Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jammin' and It's Late

It's nearly midnight, and I'm jamming to the Black Eyed Peas.My six year old got the music for a talent show he's dancing in. So I figured to play it while I'm working, and it's actually a terrific album. (I like tracks 2 and 8 best.)

I can't write fiction to music. But when I'm updating my website or doing administrative stuff, I love working to upbeat music. I like techno to pump me up, and these guys are really hitting my dance fix.

It especially helps because I've been trying for half an hour to update my newsletter, and the *&^&%#!! thing has a glitch. In my news section, it won't update. So annoying!

Now I'm off to bed to read my revisions before I send them in tomorrow. Then I'm hoping to take a look at the new Snow White movie. Fingers crossed...

Cutting the Fat

There's something to be said for excess. Too much of anything is bad for you. You can drown from too much water, exercise to the point your body breaks down, and eat until you die, whether from rupturing your stomach or getting a disease caused by carrying way too much weight.

That fear in mind, I'm going to the gym this morning. And I know it's going to be painful. See the picture to the left? This is what I see when I think about exercising. It's a hurdle, because that damn doughnut never goes away.

But in order to get healthy and trim some fat, I'm upping my routine from sitting and chewing to actively walking, running, and taking classes.  I'll exercise to get lean, to cut away the excess and get rid of my unhealthy habits. (Cue segue...)

Kind of like trimming those LY words, those annoying adverbs that take the place of strong verbs. Or unnecessary words like really, very, and actually.  If you can read the sentence without those words and it still makes sense, is it really necessary? (Note the irony of this really.)

It's not easy to work out. Once I get back on the wagon, I'm good. But getting there sucks. Drinking more water, eating less sugar, maintaining a healthy lifestyle--total trial. Sitting all day writing for a living is not conducive to good muscle tone and blood flow. So it's a struggle to tell myself that getting in shape is just as important as getting in six to eight  hours of solid writing.

Deleting superfluous words and lengthy passages that do nothing for the story but sound pretty is just as vital.  That's one of my big problems with reading literary fiction. It's supposed to be all artistic and flowery, and I get bogged down in descriptions and run-on sentences just to read about a man walking his dog. Please. What's wrong with "He walked his dog"? 

To that I say, trim the fat. Get rid of the wordiness. I don't write literary fiction. I don't intend to. It's not my thing, just as others don't like romance. No biggie. But when I'm reading my genre, and I find the same burdensome pages, I want to tear my hair out. Keep to the plot, stay true to the characters, and stop overachieving. Write the damn book for the audience, not to show everyone you know a few three dollar words. My two cents for the day.*

*As I write this, I'm still envisioning that doughnut and praying I'll still be able to walk when my workout is done. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Contests: Do 'em or Don't?

Contests. Everyone does them. No matter what field you're in, someone's going to have a contest to generate buzz. Grocery stores try to get you to spend more. Retailers want you on their mailing list. And authors...  Authors sometimes seem so freakin' desperate for you to buy their books that they're wiling to auction off their young if you'll just read that first chapter.

I know I've gotten caught up in the fever. When I was a newer writer, I tried to generate buzz. I offered great contests, not realizing postage can sometimes cost. One contest I'd left open to everyone and truly picked at random, so when my kid chose the winning entry number, I was stuck mailing a lovely gift basket full of goodies to Finland. Not a great memory considering I nearly had to cut off my left arm to afford the postage. I think mailing it actually cost more than the goodie basket. But hey, it was cool someone from Finland had entered.

This is not to say contests don't offer something of value. More exposure means more people are tempted to give you a look. However, the same contest sharks swim in the waters, and most of the time I had the same people entering. I love readers who care, don't get me wrong, but when I offered contests, it was to snag new readers as well as exciting the older ones.

