As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss...


After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue...

29 December, 2011

Short Announcement

Well, it's been available on the blogsite for a while now, but I've said nothing formally.  So today's teaser is related to the STRIPPED Blog Tour that begins January 2, 2012

I'm going to be visiting 20 blogs, talking about a lot of different things, and the best part is:

You can win!  Not just a copy of the book. No, the prize is more interesting than that.  But you'll have to check out the tour for details!

Click for Tour Stops!

28 December, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (12)

Need a date for New Year's Eve?


22 December, 2011

What's Your Favorite Line?

Just a few little blips from STRIPPED -- a few of my favorite one-liners:

1. Her faint accent caressed his ears like fi ngertips might stroke his skin.

2.  “Wake up, Mayer. Your dick’s staring at a keep out sign.”

3.  As fine as a guppy with a shark on its tail.

4.  Jeez, Natalya, the guy changes lightbulbs.

5.  "We’re gonna take it nice and slow, and I get to drive.”

6.  “Because Jill’s an overachiever.”

7.  “Yes, baby, I’ve been in your drawers.”

8.  He refused to join the ranks of men who jumped into their cars with tiny pieces of toilet paper stuck to their chins.

9.  The physical was so much easier to understand than the pain behind his ribs that built with each hungry stroke of her tongue.

10.  “Swear it, or you’re on the street homeless.”


21 December, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (11)

Anyone in the mood for a little rain?


20 December, 2011

RomFan Reviews Blog Hop Winner

Congrats to June!  Please email me at

June wins a signed copy of STRIPPED.

18 December, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Memory

I'd like to say that my favorite holiday memory was when the man pictured to the left showed up under my tree...

Well it is my blog, so I'll go ahead and say it.  My favorite holiday memory is when the man to the left showed up under my tree.  The mistletoe was fresh, not that cheap, fake plastic kind, his lips were warm, and soft, and...

Ahem!  Okay. No fiction in this blog, time for truths.

My favorite holiday memory comes from the first year I purchased my house.  Nothing overtly special happened; I didn't get priceless gifts, I didn't have a whirlwhind romantic experience.  It was just me, my dogs, a Christmas tree, and a living room with bare plaster walls that I'd recently stripped the wallpaper off of.

But it was mine.  Not a rented room, not the tiny trailer I'd lived in, not space in my parents' home.  All mine.

Christmas Eve, my new neighbor brought a young man in the Big Brothers program over, a young man who frequently spent time at my farm helping with the horses and just generally hanging out.  Nice young man -- good kid with a good head, and I'm glad he had a positive influence in his life such as my then-neighbor. 

Anywho.  My neighbor and I had talked about Christmas gifts, and I had an old pony that really needed a home.  The young man already had a bond with her and my neighbor agreed to house the horse for him.  So that Christmas Eve, we handed this young boy who really didn't have much, let alone a "luxury" such as a horse, a halter, a shiny new lead rope, and a hunter green winter blanket to help the old mare keep warm.

He knew the mare might not have many years left, he'd known that since he met her.  But for him, he was glowing.  And as I sipped on some wine with my neighbor, and we watched him unwrap the gift, with Christmas music in the background and the lights from the tree casting warmth through my empty front room... it was a heartwarming Christmas.  After, we ate the special-order cookies I made at their request(s), played a few games, and we even went out in the freezing cold and played hide and seek.  Laugh.

I had a great time that year.  It was simple.  Quaint.  Memorable.
What about you?  Have you ever had someone give you something unexpected, maybe a little tarnished or frayed around the edges, but it was meaningful?  Or have you ever had the opportunity to give someone something they wanted and make a dream come true?

Gifts come in so many forms, and not all of them have to come at the holiday season. In STRIPPED, my January Berkley HEAT release, Brandon gives tarnished Natalya the gift of her heart.  In exchange, she mends a frayed-around-the-edges cop.   Of course, they have to wade through a pool of lies and fight just to survive, but in the end...

