Articles for the Month of February 2014

Teaser Thursday- Their Home Port

I shared a teaser from this last week, but wanted to give you another because this is the week the novel is actually on sale. All this week, you can pick up Their Home Port for half price on the Jupiter Gardens Press site, Amazon.com, and All Romance Ebooks

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When Reesa Boyd goes on a date with yet another Mr. Not-Quite-Right, she doesn’t expect to end the day with a job offer from the owner of Marine Tow, a marine assistance towing company.
On her first day of work, she meets Micah Ward, son of the Marine Tow owner and the company’s best captain. And the man who steals Reesa’s heart. Although the instant attraction between them catches her off-guard, she’s willing to open herself to the possibility of a relationship with him.
During a tropical storm, Marine Tow’s boats are cut loose and Micah takes off alone to recover them. Will he make it through the storm, or will Reesa lose the first man she’s truly loved?

EXCERPT:

They sat there for a few minutes, recovering their breath, then went into the bathroom to clean up. Reesa showered first, washing quickly to clean the sweat from her skin and the remnants of the condom’s lube from between her legs. She tried to persuade Micah to join her, and he refused. Nor would he allow her to stay while he showered. “Not that I mind being watched,” he explained as he entered the shower stall. “I’m just afraid it would start things all over again, and that would defeat the purpose of cleaning up.”

“You do have a point.”

In the living room, she dressed again, then sat on the couch to wait for Micah. Her stomach growled, despite the lunch she’d eaten. Apparently their activity had worked it off.

When Micah emerged from the shower, wrapped in a towel since he, too, had left his clothes in the living room, she said, “You know, you might want to leave something here to change into.” His surprised look mirrored her own shock. She hadn’t even realized she was thinking about such a thing. While he’d been in the shower, she’d just let her mind wander. It had wandered somewhere she hadn’t expected.

“I wouldn’t mind that,” he said hesitantly. “I mean, I am going to be here sometimes. We can’t exactly have sex at my parents’ house. Are you sure, though?”

“I’m not asking you to move in,” she said quickly. “It’s just like you said, sometimes you’ll be here. Sometimes you’ll spend the night, like Saturday. You had to go off to work Sunday in the clothes you wore on our date, and I’m sure your dad didn’t like that much.”

“I keep spare work clothes in the trunk of my car, because sometimes I’m on call and I’m out running errands or something when I have to go out on a job.” He picked up his shirt and pulled it on, then rummaged under the couch for his boxers. “I think we were a little too vigorous for this poor piece of clothing.”

“So it seems.” She laughed as he tripped over them. “Graceful.”

“Laugh it up.” He stuck out his tongue. “Oops, I’m not going to use that. Not right now, anyway.”

“I need a rest too.” She sobered. “So you don’t need to leave something here?”

“I don’t need to leave work clothes here,” he corrected. “I don’t always wear work clothes.” He waved his hand at his T-shirt and boxers, and the jeans he hadn’t yet picked up. “Same pants I wore yesterday at work.” He grabbed them and pulled them on. “You needed me at the shop fast, so I threw on the first things I found. The shirt smells all funky now, and the jeans were dirty in the first place. If I had spare clothes here, I’d be able to change.”

“Just like an outfit or two.” Now that she’d suggested it, Reesa wondered if she’d lost her mind. It had taken months for her to accept Kent moving in. She’d only known Micah a week, and even though she hadn’t actually asked him to cohabitate, telling him to bring clothes over was definitely a step in that direction.

She didn’t want to be trapped again the way she’d been with Kent. On the other hand, thinking logically, it made sense for Micah to have clothes to change into if he needed them. They’d agreed to date exclusively. They’d already made sex and even spending the night together part of their relationship. Surely she didn’t expect him to bring a suitcase every time they had a date.

“It sounds like a good idea to me.” He grinned. “I’ll even bring a toothbrush so you won’t have to deal with my morning breath.” Tilting his head, he paused. “You know what? Today’s Wednesday. My day off. We both have to work tomorrow, at least if you’re up to it, but we have the rest of the day, right?”

“Right.” It was barely afternoon.

“Why don’t I go home and put on something a little nicer, and I’ll come back and take you out.” He held up a hand to still her protest. Although she hadn’t even opened her mouth to speak, he apparently knew her well enough to know how she thought already. “I want to, Reesa, unless you aren’t up to it.”

