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Brushing Off the Dust

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I’ve been on indefinite hiatus from writing romance while I dealt with some personal stuff, including both my kids moving out of the house, one to college and the other to be a partner and stepparent.

It’s been a stressful few months, with occasional breaks of fun and entertainment.

Many of my books are now out of print. Those include the entire Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and all associated books with MLR Press and Passion in Print Press, as well as all of my other titles with those two imprints. They also include all but three of my Ellora’s Cave titles, though I’ve heard rumblings around the internet that all Ellora’s Cave authors are having their rights returned in December. All of my Pink Petal Books/Jupiter Gardens books are off the market, since the publisher closed.

On the plus side, my Loose Id titles are still available, as are Love Like Vampires from Dreamspinner Press, and Dawn Over Dayfield from DSP Publications. Dawn Over Dayfield is now an award-winning book! In August, it took first place in the Mystery category of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Awards! That was hugely exciting. Now I’m waiting with bated breath to see what happens with the Edgar Awards, since Dawn Over Dayfield is also nominated for that.

My self-published novel Vengeance Is Sweet is also still available as an Amazon exclusive, e-book only.

I haven’t written any new romances. I don’t know whether I’m going to. I used to love writing them, but once I started writing for publication, and trying to get more and more books out there in the world, it became stressful and painful. Personal life circumstances didn’t help. I haven’t even been able to think of a romance *plot* in over a year, and I’m not sure whether that’s going to change.

But I still have books out there in the world, and I want to make sure people find them. I want to make sure people know *I* still exist. And someday in the future, I might self-publish some of my previously-published books even if I don’t write anything new. It remains to be seen.

I’m still writing young adult fiction under my Jo Ramsey pen name, though. I’m working on some nonfiction projects about healing, trauma recovery, and magic. (The witchcraft/spiritual version, not the up on stage with a top hat kind.) I’m starting a business related to those topics as well. I’m getting used to being an “empty nester,” and spending time with my partners and friends.

I’ll be blogging here twice a week. Mondays will be posts on a variety of topics; Thursdays will be short excerpts from my books, including some of the off-the-market ones. So I hope you’ll tune in, same Karenna time, same Karenna channel. (Wow… I hope I’m not the only one old enough to know that reference…)

Teaser Thursday- Christmas Consummation

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“You’re quiet,” Rance said. “Alanna? Are you okay?”

“Just wondering why I came back to this damn town.” She gave him a faint smile. “Sorry. I got sucked into mental bullshit for a minute there.”

“Have you seen your parents?” Rance asked.

During their friendship, Alanna had told him everything about her parents and her place in their lives. Of course he wouldn’t have forgotten. She wished he had though. The last thing she wanted right now was a sob-fest about her crappy family.

“I stopped by yesterday when I got to town,” she said. “My father isn’t doing so well and my mother wouldn’t let me into the house. They don’t know if it’s Alzheimer’s or senility. Dad won’t go to a doctor and Mom won’t let a doctor see him at home because it might upset him. I guess they have nurses but that’s all.”

Tears welled and she squeezed her eyes shut to keep herself from crying. Before either guy said anything, she spoke. “Tonight’s supposed to be about sex and fun, not depressing family shit. Can we please change the subject?”

“We’re your friends,” Ellery said. “We want to help you. There’s nothing wrong with needing to talk.”

“We’re here for you.” Rance snuggled against her on the opposite side from Ellery. “This is about bringing back our friendship. Not only the sex and the fun, though I won’t deny those are awesome. Tonight’s about us.”

The guys’ words touched Alanna’s heart. She gave up trying to keep herself together, but when she began to cry it was more from happiness than angst. Rance and Ellery were there for her. She couldn’t express how much that meant to her.

Tears ran down her cheeks and she sniffled. “Thank you. Both of you. I’m sorry. I’m wrecking this.”

Ellery brought his palm down lightly on her thigh. “Don’t apologize for something you aren’t doing. We’re good. We kind of plunged into this whole thing tonight and didn’t have time to talk about much. It’s okay if you need to vent.”

“Absolutely.” Rance gathered her into his arms and kissed her cheek. “That’s what friends are for. Even naked ones.”

Alanna couldn’t help laughing through her tears. “Yeah, naked friends are pretty awesome.”

Ellery brushed his fingers over her cheek. “Even when you’re sad, you’re beautiful. Do you know that?”

“Thanks.” She smiled at him. “I’d rather not be sad anymore. I can deal with parental drama tomorrow. Right now I’m here with two naked men and only one of them has come. I’m ready to continue if you are.”

Although she said it casually, she wrestled with herself inside. Regardless of how hard she tried, she couldn’t simply switch off the pain talking about her parents always brought. She had to shove it back down into the depths of her mind and let Rance and Ellery help her think of happier things for a while.

For tonight she would focus on them. In everything they’d done so far, their affection had been obvious. She wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else tonight. She took both men’s hands. “I’m glad you’re here.”