Coming January 3, 2012
Berkley HEAT
Erotic Romantic Suspense

Body of secrets…
As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she’s willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies…
The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she’s been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to.  As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it’s Natalya’s that could destroy them both.

And here's my gift to you:

One random commentor, who answers the questions I posed above, will receive a signed copy of STRIPPED.

Click Me!
Don't miss the next stop on the RomFan Reviews Holiday Blog Hop!

Hop over to Amy Romine's Blog tomorrow, or for a complete Tour Listing click on the holiday-wrapped man to your right.

For your convienence, I've included the tour stops below as well:

Bobbi Brattz December 11th
Franny Armstrong December 12th
Regina Carlysle December 13th
Elizabeth Amber December 14th
Brita Addams December 15th
D.B. Reynolds December 16th
Beth Trissel December 17th
Tori St. Claire December 18th
Amy Romine December 19th
Skhye Moncrief December 20th
Carrie Ann Ryan December 21st
J.S. Wayne December 22nd
Shannan Albright December 23rd
Claire Ashgrove December 24th
Jacquie Rogers December 27th
Keta Diablo December 28th
Anne Holly December 29th
K.D. Grace December 30th


15 December, 2011


This week's teaser is gearing up for the release of STRIPPED.  Remember, it hits the shelves January 3, but you can pre-order now!

Everyone likes a good villian, right?  Let's meet Dmitri today.


- Excerpt taken from STRIPPED, available Jan 3, 2012


This singular moment, where the two of them knew no greater paradise than the pleasure of their bodies, was more priceless to Dmitri than any wealth, any power. Struck by momentary tenderness, he lifted up to brush his lips against hers.

“Moya lyubov´,” he whispered.

Yes, love her—the only woman he had ever loved. For that matter, the only thing. What he would do without her, he didn’t know. She made the duties he must carry out possible, and the next few days
apart, after so many already past, would be impossible. Yet it was necessary. She alone could teach Iskatel´ how to smoothly make the women subservient. But if Iskatel´ didn’t cooperate with Natalya, or Iskatel´’s
ineptitude put her in harm’s way, Iskatel´ would join the murdered women in the grave.

For Natalya, Dmitri would kill even his own Bratva family.

14 December, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (10)

For warming up on a chilly winter night...


08 December, 2011

Possibly Something New?

Well, in the midst of all things Black Opals, I've been working on a proposal.  Fingers crossed that things pan out.

However, I thought I'd tease with a little detail, since this is foremost on my mind.

Hint:  Revenge, a ruined betrothed, one devilish rake, and the pursuit of freedom.


"The light in her eyes shifted, assuming a darker, more suggestive glimmer.  Were he not mistaken, he would swear she flirted with him.

She is well into her drink.  Do not be fooled by lies.

His tongue refused to obey.  He held her gaze in challenge.  “I assure you, Miss Prescott, my skills are quite effective.  It is the patient who must be willing to follow through.”

“So you say.”  She smiled before a husky laugh trilled in her throat.  “And what is it you would have me follow through on to assure a speedy recovery from this insufferable heat that has overcome my body?"


Let's hope my editor wants to hear the hero's answer!


07 December, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (9)

Hello, hello, hello!  I want one of these for Christmas!


01 December, 2011

What Do You Get...

... when you mix seven dead dancers, a club full of naked women, and a deadly female spy?

One very disturbed undercover cop:

"Damn it, she was worse than a hangover. He could cure that—down a bottle of Gatorade, eat some Saltines, down a second bottle, and he was good to go. He couldn’t, however, banish her out of his head. Or the suspicion that she would taste every bit as sweet as her lilac perfume.

Maybe it was lotion. Yeah. He smiled to himself. Lotion she slathered over those long legs. Massaged around rosy pink nipples while . . . Shit!