“If it involves lots of sitting, I’ll be up to it,” she replied.

“A movie or a meal, then. I’ll decide.” He put his arms around her. “When I come back, I’ll bring a few things to leave. Thank you for thinking of it.”

“Thank you for doing it.”

He tenderly kissed her. “I love you. See you in a little while.”

“I love you too.”

He let her go and walked out. She didn’t watch. Her emotions, a swirl of love, desire, fear, and something she didn’t know how to describe, something left over from all the years of thinking that she’d never find what she now had in Micah, overwhelmed her, and for the third time that day, she cried.

This time, they were happy tears.

The Story Behind Their Home Port

Since Jupiter Gardens Press is offering my 2011 hetero contemporary novel Their Home Port at a major discount this week as part of their February backlist push, I thought I’d share a bit about how the story came to be.

In 2010, I was still fairly new to writing and being published. I was approached to write a heterosexual romance for a new imprint of an existing publisher (it wasn’t Jupiter Gardens, so I’m not naming it here). I’d been toying with the idea of a story based around a marine assistance towing company, because that’s my hubby’s career. He’s a captain for a company that essentially operates like a road service, only out on the water for pleasure boats instead of on the road for cars. And at the time, I was working part time there as well doing office work and a very little dispatching.

(Photo courtesy of Sea Tow Boston, copyright Steve Winkler.)

It helps that hubby’s father owns our local franchise of the company…

Anyway, I sat down and created the character of Reesa, who was as completely *not* me as I could make her. And the character of Micah, who pretty much is my husband, especially personality-wise. I really enjoyed writing their story, and the suspense toward the end was something I’d never even attempted before but was pleased with how it turned out. I especially liked bringing Micah onto the page for readers to see, since he’s the character of mine who is most closely modeled on the man my bio refers to as my “real life romance hero husband.”

The publisher who had invited me to submit rejected the story because it only gave Reesa’s point of view; they wanted Micah’s as well. I didn’t agree with writing it that way. So I sent it to Jupiter Gardens instead, where it was accepted and released just about three years ago, on March 3, 2011.

All this week, you can pick up Their Home Port for half price on the Jupiter Gardens Press site, Amazon.com, and All Romance Ebooks.

Teaser Thursday- Their Home Port

This novel is available from Jupiter Gardens Press.

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“There’s a lot more to this than just driving the boat.” Reesa saw a smaller motorboat off to her side and waved. A little boy on board jumped up and down as he waved back. “It’s fun, though.”

“For you,” Micah said. “You just have to sit there while I steer. So anyway, did I freak you out completely, or just a little bit?”

“You mean with the marriage stuff?” She didn’t even want to think about it. Knowing that they’d keep seeing each other told her enough about the future. She didn’t want to think any farther ahead than that. Bad enough he had clothes and a toothbrush at her apartment, and that had been her idea.

“I wasn’t proposing,” he explained. “Just saying, someday we might end up there. Or we might move in together, or we might just keep things as they are now. Don’t worry so much, honey. I’m not trying to make you make any decisions about the rest of your life. I just mentioned it because it’s something I’ve thought about. Not specifically with you. I mean…shit, I’m screwing this all up, aren’t I?”

“Kind of,” she agreed. Then she decided to cut him some slack. “I do understand what you’re saying. You’re one of those white-picket-fence, two and half kids and a dog sort of people, right?”

He laughed. “Yeah, that kind of sums it up. Growing up, I used to imagine what the right woman would be like. And then I never found her. I’m thirty-two, which isn’t exactly ancient or anything, but most of the people I went to school with are married now. Some are even divorced, which isn’t really what I’d want. The point is, I thought I’d have found someone by now. Honestly, I’d almost given up.”

“And then you met me?” she said sarcastically.

“And then I met you.” He looked at her solemnly. “I haven’t known you long enough to say you’re ‘the one’ or anything like that.” He made air quotes. “I know that you and I get along better than anyone else I’ve ever dated. And you don’t mind the work schedule, which is a plus. If you aren’t ‘the one,’ you’re pretty darn close.”

“You sound an awful lot like you’re looking for more of a commitment than we’ve already agreed to.” If they hadn’t been out in the middle of the ocean, she would have walked away from him. She didn’t like to be pressured, and even though she doubted he intended it that way, he certainly did seem to be pressuring her. Maybe it had just been way too long since he’d had a serious girlfriend and he’d become overexcited about the idea.

