New Preorder: LOST (Midsummer Suspense Tales #6)

Return to the sleepy hamlet of Midsummer for another fairytale-inspired romantic suspense tale! (Hansel and Gretel this time!)

A single father’s worst nightmare has come to pass…

Clive Yates has been a single father for the past five years, raising his young kids on his own after their mother abandoned them. But his whole world is shattered the moment they’re taken, and the police inform him the M.O. resembles that of a long-dormant serial killer of children. The dangerous forest outside of Midsummer is massive, and with no idea where to search, he fears his kids might not be found in time. But there is one person who has seen the killer’s face, a girl who escaped with her brother so many years ago.

She survived what no child should ever suffer…

Fifteen years ago, Greta Weaver and her foster brother were abducted and brought to a cabin of horrors deep in the forest. They escaped, but just barely, both with scars that have made growing up difficult. She’s tried to make a life for herself outside her childhood town, though nightmares plague her sleep and she’s kept herself isolated. Her abductor—almost killer—was never caught, and part of her always remained lost in those woods, afraid of what would happen if he found her.

When Clive comes to her for help, she just wants to hide from the world, but can’t bear the thought of seeing a parent lose his children. She’ll have to confront her fears–and her past–if Clive is ever going to see his kids again.

 

Release Date: March 24, 2017
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: short novel (45K words or 150 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

KindleNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords

(That Nook link will be working in a couple of days.)

 

Hopefully by the time this one releases, I’ll have my next release up for preorder as well–I’m trying to focus on some standalone works for a bit. I’ll revisit Midsummer for the final trilogy toward the end of the year or early next.

What I’m Working On: Lost (and other stuff)

It turns out I haven’t put out a book since…*checks*…May! Turns out, I haven’t written anything either. My family had a rough year and while Beast did extremely well (THANK YOU to everyone who bought it), Gold did not, and I haven’t been able to afford the time off to write. In addition, the news that All Romance eBooks wouldn’t be paying me (and other authors) hit really hard, as I counted on that money.

I’ve been tackling the next Midsummer book off and on, and I think I might finally have a workable outline for it. At least I know where people are supposed to kiss, and that’s half the battle in an outline. So, at present, I’m working on Lost, which is my contemporary take on Hansel & Gretel (no incest, though). No release date and no preorder yet, but I’ll post when I’ve got some news.

Given that Beast did well, I’m looking at finally writing a particularly dark erotic thriller I’ve had percolating in my head for some time now. I’ll provide more details and teasers later, but for now I’ll just say that it’ll likely appeal to fans of Beast and Sympathy for the Devil, and will be a very non-traditional romance with a lot of heat between two people born of tragedy.

I’ve had a lot of visitors lately looking into what I have in the pipeline (more Stirling Falls, more Midsummer, and yes, yes, I know–more CATS), and I’m sorry I haven’t had more frequent, firm updates. I expected to release a lot last year and just sort of hit a wall. Hopefully being off readers’ radars for so long won’t negatively impact future sales too badly and I can get more works your way soon. Thank you for stopping by, your support keeps me going!

Asha

 

New Release: GOLD

GoldToday the fifth Midsummer Suspense Tale, Gold, is out in the world! As I forgot to do any promo for it, here’s the guest post I would’ve written if I’d remembered.

 

In Praise of the Blue Collar Hero

The funny thing I realized in writing this book is that I finally had a Midsummer Tale without a wealthy hero.

That’s unusual for me, as I prefer a regular guy sort of lead male character. No offense to those who love billionaire books, but it’s not my cuppa. As nice as it would be when struggling to support a family, I find little appeal in a wealthy man swooping in to ease the financial burden–I think because in real life I’ve found it always comes with a cost, and one I’m no longer willing to pay. This is why the heroes of my other books tend to be ordinary men–a gardener, a construction worker, a horse wrangler (with the exception of Carter the writer, though his money is running out by the time the reader meets him in The Book of Love).

But the Midsummer Tales are modernized fairy tales, and so many of those stories have a prince that they crept into the stories. Even then, it was important to me to have heroines who insisted on standing on their own two feet. Gina in Cinders could have been rescued by Brennen–he was more than willing to help her–but she refused to be indebted to him, preferring to earn her way in the world. Both those characters continue to struggle to find a balance between her need for financial independence and his desire to see her loosen the reins a little and lean on him. Bryar in Beauty meets Sawyer, a wealthy pop star, but has no idea who he is, and his wealth has little bearing on their story.

It took a turn in Snow when Mike gave up everything he personally had to save Liliana, but that was necessary for her to realize here was a man who didn’t put a price on her, who valued her.  And Joseph’s billionaire status in Beast afforded him the eccentricities required to keep himself hidden, and Belle had no need for any of his money.