He set his coffee mug down with force. He didn’t have time for this, and somehow he had to make his dick understand what the smarter head knew—catching a serial killer who’d murdered Rachel was more important than fucking and orgasms."

-Excerpt taken from STRIPPED, available Jan 3, 2012


30 November, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (8)

24 November, 2011

Back in the Trenches

In keeping with the Thursday Teaser theme...  Guess what landed in my inbox this last week?

Two very hot men and one extremely dangerous woman.

"Long golden-brown hair blew in the wind as he lounged against the brick exterior wall.  Her gaze locked with his light green eyes, and all the simmering desire that had flared between them since her arrival at her cousin’s club three weeks earlier ignited."


"He let out a soft laugh with a shake of his head.  A lock of wavy dark hair fell into his eyes.  He pushed it back and sank deeper into the chair, further stretching out his long muscular legs."

Yep, that's right -- edits came back for Lie to Me.  I'm pleased to report, there's not a whole lot of headaches involved.  YAY!

But, definitely time to hit the grindstone.  See you all next week!


23 November, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (7)

Here's a little something to brighten up your week.

Happy Wicked Wednesday everyone!

He reminds me of Misha... a favorite Opal of mine.

~Tori St. Claire

03 November, 2011

Thursday Teaser - Short Excerpt

Today's teaser is a short excerpt from Stripped.

WARNINGAs a reminder to those who read/come from the Claire Ashgrove blog or website, the content on this blog is ADULT

I hope you enjoy:


Body of secrets…

As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she’s willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies…

The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she’s been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to. As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it’s Natalya’s that could destroy them both.


The combined effect of heat beneath her hands, restless agitation in her veins, and the languid caress of his tongue pushed her into sensory overload. Too much at once. Not enough. Oh, Lord, she needed to breathe.

Natalya tore her mouth away and turned her face aside, gasping for air. His equally hard breath stirred her hair. He brought his hand to the crown of her head and guided her cheek to his shoulder. For several moments they stood unmoving, the only sound, their jagged breathing.

Brandon broke the silence first. “You know where we’re going, Natalya.” His hand skimmed around her ribs to fit between their bodies and cover her breast. Her lips parted on a silent gasp as he flicked his thumb over her aroused nipple. “You know how this ends, and you want it too.”

Yes, she did, and she couldn’t remember a time when she’d wanted a man the way she wanted Brandon Moretti. But the easy way he reduced her to warmed honey unnerved her more than the fierce desire that clamped her womb into a knot. She didn’t know how to just surrender to pleasure, to yield the control, and Brandon wrested that control out of her hands effortlessly.


She couldn’t allow that to happen. Couldn’t lose herself that far.

She stepped back, intending to extract herself from the magic of his fingers and escape. When she could discipline her body and mind, she could entertain Brandon’s suggestion. “Yes, but—”

He followed her retreat, forbidding her to flee as he cupped her other breast in his free hand. His fingers gently worked the soft flesh, his gaze never breaking from hers. The burn in that tawny stare sent rivulets of excitement thrumming through her blood. He knew what he wanted, and damned if she was going to stop him.

Brandon took a puckered nipple between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed. Natalya felt the pinch all the way through her womb, and her pussy contracted with need. Her thong was damp, the ache between her legs crying out for the stroke of his hands, the intrusion of his cock.

“But?” His voice was husky against the backdrop of reverberating bass. “But what?” He released her breasts to slide one large palm down her side, over the curve of her hip, and along her thigh. Gathering her skirt in his fingers, he exposed her bare leg at the same time he popped the solitary button of her dark green suit jacket. His gaze seared through the red lace that covered her breasts, warming her skin.

“I don’t—I mean, I’m—”

“Wet,” he murmured as his fingers crept beneath the curve of her bottom and slipped between her legs. He ran a solitary knuckle over the damp scrap of cloth that covered her pussy. “So very wet.”



02 November, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (6)

Okay gals -- here's our inspirational picture of the week.

