Time for an Excerpt – For Witch or For Poorer

Hello, my friends. In two short weeks FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER, book 5 in my paranormal wedding planner series will release.

I’m excited about this book, because it centers around Giz, our tech wizard on the team who has some secrets of his own that he’s been keeping. I’m excited to share his story and happy-ever-after with you.

So to prepare for the upcoming release, I’m sharing an excerpt with you today. Are you ready?

FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER October 14th! Preorder: 

 AMAZON  | iBOOKS  |  B&N |   KOBO

EXCERPT

Giz watched his teammates in amusement.  If anyone saw them now, they would question how the five of them worked for the Tribunal, keeping peace between the various supernatural factions as well as hiding their existence from humans.

They were an interesting bunch. Devin was an elf and their team leader. He had recruited Connor and Jack for the team. They were twin werewolves who had run the Elf Forest as children with wild abandon along with Devin. Devin had also recruited Charlie, a sea nymph and former SEAL for the team. Charlie then dragged Giz on the team after they served together in the Navy. Of course, Charlie was the kick-butt-and-take-names guy, and Giz the backroom tech guy on the SEAL team and, come to think of it, on this team, as well.

Today, Devin had brought the team together for a very important project. One they were failing quite spectacularly at.

“Connor, you’re putting it on backward!” Devin growled.

“No, I’m not. It has to slide up and down in the front.”

“Exactly. Try and slide it.”

Connor pulled on the wood slats and they wouldn’t budge. “Shit.”

“Where did the instructions go?” Jack asked.

“I can’t find them,” Devin said.

Charlie leaned his tall frame down into the large cardboard box, throwing Styrofoam out of the way. “Oh, for Fates sake. There has to be a set of instructions in here somewhere.”

Giz shook his head. How many supernatural did it take to put together a baby crib? Devin and his wife Alex were expecting their first child in a few short weeks. A baby the team and their mates were all anxious to meet. The fact he or she would be the first elf-faerie-human baby, just added more tension for the already nervous father. Not something Giz would be telling Devin anytime soon.

Charlie stood up with a booklet clutched in his hand. “Found it!”

Devin held up his hands as if giving a speech. “Guys, we can’t screw this up. When we bought the crib, Alex asked me if we needed to pay the extra money for assembly.”

“The correct answer should have been yes,” Charlie responded, his lips quirking up into a grin.

“Yeah,” Jack said. “And what’s this ‘we can’t screw this up’ business. It’s not our fault you insisted you could put this together.”

“Do you honestly think Alex is going to let me live this down? And by extension, do you think-” Devin looked at Charlie, “your wife, Sheila.” He turned to Jack, “or your wife, Julia,” and then Devin glared at Connor, “or your mate, Olivia, is going to cut you any slack?”

For once, Giz was relieved he didn’t have a mate. He chuckled and regretted it instantly when four sets of eyes narrowed on him.

“What are you laughing at?” Devin asked.

“Yeah,” Connor and Jack said at the same time.

Charlie waved the instructions at him. “Why don’t you use your magic and put this together, oh wise and powerful warlock?”

Giz’s humor seeped away at the words. He would not be using his magic to put together the crib. Time to deflect. “Do you think Alex would let you live down me using my magic? That’s cheating. Give me the instructions and I’ll tell you doofuses how to put it together the right way.”

They groaned, and he held out his hand until Charlie passed him the booklet. “Quit whining. We have to put the changing table together after this. I would like to finish before midnight.”

They grudgingly got to work after Giz scanned the instructions and had them sort the pieces into piles. Giz was good at schematics and code and all things tech-oriented. The crib started to take shape under his direction. There would be no magical intervention. And he wouldn’t be sharing why.

He barely used his magic now. He relied on it only when absolutely necessary for their job, and more so to detect magic and put a stop to it. He was closer to the four men in this room than anyone else, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell them the truth. Even though they all had their own set of innate powers, magic could be more of a problem than an easy solution.

He could attest to that.

Connor’s phone rang and he checked the screen. “It’s Sully.”

Giz reached for the legs Connor had been holding so Charlie could continue attaching the frame to them.

“What’s up?” Connor said. He listened for a moment and frowned.

Giz hoped nothing had happened with the pack. There had been enough upheaval recently, they didn’t need more drama.

“Yeah, Jack and I will come see you this afternoon,” Connor glanced at Giz. “He’s with me right now. Hold on, I’ll ask. Are you free this afternoon?”

Giz nodded.

“We’ll see you at three.”

“What did Sullivan want?” Jack asked.

“The new head of pack security is putting in some updated security measures. He would like Giz to review them with him.”

“Is there a new threat he’s worried about?” Devin asked.

Connor put his phone back in his pocket. “Nothing specific he said over the phone, but if there is, Jack and I can get it out of him this afternoon.”

