N is for Not Giving Up

My blog here looks woefully neglected. Yet I blog two places and in my Eastern Gray Squirrel alter-ego at The Squirrel Nutwork, I’ve entered a month of daily blog posts with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. (Visit the website for more alphabet details on how this works!)

A few days ago, the blogging letter was N. A to Z co-host S. L. Hennessy wrote a great post titled N is for Not Giving Up, and a tweet of it today reminded me my personal blog might appear that I have.

Oh, quite the contrary!

I am moving forward with the self-publishing of my first novel, The Unraveling. So the blog is out of date, the Facebook posts scant and the house a mess as I email the cover artist, make final copy edits and decide on formatting styles.

According to BW, this last part has taken over her territory, but hey, every novel is a reference for how a book should look!

What's with the books?I will have release news soon! If you follow me–or even if you don’t!–and blog and would be interested in joining in on a cover release, please contact me! You are invited to read a few chapters here.

Have a great day and hope you can further your dreams!

Seeing Terry Pratchett

It’s the fall of 2007 and my daughter learns–probably the night before–that Terry Pratchett will be speaking at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Can we go?

I’d read a few of his books, but had no idea 1) she liked him so much and 2) there was a book festival with speakers on the National Mall. (I’ve come a long way since then.) She asked. We went.

As popular as he was, I insisted we go to the tent early and get a seat. To her embarrassment, I also made us move up several rows at a break between authors. Hey, we were here to see this guy talk, we were going to see him. And I planned to take pictures using a camera with no telephoto.

Terry Prachett, 2007

Lots of them.

Terry Prachett, 2007

I don’t know if I took notes, as I’ve now done on each other trip I’ve made to the National Book Festival, but I have photos, as you see.

Terry Prachett, 2007

I was very impressed he wore a shirt with a turtle on it, not knowing this was a Discworld theme. I did turtle rehabilitation, so anyone who likes turtles, I like.

Terry Prachett, 2007

The tent was indeed crowded. My daughter stood in line to ask a question, but I don’t believe she made it to the front.

2007 Book festival tent for Terry Prachett

A question someone else asked was, “How long do you spend on developing each of your characters? They’re so memorable.”

Not that long, Terry answered (I won’t quote him, because this is the gist of the answer.) I give each a trait or two that readers know from real life. Then that type of person is so familiar to you and you feel you already know my character.

Terry Prachett, 2007

We had brought my daughter’s books. The line for signing was horrendous. Hours long, I believe, because I only have photos of one other author. I asked my daughter to come up with a question. She couldn’t. Or didn’t.

T Prachett's signing line National Book Festival 2007

So I did. “Will you be writing more about Susan and Lobsang?”

Terry Prachett_Nat. Book Fest. 9:29:2007

What? (I think I flummoxed him.)

“Are they going to have a romance?”

I suppose so. Who else is there for her to be with?

Since 2007, I have read most of the Discworld novels. We own the books, few movies, posters and various other fan-stuff. Today, I’m very teary-eyed.

Family Values Poster

Rest in Peace, Sir Terry Pratchett.

Shout out!

Congratulations to my friend Donna S. Frelick on the release of her debut novel Unchained Memory!

D Frelick_ Book Launch Party 2

Donna and I met at RWA Nationals during a get-together of science fiction romance writers, but discovered we live fairly close, so I was able to attend her Book Launch Party.

D Frelick_reading 1

Readings,

D Frelick_signing 1

signings,

D Frelick_signing 5_w: L Wanrow

and of course, photo ops! Fun, fun, fun, and so well-deserved. Donna was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 in the Paranormal category for the first two novels in her SFR Interstellar Rescue series.

Find Donna at http://donnasfrelick.com; blogging at http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com; and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DonnaSFrelickAuthor. Unchained Memory is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

This time, a dog story!

It’s been a week of edits, and not on a story with dogs in it, so it took a ‘like’ on my Facebook page–for the guinea pig excerpt–to remind me I promised to post a dog excerpt.

Irish WolfhoundHere we go with Quinn’s first meeting and rescue of the Irish Wolfhound in my novel Passages.

