Saturday, December 8, 2012

What I'm Working On: I WHO HAVE NOTHING

I'm actually working on a few things, but here's a taste of what I'm hoping to bring you in the new year...

I Who Have Nothing
A man bent on revenge...

Darren Dallas watched his father die at the hands of his corrupt business partner five years ago. He left law school, gave up the life he was building, and descended into an underworld where drugs and prostitution run rampant, struggling to survive as he seeks to bring his father’s killer to justice. He’s had many close calls, but none as bad as when he’s almost made by his target after following him into a nightclub and stands face to face with a loaded gun wielded by a murderer.

A woman with a secret...

Contemporary blues singer Ella Lockwood enjoys the local club scene, with loyal fans following her show to show but able to fly under the radar and enjoy her privacy. She never expected to see high school sweetheart Darren Dallas again—not after she abruptly broke his heart several years ago, and certainly not now in the club where she performs while a notorious thug threatens to kill him.

Ella rescues her old flame with a lie, one that throws them together and tangles her in the dangerous web he now lives in. Worse still, the sparks are still there between them, and their rising desire is a fire that threatens to consume them if Darren’s quest—and Ella's past—doesn’t kill them first.


This is to be a standalone contemporary romantic suspense. I LOVE working in this genre, actually--I like straight contemporary, but I found when I was writing the end of WILD HORSES that I really get a lot of joy out of that element of danger. Besides this, I'm looking forward to planning SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL for that very reason (yay, serial killer!)

 
Here's a taste of what's to come in the new book...


Darren stepped outside and raised his hood; the rain had picked up in just the short time he’d been in the club, going from a mist to a drizzle, and from there he anticipated a downpour. And he focused on that, on the feel of rain hitting his face and pelting the top of his hood, because he was too numb to think.

That was Helen Lockwood—Ella, Montanez had called her. It had been years—seven or so, at least—since he’d seen her last but behind the long hair, dangling earrings, and makeup, it was the same girl he knew as a teen.

Or thought he knew.

Heels clacked on the cement behind him in a rush and a moment later, six feet outside the club, he felt her hand wrap around his arm.

“Oh,” she said, her volume loud as she caught up, “honey, you didn’t have to go looking for a taxi. We can walk.”

She tightened her grip, nearly jerking him to a halt. He slowed then came to a stop with a heavy sigh, staring straight ahead instead of at her.

“What the hell are you doing?” she whispered as she leaned close. “Do you know who you were talking to?”

“None of your business.” Sure, he’d tried to move in too soon—tried to grab an opportunity and been caught. Montanez might’ve recognized him eventually. Marco most definitely was a problem.

But he wasn’t going to admit that to her.

“Listen to me...” She shifted to his side and grasped his jacket lapels, drawing him closer. “Two weeks ago, Andrews beat a man into unconsciousness outside the Blue Horizon after it closed. And the witnesses mysteriously forgot everything they saw. You don’t mess—”

He stiffened and tried to pull back, but she held him tight.

“Damn it, Darren, look.” Her eyes flickered to the side pointedly and she raised one of her brows.

Darren focused on his peripheral vision and saw the figure she indicated: Marco Andrews stood outside the club, watching their conversation.

Her face was scant inches below his now, close enough he could smell her spicy perfume. “If they think I was lying, they’ll question why I was lying.”

He nearly snapped a comment about how he didn’t ask her to get involved, but as he stared down at her, he swallowed back the words.

Helen—Ella—gazed up at him from under the hood of her black pleather jacket. Her expressive brown eyes were wide, almost hopeful, and definitely concerned. She hadn’t changed much, still with thick black lashes that looked almost unreal, large lips he remembered, with a pang, how good it felt to kiss.

For a moment the numbness cracked and with it everything pierced him again—the fear, the guilt, and now the near-painful love he’d felt for her so long ago. He shoved it back down again but memory remained, like staring into a bright light and seeing lingering spots when plunged into darkness again.

The sight of her tore at him and his first instinct was to take off and disappear into the night of rain and strangers around them. Staying, even if only briefly, would lead to words—conversations he didn’t want to get into, long-held arguments he didn’t want to have. Helen Lockwood had once broken his heart and no matter the intervening years or a changed name, that’s who she would always be to him.

But for now, he owed her thanks, and wouldn’t put her at further risk. The charade could go on a short while longer.

Darren raised his arm and slipped it over her shoulder, drawing her to him, and they walked through the thickening downpour.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turning a COLD, COLD WINTER a Lil Bit Hotter

It's official: Dani and Adam are back for the holidays.

I mentioned previously I was hoping to call it "Baby, It's Cold Outside"--I love that song and I think the cheeky tone fits the characters. But the title was already in use with the publisher, so that left me on the hunt for another title...

