her egotistical mother pressures her to marry a depraved aristocrat.  So, when the most powerful witch in the world asks her to present an artifact—a very intimate piece of the infamous wizard Merlin—to their sister city Assjacket, West Virginia, Amethyst jumps at the chance.

Bobcat Shifter Kerr Montgomery, chief detective for Assjacket, has better things to do than meet some British ambassador witch … until he catches Amethyst’s scent. She’s his mate—the one woman who can complete his soul. But his Ammy doesn’t understand mating. And she distrusts men. Even worse, she won’t be in Assjacket long enough to change her mind.

And then someone steals Merlin’s intimate body part. Ammy, aided by Kerr, sets out on a quest to find the artifact. In the process, she discovers what she really wants.

 

Buy Links for What A Witch Wants

Free Sneak Peek at What A Witch Wants

 

 

The Authors of the Magic and Mayhem Universe and the links to their Magic and Mayhem page:

Barbra Annino
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/barbra-annino/

~~~~~

Boone Brux
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/boone-brux/

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Deanna Chase
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/deanna-chase/

~~~~~~

Claudy Conn
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/claudy-conn/

~~~~~~

Teresa Gabelman
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/teresa-gabelman/

~~~~~

Eliza Gayle
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/eliza-gayle/

~~~~~~~

Renee George
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/renee-george/

~~~~~~

Mindy Klasky
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/mindy-klasky/

~~~~~~

Cate Lawley
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/cate-lawley/

~~~~~~

Heather Long
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/heather-long/

~~~~~~~

Cherie Marks
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/cherie-marks/

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Lissa Matthews
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/lissa-matthews/

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Donna McDonald
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/donna-mcdonald/

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H. M. McQueen
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/h-m-mcqueen/

~~~~~~~

Monette Michaels
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/monette-michaels/

~~~~~~~

Isabel Micheals
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/isabel-micheals/

~~~~~~~~

Julia Mills
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/julia-mills/

~~~~~~~

Virginia Nelson
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/virgina-nelson/

~~~~~~~~~

Rose Pressey
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/rose-pressey/

~~~~~~~~

Kate Richards
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/kate-richards/

~~~~~~~~~

Jordan K. Rose
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/jordan-k-rose/

~~~~~~~~

Lori Ryan
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/lori-ryan/

