Good Morning Monday
It’s been another busy week, but then again, I haven’t had a non-busy week in years LOL. Though my daughter got her drivers license last week and it has really freed up a lot of my time. I used to spend a lot of my days driving kids all over town – sometimes leaving the house 8 or 10 times per day – but now she’s mobile, I don’t have to do that anymore. It’s like I’m getting a little bit of my life back! So yay for that!
I didn’t manage a great deal of words this week, but my WIP is now at 10K and should be about 50% done. It’s only a super short story, but it’s taking longer than I wanted it to. Real-life and dealing with some professional changes as well has really cut into my time. It’s all good, and positive, just time-consuming. But I’m hoping to almost wrap up the WIP this week. It’s fun and flirty, and will be my 2019 Christmas story. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge fan of Christmas so in keeping with that theme, one of the main character’s hates Christmas, and the other is a little more festive, but it’s certainly no Hallmark Christmas movie. LOL The book itself is a little bit secret-squirrel stuff, but as soon as I can disclose more, I most certainly will. Though I can say there is a Christmas themed masquerade ball and you may never think of Rudolph the same way again. 🙂
We’ve been dog-sitting my friend’s 8-month-old rottweiler, and it’s been like having a 45kg toddler in the house. He gets into everything, doesn’t listen, and the biggest most adorable marshmallow ever. LOL Our dog Ruby loves him, they rumble all day long, stampede through the house at 5am, and trash everything in the process. But it’s cute, and we honestly don’t deserve dogs. They make everything better 🙂
Oh, and in case you missed this last week…
And the audio of Galaxies and Oceans is up for pre-order!! It comes out tomorrow!
You can find it HERE!
Okay that’s it for this week. Nothing too exciting to report, really. Fingers crossed, next week I’ll have some exciting audio news for you and I can say I’m finished my WIP 🙂
What a week indeed. The release of Sir was fabulous, so a HUGE thank you to everyone who read and reviewed Sig, Levin, and Hunter’s story. Sir broke into the #1 in six or seven countries on release day, and is still doing really well. I’m so glad people are loving that little book! It was fun and very different, and I love using creative muscles I don’t get to use very often. Thank you guys, for supporting me and reading my books.
You can find Sir at Amazon
Upside Down is still on sale at all retailers, but only for another couple of days. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, I strongly urge you to do so today. It will also be leaving wide distribution and heading back into Kindle Unlimited.
You can find it at:
After a lifetime in purgatory, Audible has FINALLY released THROUGH THESE EYES!!
You can find it HERE!
The audio of Finders Keepers is OUT NOW!! You can find it HERE!
And the audio of Galaxies and Oceans is up for pre-order!!
You can find it HERE!
I know at the beginning of the year, I had said there would be a range of audios coming out in 2019. That has since changed, and all future audio productions are on hold for the moment. Thus far, this year alone, I’ve had 9 or 10 already, which is a LOT. The production of Sir has been scheduled for later in the year and that will be happening. I also believe Nova Praetorian will be out sometime soon as well, but apart from these two titles, audios will slow down for a while.
Thank you for understanding.
Tallowwood is now with my editor (yay!) and I’ve started something new! It’s only very new – this week has been kinda stressful in dealing with some stuff and was not kind for productivity and words, but I have started it so that’s something I guess. I can’t say much more about this new book than that at this point because it’s secret squirrel stuff. But it will be a lot of fun and I’m certain my readers’ will love it!
Okies, that’s it for this week. Until then…
It’s been a super busy week in Walkerville. I finished the first draft of Tallowwood, and it’s now with some beta-readers. It came to a total of 96K words (before edits, obv) and I’m waiting for feedback to see how much it sucks. LOL
It’s release week for SIR!!!! I’m so excited for you all to meet Sig, Levin, and Hunter. Though I would warn you all, it’s a stretch from my usual thing, there is quite a LOT of sex but it is relationship-based, as all my books are. And last week I promised an excerpt, and so I shall deliver…
The Mercedes slowed around the grand driveway, stopping in front of the huge manor. The Casa di Salvezza was a remarkable nod to history and grand architecture, and a buzz thrilled through me every time I came here. One of Colton’s boys, Phillip, opened my door. He offered a polite smile before bowing his head. “Good evening, Sir.”