Now, with postage so high, I try to offer ebooks. There's no mailing fee, and international is no problem. But again, who enters to win? Because there's so much "free" out there today, people don't seem to care about giveaways. And every time I turn around, some author or another is offering a free book, a gift card, a bag of donuts. Hell, a new car AND an ipod, if you'll join her/his mailing list. And that's something that's baffled me. New writers offering expensive prizes. I'm not sure if it's an excitement thing or just an author getting caught up in the publishing frenzy, but if your book hasn't even come out yet, and you're offering something that cost $400, aren't you risking a loss? Because honestly, most epub houses don't pay out in the thousands for a brand new author with one book on her her/his list.

I've slowed down on the contests. I try to offer some stuff just to newsletter subscribers as a thanks for reading me. And I think it helps not to overdo on giveaways. Then again, perhaps I'd up my blog traffic if I gave more stuff away. I don't know. I do know that good books sell. No matter how hard you try, the best advertising for anything is word of mouth. That's how a buzz gets started. And with the Internet bringing the planet together, it's pretty easy to let a friend know if you like/dislike something without ever picking up a phone. Then again, the best book in the world won't move if no one knows about it. Contest do or contest don't? Wish I had the answer.

Now just out of curiosity, does anyone recognize the picture reference above? I saw it and immediately knew, but I'm a rabid fan. Should I offer a contest to see who gets the right answer? haha

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Revision Vs Rewrite

As usual, I'm in the middle of one project or another. And as usual, I've gotten edits back on a prior project to complete. Except these are more than edits. I'm doing some major revisions.


I saw this coming. For some reason, this particular book gave me fits. I don't know why. I love the characters, the plot, and the world in which these people come together. But I had an itchy feeling while writing it, as if some part just didn't fit.

So now I'll work on revisions.

I've been through this before. Old stories that never saw the light of day will sometimes inspire me to set them free. But my writing today is very different from what it used to be a few years ago. What sounded so great back in 2008 now feels stale. As I read through older work, I'm always struck between wanting to revise and wanting to rewrite.

There is a huge difference. A revision is taking what's there and majorly moving it around. But it's still basically the same story. A rewrite is just that. A brand new book.

My current "edits" are actually a revision. But the book I'm currently working on is a rewrite. And honestly, the rewrite is easier. I don't have to play inside boundaries I've already created for myself. Instead, I just make up a new story as I go. But my revision adheres to what I already liked about the story and spruces it up. A lot.

So wish me luck. I'm off to grab some coffee, pray I have enough creamer to get me through the day, and then I'll type, type, type my sunny Monday away. (Man, I wish it was raining. Rainy days make the best writing days.)

Happy Monday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Recipe for Whatever Interests You

So a friend of mine keeps sending me recipes. She eats very healthy and has a picky family. So when she finds something good that's been tested and approved by her clan, she shares. Last night I made a ham and spinach quiche, except I didn't have any spinach and substituted broccoli. WOW. It was awesome!

I've also made lemon cupcakes with raspberry cream frosting, gypsy soup (my favorite) and Portuguese green soup. It's amazing what you can do with a good recipe.

Which of course, is my segue into writing. A good book has a simple enough recipe. Tasty beginning, flavorful middle, tangy ending. You can add as much spice as you like, and if you've made it to the best of your ability and your readers like it, they'll most likely be back for a second helping of your writing. But though everyone might make a great quiche, we all fiddle with the recipe. Some add broccoli, others put in less cheese. And the actual spices that go into the dish vary from chef to chef.

I remember last year I received a review on one of my Circ books, and the reviewer made a comment that I'd lifted the story from Lora Leigh's breed series--which I love. I usually don't respond to reviews, but nods to copying had me rushing to correct her. Nicely, I might add, I told her that my Circs (shifters) might have some similarities, but that my book had been started years ago (in the 90s), before the breed series first released. And considering I'd only read my first Lora Leigh book two years ago and written my first Circ book in 2009, I didn't see the conflict. I continued to describe my own background in the USMC and family in the Jersey area as my inspiration to write. I would never mind comparisons of my work to Lora Leigh's, but I refuse to be called a copycat. And that's not even getting into all the differences between the Breed series and my Circ series.