A quirk of mine is that I like to pick song titles for my books, and series often are linked by a musician. Stirling Falls? Wild Horses, Sympathy for the Devil, Gimme Shelter...The Rolling Stones, obviously.

I adore the Stones song "Winter" but I thought the title needed a little more, so this novella is officiall called Wild Horses: Cold, Cold Winter.

 
Six months after the events of Wild Horses, blogger Danyiah Jackson happily lives in the country, loving—and often shocking—her broodtastic horse wrangler boyfriend, Adam Cooper.
 
But her surprise Christmas present for him, done as a prank for her blog and to spring some life-changing news, incites an argument months in the making, bringing the insecurities and vulnerabilities of the pair to the forefront. Adam wants more than he fears she’s willing to give, and Dani has a secret of her own that she fears will tear everything apart.
 
Is a happily-ever-after really possible for an opposites-attract romance?


Coming December 4 from Phaze Books!

Keep warm until then! Here are some tunes to get you in the mood:


If you want to catch up, you'll find Wild Horses on Amazon, Nook, All Romance eBooks, and Phaze--all ebook formats and in print.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Somebody to Love - Now on Nook!

Here it is for Nook readers!

Some exciting new things brewing and I hope to have news for you next week. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Progress: A Dani/Adam Holiday Novella

Though it was time consuming and difficult to write, I admit I really, really loved Wild Horses. I had loads of fun with that one--Danyiah was so much fun to write, and YUM, Adam! Readers have commented that they were hoping for a more solid HEA--I do lean toward slightly more ambiguous endings, I suppose--and that they really missed the couple when WH was over. Though there will be glimpses of them in Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme Shelter, I thought their story was done.

I'm glad to announce I was wrong.

I have a holiday novella in progress with them, hopefully you'll see it next month! It'll bridge the gap between Wild Horses and Sympathy, and possibly tie up a few things while presenting a few more challenges...


Baby, It's Cold Outside
Blogger Danyiah Jackson happily lives in the country, loving—and often shocking—her broodtastic horse wrangler boyfriend, Adam Cooper. But her surprise Christmas present for him, done as a prank for her blog, incites an argument six months in the making, bringing the insecurities and vulnerabilities of the pair to the forefront. Adam wants more than he fears she’s willing to give, and Dani has a secret that threatens to tear them apart for good.
Details to come as I know them!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SOMEBODY TO LOVE: Excerpt

Hey folks!

A huge huge HUGE thank you to those of you who picked up Somebody to Love this week and left a couple of reviews--it means so, so much to me. You rock!

Here's an excerpt from the novella.

-------------

 
Spirits’ Will

 

Marie paced away from the billiard room and James. “I don’t want to hear any ghost stories.”

She heard his steps following and his smooth, deep voice rumble, “Why’s that?”

She stopped abruptly and turned, lantern swinging in her hand. “Because people always die in them.”

“Well...yes. That’s the point.”

“And that’s depressing. So no, no ghost stories, no ghost hunting, no ghost talking, no ghost anything!” She snapped her lips shut, regretting her outburst. He didn’t look any differently at her, of course—expression didn’t change at all except to slip from teasing to more thoughtful.

And the sudden silence hanging between them didn’t bother her, either. Tension rose but it wasn’t unpleasant—instead the air, strangely, seemed to sizzle. Her heart fluttered as she was locked in his blue eyes, held immobile by a sudden yearning for him. James was tall and broad, with brown hair cut short, looking silky to the touch, and a hint of stubble along his strong jaw. He stood casually but it did nothing to diminish his stature, his strength.

They’d parted on bad terms, but no one would guess just looking at him—he seemed like no time had passed. No one would guess the hurt that hollowed her out and left her broken.

Marie looked away from the heat in his eyes and the moment between them ended. Instead she moved for the front door. Some fresh air would do her good—it might cool her suddenly flushed skin. She let the camera hang from her shoulder again and reached for the door.

It didn’t budge.

She frowned and checked the lock. It was fine. Again she twisted at the knob but to no avail—it was stuck, completely shut.

“Well.” James sighed behind her. “Guess you’re stuck with me.”

Her temper flared. “Did you do this?” She turned back to him and pointed at the door. “Seriously?”

His eyes widened but she didn’t believe him for a second. “Such an accusation.” But her unyielding anger seemed to dawn on him at last and he sobered. “It’s not me.” James walked past her, reached for the door, and tried the knob only to have the same result she did.

Forget this—I’m finding another door. Marie shook her head and trekked away from him, down the opposite hall. The floor creaked angrily, announcing her every movement, and she didn’t care. She stalked past the stairs, the lantern swinging in her hand, and down the corridor. She passed two closed doors and two archways leading to dark rooms she didn’t spare a glance to. At the back of the house she found another door and she stomped right up to it and grasped the handle.

This one didn’t open either.