And then we get to Gold. Ross comes from a working class family who has always struggled, and the reader first meets him stepping out of prison. It was refreshing to get back to a working class lead male character who had to struggle just like regular folks, who balked at the wealth of some of the other Midsummer residents (and tried really, really hard not to steal from any of them), who just wanted to help his family.  Low income families on the verge of poverty deal with some of the greatest stress, especially when one major illness can bankrupt you, or if running your own business one bad year can cost you everything. That’s how Ross grew up, all he knows, and it’s a stark contrast with the other men so far in Midsummer who don’t live paycheck to paycheck. It’s Kryssie who has the hidden wealth, Kryssie who could provide for him if needed–Kryssie with the ticket out of a lot of bad situations Ross finds himself in.

So how does that turn out? Well, you can now read and find out about what happens when Goldilocks/The Miller’s Daughter curls up in tattooed ex-con Baby Bear’s bed…

It’s his last chance at a life of freedom.

Gabe Ross has never not been in trouble. The principal’s office led to juvie, juvie led to jail. Getting probation on good behavior was difficult enough, but he did it and now he’s home with a job lined up and a shot at staying out of prison if he keeps on the straight and narrow. As the small town of Midsummer settles into spring, Ross prepares to open the cabins his family owns for the seasonal vacationers. Late one night he finds a girl curled up in his bed and assumes his ex has figured out he’s back in town and is looking for a little fun.

The criminal underworld’s golden girl wants a way out.

Kryssie Locke is known in criminal circles for spinning nothing into virtual gold, a reputation she built to save her life. She’s escaped at last with enough knowledge that her former employers are hunting her, and hiding out in a cabin in the woods seems like it’ll give her time to figure things out. She doesn’t realize the cabin is owned by the Ross family, nor is she expecting their youngest son to crawl into bed with her.

The attraction between them is electric and immediate. But Ross is trying to stick to his probation and Kryssie is tempting him to break just that. Because as he’s starting to fall for her, he knows he’ll do anything to keep her safe from those hunting her. Even kill.

Release Date: May 27, 2016
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: novel (50K words or 150 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwordsPaperback

I usually like to have the next book up for pre-order when one releases, but…I haven’t started anything new yet. The tentative research plans I’d made for Gimme Shelter have fallen through, so that book is officially off my schedule (my apologies to Stirling Falls readers). I haven’t plotted out either Lost (Midsummer #6) or Cat’s in the Cradle (Cats & Conjure #5) yet, unfortunately. I have a busy summer ahead of me so I might take a bit of a break and come back with new work in the fall. If you want to keep up to date, you can subscribe to my blog, follow me on Facebook, or Amazon uses can click the “Follow” button on my Amazon profile to get notified of new releases and pre-orders.

What I’m Working On and Pre-order: GOLD

GoldMidsummer #5 is coming on May 27!

This was originally a tougher one to plot. Where previous fairy tale retellings–Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast–had clear plot arcs and villains to base my stories on, when I had the idea to do Goldilocks and the Three Bears one, I ran into a bit of a block.

Really, any Goldilocks story would have to be a wrong-bed-trope kind, so the romance was going to be easy. But for the rest, the suspense aspect, I asked, What if Goldilocks was running and hiding from someone? What was her life before finding the bears’ cabin?

I looked then at other fairy tales and settled on Rumpelstiltskin and the miller’s daughter who has to spin straw into gold.

The result was my new story Gold about the “baby bear” of a family who’s always been in trouble with the law and hacker girl on the run who stumbles across his family’s lodge.

Here’s the blurb and pre-order info, and below the cut I’ll paste the Once Upon a Time (aka prologue) opening. The excerpt is unedited, so please forgive any typos and errors.

Usually I like to have the next book up for pre-order when one releases, however I’m probably going to take a break to research my next projects, and I’m uncertain what I’ll be working on next. After Gold, I don’t have any firm release dates decided upon. I’m thinking of working on Gimme Shelter next. I also have Cats & Conjure #5 and Midsummer #6 on my list.

 

It’s his last chance at a life of freedom.

Gabe Ross has never not been in trouble. The principal’s office led to juvie, juvie led to jail. Getting probation on good behavior was difficult enough, but he did it and now he’s home with a job lined up and a shot at staying out of prison if he keeps on the straight and narrow. As the small town of Midsummer settles into spring, Ross prepares to open the cabins his family owns for the seasonal vacationers. Late one night he finds a girl curled up in his bed and assumes his ex has figured out he’s back in town and is looking for a little fun.

The criminal underworld’s golden girl wants a way out.

Kryssie Locke is known in criminal circles for spinning nothing into virtual gold, a reputation she built to save her life. She’s escaped at last with enough knowledge that her former employers are hunting her, and hiding out in a cabin in the woods seems like it’ll give her time to figure things out. She doesn’t realize the cabin is owned by the Ross family, nor is she expecting their youngest son to crawl into bed with her.

The attraction between them is electric and immediate. But Ross is trying to stick to his probation and Kryssie is tempting him to break just that. Because as he’s starting to fall for her, he knows he’ll do anything to keep her safe from those hunting her. Even kill.