The last door opened into a dimly lit and mostly empty room. Two bowls sat inside, food and water. A box of dirt had been placed to one side. The surface of it was disturbed and the smell made its use obvious. The light of the hall shone almost to a mound in the back corner. It moved.

I pressed Eve aside, pulling the door to protect us.

She blocked it open. “I sense no hostility, aggression or opposition.”

The animal got slowly to its feet and stepped from the shadows. Eve’s fingers pinched into me, but the pain was nothing against the swirl of confusion surrounding the familiar animal. The big dog had been… I shut my eyes, reaching for the image.

Eve released me. I grappled to dismiss my churning memories, opening my eyes to the unbelievable sight of her stroking the wiry hair of the wolfhound’s head and unlatching the chain from his collar.

I rushed after her. “Be careful! We don’t know—”

I know. This is—” She eyed me in an odd way, then shook her head. “D’dair,” she swore. “He shouldn’t be locked in here.”

Dead Air—the unique curse they used on this planet. Her tone indicated something was seriously wrong. She ushered the stumbling dog toward the door of its prison. His gait was stiff and awkward, the poor beast, but he came directly to me and pressed his head against my thigh. Familiarity flooded me. Elusive threads of memory wove forward. This dog had a name, I was sure of it.

“Quinn? Help me rub his legs to get the circulation going. Once we’re back, Evangeline will take proper care of this boy.”

The barrage of images compromised my concentration. I shook them off and dropped to a squat on the other side of the dog. “Evangeline?” I repeated.

“Right, the Evangeline you met probably didn’t seem the type, but that wasn’t her true personality. Our Evangeline has a gift with animals. It took her no time at all to correct the husbandry problems on Zeffir.”

Zeffir. Where Eve worked. If I kept my focus on her and her conversation, I wouldn’t dissolve into my confusing past. “I did notice the agriculture on the island was top notch.”

Eve massaged the dog’s thigh. He was leaning into me as much as I was leaning back. He poked his nose to mine, making a soft rumbling sound. The prickly fur, the sloppy tongue, the intelligent eyes staring steadily at me. He seemed so familiar…but why?

“Humph. Why are you getting the thanks when I’m the one doing the work?” Eve grumbled, but she was watching closely. “Here, turn him.”

The sturdy canine frame shifted when she pulled him, but the dog danced around until his broad face was in mine again. He whined. Smoothing the gray hairs of his muzzle back to the black ones on the crown of his head, I stared deep into his dark orange eyes. A memory came…a desperate cross-leap, the dog pushed against me—no, leading me—with someone—was it Graen?—forcing me through the Conducer, but the dog—

Like in my memory, the wolfhound jerked forward, his ears perked. Footsteps sounded. Together Eve and I tripped to the threshold. I intended to close the door, but the wolfhound slipped through with a growl. “So much for hiding.” I peered around the doorjamb.

The dog cantered to meet the single guard, who dropped bowls similar to the ones at our feet. The man lowered his face guard and reach for his stun sword.

I bolted forward. “No!”

My appearance was enough to make him hesitate. The dog leaped. With well over a hundred pounds of force, those huge paws struck the man’s shoulders and down he went. The dog bounded on. At the top of the stairs he turned to stare, as if summoning us.

We ran. The guard rolled to gain his feet. I shoved him down again and raced past. The wolfhound yipped and descended the stairs. I followed with Eve just paces behind me.

Thud! Someone tripped and fell.

I whirled. Eve sprawled motionless on the tile. The guard lurched up, shoving the stun sword before him. “Unless you want the same, freeze!”

The first chapters of Passages, a science fiction romance, are available to read here. The novel isn’t published–yet–but three author friends have SFR novels coming out in February, updates, available on Spacefreighter’s Lounge. Sorry, not sure about their dog content.

Meeting the dogs within the story

I’ve been deep in edits with a shapeshifter story, but hadn’t realized how frequently I feature animals in my other stories until I attended the World of Pets Expo this weekend.

