Archives for November 2012

Turning a COLD, COLD WINTER a Lil Bit Hotter

It’s official: Dani and Adam are back for the holidays.

I mentioned previously I was hoping to call it “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”–I love that song and I think the cheeky tone fits the characters. But the title was already in use with the publisher, so that left me on the hunt for another title…

A quirk of mine is that I like to pick song titles for my books, and series often are linked by a musician. Stirling Falls? Wild Horses, Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter…The Rolling Stones, obviously.

I adore the Stones song “Winter” but I thought the title needed a little more, so this novella is officiall called Wild Horses: Cold, Cold Winter.

 
Six months after the events of Wild Horses, blogger Danyiah Jackson happily lives in the country, loving—and often shocking—her broodtastic horse wrangler boyfriend, Adam Cooper.
 
But her surprise Christmas present for him, done as a prank for her blog and to spring some life-changing news, incites an argument months in the making, bringing the insecurities and vulnerabilities of the pair to the forefront. Adam wants more than he fears she’s willing to give, and Dani has a secret of her own that she fears will tear everything apart.
 
Is a happily-ever-after really possible for an opposites-attract romance?

Coming December 4 from Phaze Books!

Keep warm until then! Here are some tunes to get you in the mood:

If you want to catch up, you’ll find Wild Horses on Amazon, Nook, All Romance eBooks, and Phaze–all ebook formats and in print.

Somebody to Love – Now on Nook!

Here it is for Nook readers!

Some exciting new things brewing and I hope to have news for you next week. Thanks for reading!

In Progress: A Dani/Adam Holiday Novella

Though it was time consuming and difficult to write, I admit I really, really loved Wild Horses. I had loads of fun with that one–Danyiah was so much fun to write, and YUM, Adam! Readers have commented that they were hoping for a more solid HEA–I do lean toward slightly more ambiguous endings, I suppose–and that they really missed the couple when WH was over. Though there will be glimpses of them in Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme Shelter, I thought their story was done.

I’m glad to announce I was wrong.

I have a holiday novella in progress with them, hopefully you’ll see it next month! It’ll bridge the gap between Wild Horses and Sympathy, and possibly tie up a few things while presenting a few more challenges…

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Blogger Danyiah Jackson happily lives in the country,
loving—and often shocking—her broodtastic horse wrangler boyfriend, Adam
Cooper. But her surprise Christmas present for him, done as a prank for her
blog, incites an argument six months in the making, bringing the insecurities
and vulnerabilities of the pair to the forefront. Adam wants more than he fears
she’s willing to give, and Dani has a secret that threatens to tear them apart
for good.

Details to come as I know them!

SOMEBODY TO LOVE: Excerpt

Hey folks!

A huge huge HUGE thank you to those of you who picked up Somebody to Love this week and left a couple of reviews–it means so, so much to me. You rock!

Here’s an excerpt from the novella.

————-

 

Spirits’ Will

 

Marie paced away from the billiard room and James.
“I don’t want to hear any ghost stories.”

She heard his steps following and his smooth, deep
voice rumble, “Why’s that?”

She stopped abruptly and turned, lantern swinging in
her hand. “Because people always die in them.”

“Well…yes. That’s the point.”

“And that’s depressing. So no, no ghost stories, no
ghost hunting, no ghost talking, no ghost anything!” She snapped her
lips shut, regretting her outburst. He didn’t look any differently at her, of
course—expression didn’t change at all except to slip from teasing to more
thoughtful.

And the sudden silence hanging between them didn’t
bother her, either. Tension rose but it wasn’t unpleasant—instead the air,
strangely, seemed to sizzle. Her heart fluttered as she was locked in
his blue eyes, held immobile by a sudden yearning for him. James was tall and
broad, with brown hair cut short, looking silky to the touch, and a hint of
stubble along his strong jaw. He stood casually but it did nothing to diminish
his stature, his strength.

They’d parted on bad terms, but no one would guess
just looking at him—he seemed like no time had passed. No one would guess the
hurt that hollowed her out and left her broken.

Marie looked away from the heat in his eyes and the
moment between them ended. Instead she moved for the front door. Some fresh air
would do her good—it might cool her suddenly flushed skin. She let the camera
hang from her shoulder again and reached for the door.

It didn’t budge.

She frowned and checked the lock. It was fine. Again
she twisted at the knob but to no avail—it was stuck, completely shut.

“Well.” James sighed behind her. “Guess you’re stuck
with me.”

Her temper flared. “Did you do this?” She turned back
to him and pointed at the door. “Seriously?”

His eyes widened but she didn’t believe him for a
second. “Such an accusation.” But her unyielding anger seemed to dawn on him at
last and he sobered. “It’s not me.” James walked past her, reached for the
door, and tried the knob only to have the same result she did.

Forget this—I’m finding another door. Marie shook her head and trekked away from him, down
the opposite hall. The floor creaked angrily, announcing her every movement,
and she didn’t care. She stalked past the stairs, the lantern swinging in her
hand, and down the corridor. She passed two closed doors and two archways
leading to dark rooms she didn’t spare a glance to. At the back of the house
she found another door and she stomped right up to it and grasped the handle.

This one didn’t open either.

Damn it! She
pounded with her free hand against the wood and it just kicked more dust up
that filled her lungs and tickled her nose. She coughed and stepped back,
glaring at the door as if that might open it. Her head throbbed and pain
stretched over the back of her neck. The fear creeping up in her was
overshadowed by exhaustion and she slumped against the wall by the door with a
sigh.