~~~~~~~~~

Sharon Saracino
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/sharon-saracino/

~~~~~~~~~

Jodi Vaughn
https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/jodi-vaughn/

Revisiting the Past: Revising My Novel Green Fire

Some background:

I’ve been writing since 1995 and been published in e-books/indie press since 1998.  In that time period, I’ve done a lot of  writing and have published every book I have completed. We won’t discuss the ones that are still notes or half-finished because another plot bunny came along and distracted me—Bunny!!—or because my Muse left the building. 🙂

In all I have written 20 novels,  6 novellas, and 3 short stories — and all are in print BUT FOR ONE — and that one is Green Fire, my 2003 paranormal romantic suspense release from the former indie press, LTDBooks (Canada).

[Left: New cover for Green Fire, designed by April Martinez, Copyright, 2011.]

When LTDBooks closed its  doors at the end of 2005, it was a sad day — I adored the owner (love you, Laura!) and had great experiences at LTD. My rights to all my books published at LTD were immediately given back. My Gooden & Knight books went to Liquid Silver Publishing without any changes. Then I fairly quickly revised and self-published Fatal Vision and Death Benefits.

But not Green Fire. 

I had to put Green Fire on the back-burner, because I’d found great success with my Security Specialist International and Prime Chronicles series. The fan demand and that of my publisher was such that I devoted all my time to putting out books in those two series. Revised versions of previously published books were not a high priority.

In 2011, I finally had reached a point where I had a large enough gap between series books — or so I thought– to devote a few weeks to do a clean edit and then get Green Fire back out there. Um, no.

I began a Green Fire revision and found it taking a lot of time. I had pressure to get to work on Prime Selection (#2 in that series) since my Prime fans had been so patient while I whipped out Eye of the Storm (#1) and Stormy Weather Baby (#1.5) in my SSI series. Since that time — between parent deaths, son moving clear across the country, husband’s major surgery, a bunch more SSI books and another couple of Prime books — and a Kindle World book for Robyn Peterman’s Magic & Mayhem World — I just shelved Green Fire as a To-Do project.

So here I am in 2017 working on it again.  You’d think it shouldn’t take much, right?  After all, this is a book that was accepted and edited by LTDBooks, published to decent reviews back in 2003, and was a finalist in the Dream Realm Contest, paranormal division in 2003. I even went to ArmadilloCon for the awards ceremony (lost, but, hey … finalled!). Plus, I had gotten a bit of a start on the revision back in 2011. I wasn’t working with a blank slate here.

Short answer:  It’s not an easy revision. To use one of my favorite phrases, “I’ve slept since then,” — then being when I first wrote the book in 2002-2003.

I’ve been an Acquisitions and a Copy Editor, read/studied writing techniques, taught writing, critiqued a lot of other authors’ books, and written a shit ton of books since 2003.  I know I am a better, cleaner, tighter writer than I was way back in the beginning. Plus, romance readers’ tastes have changed.

This is an issue for any author who republishes long out-of-print books — do I leave it as originally written?– OR — do I clean house and bring it up to date for the current romance reading population?

So, what’s the problem with this specific book?

Long answer:   Green Fire was the fourth book I had written.  At that point in time, I was still doing the Nora Roberts’ head-hopping thing (BTW, Nora can get away with it; most other authors … not). Multiple points of view even when not head-hopping. Overuse of adverbs. Redundancy. Repetitiveness. Passive voice. And the odd wandering body part. Plus, nit-picky things most readers wouldn’t notice,  but I do. Yes, I am anal.

My decision: This book needed a complete overhaul so I could claim it anew with some semblance of pride.  I had started on some of the POV issues back in 2011.  Figured out early on that the way I wrote the book, I couldn’t really get rid of all the POV characters, but, at least, I wouldn’t head hop with them.

I even had my fave final line editor (love you, Ezra!) take a whack at a semi-revised revision. Bless him, he made judicious edits, but was concerned about changing my story, my voice — and that was the correct thing for him to do.

After fixing what he found and re-reading it, I decided it needed a more extensive revision. Enough more that when I republish it will need a new copyright since there will be enough textual changes such as deletions, new material, and extensive rewriting to demand such (you can edit a book and keep the same copyright number if the changes are technical such as typos and the like).

This is where I am now:  I am touching every page and revising/editing/rewriting.

To keep this revision on track, I am doing a chapter a day. On the days I can’t do a chapter, I make it up the next time I hit the computer. At this rate, I should have a final revised copy to send to my crit buddy (love you, Cheri!), who will then eviscerate it, and I then will accept or reject her evisceration and prepare a final version for publication.

