Sunday, December 30, 2018

WeWriWa: Strange Bedfellows – BOUND BY MOONLIGHT


When New Orleans detectives are forced to work with a shapeshifting reformed mobster – who is as unnatural as he is enigmatic – to save the daughter of one of their own before she becomes the latest victim of the killer haunting the Quarter, things are understandably tense. BOUND BY MOONIGHT, the fourth book in my “By Moonlight” series featuring tough as nails detective Charlotte Caissie, who now shares drawer space and headlines with her preternatural lover, Max Savoie, pushes both parties to the limit of trust and acceptance when she asks him to return to his criminal roots to help her solve a complex case before it’s too late. With his secret spreading, Max is forced to risk his family and his clan to join with a hated enemy as the loyalties that define them threaten to divide them forever. 

He heard something . . . something bigger than the usual rat or stray dog . . . probably just a couple of bums. Squinting blearily toward the heavy shadows, Detective Junior Hammond saw no movement, but something was creeping around just out of sight. 

Practically dancing with urgency, he ducked behind the dumpster to relieve himself, fumbling with his belt when he heard the low growls that vibrated with menace . . . dozens of them. He whirled around to see faint shapes slinking through the mist, their movements unnaturally fluid and quick, eyes glowing, way too high to belong to a dog as they drew nearer, huddling pack-like, sinister in their caution, predatory in their patience. 

He lurched forward, stumbling into the center of the alley, trying to tear through the effects of liquor and fear to think of how to save himself from these terrifying figures casting shadows that were half man . . . half something else. 

“Come on,” he shouted at the beasts that encircled him but came no closer, “what are you waiting for?” 

The ring of feral creatures parted, not to give him an escape, but to provide a purposefully dramatic entry. 

The swirl of his long black raincoat swept away the ribbons of fog as he approached with an unhurried stride, the rhythmic swagger filled with arrogance and lethal control. Hammond knew who it was even before he could see the hard angles of his face, even before the dim light glinted ruby red off his unblinking eyes. 

Savoie.


In January, I’ll be moving into the “Shadows” portion of the series, giving my favorite secondary characters their own stories, beginning with Silas MacCreedy, Charlotte’s new partner who brings unusual talents to the table along with his own agenda in HUNTER OF SHADOWS.

I’m enjoying a week with my grandguy to celebrate the New Year, and making resolutions for 2019 – beginning with finishing RISE BY MOONLIGHT and exploring other projects I’ve had on the backburner for far too long, some new, some old becoming new again. What are your plans for this brand new year?


Celebrate, fellow Warriors, by remembering why we do that voodoo that we do so well!

Happy New Year!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

WeWriWa: Trust Issues - CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT


Some say putting your faith in love is blindly foolish. But isn’t love blind? And without trust, how can a relationship grow, even one so . . . unusual as that between reforming mob enforcer/shapeshifter Max Savoie and NOPD police detective Charlotte Caissie. In this excerpt from CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT, the third book in my “By Moonlight” series.

“I’ve done terrible things, Charlotte, things I will never, ever share with you. Then you touched my face, my other face, the face of the beast, and you looked at me as if you saw something beautiful.” 

He turned to her, eyes glittering in the darkness, confessing, “I put that look of helplessness and terror into the eyes of others because I was like them—those men who kidnapped you and Mary Kate. Jimmy never told me I could be more than that, that there was more to me than the monster who’d forgotten what it was like to feel . . . until you, Charlotte.” 

“You were never like them, Max,” she told him softly. 

If he heard her, he didn’t believe what she was saying as he continued, “You were my chance, Charlotte, my chance to do something good, something right, my chance to remember where I’d hidden away my soul when I was just a child, and I swore that day I would never do anything to put that look back in your eyes, that you would never, ever have reason to fear me.” 

“I’m not afraid of you, Max, because I’ve always known I was safe with you.” 

He gripped her wrists so suddenly, she gasped as he leaned close to warn, “You’re not safe now, Charlotte, I’m not safe. I’ve always been able to control the other part of me, but now there’s something loose inside me, something without a heart, without a soul, and without a care for what happens to you . . . I’m afraid of what I might do.” 

“I trust you.”

CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT focuses on those seemingly insurmountable differences, particularly one they’re about to explore – the need for a shapeshifter male to bond with his mate, which will push our heroine’s trust to its breaking point in one of my favorite books of the series.


I’m already neck deep in holiday merriment with my oldest sister and b-i-l dropping in yesterday for the start of a 4-day weekend of gifts and nibbles. The festivities conclude next weekend when my younger son and his family arrive (leaving gifts AND my grandguy to visit for a week. HoHoHo!). I’ll be sharing from BOUND BY MOONIGHT before beginning with the “Shadows” portion of the series in the New Year.


