For those of you looking for fabulous multicultural/interracial images for book covers don’t sleep The Reed Files. Taria has great pictures and her prices are totally reasonable. She has some pre-made covers and does custom shoots and design too.
Let’s Do It Again is rapidly becoming one of my most popular books of all time. I can’t thank y’all enough. I’ve always loved that story and am thrilled that you love it too. I think it means that y’all really like stories with older characters. The hubbie, of course, thinks it’s the sexy new cover. Brunch and a lovely bloody mary is riding on this one…is it the grown folk or the sex?
For those of you who loved Rumors of Wars, the next book, Acts of Wars will be out next spring. Here’s a preview:
Acts of Wars
Coming Spring 2015 from
Lisa G. Riley and Roslyn Hardy Holcomb!
“Good morning Sleeping Beauty.”
The perfectly balanced custom made throwing knife left Perish’s hand with an absence of motion so subtle it was almost zen. As though controlled by nothing more than thought itself the blade pierced the pitch-black darkness of her bedroom toward the one foolish enough to disturb her much-needed rest.
The laughter that followed her attempt at homicide gave Perish all the information she needed to know. Wolf. Only a wolf had the reflexes and instincts to sidestep her best blade. Even worse, she knew which wolf. Audacious Pride, Pride’s brat of a baby sister. Seriously, she should’ve smothered the kid at birth. Perish flopped back down on her bed. Telling Audacious to get the fuck out of her house would be a waste of time. So she just waited to find out what the little monster wanted. It had been two days since her return from Nazi-era Germany. While she’d slept for most of the first day, she’d expected to see Pride on the next so they could decide what to do with the information they’d gained about the Amber Room. Gregor had been surprisingly patient, but she didn’t expect that to last much longer. Pride had been a no-show, now she wondered if Audacious was the reason. Keeping his brother from killing his sister would require all the beta wolf’s considerable diplomatic skills.
Audacious walked over to the bed from the shadows where she’d retreated to avoid Perish’s deadly missile.
“Someone is getting soft in their old age,” Audacious said in a sing-song voice more suitable to a adolescent on a playground.
“You do know that’s not my only knife?” Perish felt compelled to point out.
Audacious laughed again. “See that’s what I’ve always loved about you Perish. Lethal as hell and twice as pretty. I’m sure you have an arsenal in this house, and if my brother didn’t already have prior claim…”
“Your brother does not have prior claim. I’m not a piece of meat. Something tells me neither of us would’ve survived the encounter.” Audacious laughed again. “Seriously, Audie, what the hell are you doing in my house at,” she glanced at the clock and wanted to groan out loud. “Three o’clock in the goddamned morning?”
Audacious perched her lithe frame on the edge of Perish’s bed. “I thought my brother would have enough sense to be here with his woman.”
“You haven’t been gone that long. Why would Pride be here? He has his own house. And I am not his woman.”
“Yep. A house he’s currently not occupying. So where else would big brother be, but in your bed?”
Despite her best efforts Perish couldn’t ignore the concern niggling at the back of her mind. Where the hell was Pride at this hour? For that matter, where the hell had he been all day? Usually he at least returned her calls, if for no other reason but to tell her he was busy and would get in touch later. But today had been total silence. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d gone a twenty-four hour period without hearing from him. Of course, Pride was a good-looking healthy man. It would be crazy to think he wasn’t in somebody’s bed. But it was something Perish deliberately didn’t think about. And she grew even more annoyed at Audacious for forcing her to do so.
“Oh ho! For someone who is not my brother’s woman you certainly look concerned about his whereabouts at this time of the morning. Has some pretty little wolf been sniffing around your piece of ass?” The other woman laughed again, the bright whiteness of her teeth clearly visible in the dark room.
