Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NEAR TO YOU Now Available!

My debut novella is now available from Phaze Books!
 http://phaze.com/book.php?title=Near+to+You

It's just $2.99 and available in various formats for your ereader or PC such as PDF (so there is no need to pirate, the pair of you here looking), EPUB, PRC, MOBI, and HTML.

Coming soon on other ebook sellers.

I hope you enjoy!

~Asha

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bitten by the Plot Bug!


I'm hard at work at WILD HORSES.

But then a new hero/heroine tapped me on the shoulder.

It's not just them! They brought a whole crew of friends as well, and there'll be a series of at least three novellas in the same series: Circle of Friends. The first one? HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART?

Want a preview of the first one? Working blurb (subject to change) is below.

~*~

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, he 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 Josh 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?



~Asha 

Monday, March 12, 2012

What I'm Working On: Wild Horses

I'm hard at work on my next book, Wild Horses. At this point, the length will probably be a short novel (50 000 words). I'm not ready to share a snippet yet, but want to check out the blurb?


***
Popular blogger Danyiah Jackson is known for finding the humor in anything—until some of her fan mail turns threatening and a stalker makes it clear he’s been watching her. She grudgingly accepts the advice of a threat assessment expert and disappears from the online world, taking temporary refuge at a family friend’s quarter horse ranch in the country.

Head horse wrangler Adam Cooper isn’t thrilled about the smart-mouthed young woman suddenly living and working at the ranch—even if she’s drop dead gorgeous. But their verbal sparing sets his body ablaze and gets his heart racing, and he’s drawn to her despite his misgivings.

As Danyiah and Adam fight their attraction, however, her stalker draws near, putting not only their fledgling love but their lives on the line.
***

I'm having a lot of fun with this one. The chemistry between Dani and Adam is sizzling, and I get to write about horses and barrel racing. More details coming soon!


~Asha

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

NEAR TO YOU Excerpt!

Turned in edits today for my debut novella, Near to You--and I can't wait for you to meet Niara and Brady on March 20. Want to know how it all gets started?  See below!
Chapter One

If the weeds weren’t taken care of by today, Niara Morgan was certain the lot of them would rise up in the night, arm themselves, and attack her home.
They wouldn’t need to do much, either. The house was the fixer-upper even fixer-uppers avoided. New insulation around the windows needed—new windows needed. There was a persistent leak in the upstairs bathroom. She didn’t want to think about the potential flooding in her basement with the house situated this close to the lake. If the weeds laid siege, they’d win by sunset, and too few people lived in the general area to hear her scream.
But the place was hers—all hers, paid for with the divorce settlement. And at least the weeds would be tackled today.
If her gardener ever showed up, that is.
The woman she spoke to at Red Rose Home Help Services said someone would arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30. Her watch said 8:22. She’d sat on the sagging step of her front porch, sipped her coffee, and waited. The drink had long since gone cold, and watery spring sunlight crept over her house, drying dew on the grass.
She had been watching dew dry. Seriously. How boring was that?
It would just be her luck, too. Her appointment yesterday with a contractor to look at the inside of the house had postponed and she still didn’t know when he was showing up. Here only a week and already nothing was going smoothly.
Her cordless phone sat beside her, next to the empty pink coffee mug, and chirped a new call. She was expecting someone from the gardening place to cancel or make up excuses for being behind; instead, a familiar name and number flashed.
Niara sighed. “Hello?”
“I guess he’s not yet tilling your garden if you’re answering the phone.”
She rubbed at her temples. “Hey, Deena.”
“C’mon, that one was funny.”
“Once again, I’m not going to sleep with the gardener.”
A pause, and then genuine confusion. “Why not?”
“Because, dear, this isn’t a porn flick.”
“You’re right,” her best friend conceded. “He might be fugly.”
“And also, I’m not going to have sex with a stranger.”
“It’s a small town,” Deena said. “And you grew up there. You really think that many new occupants entered the rather stagnant gene pool in the past eight years? I bet you totally know the guy.”
It was far too early in the morning to be having this conversation. “The only gardener I knew growing up was Mr. Tansey. He was in his fifties.”
“Maybe he had a son?”
“Gay and childless.”
“It’s rather hard to live vicariously through you when you don’t actually live.”
When “living” had come to mean seducing gardeners like a lonely old married woman, Niara couldn’t say. She rubbed tiredly at her eyes. “Let’s not talk about me. How’s things?”
“I saw Ron the other day and almost ran him down with my car.”
Niara smiled wryly, even as her heart thumped a little harder. “He’s not worth the jail time.”
“True. Plus I think he’s going bald. Definitely has a beer belly. And the way he was moving, I suspect hemorrhoids.”
None of it was true—Niara had last seen her ex-husband two months ago, randomly bumping into him at the grocery store, which was what set her on a mission to just leave town and start anew. And he’d looked good, even then—good in a way that twisted her gut and pierced her heart. Unlike the movies where so often an ugly person was the bad guy, his smooth exterior and expensive suit hid a lying, cheating, emotionally abusive asshole. Just that brief glimpse, the awkward moment when she’d caught his gaze, sent her out of the store and unable to eat for days, wanting nothing more than to hide out from the world as every insecurity he’d carved in her flared to life again.
“You okay, Nia?” Deena said softly.
She shivered, shut her eyes, and drummed her fingers on her temple. “Yeah. Just picturing him with syphilis.”
“I do that sometimes too.” Deena sighed dreamily and Niara chuckled. “So. Gardener—when’s he coming?”
Possibly never. She avoided checking the time again—it would just depress her—and kept her eyes closed, away from the rising sun and the bright green grass and this whole new life that threatened to overwhelm her. “I don’t know. I’ll start pulling weeds myself soon if he doesn’t show.”

