Nov 02

November photo writing prompt

11-2015 - AbandonedBarnThis is where I’d normally write a prompt about the picture above, which reminds me vaguely of the blacksmith shop from Pirates of the Caribbean, but I worked an overnight shift last night–which turned out to be an extra hour because of daylight savings ending–and I only slept for about 2 hours today. I’m going to have myself a nice little coma and I’ll be back next month to finish off the year with the last picture prompt.

Check out what my blog sisters have written about:
Jessica || Bronwyn || Kellie

Oct 26

Social Media & Promo

I’ve noticed some authors don’t have social media other than their blog. No way to contact them except via a contact form on said blog (and even then, sometimes not even that). This is the part where I make a face and cross my arms over my chest.
Authors! You need to have some kind of social media presence!
I know I’m relatively new to the game, all things considered. But I’ve been in and around the business since 2009, and I’ve learned a few things by befriending some amazing authors and publishers. So, pull up a chair. I’ve got a little something to say. :)
I urge you to get on Facebook, at the very least. Twitter can be a bit overwhelming and/or confusing. I’ll be the first to admit that. Like I said, I spend most of my time on Facebook because it’s easier. Also, a good majority of my “impulse buys” have been through something I saw on Facebook. A blurb. Someone talking about the book they just read. An ad (which can get expensive, so think about them before you pay for one).
My point is that in this day and age, you need to have some kind of social media presence as an author. You don’t have to use your real name, or even your real picture. I have another profile for my alternate pen name and the profile picture is one I got off (paid for, of course). And you must interact with your readers. The quickest way to get “unfollowed” is to ONLY post “BUY MY BOOK!” links. Be engaging. Be friendly. Talk about your cat/dog/bird/hamster/fish/unicorn, whatever book you’re reading, the TV show you’re into, the movie you just went to see…anything to make a connection with the reader.
Nora Roberts, Stephen King…they make more money than we could ever dream of seeing (okay, I dream of seeing that much–and spending it) and they’re still online. I follow Stephen King on Twitter and have his tweets sent directly to my texts on my cellphone. I have Nora Roberts’ posts on FB set to show first (because I’ve been a fangirl of hers since I was nine). We all know they have better things to do than Tweet or Facebook. But if they want to continue selling as well as they do, to meet new fans from their office or living room or wherever it is they’re posting from that day, they’re online.
Did y’all know I used to be a book reviewer? It’s true. I was known as MamaKitty from 2009 until 2014 when I closed down my site to pursue writing and editing more seriously. When I went to conventions, because of my online presence, people knew me. I actually had authors jump out of their seats to hug me because we’d established a relationship online. I met Sue Grimshaw from Random House/Penguin, and not only did she remember my name because of our many Twitter conversations, but she mentioned that she habitually read my blog and looked forward to my upcoming release (before I was published). Someone from Random House actually wanted to read my book! Without my submitting to them or begging them to read! I don’t know if she ever actually did, but the fact that she even expressed excitement that I was being published still blew my mind.
We live in a digital age, my friends. If we embrace it, it’ll embrace us right back in the form of sales and exposure.

Oct 21

5 Words or Less topic is: My Style, My Looks, My Personality

five words or lessMy Style: Comfortable, casual, jeans, t-shirt, sneakers.

My Looks: Pale, blue eyes, red hair.

My Personality: Blunt, caring, loyal, maternal, diligent.

Want to see what my blog sisters wrote? Click on their names below:

Bronwyn ||| Jessica ||| Kris ||| Jess

Oct 20

DARK PURSUIT release day!

Happy release day to my awesome and wonderful collaborators in this fabulous anthology!

Today, we’re all telling you about our favorite character from the book and why. My favorite character from Next Lifetime? Wow, that’s difficult. Luke was by far the easiest for me to write. He’s a badass vampire hunter who’s torn between his duty and the passion he feels for his soulmate…who’s a vampire. I love seeing what happens when you shove people into difficult situations and seeing how they react. Torturing Luke was probably more fun for me than it should’ve been, but let’s face it: I’m an author. It’s my job. :)

Want to see the other authors’ faves? Click on their names.

Kris Norris ||| Jessica Jarman ||| Bronwyn Green

dark pursuit


Rising Blood by Bronwyn Green
Vampire hunter, Harper Yovanoff, is not happy. She’s been assigned a new partner—one who’s an utter pain in her ass. Elliot Zielin is gorgeous, but he’s also reckless and insufferably arrogant. If he’s not careful, the vampires will be the least of his worries.

