Thursday, December 30, 2010

RED FOG: Nazi Zombie Graphic Novel

I love everything about writing. I love the shiny beginning, the hair-pulling middle, the cry-fest at the end. I love editing, and promoting (not so much), and everything else that comes between. Except for the uncertainty of the publishing industry.

And how much harder would it be to publish a graphic novel?

I would never have known if not for the writer Chris Williams, and artist Mike Docherty, and their Nazi Zombies. Chris is an Animation Supervisor who has animated or supervised on a variety of films, including the SPIDER-MAN trilogy, OPEN SEASON, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Chris holds a degree in Art History from McGill University and a diploma in Classical Animation from Sheridan College. Mike has 30 years of comic book and storyboarding experience. He's worked for MARVEL, WARNER BROS and SONY just to name a few, and has been instrumental in many great projects including the CONAN THE BARBARIAN comic as well as the films STARSHIP TROOPERS and GODZILLA.

I've been following the progress of this project for a while now, and I'm so impressed with everything Chris and Mike have accomplished. With only FIVE DAYS left to raise the money they need, though, they're close but could use as much help as they can get. Please check out their project and become backer. For as little as $20.00 you could make a HUGE difference and get a copy of the finished project as a thank you from these talented guys!

click here

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to Reality

Come visit me at Happy Endings where I'm sharing a few tips to help get back on the writing horse after the holidays.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I really want for Christmas

I'm blogging at the Vauxhall Vixens today. :)

(By Adam from Phoenix, Arizona, USA (Tortured Cat) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
(], via Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Welcome to December

A little late, but better late than never, right??

Whew. Am I ever glad that November is over and done with. I'm not sure what to tell you about it. It was productive in its way...although not how I had expected it to be. I DIDN'T finish NaNo. Barely started and got derailed early on. Instead, I decided to go through hell and come out the other side a little the worse for wear.


I came out of it all with this!

I'm very pleased and super stoked to announce that my story has been chosen for inclusion in an anthology to be published by Berkley in November, 2011. The theme of the anthology is "Agony and Ecstasy". You can find out the details, and get the line-up of other fabulous authors (including the amazing Meljean Brook, Margaret Rowe, Helen Kay Dimon, Christine D'Abo, Del Dryden, etc...) here

I also have some other amazingness to share soon, but unfortunately since the ink isn't yet dry, I'm keeping this one to myself for just a little while longer, but more news is coming!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Good luck with NaNoWriMo and...

Happy MOVEMBER!! Click here for my post at the Vixens.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Would Murdo Do?

So a friend from the day job turned me on to this blog called "What Would Murdo Do?" which is along the same lines of the very popular Sh*t My Dad Says. It's very funny and heartwarming, and I like it for those reasons and because it's written by the friend of a friend. so please check it out and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Friendly Competition

Come by the Happy Endings Blog today for my post about NaNoWriMo and an exciting announcement! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Your Point of View?

And...another post at the Vixens today! (would that I could find time for my own blog, lately)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rest and Recharge

Click here for my post on the Vauxhall Vixens today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Do You Mean No Writing For A Month?

Come check out my blog today at Happy Endings.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It's been a long while since I felt this relaxed. It's been a while since I haven't felt rushed, pressured, compelled to sit in front of the computer screen (besides at the day job). The last year has been a non-stop write-fest to get two books written. Books that I loved from start to finish (and still love) that they’re done.


I gave myself one deadline and couldn’t quite meet it. Then I gave myself another deadline and wouldn’t let myself not meet it. It meant cutting back on my exercise program, cutting back on my social life (what social life?), cutting back on my internet time, and lots of other things, but I made sure I got the book done.

It felt good. Two weeks later (after the editing), I can honestly say it still felt really good. I spent lots of time with my family. I made homemade soup (French Onion and Butternut Squash). I’ve done laundry and cleaned the house. I volunteered to be the “raffle table mommy” for kiddo’s back-to-school Parent/Teacher BBQ, and I’ve hit the treadmill again (thank God!).

...And it looks like that’s all the time I get. I’m twitchy. Jittery. A little tense and anxious.

I thought I would be able to hold back for at least a month, maybe even right up until after Thanksgiving (we’re planning a family getaway). But it looks like I won’t last that long.

You see, there’s this idea that I have. I know I won’t be writing right away (good for my marriage). It needs time to grow, to be fleshed out, to see if there’s enough substance to fuel the imagination for 90,000 words...but I think there is. And I want to write this. I need to write this.

I am a writer. It’s awesome.

(Please remind me of this three months from now when I’m mired in writer’s block because this awesome idea is causing me to tear out my hair )

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

RWA Orlando 2010-A Brief Rundown

Very brief, but with some great pictures! Come check it out

Saturday, July 24, 2010

See You Soon!

Off to Orlando for a combo vacation/writer's conference. It's going to be a blast! Wish my introverted-self luck mingling with all the like-minded writers, I hear this is going to be a completely sold-out show!

I'm looking forward to not only putting faces to the names of a lot of my online writer-buddies, but also getting the opportunity to meet some of the business' movers and shakers, agents, editors, and publishing pros of all types.

I'm also out-of-my-mind excited about the prospect of Disney World. I've never been and it's one of those things that everyone should try to do no matter how old they are.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them as soon as I get back.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gearing Up

Come visit me today at the Vixen blog where I share my excitement about getting ready for my first RWA National Conference.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Cave

(By Enzyklofant (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
(], via Wikimedia Commons)

I'm writing madly and furiously to try and get my book finished before we leave for Orlando at the end of July, which means I'm going to be scarce and very distracted. If you see me pop out every once in a while, just make sure I remember my name and remind me to eat.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things That Make Me Cry

Come check out my blog today at the Vixens about writing emotion.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Weekend

It's been a busy week, and when that happens, I always look forward to the weekend, hoping to be able to relax and wind down...but that really never seems to happen because the weekends are filled with another kind of busy.

Do you ever feel as if there's no room in the hectic schedule to break free of it and try something new? Something different?

That's why, no matter how busy we are, our family makes it a point to set aside at least a weekend a month to do something exciting together--okay maybe not exciting, we're not bungee jumping or anything, but you know what I mean...

One weekend it was a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge (wheeeeee!!), and then the next weekend it was a weekend doing nothing but watching movies and playing Wii together, then another one of camping in the backyard and a bonfire with roasted marshmallows (we had to recover from the cost of the GWL excursion). This weekend is my son's lacrosse tournament, so I will be spending the weekend in an arena--it may not seem very special or exciting, but I love to watch him play, and I love watching the other kids and the parents. It's also one of the few chances I get to just sit back with no responsibilities, absolutely nothing to get done, but be there cheering kiddo on. And it is definitely a break from the routine.

What are your weekend plans? What do you like to do to break away from the everyday?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I was away this weekend, but between shopping and the beach and dropping in at no less than three home-reno stores, the family made a special trip out to have dinner with my parents to celebrate father's day.

