Monday, March 24, 2014

Seven Days

Okay, so I've gone back and forth about whether I was going to share more than the blurb for this book several times over the last couple of weeks. I'm almost to the half way point in writing it and I'm DYING to share some of it with you.

First, I need to address the elephant in the room: Anton's story. I am still working on it- I promise! However, as a writer, I'm discovering there are books that you WANT to write and books that you NEED to write. I WANT to write Anton's story, but I NEED to write Carrie's. Both will be finished this year, as well as Lucian's- however, Carrie's will be finished first. I hope you'll all understand and join me for this book that is quickly becoming my favorite.

As soon as I finish the first draft, it will be up and available for pre-order at Smashwords and their affiliates.

Please don't forget to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads: Seven Days

Here is the unedited prologue for the book. Please be aware that it is subject to change before it is published.


Prologue
 
Ever do something that you know almost immediately it might just be the biggest mistake you’ve ever made? That’s what happened the night I walked away from Ryan. I could feel those sad amber eyes following me as I rounded the corner of the restaurant.  Slumping against the unforgiving gray brick wall when I was sure he wasn’t going to follow me, I let the tears I’d been holding back cascade down my swollen face.
After allowing myself a few minutes to wallow in my misery, I pushed off the wall and started walking again. I knew I had to make it back home before they found out I was leaving. It was bad enough he knew where I’d been last week. I couldn’t leave my sister in that kind of danger, but I needed to get my emotions under control before I got behind the wheel of my car.
“Carrie,” I heard from the side of the building. His voice just on the edge of desperation, tinged with receding tears and emotion. “Look at you,” he sighed, as he reached my side and lifted a hesitant hand to my cheek. “You don’t want to do this. Don’t do this,” he pleaded, coaxing my eyes to his. “Don’t do this,” he repeated, moving his hand to stroke my loose auburn locks. I wanted to melt into him, let him fix everything, but I knew that was impossible.
“I wish it were my choice, Ryan,” I told him, letting him see just how much this decision was affecting me. “I’d do anything to fix it, but I have to get her out of here- get us out of here before something terrible happens,” I choked out before I broke his embrace and ran to my dilapidated early 90’s model Ford Escort. Fumbling with the keys, I threw my bag inside before sitting behind the steering wheel, trying to convince myself to not look back. Then I started the car that would take me away from him.
 
I never believed in soul mates, or in one person for the rest of your life, but Ryan is someone I could see waking up to every morning. Forever and beyond. I couldn’t stay here anymore though. I had made a promise to myself and my little sister, Britton, and I planned to keep it, even if it meant leaving behind the only man I’d ever love.



 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

I was tagged by the incomparable Laura Brown to participate in this author blog hop. I was happy to participate because I love writing and am happy to have the opportunity to share my process and tag another writer to continue the chain!

Here is a little bit about Laura:

Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Laura and her three cats are “differently abled.” Laura is hard of hearing, her oldest cat is deaf and partially blind, and the other two cats have cerebellar hyplasia (they shake, and they don’t find it endearing). The “normal” members of her family include her husband, who has put up with her since high school, and her young son who enjoys “typing” on Mommy’s laptop and has agreed to take full blame for all spelling errors.

You can find out more here: http://laurabrownauthor.com/ 

She just released her first novel: Lila's Choice, which is a wonderful story about two people who learn to never let their friends and students get too involved in their personal life. It can be purchased on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Lilas-Choice-Laura-Brown-ebook/dp/B00IA6IKV2/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1394385774&sr=8-1&keywords=lila%27s+choice

Now, on to the questions:

What am I working on?

I usually work on 1 book at a time, but I've experienced a bit of a back up and am currently working on 3 books right now.

1. Never Ever After: Lucian's book, who is a supporting character in Love, but Never. He had his heartbroken in Love, but Never and has become kind of a cynic in the years since the end of the book, having spent the better part of a year in Iraq. When he gets home he realizes that life in Arizona has gone on without him and he feels like he no longer fits.

2. The currently untitled book for Anton: This is a spinoff of the Professor series. It will follow Anton and his partner, Sophie on their next big undercover project: a major player in Medicare fraud. As part of their training, Sophie and Anton will spend sometime together in close quarters, where chemistry takes control. Anton can't wait to show Sophie everything his lifestyle has to offer.