Elliot knows he should play nice with his new partner but can’t resist poking the bear—the tiny, angry bear who’s so freaking beautiful, she makes him ache for things he shouldn’t. Despite the fact that Harper has a stake with his name on it, he keeps pushing.

When a powerful vampire begins stalking hunters, Harper and Elliot are forced to work even more closely together. With tempers and adrenaline high, letting off a little steam goes way too far, and they end up in a place they never expected. Fighting their growing feelings becomes impossible, but if they can’t stop the sire hell-bent on their destruction, all the love in the world won’t save them from becoming the very thing they hunt.

Tempted to Death by Jessica Jarman 
Months ago, Tara Wilcox ran away from Luca Castell and Oliver Gordon. She’d fallen hard for the pair of hunters, fearing their growing feelings and the possibility they’d find out that she is one of the things they hunt.

Luca and Oliver are partners, in every sense of the word, and spend their lives running toward danger. Falling for Tara was the biggest risk they’d ever taken, and her vanishing had gutted them.

But, she’s back, desperate for their help. Reigniting their love is simple. But nothing is simple when, faced with an impossible choice, Tara reveals the truth.

Now that Luca and Oliver know, Tara has another choice to make—run again or trust that they’ll look beyond the monster she fears they’ll see.

Content Warning: Tempted to Death is an MMF ménage and contains depictions of MM intimacy and sex. 

Grave Measures by Kris Norris
Not all souls go quietly.

After the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Daniel Cartwright had thought banishing her spirit would bring him peace—allow him to move on. Until her ghost returns. She wants Daniel to join her…and she’s not taking no for an answer.

Arrynn Baker has watched Daniel flourish into one of Threshold’s best hunters. And is proud to be his partner. There’s just one small issue… She’s fallen for the man. Hard. While she’s not opposed to taking him as a lover, she’s not convinced he feels the same.

When a grisly new killing rocks both their worlds, lines get crossed, and Daniel knows he’s got a choice to make. Either be content with one night with Arrynn, or man up and jump in. But, if he wants a future with the woman of his dreams, he needs to deal with his past, once and for all. Even if the solution takes grave measures.

Next Lifetime by Paige Prince
Born a witch, Sarah keeps her gift and her love of William, a lowly farmhand a closely guarded secret. Their plans for a life together come to a grisly end when one of the world’s most feared and evil vampires finds out about her power and decides to take it.

A hundred years later, William has been reborn as Lucas Dagan, a powerful vampire hunter, with no memory of his past. But, Sarah, now known as Caitlin, remembers. Worse, she’s now the very thing Lucas has sworn to exterminate. Any chance they might have had at happiness has been crushed.

Duty and passion collide when Caitlin and Lucas are forced to fight together to save the world. But will determination and remembered love be enough? Because if evil has its way, there won’t be a Next Lifetime for anyone.

Buy links:

AMAZON ||| B&N ||| iBooks ||| Kobo ||| ARe 

Oct 16

Real life ranting: Emergency room visits, substandard care, patient care…

I read an article today where a husband speaks about the bullshit treatment his wife received when they went to the Emergency Room not long ago. His wife, Rachel, was in severe pain and he’d never seen her like that before. It was so bad that he called an ambulance, rather than taking her himself or waiting to see their family doctor.

That right there should’ve been an indication that something was severely wrong. Yes, some people use the ambulance as a taxi service when they could’ve easily driven themselves or waited to see their PCM. Yes, some people use the ER as their own private doctor’s office when they’ve got a simple cold or the flu. But the majority of patients I see every day are NOT attention seekers or drug seekers. They’re real people with real pain and should be cared for as such.

I was going to post this on my Facebook, but when it became more of a book than a FB post, I decided to put it here, instead. If some of you read it and take something away from it, awesome. If not, I got a good vent session out. But it really is something that needs to be addressed. All people deserve decent care from the hospitals and urgent care centers and medical staff, in general.

We have a tendency to disconnect ourselves from our patients. Honestly it’s the only way we stay (relatively) sane and still do what we do every day.But you can distance yourself emotionally while still giving excellent patient care.

My response to the article:

I see this all the time. My mother is frequently asked if she’s been drinking when she comes in with pain due to her chronic pancreatitis, type I diabetes (especially when she has diabetic ketoacidosis because her blood sugar is so difficult to control), and chronic pain from a doctor cracking her chest during an emergency operation and accidentally crushing her nerves. My mother doesn’t complain. When you ask how she’s doing, normally she just says she’s doing okay, even if she’s exhausted and in so much pain she can barely breathe. Literally. When she broke her hip, they treated her as though she was just seeking attention, or worse yet: drugs. Every single time we go to the hospital, we have to jump through hoops just to get her taken seriously. Why is a man’s pain so much more important than a woman’s?