Have a little Wicked for your Wednesday


16 September, 2011

Exciting New Things

Well, I'm uber-excited about the fact that I received and finished page proofs for Stripped.  It's amazing... this book is really real!  Can't believe it's going to come out in January, it seems sooo surreal.

And it looks awesome!  I love everything that Berkley has done with and for it.  Simply incredible!

Another tidbit or two...

1.  I received the release date for the second Black Opal book.  Lie To Me will come out in July of 2012. 
2.  I've received and thumbs-upped the back cover copy for Lie To Me.  And I will be sharing it as soon as I receive official word we're good to go.

Happy dancing over here.  Sincerely, happy dancing!


18 August, 2011

When Ideas Overflow...

It's Thursday and keeping with publication process, I've been mulling over proposals for my Black Opal series.  Today I was hit with a dozen ideas, all while thinking about the same hero, and it's made me wonder just how far can I take him?  How... unheroic, can he be, while being a hero at the same time?

Let me back up.  I like dark heroes.  I like men that are so flawed, how they can be heroic, is a bit hard to grasp.  And given my heroine in Stripped falls into this, I guess that extends to characters all the way around.  I find it incredibly challenging to not just redeem this person, but dig in and draw out the things that make them worthwhile.  To see if I can make that person hold onto a heart, no matter how unlikely it might seem.

I asked an editor once how dark a character could be, and she pretty much gave a green light on any level as long as it is well-justified.   That conversation completely blew my mind, because all along I'd been preached at "You can't do that, he's unheroic.  You can't redeem him."  Well... evidently not so.  And this delights me to no end.

Anyway, going back to the proposal.  I'm torn now, because what I would like to do makes the character real.  It gives him mountains to overcome, and really brings out a viable haunted past.  But that one aspect, might push it over the top and make it hard for him to fullfill a story.  I already piled on the shit once.  He's got a huge mountain facing him as it is.  But wow... it would... yes, it would be a great way to twist him in the wind.

I'll have to mull this over.  Meanwhile, I had two other stories hit me at once, and I sure wish they'd develop androids that could plug into my brain, use my words, my approach, and everything me, and write side-by-side with me.  Yeesh. I wrote the ideas down, filed them away, and will make outlines as I get past some more pressing things.

So what do you all do when you have idea overflow?


11 August, 2011

And the Saga Continues - Publishing Journeys

Well, it's Thursday again, and today I made some progress on Publishing in general. 

I decided with two books coming out in January (See Claire Ashgrove for the second one) that I should do a book signing locally.  Now, I'd done one previously, gosh... two years ago?  With fellow author, Alicia Dean.  We didn't put too much into promoting it, but neither did the bookstore.  It was one of those days where we each sold a copy, then bought each other's books.  Lessons learned though -- a) book signings can go well, or they can be a non-event.  b) The next time put a little more effort and planning in.

Taking that last lesson, the most important one, I phoned Barnes and Noble to get in well in advance and met with them today.  However, I want to point out one thing that occured during the phone conversation.  He asked me about my promotions packet and told me to bring it in.  Now, I covered my dumbstruck, momentary jaw on floor moment, rather well, but for a moment I about had heart failure.  I didn't have a promotions packet, and my ARCs weren't here.  And I was on my way to work with no way to send off emails requesting them.

I happened to have my Tor editor's number programmed into my phone, and left a message, and ended up with an ARC overnighted.  Shew!  At least I wasn't going into the meeting today totally empty-handed.  And I'm certain that if I'd had the means of reaching my Berkley editor, the same would have happened, but it was a time-crunch thing and that's how it played out.

So last night I did a little investigating on what I should take along and stumbled onto a "Bookseller's Flyer"... Ah-Ha!

And I made one today for each book.

And I went to this meeting with one ARC, 2 flyers, and a business card.