Bottom line, I still like the book’s basic concept and plot. A lithomancer heroine, i.e., she controls stone energy or magic. Lots of action and suspense with the heroine inheriting the family land and becoming the person in her family who protects the family’s legacy and is destined to produce the next generation. The hero is a DEA agent who has magic of his own and his magic complements the heroine’s — together they are stronger than alone. Bad guys abound: evil boss from heroine’s past, drug cartel leader who’s discovered the secret on the land the heroine inherits and wants it, and the cartel minions who try to obtain the land and one of which has his own agenda. Oh and an honorable good guy law officer (yes, he needs his own book — not sure it’ll ever happen) who falls for the heroine and loses out. Basically, your typical Monette Michaels’ book.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck. I hope to have the improved Green Fire out before the end of the summer. Well, let’s put it this way, I have to get this done and soon, since  I have a Prime book (Damon and Susa’s story) to write by the end of the year. There’s always another book waiting to be written.

Original Green Fire Blurb (yes, this needs to be revised, too!) :

Lisa MacDougall is not your normal jewelry designer. Her genetic ability to sense which gemstones complement her clients’ chakras has made her designs famous. Increasingly, her job at Romanoff’s Jewelry Store in New York City has become uncomfortable with Andrei Romanoff’s aggressive sexual overtures. Her inheritance from a previously unknown relative in North Carolina couldn’t have come at a better time.

Lisa picks up stakes and moves to the Blue Ridge tourist town. Here she discovers her ability to read crystal energy is just the tip of the iceberg and that her Uncle Lon has left her more than just a quaint mountain property.

DEA Agent Marco Santiago is on the trail of the Verde Fogate drug cartel. A raid on a Miami warehouse goes bad, and all the DEA finds after months of planning is a lead to a lawyer in Ben Lomond, North Carolina and the words “green fire.” Marco and his partner head for the Blue Ridge Mountains to get to the bottom of what the cartel finds so interesting in Ben Lomond.

Marco finds that the woman who possesses the “green fire” is his complement in magic. But before Lisa and he can look toward a future together, they both must deal with evil from their past.

 

[Right:  Original Green Fire cover, Ariana Overton, Copyright, 2003]

Excerpt (unedited from the current revision):

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
Lon MacDougall halted his nocturnal patrol. Standing under the denuded branches of an oak, he knew he was a sitting duck for the men who stalked him, but he’d had enough of their games. His affairs were in order. They wouldn’t get the land and the treasure it sheltered, the treasure he’d protected since the day his older brother Rob had left North Carolina, turning his back on his birthright.

Wheezing heavily then wincing at the sharp pain caused by the cancer eating away at his insides, Lon moved from his quasi-shelter and headed back toward his cabin. He silently chuckled as his shadowers followed. Stumbling silently over a small rise in the land, Lon swore. In younger, healthier days, he’d have moved through the night like a bobcat, silent and lethal. No way would some damn foreigners have been able to stalk him on his own land. But the cancer had ended all that.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Tonight, he’d die. He’d chosen his manner of death—the quick death of a defender rather than the inevitable slow torture of the disease. The bastards didn’t know it, but they were doing him a favor.

Reaching the porch of his ancestral home, Lon stopped, then smiled. Yes, the land would be safe now. With Rob long since dead, he’d finally tracked Rob’s child to New York City. It had taken him almost a year to find the last surviving MacDougall. His brother had done what he’d sworn he would never do—produced an heir.

And the heir had the power.

The poor fools trying to get the land and the treasure it sheltered would never know what hit them. Lon frowned, wishing he could push fate off a little bit longer, wishing he could be around to help Rob’s child acclimate. Well, he’d done the best he could. The land was in the heir’s name. The tools the heir would need to learn to harness the power were safely away from North Carolina, awaiting the word of his death. He’d done all he could.

The rest would be up to her—Rob’s daughter.

Lon’s still keen eyesight pierced the dark shadows within the forest, zeroing in on movement where there should be none. The night air resonated with the sound of stealthy footsteps. Lon shook his head and sighed. Yep, too bad he wouldn’t be around to help her. He turned to meet death head on. A sound like a hornet. The prick of a dart. It was over that quickly.

As Lon fell off the porch onto the pine-needle-covered ground, he smiled. He’d won; they’d lost—and they didn’t even know it.

“Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight…”

Monette Michaels, Copyright, 2017.

Sneak Preview — An Ill Wind, Security Specialists International #5

mm_ssi5_anillwind_300x400

For those who have been waiting on Trey Maddox and Dr. Fiona Teague’s story, the wait is almost over. Book is in final line edits and then it will go to formatting. After that, I will upload and begin posting links as the book is published at the various retailers. Please enjoy this sneak peek.– Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fans — Monette Michaels

****

 

Blurb:

A damaged woman fleeing her past.

After being stalked then attacked by a colleague, Dr. Fiona Teague flees to a New Mexico border town. Working in a clinic, Fee endeavors to overcome the horror of that night. To her dismay, Trey Maddox, her brother’s friend, refuses to be deterred from pursuing a relationship with her. If only she weren’t so broken … Trey’s everything a woman could want—honorable, strong, heroic, but he deserves better than a damaged woman.

A strong, capable protector determined to lure her into the shelter of his arms.    

During an Idaho blizzard, SSI operative Trey Maddox met Fee over the barrel of a rifle as she protected his pregnant sister-in-law. The gutsy little doc then ignored her own physical injuries to deliver his nephew. How could Trey not fall for her? Before he could persuade her to stay in Idaho, she’d cut and run to New Mexico. Undeterred by the distance, he pursues her, eroding her resistance with patience and tenacious good humor. And, finally, she agrees to an actual “date.”

