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Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales is out NOW

Surprise! I had forgotten about this anthology because I committed to it a long time ago and I’ve written two books since then.

This is a Jayhenge Press book, which means incredible talent from around the world and stories of all lengths. Jessica has a great eye for picking stories.

My story is Season’s Change, a less explicit version of the story by the same name from Chemical [se]X 2.

Here’s an excerpt

Over the next few weeks, her life fell into a pattern. During the day she’d wander the castle. She’d spend time in the garden. She’d stand at the doorway to the kitchen, admiring the various delicacies that had been made for Hades. Every three days there was a plate of golden honey sweets. Honey sweets that tormented her, their scent as seductive as the feeling of Hades’s body pressed against her.

Cerberus followed her like a shadow, one head always swiping kisses along her wrist, the second occasionally deigning to be petted, while the third head was eager to play fetch.

Her evenings were spent with Hades. Bedtime grew later and later as she grew more and more reluctant to leave his company. His attention was like tending roses, as he could be thorny. Persephone ached to touch him the way she touched the roses in the garden.

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Growing Pains

Not long after publishing Lab Rats, I realized I wasn’t happy. More to the point, after I finished the far superior sequel, I realized how much my eating disorder populated and affected Lab Rats, and how the quality had suffered.

But that was that, right? It’s out in the world, no fixing it now.

Until I talked to a more experienced author who advised me to just pull it down and fix it. I’ve only sold maybe 30-50 copies total, so it’s not like 100k readers had read it.

So I did. Lab Rats is no more. When I finish my Christmas novella, I’ll jump back into what is now going to be the rewritten Lab Rats.

I’m trying to see this as a positive way to move forward with a series I can stand behind instead of one where I only like the last two books of the trilogy.

Lioness Excerpt

I was going to post and then the whole Covid thing came up and I got overwhelmed. I know I’m not alone in that. Welcome to the Delilah Night homeschool for cranky children (to be fair, it’s cranky child–the other one is fine). It sucks.

How am I coping? In part by editing Lioness with my awesome editor, Jess. I’m not getting much new writing done, but Lioness is doing great. In honor of that, here’s an excerpt

To set the scene, there’s been a growing romantic tension between Shan and Molly, but they haven’t owned it or done anything about it at this point in the book.

Dream casting for Shan

“Are you always so well put together, Molly? It makes me want to rumple you.”

Molly laughed. “I’m plenty rumpled on the weekends. Hard to do yardwork in my work clothes.”

Shan gave her one of those long, lingering looks. “I’ve never seen your hair down.”

Molly’s heartbeat had stuttered. She wanted Shan to see her hair down, now that she’d said something about it. Molly met and held Shan’s gaze. She reached back and pulled out a bobby pin, and dropped it on the side table next to her wine. The need was inexplicable and undeniable.

The bobby pin made a plink as it hit the wood.

Plink.

Plink.

Plink.

Ten plinks later, Molly let go of her bun and shook out her hair. Feminine pride flickered through her body when she saw the way Shan was looking at her.

“It’s just Mousy brown,” Molly had said, trying to find her way out of the sudden tension between them.

“Not from where I’m sitting. I see beautiful chestnut hair. Nothing mousy about it,” Shan said, taking a deep drink from her glass.

Molly had swallowed around the lump in her throat. When was the last time someone had complimented her looks?

Molly cursed her fair skin, knowing that she was turning as red as a tomato, all because Shangela had complimented her hair. She’d glanced down at the rug, then back at Shan’s eyes.

“I think your eyes are beautiful,” she’d said, all the bravery in her body in that one compliment.

Shan’s lips had curved into a playful smile. “We’re becoming quite the mutual admiration society, aren’t we, Molly?” Her tone was warm, and her eyes sparkled with amusement.

Molly, but sexier

Don’t forget that you can read Lab Rats free on Kindle Unlimited or purchase it for 2.99.

The Music of Lab Rats

I’m an obsessive music listener, and I’ve always found music to be helpful in processing or adjusting my mood. Or, in the case of my books, to be a way of connecting with the story deeper.

Here are ten songs out of the seventy-five that are on my Lab Rats playlist in no particular order.

I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift

Given that this is an enemies to lovers story, the lyrics really worked for me. “I knew you were trouble when you walked in/So shame on me now” because at the start both Diana and Ben know they shouldn’t lust for the other, but can’t help themselves. It is mostly a Ben thinking about Diana song.

Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa

This is very much a Diana thinking about Ben song. It’s a song about wanting to fuck. It objectifies men for the most part, so I think of Diana and not Ben.

This Love by Maroon 5

This is a Ben thinking of Diana song. I interpreted the lyrics a bit. “Her heart is breaking in front of me/And I don’t have a choice because I won’t say goodbye anymore” really resonated when thinking about how Ben reacts to learning Diana has seen her twin in captivity.

Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson

I put this in purely because of the title. But the lyrics “She looked me deep in the eyes/ She’s touchin’ me so to start/ She says there’s no turnin’ back/ She trapped me in her heart” work for the book

Teeth by Lady Gaga

Show me your teeth? C’mon, of course it’s there.

Irish by Goo Goo Dolls

This is quite literally my favorite romantic song. It opens with “I’d give up forever to touch you.” It’s on every romance playlist because I want my couples to feel that way.