Yes, I work in the medical field. Yes, I see drug seekers and people who just don’t want to be at work. But as medical professionals, we’re supposed to take care of ALL of our patients. We’re not supposed to be biased against someone because of the color of their skin or the parts they use to reproduce. Every time I xray a patient, I treat them as though I were treating my own mother — with respect and kindness. I ask if there’s anything I can do to make them more comfortable. If they’re in pain, I find a nurse. If they’re cold, I get them a blanket. Hot? I turn down the A/C. Bored? I turn on the TV or stand there and talk to them for a few minutes. It’s basic human kindness, and EVERYONE deserves that.

I know that the hospital staff is overworked and underpaid. BELIEVE ME, I KNOW. I’ve worked about 10 hours of overtime, this week alone. I stayed after my allotted clock out time today to finish up with one patient, only to take care of five more because we didn’t have enough techs to handle the work volume. But I never once made the patients feel like shit because they happened to be keeping me there when I should’ve been at home in my PJs, proofreading an awesome book or editing several others. I had a patient’s wife hug me today because every time I see her, I remember her name and ask about her husband. I can’t do that with every patient I see because there are so many, but I try to at least remember faces. I let them know they’re cared about and not forgotten.

I also know that we deal with people every single day who come in with some kind of malady that they feel needs to be addressed RIGHT THEN. Rather than be condescending assholes and tell people to wait their turn and it’s just a little pain, we need to actually pay attention and assess the patient’s needs. You know, TRIAGE (which is defined as: the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties). Talk to the patient. Perform a fucking exam. It’s not hard to do.

Oct 14

Wednesday Blogging: Guilty Pleasures


Today’s topic is Guilty Pleasures & Indulgences. This should be easy, right? Wellll…. My biggest guilty pleasure is books. Romance, in general. Smutty romance specifically. And no, I don’t mean The Book That Shall Not Be Named. That is trash that glorifies domestic abuse. That is NOT my guilty pleasure.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of the “forbidden” romances. Stepbrothers, mostly. Jen McLaughlin/Diane Alberts just released one called Bad Romance that I couldn’t put down. I’m a big fan of Sabrina Paige and Abigail Graham’s stepbrother romances, too. They’re such amazing authors and write so beautifully.

(I’m not putting pictures or links because once again I’m doing this late and I’m at work)

Another huge guilty pleasure/indulgence? MUSIC. I still listen to music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. My biggest guilty pleasure is the Backstreet Boys, N SYNC, and New Kids on the Block (aka NKOTB). They’re the groups I grew up with, and yes I still have a crush on Kevin Richardson from BSB, Justin Timberlake from N SYNC, and Joe McIntyre from NKOTB. How can I not? They can sing their asses off and they’re still gorgeous.

My newest guilty pleasure? Football. I’ve been watching a lot of Houston Texans lately (Hi: JJ WATT). I’ve always kept up with college ball, but I’m making an effort to follow my 2 favorite teams: the Navy (for obvious reasons) and Notre Dame. My dad went to ND, so they’ve got a place in my heart.

Seeing all those lovely men in tight clothing doesn’t hurt, either.

Check out my blog sisters links on the sidebar to see what they’ve written about since I don’t currently have their links (I’ll update the post when I get home tonight).

Bronwyn || Jessica || Gwen

Oct 11

Protected: “I’ve got a good life now. I’ve moved on…”

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Oct 07

Wednesday blogging: Favorite things – Holiday

favorite things

Today’s post should be easy for me, since Christmas has always been my favorite holiday…except for the past few years, I’ve liked the holiday less and less. It’s become so commercialized that I don’t recognize it anymore. That’s not to say all the rest of the holidays aren’t commercialized as well. They are. companies want to make money. I don’t blame them – being able to pay your bills is a fairly nice thing.

I realized when I started bringing baked goods in to work a week or so ago that this time of year is “my time.” I like to bake and bring it in (so that I don’t end up eating it alllllll). Cookies, cake, pie, cupcakes, brownies, you name it and I bake it. Mostly. I hate lemon and I hate meringue, so I won’t do that kind of stuff. LOL

This is the part where I ususally put pretty pictures of the types of food I like to bake, but the computer at work is going SO SLOW this morning that it’s difficult to bring up decent pictures while still having time to write anything on the blog. I have to clock in at 7:00, and that’s….right now. Oops.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s the beginning of pumpkin everything (and as much as I bitch about it, I LOVE the taste of pumpkin), it’s the time of year when I can put crazy colors in my hair and not have people look at me twice. We get to dress up, even at 32, and go out to play with our kids (or with our friends). It’s fun and creative and brings out the decorator/stylist/baker in me.