What can I say about my father? He's never been a very chatty sort. He has something to say...he says it. We get on with life. As a kid I found him intimidating and unapproachable, and I think he felt he had to be that way in order to keep us all in line. But he's also, a LOT since his children have all left the roost and gone on to be productive, successful members of society. I'm glad to see it too. I'm glad that he's decided his job is done and now he can relax and enjoy the grandkids :)

As much as he may have scared the crap out of me sometimes as a kid (mostly during my unruly teen years, if the truth be told), I never ever doubted that we were always his first priority and that he loved us very much. And seeing the way he is now with my own son, and how that kid idolizes the's awesome.

So I want to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day and send a special shout out to my husband, who is one of the finest men and best father's ever!

My dad and kiddo, working hard!!

Now time to cool off and have some fun :)

That deserves some ice cream for sure!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Never give up, never surrender!

Let me tell you about a story I wrote the year before last. That would make it 2008. I was very proud of that novel because it was one of the first actual novels I ever wrote. (Up till then, I'd mostly been writing novellas.) I tried to get some interest in it but it never quite got there. What could it be, I wondered?

* The heroine as an exonerated terrorist?
* Having three of the four main characters non-white? * Interleaving some pretty hard science-fiction into the romance?
* The jaundiced view of the military that the hero and heroine hold?
* The fact that the only ostensibly alpha character in the entire novel is a villain?
* The fact that it's the heroine who has to rescue the hero?

As a writer, you can think up reasons for rejection till the sun goes nova and still not be finished. So, maybe for a reason I listed above, and maybe for none of the above, I wasn't able to tempt an agent with it.

I kept editing and polishing the thing through 2009...and heard about a new digital publisher opening. Not a fly-by-night, but one with solid investors and staff with publishing bloodlines. Hmmmm, would they be interested in My Little Novel?

Carefully reading the submission guidelines, I submitted a partial. They liked it! They asked for a full! With bated breath, I submitted the full! And Quartet Press folded. Aiyyayay! You know how that ancient mariner felt with the albatross around his neck? Yeah, that's how I was starting to view My Little Novel.

Then, I heard that Harlequin was starting up a digital-first press. Carina Press. From deep in my lair, my ears pricked up. I wonder...?

You know how you read that it's not enough to just write? You have to have tenacity and a tough hide to be a writer? It's true. Because if I hadn't somehow convinced myself that somewhere in the universe existed someone who'd appreciate My Little Novel, that story -- now called IN ENEMY HANDS -- would not be one of the launch titles for Carina Press on Monday, 7 June.

So let that be a lesson to you. Educate yourself in writing. Read widely. And cultivate tenacity. If I can do it, so can you!


The Republic had taken everything from Moon―her research partner, her privacy, her illusions. They thought they had her under control. They were wrong.

Srin Flerovs, Moon's new research partner, is a chemically enhanced maths genius whose memory is erased every two days.

While he and Moon work on a method of bringing dead stars back to life, attraction between them flares, but that poses its own problem. How can their love survive when Srin forgets Moon every two days?

When she discovers the lethal applications her research can be put to, Moon knows she and Srin are nothing more than pawns in a much larger game. Together, they must escape the clutches of the Republic before they become its scapegoats. But there are too many walls around them, too many eyes watching. They want to run, but they're trapped on a military vessel in the depths of space, and time is running out....

Kaz Augustin is a Malaysian-born writer of science-fiction, romance, and permutations of the two. Her website is at and she blogs at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter; just look for “ksaugustin”.

JK Coi: In Enemy Hands is recently released by the brand new Carina Press and I'm interested to know how many of you have already taken advantage of some of their amazing authors' great new titles. For a chance to win In Enemy Hands and one other Carina Press release of your choice, tell me what other Carina Press books you've read or are looking forward to reading. I'll draw a name on Wednesday night.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Congratulations to the winners of my Twitter Contest!

@sarahsreviews and @Pearl_ROOB

You've each won a copy of The Trouble With Destiny and The Morning After.
(email me at jkcoi(AT)rogers(DOT)com for your prizes!)

Thank you to everyone for participating!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Twitter Contest!!

I'm in a great mood tonight, even though I had to work late, and I'll be working late most of the week. Why then? Because I just bought some new music and made a new playlist, and I got a whole whack of new books to read, and some great entries to judge in this year's amazing TRW Contest.

I'm celebrating my good mood by holding my first ever Twitter contest!

Retweet the following before 10:00 pm on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 to be entered to win. TWO copies of my Samhain release The Trouble With Destiny, and TWO copies of my Ellora's Cave release The Morning After are up for grabs:

@jkcoi is in a great mood, which means a contest! Retweet by 10pm Jun 8 to win The Morning After and Trouble With Destiny!

Saturday, June 05, 2010


The winner of Margaret Rowe's Tempting Eden is:


Email me at jkcoi(AT)rogers(DOT)com with your snail mail address and I'll make sure that you get a copy of this FABULOUS book!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tempting Eden

My friend and critique Partner, Maggie Robinson had her debut release Mistress by Mistake, and as everyone should know by now, this was an super amazing book!

But now her alter ego (writing as) Margaret Rowe is celebrating the release of Tempting Eden, a book I've been looking forward to seeing in print for a long while. This is a book that pushes all the boundaries and demands an emotional response. It's bold and daring and gut-wrenching. Don't miss it!!

To help her celebrate, I'm giving away a copy of Tempting Eden to one lucky commenter on the blog this week. Just leave me a comment telling me what you're looking forward to this summer. Is it a book, a vacation, or something else?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Writers Contests-For and Against

Stop by the Happy Endings blog today and share your thoughts about writers contests.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This. Is. Awesome.

Projection on Buildings from NuFormer Projection on Vimeo.

(Thanks to Christine D'Abo for finding and sharing it)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Great Things to do While You're Waiting

Check out my blog today over at the Vauxhall Vixens and share your favourite thing to do to keep your mind off waiting.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's All About ME!!

Today's my day at Christine D'Abo's blog, and I'm sharing 10 things about ... ME! Come learn the things about me that you never wanted to know, and share something about yourself to be entered to win!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 For 10 Plus 1

My friend and critique partner Christine D'Abo is celebrating a very special event--her 10th release from Ellora's Cave!

She's having a 10 day celebration to mark the occasion, showcasing 10 fabulous EC authors and their books, which celebration culminates on May 21 with the release of her new book Mistress Rules!

So make sure to join us everyday from now until May 21 at Christine's blog:

May 11 - Jennifer Leeland
May 12 - KB Alan
May 13 - Amy Ruttan
May 14 - Aileen Fish
May 15 - Rhian Cahill
May 16 - JK Coi
May 17 - Emma Petersen
May 18 - Nina Pierce
May 19 - Lissa Matthews
May 20 - Tory Richards
May 21 - Christine d'Abo

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Introducing Annette Wozniak

Hey, I want you to check out Annette. She's a fabulous young singer with a bright future--and she's also my very close friend's baby sister!