But the ill wind that had destroyed her once before now sweeps through Fee’s life again. She’s kidnapped by a drug cartel. Trey arrives to find her house a bloody crime scene. The cartel has no idea of the ruthless hunter they’ve unleashed. Trey will storm hell itself in order to rescue Fee and make her his, once and for all.

Excerpt:
Copyright, 2016, Monette Michaels.
All rights reserved.

Prologue

11 pm, February 20th
Stanley Parker Health Center
Columbus, New Mexico

Dr. Fiona Teague’s stomach growled. Six-year-old Maria Cortez giggled, the first sound that wasn’t a whimper or a mewl of pain since the child’s arrival at the emergency room. Fee swept a lock of black silky hair off Maria’s face. The girl had an ugly bruise on her forehead. Maria’s brother had shoved the little girl and she’d fallen off her front porch and—head met sidewalk.

“Are you feeling better, chica?”

The x-rays hadn’t shown any fracture, thank goodness. Fee had cleaned the bloody scrape, administered a prescription-strength dose of Tylenol, and applied ice to get the swelling down. There really wasn’t anything else she could do.

Maria shrugged her shoulders, her big brown eyes still moist from earlier tears.

Fee looked at Maria’s mother. “Señora, just keep an eye on Maria. Wake her up every hour just to make sure she can. If you can’t rouse her, or if she throws up or complains of severe headaches, bring her back in right away. I’m going to have Nurse Pia schedule a follow-up visit for Maria at the clinic on Monday.”

Gracias, Dr. Teague.” Señora Cortez picked up Maria who clung like a monkey to her mother. The woman left the exam area. The now-chastised older brother fell into step with his mother. The father was missing in action. Pia Lopez had told her the man was a drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel.

It was don’t ask, don’t tell—business as usual in this ER in a U.S.-Mexico border community.
Pia walked up to Fee. “Well, that was different.” The petite nurse was a Mexican-American who’d lived in Columbus, New Mexico, her whole life except for the time she’d left to attend nursing school in Austin, Texas. She was one of the best nurses Fee had ever worked with anywhere.

“Well, it definitely was a break from treating addicts who’ve decided to mix heroin and crystal meth.” Drug overdoses or, in the case of speedballing, drug stupidity was a lot of what Fee dealt with during her shifts, day or night. The rest of her cases tended to be knifings and gun shot wounds which arose out of the running and selling of drugs.

Fee’s stomach growled again. “I need to eat. Want to grab a bite with me? I brought a couple of sandwiches and am happy to share.”
Pia shook her head, a sly smile on her face. “I’ve eaten, thanks. Besides someone is here and has brought you some of my mama’s chicken enchiladas you like so well.”

Carmela Lopez owned and was the chief cook for a local diner called Mamacitas. Fee ate or carried out a lot of her meals from there.

Fee smiled. “Your mother is so sweet to think of me. What did she bring you?”

“Not my mama.” Pia shoved her in the direction of the small break room. “Go see.”

Her surprise meal guest had to be Price. Her brother had mentioned something about visiting this week. It would be just like him to get Pia’s mother to make Fee’s favorite Mexican meal.

Would Trey Maddox be with him? Fee’s pulse raced and a tingle of excitement traveled over her skin. She would never admit it out loud, but when Trey hadn’t come the last time Price visited, she’d missed him. Missed him a lot—more than a lot—and that had shocked her. She still wasn’t sure she was ready for the type of relationship Trey wanted with her. A relationship he’d patiently pursued for months, making the trip from Idaho frequently, most often in the company of her brother.

Fee entered the break room and stopped just inside the door.

Her heart stuttered as she took in all that was Trey Maddox. The man was six-foot, four inches of alpha-male with thick, dark hair and green eyes. Those eyes now gleamed as he approached her in a panther-like glide. “Hey, little doc.”

Only Trey called her that. She’d grown to like his pet name for her, mostly because of the affectionate tone in his voice when he said it. No one before him had ever cared enough to use an endearment when speaking to her.

“You look beautiful.” His languid perusal burned over every inch of her. His expression grew more sensual.

Trey needed his eyes examined. She had on no make-up and a set of green scrubs that had blood and other bodily fluids that would put most people off their food. But the look in his eyes had her believing his words. To him, she was beautiful and that fact both confused her and made her grateful.

“Trey…” Flustered at his all-encompassing gaze, Fee looked around. “…um, where’s my brother?”

“He’s on an op…” he said.

Trey stopped less than a foot away from her. His gaze seemed fixed on her mouth. Her breath caught in her throat and she wondered if he’d kiss her.

Kiss him. You know you want to.

No, she couldn’t. She was a woman who’d had really bad luck with the men in her past.

Trey’s not those other guys, and, for sure, he isn’t the stalker-rapist Adam-fucking-Stall.

Definitely not. She shuddered at the thought of the former colleague who’d raped her, denied he’d done it, and was the reason she’d run from Detroit to this middle of effin’ nowhere border town.

“…so I came in his place and brought you a meal.” Trey held out his hand. “Come and sit down. Let me serve you. Señora Lopez sent enough food for both of us. The smell has had me salivating ever since I picked up the food from her house.”

Fee placed her cold hand in his large, warm one. The innocent touch thrilled her, more so than kisses from any other man. “You didn’t have to come.”

