Giving Thanks…

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been really trying to focus on gratitude.  My default demeanor is cranky and pessimistic, so I started making an effort to write three things I’m thankful for in my diary every morning. It got very boring until my friend Ona told me I wasn’t allowed to repeat the same things from day to day. WUT. Then it got a lot more challenging–and more fun.

Sometimes I’m grateful for a general thing, like my children’s health, or pleasant weather. But that’s hard to do without repetition. I mean, I’m sure I’ve repeated those once or twice–after two years, it’s impossible to remember every thing I’ve mentioned.

But the most fun I have is when I find something very small and specific. I’m thankful for my cat’s aggressive purr as she sits in my lap while I write. I’m thankful for the way that scene in Filthy Cowboy just flowed out of my fingertips and onto the computer screen. I’m thankful for my spouse’s support while I try to keep this book business afloat.

2020 is a hard year to be thankful for. I won’t recall all the hardship; it’s in the news every damn day, so what’s the point? But I can zero in on some of the better things if I get really specific.

I’m grateful for every single one of my readers–those who interact with me on social media, email, or elsewhere, as well as those who don’t. I’m grateful for the chance to write something different from my shifter books–I departed into alternate history/fantasy this year, and it was a blast. I’m grateful for a new desk that has space for a notebook on the side after working on something that was only as wide as my laptop for so long.

I could go on and on, because when I lift the magnifying glass to examine the small joys, I find so many more.

So, whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving (or if you celebrated it in October!), I’m curious what small things you might be thankful for. Feel free to share in the comments, or shoot me a message on Facebook, Shifter Central, or via email. Or just hold it in your heart and let it be an ember of happiness, glowing quietly.

Writing Update: Filthy Cowboy

Filthy Cowboy is coming out in January, and I’m so excited! Here’s my love list for the book:

  • an innocent librarian heroine
  • a taciturn cowboy hero
  • a dark past
  • scary bad guy
  • references to The Bachelor
  • a couple of librarian jokes made me giggle
  • the hero and heroine were pen pals before they were lovers
  • the hero writes poetry
  • this is the longest Junkyard Shifters book yet! (Only by a couple thousand words, but still!)

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If you want to preorder your copy, you can do so on Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon! The Google Play preorder isn’t quite ready, but I’ll let everyone know when it is!

Universal Link

Apple Books US

Kobo (all countries)

Barnes & Noble

Amazon US

Paranormal Romance Authors Discuss the First PNR They Ever Read

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Ah, firsts. We all have them: first kisses, first dates, first time behind the wheel. Some of them are memorable, and some we’d rather forget.

For this month’s edition of Paranormal Romance Authors Discuss, my friends and I are going to tell you about some of our firsts. Which firsts might they be? Read on to find out!

Topic: Tell us about the first paranormal romance book you ever read.

I was a precocious child and started reading at a really young age. By the time I was ten, I had blown through my mother’s copies of Gone With the Wind and Flowers in the Attic, lol. It wasn’t until I was thirteen that I discovered some pretty amazing supernatural tales in my local Waldenbooks, and that all started with Anne Rice. I suppose from there I just grabbed anything I could get my hands on that involved the paranormal and my love for all things bookish and reading just took off to new heights. So I guess it was not anyone book, but a multitude of fantastic folks like Ms. Anne Rice, Nora Roberts, Teresa Medeiros, to Patricia Briggs, Chanda Kahn, Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, Celia Kyle and so many more, that brought me to this state of utter fascination with PNR love stories. ~C.D. Gorri, author of Purely Paranormal Pleasures

The very first paranormal romance I ever read was Katie MacAlister’s Sex and the Single Vampire. That title alone grabbed me. I loved that she wrote about vampires, but it wasn’t dark or scary (even though her vamps are known as the Dark Ones) and that the heroines were the ones who could save these mysterious sexy guys souls through the power of love! Her books are laugh out loud funny and I’ve read every single book she’s written because she keeps me smiling and swooning. ~Aidy Award, author of Dirty Wolf

It was Anne Rice’s, The Mayfair Witches. What intrigued me the most about this book was how real she made her characters feel. I loved the folklore and history she wove into the story. It was also so much more entertaining than reading about real people because it stretched my imagination. ~Terri A. Wilson, author of Crimson Moon Hideaway: Time Wasn’t Ready (Women of the Fold Book 1)

The first paranormal romance I remember reading was Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian. It’s book 1 of the Midnight Breed series, and it’s about a group of vampire warriors who protect the world from rogues. I’d had plenty of experience with “monsters” from the horror side, but this was the first time I experienced them getting their own happily ever afters, complete with thrilling adventure and lots and lots of steam. I was hooked on the genre after reading Kiss of Midnight. ~Carrie Pulkinen, author of the Crescent City Wolf Pack Series

Living in one of the six Celtic Nations, I am often drawn to Celtic inspired romance novels. These romances are often Scottish and while Lucy Monroe’s ‘Moon Craving’ fits the kilt wearing mould (making me go weak at the knees with the hero’s every muttered ‘och’ and ‘aye’), ‘Moon Craving’ has a twist – a paranormal twist. Talorc, the strapping, shirtless hero, is the leader of a secret werewolf shifting clan. The story tells of his arranged marriage to an English woman who is determined to keep the secret that she’s deaf from her new husband. As you’d expect, the couple fall in love but both characters must learn to trust the other with their secrets. In this historical romance novel you will find passion, a brave heroine who fights for what her heart wants and the all-important paranormal story that keeps you turning the page. Reading this story changed my expectations of romance novels. Now, propelled by that discovery, I have created my own paranormal world of shapeshifters and prowling, hungering heroes and I will be very happy if they give you even a small amount of the joy that this book has given me. ~Beth Linton, author of The Guardians’ Trust: Ana (Book 1)