Winter Warm-Up

Young couple embracing

Happy Friday! I’m taking part for the next few days in the Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop, in which you have the chance to win a variety of prizes from over a hundred amazing romance authors… or even the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card! Just visit the Rafflecopter linked at the end of this post for your chance to win, and click on the blog hop link at the end to go to the complete list of participating authors. (After you read this post, hopefully!)

For some people, Christmas is a very romantic time of year. Choosing the right gift for the one you love, seeing their smile when they open it. Cuddling and keeping each other warm (if Christmas is during the winter where you live) or spending time out in the sun if it’s summer in your area.

A lot of romance authors do Christmas or holiday stories to share with their readers, and I’m no exception. My two werewolf series, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat and Men of City Pack, each have a Christmas novella included. I have a pair of Christmas stories posted on my Free Reads page here on this site, and this year, I have a menage Christmas story available from Ellora’s Cave. Sometimes the best gift you can give someone for the holidays is love.

I’m giving away three prizes: PDF copies of Tofurkey and Yams (male/male; the Real Werewolves Christmas story); The Alpha’s Bride (male/female, the Men of City Pack Christmas story), and Christmas Consummation (MFM menage). To enter, leave a comment below telling me the best gift you’ve ever given to the one you love.

After that, please visit www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com to see which other authors are participating in the hop. And click below if you’d like to enter the Rafflecopter for the hop’s grand prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Teaser Thursday- Christmas Consummation

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Rance held her hand as they walked inside but let go when they reached Ellery, who embraced Alanna and gave her a kiss that was only a bit too heated for public. He slid his hand over her ass as he let go. “Gorgeous,” he said.

“Careful.” Alanna looked around. “We wouldn’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.”

“Except it would be the right idea.” Ellery pulled one of the chairs out from the table and motioned to it. “Have a seat.”

Bemused, Alanna sat. Ellery stepped away and Rance pushed in Alanna’s chair.

“Two gentlemen.” Alanna smiled at each of them as they sat down on either side of her. “I am very lucky.”

“We’re the lucky ones.” Rance picked up his fabric napkin and spread it on his lap. “While we’re here, we’ll behave. At least I will. I can’t speak for the perv over there.” He inclined his head toward Ellery.

“I’m not a perv,” Ellery said. “I’m just confident.”

Alanna laughed. “So it’s going to be an interesting night. Are you two sure about this? It isn’t anything we haven’t already done but it’s different.” She couldn’t quite find the words for what she meant but hoped the guys would understand her question.

“It’s different because we both know we want to be with you now, and it isn’t spur-of-the-moment,” Rance said. “Separately everything was great. We can keep it separate all the time except I don’t think that’s what you want, Alanna.”

“I want whatever you two are comfortable with.” She paused. “No. I don’t want to be with you each separately all the time. Part of the appeal of having you both in my life is occasionally having both of you. If you aren’t okay with it, though, I can let it go.”

“Tonight we’ll see whether we’re okay with it,” Ellery said. “The other night was fun as hell. We just weren’t totally prepared for how we would feel about it. The feels, they burn.”

“Yeah.” Alanna reached out her hands to them, and each of the guys took one. “I love you both,” she said. “Whatever it takes for this to work, I’ll try.”

“So will I,” Rance said.

“Feels,” Ellery muttered. “Yeah. What he said.”

Alanna shook her head. “Okay, cynical one. Let’s eat and then we’ll see what happens back at the motel.”

Release Week! Christmas Consummation

It’s the holiday season, which means ’tis the season of Christmas-themed romance stories. Ellora’s Cave decided this year to do a menage theme for Christmas, and before a few other things happened, I wrote a story for it. Menage is kind of my thing lately… not so much about the sex, but about the dynamics of having more than two people involved in a relationship.

I also have a soft spot for reunion stories, so that’s what I ended up writing. In Christmas Consummation, Alanna reluctantly returns to her hometown for Christmas and encounters the two men she loved in high school. Back then, Rance was one of her oldest friends, and Ellery was the “new kid”. Alanna was in love with both of them, but when they wanted her to choose between them, she chose to have neither.

Seventeen years have passed. Alanna and Rance have both been married and divorced. Ellery has never married. When they reunite at a bar a couple days before Christmas, it’s obvious to all three that old feelings haven’t died. And this time, Rance and Ellery are mature enough to understand and accept that Alanna can’t choose, and Alanna is confident enough to try a relationship with both men.

Christmas Consummation releases Wednesday from Ellora’s Cave.

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Tweaks, Changes, and Adjustments

The past week has brought changes and reconsiderations in my writing career.

Wooden Pencils In Line

Two of my books which were previously under contract with Ellora’s Cave have been returned to me. The books hadn’t been edited, and there was no release date in sight, so I asked to cancel the contracts. Ellora’s Cave obliged quickly and professionally, which I appreciate.

One of those books, a contemporary novel called With Every Touch, is currently waiting for me to decide what to do with it. The other, a contemporary “spice up the marriage” roleplay novella called Knot Intended, was just accepted by Loose Id.