Our guinea pig rescue group—yes, MGPR, a guinea pig rescue, as I had to confirm many times during my shift—sets up a booth alongside other small pet rescues, such as House Rabbit Society, Luna’s House, and a rat rescue I didn’t get the name of. I visited with a chinchilla. The bird fanciers are across the way. That’s our usual corner, but unusual for Pet Expo. At Pet Expo, small pets are in the minority: dogs rule!

Dogs at World of Pets Expo

People can more easily bring their dogs out in January’s weather, and they are less skittish in the busy setting. I’d only taken one photo of this little cutie, an Italian Greyhound, and frankly hadn’t thought a whole lot about the dogs.

Italian Greyhound

But then an Irish Wolfhound walked by.

I knew what it was immediately—from photos…and my research for a story. Yes, I have featured an Irish Wolfhound in a science fiction romance, BUT…I had never seen one IRL!

Lady with Irish Wolfhound

I stopped them. “This is an Irish Wolfhound, right?”

“Yes.” (Actually she was quite pleased I recognized the breed.)

“May I take a picture?”

This lady was my height – 5’4”…The dog is huge, just as I wanted him to be. In my novel Passages, the wolfhound knocks over a guard, just by leaping his paws to the man’s shoulders.

His face was just as square, his hair just as wiry, and his temperament just as calm as I had learned through reading. Meeting him made me feel very good about my selection of a wolfhound for my novel. I was so pleased, I can’t remember the dog’s name, and I know I asked.

Irish Wolfhound

About an hour later, a man passed with a small black dog. OMG! “Is that a Schipperke?” I asked my rescue friends. They had no idea what I was talking about, and that man-dog pair was moving quickly into the crowd. I chased them halfway to the other side of the building before I could ask the person who knew. And the answer was yes.

Schipperke

‘Bosun’—the ship’s officer in charge of equipment and the crew—was this sailor’s second Schipperke. The first spent nine years living on his sailboat. Wow… I asked a few questions about the dog liking it, did he have good balance, and so forth, again confirming that’s exactly why I chose this species nicknamed the Belgium Barge Dog to live with Coral’s schooner-dwelling family in my YA Seaside Sorcery.

I had never thought of the Pet Expo as a place for writing research, but I’ll use it the next time I need to select a species I’ve never met. I was lucky in my research for my first choices of dogs I didn’t really know, but it’s smarter to actually touch the dog and talk to the person who lives with it. Now I have the feel of the coat under my fingers, the sense of size, the motion of the ears and tail…the real dog to work into my writing.

And in case you think I rescue guinea pigs and have ignored them in my writing, meet Hilda, one of a pair of the first shelter pigs I adopted. She is Gran’s pet in my YA Meadow Magic.

Hilda

Here’s her entrance:

Fern strode through her grandmother’s cottage, late, today of all days. “Gran?” she yelled. Late because, like usual, Mom hadn’t left when she was supposed to and now Gran—

“Wheek, wheek, wheeeeek!” came a shriek from the front room and seconds later Gran’s guinea pig barreled around the comfortable old couch, her long grey and white hair brushing the polished floor like a dust mop. She ran straight to Fern, who caught her up and hugged her.

“Hilda, at least you’re home. How have you been?” Hilda licked Fern’s cheek, her little face barely visible under a shock of white hair. “Aw, thanks. I’ve missed you, too.” Fern streamed her fingers through the chubby animal’s soft fur. “I promise, when we finish our projects there’ll be plenty of time to pet you. But right now I’ve got to find Gran.”

Hilda burbled a string of chirps, her gaze locked on Fern’s face.

Weird. The pig had that look just like when Gran talked to her. Fern sighed. May as well give it a go, though she didn’t have time to waste. “Do you have a message for me?”

Hilda threw back her head and shrilled, her pink mouth stretching to reveal four sharp incisors. When Fern set her down, the pig scurried across the room to her den basket under the kitchen counter. She rooted around and in short order returned carrying a folded piece of stationary, a bit gnawed at the edges. The note inside read:

Fern Dear,

A few issues for our inspection have arisen, so I am off to a meeting. It might run into Saturday as well. It’s time for you to take charge. I know a seventeen year old can handle the remaining projects, but to ease your burden I have arranged some help for you.