It went WONDERFULLY!  I'm sharing this story because, for those of you authors who will face this situation, he said one thing to me that I want to share:  "You're more prepared than the vast majority of authors who meet with me."

(Little did he know.  Haha.)

What I learned is that we'll be signing late January, and he volunteered to craft a press release for me, put it in the local papers, contact readers groups, romance book clubs, and all that totally blew my socks away.  I'd been schooled that those were things I would have to do.  When he mentioned this I seriously wanted to kiss his feet.

I also learned another important fact for those of you interested in the "New" publishing world trends:  When I told him that I had digital short stories available through the B & N bookstore (will have by January, but have full length books available), he was very excited to hear this.  He told me it gave him an additional angle to promo the event with -- "Bring your Nook."

So, reading between the lines - if you can play up your digital stuff, do so.  Booksellers like this!

On another note, I finished the second book in the Black Opal series.  It's now in my editor's hands, and I am gearing up for the proposal for the next books in line.  I have characters screaming at me -- they better hope they all play nice in my head, because I get to choose who goes first.

I'd be interested to hear any of your promotions stories, or things you've learned along the way!


09 August, 2011

Much Ado About... A Cover!

I've been gnawing on my fingernails, squirming in my seat, totally anxious about what my cover for Stripped would look like. 

Don't get me wrong, at no time was I worried about receiving a bad cover.  I had every faith that Berkley would deliver something that held my vision.

They delivered above and beyond what I had expected!

And now I get to share it with all of you.  So... here she is!

I want to just frame it and hang it on my wall...  Oh wait!  It will be on my bookshelf (yours too!) in January!

And just to add a little more bonus to that beautiful cover, how about a bit of the official back cover copy?

Body of secrets...

As a member of the CIA's elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss.  His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games.  Natalya's business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts.  But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister, Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia.  Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she's willing to go to complete it.

Body of lies...

The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire.  For Natalya, working the club could be the break she's been waiting for.  But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer.  Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to.  As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but its Natalya's that could destroy them both.


14 July, 2011

Copy Edit Time!

Well, it's here, it's finally here -- copy edits for STRIPPED!

I must confess that I was a little daunted by the receipt of these.  I stared at the mail a long while, fidgeting, wondering how badly it was going to hurt when I opened it.  How much work was yet remaining.  In part, because it's always a little scaring working with a new editor, be that the aquiring editor or the copy editor.

In part, because like many authors, I have doubts about myself.

But I took a deep breath, opened it up, and was pleasantly surprised!  It's not bad at all, in fact, the few quick glances that I've taken make it look pretty easy. 

So Stripped is wrapping up.  I'm so anxious to see the cover, I think I'll end up crying when I get it just because of the build up.  (Happy tears mind you.)

Meanwhile, book 2 in the Black Opals series is on the home stretch.  Barring any more late night trips to the emergency room for my joyful little demons :), it will be complete this weekend.


09 July, 2011

12 Signs of Imminent Deadline Approach

1.  Your Desk Is No Longer Something You Recognize

You lift your head from the keyboard and realize the space around you looks like something a hurricane left behind.  Day old snack packages, crumpled scraps of paper that held little notations you took the time to write but simultaneously forgot, three coffee cups because you've gotten up at least that many times distracted, and poured another.

2.  You've Run Out of Suitable Clothes... for anything

The hamper is overflowing to the point you're now out of clean underwear.  You'd go to the store to buy some, but that requires doing laundry first. Children are playing in yesterdays playclothes -- that's okay, they're going to get muddy again today anyway, right?  You don your spouse's boxers for the day, swearing you'll take a break and right that situation later.

3.  The Kitchen Sink Is Non-Existant

You'd swear it was there two days ago, along with the stopper to the drain.  Now, the countertop is one big pile of rinsed dishes (you stopped long enough to consider bugs), but damned if that stopper is anywhere within reach.  And unburying it would take a good thirty minutes or so.  Guess it's paper for tonight.