“Yes, I did.” Trey lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the tips of her fingers. “I missed seeing you last month.” He looked into her eyes. “I wasn’t missing this month, too.”

“Okay.” She swallowed hard. His expression … his voice … his words overwhelmed her. He looked at her as if she were as essential to him as oxygen.

Looking away, she focused on the table. Oh my. Happy tears threatened to choke her.

He’d set the cheap plastic table with a bouquet of flowers, candles, china, silver, and cloth napkins.
No one, not even her beloved brother Price, had ever done anything so nice, so special for her. “Y-y-you put my Diet Pepsi in a wine glass.”

Past bad experiences with and insecurities about men were swept away in a groundswell of joy. Fee pulled her hand loose, stood on her tip toes, and brushed a kiss over his lips. “Th-that’s so sweet. Th-thank you.”

“You’re welcome … and you’re the sweet one.” Leaning down, he cupped her face and gave her kiss back to her and then took it up another notch.

Holy hell. The man could kiss.

Trey took his time as he nibbled and licked her lips. There was no aggression in his touch; if there had been, she’d have recoiled. Instead, he was gently insistent, and she opened to his lips and tongue and shyly returned the kiss.

“Fee,” he murmured as he continued to press light kisses on her mouth. “You taste good, and I’d love nothing more than to kiss you for hours, but this probably isn’t the best time or place.”

Damn, one kiss, and a fairly innocent one at that, and Fee’s brain took a short vacation, losing all sense of time and space. No man’s kisses or intimate touch had ever taken her out of herself before.

Shaking off the sensual haze, she nodded. “Yeah. The ER’s quiet right now, but—” Her stomach rumbled loudly.

Trey chuckled. Tucking some of her curls behind her ear, he kissed the tip of her nose. “But it could get busy, and you need fuel so you can handle the rest of your shift. Sit, let me serve you supper.”

He took her arm and led her to the table and then held the wobbly plastic and metal chair for her. She sat and scooted closer to the table and placed the napkin on her lap. Taking a sip of the Diet Pepsi, she watched as he pulled out the food and served her two chicken enchiladas along with some beans and rice.

Fee inhaled the aroma and her mouth watered. “Smells divine. What did Carmela make you?”

“I have the pork enchiladas, but with the same tomatillo sauce she put on yours.” Trey sat and took a long pull from the dewy bottle of Dos Equis by his place setting. “Eat. Catch me up on what’s happened since I was here last.”

Fee took a bite of her food and found it was easy to talk to Trey about her patients—in general terms, of course, she’d never violate their privacy—and about life in the small border town. She even told him how Pia was ignoring Sheriff Levi Gray Wolf’s romantic overtures and how worried both Carmela and Pia were about Pia’s brother Ernesto who ran drugs for the cartel.

Trey’s expression grew darker the more Fee revealed about Pia’s brother. He held up a hand, halting her words. “Are you using the security system Price and I installed at your place?”

“Yes.” She let out an exasperated sigh at the autocratic note in his tone. Both men had lectured her on safety rules several times since she’d moved to New Mexico. “I set the system every night.”

“Fee…” A stern look on his face, Trey reached across the small table and tipped up her chin. “You’re very precious to your brother, to my sister-in-law and her family—and to me. Use the system whenever you’re home, day or night. Cartel asshats can attack during the day just as easily as the night. Okay?”

She captured his hand and squeezed it. “Okay. You know you’re as bossy as my brother.”

Trey pulled his hand from hers and traced her lips with the tip of a finger. “I ain’t your brother, sweetheart.”

God, and didn’t she know it. Her feelings for Trey were intense—had always been strong from the day she met him—but the feelings had grown over the months. He’d burrowed under her skin, slowly but surely.

All too soon, they finished their meal. Drawing out her time with him, she helped him clean up the table and then walked him to the ER exit. “Thanks again for visiting and bringing me a meal.”

“You’re very welcome, little doc.” Trey took her in his arms and kissed her deeply, then let her go. “See you in a month. Maybe I can take you out for a real date next time?”

“Maybe. I’ll think on it.”

“You do that.” He gave her a panty-melting smile, then turned and left.

Fee watched until he got in his rental and drove away. She already missed him.

 

Covers to Color: Creating Illustrations by April Martinez

MM_CoversToColor_page01The last two weeks I covered how this idea of making a coloring book of my book covers came about and the legal issues all authors must address in order to do such a project.  This week and next, April Martinez, my fabulous cover artist and the person who created my coloring book, will talk about her process.

Creating the Illustrations

When Moni came to me about a coloring book for her, I’d already been mulling over the best way to convert existing cover art into coloring book line art.

Last year, my fellow cover artists and I were discussing how the popularity of coloring books has worked its way even into the romance industry — one New York publisher had already turned their cover art into black and white illustrations that their readers could color, and smaller publishers were considering doing the same. So, when the topic of Photoshop tips and tricks came up, we cover artists began to look for a quick and easy way to turn photo-manipulated cover designs into simpler line drawings. We shared among ourselves links to videos and how-to blogs, debating over the best way to do this.

I was skeptical of all the methods, though, even of the ones I’d shared or developed myself.