Giz didn’t like the nervous ripples running down his spine. His grandmother used to call it his witch sense. He didn’t ignore it since it usually meant something important was going to happen – good or bad – he didn’t know, but what he did know was it couldn’t be ignored.

 

So what do you think? Is Giz going to end up in trouble???

Release Week in Review

It’s hard to believe FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF released a week ago. I’ve loved sharing the teasers with you and hearing from readers who are enjoying Connor and Olivia’s story.

Connor is a twin and when I wrote his brother Jack’s story, Connor played front and center in that story and his character spoke to me. When I wrote ‘the end’ to Jack’s story. I knew without a doubt that Connor would be next.

But who would I pair him up with? His polar opposite, of course. And it came to me like a thunderbolt when I was writing a poignant scene with Dr. Jennings, the psychiatrist who had been a secondary character up to this point. She seemed so put together. What if I delved into her life more? Why did she become a psychiatrist? And how in the world would she work with perpetual playboy Connor?

You’ll have to read the book to find out 🙂

I’ll share one more teaser with you to celebrate.

Next week, we’re going to talk about the book 5, which will be out on October 14th! Yay!!!!

Twisty-Turny Cover Journey

Last week, I revealed the cover of FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER, book 5 in my wedding planner series. And I thought it would be fun to share with you the twisty-turny journey I went on to get it to you.

Actually, it wasn’t just me on the journey. Melissa Stevens my cover artist from the Illustrated Author, came along for the ride. But let’s back up to the beginning. What you might not realize is that Melissa and I worked on all six covers for the series back in 2017. The first three books in the series had been written and when we finished those covers, I was so jazzed at the amazing job Melissa did that I asked her if she wanted to work on the final three covers.

She agreed, and we moved forward with them. The fourth book, FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF, that is releasing on September 16th, came next. I already knew who the hero and heroine were and where I thought that story was going to go, so we moved forward and created the fun cover with the shadow of the wolf on the couch. Hee, hee – I still get a kick out of that!

I also knew who my hero and heroine were for book six, so we created that cover as well. Five down, one to go, right? Well…the WITCH cover was a harder nut to crack. I knew who the hero was but was not too sure of the heroine or where I was going to go with that book. So we worked on that cover and worked on that cover and (you guessed it) worked on that cover until we finished it.

Witch4 Cauldron.jpg

Or so we thought.

Flash forward to 2019. I finished writing the WITCH book and knew that the cover just wasn’t right. The heroine was wrong (which is a little funny since she is a cartoon after all). But we found a new heroine for the cover. And even though the fish bones in the background were cute and a salute to the cats, they just weren’t right either. So we toyed with the whole idea of a bubbling cauldron and bubbles were added in the background. And in a flash of creative brilliance, Melissa added them to the top of the cauldron and voila!

A cover that worked for the story!

Witch Ebook Final new

So why spend so much time on a cover? Simple. The cover draws the reader in. It is one of the biggest selling points to a book in this digital age. And with my books, whether it comes to the story or the cover, I follow my instincts. And they told me the cover wasn’t done yet. So I listened and instead of telling me I was crazy, Melissa came along on the ride with me and made the cover what it needed to be!

 

Writer’s Crossroads

When an author writes “the end” to a story, it’s an amazing feeling. But it also signals the author to gear up for what they are going to do next. If they are in the middle of a series and have obligations to finish that, then it isn’t hard to make a decision to move forward.

For me, I will be publishing books 4 and 5 in my paranormal wedding planner series this fall which leaves book 6 to go. And I will get to that book soon. But right now, I am at a crossroads. Because when I’m done with book 6, I have to decide what I want to write next.

I have some ideas (all possibilities and not certainties, aka – no promises!).

I could write a spin-off shifter trilogy for my Mind Sweeper series and tie up the loose ends for my unattached characters – Doc & Jason for one, and Grffin for another…

I have also been toying with writing a cozy mystery series as well…

I could pull a partially written book I have started that would jump start a new trilogy on some pretty interesting supernatural that I have been playing with…

Or, I could work on a new series that’s starting to form in my brain which would be very different than what I have written before…

See? A lot of options to sift through. And while they are exiting, they are also a bit daunting. So any suggestions (or votes) would be appreciated. I’m writing for my readers after all…

Writing Style – Tortoise or the Hare?

Writing is an interesting job. It’s part part project management, part marketing, part story-telling. The list goes on. And because of this, it takes creativity as well as mental and emotional strength to create an engaging story.

And for me, sometimes writing can be compared to the tortoise and the hare. I am currently writing my second paranormal wedding planner book this year. FOR BETTER OF FOR WOLF, book 4 of the series, is an eighty-one thousand word book that I wrote in two months. I wrote the last twenty thousand words in about ten days! Definitely reminiscent of the rabbit, or hare, right?