Mainly for time to collect her thoughts Perish sat up on the bed to turn on the light. It was unnecessary, her night vision was more than adequate for the occasion. It had been two years since she’d seen the other woman. Audacious was around average height for a woman; 5’4” or so, but she maintained a dancer’s erect posture that made her seem considerably taller. She also looked enough like Pride to be his female twin. If it were not for her ultra-long hair which hung down her back in a raven-black swathe, and a certain feminine roundness to her chin and jaw it would be hard to tell them apart.
“I’m not worried about where Pride is, I’m far more concerned about where you are. You know, in my house. What are you doing here? Didn’t Trick banish you from the pack?”
“Yes my lord and master banished me two years ago.”
The usage of the honorific had to be sarcasm. Her lack of obedience to the alpha was the main reason she’d been kicked out. “Aren’t you concerned about the consequences of coming back?”
“I need Pride’s help.”
“You know he’s not going to do anything without Trick’s permission. Dragging him into your problems will only cause a rift between them.” Perish cautioned, partially out of guilt. After all she’d been the cause of conflicts between the brothers most of her life.
“You mean like the rift you’ve been causing since forever?”
“Your brothers are grown men. Unlike you I’m not in your family or even your pack, so it’s pretty much irrelevant. You on the other hand are doubly bound to them, but you know this. Look Audie, Pride’s not here. I have no idea where he is, and I want to be able to say the same thing about you.”
“Well, that’s the problem. I need somewhere to lay low…”
Oh hell no. Perish grabbed her phone from the bedside table. She quickly punched the code for Pride’s number. For a moment she almost panicked thinking he wouldn’t answer. He finally did. On the fifth ring.
“Good morning Perish. I’ll be over there later today,” Pride snapped, irritation evident in his tone.
Where the hell are you? It took a total act of will not to ask the question. “Your sister is here,” she said baldly, her mind was totally occupied with the question she couldn’t ask.
“Which one?” he asked, a bit of humor creeping into his tone.
Pride had four sisters. “The only one who would show up at my goddamned house at this hour.”
“Audie? What in the world is she doing back here?” he asked in evident astonishment and not a small amount of horror.
“You might want to ask her that, right when you pick her up and take her away from here before I introduce her to the business end of my other knife.”
“See now…Tell you what, I can be there in a couple of hours.”
A couple of hours? What in the hell was he doing?
“I’ve got business to take care of, you hold tight, and I’ll be there.”
Perish sighed. “Fine Pride, just get here as soon as you can, or you will have a body to clean up.” Without waiting for his response she tossed the phone back down on her bedside table.
“Is there some place I can crash?” Audacious asked.
“Sure, Pride’s house,” Perish said then turned sharply as the door of her bedroom opened.
“I thought I heard someone in here. I didn’t want to interrupt…Audacious!”
The squeal was high-pitched enough to shatter crystal. Now Perish really did regret missing Audacious with the knife. For reasons she’d never understood, PB and Audacious adored one another. At one point she’d thought their bond might be romantic, but PB had never shown a sexual interest in anyone of any gender. No, their relationship was strictly platonic, but annoyingly girly. They embraced, jumping up and down like a couple of sorority girls.
“Are you hungry? How long are you in town? Come on downstairs I’ll fix you something to eat and then you can rest in the guest bedroom.”
As the two women bustled out of the room Perish flopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling. Clearly she needed more knives.
Pride looked tired. That was unusual because usually the man bristled with the energy of a new puppy. She’d probably be better off not mentioning that though, since she had been instrumental in his being turned into a puppy…er…cub. Even so he did look tired. His swarthy complexion didn’t handle sleepless nights well, and not only were there dark circles under his eyes, they were red-rimmed as well. She knew she was responsible for at least some of his exhaustion, but he had to have brought some of it on himself.
“Good grief Audie, what on earth are you doing back?”
“Did you expect me to stay gone forever, just because our tyrant of a brother told me to go?”
“Trick is no tyrant. If he were you’d be deader than hell. You know the penalty for disobeying the alpha.”
“I had to come back, I need your help.”
“Oh for God’s sake what have you gotten into now?”
“It’s not me. It’s my girlfriend, Honeybun.”