See … the thing is, there is no quick and easy way to turn a photo-based image into line art that a colorist would actually want to color.

The best you might be able to create with a few Photoshop tricks is something that looks like a realistic pencil drawing or a textured and artfully done pen and ink illustration. It is not, however, something a coloring book enthusiast would necessarily want to color.

 

Amazon Reviews on Gray Scale Coloring Books

Some Amazon Reviews on Gray Scale Coloring Books

Why is this?

Well … if you look at a coloring book illustration, especially in a popular coloring book, the artwork is fairly simple and spartan. By “simple,” I don’t mean anything like stick figures and children’s drawings; I mean that the artwork is typically uncluttered by textures, highlights, shadows, and details that might add depth to the drawing. It is crisp black ink on clean white paper, no gradations of color such as grays to add shading or 3D shape to the representation on the page. If you think about it, a coloring book illustration is actually quite an abstract version of whatever it’s supposed to be. It’s almost a written language, the world laid down in symbols of black markings, a simple line drawing meant to communicate with uncomplicated brevity a universe of much deeper meaning.

The colorists, mind you, are meant to add all that texture and meaning to the illustration themselves. It is their purpose to give shape and color to the line art, like adding muscles, fat, and skin to a skeletal framework.

So … using a Photoshop trick to turn something into line art doesn’t necessarily work because a Photoshop trick will merely take all the detail in a photo-based image and translate it into black or gray pixels — i.e., turn it into a grayscale image. If there is a lot of texture and grain, or a lot of gradations of color and shadow, Photoshop won’t know how to translate that into its barest form — i.e., solid outlines, the most basic language that a human colorist can understand and work with. It just won’t know what to keep and what to throw out, at least not as well as a human mind could.

This is especially the case when the artwork you want to convert is a beautifully textured image, artfully lit, fading one element into another in a pleasing montage-like collage. In fact, the result is often just too finished or too busy to do anything more with it. It might be utterly beautiful in its detail, but a colorist looks at that and thinks, “That’s not something I can color.” They may not even want to. Why bother? There’s no room for their own interpretation.

So, when Moni came to me, not only had I already weighed the pros and cons of each Photoshop trick I’d come across or developed, but I had also already seen some Amazon reviews on coloring books created in this quick and easy way (see above) — and I had already learned a few things in creating my own coloring book, which I’d created from scratch with no Photoshop filters. I decided then that Moni’s coloring book would be a good opportunity for me to really test my own theories on this.

And here is what I did:

1. The quick-and-easy Photoshop conversion

Moni gave me four titles to work with, the first being Prime Imperative. This being my first attempt at converting one of my covers into a coloring book illustration, I decided to give some Photoshop methods a good college try.

False modesty aside, I have “mad skills” in Photoshop — über-mad skills — and I’ve written the tutorials to prove it. None of the YouTube videos people recommended were revelations to me; I already knew most of the tricks. Yet … I couldn’t find a single way in Photoshop to turn Prime Imperative into simple line art that someone would want to color.

Not only did I try multiple ways, but I also combined a number of different ways to try to get the best result. Parts and pieces of the image that already had good contrast and large expanses of color, I did in one way. Other parts and pieces that had a complex gradation of colors and a lot of detail, I did in another way. I did a lot of versions. I did them in layers. I did them in stages, and I did them with the different settings and options tweaked. It was one giant trial-and-error session that proved to me that the “quick-and-easy” way was far from quick and far from easy.

The very best I could come up with was this:

 

converted

PhotoShop Method, (c) 2016, Graphicfantastic, All Rights Reserved.

 

2. The time-consuming hand-drawn method

By this point, I’d figured drawing the illustration by hand would take less time and yield better results. I was wrong about the time, but I was right about the results.

I imported the cover art into, not Photoshop, but Illustrator, and I imported it as a template. I then used the pen or pencil tool — anything with a 1pt. stroke, really — and actually traced the lines in the artwork. Given the detail in the artwork, it was as time-consuming as one might expect it to be, probably more than a full day’s work, maybe 8-10 hours with a Wacom pen and tablet, simply laying down line by line, using my human brain to decide what to outline and what to leave out.

For an artist like me more accustomed to working with stock photos and Photoshop tools, the work seemed overly slow and tedious. Despite my early experience with hand-drawn art, I’d gotten way too used to the instant gratification of photo-manipulated work. So I was practically brain-dead by the time I finished.

But I was relieved to finally be able to send Moni the two experiments — the Photoshop-converted version and this hand-drawn version:

 

handdrawn

Hand-drawn Method (c) 2016, Graphicfantastic, All Rights Reserved.

 

Which of these two would you color? If you’re anything like me, you’d prefer the second one; there’s just more room for interpretation.