3. Seven Days: this book will be a departure from anything you've previously read from me. It is a dark romance with sex, violence and drug use.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I pride myself in trying to have heroes and heroines that let each other get a sentence out before getting angry. I like having characters that know how to effectively communicate with each other. One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is easily solved misunderstandings.

Other than that, I'd say that each of my books is different from the other books I've written. I pride myself on trying to keep my stories fresh. I read too many cookie cutter books from authors. That's not to say that I don't love every single one, but I try to write a different story every time.

Why do I write what I do?

I write because I have to. I feel like I have no choice but to put pen to paper to get everything jumping around in my head down and out. I write romance because that's what appeals to me as a reader. I am a sucker for a happy ending, even if it's so syrupy sweet it makes my teeth hurt.

How does my writing process work?

Some authors outline, some authors pre-write, some authors plan... I cherry pick what I do, but mostly I just sit down and write. I don't try to censor anything that comes out of my head until I've written it all down. I reread everything I wrote the day before and do a small edit. I try to keep it as organic as possible and depend on betas and close friends during the revision process, because I have the tendency to edit/revise out the emotion in the story in favor of beating a dead horse.

Be sure to keep up with the chain next week:

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her loved ones and loves a great romance. The Space In Between is her debut novel and she looks forward to the world being able to read it! Other hobbies that she loves to take part in are writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! When she's not running around and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her wonderfully adorable fur babies who she loves to death!
You can find her on facebook at: www.facebook.com/BrittainyCherryAuthor and at goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7121791.Brittainy_C_Cherry

You can pick up her debut book here: http://www.amazon.com/Space-Between-Brittainy-Cherry-ebook/dp/B00EG37XTI/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1394386879

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Never have I ever...

Life is crazy sometimes.  I'm participating in a writers' blog chain on Monday where I'll be talking about my "process." So stay tuned for that!!

In the meantime, I started writing a new book last week. Much like The Professor, this book has hijacked my brain and is not letting go! My betas aren't completely happy with me because I finally getting to the good part of the Anton and Sophie's story.

Anyway...the new book is called Seven Days and here is the synopsis:


I don’t sleep until my body gives me no choice. I go until the last drop of energy is zapped from my bones and my muscles are too weak to keep my eyes from closing. Only then am I able to achieve true peace: A slumber without dreams, without memories of my real life nightmare. I thought I was escaping my past, finally running toward the future I deserved.

Until I met Ryan. One week with him had me questioning everything I was sure I wanted out of my life. Being with him means I can’t leave my past behind. Being without him might just kill me anyway.

One week destroyed everything.

One Week shattered my dreams

One week I lived in the sun

But the darkness never truly fades.
 
 
Be sure to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20992810-seven-days
 
If the writing Gods all align for me, I'm hoping to have it out by July!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday?

I'm still hard at work on the books for Anton and Lucian. And I wanted to come up for air and post one of my favorite snippets from Drama Free 2003.

Which can be purchased here: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Drama-Free-2003-Josie-Leigh-ebook/dp/B00G9HSUP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392321914&sr=8-1&keywords=drama+free+2003

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drama-free-2003-josie-leigh/1117076349?ean=2940148589907&itm=1&usri=drama+free+2003

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/365101

***
I love the sound a guy makes when my lips make first contact with his dick.  Every guy makes the same part sigh, part groan, part whimper when my tongue snakes out and makes contact with the heated, solid flesh. It happens every time, even if they are asleep when I start.  This is not even mentioning the involuntary hip thrust when I wrap my fingers around the base of him and squeeze, when they stop breathing and start panting. I love knowing the power I have over him in that moment, even from my knees.  That noise is what makes getting a guy off with my mouth more fun than I can describe accurately. 

I was pleased to discover that Brady enjoyed this as well. I awoke the next morning before my alarm, even though I’d gotten very little sleep. I wanted to give Brady a pleasant memory for the day while I was working and he was being a fantastic dad to Taylor. I could still taste the residual flavor of latex on him, but I didn’t let that deter me from my goal.