 

Release Date: May 27, 2016
Genre: IR (bwwm) contemporary romantic suspense
Length: novel (50K words or 150 pages)
Series: Midsummer Suspense
Format: ebook & paperback
Ebook Price: $3.99
Print Price: $8.99

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords

Continue reading

Special Guest: Darien Cox on Safe in Your Fire

One of my dearest writer friends is m/m author Darien Cox. We started at the same publisher years ago, and I was hooked as a fangirl when I read his first book. He just came out with a sexy, intriguing new sci-fi romance novel, which I devoured in record time and couldn’t help asking some questions. And I’ve got answers for readers dying for more!

 

Q: You usually write contemporary romance. What made you go with sci-fi this time?
A: I’ve always been a closet nerd, read a lot of books about various conspiracies etc. just for fun. So after I put out Victim of Love last year I got a little blocked, and ultimately a friend asked me…well, what do you love? I was like…um, cheeseburgers? Oh, and creepy otherworldly stuff, yeah, that’s it! I was hesitant to go there at first, but my editor, Skyla Dawn Cameron, reminded me that art is risk, and that I could still use my own voice and a contemporary setting while adding the weird. So I said screw it, let’s have some fun. I think it still very much feels like a Darien Cox book, it’s still a pretty modern romance, just with some oogedy boogedy weaved into the plot. The best part is it worked – I’m unblocked and already partway into a MM non- creepy contemp novel I’m gonna put out before the next Village book, so it’s a good mix for me, alternating between the two.

Q: All the side-characters have rich, detailed lives even though they’re not the focus–do you already know who will get their own book?
A: Ultimately I want them all to get their own books, but I have decided on a certain character for the next one. It’s going to be fun to get deeper into all their backstories while rocking their little worlds and getting them naked.

Q: Without giving any spoilers, do you have more mysteries to explore with the scifi angle after explaining some of it in this book?
A: And it’s so hard not to talk about spoilers! But yes, definitely. The great part about what’s lurking around the village is that it’s still such an unknown despite what’s been revealed. Even though I’ve used some existing concepts, I really wanted to get across that when it comes to this stuff, bottom line is NOBODY FUCKING KNOWS, so my goal is to keep it surprising. While writing this book, I tried to really open myself up and let the story tell itself, so to speak, and was happy the details that emerged managed to surprise even me, so there’s gonna be some crazy stuff coming down the pipe for our village crew.

Q: How did you go about constructing the village itself to be its own character?
A: Well first, I’m happy you see it that way! The village, while ultimately becoming a very real and unique place to me, started out as a combination of places I’ve spent time, places that are colorful, a little off-beat, and give you a sense of self-containment, like their own little world. There’s a bit of Provincetown in there, a little Hull, Massachusetts, and a dash of Burlington, Vermont. Places that have that kind of island feel where if you go on the off-season you’ll see the real locals and feel the pulse of the place and what’s brimming beneath the surface. So I basically put all that in a blender and then used the characters and the story to mutate it into its own animal. As far as the New York State setting, I’ve had some awesome experiences in the mountains up there, and it’s definitely a place that pops up a lot in the non-fiction realm, in terms of ‘I had a weird experience in this place’, so I took that and used a speculative eye to expand upon it.

Q: What made you decide to add cameos of Ben and Peter from Seducing Professor Coyle? It was nice to see them again.
A: It was a combination of circumstance and laziness! At the start, Rudy needed help with his computer, and I thought, ‘If only Ben LeClair was here’. Then I thought…oh wait, he can be. BECAUSE I AM GOD HERE!

Q: Can you tell us what the non-creepy contemporary romance you’re working on is about?
A: It’s a forbidden fruit story, which is pretty much my favorite theme, and it’s going to be very, very, nasty. In a good way.

Q: When can we expect The Village Book Two?
A: Shouldn’t be too long! The ball-ache of writing the first one was setting the scene and creating the village and the characters. Now that they’re in place, I’ll bang the second one out fast, already got most of it outlined. So get ready to whip out that #smutordie hashtag!

 

Thank you for visiting, Darien!

 

SafeinYourFire-KindleWelcome to The Village – A new gay romance series with a sci-fi twist from best selling author Darien Cox.

When asked to locate and interview an off-the-grid former child star for a magazine feature, novice journalist Rudy Sansone thinks he’s getting yet another demeaning assignment from his boss. But finding ‘Baby James’ Waterman proves to be a personal and professional challenge, as the elusive, hostile, and surprisingly sexy James is nothing that Rudy expected. But Rudy’s scrappy motivation to get the story at all costs plunges him into the mountain community of Singing Bear Village, where he senses strange and frightening secrets simmering beneath the surface. But what’s simmering between Rudy and his reluctant interview subject is something more carnal and heated, and his desire to be consumed by it clouds his judgement when warning bells urge him to flee the village and never look back.

Buy on Amazon, ARe, and Nook.