Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Something a little different

Today for #WIPWednesday I'm changing lanes a bit and sharing something from my first foray into lesbian romance. (No worries if that's not your genre--we'll be back to gay romance next week with more from my werewolves, Tate and Adrian!)

Not only is it a lesbian romance, it's a Regency historical, which is also something new for me. It's a novelette, so it was a low-stress way for me to dip my toe into both genres. I had a blast with it and it has been well received, so it likely won't be my last. *g*

This is also my first time self-publishing something, so I don't have my usual channels to get the word out about a new release. (If you have any tips, drop me a line!)

Heart's Thaw

Release date: Dec. 4, 2016

Calliope snickered, earning herself a dark look from Helena that only served to make her laugh harder. It really was quite amusing. On her end of things, at any rate.
“I told you not to bait him, but you did it anyway,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest, hoping the restriction would help her gain her breath and stop chuckling.
Helena’s lips pursed but she didn't respond to Calliope’s taunt. It was something Calliope could get used to, and a fresh gale of laughter threatened.
 But Helena’s reflexes were still her own, afflicted as she was, and Calliope barely had time to duck before a riding boot went soaring over her head, smacking into the wall behind her with a loud thump.
“Do you want to rouse Baron Thane?” Calliope asked, lifting an eyebrow challengingly.
Helena’s teeth clicked together as she bit back a retort, her blue eyes cold as steel as she glared out from under a wispy fringe of long, blonde locks that had escaped their binding and framed her face. Smooth, soft cheeks that were usually rouged and powdered when Calliope saw them twitched with the effort of her restraint. Her lips had been bitten to a fetching cherry-red, pressed into a pout that looked more seductive than quelling.
Calliope straightened her back, unsuccessfully trying to school her features into a look of regret. How long had she fantasized about this? Having Helena beat down her door at all hours, hair in wild disarray and eyes sparkling with lust?
Of course, in the fantasies, things went a bit differently. Fantasy Helena was there because she truly desired Calliope, not because an angry incubus had bespelled her with a curse that she trusted no one other than Calliope to help her lift. In her fantasies, she and Helena shared long, intimate chats tangled up together in the bedclothes, enjoying the afterglow.
More importantly, in the fantasies, Helena wasn't half-mad with panic. She barely looked like herself, her hair mussed and falling from the meticulous braid that Calliope knew Helena's maid twisted it into nightly. Helena looked like a caricature of herself standing there in her plain night shift, her chest heaving and cheeks flushed from her frantic dash from her own quarters to Calliope’s.
She also looked a good five years younger. Calliope had never seen Helena without the careful coif and artfully applied paint that Helena usually wore like armor. Standing there freshly scrubbed and clad in plain cotton that didn't look any fancier than what Calliope herself was wearing, Helena could have been mistaken for one of the chamber maids.
Except for her sharp tongue. That was definitely the same. The story Helena had just woven in her usual soft, lilting tones—marred by a gratuitous use of profanity and several completely unnecessary affronts on Calliope’s intellect and general person that assured Calliope that Helena was indeed herself—seemed too far-fetched to be believable.
In fact, had Calliope not been with Helena when the two of them had come upon a comely young gentleman in the woods during their late afternoon ride, Calliope wouldn't have believed her.
But Calliope remembered well how eagerly the man bid for Helena's attention, and how shocked and angry he had been when he had been primly rebuked. He had the look of someone who'd had never had his advances rejected before, and given his ethereal beauty and fine linens, Calliope thought he probably hadn't.
Helena hadn't held her tongue then, either. By the time she'd finished dressing the gentleman down for having the gall to speak so frankly to someone of Helena's station, the man's face had practically been puce.
Calliope had thought it a trick of light when his features changed, but one look at Helena's terrified face had put paid to that. Somehow they'd had the luck to stumble across an incubus, and Her Ladyship, daughter and only child of the Duke of Keering, Helena Alexandra Gertrude Heart, had mortally offended him.
He'd flashed to Helena's side before Calliope could even pull the dagger she wore at her belt whenever they left the safety of the estate, but he didn't strike. He merely whispered something to her, something that had Helena's face draining of what little color it had left.
She and Calliope had fled, of course. And even with his preternatural grace, the incubus hadn't been able to catch them as they'd galloped away on their mounts, two of the stables' most reliable and fleet-footed steeds. Calliope had assumed they'd escaped him, but apparently she'd been wrong. Perhaps he hadn't given chase not because he knew he couldn't catch them, but because he'd already exacted his revenge. Not that Calliope could get Helena to tell her exactly what the spell was. She'd said only that she it was base and abominable and that she needed Calliope to help her break it before the effects became permanent.
You can find out what happens by picking up Heart's Thaw for .99 cents on Amazon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Meet Adrian, an adorable fail!wolf