“Lucy?” Brady asked, as his hips bucked in awareness of my actions. “Don’t stop,” he whispered, running his fingers through my hair and looking down at me with sleepy eyes that were igniting with desire. I’d planned to draw his pleasure out, but as my gaze hit the numbers blazing on my alarm clock, I realized I couldn’t take the time I wanted. Redoubling my efforts, I started to work him over frantically until he started to shudder with restrained want. I could tell it was taking all of his control to keep himself from grabbing my head and fucking my mouth until he came, but soon he was shouting my name as his essence filled my mouth. Pulling away, I swallowed before shooting him my most breathtaking grin.

“What was that for?” he asked, seemingly astonished by being woken up that way.
“You’ll find that I don’t need a reason to do that, but today, I have to get ready for work and I wanted to give you something to remember me by while we’re apart,” I shrugged as I started to go through my morning routine, grabbing my work uniform and completing my daily hygiene regimen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When reading goals conflict with writing goals

I am addicted to reading. I always have been. When I was a kid, it wasn't uncommon for me to lay near my open bedroom door, trying to read by the hallway light that was on to combat my little brother's fear. I read nearly every Sweet Valley Twins/High/University, Babysitter's Club, Boxcar Children, etc book I could get my hands on. I had shelves on one wall that were filled to capacity, and I frequently succeeded in summer reading challenges at my local library. Once I get started on a book, I have trouble putting it down. At age 18, my favorite books were Les Miserables (the unabridged version), Demian, and anything by V.C. Andrews (quite the contrast, I know).

However, once I entered college, my ability to read for pleasure was cut drastically. I was working full time and had upwards of 3 job (1 full time, and 2 part time) to pay for my bills (rent, utilities, internet, car stuff, and eventually a cell phone) and food- usually take out because I couldn't cook to save my life! I can count on one hand how many books I read between 2000 and 2008 that weren't for a class. Not to say that I didn't read anything great. I was able to read "The Swimmer", a short story by John Cheever that inspired me in a way I never thought possible. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor- because it's awe-inspiring. It reminds you of how life can pass you by if you aren't paying attention.

Once I was finished with school (my graduation was delayed because of a major change, a chronic illness and a difficult pregnancy), I had work and a family that always kept me too busy to notice that I hadn't picked up a book again. That was until one morning in January 2011, when I woke up in so much pain I couldn't move on my own. I ended up on short term disability for three solid months of doctors, pain meds, and testing. After awhile, I got sick of the four walls of my bedroom and picked up a copy of my 10 year old daughter's 'Pandora Gets Jealous' out of shear boredom. I finished it in less than 24 hours and moved on to the other 5 in her library while I rediscovered something that was previously lost.

Through the rest of the year, I found my way back to the library and picked up where I'd left off when I was 18- only now, I was 30. I wish it hadn't taken me 12 years to remember that reading is awesome...but it did. That Christmas, I received my best gift in recent years: my kindle, and my life changed again.

I've always been a writer, whether it's grants or articles for my job, journaling for myself or writing stories just because. I have notebook upon notebook with story stems all over my house, and probably in boxes in my parents' garage, too. Something amazing started to happen as I rediscovered my love of reading, my brain was suddenly flooded with dialogue and characters and stories that were begging to get out.

'Love, but Never' is a book that I'd written 5000 words of in 2007 and put aside. Yet, as I read, more and more of the story found its way to a word document on my computer until in May 2012, I'd finished 73k words and wrote 'The End.' The whole thing was completely and totally surreal to me. I never thought that I was 'finish a novel' girl, nor did I know that it was a goal I'd always had in the back of my head.

Here it is, a year and a half after completing my first draft of my first novel, having completed 3 full length novels, and 4 novellas wondering how it is that I ended up here... I'm so grateful for all the support I've received as I continue in this writing endeavor. I wouldn't be here without the support of my husband, family, friends, betas and bloggers.

I'm still trying to learn the balance between taking care of my family, working full-time, reading as much as I want to and writing. I'm, currently, working on 2 manuscripts (Never Ever After and Anton's book) and hope to have them out before mid-year. I'm always looking for more beta readers so if you ever get an itch, just send me an email and I'm happy to send you whatever I'm working on at the moment.