                        Love, Gran

“Leaving now—Gran!” Fern slapped her forehead. “Ohmigod, me in charge? And help? Sheesh. As if you could dig up help on this island, thank you very much.” Fern read the note again. What issues? Did this mean in spite of all their work on the Meadows, the Council still might take Gran’s land and give it to another family? With her home at risk, Gran had left Fern in charge?

“Wheek!”

“Oh.” How had she forgotten Hilda? Hilda giving her the… Fern eyed the guinea pig. No. No way.

Hilda took a few steps toward the refrigerator. “Wheek!”

Fern blinked. “Uh, sorry? You want a treat?” She dropped the note on the counter and found a carrot. Hilda took it and trotted off to her basket. Huh. Guess that was—Fern shook her head. She had work to do, whether the guinea pig could… uh, whether Gran… Hmm. “See you later, Hilda. Even with Gran gone, I’ve got to cut those trees on our list.” The List. Yeah.

Isn’t she smarter than the average pig? She’s owned by a witch. :) Thanks for reading!

P.S.: I belatedly realize I should have included an excerpt of one of the dogs. *eye roll at myself* I was at Pet Expo as a guinea pig volunteer – so my head was still there. Dog excerpt coming soon!

Shoalman Immortal Release!

It’s finally here!

Shoalman Immortal – Book 2 in The Shoalman Chronicles – available NOW!

600x958_eBook_Shoalman_ImmortalBlurb:

Falling in love was never supposed to be part of the picture.

Kyrissa Spears was born with a powerful, and deadly, gift. When she paints, she captures emotions so strong they can kill. Desperate to find a teacher capable of helping her unlock and control her abilities, Kyrissa’s search leads her to an artist who may be able to help her.And he’s the one person she can’t accidentally kill.

After five centuries of pain and loneliness, Robert Shoalman craves release from his immortality. He’s all but given up hope until he meets the beautiful and intriguing Kyrissa. She could paint his death and break the curse, but at the cost of destroying her gift and being lost to him forever—none of which will matter if the demon hunting him finds them first.


Available NOW on AMAZON

And for a limited time it’s only $.99*.

*until January 23rd. so get it while the price lasts.

Goodreads-badge-add-plus

SHOALMAN IMMORTAL


 

4500x2820_Amazon_eBook_Images_Eternal_final v1.0Need to catch up on the series? Get the first book in the series IMAGES ETERNAL at one of the links below:

Amazon
Kobo
Nook

Goodreads-badge-add-plus

IMAGES ETERNAL

 


 

Who is Toni Decker?

photo(7)Two authors telling one sizzling story after another about twenty-somethings getting along in their own crazy, fantastical worlds. Both women are wives and mothers, sharing brain cells and characters as if they only exist with the other.

Toni, one half of the Toni Decker brain, is an avid reader of all things Young and New Adult while Kira, the Decker half of Toni Decker brain, devours fantasy for midnight snacks.

Together, their stories are one part New Adult,
one part Fantasy and
three parts of Holy Hotness.

You can follow our journey on:
Twitter: @ToniDeckerBooks and @KiraDecker & @ToniPicker
FaceBook: Toni Decker Books, Kira Decker, Toni Picker
Tumblr: tonideckerbooks
Goodreads: Toni Decker
WordPress: Toni Decker Books
Email: ToniDeckerBooks

 


Don’t forget to check out the SHOALMAN IMMORTAL Blog Hop happening until January 23, 2015.

TWO different GIVEAWAYS happening and lost of fun posts with “lost” chapters, character interviews and more.

Want more chances to win? Follow Toni and Kira on their blog tour!

Week 1:
Jan. 12 – Krista’s Dust Jacket / Guest Post
Jan. 13Poisoned Rationality / Chapter Reveal
Jan. 14The Book Swarm / Guest Post
Jan. 15BookShelfery / Chapter Reveal
Jan. 16Step Into Fiction / Guest Post
Week 2:
Jan. 19Winterhaven Books / Chapter Reveal
Jan. 20Jenuine Cupcakes / Guest Post
Jan. 21Reads All The Books / Chapter Reveal
Jan. 22Read-Love-Blog / Guest Post
Jan. 23The Irish Banana Review / Chapter Reveal

 

HAPPY READING!