Last week I shared a snippet from Camp H.O.W.L. so you could meet Tate, a Were psychologist who works as a camp counselor helping teenagers who need to learn to master their Shift. This week I'm introducing you to his toughest challenge yet--Adrian, the 27-year-old son of the Portland Alpha who never hit his Werewolf puberty. Weres Turn when they're nineteen, so when that year came and went, Adrian and his family adjusted to the news that he was human.

Until his 27th birthday rolls around and he finds himself hitting Were puberty--in the middle of a crowded city street. Adrian's pretty much the definition of a fail!wolf. I can't wait for you to get to know him! *g*

Camp H.O.W.L.

Adrian stopped at the crosswalk and took a sip of his coffee as he waited for the light to change. He nearly heaved when the bitter liquid spilled across his tongue. He’d ordered this drink dozens of times and it had always been sweet and smooth, nothing like this awful concoction. The taste of burnt coffee lingered in his mouth, held there by a syrupy residue that he could feel like a weight against his tongue. 

He licked against his teeth, trying to rid his tongue of the sensation. This entire day had been a nightmare, and he’d only been up for an hour. Even the hot shower he’d taken to try to loosen his tensed muscles and ease his headache had been a disaster. The hotel must have been having water pressure problems because the rain shower head had been anything but relaxing. The water had hit his skin like tiny missiles, leaving him feeling tender and raw afterward. 

The light changed and Adrian moved across the wide street with the smattering of people who’d been waiting near him. The man nearest him must have had his Bluetooth headset turned up to eleven--Adrian could hear every word. He glanced over, surprised that the nicely dressed businessman wasn’t more concerned about privacy. From what Adrian had heard, it sounded like the man was listening to an audiobook or pod cast that was describing a sex scene in lurid detail. No one around them looked the slightest bit scandalized, which made Adrian reevaluate some of his assumptions about Indianapolis. The book would have raised some eyebrows even in his liberal hometown of Portland, but it got nary a sideways glance here in the Heartland. 

Adrian brought his foot down hard on the curb and almost went sprawling, but the businessman he’d been watching grabbed him by the elbow and kept him on his feet. Adrian’s satchel swung forward and slammed into the man, the impact knocking one of his earbuds out. 

Adrian’s face flamed when a long, loud moan split the air, but no one noticed. The businessman gave him a concerned glance once he’d steadied Adrian on the sidewalk, but Adrian waved him off with a quick thanks. The book continued to play, muted slightly when the man tucked the earbud back into place.

Adrian stopped short, stepping to the side when another group of people went by. No one had heard. That’s why they hadn’t reacted. Because the man had been listening at normal volume, and even when the earbud had fallen out, no one had heard because it hadn’t been audible. 
Except he’d heard.

Adrian rubbed his hand across his face. What was going on? He was used to seeing his Packmates react to to things that were outside the register he could process, but he’d obviously never experienced that himself.

He'd never given much thought to what Were senses must be like. Sure, he'd seen his sister flinch when fire alarms went off, or noticed how irritable his family could get when they were in a loud, crowded restaurant. But mostly, the Weres he knew adapted to their heightened senses.

That couldn't really be what was happening, though. He didn't know anyone who had Were senses but not the ability to Shift. Not that he personally knew anyone born to Were parents who was a human—like him. But still. No one hit Were puberty at twenty-seven. Did they?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Introducing Camp H.O.W.L.

It's been forever and a day since I had a WIP to share with you, so I'm really excited to be back today with a WIP Wednesday from my current manuscript, Camp H.O.W.L.