Before he could ask another question P.B. interrupted to direct them to the kitchen where she’d laid out breakfast. Though it was too early for her to have much of an appetite, Perish poured a cup of coffee and nibbled on a slice of toast.
“And where is she?”
“She’s at the Water.”
“The Water?” PB interjected. “I thought it was myth.”
“Oh no, I’ve been there. It’s no myth,” Audacious said around a mouthful of P.B.’s vegan muffins. The girl must have been starved, she’d done nothing but eat since she arrived, and Perish knew from experience those muffins tasted like butt and more butt. It had been a couple of years since Perish saw her and she’d definitely lost weight, but something about the way she looked made it clear that the weight loss was very recent.
“Where the Water Came In is a big gaping hole in the land and it’s all swampy and unstable because the water keeps coming. Folks working there drown all the time.”
“Working there? What kind of work are they doing? I thought it was evacuated and abandoned years ago?” P.B. asked.
“I don’t think they ever totally abandoned the Gulf,” Pride said. “But it’s harder and more expensive to get the oil out now. And there are no roads or anything.”
“Well, that’s what they’re working on, putting in roads, but there’s so much water they have to build these big dams and dikes first. Nobody will work there because it’s so dangerous so they use slaves.”
“Slaves?” Perish asked.
“Well, as good as. Anyone who gets arrested, and has no money and that could be anyone. They ship them down there, most don’t come back,” Audacious said.
Pride took a long sip from his coffee cup. Perish tried to read his expression, but he gave nothing away.
Finally he sighed and carefully placed the coffee cup back on the table at his elbow.
“Since we’re all here now Audie, would you be so kind as to tell us what’s going on and what you’re doing back here?”
“It’s Honeybun, my girlfriend…”
“Yeah, I got that much, why don’t you start at the beginning. When you left here where did you go? After you left the Middle.”
“You knew about that?”
“Do you really think I would let my sister leave the pack and have no idea where she went? I lost track of you after you left the Middle, though. I assumed you knew I was having you followed.”
“No, I had no idea. That’s where I met Honeybun. She was living there with her daughter, hiding from her husband.”
“Your girlfriend is married?” Perish struggled to keep her tone neutral.
“She was done with him before she even met me. I know you think I make a habit of poaching…”
“Actually I don’t,” Pride said.
“So why did you let Trick banish me, then?”
“You weren’t banished for sleeping with Henri’s wife. You were banished for not following Trick’s orders. You were told that at the time.”
“I didn’t sleep with her.”
“Yeah, but you didn’t stay away from her either. Because you didn’t obey orders something that should’ve been a minor issue turned into a big deal and resulted in Trick having to kill a member of the pack.”
Audacious lowered her head. “I know. I told you I was sorry. She was just a friend.”
Pride raised his hands in a conciliatory gesture. “Back to Honeybun and the Middle.”
“Yeah, well her husband tracked us there, so we ran, but we got caught. I got away, but Honeybun wouldn’t leave because they have her daughter. She doesn’t know where she is. I stayed at the Edge to try to help her, but I had too many near misses. They would’ve eventually caught me.”
“Tell us more about the slave labor,” P.B. said. “Are you sure that’s what’s going on?”
“Of course I’m sure. They work from sunup to sunset. The area is swampy and all kinds of bugs and disease. People are sick all the time from shit like yellow fever.”
“Yellow fever?” P.B. asked.
“T.B. and dengue fever too and a bunch of other crap I’ve never heard of. I know, right? Sounds like something from the nineteenth century. They’re trying to get to oil, and they’re trying to build canals to get water to the Middle so they can grow crops again.”
“Water is not the only reason they can’t grow anything in the Middle of the country anymore. All the soil is gone. And the climate fluctuates too much,” Pride said. “People left because there’s no food and they can’t make money.”
Audacious shrugged and bit into another muffin. “I don’t know, it could be a cover story, but that’s where they sent Honey.”
