New Release: BLUE COLLAR, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

June 14, 2017

It's here! Yesterday was release day for Blue Collar, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, edited by Delilah Devlin.

My story, "We Drill Deep While Others Sleep," is about the supercharged reunion between an Alpha roughneck and his sexy wife. The collection is now available everywhere. It's only 99 cents.


Would you like to participate in our release week celebration? Here are two opportunities!

First, I'm blogging over at Delilah's today and offering a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway to celebrate the launch. You can enter that giveaway by clicking here.

Second, to celebrate the launch of Blue Collar, the Boys Behaving Badly authors are hosting a Facebook party! That's seven hours of eye candy, lively banter, and giveaways galore. Drop in any time. I'll take over at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern. Come say hello! Click here to join.


Available now in ebook

Amazon | Amazon UK | Nook | Kobo | IBooks | GooglePlay


When it comes to love...Blue Collar is better!

It's time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they're earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need—whatever her need may be! Just a few of the titillating stories inside...

In "Elevation" by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins' "We Drill Deep While Others Sleep". Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in "The Boss". And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who've built their powerful muscles with hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman...

Coming Soon: BLUE COLLAR, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

May 23, 2017

I'm happy to announce that I've got a story in the upcoming short story collection, Blue Collar, A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, edited by Delilah Devlin.

My story, "We Drill Deep While Others Sleep," is about the supercharged reunion between an Alpha roughneck and his sexy wife. The anthology is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. It's only 99 cents.


Available June 13 in print and ebook

Amazon | Amazon UK | Nook | Kobo | IBooks | GooglePlay


When it comes to love...Blue Collar is better!

It's time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they're earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need—whatever her need may be! Just a few of the titillating stories inside...

In "Elevation" by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins' "We Drill Deep While Others Sleep". Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in "The Boss". And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who've built their powerful muscles with hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman...

Writer's Workbook: I Got "The Call"

May 10, 2017

Chaucer's Bookstore in Santa Barbara, CA.

I'm thrilled to announce I am now represented by The Knight Agency. I will be co-agented by Heather Tebbs and Deidre Knight.

We signed the agreement yesterday and I'm still reeling. Things happened fast. The agency held its Twitter pitch event #TKA20 on April 9. I got a request from Deidre and submitted a new project I started last November. I got "the call" from Heather in the form of an email last week.

I signed my first book contract in 2015 and have been flying solo ever since, guided by generous, savvy colleagues as well as by my own (sometimes tremendous) mistakes.

Having an ally in my corner--a team of allies, really--is a new and exciting change. I'm also proud to join an amazing, star-studded group of authors represented by TKA. I can't wait to see what's around the corner.

Writer's Workbook: New Author's Guide to a Book Signing

April 25, 2017


Ready to roll! What I bring to my book signings.

This past weekend, I signed books at the LA Times Festival of Books, one of my favorite events in the whole city. The festival takes place over two days on the campus of USC and includes publishers, authors, retailers, vendors, and of course, readers. Attendance is 150,000, making it the largest book event in the country. Best of all? Unlike expensive conventions and reader events, admission to the Festival of Books is free.

During my signing, I got to chat with old friends and new readers, pass out swag, and show off my print books. It's always a thrill to sign a book, but even more than that, it's a thrill to see folks in real life who have read and enjoyed my stories. Stuck behind a screen all day, I feel always invigorated after getting out and meeting readers.

As an introvert, I find book events to be fun but a bit overwhelming. The first time you sign books can be stressful. Over the last three years, however, I've learned a lot about how to prepare for book signings by watching other authors and by making my own mistakes.

If you are an author preparing for your first book signing, here are some tips to make your experience a smooth one.

New Author's Guide to a Book Signing


Transport. If you're in charge of moving your own books, think about how far you'll be traveling and how much you can realistically carry on your own. I recommend using a small rolling suitcase and ditching any cardboard boxes. I wrap stacks of new books in recycled bubble wrap I save from packages and put the stacks directly into the suitcase.

Books. If you're indie or small press published, chances are you have to order author copies on your own. Make sure to do this far in advance of the event, since print-on-demand publishers will usually need weeks to fulfill and deliver your order.

Swag. This depends on you. Personally, I am not big on swag, but the things that have moved best for me in the past are personalized pens and lip balms. Bookmarks are okay. Postcards with free download codes are okay. My stickers flopped. I'd avoid candy since your personalized wrappers will just get peeled off and thrown in the trash. In general, conference attendees are inundated with paper. This past weekend, author Caitlyn O'Leary had stress balls shaped like seals, since she writes Navy SEAL romances. Those attracted tons of passersby to the booth. Watch your budget, watch your branding, try to be clever, and as always, think about what you can carry.

