Dumb As Hell

darkstar600x800.jpgYep, that’s all she wrote. IMO this is the funniest (and pithiest) review I’ve ever gotten. The disgust in her tone is so clear that I laugh every time I see that review. Do I agree with her? Nope, I don’t think I’ve ever written a dumb book. Certainly I’ve written some that were better than others, but to my mind Dark Star is an excellent book, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

And yes, I’ve gotten reviews that don’t make me laugh. Reviews that were mean spirited or inaccurate. I’ve even had authors send their flying monkeys after me. Some have pissed me off, and y’all know I can be hot headed, but I learned long ago that it’s unprofessional to respond to a review. Let alone the lengths that crazy woman in The Guardian article went to. I know it’s a common trope that we authors think of these books as our children. (Don’t ask me where that comes from, after all, we don’t sell our children! At least I hope not. To me it ranks right up there with that “I would write for free bullshit. No hell I wouldn’t!) But they are like our children in one way only; once we launch them into the world there’s nothing we can do about how the world receives them. It’s crucial that we as professionals recognize this fact, and, if nothing else, get some friends who will reign you in when the crazy strikes. Because, damn,

Writing Two Books at Once

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And no, this is never a good plan. I am working on the latest Pussycat Death Squad book, Pussycat in Peril. Astaria, whom you might remember from the first Pussycat Death Squad book is in a green card marriage with Kaeden, a Egyptian-American Marine. Kaeden has had feelings for Astaria almost from the beginning, but he doesn’t want her to be with him because she feels beholden, so he’s waiting until she gets citizenship before he speaks up. Then, she returns to her home country to rescue her family and disappears. In the middle of a revolution. A revolution that has cut the entire country off from the rest of the world. And of course, our hero has to go find her. This book is so much fun, especially in light of current events.

The other book I’m working on is Love Me Some Him. This is the long-promised book about Dare from Dark Star. Well, it starts soon after events in the Lion in Russia, so yes, Dare shows up at Tonya and Nate’s wedding with a black eye from being sucker punched by Leo in that story. And well, things go downhill from there. These two have got the Hillbilly Mafia, the Department and at least one prison gang hot on their tail. Chances of survival don’t look good.

Oh, and that big ass gun up there? That’s a British made Lapua Magnum .50 caliber rifle. With a confirmed kill from nearly 3000 yards, it’s favored by snipers everywhere and by Astaria, heroine of Pussycat in Peril and an accomplished sniper in her own right. She’s been known to keep it hidden under her burqa.

Excerpt from The Lion in Russia

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This is one of favorite scenes from the book, The Lion in Russia (Pussycat Death Squad #2):

“Doesn’t look like your boy is coming,” Deringer said as he took up a position beside her. He stood close enough to portray the look of an ardent suitor, but not so close as to intimate a consummated affair.

“He’ll be here. Gianni is one of his best friends. He wouldn’t miss his party.”

“I don’t know why you couldn’t just call him up and tell him you’re ready to go to bed with him.”

Vries rolled her eyes. “Because I’m not a Bond girl.”

“Pity.”

“It’s a good thing you’re so pretty. Otherwise I don’t know how you would ever get a date. That’s not how it’s done you have to…” She broke off, surprised by the sudden grimness of his expression. Before she could question him a sudden awareness washed over her. Leo is here, her spidey senses were telling her. She moved closer to Deringer who immediately picked up on her movement and leaned in as though whispering sweet nothings in her ear.

“He’s dead ahead at high noon, sweetheart. Looking daggers at us,” Deringer said in not quite a whisper.

Vries followed Dare’s gaze and locked onto the glacial gray of Leo’s eyes. Deringer was right; he did look pissed. She took a deep breath as she forced herself to maintain control when deep inside she had to admit the man scared the living hell out of her. He began moving toward them with a calm deliberation that reminded of a scene from Jaws. For a fanciful moment she even thought she heard the shark’s theme music as Leo cut a swathe through the crowd with the single-mindedness of an apex predator, his gaze never leaving hers as she stared, mesmerized and captured in his thrall. She was being stalked and though she should be terrified,

every nerve ending in her body tingled in anticipation. Desperately longing to know what he would do. Knowing what she wanted him to do. Even simple autonomic responses like breathing seemed unnecessary and she just stood there waiting for him to reach her side. When he took her in his arms she responded immediately to the warm embrace. His mouth took hers like a conquering warrior all soft tongue and firm lips refusing to accept or even consider anything but her complete surrender. Not that she was capable of anything else. He tasted just as she’d always imagined he would, masculine and woodsy, almost smoky though she knew he didn’t use tobacco. It was the way he smelled too, making him distinctive in a room full of men wearing expensive designer fragrances Leo smelled only like himself, and her entire being absorbed the aroma wanting to synthesize it into her own DNA.