I'm starting NaNoWriMo off strong with help from Tate and Adrian, two werewolves in their late twenties who are spending some quality time together marooned in the middle of the forest with a bunch of teenage werewolves who are adjusting to their werewolf puberty.

Unfortunately, so is Adrian. A quirk of his genetics prevented him from maturing into his wolf when he was nineteen, as almost all Weres do. He'd accepted his fate as the lone human in his pack, but his twenty-seventh birthday changed that. And now he's going through werewolf puberty, with all the embarrassments and frustrations that entails.

His mortification only escalates when he arrives at Camp H.O.W.L., which is basically a high-end boot camp where baby Weres learn control, and finds that his assigned counselor is hotter than the sun.

Tate has been helping teens master their urges for years, but Adrian is a new and unexpected challenge. Today's WIP Wednesday showcases just exactly how exasperating his job shepherding the Werewolf elite's brats into wolfdom can be. *g*

Camp H.O.W.L.

“For the last time, Ryan, we aren't keeping you prisoner here. You are an adult, and if you choose to leave we can't stop you.”
They really couldn't. The kids Tate worked with at Camp HOWL weren't prisoners—they were Weres who were adjusting to their wolves. Technically, since the change came on the first full moon after a Were's nineteenth birthday, they weren't really kids, either. Everyone at the camp was a legal adult, but it was often difficult to tell from the way they acted. Camp HOWL catered to the elite in Were society. A month at the camp cost more than a year's tuition at most colleges. He'd heard rumors that some parents signed their kids up as soon as they were born and started making paying the exorbitant fee in monthly installments nearly two decades before their precious little wolfling would ever set foot on the manicured grounds.
It wasn't the raw juice bar or the Pilates machines that kept the kids from leaving camp, though. 
Every single one of them knew they'd be roasted by their Alpha if they walked away from the camp before the counselors released them. Guarding their secret from exposure was every wolf's highest priority, even these stuck-up, pampered pseudo-adults. And if any of them thought they knew best and tried to leave, well, that was between the Weres and their packs. In his seven years at the camp, Tate had never seen a Were leave before they graduated. There had been a few close calls, but all it had taken was a few words with the recalcitrant Were's Alpha to turn things around. 
He had Ryan's on speed dial, since it was his job to know how to spot trouble and Ryan had walked through the camp's gates with trouble written all over him. Tate hoped it wouldn't get that far, but it was a nice ace up his sleeve. 
Ryan had his phone in his hand, his fingers clutched around the nearly indestructible case most kids arrived with. They weren't fashionable, but the wolf-proof titanium was a necessity while the young wolves learned how to deal with their heightened strength and volatile mood swings. 
“I called an Uber,” he sneered, his gaze locked on Tate's in a blatant challenge. 
Tate held his hands up, placating the teen. “That's your call, man,” he said, trying his damndest to project an air of calm detachment. Ryan's senses weren't honed enough yet to pick up on Tate's racing heart or the faint tang of salt in the air from the cold sweat that had broken out down his back. 
He'd called an Uber. Jesus Christ. Some day these kids were actually going to kill him. An emotional, angry baby Were in an Uber? 
Luckily they were miles and miles from an Uber driver, and that was assuming Wade Watkins could get his scuffed-up Ford F150 to start in the wet autumn chill. A kid like Ryan would probably take one look at the dented, rusted out truck and turn tail and run.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Fresh out of the shower with Connor and Jake

It's been quite awhile since my last #WIPWednesday post! I've had some health issues that forced me to take a step back from my writing for awhile, but I'm back with a vengeance now. I'm a month and a half into my two-month treatment, and I'm finally starting to feel more like myself. And that means I'm back to writing. There were even a few hairy weeks there where I wasn't drinking coffee...what a relief to be past that dark time! *g*

I'll be at #RT16 next week (YAY!) so right now I'm in the midst of packing and gathering up all the awesome swag I'll be taking. Keep an eye out next week for a chance to win one of the messenger bags I'm giving away there. (And if you're attending #RT16 in Vegas next week, come find me! I'll have messenger bags, travel mugs and a bunch of other fun stuff.)