I nodded my acknowledgement and stepped out of the car. I straightened my jacket and ran my hand through my hair. A touch of grey flecked at my temples, but the brown mostly matched my eyes. It was otherwise short and tidy; impeccably neat, like everything in my life. Structured, organised, understated but distinguished. I glanced up at the huge stone building, the windows glowing warm and inviting, and I walked to the door, knowing Levin would follow. Without prompting, without even a look, he read my cues.
The perfect submissive.
My perfect submissive.
Levin had been in my care for two years. He had dark hair, blue eyes, and fair skin that flushed beautifully when he laughed and when he orgasmed. Other Doms would probably say I was too lenient on the boy or I spoiled him, but Levin was different. He was smart, sometimes a little cheeky, warm and kind, and completely insatiable. He has been chosen for me by Colton. Colton, my old Master, my Master still, had an uncanny ability to choose the perfect partner.
Dominant to submissive, Master Colton had a gift for forging bonds between pairings. As far as I knew, he’d never failed.
I hadn’t been Colton’s sub for nearly a decade. He taught me everything I know. I had no obligation to fall to my knees in front of him, but I would. No matter how long it had been since he called me his sub, he would always be my Master.
Even though I’d been a Master in my own right for ten years, we would still meet regularly and talk over coffee. At least every six weeks, not including play sessions. He was my mentor, my adviser, but I’d like to think he was also my friend. We’d discuss the trials and tribulations of being a Master, of having the responsibility of subs, the latest goings on in this dominion, and in the other dominions in other countries.
This dominion I was part of, like all dominions in the Sanctus, had three Grand Masters: Jürg, Valente, and Colton. Each had a specialty, an area of expertise. All three were exceptional men. With traditions spanning centuries and unimaginable wealth, the Sanctus was an exclusive, elite community, and one I was honoured to be part of.
Each member was chosen with a specific purpose—mine being medicine—ensuring the dominion remained self-sufficient. We didn’t have to look outside of our own dominion for expertise. Real estate, stock markets, even our mechanics and house cleaners were all part of the dominion.
There were rules. Many rules, but none more important than the first.
Keep the secret.
As I approached the huge wooden front doors to Master Colton’s manor, I knew Levin was following. I could hear his quiet footfalls two steps behind me. I didn’t have to turn around to know he’d be walking with his head slightly bowed, his shoulders squared, and his hands clasped behind his back.
Master Colton was right.
Levin was perfect for me. He read me, as I did him. He was dedicated and willing, his submission to me a true gift.
Colton had matched other Doms perfectly with their subs, which was why I was surprised he called me, requesting to see me urgently.
He’d gotten one wrong, he’d said.
He needed me to come, it was a matter of importance, he’d said.
Bring Levin, he’d told me.
Which was why we were here.
The doors opened before me, and we stepped inside. The marble foyer was impressive, as was the entire estate. Stefan, Colton’s first sub, a pretty, dark-haired boy, greeted us with a nod. “Master will be pleased,” he said quietly, and ignoring the immense staircase in front of us, we turned to the left and walked through to the sitting room, where I was asked to wait. The doors closed silently behind him.
The room was delicately dressed in fine antiques; ironic, considering the furniture in the several playrooms downstairs. There were two French provincial chairs, and I deduced I was to sit on one of them.
Levin silently knelt beside me. Dressed in my standard required attire of faded jeans, he also wore a black T-shirt, a coat, and boots for the weather. He rested on his heels.
A sight to behold, my sub.
He hid his anxiety well. Kneeling beside me now, no one would guess he was nervous about coming here. He’d wondered why Colton had insisted on his presence. He thought for one horrible, fleeting second that he was being recalled.
“I don’t want you to leave me,” he’d whispered. “I could never belong to anyone else. Not as I belong to you.”
I’d dismissed that, reassuring him Master Colton had not implied any such thing. I’d reassured him ultimately it was my decision if I kept him as my own or even his decision if he wished to remove his collar. “Never,” he’d whispered, so then I’d reassured him with my cock.
Just how he liked it.
When the doors reopened and Colton walked in, he held a piece of paper, and I could tell he was uneasy. Colton sat in the chair across from me, worry lines marring his brow. His third sub, Mikhail, knelt quickly beside him, assuming the same position as my Levin.
“Thank you for coming on such short notice,” Colton said.
“Sig,” he started. “You know me well.”
I nodded. “And I can tell you are troubled.”
He frowned again and sighed. “I am.”
“What is it?”
“I failed a submissive,” he said quietly.