It’s so hard to recall, since I started reading romance when I was 13… But the first paranormal romance that really stands out for me is A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands. I’ve read the entire series (all 31 books) since, though I definitely prefer her earlier (funnier) books! ~Mia Harlan, author of Amber

I honestly can’t remember; I’ve been reading paranormal romance since I was a pre-teen, and that was a long, long time ago! The ones that stuck with me the most, though, were from my mother’s library (God bless the woman for feeding my reading soul). Katie McAlister’s dragon series are some of my faves and were the books that convinced me I wanted to write paranormal (Drake, her green dragon wyvern, will always be my favorite dragon of all time). And let’s not forget Alyssa Day’s Poseidon’s Warriors; I devoured all those books and am so thrilled that she’s writing them again! Oh, and Alexis Morgan’s Paladins of Darkness series; I just found out she has been writing a spinoff series, so I’m heading right over to her website to go check them out! ~Tami Lund, author of Taming the Dragon Series

As I try to think back to that time, I believe it was Morrigan’s Cross (Circle Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts. I went on to read the rest of the trilogy. I loved all three books so much I read them again. Then bought the audiobooks and listened to them about three times. This was, of course, before I ever thought about writing my own books. I’d always been a fan of Nora Roberts’ books, especially her In Death Series, a futuristic, crime suspense series. I fell in love with the vampire in her Circle Trilogy and I guess, you might say it was those three books that inspired me to write my first book. Oddly enough, my first book was not PNR, but more Urban Fantasy. I do have a vampire series now, Immortal Hearts of San Francisco, of which book 6, Bewitched by a Vampire, has just released. Like Nora’s Circle Trilogy, my vampire series is heavy on the romance side. ~Susan Griscom, author of Bewitched by a Vampire, Book 6 in the Immortal Hearts of San Francisco

If I recall, the first paranormal romance I ever read was Dark Lover, Book 1 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. ~Gina Kincade, author of Shifting Hearts Dating App Series

The first paranormal romance I ever read was The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. I absolutely loved the Mayfair Witches and the entire series (but I love everything she’s written, so there is definitely a bias). I am not sure if it technically qualifies as a romance, but there was definitely some paranormal seduction in play. 😉 ~Corinne O’Flynn, author of Maximum Security Magic

The Vampire Diaries series by LJ Smith was my first paranormal romance. I read it in middle school and immediately started writing my own short stories featuring vampires, monsters, and werewolves and the women who love them. I’ve since started re-reading The Vampire Diaries series and it hasn’t held up as well as I’d hoped, but I’m still enjoying the trip back in time. ~Liza Street, author of Filthy Beast

Do you remember your first paranormal romance? Tell me about it in the comments!

Why I Love Vampires

There are so many reasons vampires are popular, I’ll never be able to list them all. However, I can come up with a few key reasons of why I love the bloodsuckers, so let’s get to it. ❤

1. Vampires can be either creepy AF or sexy AF.

From Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Jean-Claude to LJ Smith’s Damon to Joss Whedon’s Spike (okay, fine, and Angel), vampires can really run the gamut. They can be totally horrific and disgusting, or just…misunderstood, sexy bad boys (siiiiigh, Damon). I like books and films to have a little bit of both–scary vampires and sexy vampires.

i love vampires

2. They bring instant tension to any situation.

Whether that tension comes from their unholy thirst, the danger they present, or the power dynamic of their strength versus that of mere mortals, when a vampire enters a scene, you know things are going to get good.

3. Bite me, baby.

Even the creepy vampires can hold a certain allure. A vampire’s bite can carry with it the bliss of pain or the vulnerability of becoming prey, or perhaps the power of a sacrifice. A hero or heroine might donate their blood, or a vampire might take it without asking.

4. Flexible rules.

Vampires are creatures of lore and they aren’t real (the vampires paid me to say that–they don’t want me to give away their secret), so anything goes. If you want your vampires to sparkle, go for it! (But don’t get put out when people laugh.) Some authors and screenwriters might come up with very complex rules for how new vampires are made. Some vampires might be invisible in mirrors, or allergic to garlic, or maybe they’ll happily guzzle holy water to shock onlookers. It’s a blast figuring these things out when falling into a new vampire world.

5. You can find them anywhere.

Vampires have existed in lore for centuries, which means any place you feel like putting them in a story, they can go! Renaissance Italy; Forks, Washington; outer space (why not?); the wild west–all and more are up for grabs. I wrote my first wild west vampire in Savage Thirst back in 2017, although I quickly fast-forwarded her to the present day. Recently, I wrote Blood Bounty, which is set in the wild west, and there are vampires everywhere! (Incidentally, the heroines in both of these books are named Gracie. This was an accident. I must really like that name.)

Speaking of Blood Bounty, it’s in the vampire Story Bundle, Beyond Twilight, and there are only two days left to grab the bundle! Name your price and get up to ELEVEN fang-tastic vampire books! Tap the image below to visit the page.

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