But it's all relative.

Take genre. Think of a shifter romance as the recipe.  Some will choose wolves, others cat, and others nonhuman or nonanimal. There can be a teaspoon of funny or a tablespoon of sobriety. No two recipes will be alike, unless you have plagiarism and blatant copying at hand.

The bottom line is that tons of people might have a similar idea, but take way different paths in developing it.
When I submitted to Samhain for their feline shifter anthology back in 2008, I was excited to try something different. I love exercises like this, where people take one simple idea and run with it. My submission was accepted, and the Cougar Falls books were born. But of the six stories, not one was alike except for the fact that the romances revolved around cat shifters.

Same recipe with multiple variations. And they say variety is the spice of life. Too true.

How many vampire books are out there, yet Twilight hit it big? How many angsty YA books, yet The Hunger Games was huge? And if you want dystopian fiction, just walk down the aisle of your local bookstore and check the multitude of supernatural fodder.

Just remember, it might all be from the same recipe, but the variations are endless.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smut? Porn? Romance? What Do YOU Call It?

My covers typically tend to be racy. Perhaps not this sexy, but you get the gist. The story is erotic romance, whether it be between shifters, men, women, groups or pairs, earthly or not. With the recent buzz about the 50 shades book, I've noticed more women paying attention to books than before, from writing groups to the PTA to the teachers in my kids' school. 

Today my youngest son's teacher mentioned she was thinking about the "smutty" books I write when someone mentioned the shades book to her (though I have yet to tell her specifically my name or any titles, just that my romance is erotically charged--and all that I answered when asked what I do.)

Immediately I wanted to protest the term "smutty." She didn't offend me, and the comment she made was innocent enough, yet the term bothers me because it's always had a negative connotation. Surprisingly, I find that as more women embrace their sexual selves, language doesn't seem to bother many the way it once did. Frank terms seemed to be welcomed or at least preferred over the purple prose of the glorious 80s. "Manhood," "love flower," and "turgid plum root" are thankfully words of the past. 
That aside, I still can't get a grip on how others refer to what I write. At its core, what I write is romance. Romance that happens to be expressed physically, sexually. I don't consider it porn, because to me, pornography is just physical gratification. I write more than tab A filling slot B. There has to be feeling, romance, love. An expression of conjoined emotion that plays out through touch and sensory exploration.  

I couldn't care less about the gender of partners or the number of partners in a relationship. It's about the love that's shared that makes my stories, well, my stories.

Do I then call them smutty? To me, smutty means dirty. Racy? Raunchy? Steamy is a word that seems safe to me. Heck, half the single title romance books I pick up in Target or Costco have the same steam factor as what I write. Yet they're geared as romance and not erotic romance. Semantics, really. 

I wonder how this new buzz about BDSM will affect how people view romances. Will there be more or less attention to other genres? Will the whole erotic tableau become fodder for the masses, or will it remain niche, the way it's pretty much been since long before I started writing?  And when will it be okay to call it smutty or raunchy? Is it okay now? 

I don't know. I do know calling my material porn offends me. Not because I hate porn (for the record I don't), but because I don't feel that term accurately portrays my work. So I'm sticking with steamy. We'll see where this leads. So far so good, because I haven't been tarred and feathered out of the neighborhood yet. Fingers crossed that life out of the Bible Belt is easier to bear.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And the Twain Shall Never Meet

There are a few things I like to keep separate in my life, one of which is my writing life separate from my home life. So this was a definite no-no...

After stifling my laughter, though I'm sure my eight year old caught my grin, I had to tell him--again--not to write in Momma's book. I love my spiral notebook and #2 pencil. I'm still old-fashioned enough to like the actual writing part of writing, though I contain my scribbles and scratches to note taking and chapter breakdowns. I don't use the notebook for anything other than my stories. No personal notes. No grocery lists, and no messages from cute little kids and their monster/alien hybrids. Writer life to the left, real life to the right.