Instinctively, I was quick to leave the chair and kneel in front of him, in a pose that mirrored Levin’s. “I don’t believe it.”
“It’s true,” he admitted. “I paired a Dom and sub, and they were . . . not compatible.”
Compatible. I didn’t like how the word sounded. Not all bonds are for life; some last years, some don’t. But this sounded . . . different. I couldn’t quite marry what he was saying with the man I knew. “Please explain so I understand.”
“A boy was brought into the Sanctus a few weeks ago. I oversaw him. He’s a dear boy; a boy who needs strict boundaries. I paired him with Lazzaro.”
I winced at the mention of his name. I knew many Doms who practised S&M and they were good people. But Lazzaro had a coldness about him. He had the hollow stare of a manipulator, a sociopath.
Colton didn’t miss my reaction to the mention of Lazzaro’s name and he let out a sad sigh. “Yes. Last night, Lazzaro brought him here to do a scene and I noticed marks on him that contravened his hard limit. Valente and I recalled him. Lazzaro has been relegated to a sub in training with Valente.”
Quite a demotion indeed. Stripped of his rank, stripped of his sub, and sent back to training. Valente would not tolerate such blatant abuse of power and disrespect of a sub in his care. His retraining would be harsh and thorough. Though Lazzaro was not my concern.
“Does the boy need medical attention?” I asked, my first priority.
Colton gave a slight shake of his head. “Please, sit as equal with me,” he said, nodding to the seat I’d been sitting in.
Equal? Never . . .
Though I did as he asked, choosing silence over disagreeing with him. “The boy is physically fine. He’d used a whip on him, and that breached his hard limits. The welts weren’t that bad; he’d provided good aftercare.”
Sig frowned. “If he broke his trust and hurt him, then provided aftercare . . . That’s an abusive powerplay. Did he hurt him then soothe him and tell him it was his fault, that he wouldn’t have been whipped if he’d behaved better? Master Colton, that’s—”
He raised his hand. “I know. And Lazzaro will learn this lesson, believe me.” He sighed heavily. “But now the boy has been recalled. He’s had his trust breached, he had his submission thrown back in his face, and now, he’s struggling mentally.”
My field is medical; I’m a doctor, not a psychologist. “Why have you called me? If the boy needs a psychologist, surely Ephraim is better equipped.”
Colton smiled, almost sadly. “I need you to take him. I need you to take him as a second submissive.”
I blinked, turning his request over in my head before glancing toward Levin, who had not moved a muscle.
“I know Levin is your first concern,” Colton admitted. “I know you to be a strict but fair Dominant. But I also know you’re compassionate; one who punishes and uses as required but who also cares deeply for his subs.”
“Tell me about him.”
Colton handed me the piece of paper he was holding. “His name is Hunter Vargo. He’s twenty-three. He’d been with a Dom outside of our dominion who feared he lacked the skills required for such a boy. He needs twenty-four seven submission. I took him in; he’s very dedicated. I found him to thrive under strict domination, but . . .”
“Look at his form,” Colton said, nodding to the piece of paper. It was a sexual soft and hard limit form. Each and every person who entered into the Sanctus was required to fill it out, and any Dom worth his salt would insist a sub’s forms were redone often, discussed and negotiated at length.
This form was decidedly empty, except for one hard limit. “He has a hard limit of whipping,” Colton said.
“That’s not uncommon,” I conceded.
“Whipping of any kind,” Colton added quietly. “When you see him, you’ll understand.”
I nodded. If Colton said as much, then I took it as truth and would wait until I saw the boy for myself. But this form . . . I turned the paper over in my hand. It was blank. “There’s nothing else marked or noted.”
“Yes. An oversight. The system we have in place has never failed anyone before . . .”
I frowned. “But his one and only hard limit was breached? The failure was with Lazzaro.”
“All responsibility and failures stop with me. I allowed Lazzaro a position of Dom, and clearly he’s not worthy. When Hunter was ready to go with a Dom, after his initial training with me, he said he understood everything, he was ready . . .” Master Colton shook his head. “I think he told me what I wanted to hear. He wanted to please me, so he agreed. I should have seen that. I should have known better. For me now, the incident with Lazzaro is a separate issue. The first issue is mine. I failed this boy. Not just the Sanctus and our traditions. Me.”
We were both quiet for a moment. While Master Colton was responsible for all members in this dominion and would bear the weight of blame, I had a hard time agreeing that he was entirely at fault.