Damn it! She pounded with her free hand against the wood and it just kicked more dust up that filled her lungs and tickled her nose. She coughed and stepped back, glaring at the door as if that might open it. Her head throbbed and pain stretched over the back of her neck. The fear creeping up in her was overshadowed by exhaustion and she slumped against the wall by the door with a sigh.

Steps crossed the floor and while she continued staring at the barred exit, she spoke to James. “You’re telling me that’s not you? Keeping it shut? After all your ghost talk?” When silence followed, she turned her tired eyes to him.

He cast a glance back at her. “No, it’s not me.”

“Then who’s doing it?”

His lips parted.

“Don’t say ghosts!”

“Okay. Spirits?”

I have to get out of here. Once again she pushed past him, still needing to clear her head. This time she turned into the kitchen and set the lantern down, and stopped to look outside. The windows showed a dark, overgrown lawn patterned with dry fallen leaves, and pricks of stars in the sky. She leaned on the counter, peering up at the starlight.

Damn him. He had to be keeping those doors shut somehow.

Marie slipped the camera off her shoulder, set it on the counter, and her gaze trailed over the sink. Her throat was parched and her skin was flushed still, whether from her quick temper or something else, she didn’t know. Though she doubted she’d have success, she reached over and fiddled with the dusty taps anyway.

Nothing. Nothing at all. Whether it was attached to a well with a broken pump or the town line and it hadn’t been turned on with the house being vacant, she didn’t know. And it didn’t matter. No water, damn it.

James’ footfalls sounded on the floor. She sighed and turned around, pressed her back against the counter, and watched his approach. His hands were knotted behind his back and he came nearer, nearer, until her head tilted back so she could continue to meet his gaze. Scarce inches separated them and for some reason her mind went wild wanting—

Stop. It. And get a hold of yourself. But that was easier said than done. She locked her hands onto the counter’s edge and waited.

“Thirsty?” he asked.

“Taps don’t work and I didn’t bring anything. Wasn’t planning on staying, but that was before someone locked me in.”

“I didn’t—”

But she didn’t want to hear it. She started to turn away from him when his arm darted out, barring her path along with the bottle he had in hand.

James said nothing but held still, offering the bottle. At last she relented and took it, turned it back and forth in her hands. The label was too faded to read.

“You didn’t pack wine,” she said.

“Maybe I did. Or maybe...” He seemed to be leaning closer to her still and her heart leapt, the warmth of him enveloping her, his voice dropping low against her ear. “I...stole it from the billiard room.”

Marie grinned. He was exceptionally good at melting away her irritation though she was loath to admit it. “I don’t really want to know what food you might’ve found in there too.”

“Nothing in there but I have sandwiches. They were in my bag.”

Back in the billiard room. She clutched the wine bottle to her chest. “How about eating in a different room?”

“Drawing room?”

She made a face. “Library?”

His expression sobered and he averted his gaze. “Oh. Yeah, I think I passed it on my way.” He took her lantern and started from the kitchen.

Marie watched his retreat for a moment, hugging the old, sealed bottle of wine. Her head continued to ache but maybe some food would make her feel better. Still, locked in here...

The twisting in her stomach told her this night wasn’t going to end well.

------------



The empty house at the end of Landsdowne Lane is supposedly haunted.
Among the alleged ghosts is a couple who died young and, legend has it, they possess the living and draw true love to the house for a night of passion before dawn comes.
 Marie and James are about to find out if it’s true.



Buy on Amazon (Kindle)
Buy on Smashwords (all formats)
Other stores coming soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Open Letter to "tennie75"

I have a question I'm pondering.

My history as a writer is this: I had three releases earlier in the year in close succession: March, May, and June. I had things contracted, scheduled, and planned for the next few months. Instead, it wasn't until the end of October that something else came out.

Why? I explained my self-imposed break already, and the reality is that aside from 3K on Still in Love with You, until I wrote Somebody to Love this month I didn't write a single word. Not a one. Even my blog was silent.

Somebody to Love is a self release. It was advertised here on my blog (which feeds to Amazon and GoodReads), on Twitter, and on my Facebook page, and that's it--and these were all places where I said that the piracy of Wild Horses hit me hard enough that I had to take an extended break from writing and I wasn't sure if I'd even write Sympathy for the Devil. So when this story was requested at a piracy forum the very same day it released, I know it had to have been someone who actually follows me in some capacity. I know you are or probably will read this in some capacity.

So please explain this to me, "tennie75": Do you not want me to write?

Did you want to read Somebody to Love so badly that you thought the cost of another four months going by without me writing justified it?

Did you think your request was invisible to me? Did you think I wouldn't notice? Did you think I wouldn't immediately close the document I was working on, with no desire to go back to it?