I recently spoke to a group of women, and one of them asked the question I'm usually asked when others find out I write--"Where do you get your ideas?"  Considering I write erotic romance in several genres (paranormal, futuristic, m/m, etc.), I can't say that I pull from real life all that much aside from being able to describe how sex can generate emotion. I don't know any foursomes living it up in a town populated by people from other dimensions. I don't know any psychics, I've never been up close to the BDSM lifestyle, and I don't have any gay friends (that I know of). I've never seen a vampire feed or a werewolf mate, and I haven't done half the crazy things my characters have done. 

I have a vivid imagination. Yes, sometimes I borrow from life. That's what writers do. If your name is John and you're a complete ass, your name might make an appearance in my book as the bad guy. My character might even have some of the same physical characteristics--completely coincidental. I will say I've never used a person I've met in real life and written them completely into a book. I write fiction, and I like to control my characters and plots, well, as much as I can. 

My story, my way. And no more writing in my book unless it's notes about the story. No matter how cute the monster at the bottom.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Check Out The Love Hangover

I told my friend Ayla I'd share news about her new contest.  But this is even better!  Ayla and her buddies at Changeling are giving away some awesome prizes. As in, more than one. So click on the banner above to learn about great books and prizes. :) I'm heading over...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Flight to Coffee

Flight of Fancy is now available at All Romance Ebooks. No idea when it will hit Amazon and B&N, but soon, I'm hoping.

Today I'm having a Bend writers session at my house. This means, a group of us who belong to RCRW (that meets in Portland) but live in Central Oregon get together once a month for coffee, writer talk, and a good time. In a solitary field like writing, it really helps to be around others who go through the same stuff, like: characters who become demanding, publishers who make you want to pull your hair out, and deadlines you just can't seem to meet. Who knew these were universal issues?

Smile. Now, time for coffee and brownies.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Lure of Anime

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. My kids gave me handmade items crafted at school, which of course I'll keep forever. Then they went out and played all day long, leaving me alone with Black Blood Brothers, a twelve episode anime series revolving around black bloods--vampires, and red bloods--humans.

I have to say, this one was pretty good. Eastern and Western sensibilities can be very different, and sometimes humor and concepts are lost in translation. But I managed to keep up with the storyline, which wasn't hard to understand at all.

I've found that a lot of anime have terrific concepts, philosophical treaties on everything from the individual to the meaning of life to what constitutes a monster. Many people scorn anime as mere cartoons, but they're actually a lot more, as I learned when I first started watching them.

I'm by no means an expert. But I really enjoy a well-crafted world, and the art and creativity that goes into good anime is astounding. I'm usually more blown over by how someone can think of such an idea than the art itself. It's good storytelling, and often it makes me want to write more. And write better.

So if you're new to anime and want to check out some fun, try Black Blood Brothers. Darker Than Black is also a good series, a new one I'm getting into. (Thanks to Netflix, I'm exposed to a lot more than I used to be.)

Happy Monday. Now I'm off to take an allergy pill before my sinuses explode. And then I can get back to writing on this sunny, beautiful day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers: A+

Just saw this in the theater yesterday. I have to give The Avengers an A+. WOW. What a terrific picture. The action is nonstop, the plot tight, and the characters larger than life. Mark Ruffalo does a terrific job as Bruce Banner. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is snarky and fun. Evans, Johansson, Renner, Hemsworth and Jackson nicely round out the cast. They all have equal screen time, so the movie is never the Iron Man or Captain America show, but a true melding of the Avengers. And a big shout out to Tom Hiddleston, who does a terrific job of portraying the evil Loki. Man, I really hated that guy at the end.

The best parts of the movie are the way the characters play off each other, and the Hulk, for all his monosyllabic greenness, is funny. Humor plays an important part of the charm of this movie, and there are several instances where I laughed out loud, along with the other theatergoers. The special effects are just incredible. 