Colton sighed. “I want you to take Hunter. I wouldn’t ask anyone else. He’s a special case. And he needs a Dominant I can trust, Sig. And there is no one I would trust more.”
But a second submissive?
“I already have three subs. I am unable to take on another,” Master Colton continued. “Otherwise I would. I let this boy down, and now I feel obligated to ensure his care. Someone who I know will do right by him.”
As alarming as this was, I could never have denied Colton. He asked me to take this boy on. And so, I would. Again, I left my chair and knelt before my old Master. “It would be an honour to do as you have asked of me.”
A smile graced his voice when he spoke again. “One of my greatest subs,” he whispered. Colton threaded his fingers through my hair, pulling my head up so I looked at him. “It’s why I ask you to do this. Because I know you will teach him as I taught you. Care for him as I care for you.”
A rush of pride warmed my chest. I smiled at the compliment, at the gentle touch of his hand. “Of course.”
“I have told Hunter that in light of his recent mistreatment and the betrayal of his Dom, I would impose a one-week trial with you.”
I looked up at that, shocked. The Sanctus rarely applied such trials. “Oh?”
“Yes. And I know you like to pet your boy and reward him with a hand in his hair. And I will allow that. You can reassure him and reward him with gentle touch, though I would impose a rule of no sexual contact in that time. I want him to trust you and be sure it’s right. I want him to feel safe before he is used again in that way. Let him see how you operate before he decides if you’re a match.”
I gave him a nod. “A cautious and fair decision.”
Colton’s fingers found my hair again. “Though you can let him watch, if he wishes. I’m sure Levin would like that.”
I smiled and kissed Colton’s palm.
“Come,” Colton said as he stood. “I want you to meet your new sub.”
Sir will be live on the 25th – there will be no pre-orders. It will be exclusive to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I’ll post again with the buylinks when I have them.
UPSIDE DOWN IS NOW JUST 99c!
For a short time only – grab it now!
This week will be spent doing some research for my next book (which will be a short 20K-word story) and of course release day for Sir on the 25th. I will be away with my son’s basketball next weekend so there won’t be a Good Morning Monday post next Monday, but there will be one on the 25th (Thursday) for release day with the buylink for Sir on Amazon!
Hope you all love Sig, Levin, and Hunter as much as I do…
OMG finally finally finally!! The first draft of this bloody book is done!! It’s very rough and needs a mountain of work and fixing before I can send it off to beta-readers, but it’s DONE!! It came in at a rather plump 95,400 words. I had originally thought it would be three x 30,000-word novellas, but the characters were adamant it be one book. The word count was pretty much the same either way, but I think it will make for a better reading experience.
And the title?
Tallowwood is a fictional town where the majority of the book takes place. It’s set in Australia, the two main characters are Detective August Shaw and Senior Constable Jacob Porter. August is from Sydney, and he’s a reclusive guy, isolated and kind of grumpy. He works the cold case division. Jacob is an Indigenous man, lots of fun, very smart, very sociable. Jacob’s next case is tied to August’s and so the two have to work together.
It was daunting as hell to write. I’ve never done a murder/mystery style book before and considering I don’t plan or outline a single thing, it made it rather difficult. LOL My brain is my worst enemy!
I’m so relieved it’s done. This week will be spent fixing it, adding and deleting accordingly. And I will probably add an epilogue, just to wrap it up with a bow. Because that’s how I like my books written 😉
Sense of Place is FINALLY live!!
You can find it at Audible
I’m still waiting for Through These Eyes to go live. It’s been approved by ACX for FOUR weeks but still nothing 🙁 Fingers crossed it will be soooon!!
Blindside (Blind Faith 3) has been sent and approved by ACX and at this rate it’s likely to be approved before Book 2 in the series. *long suffering sigh*
The Italian translation of Breaking Point is up for pre-order! You can find it HERE! And the cover is gorgeous!
I’ve also signed the contracts to have another four books translated in Italian – Galaxies and Oceans, Finders Keepers, Switched, and The Hate You Drink, will all be finding their way to Italy over the next 18 months! I love my Italian publisher, Triskell Edizioni <3
My kids are off school for one more week. I will be mostly self-editing Tallowwood this week, and finalising the file of SIR (ebook and paperback) which is due for release on July 25th. It’s all happening folks! Always busy and loving it!
I’ll have an excerpt for SIR next week for you all!! Super excited for you all to meet Sig, Levin, and Hunter!