One Woman Army by Porcelain Black

I picked this song because at one point, Diana thinks maybe she could be a one-woman army. (She can’t.)

Heart Attack by Demi Lovato

This is very much a Ben song. The idea of being terrified of real feelings, especially when it comes to romantic feelings is very Ben. He’s so scared that all of that is out of reach for him. “So I’m putting my defenses up/Because I don’t want to fall in love”

I’m in Love with a Monster by Little Mix

The title is why. No real explanation. I also love Little Mix.

The Kiss from Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack

So I saw Last of the Mohicans when I was a fairly impressionable youth–in 1992 I was thirteen going on fourteen, and I was very Not Woke (I’m doing better today, but I’m sure I fuck up constantly, and am working to do better) so I didn’t understand the problematic elements of the story. What I did know was that when Nathaniel meets Cora (I had to look up names) and they just start to kiss, and it grows more passionate against the beat and the fiddle of the music–mmm, just works for me, so it evokes that feeling when I’m writing and I hear it.

ARC review–Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

Please Send Help

4/5*

Published July 2019

Please Send Help is different from a lot of what I’ve read recently. Told via text and email, the post-college lives of Ava (the planner, interning at a tv show) and Gen (freewheeling, queer, and in hell in Florida at a newspaper job). Friends since high school, they struggle with adulthood and learn that you only get through life with the help of your friends.

I really like that the relationship the book is about is the two women. While each of them has romantic attachments at times in the books, it’s not the sole focus, nor is it the main one.

I’m curious to know how the authors divided up the work, because it feels incredibly authentic. The two voices are so distinct that the reader is pulled into the journey with them.

I think this book has pretty wide appeal–both for those who’ve yet to experience life post-college, and those who have.

Review-Day of the Dragon by Katie MacAlister

Day of the Dagon

3/5*

Published March 201

I received a copy of Day of the Dragon in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

I used to read Katie MacAlister books all the time. She was one of the authors who got me back into the genre after a long absence. But I got to that point where I’d read her whole backlist, and her new books weren’t coming out soon enough that I got distracted–probably down a Nora Roberts hole–it’s been twenty odd years and I still haven’t read her whole bcklist! But I haven’t read anything by her in a decade.

Day of the Dragon reminds me why I enjoyed her books, although my tastes have changed somewhat since then (more on that later). They’re light and fluffy–the sort of books words like zany and romp were made for.

Thaisa starts off as a character who is mousy, unsure of herself, and blames her appearance for everything that’s gone wrong for her. Archer starts off as an arrogant man–and he grows, but not nearly as much.

The problem for me was that I wasn’t all that intrigued by the main story. The most interesting character was Bree, a spite turned something else who always seems to know more than the other players, but is absurdly funny. As is the demon Thaisa calls up, but forgets to bind properly.

The big crux of the story was that there was an ancient piece of text that needed to be translated to find the location of the two missing halves of the Raisa Medallion, which was supposed to turn Archer and his brother into the first dragon hunters (dragons who hunt demons, not humans who hunt dragons).

The book fits in well with the rest of the dragon books written by MacAllister, but works as a standalone.

Here is my issue with it–The stakes are so incredibly low. We know that Archer is accusing his brother of murdering his fellow dragons, but there’s a twist that it’s all confusing and makes those stakes non-existant really. While Thaisa and Archer both undergo some changes and growth, that’s all low stakes, too. There are also some secondary characters who are charicatures—Thaisa’s best friend, who literally shows up once, and was married to her current boss, and given the way he treats Thaisa, I kind of want to know what her deal was, and that boss is also more outline than character. The story didn’t hold my interest, which is the biggest issue of all. I had to push myself through it. Without Bree the sprite and the demon, it would be a 2/5 rating.

Thalanian Dynasty Series by Katee Robert

Theirs for the Night (Thalanian Dynasty #1)

5/5*

Published 2018

A few weeks ago I reviewed an ARC of The Fearless King by Katee Robert, and absolutely loved it. While on Twitter, someone recommended this series as a hot MMF trilogy. Theirs for the Night was free (and still is at this second in time), so I dove in and ended up reading both the novella and the two full length novels in less than forty-eight hours.

The last triad book I reviewed was in the Dirty series by Jaine Diamond, and I mentioned that the triad had broken up into a couple and a single individual by the end. So I was thrilled to see the triad in this series stay intact.

Theo is the exiled prince of Thalania, and Galen is his former head of security. They’ve also been lovers for over a decade, and occasionally share women. After a stressful few weeks, they are up for a distraction when Meg enters the bar. For her part, it’s Meg’s birthday and she’s put the stress of not knowing where the money will come from for the next semester of college–so when two hot guys approach her for a threesome, what the hell, it’s her birthday, right?

That would be the end of the story, except Theo can’t stay away from Meg, and once he pulls her back into his orbit, Galen objects–not because he doesn’t want her (he does), but because he’s worried that someone could endanger her to get at Theo. When that happens, Meg is saved and has to go on the run with Theo and Galen in a hunt for the key to getting his crown back.

The two novels have a great deal of romantic suspense, which has been a running theme across the books I’ve read by Robert. The relationship building and maintenance for a triad is complex and Robert doesn’t skimp on that. Working things out takes effort.

This is a great series if you’re up for triad sex.