As I said, this book was a self-release. This means I pay for editing. I pay for stock photos. I pay for the software that allowed me to cleanly convert it into various formats. All of that money came out of pocket. I am paid on a per-purchase basis and I'm not even remotely close to making that money back--more people have now illegally downloaded it than purchased it. I spent the past several days working all hours on this story, setting aside family time, setting aside OTHER paid work, in the hopes of delivering a story I was really proud of to readers and that I'd make my money back (and then some), justifying the time I spent on it. I thought, well, if it's a self-release and only advertised here, surely it'll be awhile before people steal it. After all, it's just my fans paying attention here, right?

Nothing is free. The books you steal have a cost, and that is going to come in one of two ways: 1. Lower quality from the authors you take from as they attempt to make up for lost income by producing a lot, or 2. no books at all from the authors who can't justify writing any longer.

I was seriously hoping to get at least two more releases out by the end of the year, thinking that extra income would help out with bills at home, because right now I'm trying to choose between things like keeping my house warm for the winter with the rising electricity costs and paying for medication for my eldest, as we can't afford both.

Please, "tennie75", if the book isn't worth the $2.99 it's available for, is it worth driving me to quit writing altogether?

Regards,

Asha

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Release: SOMEBODY TO LOVE

Surprise! Happy Halloween: I have a new paranormal romance release!

 
The empty house at the end of Landsdowne Lane is supposedly haunted.
 
Among the alleged ghosts is a couple who died young and, legend has it, they possess the living and draw true love to the house for a night of passion before dawn comes.
 
Marie and James are about to find out if it’s true.
 

I didn't announce this one ahead of time as I wasn't sure if I'd have it done in time. As you may have guessed, I've taken a bit of a break with things, but I'm hoping to have a few projects to you soon. Among them? A Christmas novella featuring Dani and Adam from WILD HORSES!

Right now, Somebody to Love is available immediately on Smashwords in a variety of formats (use the coupon code PY45B to get 10% off until November 1!), and it's pending distribution at Kobo and other sites. Update: Now it's live on Kindle. Update: Also on Nook.

Take care, those of you on the eastern coast, as the storm approaches!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

News Coming Soon!

Hey all! Very, very long time with no update. But I should have some news to share soon. I was also able last night to update the design of my blog--please check it out when you get a chance!

Be back with BOOK NEWS in a few days!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What I'm Working On...

Well, I did take my self-imposed break after all the piracy and feel a bit better. Currently, STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU--the next Circle of Friends novella--is in progress. I'm also drafting up a new paranormal side project called CATS IN HEAT. Still on the brain is SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIl--it definitely won't be seen until the end of the year at the earliest. Novellas are just a lot easier to get through with working full time.

Speaking of, I found out today WILD HORSES was the Top Pick in the AllRomanceeBooks newsletter! Woot! It came with a wonderful review, and now the WH book page at ARe has a nifty little symbol to signify it. I'm so thrilled! It's always great to hear when people enjoy the work.

I have lots to get done and little time to do it in, so it's back to work with me.

Happy reading!

Asha

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Taking a Break

Well...it's been an interesting week, darlings.

I started out SO excited. Wild Horses was *finally* coming out. This book took about three months for me to write--I had to revise things a lot of times, as a novel (even a short one) is an entirely different beast from a novella. You might know it was originally scheduled for a June 5 release but I got a two week extension because it wasn't ready in time. I really stressed over this book but, in the end, I was proud of it. I love the characters. I had a lot of fun writing the sex scenes. And I was really hoping it was one readers would love too, since they've been asking for longer works by me.

The day after Wild Horse was released, it was requested at a piracy forum (already pirating one of my novellas).

I won't get into complaining about this or explaining why it's wrong. Lots of others have before me and I'm nowhere near as eloquent.

The problem is that I politely wrote to this forum, explaining that I'm a new author, this is a new release not selling many copies, and could they please have some empthay for me and take it down--I'm trying to provide for my family here. Instead, one of the admins bought the book a few hours later just to upload it.

It hits like a punch in the gut, the wind knocked out of you. This book was so hard to write. And I know readers frequently complain they want longer books by me but...but I'm looking at my plans for the next Stirling Falls book, Sympathy for the Devil, and wondering whether or not it'll be worth it. Hopefully, a few royalty statements from now will show it *is* worth it despite the piracy and maybe Sympathy can be out by the end of the year. I hope so--I really want to share Tash's book with you.

The next Circle of Friends novella, Still In Love with You, was due out next month, but I think I'm going to grudgingly ask for another extension and take a bit of a break right now. I've had one release after another and this past week hit me really hard. I'm not ashamed to say I cried when they uploaded my new book--it hurt. Hopefully Kashayla and AJ's story will release in August instead and I'll get back in the groove of things again.

If you bought any of my books, I want to personally thank you so much. I wish more readers were like you and I really hope you enjoy my stories. <3

Asha

Thursday, June 21, 2012

WILD HORSES - Links to Buy

It's live on all the different resellers now, so here are some links for you:

Phaze Books: You get a zipped folder with all the formats you could want or need (PRC, MOBI, HTML, EPUB, PDF). Also in print there now (with Near to You included as a bonus).