Shout out!

Congratulations to author Laurie A Green on her debut of Farewell Andromeda, a Kindle short read climbing the ranks already!

Farewell_Andromeda-Final

Laurie chronicled the surprise early release on her blog Spacefreighters Lounge, but let me just add this novelette is a lead-in to Laurie’s award-winning epic novel which is coming soon. If you love science fiction romance, keep your eye on this gal. Or better yet, sign up for her newsletter!

I’m sending off rockets for you, Laurie!

Holidays are over. Now the work begins again.

*cracks knuckles* Yeah, it’s hard. But time to get down to it.

I don’t usually do resolutions. Or goals. But this year I’ve decided to tie myself to a few.

Number one I just completed, am pretty excited about, and comes with a countdown of ninety days. April 5th.

Not my taxes, obviously. Here’s a hint:

The New Yorker

Yes, I submitted a short story to The New Yorker. Per their website, I will either hear in 90 days, or not.

Probably not.

However, I have joined the ranks of millions of other writer hopefuls. I had to try. See, I’ve had this little 4K story kicking around for a couple of years. It was so fun to write, I casually said to my DH, “I’m going to send it to The New Yorker.”

He reads The New Yorker, as do his siblings, as did his parents. Something along the lines of a century of combined reading of The New Yorker have gone on in this family.

Not in mine. We are avid readers of commercial fiction.

DH scoffed.

DH’s mother submitted short stories to The New Yorker. While she was published in many other magazines, her success at The New Yorker only advanced to the “personalized” rejections stage.

With that history of little hope or success, DH himself sent a carefully crafted Letter to the Editor, short and with a personal story about his encounter with a featured singer.

It. Was. Published!

Huge success, toppling the decades of his mother’s efforts, one he deemed never to be repeated, just savored. With those reminders, I procrastinated on my submission. But when a fellow writer began to rack up acceptances for his short stories in preparation for querying his novel, I came back around to the thought Why not?

According to Fiction Writing’s article Submit to The New Yorker:

Odds of Publishing Something in the New Yorker:

The odds, of course, all depend on who you are. If you’ve never published anything, the odds are very, very slim. The New Yorker publishes only one story per issue (devoting one issue per year to new fiction), and it’s safe to say that pretty much every ambitious American writer tries them at some point or other. And while The New Yorker does take chances on new writers, it tends to draw from a stable of established writers, like Munro and Murakami.

That said, if you’re one of the young writers they take a chance on, your career is made, so it’s worth trying.

Rahul Kanakia’s post of well thought out ideas for getting a foot in The New Yorker door claims it’s a 1 in 40,000 chance. A bit deterring.

However, back in August, I decided 2015 will be the year I am published. So, what the hey, I started with a submission to The New Yorker.

Whether or not that happens–probably not–I will be self-publishing my paranormal historical romance series, starting this spring with The Unraveling. My goal is to have the series out over the course of the summer. And after my success with NaNo, to blaze through a draft of another series I’ve had in mind, a futuristic set on floating islands.

But for now, I must keep my head out of the clouds, fingers on keyboard, butt in chair.

Have you set your new year’s goals?

Release of ‘In the Shadow of Vengeance’

Today I’m pleased to feature the release of Nancy Weeks’ In the Shadow of Vengeance, a romantic suspense by a fellow Maryland Romance Writers author!

In the Shadow of Vengeance 9781440580352

Detective Noah McNeil has his cases under control, but the same can’t be said for his personal life in Fells Point, Maryland. Elizabeth Merlot, the mother of a troubled teen Noah is mentoring, is freezing him out of the family’s lives – especially criminal given how hot this single mom is.