Maybe she was the one with the issues, and she needed to just listen to him and accept that he was only expressing his opinion, not trying to force her into anything. Some women would love hearing a man say he might want to spend the rest of his life with them. They wouldn’t see it as a trap, they’d see it as proof that they deserved something that good.

She was thirty years old and the most serious relationship she’d ever had had been with Kent. And that had only happened because it had seemed like the right time to have a relationship, not because Kent had seemed like the right man to do it with.

“I’m not looking for anything more than you’re willing to give,” Micah assured her. “Look, I know I’m botching this up. We’ve already established I’m awkward with the whole dating thing. I’m not professing undying love for you or anything like that. I’m just saying that I do love you, and I won’t mind if things do wind up with us having a stronger commitment. I also won’t mind if we don’t. I just want to have you around. Okay?”

“You are pretty damn awkward.” Reesa stared out the windshield. “I think I understand. Just realize, I do have issues, even though I look like I have it together. So yeah, I’m going to freak out a little if you start talking moving in and marriage and all that stuff. Doesn’t mean I don’t want it someday. I used to daydream about it too. Too much has happened in my life for me to have a very positive outlook about it right now, though. So how about if we just agree that we love each other, we’re seeing each other, and whatever happens, happens?”

“Yeah, I think that’s what I meant to say,” he said slowly. “You’re much better at this talking thing than I am. Maybe I should hire you to translate me.”

“Except that I’m the one you need to be translated for,” she pointed out.

“I think you understand me very well.” He put his hand on her knee. “You and I seem to think along the same lines sometimes.”

“Yeah, we do.”

For a while, Micah drove the boat around, keeping an eye out for any trouble. All the boaters they passed waved, and some called hellos. Reesa sat back and enjoyed the wind flowing through her hair as the boat continued through the water. Despite the choppy waves, she loved being out, away from land and away from all the crap she’d dealt with. Something about the ocean made it all seem to go away.

Backlist and Branding

One of the most widespread pieces of advice I’ve encountered as a published author is “build a bigger backlist.” Meaning that if you have a lot of books out for sale, each new release will fuel additional sales of the previous releases, giving the author more money.

In theory.

I’m a very literal person. If I don’t know something, I only learn what I’m told. Or what I read. When I was starting out, I saw the “build a bigger backlist” advice and did exactly that.

But no one had talked to me about branding. No one had told me that the backlist should be all the same genre, or all the same gender pairing, so readers would want all of my books.

Flying Books 1

As a result, I ended up with contemporary romances. And paranormal romances. I ended up with male/female romances and male/male ones. And a few menage romances for good measure, and even those aren’t the same; one is MFM, one is MMF, and one is MMM.

On the YA side it wasn’t quite so bad. With the help of a marketing consultation I won, I was able to define my YA brand to indicate that every one of my books under that pen name is about finding the hero in yourself, whether that hero saves the world or just their own life.

But Karenna Colcroft… Karenna didn’t have a strong brand. Karenna just wanted to write stories where people fell in love.

My tagline, “Open your heart” is the closest I had to a brand, and as far as I was concerned, that applied to all of my books. Every one of my books, regardless of genre or gender pairing, explores being reluctant or even afraid to accept love, but finding the one person you dare to open up to. But readers–and other authors I’ve spoken to–agree that isn’t a strong enough brand, because it covers too much.

So I built a bigger backlist over the past several years. A farking huge one: Since March 2009 I have had 49 romances published. Some were freebies through my publishers; some were stories in anthologies; and three are now out of print. But still. 49 total in five years. (The 49th was released on Valentine’s Day. Romance #50 comes out March 4.)

Going forward I’ve refined my brand to be a bit easier to explain. All my books will be contemporaries. All have at least one main character who has post-traumatic stress disorder from past trauma or abuse. All explore the idea that while love is NEVER a magic cure-all for PTSD or other mental illness, having someone to love, who supports you through the rough times, can *help* with recovery and can give someone motivation to seek help if they haven’t already. If we open our hearts and let just one person in, we’re no longer alone with the tough stuff.

Meanwhile, I still have that ginormous backlist to deal with. As I said, three of the books are now out of print, though one of those three has been rewritten and is given as a thank-you gift to those who subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll be requesting rights reversions on a couple of others that have gotten so little attention I can’t even remember much about them myself, and the contracts on a couple of others run out in 2015 at which time those will be taken out of print.