It wasn’t until he raised his head that she realized that a minor hush had fallen over their little corner of the room. At the moment she didn’t care. Instead she stared into his eyes, which were usually a soft gray, but right now his pupils were so dilated that his eyes were almost black, almost obscuring the lighter silver ring that encircled his pupils. Though she could breathe she was still incapable of speech.

“Good evening Vries. Surprised to see you here,” Leo said.

It annoyed her that he could be so unaffected when it was all she could do to remain upright, and actually she probably would’ve collapsed had she not still been pressed so tightly against him. And that’s when she realized he wasn’t indifferent after all. There was a faint tremor in the arms that still encircle her waist, and she could feel his erection pressed against the vee of her legs. That might explain why he hadn’t stepped away as their embrace had certainly superseded the norm of a public greeting, even between lovers.

Vries stepped back anyway. She would never regain coherence standing so close to him. To her relief her legs supported her and she could provide a reasonable response. “I can’t imagine why. Gianni gives the best parties in the city, and you know I never miss a good party.” She nodded toward Deringer who was staring at both of them looking very annoyed, the frown marring his aristocratic forehead. “Do you know my–uh–friend?” she asked hesitating just enough to imply there was more to the relationship. When Leo shook his head in the negative she made the introductions.

Leo gave Deringer a narrow-eyed stare. “You weren’t seeing anyone the last time I was in town.”

“That was over a year ago. Besides, as I said, Deringer and I are friends, nothing more.”

A surprised expression passed over the planes of Deringer’s face. Vries knew it wasn’t real, but she could tell by the way he stiffened next to her that Leo believed the act.

“If you say so,” Deringer murmured. “Then again, you told me that the two of you are just friends as well.”

Leo made a sound that was close to a growl as a human could make. Vries pursed her lips hoping Deringer wasn’t over-playing his hand. “We are friends.”

“It certainly didn’t look like it to me,” Deringer snarled in response. He sounded so convincing that for a moment Vries was worried. She knew he didn’t have romantic feelings toward her, but no one listening to their conversation would believe it.

Dark Star Has Been Released!!!

Dark Star is available now at Amazon!  This is one of the most thrilling (and terrifying) moments of my life! Yeah, I know. I know. This isn’t my first rodeo and I should act like I’ve been here before, but in truth I haven’t. this is my first foray into self-publishing. As you already know, this book is a Rock Star sequel which reunites Calli’s best friend Tonya with Nate, the love of her life.

I want y’all to know howmuch I appreciate your support over the years, and hope I’ve earned your continued support. Please check this book out, I worked hard to make it as good as possible. And if you like it, pretty please with sugar and a Now and Later on top review it. This can make a crucial difference in sales. Again thank you so much for the love,y’all have no idea how much I love you too.

Dark Star

Working on Dark Star

This book has been rattling around in my head for so long that writing it feels almost like I’m channeling someone else. I haven’t had a book come this easy since…well, never. As you know I like to have people in mind for my character descriptions. These have been in my head for about six years now as well. I’m sure that neither Goapele or Galen Gering look this way now, but this is how I picture these characters in my head. Nate you might remember from Try a Little Tenderness, as he helps Lola and Koss escape from the bad guys. He’s also mentioned briefly in Rock Star. He’s Tonya’s old college boyfriend who supposedly went off to join the Peace Corps…or not. Well now it’s nearly fifteen years later and Tonya is the author of a hit mystery series. And Nate, well, right now he’s just trying to keep her from becoming a casualty of his decade-long battle with his nemesis. This story is very complex and I’ve wondered if I have the chops to write. Oh well, if I don’t I can be sure nobody else does either. So there you go.

This story was inspired by an article I read in Vanity Fair about the nefarious activities in the Triple Border region of South America. The article was written by the love of my life, Sebastian Junger and is absolutely fascinating. I’m trying to capture that same level of excitement in my book. I hope I succeed.