I don’t know how the hell it’s July 1st already, but holy shit. The year is half over! Pretty sure it was just February last week, so I’m not sure how the hell it’s July but here we are LOL
Just a super quick post this week.
I’m still waiting for Through These Eyes and Sense of Place to go live on Audilbe. I can’t believe it’s taken this long! (See? I can complain about time going too fast and too slow at the same time – it’s a talent I have LOL) Though I’m sure they’ll go live as soon as I hit publish on this post. Because that’s how Murphy’s Law works 😉
In WIP news, I’m still not done. I know I said I’d give myself to the end of the month to finish it, but if I quit now, that’d be a month worth of writing wasted. Kinda puts me in a pickle. I *want* to finish this damn book! I adore the characters but damn, it’s painfully slow. I’m now at 67K. And I’m thinking there’s maybe 10-12K to go. I’m getting to the juicy part of the book, and given it’s a murder mystery, it’s exciting! But my kids finish school at the end of this week (just for two weeks holiday) so the pressure is on to get these last chapters written while I have the time!!
Oh, and I also have a title and a cover for this WIP so I guess that’s something…
I’m also doing final edits on SIR, then it’s off to proofreaders. Release date should be approx 25th July but that may change – depending on real life issues. We all know how that is.
Okies, told you it was a short post!
I’ll be logging out of social media again this week to make myself WRITE! Take care, and remember folks, if you can’t be kind, be quiet.
💜🖤 Upside Down is now available at all retailers!🖤💜
Links are as follows:
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ upside-down-n-r-walker/ 1130976995?ean=294016325549 8
Google Play: https://play.google.com/
store/books/details/ N_R_Walker_Upside_Down?id=M KmdDwAAQBAJ
I do try and cycle my books out of KU so everyone has a chance to grab them. I know that not everyone has/wants KU but unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil for me and my books in the way of visibility and reach. I do appreciate your understanding! But if you haven’t met Jordan and Hennessy yet, you’re in for a treat!
In Audio news, Through These Eyes (Blind Faith 2) and Sense of Place (Thomas Elkin 3) should be hitting the airwaves any day now. I’m so excited for you guys to hear them. Narrators Michael Pauley and Nick Russo have done a FABULOUS job!
In WIP news, my current torture device is at 55K words and is still going soooooo slow. It is research heavy, and my self-doubt is crippling me on this book. I have no clue what I’m doing and I’m pretty sure every word sucks LOL Well, I don’t know about sucks, but I can say with absolute certainty that each word is hard fought for. Still without a cover, still untitled, still un-finished LOL I do LOVE these characters though, and if all else fails I hope that shows through.
In other news, I’ll be taking a break from social media until this book is done. There is so much hate in the world right now and I’m beginning to think maybe that’s what’s killing my writing mojo. It’s depressing af, and I’m really struggling at the moment. Social media can be such a wonderful platform and I love the interaction with readers and other authors, and how we come together from all over the world to talk about books. I’ll still post my GMM post next week, and fingers crossed it will be to tell you that I’ve almost finished this book and things are looking up for me.
Until then, much love. And remember kids, if you can’t be nice, be quiet.
I’m very excited to show off my cover and blurb for my next book! I’ve been sitting on this cover for months so I’m suuuuuper excited to be able to finally share it with everyone. The cover is from James at Go On Write, and I just love it.
ARE YOU READY??
O M F G is right!
This book, titled SIR, should be out late July (around the 25th?) but I’ll confirm that when I know for sure. I do have a blurb, but I’m still tweaking it, so the one that gets published could change from this one, but here it is…Blurb:Founded over four hundred years ago, Sanctus Infinitus Redemptio is a private and very elite society where dominance and submission are revered. Steeped in tradition and excellence, every Dominant and every submissive, and their pairing, is selected with great care.When Hunter Vargo is brought into the Sanctus, his need for strict dominance sees him paired with the wrong Master. But only a short time later, mistreated and his trust broken, he’s recalled, his collar removed. The Grand Master knows it will take a special kind of Dominant to restore the sub’s faith and trust.Sig Bruckner’s world is perfect. He has a great job, he has high standing within the Sanctus, and he has Levin, the very best submissive. When he’s asked to take on a second sub, a submissive with issues and a rule not to touch him, Sig’s world is turned upside down.When his Dominance, his patience, and self-control are tested, and when Sig’s relationship with both subs is pushed past his limits, everything begins to unravel. Yet Sig knows every good Dom learns from their subs, and he’s no exception. He might not be able to fix everything on his own, but perhaps the three of them together can.Sig Bruckner is about to learn who’s really in control.SIR is a BDSM-light story, MMM and/or D/s/s. I’m a little hesitant to call it BDSM… It technically *is* but the Sanctus has different laws and rules so it’s not a traditional BDSM lifestyle (obviously safe, sane, and consensual still applies). Sig calls himself a ‘soft Dom’ and he’s not really into the S&M side of things, more into the ‘restraint and fuck’ side of it all LOL, along with sensation-play, and he gets off on the pleasure of his subs.Anywhoooo, there it is. I did say it wasn’t like anything I’ve done before… LOL But Sig, Levin, and Hunter, are wonderfully wonderful, and I’ll be sharing more about them in the coming weeks!