Her debut album is called Through Darkness and you can click to buy it from cd Universe or from cdbaby

Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's about the process...

It's my day over at the Vixen Blog, so come by and share your thoughts on your favourite part of the writing process (or just come and say hi).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Beauty of Blog...and a Preview

I wasn't going to post anything new today simply because I don't really have the time and there doesn't seem to be much for me to tell you right now. I don't have a new release to plug, I don't have a special guest to showcase today...

But what I do have is a pretty new blog layout and I like to look at it :)

So since I'm here, I'll let you in on a secret...I'm writing something new.

Granted, I've been writing this for a while, but it took a long time for me to really commit to it, since I had still been focused on other things. But now that I'm seriously invested, the writing has been coming a little easier once again and the story really rocks. The funny thing is--I thought that my last book was my best book yet...but now I know that this one is going to surpass even that. And I guess that's the way it should be, right?

So, do you want a little sneak peak?

Greta braced one arm across her face to protect her eyes and cheeks from the sharp wind. The other she held out for balance, taking high-kneed steps through snow that had made achy popsicles of her toes long ago, while cursing the blood-borne creature that had forced her to track it in this godforsaken blizzard.

The thing holed up in yon cavern somewhere beyond the wall of white whirling all around her wasn’t the particular evil deviant she had been hunting—was always hunting. No, this was something else, maybe just as bad. Still, having picked up another mark to bring in for the reward money was better than sitting around twiddling her thumbs as she waited for Rudolph to return with news of more dead ends.

At least, that had been the plan. A bloody good one too—right up until gale force winds and an ice storm engulfing three goblin territories had descended like a bitter, frozen plague to torture her.

Fortunately, Greta wasn’t following a physical trail. It would have been buried and long gone by now if she was. No, she was pretty sure she knew where this monster was hiding and didn’t need his footprints in the snow to point the way for her. Even so, the only reason she hadn’t turned right back around to seek shelter from the devastating storm was the young boy missing from his home in the village. She refused to believe he was dead already, although he would be if someone didn’t get to him fast.

“Sand and sp-p-lashing surf.” She blinked away the crystals forming on her eyelashes and glanced up at the wide evergreens so heavy with snow their limbs sagged all the way to the ground. “T-t-tender barbecue chicken,” she continued to mutter through chattering teeth. “T-t-tall, leafy palms. A w-w-warm yellow sun.”

Unfortunately, the cold hadn’t yet made Greta delusional enough to believe that the wet stuff filling her boots and trickling down the back of her neck was anything but miserable, icy cold precipitation, or that she was anywhere but miserable, far-from-home Mylena.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And the winner is...

The winner of a copy of Maggie Robinson's Mistress by Mistake is:

(email me at jkcoi(at)rogers(dot)com with your address)
Thank you all for joining me in celebrating this fabulous author's debut release!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Introducing...Maggie Robinson!!

I've been waiting for this day for many months! It's release day for my friend and critique partner Maggie Robinson!!

This is one of those books you'll keep on your shelf forever. It will get dogeared and worn from many many reads because you just can't let these characters go, even after the book is done.

Maggie is a brilliant writer and a wonderful person and I'm very happy to be able to help her pimp this--her very first book!!

In celebration, I am giving away a copy of Mistress by Mistake to one lucky commenter on this blog between now and tomorrow night. Come on everyone, show the love for Maggie and win a book!

Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinson

“MISTRESS BY MISTAKE sizzles off the page. A marvelously sexy romp.”
~Rita-nominated and award-winning author Anna Campbell

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once--and she's paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she'd never succumb to men's desires again. But even a village spinster's life miles from temptation can't save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost. . .

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He'd fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn't expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them. . .

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society's judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love. . .

Monday, April 26, 2010

GUEST AUTHOR: Robie Madison

I'd like to welcome a friend and fellow TRW author, Robie Madison to the blog today! I "grilled" Robie on her new book, Getting It All, available now from Ellora's Cave, and this is what she had to say:

1. Getting it All sounds like a wonderful reunion story. Readers usually have a favourite genre or trope that they enjoy reading, but that can sometimes be said for writers as well. Do you think you have a favourite type of story to write? If so, what is it and why? The reunion? The beauty and the beast storyline? Star-crossed lovers?

Getting It All was a great story to write because it gave me an opportunity to continue my exploration of second chance at love stories. It’s been a wonderful challenge to see how three sets of couples work through their past issues to reconnect. Am I on a roll? Well, I do have a couple of second chance at love story ideas I’m working on.

I was also able to indulge my fascination with Fairy Tales, since Getting It All is a modern take on Cinderella. This is my second Fairy Tale redo—the first was The Man of Her Dreams, which retells The Little Mermaid, only with a happy ending.

As you can see, JK, I like revisiting themes and exploring new ones.

2. What kind of character is Ryan McGregor? Why did he become a television sportscaster and does he like his job?

Ryan McGregor is good looking, outgoing and naturally popular. But, that doesn’t mean he’s shallow or narcissistic. A born leader, he makes his own decisions and chooses his own friends. At thirty-three, he’s also had some hard hitting life lessons that have made him reevaluate his priorities.

Ryan loves his job, which combines his passion for sports with the adrenaline rush of playing to a crowd that he thrives on. He feels very fortunate to have had a wonderful mentor, his best friend’s uncle, who is a popular news anchor and alumnus of Ryan’s high school, who encouraged him to go for his dream job.

3. On the flip side, what about Celeste? What makes her the person she’s become today?

Celeste Richards Holmes is a spunky survivor. She broke away from a bigoted, chauvinistic father to marry a construction worker who encouraged her goal of becoming an engineer. But it’s her pragmatic nature that enables her to juggle a career and single parenthood to rambunctious twin boys—a role she assumed seven years ago after her husband was killed in an onsite accident.

Celeste believes she’s happy and content with her life, even though she still wears her dead husband’s shirts. Then she receives an invitation to her high school reunion…

4. What was your favourite part about writing this book?

Getting It All is the third book in the Heartbreak Anonymous series, so definitely one of my favourite scenes to write was the Prologue, where I had a chance to catch up with Wyatt James and Celeste’s big brother Zach from Gay Paris.

My overall favourite part about writing this story? Charting Celeste’s transformation into a super sexy woman who goes after what—or should I say who she wants.

5. What can we look forward to seeing from you in the near future?

My new office. LOL Seriously, JK, I’m teaching an online course in May and then moving in June. We’re downsizing, but my office will be an upsize. So, I’m really looking forward to organizing my new and improved work space.

Meanwhile, Ryan McGregor’s cousin is stuck in an elevator with a woman wearing a red power suit. And I have a dragon-shifter and a (mostly) human heroine intent on saving the world. Stay tuned.