Signage. Is this a multi-author signing? How much do you want to stand out? How much space do you have on the table? Some authors have tabletop banners or standup banners. I have a personalized tablecloth that suits me fine and packs really light. Event organizers often print tent cards for authors. Save your tent cards for later events, just in case. I tuck them into the pocket of my suitcase.

Pens. Your favorite pen to sign books. Sign on the inside title page and include a date. For anthologies, I sign next to my name on the table of contents, but you can sign on the title page or on the first page of your story. You can ask attendees if they want the book personalized. Some don't. That's fine. They will probably give your book away once they're done, which means more readers for you.

Payment. If your event isn't partnered with a vendor, or if you're not giving your books away for free, you'll probably have to handle your own payments. Special event pricing will make your life easier. I sold books for $5 or $10, calculating sales tax into the price. I had some change on hand and used a Square on my cell phone for credit card payments. You can also enter your cash sales onto Square if you'd like an easy way to keep track of sales.

Newsletter. Last but not least, include a clipboard or use an iPad for newsletter sign-ups. Attendees who are interested in your work but who might not be ready to commit to a purchase are usually willing to sign up for your newsletter. Consider holding a special raffle for those who sign up.

That's it! If you have any questions, or if there's anything you think I've missed on this list, please comment below or email me! Happy signing.

For more information on what to wear at RWA nationals for the first time, please click here. For tips on how to pitch at a conference for the first time, please click here.



















Two Events for SoCal Romance Readers

March 22, 2017

Are you ready to blossom?

Happy spring! It's a cold and windy day here in Los Angeles, but the sun is shining bright. After a rainy winter, I'm happy to be out and about, especially to attend two events perfect for book lovers like you and me.

The first event is the California Dreamin' Writers' Conference this weekend, March 24-26, 2017, in Brea, CA. If you are an avid romance reader, book blogger, or reviewer, there is a readers' appreciation event at 1:30 pm on Saturday followed by a free signing with 59 (!) authors in attendance. If you're in SoCal this weekend, make sure to drop by.

The second event I'll be attending is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which takes place next month on April 22 and 23, 2017, on the campus of USC. This is the largest book festival in the United States with a weekend attendance of 150,000. Best of all, it's free. Please come say hello at the Romance Writers of America booth.












Behind the Book: Hollywood Honkytonk

January 25, 2017



It's been almost two weeks since the release of my book Hollywood Honkytonk. I'd like to thank everyone who purchased a copy, wrote reviews, and sent me such sweet letters about Jack and Riley. I've been lucky to connect with a few new bloggers who shared excerpts, reviews, and even playlists for the story.

This week I'd like to try something new. Here's a little trivia and some backstory about Hollywood Honkytonk.

 

Riley, the heroine's name

Riley is the name of my friend Mark's dog, a reddish-brown puggle. As a puppy, Riley was very rambunctious, so once when we were visiting, my friend had to call her out again and again and again. After a while, the name stuck with me, and when it came time to give my heroine a name, Riley was the name in my head.

 

Waylon Jennings

While I was revising this book for the first time in 2015, I was listening to a lot of music by the Highwaymen: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Jennings' voice is my favorite of the four, and "Honkytonk Heroes" is one of my favorite songs of his, a celebration of "lovable losers and no-account boozers." It tells the story of down-to-earth people who would feel out of place in Hollywood, who'd be outsiders just like Riley. The song inspired the title of the book, Hollywood Honkytonk, and in honor of that, I named Riley's dog Waylon. Waylon in the book looks just like my dog Frances, who sometimes gets in trouble for her howlin' and wailin' ("waylon").

 

Thai food

There are hundreds of Thai restaurants in Los Angeles, and many excellent ones in Hollywood. My favorite Thai restaurant in Hollywood is called Hoy Ka, which means "to dangle your feet." The original owners had a restaurant in Thailand where customers would sit at tall tables and dangle their feet over the river as they ate. Malibu is not close to Hollywood, but I guarantee that the people of Malibu would want their own Thai restaurant. Malibu Thai is a fictional restaurant whose delivery man interrupts Jack and Riley's first almost-kiss.