Amazon: for your Kindle (print coming soon).

B&N: for your Nook (print coming soon).

AllRomanceeBooks: your choice of ereader format.

Wild Horses isn't a novella like my other releases--it's a short novel (over three times the length of, say, Near to You), which is why it's $4.99. It has lots of sexy times, slightly less vanilla than my other work. I'm nervously awaiting both reader feedback and eventual royalty reports, as there are two more Stirling Falls books planned (and contracted), but my first foray into erotic novel writing took a LOT out of me (coupled with sending takedown notices for my other work--folks, please encourage your friends not to pirate, as it's very disheartening), so I'll see if it's worth continuing. I do hope so! It was lots of fun to spend more time with the characters--and come up with ways to keep the nudity interesting after a few times. ;-)

I hope you get a chance to pick it up and enjoy!

Asha

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WILD HORSES Release Day!

I'm so happy this one is now available! You can find it at Phaze Books in various ebook formats as well as print (print also contains my novella NEAR TO YOU). It'll be at other sellers shortly.

I thought it would be fun to answer some random reader questions that I haven't, in fact, been asked yet, but seemed like they could be. (Most reveal I have the finesse of a spaz.)

1. Were YOU ever stepped on by a horse?
Yes! Um...three times so far. Nothing broken but it is PAINFUL. Especially when the horse won't move but just stands there, like your foot is comfortable to stand on.

2. Were YOU ever almost run down by a horse?
Yes! A few times. I've had to stand in doorwarys and block paths so they don't run in particular places. It's rather scary.

3. Were YOU ever dragged down a hill by a horse?
No, because I had the sense to let go of the lead immediately when in the field. They are pretty damn fast.

4. English or Western?
I spent a lot of time at a Western farm now but I was raised English.  ;-)

5. When does SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL come out? (Bonus totally non-horse related question.)
Not for a while yet. Tash's story is still forming in my head. Hopefully by the end of the year! I'm excited to get to this one.

Here's the link to Wild Horses: http://phaze.com/book.php?title=Wild+Horses Coming to other sellers soon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

WILD HORSES Excerpt!

Want to meet Danyiah and Adam from my upcoming novel, Wild Horses? Read on!



Chapter One


“I’m just saying, if I blogged about this, I bet my hits—”

“Then stop saying it,” Therese said sharply as she cut a look to the rearview mirror.

Danyiah’s dark brown eyes met her friend’s and she made a face.

“Mature,” Therese muttered.

“The reason Dani Girl is popular in the first place is because I talk about these things openly with my readers. Bad dates, bad job interviews, bad—”

“Stalkers?”

Danyiah pressed her lips together, crossed her arms under her breasts, and glanced out the side window to sulk. Rolling bright green hills, acres of fields, and thick wooded areas passed by. The sky overhead was a rich blue and cloudless, and sun beat through the car windows, warming her arm despite the blasting air conditioning. Still, the beautiful June day did nothing to brighten her sour mood.

“You heard Dr. Van Ike,” Randy said from the passenger seat as he glanced back at her. His auburn hair stuck up in all directions, and Dani had to suppress the urge—again—to offer him a comb. He shifted, leaning his tall, broad frame back in the seat which was already pushed far back to give him leg room. “Discussing the threats publicly could trigger him.”

Right, so she was supposed to shut down her whole life? For how long? There was a big “ON HIATUS” notice at the top of her blog now. As of this morning, it had nine hundred and thirteen comments, and she hadn’t had time to read them all before her best friend Therese and boyfriend Randy were there to pick her up for the long drive into the country. And now her apartment was closed up, she was on a leave of absence from her part time job at a coffee shop—a job she actually liked—and with no idea of how long it would be for. Sure, the good doctor thought staying low while they collected her email and snail mail, intercepted her calls, and monitored her website was a good idea. They might be able to narrow down exactly who they were dealing with. And maybe he was right. But at the same time, she loathed the fact that some creep with too much time on his hands could run her out of her own life like that.

“She’s still sulking,” Randy said with a sigh. His glasses shifted and he pushed them higher on the bridge of his nose, then offered a half-hearted smile.

“Of course she is,” Therese responded.

The problem with Therese was that she’d known her five years, Randy for three, and neither put up with her attitude.

She already missed her home in the city and they’d only left two and a half hours ago. The nearest town out here for miles was an itty bitty, country bumpkin place called Stirling Falls—a real blink-or-you’ll-miss-it kind of deal. She was going to lose her mind.