Maybe that’s why I love it so much. It allows me to be creative.

Check out what my blog sisters have chosen:

Kris ||  Kellie || Gwen || Bronwyn || Jessica

Oct 05

Trying something new: coffee rubbed steak

So, I bought some steaks to make for Mr Prince, who absolutely loves his red meat. Unfortunately, our grill is out of commission, and our usual “salt, pepper, and garlic” method isn’t going to cut it this time. Even if it’s started in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven.

So, I went on the hunt for a new recipe full of flavor and deliciousness. I believe I’ve found it. I’m going to give it a try tonight, but it looks so yummy that I wanted to post the recipe to share with y’all.

Also, I wanted to make up for the fact that I’m not doing the flash fiction that my blog sisters are posting because I’m hip deep in edits for an anthology at Torquere.



coffee-rubbed-rib-eye-940x600Coffee-Rubbed Rib Eye


Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 1 2-inch-2 1/4-inch-thick bone-in beef rib eye (about 2-2 1/2 pounds), preferably dry-aged, at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Flaky or coarse sea salt

Spice Rub

  • Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer to an airtight container. DO AHEAD: Spice rub can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Season steak with kosher salt and 2 tablespoons spice rub, pressing onto all sides of meat and adding more spice rub by the teaspoonful if needed to coat entire surface.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet (be sure to have fan on high; the rub creates some smoke). Sear steak for 1 minute (any longer and the rub will start to burn). Transfer steak to a plate and carefully drain fat from skillet.
  • Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and sear other side of steak for 1 minute. Add butter, garlic, and herbs to skillet; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste steak repeatedly with butter for 1 minute. Turn steak and baste other side for 1 minute.
  • Pile herbs on top of steak, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 125° for medium, 15-17 minutes.
  • Transfer steak to prepared rack; let rest for 20 minutes. Cut steak from bone, slice, and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Recipe by Josef Centeno

Sep 30

Happy release day to Elise Hepner!

AMarriageOfInconvenience72Today is my critique partner’s book birthday! Everyone run out and grab A Marriage of Inconvenience!

Check out an excerpt below:

“Bash? You still here with me?” Her voice cut through his thoughts like a knife through hot butter, and he shifted on the couch and cleared his throat.

“Yeah, I’m sorry, what did you say?” He blinked, but she hadn’t made a move toward him still nursing her coffee with two hands. She wouldn’t turn around until she’d forgiven him, so he anticipated he’d see a good portion of her back through the most of the morning.

“Don’t you want other people at the wedding? People from your side of the family? I mean, if we overlook the fact that this idea is asinine. If we’re really going through with the idea…don’t you want…more?”

A million cheesy lines flashed through his thoughts. Instead, he chose the truth knowing she didn’t deserve anything less for agreeing to put up with his ass for all eternity.

“The only person who I’d want there is dead. Nothing else really matters much.”

She didn’t make a sound, but he could guess that she heard him judging by the slight cock of her head.

“Don’t tell me it’s your ideal wedding, either,” he continued knowing he couldn’t rest too long on the path their train of thought would lead him down. Maybe when the marriage was all said and done, but for now, the idea was too fresh. “I know you’ve always wanted something big, elegant, lavish. A storybook affair. Not a simple ceremony where the only reception smells are antiseptic and bleach.”

Izzy shrugged one shoulder nibbling on her croissant. “We make sacrifices.”

“I would say agreeing to marry me is quite a big sacrifice.” Sebastian couldn’t wipe the ruthless grin off his face even though she wouldn’t turn around to see it.

“I never actually agreed, you know.”

For a beat, they hung there, and he knew it was up to him to make or break the moment.

“You will, though. When I do it right.” He shifted, licked his lips. “And I will do it right, Izobel. I won’t allow this to be one of my regrets, not where you’re concerned.”

“You should have asked me. There was nothing about that ambush that was okay, Sebastian.”

“I know. Believe me, I know.” He exhaled in frustration and draped his arms in between his spread legs groping for the right words that wouldn’t leave him so emotionally exposed. He didn’t think he could handle her seeing him undone today. It would be too much on top of everything else that was flooding his mind as the reality of their nuptials hit him like a freight train. “You know I had a good reason to push you. I did it the wrong way, but for the right reasons.”