“But what was your crime?” P.B. asked. Even Perish was astonished by P.B.’s naiveté at times. P.B. knew better, she just stubbornly refused to deal with the reality of the world they lived in. Pride and Audacious both were staring at her as though she’d grown antlers. Audacious eventually answered her.
“Since when do you have to commit a crime to go to jail? They had some trumped up charges that we were committing a crime against the state.”
“Because you’re lesbians?” P.B. asked. She actually whispered the last word. Technically speaking being gay was not illegal, but that didn’t mean a person couldn’t be arrested for it as a crime against the state. Population levels were so low since the Die Off any sex act that couldn’t produce offspring was frowned on.
“Yeah. But what they really are trying to do is break the Resistance.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake please tell me you’re not involved in the Resistance?” Pride said.
“Of course I am. Aren’t you?”
“Hell no. I don’t know about you, but I have no intention of dying of some ancient disease in a goddamned swamp in the middle of nowhere.”
“But that’s just the thing. They had no right to send us there. We can’t continue to live this way. Afraid of our own government. Hiding who and what we are,” Audacious said her voice rising in her excitement.
“I swear to God Audie, we could send your ass to Paradise and you’d find a way to get tangled up in mess. Unfortunately, Perish and I have our own mess to clean up at the moment. You and your girlfriend will have to wait,” Pride said.
“Where are you staying?” Pride asked.
“I don’t know I just got back into town tonight. I thought I might stay with you. At least that was my plan.”
“Not a good one. You know how the pack hangs out at my place. You can’t stay with the sisters either. Their husbands are all pack.”
“January got married?” Audacious asked raising troubled eyes to Pride.
“Yeah, late last year,” Pride said.
“I’ll bet she’s pissed I missed it.”
“Did she marry Handel?”
“Yeah she did. You definitely can’t stay there.” He didn’t have to explain any member of the pack would kill her on sight for having disobeyed Trick once again. And that would probably tear the pack apart and undermine Trick’s power.
“Of course she’ll stay here,” P.B. said and Perish would’ve swallowed her tongue had she been able to catch her breath. When she finally managed to open her mouth P.B. spoke right over her. “Come on Perish, you know it’s the right thing to do. Just until you guys work out this situation with that damned wizard. What do you plan to do about that anyway? And what about that creepy ass vampire?”
“Wizard? Vampire? For fuck’s sake, you guys really have got a mess on your hands,” Audacious said. “I don’t expect any less from you Perish, but Pride it’s not like you to step in it.”
“Shut up Audie.” Perish and Pride said in unison automatically falling into a long-established pattern for dealing with his sister. Pride continued. “The last thing we need is for you to get involved in this Audie. You have a way of making a bad situation awful.”
“I don’t know why you always say that.”
“Because it’s true.”
“Okay, fine. I’ll stay out of your situation. What is your situation, anyway?” Pride gave her a very brief overview of the situation. Perish could tell he didn’t want to, but if she was going to be staying at Perish’s house for any length of time it wouldn’t do for her to be ignorant of the shenanigans that might be going down.
Audacious listened to the whole story, her eyes widening almost comically with each sentence. “Does Trick know about this?” she asked when Pride finally wound down.
“Not everything, no,” Pride said.
“Well, you’d damn well better tell him.”
“We know that,” Pride said.
“No we don’t. Your brother is such a hothead…” Perish began.
“Look who’s talking,” Pride said with a derisive eye roll.
“Yeah, but my fuckery doesn’t involve the whole pack and a war with every talent in the country.”
“Perish, I’m his beta. Even if I didn’t think it was the best plan, I would still have to tell him. We don’t know what the hell the wizards want with the Amber Room, but I guarantee it can’t be good. Trick needs to know about this.”
“I know that Pride, but the truth is we still don’t know where the Amber Room is. We just know who had it last.”
“I think we can make an educated guess,” P.B. said.
“Maybe you can make an educated guess P.B., but I have no idea,” Perish said.
