Yesterday at 3:45 pm, I submitted my 2nd book in the Project Morpheus romantic suspense series! That will be the 10th book I've had published. What a milestone. It still feels like a big relief and weight off to finally get the book out the door. No less a relief than on the first book published in 2015!
That's not to say it's the 10th book I've ever written. My very first book will stay buried under the bed forever, it was so bad. I have one more book in Project Morpheus drafted, 3 books in a Chicago FBI series drafted, and a medical romance series where the first book is partly drafted. So, really it's 15 1/2 books written. That's a decent accomplishment!
I'm trying out a new website format/theme. Don't love it yet, and I might play around with some tabs and categories. Unfortunately, I'm no graphic design guru, so it's trial and error (heavy on the "error") when it comes to websites.
You all -- I am so excited to have a new book coming out 7/26/22!
FALLEN COMRADE, book #1 in the Project Morpheus romantic suspense series, is being published by Evernight and I cannot squee enough about how much I love this book!
This is the book that has been in the ether for about 6 years. In the book, I took some big-time writing risks and tackle challenging topics and situations. Quite frankly I allow things to get very uncomfortable and scary (spoiler alert, it's a happily-ever-after -- no worries -- I've got you!). It was emotionally difficult for me to write and even harder to execute with appropriate sensitivity and, also ... application of the laws of physics (you'll see what I mean when you read it).
Here's my blurb:
Ex-Green Beret Jake Zimmerman’s Georgia mountain seclusion is shattered when the one woman he should never have left, pregnant Kiera McNeill, shows up on his doorstep. Her life is in danger, thanks to a botched Morpheus Squad mission. If the nature of her baby is discovered, evil forces will stop at nothing to capture Kiera. When Kiera learns of Jake’s top-secret Morpheus Virus running through his veins, she realizes that her protector is the deadlier threat.
Kiera knows the secrets of Fallen Comrades, a billion-dollar “charity” which siphons donations away from wounded veterans and into the pockets of power-hungry CFO Beau Lequire. Now her sadistic ex-boss, Lequire, wants revenge. Her only chance of escape rests in the lethal hands of the man who once rejected her: Jake. All she needs to do is suppress her feelings for Jake long enough to destroy Fallen Comrades, stay alive, and save her baby.
I can't wait for readers to jump into the world of the Morpheus Squad with all the extra EXTRA ALPHA-ness of this group of ex-Special Forces team who were subjects of a military experiment gone dreadfully wrong. Now they are super soldiers ... and ticking time bombs.
But you know how I roll -- in my books even an alpha male will sacrifice his heart and body for the people in his life. He cares about others and the world around him, ensures consent with his partner and respects his partner, and knows how amazingly smart and savvy his partner is and how lucky he is to be with his partner. Hey, look: those are the rules in my books!
Big thanks to my fabulous ARC team and reviewers who have had such kind things to say about this book! I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on this story! Your excitement and feedback makes me want to write the next book. (Insider hint: It's already written and it is a WILD RIDE! With the next book, HIDDEN COMRADE, I will break your heart* and then put it back together even better.)
If you've thought about checking out FALLEN COMRADE, please consider PREORDERING HERE. Those preorders really help give a boost when the book goes live on 7/26/22. The more boost, the more people who see it, the more action/adventure/love I get to spread into the universe!
Here's my amazing cover!!!
*Not literally breaking your heart, because that would be malpractice and whatnot. Next book will emotionally tug at some heartstrings with so much sexy vulnerability that still manages to occur even when the couple is running for their lives. You have to see it to believe it. >STAY TUNED!<
So basically I'm using this blog post to expand on some mentoring activities I might be doing later this year. They said "100 word bio" and I basically used 5 words to say "more mentoring info at: my website"
That's not cheating. That's using resources effectively and working within parameters! :)
Over the past several years I've done varying levels of mentoring. You'll see me supporting great causes like Romance for Reproductive Justice with my usual offering of a 3 chapter critique. I've done some volunteer mentoring for Tessera Editorial clients and had a fun time working with folks there! I'm proud to say that I've had a small role to play in teaching craft and spiffing up the first 3 chapters for several terrific new authors. Some of whom have gotten book deals with television rights. Looking at you, Yas! (I'd love to take credit for any of it, but that was all due to her amazing story.)
What I can bring to the table are all the cautionary lessons of my mistakes in publishing. How NOT to do queries. How NOT to freak out on revisions. How NOT to pick a totally un-marketable genre to write (but wow was it fun!). How NOT to do deep POV. How NOT to create characters and plots. All these mistakes? Two thumbs, right here.
The things I tend to point out for mentees include: finding the right place to start the story, ramping up suspense/tension, and incorporating deep point of view. I like working in digestible chunks of book and time (1-3 chapters at a time with turnaround for thinking through the info and doing a revision).
My schedule can get hectic as I work as a rural doctor, though I try hard to time my writing workshops and mentoring chats on days I'm not on call. It's just ... some weeks (months) I'm on call ... a lot. What I like to see is mentees take the first few chapters of our in-depth lessons and use that to identify areas of their writing to strengthen throughout the entire manuscript. Like, the lessons we dove deeply into in chapter 1 -- deep POV, establishing character traits, tightening the story line, increasing tension -- the mentee should be able to start applying those concepts with more confidence as they go back through their entire manuscript.
Type of romance? I probably need something with paranormal, suspense, or medical elements -- whether we're talking historical, contemporary, or romantic suspense. And funny is fabulous! Cussing is just fine, too -- I mean, I had to de-f%$k an entire manuscript once, so I cannot cast any stones here!
I would probably not be a good mentor for small town relationship contemporaries where there's not a lot of drama, cozy mysteries, procedural type books (law/crime), literary fiction, or procedural historical (regencies where the details create a lot of the drama -- I'm just not an expert in historical manners and social mores at a level needed to do a proper job teaching). Now if you want to bring me a Victorian mystery corpse or phosphorous workers ("The Dress Lodger") then I might bite! Sci-fi and fantasy romances like H. E. Trent's Jekh series? Um, yes please!
I hope this clarifies my mentoring style and types of manuscripts that might be good matches for what I can help with. If there are questions, please let me know!
So I am admittedly a smidge reclusive -- er, reluctant -- to do videos that go out on the interwebs. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit down with Shay Baby of Brown Book Series at the recent Chicago Spring Fling Conference and boy was it a hoot!
Shay is the loveliest person and made the live interview mostly painless.
I did my best to name drop other authors and indepedent bookstores, but honestly I ended up saying whatever hit my brain and BOY OH BOY IS THAT DANGEROUS!
Anyway, feel free to check out yours truly in live action in all her awkward, ghost-like glory FULL YOUTUBE INTERVIEW HERE
If you want the highlights, here you go:
1) breaking news at 2:16
2) editing while waiting for a patient to dilate 4:11
3) preparing for speaking engagements by drinking heavily 7:12
4) where I say a very bad word on live-streaming video 9:15
5) I take over the interview and turn it on Shay at 9:41 because I'm too nervous for her to ask me more questions
6) talking about running 50K's at 20:30
7) where my research methods make it sound like I have a body in the basement 25:44
8) where things start to go off the rails 26:51
9) it looks like I'm endorsing drug use but I'm not at 29:25
10) I end up offering counseling to Shay off-camera because this interview is GONE GONE GONE by 30:39
And here's a bit of Twitter shenanigans HERE and HERE
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.