4.  You Discover Demons Living In Your Phone

You aren't exactly sure who's answering, but when it rings, the voice that answers sounds a bit too much like Regan MacNeil from the Exorcist.  Even your loved ones aren't spared the horror.  In fact, they receive a double-dose.  Because, afterall, they know you're 40K words short of where you need to be in 2 days.

5.  The Cats Are Eyeing You Like You Might Be Edible

Because their food bowl is empty... for the second time in two days.  Oh, and they've also decided the bathroom floor makes a great place to relieve themselves (You use the room, why shouldn't they?) because the litter box -- what's that?  They know.  Evidently you've forgotten.

6.  Your Freezer is Empty and Your Fridge is Full

You've gone through all the frozen food, nutrition's out the window, and what's in the fridge, although it was healthy at one time, is now not suitable for buzzards. More stuff to do when the editor is satisfied.

7.  Your Children Have Become Remarkably Self-Sufficient

Any other time, it's mandatory you pour their drinks or fill their plates.  They can't lift the milk, can't pour the juice, and certainly can't cut up apples.  Right now, cookies are a free-for-all, chips you'll never notice missing, and it's open-season for the soda pop.  They can pick out their favorite orange shorts with their favorite neon green top too!  And rubber boots in the middle of summer are the height of fashion these days.  Not to mention they're needed for all that mud.

8.  You're Exhibiting Symptoms of Early On-set Alzheimer's and Schitzophrenia

You know you got up to get something, but damned if you can remember halfway across the room.  People passing your open window would overhear conversations you're having aloud, as you step through your character's arguement.  (Oh, wait, that's not new.)  And it takes several times of people repeating themselves to generate a choherant response from you.

9.  You Could Qualify for NASCAR

You've run out of coffee.  A trip to the store is mandatory.  It takes less than half the time it usually does to get there and back.  When you pull into your driveway you say a quick prayer that you didn't encounter oncoming traffic as you realize you've spent the entire time staring in your rear-view, watching for cops.

10.  You're Proof of the Zombie Apocolypse

If anyone doubts they exist, all the need to do is take one look at the dark circles under your eyes, the hair that's standing on end, and if they breathe too close to you, they'll kick over dead from the smell.

11.  Evasion Is Your Forte

You never cared about blogs or celebrity lives before, but now that the pressure simply won't go away, you know what the Royal family ate for breakfast and who's having the latest Hollywood affair.  The manuscript is waiting like an evil being if you close your browser.  Anything is better than the sense of impending failure.

12.  You've Mastered the White Lie

When the demon answers your phone and it's your editor or agent asking how things are coming along, suddenly the Good Fairy appears and you're all innocent sweetness.  "Fine, fine," you coo.  "Everything's perfect.  Just wrapping up the final touches."  Meanwhile, you've got fifty blank pages left to go, the plot is at a standstill, and you're certain your characters have developed severe personality disorders.  You'll make it work somehow.  You don't have a choice.

06 July, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (5)

Take me for a ride...

Here's to another Wicked Wednesday!


16 June, 2011

Thursday Teasers

Eventually I want to make Thursdays days that really fit the concept of "Teaser".  But until I have releasable information, we have to make due with publishing updates.

So this week I finished the proposal for the second Black Opal book.  All done, issues mitigated, out the door... and that was a surprisingly difficult task.  I plot heavily.  However, I still leave a lot of stuff up to the writing as I go along.  Which means that there's usually deviations from my chapter-by-chapter outline.  To date, I've never written a synopsis prior to the book being finished and polished.  Having to write one with only three or four working chapters under my belt, despite the detailed outline, was a bit difficult.  It's not easy to translate:  "Hero has a WOW moment" into a synopsis. 

Or:  "Uh-oh for heroine."

Or even:  "Mwahahaha go Villian!"


Meanwhile, STRIPPED is heading for copy-edits, I hear.  YAY!!  This means we are ever-closer to January and the release. 