“Eichmann was captured by the Israelis and taken to trial in Israel. He was convicted and hanged in the early 1960s. Not long after that the Israelis won a spectacular war. They beat a combined Arab force in six days. It was a world wonder.”
Pride frowned, as he rubbed his chin. Then he let out a long slow whistle. “So you think the Amber Room is some type of power source?” Pride asked.
“Something like that. It’s always been known to attract spiritual forces. I would guess that a whole room full of it, especially really old amber would be even more powerful. And don’t forget it was made by a powerful wizard. Who knows what he put in it.”
“I knew that love offering story was pure bullshit,” Perish said.
“Not necessarily. If it’s a power source, I could see giving it to a royal lover,” P.B. said.
Perish shrugged. “Whatever. We still have to tell him what we know.”
“We can’t do that,” Pride said with a forceful shake of his head.
“What?” Perish said. “If we don’t there will be war. They’ll kill you and you know what Trick will do.”
“You know how important the balance of power is amongst the talents. We can’t give the wizards anything that will make them more powerful. They would dominate everyone. Maybe even the wolves.”
“So you’re saying…” Perish began knowing exactly where this conversation was going and not liking it one damned bit.
“We’ve got to talk to Trick.”
This is one of my favorite books and I’m re-releasing on my own. It’s live now at Smashwords and ARe, both have the formats you’ll need for Kindle and Nook. As soon as it’s available at Amazon and B&N I’ll let you know.
I like their sons a lot and plan to pair them up in a New Adult story with Callie’s sisters from Rock Star.
Image from Taria Reed, and cover design by my fabulously talented husband, Whit Holcomb.
Read this thread. (I’m stunned they haven’t taken it down, the racism on it is absolutely nauseating). Be on the receiving end of that shit for a couple of decades then come again to ask me why anyone in their right mind would be welcoming them with open arms. They pushed us out. Rejected us. Treated us like absolute shit. I’ll never forget the fight my good friend Monica Jackson, God rest her soul, fought on this issue. I’l never forget the way I, and other authors like me were treated and continue to be treated. They made damned sure we had no access to mainstream publishing. Even as they ooh and aah over rock star romances, a sub genre Crystal Hubbard and I created nearly ten fucking years ago. So please, don’t tell me I should change my stance.
That thread is my own personal Kristallnacht. I’m pretty sure I’ll go to my grave thinking about it and a dozen more like it and worse. You pushed us out of publishing. Claimed we were inferior. Less than. Worthy of being ghettoized. Now that your perfect little world has been turned upside down, you show up here to push us out of our own house. Fuck no. This will not pass and yes I’m here to kick you out any way I can.
This is a genre we black women created from nothing. I remember deliberately buying books in the bookstore, not Walmart because I wanted to make sure they counted. I would buy every book on the shelf, despite my meager grad student income. I wanted publishers to know that there was an audience. I remember the love and compassion my readers have supported me with for nearly a decade now. Our readers are the salt of the earth, and surprise, surprise, no you’re not entitled to them. You haven’t earned them. And I know my mindset isn’t mainstream, but then y’all made goddamned sure I wasn’t mainstream either. So reap the whirlwind. Or not. I couldn’t give a goddamn. Next.
There seems to be yet another bit of fuckery going on in my genre these days. Authors have been putting books with white characters in the IR/MC category on Amazon. And I’m here to say, if you do that you will be called on it. Readers will post reviews warning other readers about your deceitful bullshit, so it would behoove you not to do it. You always know that something has become popular and profitable when white folk show up to take it over. When folk like Suzanne Brockmann start claiming to have created t. Again, hell no. And don’t step to me about your tender fee-fees. Y’all didn’t give a shit about our feelings when you were claiming black folk don’t read. And it’s most recent iteration; black writers can’t write. Don’t bring any white women’s tears up in here. You will regret it.