Another winner from Joss Whedon, the movie has action, humor, drama, and adventure wrapped in a bow. It's violent, but that's to be expected of six superheroes out to save the world. If you haven't seen this, I highly recommend it. I plan on seeing it again, it was that good. I also watched it in 3D, though I hadn't planned on it at first. But I'm glad I did. It actually added to the experience. I think I might take my kids later this weekend. It was violent though, so I'm going back and forth on that. But I did take them to Captain America, and they were fine with that. 
So to recap, (Marvel's) The Avengers A+ .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Speech

Today I'm talking to a lovely bunch of ladies who belong to PEO--Philanthropic Educational Organization. I'm looking forward to the discussion. Basically I'll be speaking about what it's like to be a writer, my path to publication, and answering any questions anyone might have. I so wish writing were as glamorous as I used to think it was, before I actually started writing, that is. I confess, I don't eat bonbons on a regular basis, I'm not rolling in millions, and I have to work hard EVERY day. That whole "I'll wait 'til my muse strikes me to write"  won't put food on the table or pay the bills. :)  But there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. So on the whole, I'll take working hard in order to write full time. Yeah, it's my day job...and it's my night job.  A blessing and a curse about working from home--there's never a good excuse not to work.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Submissions: Having Fun Waiting

(That's me to the left, waiting to hear back.)

There's something intriguing about the submission process. Last night I finished putting together a package to send out to someone I pitched to at the Desert Dreams conference. I went over the thing with a fine tooth comb, so of course I probably misspelled "the" somewhere in the submission.

The neat part about writing is the waiting. Huh? Neat? Annoying, yes, but it's fun as well, because there's that kernel of hope that never quite dies. As many times as I've been rejected, and there have been many, I still look forward to hearing back from the cool kids club I want to join. Will they take me? Did they already take someone just like me? Do they think my work is appropriate for their line, or that I'm barking up the wrong tree? 

I'm not at that point where I don't feel bad if I'm rejected, but I don't take it to heart. This is a business. Period. What one person likes another doesn't. There are editors and agents out there still kicking themselves for turning down JK Rowling. How about all the rejections Amanda Hocking faced?  She's now laughing all the way to the bank. And Stephen King thought about giving up. He threw away Carrie. Really. And now look at the success of that book and King himself.

I currently make a living writing, and thus far it's a nice living I'm more than happy with. I'll continue to write, and I think those who can appreciate what I bring to the table will be happy as well. If not, their loss, and I'll march on.

The greatest thing about getting rejections is that it's taught me to believe in myself. Because if I don't think I'm worthy, no one else will. Bottom line is that writers aren't stepping stones, we're a part of the process, a vital part. Editors, agents and publishers obviously have importance, but without the actual story, what are they trying to sell?

My words of wisdom for Tuesday. Now I'm getting ready to hop over to my kids' school for a mother's day luncheon. Then back to writing. My dream job. :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sucky Monday

I think the picture says it all.  I woke up today to little boys fighting. Over what? A friggin' quarter. Then I ran out of bacon and had to stick to eggs this morning minus any necessary pig fat. Now I'm working and on a roll, but it's incredibly gorgeous outside. In the 80s today, blue sky, white capped mountains off in the distance. Monday is kil-ling me!!!

A bit of good news: I might have two more books scheduled for next year with one of my publishers. Fingers crossed. Once I sign the contracts, I'll spread the good news.