Wishing everyone warm and wonderful celebrations!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

WeWriWa: Max and Charlotte – Opposites Attract


Continuing with stops along my read-thru of my “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series, I’m pausing at book two, CHASED BY MOONLIGHT as the heat index rises as high as the stakes when Max’s implication in a high-profile murder case forces Cee Cee to step back from their relationship in order to prove him innocent . . . which would be easier if he wasn’t hiding something . . . or someone from her. As promised, here’s a glimpse at the NOLA detective through Max’s jaded yet inexperienced eyes.

He’d been in love with her for almost half of his life, though he’d barely spoken a handful of words to her for eight of those twelve years. Since the first fateful time they’d crossed paths, she’d become one of only three people he’d ever trusted.

She’d hit him like a locomotive while he stood frozen on the tracks, unable to move out of the way even as the whistle shrieked in warning. His emotions had been a train wreck ever since. Not prepared for her, he’d been startled, then amused when she got in his face, that sassy, sexy mouth ripping into him as if he was some small-time pick-pocket rather than the power behind the most powerful criminal in New Orleans, and he could think of nothing else but how those lips would taste.

She was a cop, the antithesis of everything he’d been since Jimmy Legere took him out of the swamps, grooming him from the time he was led away from the decomposing body of his mother to be the perfect weapon to wield against Jimmy’s enemies. Fierce and emotionless, Max had been feared since he was a teen. He’d heard them say he killed without conscience, but that wasn’t true. He hadn’t measured the right or wrong of what he did against the tremendous need to repay the man who’d rescued him, doing whatever was asked of him, without question, without pause.

Until Charlotte Caissie.

As absence makes hearts grow fonder, the unlikely couple is forced to see their budding relationship for what it is – an impossible yet irresistible challenge to overcome, if they can as the past as well as the present endangers their future together.


As next week leads into a loooong holiday weekend, I plan to get busier on RISE BY MOONLIGHT, following up on the progress made at last weekend’s day long Write In with a posse of Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America pals in a Holiday Inn Express conference room. Here we are hard at work . . .



Whoops! Or rather enjoying a reward at the end of a prosperous day.

Lifting a glass (or a coffee cup) to all my fellow Warriors this weekend. May the Words be with you!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

WeWriWa: Meet Max Savoie, the Big Dog from my “By Moonlight” Series


That feeling you get when you know you’re onto something good. When one book isn’t enough to capture the drama, action and powerful relationship that tangles around your every thought. MASKED BY MOONLIGHT . . . yeah, it was like that. I’d never written without a detailed outline, but this story unfolded so fast I was into book four before I could catch my breath. And now I’m lost in these stories all over again as I reread the series (all 14 of them!) to get up to speed for RISE BY MOONLIGHT, to end cap the series. It’s all about Max Savoie, the mysterious shapeshifting mob enforcer and his infatuation with a wrong for every reason female (number one being she’s a New Orleans detective determine to bring down his father-figure boss with him as collateral damage!) Meet Max through the jaded eyes of Det. Charlotte Caissie as she goes to question his employer about a grisly murder in the Quarter.


Cee didn’t spend a lot of time admiring men for their looks, but something about Max Savoie’s face arrested her each time she saw him.

He wasn’t handsome, not even attractive in the traditional sense. He was rugged strength cut into sharp planes and rough angles, confident without being cocky, powerful without aggression, exuding complete control over what he allowed the world to see, which was usually damned little.

The fact that he could seem so forceful behind such a calm, immobile front impressed her and not much did. Max was a man who wasted no unnecessary words or movements, his unblinking stare taking in everything without revealing anything through eyes the color of wet verdigris, beneath lids heavy with guarded distain . . . or amusement. She often got the feeling that he was laughing at her on some private level, which irritated her. 

But the odd way he sensed things not apparent to others made her nervous—sounds, smells, movements, he was alert to them like a mastiff on a short chain. And he missed nothing when it came to her—not the slightest nuance, every tiny alteration, in a way that she’d find alarmingly obsessive if he ever acted on it with more than slightly flirtatious words. Who the hell noticed a new perfume applied modestly to pulse points almost a full day ago? Wondering made those pulse points flutter.



Welcome to my “By Moonlight” world! (Sorry for the outrageous price on these books even the e-versions! The paperbacks are technically out of print and I plan to petition for my rights back soon.) View it from Max’s eyes next week. Until then, here’s another tease . . .


I’m recovering from the office Christmas party and an all day Write In but plan to stop in to chat with everyone after missing last weekend. Happy Weekend fellow Warriors.



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

WeWriWa: Under Your Scars


Sometimes all the things we hide from ourselves and others are the same imperfections that link us to someone else when they’re shared . . . if we can find the courage to take that step.