Danyiah flicked at the bright pink paint on her nails but it didn’t chip. How long that would last, she didn’t know—since everyone at Thompson Hills Quarter Horses had no idea why she was coming to stay there, the story passed around was that she’d be working. Dani had no problem with a hard day’s work; her blog picked up initially as she chronicled her days as a clown at a child’s birthday party, then a clerk at a sex toy shop, then the assistant for an eccentric modern artist, then during her very brief stint making donuts. No, her problem was that she had to be a farmhand and couldn’t document it, couldn’t talk about it—couldn’t reveal where she was, or why she’d gone, or be herself. After years of cultivating a persona and defining who Danyiah “Dani Girl” Jackson was, she had to stop.

Therese’s GPS announced that they were to take a right. Dani gazed between the seats and glimpsed the long, dusty road leading through tall gates. Log fencing sectioned off the front field and horses grazed over grass, some lifting their heads to face the approaching car and others preoccupied with food. Multiple buildings stood in the distance, barns tall and new-looking, and at the far end of the road sat the sprawling one story ranch house.

Car tires spit dust up as they rolled down the gravel road. Dani glanced around, nervousness rising in her stomach. Out in the middle of nowhere—they probably didn’t have WiFi. She might not even be able to check Twitter.

“I will give you a hundred million dollars if you turn around and take me home now,” she said.

No one responded.

“Please?”

Therese shook her head, long blonde hair swishing over her shoulders. “You don’t have a hundred million dollars.”

Killjoy. “Maybe I could get that in advertising dollars if I was allowed to blog about this.”

The car turned, swinging around and coming to a halt in front of the ranch house. It was moments before the dust settled outside her door. Dani grasped the strap of her pale blue coach purse, sighed, and hauled open the door.

Heat blasted her immediately from the hot sun overhead, and a cough sputtered past her lips—apparently the dust wasn’t that settled after all. She gave a groan of displeasure and stepped out of the car. Gravel crunched under her heels as she stood straight and shifted, smoothing her jeans subconsciously. She slid the strap of her bag over her arm and pulled the sunglasses off the top of her head down to cover her eyes, then kicked the door shut with her heel.

Therese and Randy rose as well, talking amongst themselves, and car doors slammed behind her as she took in a view of the farm again. The air was tinged with the scent of animals and wind blew, tossing her dark hair around her shoulders.

“Dani!” a voice called behind her.

She turned and waved over the roof of the car at Gus Campbell standing in the open doorway to the ranch house. He was an old friend of her late father’s, in his sixties with no family, and owned acres of ranch land. Gus had been kind to her for as long as she could remember and there seemed no better place to hide out for a while. He was taller than he looked, leaning heavily on a cane held in his left hand. The heat didn’t agree with him, dappling his broad forehead with moisture, and she figured he was doubly warm in the red plaid shirt tucked over his girth and pair of worn dark jeans.

Gus grinned broadly and then moved to talk to Randy, who carted her bags out from the trunk.

A Doberman came barreling out of the house past Gus, stump of a tail struggling to wag, and long pink tongue rolling form its mouth. It paused for a moment by Dani, let her give it a scratch behind the ears, then raced in the direction of the fields in the distance.

Well, she did like animals, and there were plenty to get along with. Danyiah took several steps from the car while Gus, Therese, and Randy spoke, glancing around.

Middle of nowhere.

Indefinite amount of time.

This will be unbearable with or without a dog to keep me company.

She had her laptop—she could journal still. And would. And maybe when everything was sorted out and they were able to catch and put a stop to whatever loser had been threatening her, she could post everything she’d documented. In fact, she’d be set for blog posts for maybe a month or so when she got back.

Unless this turns out to be the most boring place ever. Which was possible, but then Dani Girl was known for finding something funny with everything. Its writer stalked, threatened, sent into hiding, working as a farmhand? Oh yeah. It would be funny.

A pair of horses whinnied from the fence several feet away. She took a few steps toward them, grinning. One was a bay, the other palomino, both hanging their heads over the top of the fence.

“You angling for food?” she said softly.

Voices shouted in the distance and a steady thrum beat the ground.

Danyiah turned, frowned. The noise grew louder.

Around the side of the bright red barn ahead, dust flew and a huge brown horse came barreling toward her at full speed, blond mane flying and dark eyes wide.

Dani froze from head to toe, staring wide-eyed at the beast.

Behind it, a pair of men shouted, waving their arms. One deep voice carried over the beat of hooves, hollering for her to stop it.

Stop it? It was the size of a Mack truck!

Panic filled her, heart jumping up into her throat. As the horse neared, she squealed and covered her eyes, shoulders turning inward in a cringe as she braced to be run down.

Breeze brushed past her left side, whipping her hair for a moment as the horse passed. She peeled her fingers back one by one, glanced down to see she was fine. A little dusty, but all in one piece. She breathed out a sigh of relief just as the pair of figures beat around the side of the barn after the horse.

“He’s headed—” one started.

“For the grain—I got it.” A short, skinny guy ran past her, tipping his head in her direction with a grin. “Ma’am.” And off he went, in pursuit of the enormous horse who had his head stuck in a barrel against the side of the house.