And I have one book that’s been out for three years now that’s close to my heart and hits the brand, and that has garnered little attention because it just kind of got lost. That book, Their Home Port, is available from Jupiter Gardens Press and third-party sales sites, and will be part of JGP’s backlist push, with a discounted sales price. I’ll be sharing an excerpt from it on Thursday. It’s a story I’m very invested in because some parts of Reesa and Micah’s courtship mirrors the early stages of my relationship with my husband–who inspired the character of Micah.

And there are boats. I love boats…

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(By the way… although that’s a stock image at the bottom of the cover, that is EXACTLY the view seen from my hubby’s workplace, which was the model for the “Marine Tow” shop in the book. The cranes aren’t there anymore though…)

Teaser Thursday- The Pink, It Burns

This story releases tomorrow from MLR Press.

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Myles leaned in, and before Dyer could react, their lips touched. He jerked back, startled, but smiled when he saw the pleased expression on Myles’s face.

He hadn’t minded the kiss a bit. It had just taken him by surprise.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for the past hour or so,” Myles said. “I hope it’s okay?”

“Yeah, definitely okay.” Dyer’s smile broadened, and he felt as if someone had blown up a balloon in his chest.

A pink balloon.

And just like that, his mood dimmed.

He fought the depression that accompanied the reminder of the morning’s incident. He refused to let it bring him down again. Not after he’d managed to not only put it aside but deal with the memories it had brought up. He’d had an incredible afternoon with Myles, and he was damned if he would let anything ruin it.

“Are you okay?” Myles wrinkled his forehead. Leaning closer, he lowered his voice. “You’ve had a really messed up day, and I just keep babbling at you.”

“I liked the babbling,” Dyer assured him. He took a deep breath and pasted a smile on his face. “Sometimes things get stuck, if that makes sense. I’m fine, and I’d like to decide where to go for something to eat. Most restaurants will probably be packed later, but it’s still early enough we might be able to find a place.”

“Yeah. That sounds good.” Myles squeezed his hand. “Let’s go.”

They ended up at a Chinese buffet a few blocks away. Over plates heaped with a little bit of everything from the buffet, Myles said, “You know, the first time I saw you in the shop, there was something about you. I know that sounds like the world’s biggest cliché, but I mean it. I wanted to talk to you more, but that’s kind of hard to do at rush hour in a coffee shop.”

“Yeah.” Dyer tilted his head and studied the man across from him. “I never had a clue.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d be interested anyway. Mr. Strait-laced.” Myles’s cute grin took the sting out of the comment. “All dress shirts and ties and stuff. What do you do for work?”

“Computer systems. Not a big thrill, but it pays the bills.” Dyer popped a sesame roll in his mouth.

Myles wasn’t the type he would have expected to be attracted to either, with the piercings and rainbow hair, but looks weren’t everything. He liked the guy too much to let a few pieces of metal and unnatural hair colors bother him.

He swallowed. “I live in Revere.”

“East Boston.” Myles chuckled. “We’re neighbors and never realized it. That’s awesome.”

“Yeah.” Dyer hesitated. “I live alone. If you ever want a place to hide out from your cousin and her guy, you’re welcome.”

Myles’s eyes widened again, then his face relaxed into a pleased grin. “I’ll definitely take you up on that. Maybe next time we go to the museum, we can order in at your place afterward?”

“Yeah, that would be awesome.” They were going to see each other again. The last thing Dyer had expected.

The biggest thing he wanted.

Release Week! The Pink, It Burns

Valentine’s Day falls on Friday. All the hearts and flowers and everything else that goes along with the most romantic of holidays.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a big fan of Valentine’s Day. And that’s why this year, MLR Press chose to do *anti* Valentine’s Day stories.

I have a story included in the half-dozen or so that are going to be released. The Pink, It Burns was originally intended to be a light, funny story about two men who hate Valentine’s Day.

It ended up being a story about a man who, as a child, was beaten badly enough on Valentine’s Day that he had to be put in the hospital and was subsequently put into foster care. On Valentine’s Day about fifteen years later, Dyer stops at his favorite coffee shop, where a little girl with a pink balloon captures his attention. When Dyer realizes the girl’s father has taken her from her mother without permission, he and Myles, the barista, team up to keep the father and child in the shop until the police arrive in response to Dyer’s call. Dyer is triggered by the event, so takes the day off from work and ends up spending most of it with Myles.