Elizabeth Merlot can’t afford to let the handsome detective close to her son lest he discover she’s in the witness protection program. Until the day, that is, when the teen tries to fend off a gang attack and her entire world of secrets begins to crumble – and Noah may be the only one who can save their lives. Don’t miss this exciting conclusion to the McNeil family saga!

~~~

And here’s my interview with author Nancy C. Weeks about this determined hero and reluctant heroine in her exciting new release. Welcome, Nancy!

Nancy: Hi Laurel. Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today. I’m thrilled to be here to tell your readers about my new release, In the Shadow of Vengeance.

Laurel: Great to have you here. So, In the Shadow of Vengeance is the last book in the series. That story must have been bittersweet to write.

Nancy: I have spent the last four years working on my ‘In the Shadow’ series. With each book, I fell deeper in love with my five McNeil brothers and the women who turned their world upside down. It was a tearful moment when I typed THE END to In the Shadow of Vengeance. Of course, now that it’s out so the world can read, I can’t remove the silly grin from my face. I loved writing Noah McNeil and Elizabeth Merlot’s story. And since this was the last book in the series, I brought back the amazing characters from the first four books. Today, I invited Jennie McKenzie McNeil along with me so we can hear her impression of her brother-in-law, Noah.

Laurel: Wow, it’s a pleasure to have you with us, Jennie. You’re now happily married to Noah’s twin brother, Jared. If I remember correctly, you and Noah didn’t always get along?

Jennie: Thanks, Laurel. And no, my brother-in-law didn’t like me very much in the beginning. Who could blame the guy? Noah is very protective of his family and I was a serious threat to Jared. Thankfully, that’s all in the past. He’s now one of my best friends and a great brother.

Laurel: Tell me about your relationship with Elizabeth Merlot. You knew her before Elizabeth and Noah ever met, right?

Jennie: I had both her children, Erin and Danny in my class and we formed a friendship—before the unthinkable happened. The man obsessed with me used Danny as leverage against me. I’ll never forgive myself for placing Danny in the path of Elías Mendoza. And Noah… he was almost killed. After Danny was returned home, he and Noah seemed to bond for a few months.

Laurel: Did Noah and Elizabeth start a relationship because of his connection to Danny?

Jennie: Sadly no! My BIL can be a real idiot sometimes.

Laurel: Well, if he wasn’t interested…

Jennie: Oh, he was interested. Noah use to date a different woman every week. After meeting Elizabeth, the spinning door of one-night-stands stopped completely. No, he cared about Elizabeth Merlot, but he was just too pigheaded for his own good.

Laurel: Pigheaded? LOL. How so?

Jennie: Noah has this thing about secrets and he hates lies. He can be the most stubborn, opinionated—he sees everything in black and white. Elizabeth is reserved and doesn’t share much about her past for good reason. If he would have given her a chance to get to know him, then maybe she would have opened up to him sooner. Noah is definitely attracted to Elizabeth but he doesn’t trust her.

Laurel: Then what does Elizabeth think about Noah?

Nancy: I can answer this one with the excerpt I’ve sent along. Elizabeth doesn’t want Noah in Danny’s life and she has good reason to keep Noah at arm’s length. But sorry, can’t say more about that without spilling the plot.

Jennie: Noah and Elizabeth’s journey toward each other ends up changing how they view the world and their beliefs. I felt so helpless watching it unfold from the sidelines. They really went through some difficult situations. But I’m saying too much…

Laurel: No, you’ve left us hanging. J There is going to be a happy ending, right?

Nancy: It’s a romantic suspense so…of course! I write novels filled with a balance of gripping excitement, intrigue and heartwarming romances that will take your emotions on an incredible roller coaster ride. Sometimes you may even find a hint of the paranormal, but you can always count on a happy-ever-after.

Laurel: Since In the Shadow of Vengeance is the last book in your series, should my readers read the 5 books in order?

Nancy: Each book in the series is a stand-alone novel and they don’t have to be read in order. With that said, I think readers will get a much richer understanding of Vengeance if they read In the Shadow of Evil first. That book is where the series began. And wonderful news!! In the Shadow of Evil has been placed on sale for only 99 cents from 12/22 to 12/29!! OH… and watch my WEBSITE for a free read of the beginning chapters of In the Shadow of Vengeance.

Laurel: And here’s the cover you should be looking for:

In the Shadow of Evil Cover 9781440571275

Laurel: Thank you, Nancy and Jennie. We also have that excerpt below…and it appears the nasty villains weren’t the only obstacle Nancy’s hero and heroine faced!

Buy In the Shadow of Vengeance here

AMAZON | B&N | ITUNES | GOOGLE PLAY