To learn more about Robie Madison, visit her website at:


Getting It All

Celeste Holmes might be a feisty survivor, yet seven years after his death, she’s still wearing her husband’s shirts. But all that’s about to change. Take one invitation to a high school reunion. Throw in a full day-spa treatment and a whole new wardrobe. And a sexy, sultry Celeste is ready to show Mr. High School Hottie just what he missed fifteen years ago. That is, until she decides she’s the one who missed out and makes a no-strings proposition of her own.

Popular TV sportscaster Ryan McGregor has spent the past fifteen years regretting the loss of his friendship with Celeste and what might have been. Now that he’s found her again, he’s not interested in a one-weekend stand. Using every seduction technique in his arsenal, he’s determined to claim her.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Deleted Scene from The Fall...

So I've been convinced (and I see the light!!) that I don't need the "prologue" I had written for The Fall and now that I've ruthlessly cut it from my manuscript...that means I get to share it with you!



In the many thousands of years that the world has been given over to humanity, angels have watched over our violent and irrational race—but not to protect us as the myths like to suggest. These powerful, passionless beings have been waiting. Waiting for the one true sign that their second chance to claim earth’s paradise for their own has finally arrived...That time is now.



Amelia took the final step up to the seventh floor and rounded the stairwell. Her long, black coat flared out behind her, hinting at the length of burnished steel strapped comfortably to her waist as she headed for the last door at the end of the hall. The dirty corridor was empty and dark. Only one light flickered erratically from the water stained ceiling overhead, but it was enough to reveal the yellowed paper peeling off the walls.

Reaching for the tarnished and dented door handle, she wasn’t surprised when the thin wooden barrier swung inward on its own. She had no idea why she’d been called from the realms to this place, at this time, but had dared not ignore a summons from Michael himself.

Taking a deep breath, she entered and quietly shut the door again behind her. She took in her surroundings. Michael stood in the center of the room with his back to her. She noted the understated clothing and absence of wings. Despite that, he wouldn’t have fooled anyone, still managing to look distinctly out of place in the shabbily kept human dwelling.

Michael’s always fierce expression, imposing height, and the exaggerated breadth of his shoulders tended to make humans nervous even without the six-foot wingspan. Those who saw him wouldn’t have known—or believed—what he was, but they could feel it. The unlimited power. It was one of the reasons why Archangels rarely descended to the earthly planes, and it meant his presence tonight did not bode well.

As if in agreement with her unvoiced consensus, outside the apartment a violent storm raged. The flash of lightning came almost in time with the flickering light out in the hall, and the crack of thunder caused the single, dusty painting on the wall to rattle in its place. But even nature’s anger was not able to drown out the hoarse and agonized scream that filtered through the closed bedroom door straight ahead of her.

A woman’s pain.

The distinct smell of newly spilled blood flooded Amelia’s sensitive nostrils. Behind the same door, she heard a male’s voice murmuring encouragement as he tried unsuccessfully to hide his fear.

A compelling certainty filled her. The time had come.

At that moment, as if to affirm her suspicion, a babe’s first-born cry rang out, the sound coming from the other room pure as angel song.


The mighty Archangel turned to face her, his jaw set. As always, Amelia was struck by the absolute knowledge and logic that shone from his clear crystal eyes, visible to her now even in the low light of the apartment.

“Michael, can it be true?” It was impossible to believe that after so many years Lucifer’s ancient threat might actually come to pass, but what other reason could this particular Archangel have for attending the inauspicious birth of a human child?

He nodded. “Yes. This is the beginning. It’s what we have been warned of.”

Another cry, but Michael seemed to have already dismissed the child on the other side of the door. Instead, he lifted his gaze to a point beyond Amelia’s shoulder, as if seeing right through the apartment walls to the dank corridor and staircase beyond. “Unfortunately, it is what a lot of angels have been waiting for.”

Suddenly she felt it too, the presence of another of their kind closing in. “Ezechiel approaches.”

“You know what must be done.”

She paused under Michael’s cool and immovable regard. Yes, she knew her duty. Squaring her shoulders, Amelia readied herself. “Of course. I will do what is necessary.”

“You understand that from this point forward you will be alone in this mission. I cannot become involved any further.” It wasn’t a question.

“Yes, I understand.” Even though the reasons why hadn’t been explained to one such as her, Amelia would not have expected anything different.

“The babe is to be protected, but most importantly, his existence must be hidden from all our kind. If you fail and he should be discovered—”

“It won’t happen.”

Michael just looked at her.

“If I fail, all that shall follow will be on my head.” She nodded. “I am aware of the consequences. Michael, you have my word.”

“Then I wish you good luck.” With a final nod the Archangel disappeared. The small apartment seemed dingier without the beauty of his golden light, not that Amelia noticed.

“Luck doesn’t play a part in such as this,” she murmured softly to herself. With swift efficiency, she stripped the long coat from her shoulders and dropped it to the floor, letting her wide white wings unfurl behind her. She flexed them outward, the tips extending longer than the ends of her fingers stretched out at her sides.

Drawing the sword from the scabbard at her hip, she opened the door.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I am a Super Villain

So have you seen this commercial, it's the cutest thing EVER!

I've been thinking of the villain in this book. So far, he has remained unseen, steering events from behind the scenes while lesser minions take the stage and challenge my heroine. I know he'll have to make an entrance at some point, but I'm not quite certain I know what makes him tick just yet, so I don't want to bring him out. You see, this villain is a villain by circumstance. His heart wasn't always black and rotten. His motivations are not steeped in evil, but born of fear and desperation. I'm still trying to get to know him, but every little piece that I uncover turns a different light on this complex character.

How about you? Do you like your villains big and bad and very very evil, or do you want them to have layers that make you wonder what they might have been like if their circumstances and experiences had gone another way?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Promo Ho For The Day

I'm a promo ho...for the Vixens!

Stop by our Dark Walk today for a special treat. Our own Tiffany Clare has unveiled the cover for her debut book The Surrender of a Lady, which is being released September, 2010!! It's soooo beautiful!

Also, don't forget to enter Maggie Robinson's contest to celebrate the upcoming release of Mistress by Mistake. She's also holding a Twitter hashtag contest, so tweet your heart out, and use the hashtag #MistressMonday for your chance to win!

Keep your eyes on both of these amazing debut authors. They're going to blow your socks off!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Endings

Today I'm blogging at the Happy Endings blog about what to do when that book is done to keep the momentum going. Come on by and give us an update about your own project. We want to hear from you!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reliving the '80s

I was a child of the 80's. I admit it. I grew up wearing pastels, leg warmers, and bangles. I teased my hair and sprayed it with the ozone-killing gunk until it wouldn't have moved even if a tornado ripped right past me.

Some pretty bad trends came (and went) in the 80's, but there was also some great stuff that I'm always going to remember with a smile like cowboy boots with jeans, Falco, and the Breakfast Club.