I also asked for–and was granted–my rights back on my novel Shiny Objects, an MFM menage romance originally published in August 2011. Sales were not as good as I and the publisher would have liked, so it made no sense for the book to continue as it was. Fortunately, in the world of digital publishing, poorly-selling books can sometimes find new life. I already know where Shiny Objects is going once I’ve done some revisions, though I’m not going to give details just yet.

I’m currently at work on Stepping Stone Not Doormat, which will be the next book in my drag queen series with Loose Id. (And the first book of the three to be officially identified as a series title… I’m guessing if accepted, Loose Id will add the series title to the other two books.) And the next romance project I have on my list is the next book in my Love Like Vampires series. 

Many great things are coming for me over the next year or so; I can feel it. And I can’t wait to see what happens.

Teaser Thursday- Hear Me, See Me

This short story is available from Ellora’s Cave; the book’s page on this site has all the link info. And this excerpt is very NSFW.

HMSM 100

 

Footsteps paused outside the room. “Everything okay in there?”

“Roy, fuck off,” Orrin muttered.

The realization that someone stood just outside hit Rachel like cold water. Although the physical reactions in her body continued, her brain switched on again and she tried to muffle herself. What’s Roy going to think of me?

Her face warmed and she burrowed into the mattress, trying to hide herself.

“Just checking in.” Roy laughed. “Sounds like you two are having a great time in there.”

“Oh, we are.” Orrin reached under Rachel and fingered her clit. She shivered and moaned for him to stop, but not loudly enough for him to hear. “I’m fucking her with my socks on.”

She looked over her shoulder at Orrin, who seemed amused by the situation. Grinning, he continued thrusting into her without missing a beat. Rachel found no humor in the situation. Nothing like coitus interruptus.

Though actually Roy hadn’t interrupted anything. Orrin was still fucking her. And her pussy still wanted it even if her brain wished he would stop.

“Boy, you still wearing those fucking socks?” Roy demanded.

“I always wear my socks,” Orrin said proudly.

“I’m telling you, you’d better take off those socks!”

Rachel shook her head. Despite her mortification at being caught this way, she couldn’t help laughing. And honestly, who cared if Roy had heard them? Sex with other people around, or even watching, was the whole point of a house party. She and Orrin weren’t doing anything at all out of line or unexpected. People showed up here to fuck, and of course they’d overhear one another in a space like this.

She had to be honest enough with herself to admit that knowing her cries had attracted Roy’s attention turned her on even more, electrifying her. Proving the point, her cunt clenched around Orrin’s cock, and he groaned.

“Did you take those damn socks off?” Roy sounded scandalized. “You don’t fuck with your socks on!”

She didn’t know whether his words or the tone did it, but Roy’s comment struck Rachel so funny she completely lost it. Laughing so hard she could barely breathe, she buried her face in the sheet again.

“Keep making her laugh,” Orrin said. “It’s making her shake in a very appealing way.”

“She isn’t supposed to be appealing when your socks are on!”

Rachel laughed so hard tears came to her eyes. The whole thing had become completely ludicrous. There she was, kneeling on a mattress in a house party “semi-private” room with her lover’s cock driving in and out of her—because during the entire exchange, Orrin hadn’t missed a stroke—and meanwhile, a man she’d just met stood right outside a thin curtain, laughing and complaining about Orrin’s socks.

“She appeals to me no matter what I have on.” Orrin fingered Rachel’s clit again and her pussy clenched. “And I’m fucking her with my socks on.”

“You’d better take those socks off, boy, or I’m going to come in there and fuck her myself!”

Startled, Rachel whirled her head around to stare at Orrin. He shook his head, though his smile said he didn’t mind the idea in the least. “He won’t,” he whispered. “He’s just goofing around. Unless you want to take him seriously.”

As if she’d even consider sex with a stranger. Orrin knew her better than that. That was her brain’s reaction, at least. Her body seemed to like the idea. More moisture added to what had already collected between her legs and she pushed herself back against Orrin without even realizing what she was doing.

“Oh you do like that idea.” Orrin smacked her ass. “Naughty slut, aren’t you?”

She’d learned not to cringe when Orrin called her that. According to him, a slut was just a woman who liked sex. Nothing wrong with that at all. She did like fucking, now that she allowed herself to enjoy it. Now that she had a man who wanted her to like it, who could barely keep his hands off her no matter where they went.

“Did he take off the socks yet, Rachel?” Roy demanded through the curtain.

Did he want an invitation to see for himself? An impulse hit, and for once she didn’t give herself time to think her way out of following it. “No,” she called back. “I think you’d better get in here.”

Orrin’s eyes widened. “Are you sure?” he whispered.

She shook her head. She wouldn’t actually have sex with Roy, but—

She had no time to figure out what she would do. The curtain moved and Roy strode in. He stood at the foot of the mattress, eyes gleaming with lust as he watched Orrin continue pumping in and out of Rachel. She shivered under the intensity of his gaze. Roy wanted her, or maybe he just wanted to screw whoever would let him. She gave him a lazy smile and again pushed back onto Orrin’s cock