What is your reader story? Have you always been a reader? What type of books do you like? Have you always been a romance fan? I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Anton and Sophie

So, last week, I was minding my own business, trying to recuperate from the horrors of pertussis (after being sick pretty much constantly for the last month, my doctor decided this was my issue after coughing so much and so hard in my appointment that my ribs hurt), when Anton and Sophie decided they were sick of waiting for me to be done with Lucian's story and started to crowd my brain.

Yesterday, I was finally well enough to type out the little bits of story I'd used my phone to store until I could sit up for longer than thirty minutes...

This doesn't have a title yet, nor does it have a blurb, but I wanted to share the unedited, rough draft of the Prologue with you all because I'm pretty excited for what the story is going to be. Although this is considered a 'spin-off' of the Professor, it will be a stand-alone.

Prologue


The early morning sun accosted Sophie as soon as her gray-green eyes cracked open. Groggily, she sat up and took in the foreign surroundings. A set of warped and slightly open, dusty but white Venetian blinds covered an, obviously, east facing window. The directness of the sunlight peeking through the slats told her that it was still fairly early in the day. Looking down at the dingy beige sheets pooling at her waist, she wished that she were waking up in her four poster bed on her robin’s egg blue Egyptian cotton 800 counts rather than these, which felt like burlap against her milky white skin.

For an undercover agent, Sophie was doing a lousy job recalling how she’d ended up in this bed last night, but the familiar ache of her lower muscles and her advanced state of undress let her know exactly what she’d done once she got there.

A husky groan sounded from beside her and an oddly-familiar tanned arm slid around her naked waist. “Don’t get up yet, Sophie,” he murmured against the small of her back as he wrapped himself around her like ivy. Trailing his lips up her spine, she shuddered, involuntarily as the stubble from her bed-mate’s chin flipped her mood from confused to aroused in no time. “I was hoping for a repeat of last night’s performance this morning,” he continued, his lips now as her neck as he got on to his knees behind her and moved her hair to the side to allow for better access.

“Mmmmm,” she moaned as his hands skated across her ribs to the underside of either breast.

“These are amazing,” he praised, letting his thumbs tease her already erect nipples as he nibbled on her ear. “I didn’t get nearly enough of them before we passed out last night.”

“Connor,” she breathed, trying to remind herself that she’d just spent the previous night being fucked by the man she was supposed to be building a case against. She was supposed to be his secretary, not his girlfriend or even his fuck buddy.

“I love it when you say my name like that,” he growled, moving her back toward the bed and positioning himself on top of her and between her legs before she could process how things had escalated so quickly. “But I think I like it better when you scream it,” he declared before filling her to the hilt with one sharp thrust, his gray eyes gleamed silver into hers as he fucked her with long, hard strokes. His jaw was tight and his nose touched hers as he demanded her gaze. The steely determination, with an old mix of warmth toward her, but a general coldness, in them almost frightened her. She didn’t know if he suspected her job and wanted information from her, or if this was him letting her know that he owned her.

“Fuck,” she hissed as she felt a hand between them, pulling on the nipple of her left breast roughly, just enough to send a jolt of pain mixed with pleasure straight to her pussy, overriding her thought processes and rushing her building orgasm through her body. “Connor,” she whimpered as she slid of the edge and rocked up to meet his strokes into her body, feeling his thickness pushing against her cervix.

“You are mine,” he stated through clenched teeth. “You will move out of this hell hole today,” he decided, yet again reminding her that the only reason she was in this apartment at all was so that she didn’t blow her cover last night. Fuck, what if she hadn’t been thinking and took him to her house rather than the dummy address the Bureau had set up for her when she started this assignment. It looked sufficiently lived in, but she knew that wasn’t because she was actually staying here. As Connor roared his release, throwing his head back before meeting her gaze again as his breathing calmed. After a minute, he allowed his body to sink onto hers, his head nestled between her breasts and his light brown hair fell into his eyes as he looked up at her, waiting for her to confirm that she would move in with him. As she sent up a silent prayer hoping that he thought her rapid heartbeat was from the sex they’d just shared, she started to question how she got into this mess from the beginning.

The answer came quicker than she would’ve expected. This was all Anton’s fault.





Don't forget to add this to your TBR list on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18517146-untitled

Friday, December 27, 2013

Update...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I was so wrapped up in my day job getting ready for our Christmas distribution, that I didn't have time to post anything new here!