Last week I submitted my novella Better than Okay to my publisher. I spent the week at Universal with Thing 1 and Thing 2 (and no Hubs, so frazzled isn't a strong enough word to explain how stressed I was...) and only barely made my deadline. I always overestimate the amount of time I'll be able to write while on vacation, which when you're talking about running herd on a 9 year old and a 6 year old at a theme park, is pretty much zero. But I did manage to finish up Connor and Jake's story, and I'm sharing some of that here with you today for #WIPWednesday.

This picks up just after Connor and Jake have come home from a night out at a karaoke club and indulged in some fun times in the shower (one of my favorite places for sex scenes...).


Better than Okay,  release date October 2016

The shower spray had gone a bit tepid, but Jake didn’t care, too consumed with nipping and biting at Connor’s lips. It had been awhile since they'd indulged in playful kissing. When he’d finally had his fill of Connor’s mouth, he moved on, mapping the contours of Connor’s face with tiny, closed-mouth kisses that made Connor laugh. 
“We’ve wasted enough water for the night, don't you think?” 
Jake chuckled at Connor's admonishment, pushing up off the shower floor and holding a hand out to help Connor up as well. He reached behind himself, turning the spray off with a flick of his wrist. Connor was already out of the tub, and Jake grinned as a hand shoved a towel inside the curtain. 
“Back there, at the club, were you OK? It seemed like—” Jake began, as he stepped out of the shower, but Connor stopped him by flicking his own wet towel out, catching Jake across the torso. Jake took the motion as the challenge it was, rubbing the faint sting away as he tore off after a completely naked Connor into their bedroom. 
There wasn’t anywhere to go in the small confines of the room, and Jake caught him easily, tackling him and pinning him to the bed. The springs made a loud protest, and they stilled their motions, waiting to see if Gavin would notice and yell at them to be quiet. When no loud bangs on the wall or shouts resulted, they resumed their tussle, struggling for dominance as they rolled around on the generously sized bed. The match was over as quickly as it started when Connor managed to wedge a sharp elbow against Jake’s groin, exerting just enough pressure to prove he had the upper hand. 
Jake surrendered, flopping onto his back, his head propped up by the mound of pillows. Connor collapsed next to him, arms folded behind his head as he studied the ceiling. 
“At the club?” he prompted, and Jake was tempted to tell Connor to forget it, that he’d rather spend his time screwing than talking. Then again, that was what they normally did, and Jake couldn’t help but worry that attitude was to blame for the uncomfortable moment they’d had at the club. 
“The song,” Jake said, wondering how the hell he was going to explain it without sounding like a sap. “I'm being serious, Con. It just seemed like the stupid song we had to sing upset you.” 
Connor captured the hand Jake had thrown the pillow with, pressing a soft kiss to the palm. “And I’m seriously telling you not to be serious,” Connor said. 
Jake was silent for a moment, studying Connor’s eyes, their blue depths darkened with arousal and crinkling around the edges like they did when he was amused. 
“For Christ’s sake, Jake,” Connor huffed, dropping his hand and rolling to his back, resuming his survey of the ceiling. “I know what you meant. I just don’t feel the need to make this a thing. Everything's okay. We're okay.” 
Jake’s silence filled the room, and Connor gritted his teeth, turning over again to face him. 
“Let's not ruin a good night, alright? I'm tired, you're tired—let's just go to sleep.” 
Jake was quiet for another few seconds, wondering if he should pursue things or just let it go. He'd been doing a lot of that lately. It was infinitely easier to shut up and pretend everything was fine than to argue with Connor, especially since he saw so little of him lately. The remnants of his buzz and the languid contentment of satisfying sex evaporated. 
“Okay,” Jake muttered, swallowing his irritation as best he could. It helped when Connor curled around him, skin still slightly damp from the shower. Jake relaxed into the loose embrace, falling asleep before he could second-guess things anymore.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

#WIPWednesday: Noah lands himself in the ER--and Rory agrees to nurse him back to health

Before I introduce today's #WIPWednesday snippet of You Otter Know, I wanted to share Hans Hirschi's amazing review of King of the Kitchen. He is a dear friend and a wonderful writer, and his opinion means so much to me. Thank you, Hans! (And everyone: Hans has a book coming out tomorrow--I'll be picking it up, and you should, too!)