I'm so anxious to see my cover.  And I'm doubly-anxious to share the cover blurb with everyone. 

More to come as I'm allowed.


15 June, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (4)

It's Wednesday!  Time to be a little wicked...
...and wet.


08 June, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (3)

White flag of surrender?

It's Wednesday -- everyone needs a little mid-week wicked.


02 June, 2011

Thursday Teasers

Well it's that time again -- an update on where things stand.

First, as I mentioned last update, I was working with my editor on the back cover copy.  I'm pleased to say that we've ironed all that out and I believe it's finalized.  I can't, however, post it, as I'm not sure if it's been officially given the stamp of approval.

I can say that the title is now Stripped.

Something that really stood out to me:  Here and there you hear horror stories about how a house didn't appear to care about the author's preferance.  I was simply astounded by the level of consideration given to me during both the title selection process and the back cover blurbs.  It was incredible.  And while I knew, all along, that in the end, what would work well from a marketing standpoint would be what flew, I really felt like my input was desired.  The end result -- which was far more a product of committee not my efforts -- made me giddy!

For another teaser -- I'm gearing up for the next book about the Black Opals.  The hero is someone I think you'll fall in love with as much as I have and you've seen him before.  But this bad boy has his ass in a frying pan, and if he's not careful, he's going to be handed his heart... on a platter. 

Until next time!


30 May, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day -- how many of us stop and think, just why we are sitting down with our friends and family and enjoying a day free from work?

For many years, I didn't.  It was the day the pool opened, then a day off work with pay, then a day to unwind...

Now, however, I've become more concious of what the costs are to this country.  I've experienced "losses" through my soldier, and though I've not met the men and women who've lost their lives, I've mourned their passing.  I've experienced the "cost" first hand, and I am proud of those who serve, proud of what has been given for this great country.

Today is a time of relaxation for me, but it's also a day that bonds me more with the people I care for who are still serving and will continue to serve.  For my friends who have sons and daughters in the military and service oriented professions.  There's so much more to Memorial Day than what I previously gave it credit for.

And when I receive the flag that has flown over Iraq in a few weeks, and I put it in my pretty little case, and I look at it hanging on the wall, I'm not just going to smile at the bond I share with my soldier, but I'm going to smile for all those who devoted themselves to the purpose of freedom. 

The flag is powerful.  Those who've fought for it are heroes.  And may all of you who gave your lives know we honor what you've done.

For everyone else -- enjoy your holiday!  If nothing else, celebrate the bonds of family and friends and appreciate the simple time to spend with them.


04 May, 2011

Wicked Wednesday (2)

Sweet Dreams...

21 April, 2011

Publication Progress

Well, it's been difficult trying to keep up two blogs and meet deadlines.  So I'm back in the grind and hoping to get this launched effectively.

Keeping with themes, and Wednesday being Wicked, Thursdays are going to be updates on what's going on in the publication progress.  This might be tidbits about works I'm working on, or actual process updates.

Today we'll go with the latter.

I have completed the revisions requested by my editor and have sent the manuscript off to my agent and trusted critiquers for review.  Initially, while I was super-charged about the project, the work seemed a little daunting.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that once I got into it, everything rolled very smoothly.  There were a few mental blocks I had to unbend, but that worked well.  And with the help of my god-send critique partners, I had a few great laughs and some wonderful suggestions that helped get a couple balls rolling.

Also, I received preliminary back cover copy for the book -- which is being retitled so I can't refer to it by a name yet -- and we are examining that (we being my editor and myself). Title suggestions came through, there were a couple I liked, but we are bouncing around some additional ideas too.

More to come, hopefully, next week!  Otherwise, we'll just give a general writing status update!


23 March, 2011

Wicked Wednesdays

Well, what better way to start off a blog than with some good old candy.  Yum.  Well... ice cubes in this case.

Welcome to my blog, folks!  Wednesdays we all need a little pick me up.