“Your mother,” Izzy supplied, voice cracking on the words, slipping on the emotions he was damming up. “You don’t have to go there—“

“A little late for that, love.” Bash linked his hands together and soldiered on knowing that he had to get this out, or Izzy would never understand. Right now, she needed to get it. He tried again. He’d try as many times as it took until she didn’t feel second best for agreeing to his plan. “My mother’s life was full of fear, disgust…maybe hatred. And then she was gone. There were no more chances. She was snuffed out by a sick freak who used her fear like an emotional drug, and she never knew anything else. So I couldn’t live with myself if your mom didn’t have whatever scraps of happiness we can give her before her big send off, because I won’t bury another mother knowing that her last moments were Hell. I can’t take that again.” He blinked and barely breathed because even though it was over the acceptance of his past stung deep into a sudden, sharp ache in the center of his chest. Shit, but there was no help for it.

“It wasn’t your fault. You were a kid—”

“Old enough to call the cops. Old enough to run and get help. There were an unlimited amount of options, and I didn’t choose any of them.” When he scrubbed a hand down his face he wished he could take away the memories. The insistent stab of them made his eye sockets throb with the beginnings of a headache. “The only reason we’re talking about this is because I want you to know I don’t take what I did lightly. Sure, was it impulsive? Absolutely. But it came from the purest place imaginable. I know it’s selfish and demanding, but I need you to forgive me. Do you think you can do that? I don’t know if I can say my vows knowing that you’ve vowed to hate me for the rest of our lives, you know?”

“With a speech like that what do you expect me to say?”

They both fell silent, and he didn’t think he had the strength to look up from the paint-splattered concrete floor. He’d said a hell of a lot more than the last time he’d spilled his guts. A drunken night in college on the anniversary of his mother’s death had led to a good deal of emotional blundering through mine fields. But she’d stayed with him the whole night. Even when he’d begged her to leave. Izzy was good like that, and he couldn’t say he was always the best for her at all—or even the majority of the time.

“Stop internally flogging yourself before I kick your ass. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. I won’t pressure you to say anything else about it. Just make sure you show up on time and look pretty.”

Sometimes it took his breath away how she simply knew what he needed in the moment and gave it to him without question. A tentative smile pulled across his cheeks. The barest hint, but it was sure as hell enough to shove the demons back for another five minutes.

“Thank you,” he breathed out. “I know I’m—“

“You’re something, all right.” She helpfully supplied before he felt her warm hand cupping his chin until she jerked his gaze up to meet her shimmering brown eyes. “We’re okay. By no means golden, but we’re okay.”

A couple walnut-colored tendrils curled around her face escaping from her ponytail and he made a fist, unsure if brushing the strands away would lead them on a path he couldn’t see down. He couldn’t afford any more slip-ups. Not and have their friendship survive. For what must have been a single second, but seemed like a thousand heartbeats, he didn’t breathe while her searching gaze crept over his face.

“I love you, you silly asshole.” She squeezed his left hand, as she did every time they went through their ritual.

“The feeling is mutual, damnably perfect wench. Please continue to keep me in check as only you can, okay? We’ve both got issues right now, and I’d rather not give you the short end of the stick because I can’t be a big boy and get over my own shit. If you need me, now isn’t the time to go all soft and gooey.”

“I’m oka—”

“You are so not okay. Don’t play that card with me.” Sebastian met her eyes head on, and this time, she jerked away licking her lips with a quick swipe of her pink tongue. “Don’t play pretend with me. I’ve been through this before, remember?”

“Talking about it isn’t going to change anything. Words aren’t going to make me feel any better,” Frustration leaked out of her tone until his throat tightened, and he squeezed the hand he was still holding on his knee. “There isn’t a quick fix, no magical compartment I can shove all my emotions into and get on with the rest of my day. I don’t have anything left to cope.”

A rush of air left her lungs as if she’d been holding the weight in her chest waiting for just the right time to breathe again.

“You’re not okay,” he supplied trying his best to stay neutral and not rub it in her face.

“No. I’m not. I’m not okay.”

“What do you want to hear?”

“Lies. Feed me blissful lies, Bash.”

“It all gets better with time. The memories fade. Eventually, that sick feeling that migrates underneath your breastbone, that dies away until you can almost take a deep breath, again. The only way out is through, but when you’re through, you’ll be better for having done it.” His thumb idly brushed against her hand, and she glanced back toward him as he noticed the shimmer of tears in her eyes.

This time when he brushed the barest kiss across her cheek, he knew it would be impossible to erase the sensation of her soft, warm skin beneath his lips. He’d be wearing her body heat across his face like an invisible brand. She was always with him, even when she wasn’t.

In that moment, he knew he could make her the happiest woman on earth or rip her world to pieces by his simple existence. It was all a choice.

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