This made me cringe as an artist trying to make a living, though. Creating a coloring book illustration by hand is just so much work. I would have to charge a full day’s pay for each drawing, at least, and who would want to pay that? Oy.

But the hand-drawn version really did end up being the better one, so I did the other three by hand as well.

*********

I loved the results April produced with the hand-drawn method. 

Next week, April will be back and discuss the laying out of the coloring book, which includes the amazing front and back covers.

Muse Wednesday: Cynthia Sax

Lord Of ScoundrelsI am thrilled to have author Cynthia Sax sharing her muse with us today.  It’s so much fun to find other authors who like the same books — Lord of Scoundrels is one of my favorite Loretta Chase books and is a go-to, re-read, comfort book for me. So please join me in welcoming Cynthia to the blog as she shares why she chose this particular book as an inspiration for her writing. — Monette

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I’ve been inspired by a zillion different authors. Barbara Cartland was my first introduction to romance. Christine d’Abo was my first introduction to erotic romance. Laurann Dohner was my first introduction to both SciFi erotic romance and stories with cyborg heroes (which is the niche Releasing Rage falls into).

But there’s one romance novel that I reach for whenever I feel a fit of the lazies, whenever I think ‘this story is tight enough’, and that’s Loretta Chase’s Lord Of Scoundrels.

Lord Of Scoundrels, a Regency romance, is a tight book. There’s not one throwaway scene in the story. Every scene is important. Every scene has multiple meanings. There are motifs and symbolism and very few wasted words.

The prologue is a flashback of the hero’s early life, specifically his hellion days at school. He’s not a teenager. He’s a very naughty little boy. Then, in the first chapter, we meet the heroine. She’s confronting her much larger brother, taking him to task for his behavior. He responds as a naughty little boy might and we KNOW she’s someone who won’t take any backchat from the hero (foreshadowing). She not only will challenge the hero but she’ll understand him.

And yes, I said prologue. Many editors hate prologues. I’ve never had one survive to final copy. Not having a prologue is one of those unspoken writer ‘rules’ yet here is one in the book I use as a benchmark for writing. It is needed. It adds value to the story. It proves that every rule can be broken if we do it well enough.

Lord Of Scoundrels also shows that every action can be acceptable as long as the character’s motivation is strong enough. Dain, the hero, is a terrible person. He doesn’t miraculously improve by the end of the story either. He stays true to his rather difficult nature. But we understand why he’s a terrible person and we understand why Jess grows to love him.

Shocking things happen in this story. They have a reason for happening. They aren’t merely a means to surprise the reader. But Loretta Chase ‘goes there’. She didn’t soften the story to be more marketable.

Lord Of Scoundrels is circular storytelling (which is one reason why the prologue is so important). It starts with a very naughty little boy and ends with a very different naughty little boy. Circular storytelling is a favorite construct of mine. It’s extremely powerful and I often use it.

This book is a basis for my mental revision checklist. I ask myself ‘Is this scene necessary? Can this scene do more? Can I use symbolism effectively here? How can I make this object or phrase or article of clothing mean something in my story? Can I make this character more intense? Is he or she true to his or her nature? Am I being authentic or am I making him or her ‘nicer’ in hopes that the book will be more marketable? Do I ‘go there’ and do I ‘go there’ for a storytelling reason, not simply to shock readers?”

Have you read Lord Of Scoundrels? What did you love about it?

***

Releasing Rage_CompressedReleasing Rage-Cynthia Sax

Half Man. Half Machine. All Hers.

Rage, the Humanoid Alliance’s most primitive cyborg, has two goals–kill all of the humans on his battle station and escape to the Homeland. The warrior has seen the darkness in others and in himself. He believes that’s all he’s been programmed to experience.

Until he meets Joan.

Joan, the battle station’s first female engineer, has one goal–survive long enough to help the big sexy cyborg plotting to kill her. Rage might not trust her but he wants her. She sees the passion in his eyes, the caring in his battle-worn hands, the gruff emotion in his voice.

When Joan survives the unthinkable, Rage’s priorities are tested. Is there enough room in this cyborg’s heart for both love and revenge?

Buy Now:

On Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Releasing-Rage-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZOL1DRO

On Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ZOL1DRO/

On ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-releasingrage-1850041-340.html

On B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/releasing-rage-cynthia-sax/1122455646

 

About Cynthia Sax:

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com

Website: http://cynthiasax.com/

Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Twitter: @CynthiaSax

Blog: http://tasteofcyn.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muse Wednesday: Rebecca Drake

The last in a series of Muse blogs leading up to the Maintaining Pace in Mystery panel, Saturday, October 10th at 1 pm, Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, NC, is from Rebecca Drake.  If you are coming to Bouchercon, please come and see Rebecca, me, Laura Benedict, Hilary Davidson, and Annette Dashofy.

*****

Harriet the SpyMy first muse was a nosy, streetwise bad-ass named Harriet M. Welsch, the titular character of Louise Fitzhugh’s children’s classic, Harriet the Spy. Harriet spied on her friends and neighbors, scribbling down their conversations and her own sharp observations in a notebook. I adored Harriet and while I didn’t have a nanny and didn’t know anyone with a house that had a dumbwaiter (read the book—I won’t spoil it for you), I did have a notebook, plenty of pens, and the free time that you only have when you’re a child.

