Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sweet Barbarian Preorder Plus Teaser Excerpt!


My preorder status for Sweet Barbarian is officially ON! As of now, you can pre-order your copy of my brand-new romance novel for 99 cents.

I'm thrilled that preorders have been steadily climbing over the past few days, and Sweet Barbarian just hit the Top-100 Amazon Best Sellers list for Kindle eBooks Time Travel Romance (wow oh wow!) [Update 11-28-16 9:00pm - It's now in the Top 50 for Kindle eBooks Time Travel Romance AND Top 100 for ALL Time Travel Romance!!]

Big moment in my world.
Okay, so the pre-order thing is doing well. :-)

I shared a synopsis of Sweet Barbarian in  this post and in  this one, and here's a teaser excerpt from chapter 1:

Share body heat to warm the person up, not electric heat, the Mayo Clinic website said. Without clothes. Geez, Louise. Karly hurried to her extra bedroom closet to get a fleece blanket, dropped it on the floor near the stranger, then bent over him to work on removing his wide leather belt. It was very authentic-looking, with a homemade wrought iron clasp that looked like something straight out of the forges in Skyrim. She worked it loose, then fiddled with the waistband of the leather skirt until she figured out how to unwrap it and pull it away from his body. He was wearing an honest-to-goodness loincloth underneath, slung low over his muscular hips with a leather cord, the fabric draped over his bulging groin. His well-developed ab muscles arrowed down toward his pelvis, and his thighs were thickly covered in muscle as well.
Karly forced herself to stop ogling him and scooted back to tug off her boots, shrug out of her T-shirt, and peel off her leggings.
“Panties and bra are staying on, buddy, and I gotta get some of the dirt off you before I can, uh, share body heat.” She quickly swiped at the grime on his chest and belly with a wet towel before awkwardly straddling his waist with her knees. She draped the edge of the fleece blanket over her shoulders, then lay down on top of him with it, slowly, so as not to jar him and cause cardiac arrest. His torso was cold, clammy, and hard, and she shivered a little at the contact of her bare skin on his. She rested her head over his heart, listening for his heartbeat.
Thump. Thump, thump…thump.
“I’m glad I didn’t kill you with the electric blanket,” she whispered, resting her forearms over his biceps under the blanket and settling in. She’d never actually lain naked on top of a man as built as he was, and it was definitely a thought-provoking experience. His enormous size made her feel tiny and light. She hoped she could produce enough body heat to warm him up.
She closed her eyes and lay still, trying to steady her breathing, listening to his heartbeat. Lulu came over to sniff her fingers where they rested on his shoulder.
“You could help me out, you know. Curl up next to his shoulder here,” Karly whispered.
Lulu sniffed his wet, matted mane of hair, then trotted off to her bed by the hearth.
          “Punk.” Karly closed her eyes, willing her body heat to seep into his cold torso, and waited for him to wake up.

Follow my Sweet Barbarian Pinterest board here, and grab your pre-order copy of Sweet Barbarian at this  link.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What Do Vegans Eat for Thanksgiving?

My vegan Thanksgiving plate. Before I went back for seconds on everything.
What do vegans eat for Thanksgiving?

This is a question I often get around this time of year from people who know I eat a vegan diet. To tell you the truth, I don't always have a good answer. For me Thanksgiving is kind of a tough holiday since I don't eat meat, dairy, or sugar. I could just make something from my usual vegan fare and call it good, but it seems like I should be making something special, something Thanksgiving-y, something that requires more planning and time in the kitchen than on other days.

A Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

So this was my menu today:

1. An herbed vegan loaf from Ricki Heller's book Living Candida Free (the recipe is called "Sunday Roast" in her book. All the recipes in the book are vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free, so even if you aren't dealing with Candida, I highly recommend the book for those looking to meet those dietary restrictions.) It turned out more orange than it probably should have because I put in too much sweet potato, but it was still yummy. It's mostly sauteed veggies and herbs with quinoa and chickpea flours to form a soft bread-like loaf reminiscent of a really delicious stuffing/"meat" loaf.



2. Mashed potatoes (Organic Instant from Sprouts) with vegan Brown Gravy, another recipe from Living Candida Free

3. Roasted asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, and tarragon

4. Butternut squash and fresh sage sauteed in olive oil

5. Vegan Sweet Potato Pie from PopSugar (made with my go-to baking sweetener, plant-based Lakanto instead of real brown sugar so it would be sugar free) with Coconut Cashew Whipped Cream (recipe in Living Candida Free)



The vegan loaf, the gravy and the sweet potato pie were moderately labor-intensive (especially all in one meal,) but with instant mashed potatoes and pre-cut butternut squash from Costco, the meal went together within a few hours (some of that passive baking time for the loaf and the pie) and it turned out absolutely delicious to my palate.

So, if you're a vegan looking for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner ideas, or you're just curious what vegans eat, here's my answer, at least this year.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sweet Barbarian Cover Reveal and Release Date!

It's here! Thanks to my talented graphic artist Viola Estrella, the cover for my newest romance novel has all the elements I wanted - gorgeous Visigoth warrior with long wild hair front-and-center, beautiful half-Asian heroine over his shoulder, and her snowy mountain cabin in the background.

Valamir is a wounded 5th-century Visigoth warrior who's sent 1500 years forward in time by a Druid priestess in order to save his life, but at a price. She wants his love and loyalty forever, and makes him pledge it over a blood pact before transporting him to safety.

He ends up trudging down Pike's Peak in a snowstorm just a few days before Christmas in modern-day Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, and passes out in the back yard of high school teacher Karly's cabin in the woods. Her Chihuahua alerts her to a stranger's presence outside, and she finds him half-naked, bleeding from a wound, and in hypothermic shock in the snow.

Once his wounds have been tended and he's been revived, Karly discovers he doesn't speak English (or any other language she can identify,) so she sets about teaching him enough words that he can communicate to her who he is and where he came from.

When his story slowly comes out over the next couple of days, Karly fears her gorgeous, sweet house guest is either delusional or lying, but can't fight her attraction to him emotionally and physically long enough to take him to the police station or the mental ward.

Besides, with her control freak and cocaine addict of an ex-husband determined to harass and threaten her every chance he gets, it doesn't hurt to have a 6-foot-6 behemoth of a man around to beat some ass.

My hero inspirations were Argis the Bulwark (ancient Nordic warrior from Skyrim) and Brock O'Hurn (who looks like he should play an ancient Nordic warrior in Skyrim.) Mm, honey.

You can see all my Sweet Barbarian inspirations - Argis, Brock, the models for Karly and her brother and friends, her cabin, her wardrobe, and her dog - on my Pinterest board for the novel.

This novel was so much fun to write. I read Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Better, and More of What You Love in May, went on a healing vacation to Huntington Beach in early June, and started writing this novel on the airplane on the way there. I finished 3/4 of the first draft in two weeks based on Rachel's suggestions, waited to write the ending until the second draft, and finished the entire book in July. It's been in the various editing stages since then, now in the final edits with my editor Katriena Knights, and the release date is set at December 23rd, 2016. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

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