Dani shook her head. It would make such a good vlog topic—she could get really animated in her telling of it and do sound effects and stuff.

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

She snapped to attention again, turning back to face the other white man.

A black Stetson sat on his head, casting dark shadows over his face—but she glimpsed enough of his expression to see it was a scowl. Brows pulled low over dark eyes, and his chiseled jaw was scruffy with something well past five o’clock shadow. As for the rest of him, he stood over a head above her, and a white T-shirt streaked with dirt stretched over his powerful shoulders and chest.

If he hadn’t just snarled at her, she might’ve needed to pick her jaw off the ground; instead, she prickled with irritation and crossed her arms under her breasts. “Excuse me?”

“You hear us shouting to stop a horse and you cover your eyes? Just standing there? I repeat, what the hell is wrong with you?”

Dani ground her teeth. “Your freakishly large horse could’ve killed me! Was I supposed to grab on? Stop it with my mutant psychic powers or something? Create a force field?”

He stared at her. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you expecting some random person to—”

“Listen, princess—”

“No harm, no harm.” Gus ambled over, gravel crunching under his feet and cane. “Look there, Dewey’s got him. Everything’s fine.”

Only when Gus reached them and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder did she realize just how tightly she was wound. Dani sucked in a breath, trying to calm her nerves, but glowered still at the stranger who glared right back at her.

“This is my...well, sort of goddaughter, I suppose you could say,” Gus said, gesturing at her. “She’ll be staying here for a bit.” He turned to her next. “Danyiah Jackson, meet my head horse wrangler, Adam Cooper.”

Cooper did not extend his hand.

Neither did she.

“Erm...well.” Gus cleared his throat.

Steps approached and a moment later, the giant horse appeared in her peripheral vision along with the guy—Dewey, Gus had called him—leading him with firm hand on the halter. Cooper said nothing more, just reached for the horse and swung onto him bareback.

Once he’d settled, he glanced down at Gus. “I’ll discuss this with you later.”

Gus brushed his hand over his sweaty brow and nodded.

Cooper urged the horse on, not looking back once. Dewey jogged at his side, turning just once to nod again at Dani before catching up.

Dear God, I want to go home.

“Come, Dani.” Gus smiled at her and gestured for the house. “Let’s get you settled inside. Adam will warm up the more you talk to him, you’ll see.”

Danyiah sighed as she followed. “I think I’ll just avoid him.”

“Oh, that’ll be a bit hard considering he’s your new boss.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Novellas?

I get a giddy thrill every time someone tells me they've dug one (or both) of my two new releases.

And I feel bad when I get the a few complaints that the work is too short to enjoy.

I understand, I do. I love reading longer books. I love spending tens of thousands of words with characters and their stories. My favourite books are almost always super long novels.

But realistically, as a writer, novellas are enjoyable for me to produce. I like the challenge of telling a hot, complete tale in a limited number of words. Get the chararacters together, have some sizzling chemistry, get their clothes off, and ensure they live happily ever after (for now). I don't like manufactured, dragged out conflicts in romance--I know I differ from a lot of readers in that way, and I'm sorry, but I'd rather my h/h in a novella get on with the sexy times than mope and moan for however many words over a simple problem having an adult conversation can solve.

funny dog pictures - Help...  ...I've run out of weekend!I'm also not fortunate enough to be able to write full time. I put in 45 hr work weeks and I'm pretty beat at the end of the day. This affects writing. Case in point: Wild Horses. A lot of you are eagerly anticipating this one and I'm thrilled about it, but it's very challenging working on a full length nove over a long period of time. I forget a lot of details and have to reread. There's a lot more buildup and tension before the naked parts (which admittedly I find easier to write). I'm going to be a lot more careful in the future before I commit to longer works (though I do have some planned).
As a new erom author who would risk losing name recognition if I went several months between releases, novellas--at this point--make a lot more sense for me to write. As often as possible, I'm going to try to write short series, where each novella touches on the same couple or characters (such as Circle of Friends is), so you print lovers will able able to enjoy them collected into paperback as well.

That's it for me today. I have Wild Horses to work on (still) and the next CoF novella (Shay and A.J.'s book, Still In Love With You) to finish.

Asha

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Release: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
A Circle of Friends Novella

Joshua Lee Merrill has been a playboy for years, never content to settle and convinced there’s no such thing as “the right one”—just “the right now.” For a while, his friends thought he had the perfect woman—until she summarily dumped him and gave his ego a severe thrashing. His group of friends are there to help with his broken heart...but it’s his old pal Derica who suddenly has him hot with desire.

Derica Washington nursed a crush on her friend J.L. for years while he went through a string of girlfriends and never gave her a second look. But now he’s broken-hearted, alone, and his sights are set on her at last. She’s determined not to give in to him, though turning the love ’em and leave ’em attitude on him is tempting. And it can’t hurt to indulge this once...can it?