Definitely not a light, humorous story. And not a sexual one; Dyer and Myles barely kiss. But hopefully it’s a good story with a hopeful ending.

The Pink, It Burns, along with the rest of the Anti-Valentine’s stories, will release on February 14 from MLR Press.

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Teaser Thursday- A Little Kiss

A Little Kiss was my 2012 Valentine’s story from MLR Press.

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Nothing much ever changed in our town.

Nothing except what I found when I opened the door of my tow truck out in the parking lot. There were chocolate kisses on the driver’s seat again. Third time this week. A pile of them, with red foil wrappers driving home the fact that Valentine’s Day was tomorrow. Or today, actually, since it was past midnight. I didn’t know who the hell kept leaving them, but it was starting to get on my nerves.

Probably I should have locked the truck. That would have kept the candy phantom out. But I’d grown up here in Anglesey, Maine, affectionately known to the natives as East Armpit in honor of the smell from the paper mill the next town over, and no one here ever locked their doors, houses, or cars. No one except the few flatlanders who’d moved here from Massachusetts or wherever because they believed the hype that Maine was the way life should be.

I started to sweep the chocolates out onto the pavement so I could run them over with the truck, then changed my mind. I’d had a couple beers too many inside while I listened to the guys talk about the chicks they planned to hook up with, and a little food in my stomach and sugar in my blood wouldn’t hurt. I dumped the candies into the cup holder and swung up onto my seat.

I turned on the engine but didn’t leave the lot. My boss, Bob Riley, was good enough to let me use the truck as my personal vehicle, since I couldn’t afford a car unless I also wanted to make it my home, and I didn’t want to screw myself out of a good thing by risking a DUI. So I stuffed chocolate into my mouth and waited for the buzz to fade enough that I could drive.

Some of the other guys left the bar and waved at me on the way to their cars and pick-ups. One of them had to have been the candy phantom. The bar sat on the edge of town, and not many people stopped there just for the hell of it. The thing was, I didn’t think any of those guys were gay, which meant none of them would be likely to dump a pile of chocolate in my truck cab. Especially not somewhere they might get caught doing it. If it had been someone from the bar, it had probably been one of the girls, and I didn’t want a female Valentine.

Being the only gay guy in town—as far as I knew—really sucked, and not in a good way. Back in high school it hadn’t been so bad. There wasn’t a hell of a lot to do in East Armpit other than fool around and fuck. If us guys hadn’t been able to get girls to fool around with us, we’d do ourselves or, sometimes, each other. No one cared so much about having their dick sucked by another guy if it was just a substitute for a girl’s mouth.

Mostly with the other guys, we’d just used hands or mouths. No actual sex, because that would have been gay. I’d had one exception in my life. My ass cherry’d been popped by my best friend Gabe one night after high school graduation when we’d gotten shitfaced and his girlfriend had walked out on him. He and I’d both understood it was just because he wanted a place to stick his dick, not because he was into fucking other guys. At least that was what he said.

For me, that kind of thing hadn’t been a substitute. The girls I’d screwed around with were the substitutes for the guys I really wanted to fuck.

Now we were all in our twenties and the high school fooling around stuff was over. I went out drinking with the guys some nights, and they all either went home to their wives or picked up a girl at the bar, depending on their marital status. I went home by myself. When I wanted to get laid, I headed to one of the cities. Augusta or Bangor, or even to Portland if I felt adventurous and had the time to stay over in a hotel for the night since I didn’t want to drive two hours home after getting drunk and taking a cock up the ass. The rest of the time, I was alone.

Being alone sucked ass. And not in a good way.

Special Guest Shauna Aura Knight

Welcoming fellow Jupiter Gardens Press author Shauna Aura Knight today. Thanks for stopping by!

When and why did you start writing romance?

You might laugh. I wrote my first novel when I was 12, and I think I started writing my first romance when I was about 14. I started sneaking and reading my mom’s romance novels at that age, and my stories just seemed to make so much more sense with a romantic component.

I should point out that I was 13 going on 30—I was generally more mature than my peers. I was actually running a small business at that age making artwork and crafts and selling them to save up for a sword at the Renaissance Faire. Now, I should also point out that those first stories really sucked. But, I hear that there’s a piece of wisdom that you have to write a million words of crap, so I like to think that I got that out of the way!

