Bonus Scene based off of the video game featured in CHANGING HIS GAME

She had made him mad again.

Evelyn tended to do that a lot, anger Bauer. Even though it always resulted in a decent beating and subsequent imprisonment, she did it anyway. To show him she was still Evelyn, wife to Aric of Arendale, and even though Bauer had taken almost everything from her, he hadn’t taken her spirit.

Not yet.

She moved her chained ankle restlessly, so the metal links clanked against the stone ground. She heard movement in the distance and smiled. Sari must be in punishment as well. Sari, a former princess sold by her evil brothers to Bauer, had even more spirit that Evelyn.

Evelyn picked at a scab on her arm, wincing at the pain in her back. When Bauer took her years ago, he’d intended on making her his mistress. But when he found out that she and Aric had been able to consummate their marriage after all, he was enraged. So for years now, she’d been his maid, relegated to the lowest social status in the castle.

She didn’t care, not really. She’d rather scrub floors than share Bauer’s bed.

She closed her eyes, but it was taking more and more effort to picture Aric’s face these days—that square jaw, the broad shoulders, the warm brown eyes, which had been pained the last time she saw him.

He could be dead. Or alive. She had no idea. But it didn’t matter, really. Bauer’s castle was impenetrable. Unless the prophecy was true, and Aric would come into his powers…

She shook her head. No. No. That way lay madness. And she was barely clinging to sanity as it was.

Evelyn stood, the bottom of her threadbare skirt brushing the floor. She straightened her corset, working to breath deeply despite the tight laces. Even though Bauer hadn’t required her in his bed, he still wanted to leer, and hold the power over her head that he could have her if he so wanted.

She walked to the wooden door of her cell and laid her forehead against it. Softly, she called out, “Sari?”

There was the faint rattle of a chain dragging across the floor in a cell nearby. Then a weak voice, “Ev.”

Evelyn frowned, displeased not to hear the usual strength behind Sari’s words. “Are you okay?”

A hoarse laugh, then a cough. “Nothing that hasn’t been done to me before.”

Evelyn raised a hand and stroked the wood, wishing she could touch her friend. “You need to be more careful.”

“You’re one to say that.”

Sari had a point.

Footsteps sounded outside in the hall and Evelyn didn’t answer, knowing the guards would mete out further punishment if they heard the two women talking.

Although these footsteps sounded… different. Softer. Not like the heavy footfalls of their pot-bellied guards.

Then, silence.

Evelyn held her breath.

The next sound was a loud splintering of wood followed by Sari’s ear-piercing scream.

Evelyn went berserk. “No! Leave her alone!” she shouted, banging her fists on the door, kicking it with her slippered feet until she was sure she’d broken all of her toes. But Sari’s shrieks continued, interspersed with masculine grunts and Evelyn was screaming now too, for Sari, for herself, for this miserable life that she’d never escape.

And then she heard a voice she thought she’d never hear again in her entire life. “Woman, I’m trying to get you out of here if you’d stop fighting me!”

Big, brash, Breck.

Aric’s best friend and second-in-command.

Evelyn froze at the sound of his voice, and that’s when she heard it. Or felt it. Even in the dungeon, the change in the air was apparent.

A whoosh.

A rumble.

The walls around her trembled and dust rained down upon her head.

Aric had come.

She sank to the floor, scooting back to the corner as screams began to echo from the floors above her. The screams of death and the crackling of fire and the sounds of destruction.

Destruction only Aric could bring.

The prophecy had come true. And he’d used his powers for this.

“Breck!” she called out.

There was a pause in the scuffle. “Evelyn.”

“Breck,” she responded softly.

There was a pause, then a heaving breath. “He’s coming, Evelyn. He’s coming.”

Evelyn closed her eyes and clenched her fists. “Sari, he’s trying to help you!” Evelyn called.  “Please stop fighting him!”

But she was unsuccessful in convincing Sari, because the two were still arguing.

She heard a grunt and then Sari continuing to holler as their voices and one set of footsteps carried off down the hallway, like Breck had hauled her over his shoulder.

Evelyn stayed huddled in her corner of her cell, and she didn’t know how much time had passed when she heard a new set of footsteps stop in front of her door.

A key entered the locked, turned, and then the door swung open.

It took a moment for her eyes to adjust. The body standing in front of the doorway was backlit by a sconce on the wall behind him. But he was big, and male, and even in the dim light, she’d recognize that face anywhere.