You can get *all* your preferred formats at various resellers for your ereader of choice.

Phaze Books: http://phaze.com/book.php?title=How+Can+You+Mend+a+Broken+Heart%3F

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/How-Mend-Broken-Heart-ebook/dp/B0081LEHG8/

All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-howcanyoumendabrokenheart-789250-168.html

I was very nervous about this release--it's the first of three connected novellas (as you might guess from the titles, I was listening to a lot of old Al Green songs at the time), and I hope readers enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Good News...& The Bad.

Well, due to a title having to be delayed and my next release all ready, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? is coming early! You'll get to read my next novella in less than a week, avaialble for sale Tuesday, May 8.

This is the first of three connected novellas and I'm very pleased to share it with you. I sincerely hope it's enjoyed as much as Near to You, and that you'll join me for future stories with the characters.

The bad news is that Wild Horses, tentatively slated for June 5, is being delayed. This is my fault, as I don't have the book ready yet and I don't want to rush my editor. I've been given a two week extention so hopefully you'll see it June 19 instead. I've been getting a lot of blog hits about it and I've heard the publisher has received several emails about it. I'm thrilled it's anticipated by readers and I'm sorry for the delay, but I promise I'll get it to you soon.

Well, that's it! I'll have butterflies well into next week, while I wait and see how the new story is received.

To everyone who stops by here, thank you for your support!

Asha

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Broken Heart" Excerpt

Release is less than a month away (May 15!), edits are turned in, and I thought it would be a good time to post an excerpt so readers can meet Derica and J.L. for the first time. :-)

Instead of the first chapter, here's a a glimpse of them from a bit later when they first start to get close...



(Mood music!)
---------------

Shivers danced down Derica’s back as warm fingers trailed up her arm, and then a firm hand clasped her shoulder to turn her around.

She’d danced in a group with him before. Never one-on-one, never to a slow, sensual number like this. But her hands moved up his arms to snake around his neck as he drew her close—very close. Her pulse thrummed wildly as he enveloped her in the heat of his strong arms, pressing her right up against his muscular chest. She averted her gaze, tilted her head down and to the side as they moved.

It took but moments to find their rhythm and then they moved in tune to one another, bodies molding together as if they’d been dancing as a couple for years. And of course, she was prone to wondering if such compatibility would extend to all coupled physical activities as well...

His breath stirred the fine hairs by her temple and the air was charged for a moment as she felt him about to speak. “They were getting to you too?”

Again, that deep voice dipped right under her skin and drove her wild. “Was it obvious I was bolting?”

“Probably not to them. And that kind of stuff goes right over Shay.”

But not him. So he willingly joined her away from the resident Adorable Couple. “Normally they don’t bug me, but...” She shrugged but still didn’t look up at him.

“But?” he prompted, lower this time and right above her ear.

Derica blinked, trying to regain her focus despite the feel of his hot breath caressing her skin. “But I guess I’m in a mood. I’d have stayed home and caught all the Thursday sitcoms if not for Shay calling.”

“Desperate to see me depressed?” He tensed, just slightly but enough that she felt it.

She tilted her head to glance up at him, a small smile taking her lips. “To see you cheered up.”

He held her closer and she felt the rather considerable evidence of him being “cheered up” pressing against her lower belly. Her heart kicked hard again. His eyes were heavy-lidded, staring down at her, but she didn’t linger on them for long; instead her gaze trailed down to his full lips for a moment before dropping again, and her face flamed.

“You’re pretty when you blush,” he said in a low voice and she could nearly hear the smile in his tone.

“I’m not blushing,” she said lightly. “It’s...warm. Poor air circulation with all these people.”

“Uh huh.”

Of course he didn’t believe her. I will not flirt with Joshua Lee Merrill...I will not flirt with Joshua Lee Merrill...

“We could head back to the table if it’ll cool you off.”

It sounded like a challenge—which she found impossible to resist. “If the heat’s a little too much, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

His arms tightened around her, big hands smoothing the material of her dress over her hips. “You do that, Washington.”

-------------

Book Blurb for HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART?:

Joshua Lee Merrill has been a playboy for years, never content to settle and convinced there’s no such thing as “the right one”—just “the right now.” For a while, his friends thought he had the perfect woman—until she summarily dumped him and gave his ego a severe thrashing. His group of friends are there to help with his broken heart...but it’s his old pal Derica who suddenly has him hot with desire.

Derica Washington nursed a crush on her friend J.L. for years while he went through a string of girlfriends and never gave her a second look. But now he’s broken-hearted, alone, and his sights are set on her at last. She’s determined not to give in to him, though turning the love ’em and leave ’em attitude on him is tempting. And it can’t hurt to indulge this once...can it?