And it looks like the 80's revival has begun! This year will see a huge selection of movie remakes from an age that may be best forgotten.

Clash of the Titans, coming April 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street, coming April 2010

Robin Hood, coming May 2010
(Okay, technically Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was out in 1991, but it still had a whole crapload of 1980s goodness)

The Karate Kid, coming June 2010

The A Team, coming June 2010

Tron Legacy, coming December 2010

So, is there anything here that brings back memories? Good or bad? Are you looking forward to any movies this year?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

To be or not to be

We're talking about Shakespearean quotes over on the Vixen blog today, and it got me to thinking about just how much one person can accomplish in a lifetime. After his death in 1616, Shakespeare's first folio was published and it included 154 sonnets, 37 plays and 2 long poems. Imagine if something you create--whether it be a manuscript, a work of art, the design of a famous building--lives on to continue to inspire and provide entertainment and enjoyment for generation upon generation of children and adults the world over.

That's how I feel about my writing. Even though I doubt my work will ever reach a third of the people that Shakespeare's writing did, I feel good that there are a few people out there who will read my books and share them with others, perhaps find them worthy enough to set on a shelf to keep and read again someday. Maybe I will inspire a few would-be writers in producing a new generation of literature. It's a great feeling.

It's the same feeling I get when I look at my son and watch him grow, knowing he will have children, who will have children, etc...and that all these people in the years to come will have something new and important to give to the world.

So, that's my deep thought for the day as I start writing Chapter three of my new WIP.

(Photo: By unknown c1815 (,,1721587,00.html) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Free Day

Today I'm not working the day job. I'm not writing. I'm not going to check my email, and I'm not going to clean my house.

Today is my free day. I'm going to spend it with my husband and son. We have plans to go and do some shopping, see a movie and have dinner out. That's it. Just the three of us. I can't wait!!

Sometimes you just need to put everything else to the side and find a way to relax. I've been a bit stressed out lately, and it's not good for me. My husband has also been working very very hard and I'd lke to be able to give him an excuse to take a break. Not to mention, my son would LOVE the opportunity to have mommy and daddy to himself with no other obligations but to play with him all day :)

So, what are your plans today and for the weekend?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Taking the Edge Off

Today you'll find me at the Vixens talking about the things we do to take our mind off the stressors in our lives.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Character Connection

I read this book over the Christmas holidays. It was so good I had to read it again and just finished last night. I couldn't get the imagery out of my mind and needed to bring that feeling into myself again. That feeling that a really wonderful book gives you--of touching imagery through words that have been spun like the finest, smoothest, most tempting silk. Poetry for the soul is this book.

And now I'm inspired. Not to write about teenage wolves (because obviously it's already been done the very best way that it can) but to write something that makes me feel the same way.

It's tough sometimes to be deep and relevant when writing romance. It seems as if the opposite should be true because romance is supposed to be about the heart, what lies between two people as they travel a road of discovery. But more and more I'm finding that there are so many other expectations for a romance novel that it sometimes feels like the soul of it gets lost somewhere between the fantastic hooks, sustaining conflict, alpha heroes and evil blood-sucking fiends.

I actually talk about this a lot, but I think it's important. When we're writing, we have to remember the balance. It's not easy, because it takes effort and you have to be able to dig deep. When you think you've reached that one emotion that will bring a tear or a tender smile to your reader's eyes, dig deeper still. Dig until you cry. Dig until they're your emotions on the page. Balance can be achieved with a stronger emphasis on the emotional experience.

Sure, I like a kick ass knife fight and I enjoy a good end-of-the-world scene as much as the next person, but behind those things, there needs to be a careful, compelling reason for the story, whether I'm reading it or writing it. I want to feel a connection. Don't we all? Isn't that the reason for what we do in all the many areas of our lives?

Whether you're a reader or a writer, do you have a favourite genre? What do you remember the most in the books that stay with you the longest? The interesting plot twists? The feeling they leave you with?

(Photo:  By Antonio Canova (Italian, 1757–1822) (Mak Thorpe (1997)) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Despite the lack of bloggage recently, I'm still kicking around. It's been busy, but that's not really an excuse. The truth is I took a bit of a break.

The writing. Not sure why, but words have been hard to come by lately. For various reasons, I guess. Not the least of which seemed to be a lack of motivation and creative energy.

Well, I'm going to tell you that the muse stops here. As of today it's fired. There's no room for a muse in my world. This is a serious business and I am treating it as such.

Which means...plotting.

Lots and lots of plotting.

And oddly enough, the plotting exercises have worked in as much as they seem to have helped me to find that sliver of an idea and build it into something I can really work with.

This is going to be a great story.

Oh...and I'm blogging today at the Vauxhall Vixens too, so stop by.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What I'm Listening To

It's been a while since I shared my play list. Technically, I haven't started writing my new book yet--I'm kind of waiting on something that will probably determine WHICH book I start writing next, but I'm getting in the mood with these great songs:

Mariannas Trench-Beside You (This guy can sure hold a friggin' note, man he's awesome)

Best I Ever Had-State of Shock (The instrumentals on this one are great. The piano in the rain is a bit cheezy, but the whole package is nice and moving)

Wake Up Call-Maroon 5 (OMG, he's so cute, and this song rocks!!)

Deadend Countdown-New Cities (Okay, the video's not stellar and the singer's bulging eyeballs freaks me out, but I like this song to run to, lots of great energy!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Blogging

I'm very excited to be blogging with the Nine Naughty Novelists today, a fantastic group of naughty authors with a super-cool site. I’m talking today about genres and I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Interview of a Different Sort

I'm NOT being interviewed...but the heroine of my story, The Morning After, has gotten together with the heroine of fabulous author Kimber Chin's book, Invisible. Click here to check it out!

Also, thanks to Christine D'Abo for letting me know about another great review for The Morning After at Night Owl Romance Reviews. 5 Stars!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Begin Again

I'm blogging today at the Vauxhall Vixens about finding the right idea and making it work for you. It takes a special spark to turn an idea into a story. Come tell me what draws you into a new project.

Friday, February 05, 2010

GUEST AUTHOR: Linda Poitevin

JK Coi: My guest today is Linda Poitevin, fellow Canadian writer and author of the book A Fairy Tale for Gwyn. I asked her how she manages her time, and she had this to say:

Time: The Writer’s Dilemma

I started writing seriously – as in aiming to be published – about nine years ago. I sold my first book, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, to The Wild Rose Press in March 2009. So did it really take me nine years to write the story? No, but it did take me nine years to learn how to make the time to write.

Time, I think, is a writer’s worst enemy. And we’re not just talking about time as it relates to deadlines and revisions and such, we’re talking about time when it comes to writing in the first place. Specifically, making the time to write.