She rose slowly, using her hands on the wall at her back to help her to her feet. The man took one step inside of her cell, and the light fell over his face.

It was Aric. Those eyes hadn’t changed, even if his face did. He was older, more scarred, standing in front of her in nothing but boots, breeches and a harness over his naked chest, which was stained with soot and blood.

His sword hung on his back in a scabbard. His hair was shorn, his jaw bearded.

She lifted her hand to her own face self-consciously, wondering what he was thinking after having not seen his wife for years. She wasn’t the young beauty she’d been back when they were married. Her face was lined from stress; her hands calloused from hard labor. Her hair was dull, her clothes in tatters, and her body was filthy.

Aric’s chest heaved once, and then he walked toward her in three strides, gathering her in his strong arms. She clung to his biceps, curling her fingers into his skin. He buried his face in her hair and whispered, “My Evelyn. I came for you.”

She hadn’t cried since they took her from Aric. Not once had she let them see her weakness.

But now, now she clung to her husband, the man who’d brought the wrath of his dragons and sought her out and she sobbed against his chest, her tears creating tracks through the soot and blood stains on his skin. “My Aric,” she whispered. “You came for me.”

**

He hadn’t thought he’d feel her in his arms again. Hadn’t dared to dream. He hadn’t known if she was alive or dead. All he knew was that he had to take revenge upon the man who’d taken her from him. The man who’d stripped him of his land and title and everything that he had.

But Evelyn was alive. And although she moved like she was in pain, and the fabric on her body was a far cry from the finery he’d last seen her in, she was alive. Whole. And she’d said, My Aric.

He didn’t care how they looked or where they were or the state they were in. He cupped her jaw in both hands, lifted her face, and pressed his lips to hers.

She was his wife, always would be, no matter what had happened since he’d last seen her. Their wedding night had been the best night of his life and he hadn’t had a wink of sleep. They’d come together again and again, mouths opening, fingers searching, skin touching. Needing each other. Loving each other.

And then by the next evening, she’d been taken.

But he never forgot her, or what they had, not all these years. And while his original plan was revenge, now it was all about rescue, it was all about feeling his Evelyn’s lips on his again.

She still tasted sweet. And most of all, she still tasted like his.

He pulled back to gaze into those blue eyes he’d fallen in love with all those years ago. Brushing her hair from her face, he ran a thumb over her bottom lip. “What was your position in the castle?”

She swallowed. “His maid.”

Aric raised his eyebrows. “Then what are you doing in the dungeon chained to the wall? You can’t do much from here.”

A smirk tugged at her lips. “I made him angry.”

“Is this a regular occurrence?”

Her smirk grew. “Maybe?”

“And what did you do this time, my Evelyn, to anger Bauer so?”

She made to duck her head, but he held her firm so she had to look him in the eye. She blinked. “I-I covered the arms of his dining chair with soot. It stained his clothes but he didn’t know, and no one wanted to tell him so he walked around like that for an entire evening.” Her shoulders began to shake. “It was worth a week of gruel in the dungeon to see his face when he discovered it.”

Aric shook his head. He’d known Evelyn since she was six, and those kinds of pranks were always in her wheelhouse. “You haven’t changed, have you?”

She shook her head fiercely. “All I had left was me. My pride. I fought to keep it.”

His chest swelled with pride and admiration. “You are a formidable fighter.”

She smiled and he stepped back, pulling his sword from his scabbard. “Don’t move.”

She froze, and with a grunt, he brought his sword down on the end of lock binding her ankle. The metal fell away, leaving behind a red, angry sore on her skin. The sight made his teeth clench, but Evelyn covered it quickly with her tattered skirt.

He held out his hand and waved it around their heads. “Follow me, because all you see here? It’s ours now, my queen. There is no more Bauer. This is our castle now.”

She stared at him with wide eyes, then she lifted her chin, looking like the queen she was always meant to be, and followed him out of the dungeon and into the light.

Thanks for reading. To learn more about CHANGING HIS GAME, click here!

The day is finally here! Woot! Changing His Game is out in the world and you all get to meet Austin and Marley, and read the book that I nicknamed Dirty Nerdy.

This book was written for fun. I got the idea, sat down, and started writing. In no time at all, I had the first three chapters. So this book and series is really all about something I truly wanted to write and I’m thrilled that Heather Howland, editor extraordinaire at Entangled, loved it too and wanted to publish it. :)

Scroll down to the bottom of this post, because I have a fun bonus for you all!