~~~

Nancy C Weeks profile picture

Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

Find Nancy at:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

~~~

Excerpt of In the Shadow of Vengeance

Elizabeth’s emotions of gratitude flip-flopped. She could almost feel the blood boiling in her veins. “No, I expect you to let the cops do their job.”

“I’m a cop, Elizabeth. Danny means something to me. I’m not going to sit on my fucking hands and wait until the BPD finds the manpower to look for this bastard.”

The fury she had been holding in all evening erupted. She dashed from behind the chair and rammed a finger into his chest. “I don’t know who you thought you were speaking to just now, Noah McNeil, but I don’t allow that language in this house.”

“Cops cuss.”

“Not in my face, they don’t. And definitely not that word.”

He slammed his hands to his hips. “What word?”

“You know what I’m talking about. It’s offensive and distasteful. Find another way to express yourself in my home or get out.”

A hint of laughter appeared in his eyes. The jerk was laughing at her. She never considered herself a violent person, but it took every ounce of control to keep from slapping that grin right off his stupid face.

The damn man was thick as a brick. If those men beat up a harmless kid like Danny, what would they do to a smartass cop?

“You think your badge makes you invincible? This guy is in a gang, you hardheaded buffoon. He has mean friends, and his friends have meaner friends.”

This time he let out a loud laugh. “Oh, that’s adorable.”

Before she could react, he curled his hand around the nape of her neck and lowered his head, his lips barely touching hers. The laughter was gone, and for some reason, she didn’t yank out of his hold but stood completely still. Her mind screamed to back off, but her curiosity got the best of her. His lips brushed over hers, sending an electric jolt to her toes. The hand at her waist tugged her against him while his lips went back for another taste and then a third. “Damn sweet. You’re worried about me.”

Elizabeth lost all common sense. She yanked him closer and they molded into each other. For such a big man, his lips were surprisingly soft and so gentle. The taste of mint combined with his spicy herbal scent overpowered her senses. A primal need she had forgotten existed took over, and she kissed him back as she clung to him, his shirt fisted in both hands. Her body came alive. He shifted then broke their connection. Reality returned and common sense slammed back into her, taking her breath away.

What was she doing kissing Noah McNeil? She wanted to kick herself all the way back to Nebraska.

“I’m so touched you care, Elizabeth.”

“You kissed me,” she choked out and shoved at his chest. “Why?”

“You kissed me back. It was real sweet, but way too short.” He shifted his weight and bit back a grin. “Is that not allowed in this house either? I think I’m going to need a list.”

“You don’t just go around kissing people, detective.”

~~~

Like space? And romance? How about a little of each?

A friend and fellow science fiction romance writer, Laurie A. Green released the cover of her debut novelette yesterday in an exclusive post on the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. There, she explains more about what exactly a novelette is, and her upcoming SFR series, but I wanted to give her a shout-out here for this spectacular cover.

Farewell_Andromeda-Final

Yes, indeed, that’s a beautiful space cover!

Here’s the short description of Farewell Andromeda:

Fresh off a painful jilting, the last thing deep space pilot Tiharra Bell needs is another romantic entanglement. Certainly not with the galaxy’s most famous astronomer—who also happens to be single, inconveniently handsome, and a resident of the remote Andromeda Station. But Tiharra soon discovers two terrible truths about Dr. Dante “Donner” Dane—1) he’s not the man he appears to be and 2) he doesn’t have long to live. Before her fourteen-day layover is complete, she’ll put her life and career on the line to protect his heartbreaking secret.

Farewell Andromeda is scheduled for a mid-January 2015 release. If you’d like to receive news on the release or Laurie’s upcoming Science Fiction Romance series, please visit her website at Author Laurie A. Green to read more and sign up for her newsletter.

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Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and Science Fiction Romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 500 members. Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.

You can connect with Laurie via her website, Facebook Author Page or @SFRLaurie via Twitter.

Congratulations, Laurie!

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