Even though I missed my deadline for the anthology, I'm still plugging away (slowly) at You Otter Know. Since it will be a stand-alone release and won't have to conform to the shifter anthology's rules, I'm probably going to change a few things. I like the idea of Noah and the other lifeguards being shifters, but I have some ideas about how that's going to play out differently now that I don't have any specifications to meet. Plot twists and shenanigans ahoy! *g*

Today we peek in on a conversation between Rory and Jared, who's one of Noah's closest friends at the resort, while they wait in the Emergency Room after rushing Noah there with a broken hand. Rory's crush is only going to get worse...

You Otter Know

Photo credit: Rosser321
It’s only for a few days.” 
“A few days?” Rory’s voice cracked, his tone full of incredulity.
A weeks, tops,” Jared said reasonably, gesturing toward the emergency room doors Noah had disappeared behind twenty minutes earlier. 
“Jared, he broke his hand. That’s not going to be better in a few days.” 
“No, but his roommate is visiting family this week, and I don't think Noah should be on his own. He'll be all zoned out with pain killers and he'll need help with stuff. 
“Why can’t he stay with you?” he whined, knowing full well that Jared was in a tiny cabin at the back of the property that didn’t have room for everyone who already lived there, let alone a guest. He'd wondered why Noah wasn't out there in one, too. Noah was the only lifeguard who stayed at the resort on the staff floor instead of in one of the cabins. 
“Rory –" 
Rory sat heavily in one of the garish orange plastic chairs, holding his head in his hands. Noah’s injury had been, at least in part, his fault. It was amazing, the fact that Noah had made it through the entire summer rescuing children with stupidly heroic looking dives and hadn’t gotten injured at the pool. No, he’d gotten hurt when a group of teenagers had been manhandling Rory on the lobby, tossing him around within their circle while Greg had been off doing whatever it was he did when he was shirking work. Rory had been about to break Jolie’s cardinal rule and take off his costume head when Noah had appeared, jostling through the crowd of teenage boys to push them off Rory. One of them had taken a swing, and Noah had ducked, coming up with a punch when another had tried to kick Rory, only to have that teen sidestep, resulting in Noah’s punch landing against the same lamp post that Rory had walked into earlier that summer. 
“Fine. But first thing Monday morning, I’m going to lodge a complaint against that lamp post. It’s clearly a menace. I’m going to make sure the resort has it removed.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#WIPWednesday: Mina gets the inside view on Rory's crush

So I didn't manage to get You Otter Know done in time to submit for the anthology it was targeted at, but I do love the idea, so I think I'm going to keep plodding along on it when I'm not working on other projects. Rory and Noah are too cute to abandon. *g*

One of the other projects I've been working on is updating my website. I've finally gotten it looking the way I like, so go check it out if you get a chance! I haven't gotten preorder links for Some Assembly Required up yet, but I'm off from the EDJ tomorrow so that'll be Thursday's project. Go take a look:

I'm dealing with some major health issues right now, so I may miss a #WIPWednesday here and there. If you're interested in keeping up with how tests and whatnot are going, I whine fairly often on Facebook.

Since I'm feeling guilty about that, you get a little bit longer #WIPWednesday today. Mina is Rory's top confidant about his crush on Noah, since Rory's best friend Greg hates Noah and refuses to talk about him. So here's a little chat session between Mina and Rory. *g*

You Otter Know

“I’ve seen the way you look at him,” Mina said, waggling her eyebrows as she held the shirt for Rory to ease into.

“Who, Greg? Everyone looks at him like that. He’s unfit for most social situations, which is why I couldn’t believe it when Jolie assigned him to be a handler. I figured he’d
hired as a bellman, or maybe be one of those guys who carry those sticks to pick up garbage.”