Kip Terriot, the hero in my recent release PRINCE OF DREAMS, has been bemoaning all the star-crossed reasons Ophelia Brady is wrong for him. Time to hear Phe’s side of things in this week’s excerpt . . .


He didn’t trust her or believe in her, in what she said or how she felt. Apparently, her actions hadn’t voiced it clearly enough. If the fact she’d turned away from her family to aide his wasn’t proof of her intentions, she had no idea how to convince him, leaving her no recourse except walking away . . . if he’d let her after what she’d seen, what she knew. These were desperate, dangerous people - not even people, from what she’d learned in the past 24-hours, but then, she’d started to discover, neither was she. What else could she give to prove that she was all in as far as he was concerned? 

Bottom line, she loved Kip Terriot for reasons that formed an impressive, undeniable list: His goodness, his devotion to family, his compassion for others, his courage and intelligence, his humor, not to mention that tight butt . . . but mostly because of the way he’d accepted her, making her prince the whole damned near close-to-perfect package.

Until now, with hurt and exhaustion pushing an unexpected wedge of uncertainty between them. She could ignore it, or she could confront it. Neither scenario promised a good outcome.

Or she could accept him, the way he’d made her accept herself, for all her flaws.


Can two wrongs fit together to make something very right? They can if those shared scars are seen for what they are, badges of strength and honor and not as weaknesses.

Follow Kip and Ophelia’s dangerous, romantic, sexy and seemingly impossible journey toward accepting what they must about each other and themselves to find happiness in PRINCE OF DREAMS from my “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series.



For the next few months, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the books in my “By Moonlight” series while I do a refresher reread to prep for RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the final book in the series. Gotta get all those pesky timeline issues straight through the almost ten years and ten books (14 counting the HoT spin off series). Hope you’ll enjoy taking the journey with me.

While I finish off the leftovers from my Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll be feasting on the tidbits you’re sharing this weekend, fellow Warriors, as we go boldly into December!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WeWriWa: A World Apart . . . Alone


We all know what it’s like to be different, to feel different, to squirm in uncomfortable situations not of our making in a foreign environment. That’s where Kip Terriot, my hero in PRINCE OF DREAMS finds himself after last week’s excerpt. What makes that truth harder to accept is knowing that it places an unbreachable barrier between him and the woman he loves.


Ophelia’s concern reduced him, her encouragement rebuilding where he was weak. The only thing that kept him from acting upon the rightness of them being together was the echo of Colin's litany of all that was wrong, because he had no arguments.

They were different, a difference Kip couldn't explain away or skirt around as if it wasn't important. She was a human female, the daughter of the man he was working to destroy and nothing about that added up to them together in any possible scenario.

As the son of their clan's king, he'd questioned who he was all his life, but never had he wondered about what he was until here in this world. Here, he felt unnatural, not only different but unacceptable. He'd been raised to keep a careful distance from humankind, and when close proximity was unavoidable, to follow strict rules - Don't flaunt your strength, don't display your natural abilities, and don't let them see you aren't like them. He'd asked his mother why, if they were so much stronger, they had to be afraid of the delicate human beings. Not to protect themselves, was her puzzling reply, for they had nothing to fear from Uprights, but rather to protect how the weaker kind would seek to use them or eradicate them out of fear and ignorance as vicious, uncontrollable predators instead of embracing them as thinking, caring beings.

As Ophelia Brady would fear him if she saw his true face and form.

What a wretched place to be. One of my favorite songs sums up the future he sees for himself at this point as he struggles to do the right thing for the both of them.


Or is he underestimating her?

I feel his bittersweet uncertainty this week while bundling up in the freezing temperatures, saying goodbye to friends and co-workers I’ve enjoyed while moving on to a new, uncharted future where there are no guarantees. But then how can you reap rewards without first taking the risk?

Happy change of seasons, fellow Warriors! Go forth boldly in pursuit of your dreams.


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

WeWriWa: His Brother’s Keeper


Sorry I missed my last weekly installment from PRINCE OF DREAMS. Frustration and stress from my interim job ground out every last creative spark. Fortunately, it led to great news I’ll share after today’s 8-10 line excerpt which follows hero Kip’s sobering conversation with his older, world-weary brother, Colin about a future with the girl of his dreams . . .


"Why can't it be like that?" Kip argued on behalf of his fragile hopes. 

"Because the rest of the world doesn't want to see us happy after all the things we've done." Hands on his knees, Colin pushed up to his massive height, concluding, "I've got no other answer, for either of us." 

"That sucks." 

"Yes, it does." 

The bitter truth in his brother’s grim words forced Kip to demand, "What does that leave us with?" 