To make up for this sucky Monday, thought I'd share some things you might find of interest:

1.  Avengers has grossed $207.4M domestically. I plan to see it this week, as it's gotten stellar reviews and looks incredible. And, well, there's Thor. Do I really need to say any more?
2.  Jayne Ann Krentz hits another winner with her new Crystal Gardens (written as Amanda Quick). It's a Victorian mystery and romance, and just a wonderful read. I loved how the romance wasn't overshadowed by the mystery, and I loved the title characters. A terrific start to her new series, Ladies of Lantern Street, and I can't wait for more.
3. I recently had the great fortune to watch Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (thanks Cat and Todd), a funny horror movie on Netflix. Two rednecks interact with the stereotypical college partiers out for fun in the woods--but the story is anything but typical. It's laugh-out-loud funny and plays with the tropes of the horror genre. If you liked The Cabin in the Woods, you'll love this gem.
4.  I'm still a big fan of Grimm. I hate to say this, but this past Friday I chose Grimm over Supernatural. It saddens me that I'm starting to fall out of love with the show. It's just way too wacky and not as tight as it used to be. I'm still loyal to the characters, but it's no longer killing me if I miss an episode here or there. (And on another note, how lame is it that my Friday night excitement stems from television?)
5. Airbender: The Legend of Korra is so great on so many levels I just can't say. And on this last episode, there was a kiss that grossed out my boys. Even better.

And that's all for this Monday. I'm going to try to do some reviews and post more interesting tidbits later this week. Like a review for the movie Haywire, which I found disappointing. Stay tuned, and while you're waiting, a clip from Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil...

Friday, May 4, 2012

What the...hail?

So this morning, I'm out in a tee-shirt. My kid is out in shorts playing (because once again, there is a day off from school--service day or something). It's not too warm, but not too cold. It's May--spring. And then, out of the sky, comes a spatter of rain which soon turns to snow and then hail. Hail? So weird!  The sun is out shining right now, when half an hour ago I had mini snow balls on my fence and steps. A swift change that's gone as soon as it arrived.

Kind of like publishing lately. (Like that segue?)

For years, the only way to publish was to go through a traditional publisher. Paperback, hardback, trade. Then the world of epublishing arrived. Many were slow to take up the change, while the more successful jumped on the electronic bandwagon and embraced technology. And gee, a few years later, ebooks are STILL a popular venue through which to read books. The big six publishing houses have taken note and now offer their material in ebook format. Some even have ebook only formats.

Fast forward within the past year to the take-off of indie publishing. Independent publishing, also known as self-publishing, which many authors, agents, editors and publishers used to scoff at. Well, not so much any more. A few breakout stars (ahem, Amanda Hocking, HP Mallory, John Locke) have proven that a good story and catchy voice can and will sell. Instead of the publishers dictating what readers can read, the readers are proving what they want with purchase power.

I tried for New York years ago, then happened upon an epublisher and haven't looked back. I've even tried my hand at indie publishing, and while I love the creative freedom, it's a heck of a lot more work than going through my publishers. I still want to break into NY print, if only to broaden my brand and introduce Marie Harte stories to people who've never used a Kindle or Nook. But that's slow going, and I'm not a patient person. So while NY takes its time making up its mind, I continue to write ebooks.

I wonder what the next big thing will be to hit publishing? Because in the last three years, the industry has turned on its head. And I couldn't be happier about it. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Release Day Contest Winner

Congrats to Erin T for winning the contest. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by with well wishes. Release day is always fun, but yesterday was even better thanks to all of you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FLIGHT OF FANCY Releases: And a Contest with Carrie Ann Ryan and Lia Davis

Psychics can be sexy. Really sexy. Add in ex-government agents, physically superior bodies, and sexual tension and you have the ideal basis for romance. So here's a little bit about the PowerUp! team. (Then read below for a chance to win an Amazon gift card, some swag, and a free copy of Whispered Words and Fortune's Favor, the books preceding Flight of Fancy.)