 

Riley's red carpet dress

I love, love, love the dresses of the Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad. The boutique that Riley visits for her fitting is what I imagine (daydream?) a visit to a Zuhair Murad couture boutique would be like. If you search for strapless Zuhair Murad evening gowns, you will see some examples of what Riley's dress might look like. Hers would be emerald green, to match her red hair.

 

First book

Hollywood Honkytonk is my seventh published book since 2015, but it is the first book I ever completed. Five years ago, in 2012, a friend of mine told me that she and her son wanted to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I told my husband about this madcap idea. Participants in the program write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. My husband, an adventurous sort, said he was in. Together, all four of us embarked on our first novel writing experience. For me, the 50,000 word goal came and went. By the end of the month I had 70,000 words and by the end of January almost 125,000.

The original title of this book was Song and Dance, and the original first scene was an extended prologue where high-school aged Jack and Riley are on stage together during their final performance of Romeo and Juliet. It's the last scene. Riley is supposed to kiss Jack, stab herself, and die, thus ending the play. But Jack, who is supposed to be dead, reaches up, pins her to him, and gives her a real kiss--something he's been dying to do all his life. This leads to Riley's boyfriend Tommy beating Jack up in the parking lot, a detail that I hint at in the book. (Jack and Riley's names are a reversal of their roles in the play, Romeo and Juliet, R and J.)

In its original form, the book was a rambling, confusing, happy mess, so much so that my publisher actually first bought my second book, the sequel to Hollywood Honkyonk, Jack's older brother Sam's story, Deep Down. Two revisions plus three rounds of edits plus two rounds of copy edits transformed Hollywood Honkytonk into a lean, mean 80,000 words. When I think about Jack and Riley now, I look at them as old friends I've grown up with. I look at the structure of the book as a gentle box-step, the work of a brand-new author afraid of making a mistake. In the pages I see myself, that writer, falling in first love not just with the characters but with the act of storytelling itself. In this sense, Hollywood Honkytonk was my first real kiss. A little awkward, a little too earnest, but--I believe--the start of something beautiful.






HOLLYWOOD HONKYTONK: Playlist and Giveaway

January 17, 2017

Hi, everyone!

For today's post, I've got two things to share.

First, I'd like to share a playlist of songs inspired by my latest release from The Wild Rose Press, Hollywood Honkytonk. I'm including a link to a Spotify playlist.

Second, to celebrate the release of the book, I'm sponsoring a giveaway with the help of IndieSage PR. One winner will receive a signed print copy of Hollywood Honkytonk plus a beautiful rose gold necklace from one of my favorite local jewelrymakers, Seoul Little. You can enter using the link below.

Thanks for reading!



Music from HOLLYWOOD HONKYTONK 


When I came up with this playlist, I imagined the music playing on Riley’s old tape deck as she drove from Nashville to Hollywood. To get ready for his movie role as a shirtless superhero, Jack has to work out all the time. I imagined the classic hard rock he’d play to keep himself motivated. I added a couple songs for Jack and Riley’s surfing lesson and a few songs that are perfect for cruising around Los Angeles. Enjoy the music!

Click here for the Spotify playlist…

Guitars, Cadillacs – Dwight Yoakam
Get Rhythm – Johnny Cash
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind? – Dolly Parton
Ramble On – Led Zepplin
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Back in Black – AC/DC
You and Your Heart – Jack Johnson
Stir It Up – Bob Marley
Let Me Ride – Dr. Dre
California Love – 2Pac
Como Ves – Ozomatli
Entre Dos Tierras - Heroes Del Silencio
One Time One Night – Los Lobos
Honky Tonk Heroes- Waylon Jennings

Special Giveaway

 


Click here to enter the Rafflecopter.




 
KINGS OF CALIFORNIA, BOOK 2
 
AVAILABLE NOW IN PRINT AND EBOOK

Can their love survive the limelight?


With nothing but her dog, her guitar, and her cowboy boots, songwriter Riley Marion arrives in Los Angeles on the run from her abusive ex. A quiet job teaching music sounds perfect, but her low-key lifestyle is threatened when she reunites with a sexy old flame—now an up-and-coming celebrity who’s constantly dogged by paparazzi.

Charming and driven, Jack Lamont is a Hollywood actor on the rise to stardom. Ready to outgrow his playboy reputation, he’s happy to leave the hard partying to his entourage. Romantic entanglements? Jack’s not interested. At least, not until he gets tangled up with the one who got away—a smoking-hot woman whose memory has haunted him for the last ten years.