FOR WITCH OR FOR POORER, book 5 of the series, is chugging along at a ridiculously slow pace. The book is going to be a bit shorter, around fifty thousand words (or at least that’s the plan) and as much as I try, I can’t seem to up the pace. Tortoise vibe going on here.

Neither is necessarily a “bad” way to write, it’s just different. Sometimes it depends on where we (the writer) is in our lives. How much energy we have to expend at any given time when our real world (not our made up worlds) also need our attention as well.

So for now, I’ll move forward and finish this book. Whether I plod along of hop, the important thing is that I’m moving forward!

The Journey Continues with Who…

Thanks for joining me on this journey of redesigning my covers for my Mind Sweeper Series. Last week we talking about WHY and this week we’re going to talk about WHO. Who is an important question on several levels.

First – who do I want to partner with to create the covers. I have learned in this business to play to your strengths and while I think I have a good visual eye, that doesn’t mean I can actually create the cover myself. For that I need an expert. I turned to my cover artist that created my cartoon (or vector) covers for my Wedding Planner Series. She was more than happy to help me come up with a new vision for my Mind Sweeper Series as well.

And so I filled out a questionnaire for her about the first book. The questionnaire asked about the important characters in the book, as well as the setting and the plot summary. She asked about important symbols or emotions to convey on the cover. And a host of other questions, and then the process began. It was time to pick out the second WHO – the characters on the covers.

As you can see, my cover artist hit it out of the ballpark on the first swing when it came to Kyle, my heroine of the Mind Sweeper series. This is a hint at cover number one. Hopefully all of the covers will be available on the retailer sites by next week at the latest, but I couldn’t wait anymore to share one of the covers with you.

So what do you think?

 

Why 9556 Is a Magic Number!

Have I piqued your interest? Why in the world would 9556 be a magic number? Well, that is the number of words I wrote this weekend on my third novel in my demon brothers series. And the best part of that number? The last two words were THE END!

Wow, I am so happy to have the first draft done, done, done! Cue the music, confetti, balloons, and chocolate, because AE has written Misha, Aleksei, and Sergei’s stories.

Now we jump into edits, edits, edits! And then the books should be heading your way in the fall. I can’t wait to share this Russian demon family’s stories. It was great to dive into Misha’s family in a big way.

Normally an author provides splashes of backstory to build a character. In this instance the back story actually got to come to life in the form of two more sexy demon brothers, an outrageous Grandmother (Babushka) and a smooth-talking Father. So we get romance, and family drama, and learning how to fit in. We also have some cute kids thrown in as well!

Over the next few months, I’ll be telling you more, more, more about these stories. I’ll also share covers, blurbs, and release dates.

I just wanted to share the news, so you could celebrate along with me! And don’t worry about things getting too crazy. My celebration last night included a vanilla/chocolate twist cone with crunch.

Yep, I know how to throw a party!

 

Bro-mances

Sorry for the blog delay, my friends. For some reason, it slipped my mind yesterday to post my Monday Blog. So this week, you’re getting to spend time with me on Tuesday.

I’m in the process of working on a spin off of my Mind Sweeper series that revolves around my beloved character, Misha. And since Misha has two brothers, they have decided that their stories need to be told as well.

It’s interesting to write characters that are related. In some ways you need something to tie them together, but in other ways you want them to be individuals. In the case of my Russian demon brothers, they are all very different.

Misha is lovable, and loyal, and overprotective. Alexsei is honorable, bossy, and overprotective. Sergei is trying to find his way and overprotective. See? Commonalities, but oh so diverse at the same time.

So not only does each story have a different slant, but I also get to play the brothers off of each other. There’s going to be some “bro-angst” in the stories which will make them fun to write and fun to read as well.

And how can you not love big sexy demons brothers who need to be loved whether they realize it or not? Add in a feisty demon grandmother playing matchmaker, and you’ve got an interesting spin on things. And I’m all about the spin!

So stay tuned, and I’ll let you know how it goes as their stories unfold.

Fast Talker Benefits

It’s actually working, my friends! Last summer I shared in a blog that I had purchased dictation software to hopefully increase my productivity. When I purchased it, I was in the middle of finishing my third wedding planner novel. Since I was on a deadline, I couldn’t take the time to truly delve into using the software.

Now I am working on the Misha book and I pulled out the headset to give it another try. Guess what? I like it! And I seem to be “writing” more words, which for a writer is a WONDERFUL thing. So, I’m going to keep speaking away, and see where the story takes me! If it does increase my word count, maybe I can actually get books done a bit faster.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. As much as you want to read the next story in my two series, I want to write it. I have so many ideas in my head and not enough hours in the day to get them down. Now? Who knows…I am a VERY FAST TALKER!