We writers are a bit of a solitary breed. In the writing stage (not the deadline stage – a whole other story!), we don’t have a set timeline, or a boss that we report to, or even an office expecting us to arrive at a certain hour. Writing can be done pretty much anytime, and pretty much anywhere, for that matter. Therein lies the dilemma. Too many aspiring writers fail to make the time for their writing – and that was the trap I fell into nine years ago.

I told myself that I was serious about becoming published, but whenever life got complicated (as it frequently did), my writing was the first thing to be placed on the back burner. It was easy – too easy – to tell myself it was just for a few days/weeks/months, and that I would get back on track as soon as “x” crisis had passed. The trouble with life, however, is that “x” crisis would invariably be replaced by “y” crisis, and then “z” crisis, and then we’d start the alphabet all over again.

So what’s the difference between nine years ago and now? About two years ago, I stopped trying to find the time to write because I realized I could never find what didn’t exist. Instead, I made the time. Faithfully. Determinedly. Stubbornly. I carved out a niche for myself every day of the week and I stuck to it. By some standards, it’s not much – just three hours a day. But it’s mine, and it’s consistent, and it works. Partly because it guarantees me time for writing, and partly because it makes me think of myself as a writer. Stories are no longer something I do when life allows it, they’re my job. A job I work at every day.

And before you roll your eyes, I know what you’re thinking – that life must simply have slowed down in order for me to make this time. But you’re wrong. Life remains incredibly busy, and sometimes terribly complicated. Over the course of this summer and fall alone, I have helped my husband renovate most of the main floor of our house (doing the work ourselves, including laying a hardwood floor!), helped a daughter find two different apartments and then ultimately move home again (long story involving roommates), done hours and hours of research after learning that someone I care about has a serious learning disability, frozen and canned enough fruit and vegetables for my family over the winter, said goodbye to our family dog after eight years (and then acquired a new puppy) – and written a 445-page manuscript from start to finish.

When I think back over the last few months, I think I need to have my head examined for even attempting a story in the midst of all that. But I did it anyway – and I was able to because I made the time. On the days when it would have been easier (and probably smarter) to get an early start on a project (or sleep in after staying up late to finish one), I reminded myself that I was a writer and that I had a job to do. And I did that job and wrote a book.

So what about you? Whether you’re an aspiring writer or not, tell me what’s important in your life that you can never seem to find the time for – and then commit to making the time instead. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain...are you up for the challenge?

JK Coi: Find out more about Linda and her book here, and make sure to comment on this post for your chance to win! Linda will be giving away a pair of artisan-crafted earrings as well as a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press (a total prize package worth $20) to one lucky commenter from all of the blogs she visits during her tour.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

GUEST AUTHOR: Juliana Stone

JK Coi: Please welcome my guest, debut author Juliana Stone. She has a spicy short story coming out from Samhain TODAY! only to be followed by an amazing new shifter series, the first of which will be released in April, called His Darkest Hunger. She's a fellow member of the Toronto Romance Writers and so I can tell you from personal experience just how wonderful she is. (But I won't tell you, I'll let you find that out for yourself :)

Live the dream folks.

On February 2nd I will officially be able to say I’m a published author. Officially. A. Published. Author. How freaking cool is that?

Two years ago I embarked on this crazy journey and as luck would have it, sold quite quickly. That really isn’t the norm in publishing as everything moves at the pace of a snail. But my agent sold a paranormal romance series to Avon/Harpercollins. The Jaguar Warriors debut in April with His Darkest Hunger.

But it’s a short story with Samhain Publishing that will be my first. The one that proclaims I am published!

I had so much fun writing this short and was more than a little excited when I found a home for it at Samhain. This is the blurb:

Black Opals, Book 1

Frankie Black is a woman in need of a mission. For a Black Opal—a warrior woman who shifts backward or forward through time in order to, well, save the world—the last six months of downtime have left her bored. Restless. And with a feeling that something is about to hit the fan.

Finally, an assignment: save the life of Dekkar James, an infamous rock god living three hundred years in the past. Tattooed, ruggedly handsome and perfectly imperfect, one look at him and it’s as if her sleeping body springs to life.

One minute Dekkar is having the most mind-blowing sex of his life. The next, goons are breaking down his door, and he’s on the run with a woman who turns from lover to warrior in the blink of an eye.

Dealing with the New Order, operatives who manipulate time without regard for the consequences, is nothing new for Frankie. But this time their tactics have a more personal edge—they’ve found a way to seek out the Opals’ predestined mates.

Unless she can save Dekkar’s life, her future will be the first casualty in a battle for the fate of humankind.

Warning: Contains one hot dude with tattoos, a woman who won’t take no for an answer, steamy sex, an ancient Harley and a little bit of time travel.

This book is the first in a time travel romance series. I’ve already completed the second and it’s totally different! Such is the fun of being able to write a story where the setting and time have no boundaries.

In honour of this first release I’ll give away a copy of Black Legacy to a random commentator. I want to know where you would travel to if you had the opportunity. Would you travel into the past? Or blast into the future. Would you stay on earth or choose to travel light years away?

Juliana Stone

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The End...Or Is It?

I'm blogging today over at the Vauxhall Vixens. We're talking about endings in romance novels and whether they still have to be the of the happily ever after variety. Come join in the discussion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seriously Awesome!

A seriously awesome review of The Morning After from Seriously Reviewed!

Ho-dee-doe! Really nice shorty with a touch of sneaky, a bit of good and a bunch of YEAH, BABY!!!!!!

Check out the full review here. Thank you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Missing in Action

Sorry I've been MIA the last little while. You know how real life can start to kick you in the butt and demand your attention? That happened to me. Things aren't close to settling down just yet, so I'll apologize again for the infrequency of future posts. However, please take a gander at some fabulous new and upcoming releases from these fabulous authors:

Available Now:

Storm of Shadows by Christina Dodd

Brilliant but predictable and proper Rosamund Hill has lived her life buried in universities and libraries, discounting the legend of the Chosen as a myth. Until Aaron Eagle shows up at her door. Aaron both unsettles and enthralls her. But she can't resist his irresistible offers of clandestine visits to private museums, the hunt for a mysterious prophecy, or a makeover that unleashes her untamed soul. With the promise of a love that will defy fate itself, Rosamund is forced to confront the truth about the Chosen — and the man who sweeps her into a dangerous world of dark secrets.

Winter Kiss by Deborah Cooke

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr and the dreaded slayers is about to begin...

The mysterious Dragon's Blood Elixir gives immortality to Magnus, the Pyr's greatest enemy, and his minions-so it must be destroyed. Outcast from the Pyr because of his own dangerous impulses, Delaney will do anything to vanquish Magnus-and vows to complete a mission which will either redeem him or end his suffering.

But his plans don't take into account his sudden firestorm-or the hot- tempered Ginger Sinclair. The firestorm reforms Delaney closer to his old self. And when Ginger learns about Delaney's scheme, she cannot resist a strong man with a noble agenda.