Steps crossed the floor and while she continued
staring at the barred exit, she spoke to James. “You’re telling me that’s not
you? Keeping it shut? After all your ghost talk?” When silence followed, she
turned her tired eyes to him.

He cast a glance back at her. “No, it’s not me.”

“Then who’s doing it?”

His lips parted.

“Don’t say ghosts!”

“Okay. Spirits?”

I have to get out of here. Once again she pushed past him, still needing to clear her head. This
time she turned into the kitchen and set the lantern down, and stopped to look
outside. The windows showed a dark, overgrown lawn patterned with dry fallen
leaves, and pricks of stars in the sky. She leaned on the counter, peering up
at the starlight.

Damn him. He had to be keeping those doors shut somehow.

Marie slipped the camera off her shoulder, set it on
the counter, and her gaze trailed over the sink. Her throat was parched and her
skin was flushed still, whether from her quick temper or something else, she
didn’t know. Though she doubted she’d have success, she reached over and
fiddled with the dusty taps anyway.

Nothing. Nothing at all. Whether it was attached to a
well with a broken pump or the town line and it hadn’t been turned on with the
house being vacant, she didn’t know. And it didn’t matter. No water, damn it.

James’ footfalls sounded on the floor. She sighed and
turned around, pressed her back against the counter, and watched his approach.
His hands were knotted behind his back and he came nearer, nearer, until her
head tilted back so she could continue to meet his gaze. Scarce inches
separated them and for some reason her mind went wild wanting—

Stop. It. And get a hold of yourself. But that was easier said than done. She locked her
hands onto the counter’s edge and waited.

“Thirsty?” he asked.

“Taps don’t work and I didn’t bring anything. Wasn’t planning
on staying, but that was before someone locked me in.”

“I didn’t—”

But she didn’t want to hear it. She started to turn
away from him when his arm darted out, barring her path along with the bottle
he had in hand.

James said nothing but held still, offering the
bottle. At last she relented and took it, turned it back and forth in her
hands. The label was too faded to read.

“You didn’t pack wine,” she said.

“Maybe I did. Or maybe…” He seemed to be leaning
closer to her still and her heart leapt, the warmth of him enveloping her, his
voice dropping low against her ear. “I…stole it from the billiard room.”

Marie grinned. He was exceptionally good at melting
away her irritation though she was loath to admit it. “I don’t really want to
know what food you might’ve found in there too.”

“Nothing in there but I have sandwiches. They
were in my bag.”

Back in the billiard room. She clutched the wine
bottle to her chest. “How about eating in a different room?”

“Drawing room?”

She made a face. “Library?”

His expression sobered and he averted his gaze. “Oh.
Yeah, I think I passed it on my way.” He took her lantern and started from the
kitchen.

Marie watched his retreat for a moment, hugging the
old, sealed bottle of wine. Her head continued to ache but maybe some food
would make her feel better. Still, locked in here…

The twisting in her stomach told her this night wasn’t
going to end well.

————

The empty house at the end of Landsdowne Lane is
supposedly haunted.
Among the alleged ghosts is a couple who died
young and, legend has it, they possess the living and draw true love to the
house for a night of passion before dawn comes.
 Marie and James are about to find out if it’s
true.

Buy on Amazon (Kindle)
Buy on Smashwords (all formats)
Other stores coming soon!

An Open Letter to “tennie75”

I have a question I’m pondering.

My history as a writer is this: I had three releases earlier in the year in close succession: March, May, and June. I had things contracted, scheduled, and planned for the next few months. Instead, it wasn’t until the end of October that something else came out.

Why? I explained my self-imposed break already, and the reality is that aside from 3K on Still in Love with You, until I wrote Somebody to Love this month I didn’t write a single word. Not a one. Even my blog was silent.

Somebody to Love is a self release. It was advertised here on my blog (which feeds to Amazon and GoodReads), on Twitter, and on my Facebook page, and that’s it–and these were all places where I said that the piracy of Wild Horses hit me hard enough that I had to take an extended break from writing and I wasn’t sure if I’d even write Sympathy for the Devil. So when this story was requested at a piracy forum the very same day it released, I know it had to have been someone who actually follows me in some capacity. I know you are or probably will read this in some capacity.

So please explain this to me, “tennie75”: Do you not want me to write?

Did you want to read Somebody to Love so badly that you thought the cost of another four months going by without me writing justified it?

Did you think your request was invisible to me? Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Did you think I wouldn’t immediately close the document I was working on, with no desire to go back to it?

As I said, this book was a self-release. This means I pay for editing. I pay for stock photos. I pay for the software that allowed me to cleanly convert it into various formats. All of that money came out of pocket. I am paid on a per-purchase basis and I’m not even remotely close to making that money back–more people have now illegally downloaded it than purchased it. I spent the past several days working all hours on this story, setting aside family time, setting aside OTHER paid work, in the hopes of delivering a story I was really proud of to readers and that I’d make my money back (and then some), justifying the time I spent on it. I thought, well, if it’s a self-release and only advertised here, surely it’ll be awhile before people steal it. After all, it’s just my fans paying attention here, right?

Nothing is free. The books you steal have a cost, and that is going to come in one of two ways: 1. Lower quality from the authors you take from as they attempt to make up for lost income by producing a lot, or 2. no books at all from the authors who can’t justify writing any longer.

I was seriously hoping to get at least two more releases out by the end of the year, thinking that extra income would help out with bills at home, because right now I’m trying to choose between things like keeping my house warm for the winter with the rising electricity costs and paying for medication for my eldest, as we can’t afford both.

Please, “tennie75”, if the book isn’t worth the $2.99 it’s available for, is it worth driving me to quit writing altogether?

Regards,

Asha