But now that the holiday is over, and we are looking forward to the New Year. I wanted to drop in and say hi! And to let you know that I'm hard at work on my next book: Never Ever After- which will be Lucian's story.

Here is the synopsis:

Lucian Harris returns from a year in Iraq to find his best friend married and he starts to feel as lost as he did before he enlisted. When he meets Corrine Prescott, he is instantly mesmerized. That is, until he remembers who she is and why he should steer clear of her. A chance encounter with Corrine's roommate may have ruined any future he could've seen for them.



Here is the prologue:



“Thank you, Lucian,” Stephanie said, looking up at her ex-boyfriend. Her golden blonde hair was shining in the fading summer sun and her green eyes glistened with unshed tears. “If you hadn’t walked away last year, I- I don’t think I could’ve gone through with it,” she whispered, looking down and idly stroking her burgeoning baby belly.

“This is why you wanted to see me before I head off to Iraq, Stephanie?” Lucian asked, closing his dark brown eyes in pain and running his hands through his short black hair. “You wanted to show me that because I bowed out, you’ve got your happy little family? That your cold feet didn’t mean anything? That our three years together meant absolutely nothing to you after all?”

“That’s not what I meant—”

“Save it, I don’t even know why I agreed to this,” he interrupted, spinning on his heels and stalking back to his car as the last of the sun slipped down to meet the Earth. What a waste of a fucking trip. He hadn’t known what to expect when she called him and asked for a few minutes of his time before he shipped out again, but it wasn’t the beach ball sized baby bump on her petite five foot frame.

She was happy, without him. And he had been miserable since the second he got on the plane to boot camp. Wasn’t that fucking great? Did she really need to thank him in person? Or was it all about shoving her perfect little life in his face?

See, Lucian? See what you could’ve had if you’d just asked? I told you what I wanted, but you always pushed it away. Well, now you can suffer, knowing I’m about to have everything I ever wanted. Just without you.

He could almost hear the words she didn’t say echoing through his brain as he got behind the wheel of Marissa’s truck and squealed out of the Starbucks parking lot.

He’d thought they’d been on the same page about waiting until they were older, but damned if he was wrong. She’d wanted that ring and that white dress. If he’d known, he would’ve given it to her in a second.

He was done with love. The whole thing was tragic, because he used to be an undeniable romantic. In fact, if you’d asked him a year ago if he’d do it all again, he would’ve answered an empathic yes. After today, though, his romantic spirit was dead, buried, along with his dreams of ever being anything more to a woman than a bed warmer.

In less than three days, he’d be on a plane to a desert, where his future wasn’t just uncertain; his life expectancy was in question. Pulling into the driveway of the new home of his best friend, Marissa and her boyfriend, Aaron, he let out a deep sigh. Sometimes they were so much alike in their relationship philosophies. They were both undeniable cynics when it came to love and finding a happily ever after. She had found happiness, though, hadn’t she? Why was it so hard for him?

Folding his 6’4” frame out of the tiny truck, he walked to her door and knocked. “Hey, Luc,” she answered, shoving her copper hair behind her ear and ushering him in the door. “How’d it go?” she asked, warily. “You weren’t gone very long.”

“It didn’t take me very long to notice the baby bump and for her to say thank you,” he frowned.

“I’m sorry, honey,” she said, doing her best to fold him in her arms in a hug. “It’ll be okay, she just wasn’t the one.”

“They never are, Ris. I think I’m done looking,” he stated.

“Sure you are, Luc,” she retorted, sarcastically. “You are a hopeless romantic at heart. There is no way you can say you’ll never fall in love again,” she shook her head.

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m going to indulge in copious amounts of pussy and keep my emotions out of it from now on,” Lucian informed her, settling against the brown suede couch. “Love will never be part of the equation for me again,” he vowed, his gaze concentrated, unseeingly, out of Marissa’s living room window.
He wasn’t na├»ve enough to think that war wouldn’t change who he was, but he never expected he’d be changed before he even took his first steps off of American soil. When/If he made it home, things would be different for him.

I hope you'll add it to your TBR list! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17369340-never-ever-after

Also, I finally have The Professor series available in paperback!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Professor-Josie-Leigh/dp/1489599827/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388176006&sr=8-2&keywords=josie+leigh

I'm wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!