Coming Soon:

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole


Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her -- and those she loves.


Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.


From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness -- her wanton desire for him.

No Quarter by Christine D'Abo

When bounty hunter Gar Stitt is on the trail of his mark, everyone knows their days are numbered. When he is given a simple locate and retrieve mission, he’s convinced it is a waste of his skills.

There isn’t a more prolific space pirate in the galaxy than Captain Faolan Wolf. When he walks into a bar with a proposition heavy in mind, he’s not expecting anything to go wrong.

Forced from his solitary existence to work with Faolan, Gar can’t deny his attraction to a man who he should put in prison. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Gar must learn to put his faith in a man he doesn’t know, or run the risk of ending up dead.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Guest Blogging

Hi!! I'm a guest over at Leah Braemel's blog here!

And here at Christine D'Abo's blog!

Come on by for a visit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Release Day!

It's release day for my new contemporary, The Morning After, and I'm blogging over at the Vixens today to celebrate.

I'm also a guest at The Black Raven Cafe with a really great interview and a giveaway!

Stop on by!

Monday, January 11, 2010

GUEST AUTHOR: Tracey Cramer-Kelly

JK Coi: Everyone please welcome my guest today, Tracey Cramer-Kelly, author of the book Last Chance Rescue. I asked her how her background in the military impacts her writing, and she had this to say:

I wasn’t a very good soldier. In fact, people often react with bemused surprise when they find out. “You?” they say. “You took orders from others?”

Not very well, I admit…but I was young!

I might have made a good officer, though. I was already bossy (as three of my younger siblings can attest to) and a bit of a control freak.

But I like to think I was a good medic. Where I responded to Army ‘regiment’ with near-distain, what I was trained for had the opposite effect: I loved it. I loved splinting a broken leg. Inserting an IV. Dressing a sucking chest wound.

Of course I approached my training with a ‘proper’ level of seriousness…but it was a sort of conceptual play. I joined to help pay my way through college (my real aspiration); never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be activated.

Desert Storm changed that. One day I came home to a blink on my answering machine (remember those?) and a message from my Sergeant: “call me immediately.” My friend said I lost all color in my face; my legs went shaky and I had to sit down. Turns out that the Military Police unit that shared our armory had been activated and the purpose for the call was to reschedule our monthly training. For the first time, it occurred to me that I might have to defend our country somewhere half-way around the world. That was not in my plans!

I had a lot of military friends. My BFF was Air Force ROTC, and she introduced me to my college flame, who was also an Air Force cadet. Today an ex-Air Force physician is one of my SMEs (Subject Matter Expert). Good friends from church lost their son in Iraq. And I have many motorcycling acquaintances who are involved with the Patriot Guard.

There was (is?) also a side to the military lifestyle that challenged every moral I was brought up with: the casual sex, the easy changing of partners, the marital cheating, even borderline harrassment. When you’re immersed in an environment, you start to think it’s perfectly acceptable. Now I find that fascinating as fodder for characters.

The Army that I trained in is undoubtedly a different Army now—it has to be. Instead of broken legs, medics deal with ‘blown-off’ legs (or other body parts). It’s not just bullets that kill; it’s shrapnel. Traumatic head injury—common now—was barely covered in my training.

So how has my experience in the military affected my writing?

I think everything I write is affected by what I’ve experienced. I tend to view my experiences through a lens that others don’t have (‘how can I use this?’) Yes, there’s a healthy dose of imagination and plenty of creative license, but a seed has to be sown somewhere, and for me it is often the dual experience of military training and medical training.

I made the heroine of Last Chance Rescue (Jessie) an Iraq war veteran and gave her some of the qualities I saw in my fellow soldiers/medics (and perhaps myself). I did that because I enjoy writing medical drama, and because it gave her depth and plenty of ways for me to develop her character—and to have an impact on those closest to her (e.g., Brad).

What fascinates me now about today’s military is the juxtaposition between service to country and service to family. This inherent conflict is something I’m exploring in a short story (“The Heroes Left Behind”) and also in my current novel-in-progress (you can read more about that at

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A New Year

We had a blast this holiday season. I'm glad that I had finished my book before Christmas (1 week before) because there was no time from that point until now to do anything but hang on for the ride.

We had a whirlwind Christmas, visiting family and eating great food, and in between I even had to work at the day job a few days.

For New Years Eve we went to Niagara Falls and spent the night at the Great Wolf Lodge--which kiddo absolutely LOVED! They had a great party with lights and balloons and lots of loud, sparkly fireworks. It was awesome. When we got home, it was to spend the last few days of the holiday resting on the couch before school and work started up again this week.

But now that everything is getting back to its normal routine, my writing must as well. Which means I'm in editing mode. I don't mind editing. I like the exercise of going back over my manuscript and finding those gems of beautiful writing. When it can still make me cry or laugh the second and third time around, then I know I'm going to keep it. But part of this process is also to find what isn't working and strive to fix it, which can be challenging, but of course will make the book much better.

In between all of this, I'm excited for my new release. Look for The Morning After very very soon from Ellora's Cave.

I'll also be starting a new project very shortly. I'm not positive on the details yet--the ideas are still turning in my brain right now--but I'll be sure to let you know when I've got worked out.

Monday, January 04, 2010

GUEST AUTHOR: Amber Leigh Williams

Don’t you just love rogue secondary characters? Recently, I blogged at the Romance Junkies about one such character who threw the sync of my entire paranormal series into disarray and now is getting his own book.

The one time I thought I had secondary characters under control—while writing my first western romance, the first novella in my Wayback, TX trilogy BLACKEST HEART—my critique partner practically begged me to write at least one of the heroine’s brothers’ stories. Yeah, okay. The whole Wayback venture had been somewhat of a writing experiment. Not only had I never written a western, I’d never packed a full-blown romance into a 30K novella. Stepping out of my comfort zone paid off big time. The story was contracted by my publisher, placed 1st in the 2009 More Than Magic Contest’s Novella category, and is the subject of most of my fan mail. And it was fun, the whole experience. I decided my CP was right and a short jaunt back to Wayback was in order.

In BLACKEST HEART, we explore not only actress Stella Ridge’s Texas roots and the town of Wayback but the rodeo circuit as well. My one and only time at the rodeo didn’t reel me into western romance. In fact, it wasn’t until I read Nora Roberts’ Lawless and Wendi Darlin’s Cowboy Games and Hired Hands that I fell in love with the genre and all its possibilities. Not only are the heroes of my Wayback trilogy ranch cowboys, they are rodeo cowboys as well. I went into the research open-minded, wanting to explore different aspects of the competition. The hero of BLACKEST HEART, silent cowboy Judd Black, therefore became a bull rider. In his preliminary scene, readers experience what it’s like to spend eight seconds on the bucking back of Jack the Ripper. I loved getting into the mindset of the cowboy, watching videos of bull riders, gauging both the physical and mental approach to the sport.