 

 

CHG_500 (2)

He controls the game, but she’s rewriting all the rules…

Marley Lake is no stranger to awkwardness, but getting caught watching a dirty GIF by the company’s hot new IT guy exceeds even her standards. That is, until she realizes he’s as turned on by it as she is. But with a big promotion on the line, she refuses to let her current dry spell be her downfall. Maybe.

Austin Rivers has no business lusting after the irresistible editor of Gamers Magazine. He’s a secret partner in the business-and technically Marley’s boss. One look at that GIF, though, and he’s ready to install a whole lot more than just software…as long as she never finds out who he really is.

But reality’s not as virtual as it seems, and when Austin’s identity jeopardizes Marley’s promotion, he has to change his game or risk losing the only woman with the cheat code to his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

B&N

iTunes

Google Play

Add to Goodreads

So, in this book, there is a video game called Aric’s Revenge, which is also a movie. I made up this game for the book, and the whole series actually. It was a lot of fun. And I have a special scene FROM the video game, featuring warrior Aric rescuing his wife Evelyn. You can read this scene without reading CHANGING HIS GAME. It’s just something short, fun, and free!

Aric’s Revenge Bonus Scene

I hope you like it. Let me know what you think!

And thanks to everyone who’s been so amazing with your support of this book. I couldn’t do this without you all!

onenightcoverSo about a year and a half ago I sent a message to another writer named AJ Pine. She seemed to be in the same position I was — we were both finishing up manuscripts and were about to query. I’d seen her around the online writing community and thought we might hit it off. We exchanged manuscripts, fell in love with each others’ words, and then we fell into a friendship with each other.

So ONE NIGHT is that first manuscript of AJ’s that I read all those years ago. At the time, my daughter was less than six months old. I remember reading this book while I was breastfeeding my daughter, craning my neck around my boob and her head to find out WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO JESS AND ADAM. I needed to know, okay?!?!

I love the way AJ writes. I love the way she plots her stories. And I love her characters. ONE NIGHT is a special book, and I hope you pick it up. :)

 

 

Buy links:

Amazon

B&N

As soon as I saw this cover in my inbox, I squealed. Like, out loud, crazy squealing. Why? Because the designers at Berkley nailed the tone and vibe of this book in one cover.

FOCUS ON ME is a book that broke me. It was hard as hell to write. Because the characters were in my head, and they weren’t all that happy all of the time. But they needed their story told and wouldn’t rest until I gave them their HEA.

Have you seen the 90′s move Mad Love? With Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell? Because this book is my version of Mad Love. But the characters are gay and there is a hard-fought happily-ever-after. In fact, this happily-ever-after might be the hardest fought, most deserved happily-ever-after I’ve ever written.

My editor messaged me when she was reading this. First, she said it’s fan-yourself hot. So yay! And then she said it’s a get-your-tissues emotional gut punch. So… also yay?

I don’t know. All I know is that I love this book very much. And I can’t wait for you all to read it.

*Note: This is a companion novel to TRUST THE FOCUS, but you don’t have to read that book first. If you have read it, then you should know that YES, JusLan make a cameo. A very important one. :)

And now, THE AMAZING COVER, Y’ALL!

9780698194632_FocusOnMe_EB (5)

!!!!!!!!

Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option…

A little about the characters:

Colin: A good ol’ Southern boy who loves his barbecue, calls his boyfriends, “Baby,” and has a caretaker gene that just won’t quit.

Riley: A sexy as sin mystery who always looks like he just stepped off of a catwalk, has secrets he’s not keen on sharing, and can get a little possessive about his man. (For those who’ve read TRUST THE FOCUS, Riley is “Jud” in that book.)

Add to Goodreads

Preorder Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

B&N

iTunes

Google Play

Hey everyone!

So, in case you missed it this week, we had a pretty fab cover reveal. I’m so so excited about DIRTY THOUGHTS, which is the first in my brand new Mechanics of Love series. I want to show you the cover, blurb, and answer some questions I’ve gotten about this book.

First of all, CHECK OUT THE SEXY FUN COVER.

DirtyThoughts

Eeeeek! I know, right?!

Some things are sexier the second time around.

Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art…all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna MacMillan-his biggest mistake—walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.

Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she’d once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever… and this Cal is all man.

Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she’s always been his light, and it’s getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone or if it’s exactly what they need for the future of their dreams.

I have to share my Pinterest board with you, because I’m damn proud of it. Want some eye candy? Of course you do. Go here.

Add to Goodreads

Preorder Links (Only $1.99!):

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Google Play

FAQs:

Is this book a spinoff of another series?

Technically, yes. This book is a spinoff of my Bowler University series, particularly MAKE IT RIGHT. The hero in that book, Max, had two older brothers. They kinda stole a couple of scenes. I had readers inquire about them. My mind started churning, and all of a sudden I was in Max’s hometown of Tory, Maryland, smelling the grease and rubber of Payton and Sons Auto Repair and that’s how the Mechanics of Love series came about.

Do I need to read MAKE IT RIGHT?

YOU NEED TO READ ALL MY BOOKS. GET OFF MY SITE. Just kidding. No, you do not read to read MAKE IT RIGHT at all to understand what’s going on in the Mechanics of Love series. DIRTY THOUGHTS is very much Cal’s book. And even though Max and his now-fiancee make a cameo, things that happened in MAKE IT RIGHT are referenced to as backstory. So it’s not necessary to read MAKE IT RIGHT at all to understand what’s going on in DIRTY THOUGHTS. They are set in different towns, since my Bowler series mostly took place on a Maryland college campus.

Is this series Adult or New Adult?

This series is Adult. The love interests range from late 20s to early 30s in all the books in the series. Also, I consider this series to be heavy on the importance of family and all of that happy, squishy, warm stuff.

Are there car make-out scenes in this series?

Hell yes. That cover is not misleading. Dirty things happen in vehicles. In all the books. It’s a theme, okay? I LIKE THEMES.

Are you hungry right now?

Yes, I’m very, very hungry and I wish I had some Honeycomb cereal.

Okay, so that’s it! If you have any more questions, feel free to shout at me in the comments or on social media like you crazy people always do.

So TRUST THE FOCUS is in Justin’s POV, and I know a lot of you have been asking for a little more of Landry. Well, here you go! Exclusively on Heroes and Heartbreakers, you get Landry’s POV in a pivotal scene! Head here to read it!

And as a thank you for the awesome response to TRUST THE FOCUS, I’m sending out a brand new scene of JusLan this weekend in my newsletter. Sign up now!

Trustthe_Focus (1)Justin and Landry have been waiting since 2013 to be read and now here they are, a year and a half later, getting to tell their story.

I couldn’t be happier. I talked about the process of writing this book here (post also includes Pinterest board and playlist for TRUST THE FOCUS), so I’m not going to go into it again. But basically, I wrote this book because it was the book I wanted to write. I didn’t write it because I thought it would sell (I didn’t think it would). I wrote it because I had to, because the characters were speaking to me, and so this means so much that this book is now out there. Huge thanks to my agent, Marisa Corvisiero, for being the best agent for this book (and me), thanks to my editor, Kristine Swartz, for loving JusLan like I do, and thanks to the whole Penguin team and the rock stars at Rock Star Lit PR for helping get the word out about this book.

The more books I write, the more confident I am that each book doesn’t have to be everything. I often write lighter books. This is not one of those. I often write books with heterosexual love interests. This is also not one of those. I often write books that are about adults, that aren’t coming of age stories. Again, this is not one of those.

What this book is is a coming of age story, a romance between two boy-men, who are struggling with who they are and where they fit into the world. I’m proud of this book. I’m proud of Justin and Landry. And I hope you take a chance on reading this story.

TTFteaser3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ttfteaser2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy links are here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Google Play

With the help of Sinfully Sexy Books, we’re having a really special giveaway. Head here to read the details, but the gist is that you can post a picture of any road trip you took on any form of social media (Instagram, FB, Twitter) and then go to the blog post I linked and link to your post in the comments. The prize? A Saint Christopher bracelet from Alex and Ani, just like the necklace Justin wears in the book.

Giveaway2_thumb[1]

 

And I think that’s all I have to say about that. :)

Thanks for your support everyone. Hugs, kisses, and lots of fun road trips for you!

Hey guys!

So CHANGING HIS GAME, the first in my Gamers series which will be published by Entangled’s Brazen imprint, has a cover and blurb and let me tell you, I love both. The cover is hot and shows off my hero’s…erm… hands. (He’s ambidextrous, okay?!?!) And the blurb is just about the nerdiest blurb to ever nerd.