****

Brady Trewin had cut his van’s engine ten minutes ago, but hadn’t left the vehicle.
Instead he remained behind the wheel and stared at the small, dilapidated house on the water, through the wild trees and bushes that surrounded the property.
Niara Morgan. Jesus Christ.
His heart accelerated the more he stared, the more he thought, a swell of memories rising up to drag him back.
She’d left town right after high school, eight years ago this June. He knew because he remembered the last time he saw her, right after graduation. He swore this was it—he’d ask her out. Finally. He’d prepared a speech or two so he didn’t sound like a dork and spill everything he’d thought during his four year crush on her. But that entire day, she’d never left the confine of her friends. A week later, feeling an adrenalin high after a long bike ride through the country, he’d shown up at her house, knocked on the door, ready to say everything then.
Gone. Gone, her uncle said—gone from their small, redneck town for the city, and not planning to come back. And now here she was.
The day before he was leaving.
He’d hardly believed it when Cynthia said one Niara Morgan had called looking to hire help for her new house. A joke, he figured—something one of his asshole friends set up, thinking to be funny. His goddamn bags were packed, apartment closed up. He wasn’t even supposed to be working this weekend—he was set to take off in the van, drive across the country, and see where he ended up. Years, he’d been drifting along, saving, no clue in the world what to do with his life, but just knowing he had to leave. Maybe find work out west, maybe just travel for a while. He’d miss his sister but she had her own family, and their dad...he just hadn’t been the same for the past two years. There wasn’t anything keeping him here.
It would be just like his friends to play a prank this last day and pretend his crush from high school was still around. Oh yeah, Nia Morgan, he’d thought when Cynthia offered the appointment, cocking a brow and grinning like she knew. He’d shown up just so he could prove them wrong.
But he stared at her now, still adjusting to the fact that she was real.
Nia sat on the steps of her sagging porch of peeling white paint, a cordless phone to her ear. Her head was bowed, free hand massaging her temple as if she had a headache. Hair was longer than in school, falling in relaxed black waves, and the sun peering around the house gave her dark skin a healthy glow. And though he couldn’t see it now, her face flashed to his mind immediately—her lush lips, deep brown eyes framed in long thick lashes.
Beautiful. Of course she’d be, all these years later. In school he’d been a lovesick jock, spurning the advances of girls while he pined over the dark beauty running the school paper. And she probably hadn’t changed at all, smart and gorgeous. Staring at her, he felt like an embarrassed teen again, who didn’t know how to talk without babbling and waited until she left class before rising to avoid anyone seeing the tent in his jeans.
He should get out of the damn van. Needed to. The clock on the dashboard read 8:26. Whether she remembered him or not, he didn’t want her first impression of him now to be of someone who was late.
But he’d been so goddamn sure it was a prank. Positive. So he left his place wearing jeans that, while clean, had been scuffed up so many times during work, they remained faded and torn in places. He wore a dark hoodie over a black, sleeveless ribbed shirt, and his freshly washed hair was mussed up under a baseball cap.
Shit. It wasn’t like he could show up in a suit, but...
But get your ass out of the van. Nothing’s changed. Apartment lease is up and you’re leaving town.
Brady polished off his coffee and returned it to the cup holder. He discarded his hat, tossing it onto the passenger seat, and met his own blue eyes in the rearview mirror. Shit, he hadn’t even shaved. Oh well. He ran his hand back through his dark hair and slowly cracked the door open.
Here we go.

I'm hard at work on Wild Horses and when the blurb is finalized, I'll share information about it here.