As I wrote more, whether that was epic and urban fantasy with a romantic component, or actual Paranormal romances, the stories just always made more sense to me with sexual tension.

 

What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?

Most of my stories are inspired by dreams, so I have a lot of weird ideas, but probably the strangest story idea is encapsulated by this working title: “Cowboy Templars in Space with a Priestess.” I think that’s about as close to a western as I’ll ever get.

 

Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?

Sometimes I take pieces of myself, and pieces of other people I know, and stitch those together to make a character more realistic. I never base an entire character off of one person, unless it’s a really brief sketch of someone that isn’t really a core part of the story.

For instance, a character might be thinking about a bad situation in her past with an ex, and often that’s something I’ve been through, or something a friend of mine has been through. Often it falls into the category of, “crap I couldn’t make up if I tried.” I’ve taken inspiration from the character Chaucer in the movie A Knight’s Tale. Chaucer says something to some bad guys about how he really gets the best vengeance because he will eviscerate and immortalize them in his fiction.

Other times, I just borrow certain harmless quirks from different people I’ve observed.  For instance, if I’m ever describing nailpolish, heels, or anything excessively girly, that’s probably something I had to either observe in someone else or do research and ask.

 

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it? If not, do people in your “real life” know that you write romance?

Sort of. I’m very public about all the writing that I do. Shauna Aura is my first and middle name (my parents were total hippies), Knight is a last name that I took for myself when I started traveling and teaching leadership, facilitation, and personal growth work in the metaphysical/Pagan/spiritual seeking communities. Knight is less of a pen name and more of a chosen name.

At present, I have no plans to take a separate pen name. I write my fiction, as well as my nonfiction, under the same name. I chose “Knight” because I have spent most of my life inspired by myths like the Grail quest. Also, I teach leadership, and the word Knight originally meant, “to serve,” and I believe that leadership is service. It’s evocative of myth and heroes and the worlds of our imagination, which is exactly what I’m going for with my fiction.

 

Tell us about your latest book.

Ellie moves to a spiritual retreat center tries to figure out her life while doing a lot of labor out in the woods. She has a huge crush on Kyle and Jake, who run the catering kitchen. As it turns out they’ve been holding back from seducing her in part because they are werewolves. I bet them being werewolves won’t come as a surprise, given the title is Werewolves in the Kitchen! When all three of them end up in bed together it’s scorchingly hot, but there are some unintended consequences.

While Ellie tries to wrap her brain around both the threesome, and them being werewolves, Jake, and Kyle tart to go a little hormonally mad as the shapeshifter magic links all three of their libidos together. The only way to help Ellie answer her questions is to invite another human/werewolf mated pair to the SpiralStone retreat center, but that puts Jake and Kyle in danger from a pack of werewolves that are out for their blood.

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Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?

I have dozens and dozens of stories that I have started writing but haven’t finished because I’m just not able to figure out part of the story. Usually I have a great idea for the middle of the story, but then I don’t know either how they got there, or, where it’s going. Sometimes I just have to wait for the bolt of lightning that lets me know what the story is really about so I can go from there.

 

What books do you have available now (title and publisher)?

Werewolves in the Kitchen, Jupiter Gardens Press, and A Winter Knight’s Vigil, Pagan Writers Press. I also have a few nonfiction books available.

 

What books do you have coming soon?

I have two novellas coming out in the next months. A Fading Amaranth is a Paranormal/Vampire Romance; at least part of the book will be available as a free download. Alexandra’s psychic abilities make it impossible for her to be in a relationship until she meets Nathaniel, a vampire who has lost his muse. They accidentally end up helping some local mages stalk a Faerie monster so there’s a mixture of spice and adventure.

Another is an Urban Fantasy The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Jack and Meredith fall in love at a festival, but Meredith has dreamed her own death.

Other longer works that I’m finishing up include two Paranormal Romances. In A Golden Heart of Glass, Angel begins working with the goddess Aphrodite and is then surprised when that magic begins to fill her with desire, as well as attract the monsters that hide in the alleys. In Twelve Drops of Blood, a young woman and a 4,000 year old vampire work to solve one of the riddles of the Grail Quest before a Cabal of half-human monsters can capture them.

 

How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?

Most of my story ideas come from dreams. The story for Werewolves in the Kitchen came while I was doing laundry while working at a retreat center similar to the one described in the book. It was really lonely work, and my mind wandered a lot. I wondered, what if there were three lonely people here…and off my brain went with the story.