I love it! So here goes!

CHG_500

Marley Lake is no stranger to awkwardness, but getting caught watching a dirty GIF by the company’s hot new IT guy exceeds even her standards. That is, until she realizes he’s as turned on by it as she is. But with a big promotion on the line, she refuses to let her current dry spell be her downfall. Maybe.

Austin Rivers has no business lusting after the irresistible editor of Gamers Magazine. He’s a secret partner in the business—and technically Marley’s boss. One look at that GIF, though, and he’s ready to install a whole lot more than just software…as long as she never finds out who he really is.

But reality’s not as virtual as it seems, and when Austin’s identity jeopardizes Marley’s promotion, he has to change his game or risk losing the only woman with the cheat code to his heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaaah!!!! Hot, right? This book. It was so fun to write. Honestly, I wrote it because I read about a special submission call for this imprint that asked for “dirty talkers.” And it mentioned the hero could be anything and gave examples. “Dominant nerd” was one of them.

Then, I had an unrelated conversation with my husband about that rainbow wheel aka beach ball on Mac and, well, this book was born. And that’s it! I’m ridiculously excited for it to be out. It will be released April 28 in digital and print formats.

I’ll let you know when preorder links are up. For now, you can add it to Goodreads!

Trustthe_Focus (1)So TRUST THE FOCUS, my male/male New Adult romance with Berkley/Intermix is beginning to make its way into the hands of reviewers (it releases 3/17), and I have a couple of things I’d like to say about it.

I wrote most of this book in November 2013 during Nanowrimo. I’ve said this before, but at the time, I had no agent. No book deal. And I really didn’t think I was ever going to get one. I was growing depressed about my journey, tired of the rejections and the general feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I was working on a book that I liked but didn’t love.

And then Justin began talking to me. He’s the main character in TRUST THE FOCUS. The story is told through his eyes. You only get to hear from Landry in blog posts. At first, Justin talked kind of quietly, and then he got louder. And louder. Until he was screaming his story at me. And so I started writing. I write fast normally but with this book, I wrote FAST. JusLan, as I affectionately call them, mean so much to me personally because of what they did for me at that time in my life. By the time I reached the end of their story, I had an agent and a three book deal for the series I’d been querying since the summer.

I’m not sure I would have gotten there without JusLan, to be honest.

So I love their story because of what they did for me. And then I also love their story because of them. I want to be clear 10943871_10205906683769512_7258709692310123212_nthat this is very much a New Adult book. They are twenty-two year old boy-men and it shows. They make mistakes. They are impulsive. They are struggling with who they are. You won’t find self-assured men in this book because that’s not realistic. TRUST THE FOCUS is a coming of age book about a twenty-two-year-old struggling with his sexuality, his grief over the loss of a parent, and the uncertainty of his future. I think we all had a little bit of Justin in us when we were that age — this confusion over who we are and who we want to be.

If you want some visual inspiration for TRUST THE FOCUS, I have a Pinterest board here.

I typically don’t have play lists for my books. That’s just not how I write. But JusLan sure had some songs that inspired me while I wrote:

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Coheed and Cambria

Samson by Regina Spektor

Alone Together by Fall Out Boy

Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Born this Way by Lady Gaga

And that’s about it. I’ve received some amazing support for this book so far and I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart. Thank you. Thank you thank you. :)

You can preorder JusLan here.

And add to your Goodreads here.

Thanks for taking a chance on my boys. <3

Man, I’m feeling kinda weird today. Bowler University will always have a place in my heart because it was my first traditionally published series, my first completed series. Make it Count got me an agent and a publishing contract and for that I will always be grateful to Kat and Alec.

The end is here. And while I have some ideas to give fans some extra time with Bowler, this is the last book in the series. So, I hope you check it out. I loved writing Cam and Tate’s story. This book can be read as standalone if you haven’t read any of my other books yet. This one is a little different, especially because it takes after college.

Teasers and buy links are here.

In the book, I talk a lot about Utope, which is a Sims-like life simulation game. When Cam and Tate have trouble interacting in real life, they fall back on interacting as little pixels. So, here’s a taste of them. And I hope you check out my book. Thanks to all of you for sticking with me during this series!! <3

UtopeStrip2JPG UtopeStrip1JPG