A casualty of funding wars and an overzealous Defense Department trying to clean up its reputation after several failed experimental programs, the Psychic Warfare Program (PWP) is scrapped in the throes of its infancy.  Its participants are transferred to other defense agencies, but a few decide to leave the government behind, knowing full well their freedom hinges on keeping a low profile and living under the radar.
Life on the outside isn’t easy.  Without the constant physical, mental and psychic training they’ve become accustomed to, many of the PWP’s best break down, losing control of their abilities and their minds. Returning to Uncle Sam’s open arms seems like their only viable option, until Jack Keiser comes up with an idea that just might work… 
The Power Up Gym offers a twenty-four/seven fitness regimen, complete with trainers and personalized service. The staff is friendly, clearly knowledgeable, and practice what they preach.  But they do more than supervise workouts and lift weights. In their off hours, they work their minds and their abilities on special cases for special people.  And their first client intends to keep them in business for a long, long time.

CONTEST INFO: Since it's a party, we went a little crazy! ONE winner from a commenter on any of the three blogs will win this necklace, a $5 Amazon Gift Card, a Redwood Pack Swag Pack, a Lia Davis Swag Pack, and an electronic copy of Whispered Words and Flight of Fancy!!!

A Night Away - Carrie Ann Ryan
Book 3.5 in the Redwood Pack Series
Kade Jamenson has been mated to Melanie for almost two years. They’ve been through mating circles, battles, loss, misunderstandings, and finally, the birth of their son, Finn. The world is in turmoil around them as the Redwoods engage in war with the Centrals. But for Kade and Melanie, the turmoil is also happening at home. The responsibility of a restless baby and their Pack has taken a toll and they need a break.
Not from each other. But from their Pack. Just for a night.
Kade takes Mel away for a romantic getaway and leaves Uncle Maddox alone with baby Finn. The Omega of the Redwood Pack may be adept at emotions but the idea of a baby may be beyond his immense capabilities.
Author’s Note: This is a novella set between books 3 and 4 to give you a taste of Mel and Kade. It is best that you have already immersed yourselves in the Redwood Pack world, however even new readers will enjoy a glimpse of one of the Redwood’s favorite couples.
Flight of Fancy by Marie Harte:
Aidan Marshall isn’t like the others who now work as civilians for the PowerUp! gym. He doesn’t feel like he fits in, even among the misfits. Being gay means nothing to the people he’s with. He can read thoughts and speak with his mind, and no one ever feels comfortable in his presence. Hell, even he doesn’t like to be left alone with himself.

When his boss assigns him a mission to locate a stolen book, he jumps at the chance to use his psychic abilities and prove himself a valuable part of the team. He’s fine working on his own and has nearly located the book he’s been sent to retrieve when Gavin Caldwell screws up the entire case.
Gavin is a pain in the ass. He’s a pencil pusher and a leftover from the administrative nightmare that was the PWP. A nice guy to have on your side when it comes to balancing the books, but otherwise he’s nothing but a burden--as is clearly evidenced when he botches the case. It doesn’t help matters that he’s exactly Aidan’s type.
With no recourse but to use Gavin to right the wrong he’s done, Aidan and Gavin go undercover in a high stakes operation posing as lovers--where anything and everything goes. In the course of their mission, Aidan finds out there’s much more to Gavin than meets the eye, and much more to himself than he’d ever thought possible. Because with Gavin, Aidan learns how to love not only another man, but himself as well.
Ravished Before Sunrise - Lia Davis
Born with the unusual ability to see what truly lies in the shadows, Emalee Black is stuck between two worlds, the paranormal and the human. Neither one accepts or understands her and she's forced to live a quiet, boring life in hiding. When her best friend mentions 1Night Stand dating service, Ema chooses a role-playing adventure straight out of her romantic fantasies. She's to hunt her very own vampire and have her wicked way him.

Vampire Darian Wyman is surprised when his daughter signs him up for a one-night stand with an exclusive matching agency. At first he's appalled by the idea, but as he reads the details of the date he becomes intrigued. For one night he will get away from the life he has long grown tired of to be hunted and captured by a would-be huntress. But he has plans of his own for his little vixen.

However, when Darian discovers the truth about Ema's inhuman abilities, the date could end before it gets started.
Thanks so much for coming y'all!! Be sure to go to Carrie Ann's and Lia's blogs in order to enter in the giveaways too!!!!