My CP dropped heavy hints that she wanted to see Stella’s “good boy” brother Casey find love. Probably because I dropped not-so-subtle hints in BLACKEST HEART that he has a thing for the “bad girl” of Wayback, Josie Brusky. With Casey, I had set him up as a calf-roper in the first story and explored that further through research in the second, BLUEST HEART. In the first draft of the manuscript, however, my CP caught my misinterpretation of calf-roping. In the rodeo scenes, Casey throws a perfect lasso over the calf’s head in record time and the crowd goes wild. That was it. The rodeo newbie that I was left out the part where the calf-roper is supposed to jump off his horse and tie the legs of the calf.

Something else that BLUEST HEART taught me was writing the so-called “bad” character. She came into BLACKEST HEART with a reputation. Confronting that in the second story was a daunting process. None of my previous heroes or heroines came into their stories with bad reps. Josie is known throughout Wayback as the daughter of the town bigot and the local harlot. Every straight cowboy of age from Wayback to nearby Moss Creek is said to have knocked boots on Josie’s bed. The contrasts between Josie and Casey, however, seemed to fall to the wayside within the first draft. They automatically clicked. Much of it had to do with their backstory. They fell in love as teenagers before Josie escaped to Austin to pursue an ill-fated music career. Since her return, Casey’s patience is wearing thin waiting for her to realize he’s still in love with her and wants her for all the right reasons, unconditionally. I didn’t expect the character of Josie to turn out sympathetic, but first readers of the final draft connected with her on a level I never expected and even went out and bought BLACKEST HEART to go with it!

When my western editor contracted BLUEST HEART, the oldest Ridge brother, Keefe, really started to nettle my muse. With the final story in the Ridge family saga, I was going from bad girl to bad boy. Keefe is the playboy. The rake. The all-around wild one of Wayback. While Josie’s like tendencies were a struggle to morph into the role of heroine, Keefe turned out to be just plain fun—probably because I threw the bad boy a curveball in the form of Stella’s Yankee talent agent, Calli Morlani. Experiencing the down and dirty western town through the eyes of this city slicker was one of the most entertaining moves of my career. And Keefe the bronc-busting cowpoke allowed me to explore the sexy cowboy hero from a fresh angle one more rip-roarin’ time, rounding out my Wayback journey in an exciting way!

BLACKEST HEART is available now in ebook and in the paperback anthology THE WAY BACK HOME

BLUEST HEART launches January 6th and Keefe’s story, BET IT ON MY HEART, will follow shortly after in the Spring. All January long I’m celebrating western romance at my blog, The Cozy Page, with the Cowboy Lovin’ event. Join western romance authors Alison Kent, Beth Williamson, Wendi Darlin and many more for cowboy excerpts, eye candy, round robins and tons of free goodies up for grabs! Warm up the winter nights, kick up your boots, and join the party!

Many thanks to J.K. for letting me ramble here at Living With Immortals!

Amber Leigh Williams

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Morning After


My new quickie is up on the Ellora's Cave Coming Soon page!! It makes me very excited to be able to let you know that its release date is January 12, 2010.

Here's the blurb and an excerpt to whet your appetite!

Waking up naked in bed with a man’s arms holding you close wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…except when that man is your husband.

Leslie has tried so hard to put Leo’s betrayal behind her—the ink was almost dry on the divorce papers. But when circumstances throw her in bed with her estranged husband one last explosive time, Leslie learns how quickly anger can turn to passion and hurt can turn to need, even while she knows there’s no way she can ever trust him again.

What Leslie considers goodbye, Leo insists is only the beginning. But the damage between them runs too deep, and sometimes, the only thing more devastating than the night before, is the morning after...


Consciousness came slowly.

It started with a groan, a deep breath, and a fuzzy sense that all was not as it should be this bright new morning. Indeed, the fact that warm light penetrated her still-closed eyelids at all was worrisome, since her large bedroom windows should have been covered by the heavy, thick drapes she’d spent a small fortune to have custom made.

The sunshine wasn’t her only reason for coming to the conclusion that this morning would offer a few extra challenges. The relentless pounding in her temples, and her pasty, dry throat was also a pretty big clue.

Being buck naked beneath the soft cotton sheet was another.

However, the biggest and most compelling sign that Leslie Stevenson was in serious trouble on this particular morning came courtesy of the heavy, even breaths raising gooseflesh on the skin of her nape. The warm, wide chest pressed up against her back. The thickly-muscled arm draped over her waist. The hand cupping the weight of her breast. Especially when her memory of just how the as-yet-unnamed—and very naked—man might have ended up in this bed with her was proving to be an elusive one.

Daring to open her eyes, Leslie bit back an oath as a fresh spike of pain knifed through her forehead to the back of her skull. She didn’t think she’d had that much to drink last night.

How did I get here? Why can’t I remember?

Lifting her arm, she moved to push her hair out of her face, but stilled suddenly as the hand around her breast…squeezed.

She held a harshly drawn breath, waiting nervously. Was her mystery bedmate awake then, or just a grabby sleeper? Could she somehow slip out of here without having to endure the awkward morning after, since it seemed she didn’t even have the benefit of memories from the night before to make said awkwardness worthwhile?

She shifted her hips and started a slow shuffle out from under him, but didn’t get very far. The arm tightened around her waist, pulling her back into the cradle of his solid, warm flesh. She gasped as bold evidence of a raging morning hard-on pressed intimately against her buttocks. The hand clutching her breast repositioned itself, a calloused thumb flicking across her nipple—which tightened beneath this stranger’s bold touch. Her body betrayed her, sending a sharp thrum of intensity to her belly until she wanted to thrust her hips back harder against his erection.

She groaned and shut her eyes tightly as his hips pushed forward, as his cock slid deeper into the crack of her ass. Damn. There should be at least some small nugget of memory to tell her how she’d gotten herself into this particular tight spot, but the details of last night weren’t becoming any clearer, even as soft lips dropped to the curve of her shoulder.

It shouldn’t feel this good. To be held. To be touched.

She remembered her determination to go to the ritzy nightclub last night. Kind of a test. She also remembered forcing her feet to cross the threshold, and then making her way to the bar on the other side of the dark room. She’d ordered a drink in an attempt to numb her scrambled nerves. Leslie and crowds certainly didn’t mix, but she’d been working so hard to overcome the irrational phobia that had made her feel like such a freak for so many years.

But last night she’d felt strong, even though her temples had ached and her fingers shook while she waited patiently for David. Then came the call on her cell phone to say that he was working late and couldn’t make it. And she remembered all her hard-won strength falling away, proving that it had been nothing but a flimsy mask. She had lurched up from the barstool, desperate to be gone from that place.


He appeared across the dance floor.

With a gasp, Leslie clutched the bed sheet to her chest in a tight fist. She twisted around and glared into the face of the last person she should find herself naked in bed with…

Her husband.