And before some other kumbayah idiot comes along I know that white people have culture. I have advanced degrees in sociology, but I also know that for the purpose of the romance genre there’s never been a separate category for books about white people regardless of what countries or cultures they come from. White folk aren’t claiming not to be able to relate to books about white people, even when they’re fucking aliens or trees. Yet somehow they can’t relate to books by black authors. So, please, if you post some crap like that on my blog I will drag you like a dead body on The Walking Dead. You have been warned.
This genre was created by, and nurtured primarily by black women. We grew it from nothing. We have the best fans in the world. Fans who have gone through hell and back with us, and no you WILL NOT disrespect them. If left up to me I would absolutely ban anyone who isn’t black or brown from writing in the genre. However, if you insist on coming to our house, you will respect it. Period. Failure to do so will result in you being summarily dismissed.
I know I say this every time, but this is my favorite cover. I told Whit I wanted Gabriel to look as though he was literally stepping off the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and damned if he didn’t nail it. I love my talented hubby so much.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt for those who don’t remember it from before.
When Ryannon shows up on Gabriel’s doorstep claiming that he is an archangel with the power to trigger the Apocalypse and that he’s in danger from an End of Days cult he thinks she’s crazy — crazy hot — but still crazy. Despite being a trumpet player named Gabriel, the life he’s led has been anything but angelic, however he has no choice but to believe her especially since the cult is already in hot pursuit. He and Ryannon must go on the run to save themselves and dozens of others from the cult leader’s diabolical schemes. Even the desperate circumstances are not enough to dampen the fiery lust that pulls them together. Gabriel knows that Ryannon is the one for him, but he’s a player and always has been and Ryannon has no intention of being just another woman in his bed. Will they survive long enough to develop trust and find love, and somehow avoid inadvertently setting off the Apocalypse?
“No. No. Gabriel. I’m not a psychic, I’m a knower.”
“What the fuck is a… Wait. How did you know my name?”
She raised her hands, which caused the armload of bracelets she wore to jingle attractively. “Could we sit down? You don’t look so good, and…”
Gabriel gestured toward his battered sofa while he sat down in one of the mismatched chairs that flanked it. After ensuring the safety was engaged, he carefully placed the gun on the coffee table.
She nodded at the gun. “I’m glad you’ve got that. They’ll be back.”
“They who? Could you please tell me what you’re talking about?”
“The Redeemers are a cult.”
“You mean of the grape Kool-Aid, purple Nike variety?”
“I probably wouldn’t put it that way, but yeah, they’re a cult,” she said.
“And this pertains to me how?”
Ryannon leaned back on the sofa and crossed her legs, bringing Gabriel’s attention, which had been focused on the gamine beauty of her face, to her legs, and then he found he couldn’t look away. For such a tiny thing, her legs were surprisingly long and shapely, and set off by denim capris and wedge-heeled sandals, they all but made his mouth water. The light cotton blouse she wore over the capris was belted, emphasizing a tiny waist and small breasts.
“I suppose you could call the Redeemers a doomsday or End of Days cult. Their name is The Church of Jesus Christ With Redemption to Come.”
Gabriel sighed. “Ryannon, as much as I’m enjoying this conversation, not to mention the opportunity to check you out, I had a less than stellar night last night, and I had really looked forward to spending my day in bed making love to my ice pack. Now unless you want to take its place, could we please just get to the point?”
“They think you’re an apocalyptic trigger.”
Gabriel closed his eyes. No way in hell did he want to hear the rest of this bizarre story. She was batshit crazy, but also crazy-hot. He sighed. Why was that always the way? The hotter they were, the crazier they were. After a moment, he opened his eyes again. It wouldn’t be the first time his cock got him into trouble. If worse came to worst, he could always duct-tape her mouth.
“Do I want to know what the hell an apocalyptic trigger is?”
“They think you will signal the End of Days.”
Gabriel laid his head back on his chair. “See, you name a trumpet player Gabriel, and folks get all kinds of crazy ideas.”
“They want you to bring on the final battle of Armageddon.”
He couldn’t help but laugh. “So my mom is right. I am the Antichrist.”