 

What genre are most of your stories? Why did you choose that genre?

My work always has some kind of fantasy component. Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian. If there aren’t swordfights, spaceships, or magical duels, I’m generally not interested in watching the movie or reading the book, and it’s the same with my own writing. I don’t know what it is, but big epic battles, people with magic powers, chthonic creatures, vampires, werewolves, spaceships…all that stuff has always inspired me.

 

Web Site: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com
Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunaKnightAuthorArtist

 

Excerpt:

Jake turned the shower on while Kyle kissed her senseless. Ellie threaded her fingers into Kyle’s short blond curls, and suddenly Jake was behind her, untying her shorts. Kyle drew her top up, and she could feel Jake’s bare chest against her back.

She was just in her bra and panties when Kyle released her to pop the button on his jeans. Then he kissed her again, nipping his way down her body.

Jake made an appreciative noise from behind her, and she turned her head. He kissed her, grinding his hips against her buttocks. Distracted by Jake kissing her, she gasped when Kyle brushed his fingers over her mound, rubbing her through her panties. He nipped at her hip, and she felt him dragging her underwear down. She tugged him up and kissed him.

“Shower first,” she murmured.

Kyle grinned, placing her hands on the waistband of his jeans to tug them off. Her jaw dropped just a little as his length sprung out. “Oh my,” she whispered.

He drew her to him and into the steaming shower, kissing her. Jake closed the glass shower door behind him; it was just big enough for three. She took them both in before they drew closer.

Jake tipped her head back into the water to wet it before he began lathering up her hair, his fingers massaging her scalp as she blissed out.

Kyle grabbed a washcloth and washed her from shoulders to feet until she shivered. Ellie blushed and protested when his fingers slipped between her folds until she moaned. Jake claimed her lips as Kyle began to circle her pearl where she was slick with arousal. “So wet, baby.”

Jake slid his hands over her body, down to her buttocks, lathering up her back with body wash as Kyle drove two fingers into her pussy.

She cried out into Jake’s mouth at the sensation. She’d never been kissed like this before—the hot water falling on them, Jake’s tongue lapping at her lips even as Kyle was pleasuring her where she’d been swollen and hot for them for so long.

Ellie moaned, thrusting down onto Kyle’s fingers. How many times had she blushed, fantasizing about them doing this to her? She was already on the edge of orgasm from the thrill of having them both totally focused on her pleasure and so many days without release.

Kyle circling her pearl had her gasping for breath against Jake’s lips. “That’s it,” he murmured, stroking in and out.

Their touches finally drove her over the edge. Ellie cried out, bucking, and they had to hold her up as her knees gave. Jake kissed her, and then Kyle kissed her, and she threaded her fingers through both their hair while they murmured sweet things, petting her.

“Feel a little better?” Kyle asked, and she blushed.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Jake grinned.

She panted, knowing the two of them were not done with her yet.

To buy Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Jupiter Gardens Press: http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/werewolves-in-the-kitchen

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Werewolves-Kitchen-Shauna-Aura-Knight-ebook/dp/B00HVJMUSI

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/werewolves-in-the-kitchen-shauna-aura-knight/1118063246

Redecorating

As an author, I work from home. Which means I spend a LOT of time staring at the same walls, windows, etc. During the week, my kids are at school and hubby’s at work, so I’m the only one here. Aside from the cats, who sometimes stop speaking to me.

Toward the end of last week, after a week filled with grumbling and feeling really down (not the “just cheer up” kind of down; the depression kind), I decided it was time to do some rearranging and redecorating of the apartment. At least of the living room and of my office space, which adjoins the living room.

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I haven’t done a lot yet. I moved the family bookcase from one end of the living room to the other, and set up a little coat, shoe, and school supply area where the bookcase had been. I also found a really inexpensive shelving unit for $5 at a local thrift store, and I used that to get some of the younger teen’s stuff off the living room floor. She likes to keep things where she can find them; unfortunately that usually means EVERYWHERE.

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I’ve also bought some frames and printed out collage sort of things of my book covers, and I’m trying to make the walls around my desk look neat and pretty instead of just having random stuff taped to them. That’s definitely a work in progress.

For various reasons, I don’t get out of the house much. And when I’m in a place where nothing changes for long periods of time, I start to feel a little restless. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to get this place arranged more neatly and have a pretty space to work in.