Mina rolled her eyes, brushing her hand over the
khaki fabric of Rory'a park ranger costume to smooth out the wrinkles. She frowned at a spot of dirt, grabbing a lint roller to clean it up. Rory and Noah were both assigned to the Pup Den, the resort's day camp where parents could drop their children off for the afternoon. Rory would be reading child-friendly books about conservation and forest ecology while Noah led swim lessons.

“No, Noah. You moon after him when you think he’s not looking,” she said, squinting critically at his left
shoulder before dabbing at it with the lint roller.

“I do not
moon after Noah.”

Mina pursed her lips, sending him a challenging look.

“Alright, maybe I moon a bit. But it’s just
looking. You can’t blame me for that. I’d look at Jared, too, if I didn’t think you’d do something evil like replace the lining of my costume with sandpaper.”

Mina grinned. “Itching powder would work better.”

“Is there really such a thing?” he asked, cocking his head.

“As itching powder? Yes. But that’s not the point. Why don’t you just ask him out? I know he’s single.”

Rory wasn't so sure. “He and Jared were talking about going out with Sophia last week, and Noah was talking about her being all over him down at the lake. I'm not so sure he's single.”Mina made a dismissive noise. “The girl from the front desk? She's all over all of the lifeguards. I doubt it meant anything. A bunch of them went for a midnight swim last week or something and had a big party down on the beach. Jared said they've all known each other for years. And you've seen how they all are—they're always all over each other. It's hard to tell who's dating who.”

Which wasn't a big tick in the single column, but that wasn't even the biggest issue. “Did you ever see Sophia? If that’s his type, I don’t fit it remotely. You know – blonde hair, peachy skin, breasts.”
Mina grinned.

“I don’t think he’s that picky.”

“Well, thanks for
that, Mina. ‘Oh, go for Noah, Rory. He’s not picky. I’m sure he’d settle for even a hopeless case like you.’”

“Who’s a hopeless case?”

Rory and Mina both jumped at Noah’s voice, whirling around guiltily.

“You are, you
ass. We’ve only got five minutes before we need to be at the Den,” Rory mumbled, grateful beyond measure when Mina placed the costume’s head over his, conveniently covering his blush.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

#WIPWednesday: Pigtail pulling (or otter tail pulling?) with Rory and Noah

We're back with Rory, Noah and their cast of friends at the resort again this week in the tentatively titled You Otter Know. Tempers can run high when you're as good as marooned on an out-of-the-way family resort, forced to spend all your time together whether you're working or not. Or at least, that's what Rory tells himself about the insults Noah throws his way. On the other hand, it could be a case of pigtail pulling. Or in this case, otter tail pulling? *g*

You Otter Know

It must be your face,” Noah said, studying Rory with mock-seriousness as he gesticulated wildly with a carrot stick he’d taken off Rory’s tray. “Your ears alone are a crime against nature. Must create a lot of drag in the water.”
“I didn’t want to be a lifeguard, Noah,” Rory snapped, snatching the carrot back. He hadn’t wanted to be a character actor either, but Rory didn’t mention that. He’d hoped for a job behind the scenes, maybe as a stage manager or technical director for the shows the resort put on three times a day. Those jobs had already been filled by the time he put in his application, though.
“You'd fall over if you had to life the backboard,” Jared teased. “Not to mention trip over your feet while you were patrolling the poolside. I don't know how you stay up in those costumes, given how many times I've seen you fall over your own feet out of them.”
“Like what you do is so hard.” Greg rolled his eyes, ignoring Rory’s glare when he helped himself to the remaining half of Rory’s sandwich. “You just walk around yelling at kids who run by the pool. Oh, hey, remember that time you choked on your whistle because you almost swallowed it?”
“Once!” Noah yelped, lips twitching despite himself. “That happened once. I didn't choke, I just gagged. And being a life guard is a hell of a lot more involved than leading someone around. Not that you’re any good at that. You walked Rory into a post last week. I saw it on YouTube.”
Greg bristled, distracted enough by Noah’s taunt that he didn’t notice when Rory reclaimed his sandwich.
“It’s harder than it looks!”
“Right,” Noah drawled, lazily flicking his hand at Rory, who self consciously raised his own fingers to cover the bruise on his cheek that had faded to a sickly green.
“That lamp post was new,” Greg said hotly.
“Because the resort routinely adds built-in lamp posts overnight?” Mina asked, arching a brow.
“Just shut up, all of you,” Greg muttered.
“As fun as this has been, my lunch is over,” Rory said, standing abruptly. He tossed the remains of his sandwich onto Greg’s tray, ignoring Mina’s groan of disgust when Greg picked it up and started eating it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