"Duty and honor, battle and blood, and a bonfire to release our souls." Colin sighed his heavy conclusion, "And a battle's about to begin in my back yard so you stay clear, you hear?" 

"What are you into, Col?" Kip asked, heart pounding as he looked beyond his own selfish woes to the dangers of their current situation. 

"Retribution, little brother, and it's going to be a bitch."

Not what a young Romeo wants to hear. Watch for Kip’s reaction next week.

With two weeks off before the start date of my dream job and a three day Write In this weekend, I’m letting the stress roll off to say “Hello again” to book 15 (and the final chapter) of my shapeshifter series. 


I have a lot to be thankful for this month!! How about you, fellow Weekend Warriors?


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: The Creative Writers’ Evolution

Our Insecure Writers Support Group theme for November is “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?” So glad you asked!!


I was born thinking outside (and around) the box of “what was” to the “what could be”. Perhaps because I’m a Gemini, creativity is the balance between my worlds of learning and imagination. As a child, I loved to embellish, to expand, to ask “What if?” I drew, I told stories, and eventually as a young teen, I began to write them down, a process that has never stopped evolving.

When I signed my first contracts in the ‘80s and ‘90s, my active role stopped at the acceptance of my manuscript. The publisher did the rest of the packaging and selling, and I was stuck with their interpretation of my work. There weren’t a lot of things an author could do at that point except spend time at signings and money on advertising. Then bookmarks became the big thing. When I designed my first bookmark and won a Romantic Times promotion award for it, a whole new layer of writing involvement opened, expanding hugely when I sold the first three books of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series to Pocket Books. When my editor solicited my involvement in the marketing of those books, an unexpectedly exciting level of ‘creative’ writing was born. I got to write the backblurb and teaser copy, plan and approve cover concepts and venture out of my techno-phobic world into posting a New Orleans-set research travelogue on Pocket’s debuting blog (This was big stuff for someone who wrote their first six books long hand and typed them on a Smith Corolla manual!).

My next big step was designing (with the help of my intrepid artist/critique partner pal Patricia Lazarus) my web site. Choosing graphics, making the logo, picking colors and fonts and backdrops and pictures . . . I fell in love with that deeper layer of expression. In college, I backed my English major with Communications and History minors never guessing the role they’d play in my future career. As much as I disliked public appearances, I adored helming behind the scenes promotional efforts (now with the aid of my intrepid virtual assistant, Florence Price!). Venturing into self-pubbing, there were covers to design, blogs to write complete with graphics and video support. I jumped enthusiastically into piecing together book trailers and playlists, banners and newsletters (finally!), each new texture adding an extra creative thrill of enjoyment to the actual butt-in-chair-hands-on-keys effort of writing. I’ve even learned to enjoy giving speeches . . . with lots of visual aids! If I hadn’t become a writer, these fulfilling avenues of expression would probably have remained dormant. But now they’re enough to keep both my creative Twin sides busy and fulfilled!

How about you? I can’t wait to discover your creative secrets, my fellow IWSG pals!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the November 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, October 28, 2018

WeWriWa: It’s a (Shapeshifter) Family Affair


No one likes to hear a hard truth, especially when it’s from the one person you think will understand. That’s where we left Kip, our hero from PRINCE OF DREAMS, as he confesses some surprising revelations to his older, wiser and cynical brother, Colin (from PRINCE OF POWER), telling him the truth about his feelings for the female he’s in New Orleans to use and betray . . . but has come to love. 


Alarm jumped through his brother before understanding relaxed him. "She knows your family name, that you're from Nevada, but does she know what you are, that you hunt trails with your nose to the ground and eat what you catch while it's warm? Have you told her what's required of your bond mate?"

"Enough, Colin, that's enough," Kip cried as he exploded off the couch and began to pace. "I don't want to pull her into a world full of violence and pride."

Colin sat silent for a long moment then posed, "You'd live in her world, walking away from your family?" There was no blame in his words, just puzzlement.

"I don't know, Col, I just don't know. There's got to be a middle ground, for both of us, you and me."

That snatched back the cynical smile as he drawled, "Right, and the rest of the ugly world we live in is just going to step back and let us live it."

Here’s where he finds himself . . .


Love this video! Sly & the Family Stone/Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the first concerts I went to with my older sister at my future university’s fieldhouse. Still rockin’ it soulfully!

If you’re looking for some non-caloric treats to celebrate the upcoming holiday, fill your goodie bag (and your eyes!) with my princes from the “House of Terriot”. Sinfully good.


Prince of Honor
Book 1
Prince of Power
Book 2
Prince of Fools
Book 3
Prince of Dreams
Book 4







   

   

   

   

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Hope this weekend edging up on Halloween finds you in a good place in your writing life, fellow Warriors! Don’t eat too much candy (if there’s such a thing?)!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.