This was in Bloomington, Indiana, a far cry from the Upper East Side of Manhattan where Harriet lived, but it was a walkable community in the 1970s, long before child abduction stories and 24-hour news cycles made people fearful of what is now called free-range parenting. This was an era when mothers routinely urged their children to get out and go somewhere, anywhere, but at home and under foot. My husband’s mother used to tell her kids, “Go blow the stink off you!” My own mother was more eloquent, but no less determined to get me and my siblings out of her hair. Every Saturday we were sent off to visit the library, walking distance from our house by yesterday’s standards, but an Uber ride by today’s. With nobody to monitor our progress, I was free to roam all over Indiana University’s campus spying on students or stalk the people browsing in shops along Kirkwood Avenue. Once I arrived at the Monroe County Public Library I faced a dilemma—did I use precious book selection time to keep spying or did I abandon my own writing to get immersed in other people’s stories? I usually split the difference, picking out a stack of books before heading upstairs to the adult section, where I’d crouch in one of their amazing 1970s egg chairs and swivel around squinting at patrons and scribbling notes about them, before being shooed back downstairs by librarians. Like Harriet, I was an insatiably curious kid who was always fascinated by human behavior, especially anything odd and abnormal or even vaguely suspicious. What was behind that woman’s hyena-like laughter or why was that man hiding in the stacks mumbling to himself?

While the fictional Harriet was my inspiration to start recording these observations, I found my adult muse in English author Ruth Rendell. By the time I discovered her I’d read hundreds of novels and fallen in love with so many authors and their characters, but in Ruth Rendell’s, and her alter ego Barbara Vine’s, books I found the adult version of that pointed, sometimes wry and darkly comic, observation of human behavior that I’d first identified in Harriet the Spy. I realized that this was the type of author I aspired to be—I wanted to write books exploring ordinary people and the complications within their seemingly ordinary lives, which often became shockingly extraordinary in her gifted telling. The very first book of hers that I read was a standalone, The Tree of Hands, which dealt with child abduction—the crime at the The Tree of Hands original UKcore of the novel—but was also an exploration of mothers and children, attachment and grief. It wasn’t until I was thinking about my muse for this blog that I realized how deeply this book, which I read so many years ago, had influenced by own writing and especially my latest novel, Only Ever You, which explores similar themes.

I quickly read some of her other stand-alones—A Judgement in Stone, A Dark-Adapted Eye, A Fatal Inversion, The House of Stairs—before also devouring her Inspector Wexford series, my favorite of which is An Unkindness of Ravens. I’ve also read and adore her short story collections, especially The Fallen Curtain, The New Girlfriend, and The Fever Tree. Some of her stories have shocking endings and many of them continue to haunt me years after reading them. People often describe Rendell’s writing as “disturbing,” and it definitely can be—she takes an unflinching look at personality quirks and foibles, which either mask or become the catalyst for sinister and criminal behavior. However, in her Wexford novels, I think we get if not the warm fuzzy, definitely the warmer side of her characters. Reg Wexford is also a keen observer of human behavior, but his clear, if often stumbling, devotion to his wife and daughters and his constant struggles with weight, make him a likeable, relatable character in a way that some of her other standalone characters might not be. Like them or not, what you can say definitively about Rendell’s characters is that there are no cardboard cutouts among them. She was a master at exploring the psyche, and a prolific inspiration to writers everywhere—she wrote 66 novels and was still writing until she suffered a stroke and died this past May at 85. When I heard about her death I experienced the same pangs that you feel on the death of a friend, even though I never had the pleasure of meeting or even seeing her in person. This sense of loss was coupled with the unhappy realization that there would be only one more time, when her final book is released, to experience the sheer joy of spying a new book by her on the bookstore shelf. My only consolation is that because she wrote so many books, I can start fresh with her first novel and discover my muse all over again.

 

RebeccaDrake-150x150Author Bio

Rebecca Drake’s latest psychological thriller, ONLY EVER YOU, will be released by St. Martin’s Press in 2016. Her debut novel, DON’T BE AFRAID, was a lead title for Kensington in 2006. THE NEXT KILLING followed in 2007 and was selected by four national book clubs including The Literary Guild. THE DEAD PLACE came out in 2008 and was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) bestseller. In 2011 “Loaded” appeared in PITTSBURGH NOIR, one of Akashic Books’ award-winning collection of noir anthologies. A graduate of Penn State, Rebecca is an instructor in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. More about Rebecca can be found at RebeccaDrake.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/rebecca.drake.writer And Twitter @AuthorRDrake

OnlyEverYouHighRes-197x300Pre-order Only Ever You at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books-a-Million
Penguin Bookshop