#WIP Wednesday: New year, new manuscript! Meet Rory

Happy 2016! I swear the years are passing faster and faster as I get older. My kids are growing like weeds and our schedules seem to grow every year, no matter how much I resolve to do less, not more. Right now we're gearing up (literally, OMG this shit is expensive) for two hockey tournaments in different states and the Girl is already antsy for the start of soccer season. *sob*

I'm also filling out my writing schedule for 2016. First up is a new adult novella about a group of college students who are spending their summer working at a wilderness resort themed around bears. Rory, our adorable main character, spends his days running arts and crafts stations around the resort and two thirty-minute shifts a day in costume as a giant otter. He has a lust-hate relationship with one of the lifeguards, Noah. As their pigtail pulling progresses, Rory finds out that he's not the only one who spends part of his time as an otter. It's just that Noah's pelt isn't a costume. That's right, I'm writing shifters! *cough* This was definitely something directly inspired by my recent vacation to a certain themed resort with my kids. No sir. */cough* Its working title is You Otter Know, which will definitely change. Probably. God, I hope.

I'll also be starting a three-book paranormal series with Lex Chase. Our first book together, Some Assembly Required, will be out in early February. It's a meet-cute inside an international big box home furnishings chain that just happens to be purgatory on a different plane of existence. Our new series will be just as quirky, as you'll probably come to expect from the two of us. As Lex likes to say, we shouldn't be allowed to be together without adult supervision. *g*

I'm planning to finish up my first YA manuscript within the next few months and start shopping that around for a home, which is exciting.

I'm also plodding along on a middle grade fantasy series that will have some LGBT characters but isn't a romance. That's quite a departure from my usual style, so I won't be sharing that one one here for #WIP Wednesdays.

Here's a peek at Rory while he's on the job, doing a meet-and-greet in his otter costume. *g*


You Otter Know

Rory winced as a particularly husky boy of about six lunged at him, curling himself around his leg. He brought a hand down, gently ruffling the towheaded boy’s hair with his hoof, turning his furry muzzle in the direction he thought the child’s parents would most likely be stationed so he could pose for the obligatory photograph. He gasped in surprise as he felt something being thrust at him, his arms coming up automatically to take the weight of a squirming toddler.

“Taylor, Gracie! Say cheese for Mommy! That’s a good boy, Taylor. Oh, Gracie, what have you done?”

Rory squeezed his eyes shut as he felt the unmistakable spread of wetness down his side. It was pretty obvious to him, at least, exactly what the now screaming toddler had done. Secure in the knowledge that the head piece hid him completely, Rory stuck his tongue out at the bedraggled woman who relieved him of the kicking girl.

This job had seemed like the perfect solution to his problems when he'd seen it advertised on campus. Rory had been looking for summer employment, not being far enough along in his degree to qualify for an internship. The resort was in the middle of nowhere, but it offered free room and board in addition to a frankly ridiculous hourly wage, way more than he could have pulled down working at a fast food restaurant or big box store while living at home with his parents. It had seemed like a win-win, especially when his best friend Greg had agreed to apply with him so they could hang out all summer.
Now, stuffed into a god awful otter costume and besieged with small, sticky children, it didn't seem like such a deal. Especially right now, while Greg was loudly fighting in the lobby with Noah, head life guard, prickly bastard, and the hottest guy Rory had ever met in person. Greg was supposed to be guiding Rory around since visibility was terrible in the costume, but he was too busy inferring things that Rory definitely hoped weren't true about Noah's virility and manhood. Not that Rory stood a chance of ever finding that out first hand, but a guy could dream, he thought sourly as he tromped down the concourse, letting the sound of Greg and Noah’s raised voices guide him back to them. Mina was going to have an absolute fit when she saw the state of his costume. 

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