My current project is at 43K words. I had a weird week last week. We had visitors and we were dog-sitting a rottweiler, and my kids had five days off school, so not much got done by the way of words. But I think I know what I’m doing with it now, and I need a HUGE word count this week. I HAVE to get the first draft finished in the next two weeks, and at this point that’s not looking likely.
So send up some good vibes into the universe. For me to get this done, and for whoever else might need them.
Much love! Until next week…
I can’t believe it’s bloody June already. I just don’t know where the time goes… The good news is it’s finally winter, which I love. I think Autumn is my all time fave season but I do love winter. Not a huge fan of super cold mornings, but I love wearing jeans and sweaters and scarves and boots. Mind you, this is an Australian winter. You can keep that “northern hemisphere 10 feet of snow” kind of winters all to yourself LOL
It’s been a quiet week on the authorly front. I’ve been plugging away at my WIP, ever so slowly, because having to stop and double check research slows everything down. It’s currently at 27K words and originally I was thinking it was going to be a trilogy of shorter novellas, but as I progress, that’s becoming less and less likely. It looks like it will be one novel. That’s not a deliberate doing on my behalf. I had planned to have each of the three novellas with one case, and one bigger case overarching all three novellas, but apparently, my main character decided the bigger case was more important and it’s been the sole focus from the first scene. Considering I have no idea what I’m doing, I have to assume he does LOL
I still don’t have a title for this book, or even a cover idea. Normally I have all those details sorted long before now, but this whole book has been on its head from the beginning so I’m now just going with the flow. My inability to plan or outline any book has come back to bite me in the tush, considering it’s a murder mystery. Wanna know the real kicker? I don’t even know who the killer is yet…
Yep. And I’m the author…
Anywhoooo, in other news, I have added another two books that were on my ‘maybe, one day’ list to my ‘to be written’ list. I have titles and cover ideas for those LOL So they will more than likely happen later this year or early next year.
I have two very different characters who each want their book written next, but I feel like my current book is going to take me forever to finish. I’m giving myself the month of June to finish it. If it’s still a hot mess in 30 days, I just may very well throw it out the window. LOL The next two should be light and fluffy and some tooth decaying sweetness that I’m known for. I’m sure we’ll all need it after the murder mystery with death and bodies and general horribleness. 😛
Okay, so this was just basically a nonsensical, rambly nothing post. But sometimes that’s all I’m good for LOL
Hoping for ALL the words this week! Wish me luck!!!!
The release of The Hate You Drink has far exceeded my expectations of how this book would be received. I was wary of how such an angsty book, dealing with real and horrible things, would be received after a comedy like Upside Down. But people are loving it!! It went to #1 on release day, and as of yesterday (Sunday), it was #1 in seven countries (US, UK, AUS, CA, FR, IT, Germany) and #2 in Brazil and #7 in Japan.
And I have to say folks, that’s just freaking crazy!!
And it just proves something that I’ve been saying for years… I really do have the best readers!!
For those who might have missed it, you can find The Hate You Drink at this Universal Link
And in Audio news, Clarity of Lines is OUT NOW!! Nick Russo does a SUPERB job narrating Tom and Cooper’s story. I couldn’t have chosen a better voice to bring their books to life. <3
Okay folks, that’s it for this week. I’ve sent my next book to my editor, and I need to immerse myself in my Work in Progress and get some words down. It’s a little (or a lot) out of my comfort zone so I’m second guessing every word… Ugh. I just need to get out of my own head and write ALL the words!!
Until next week!!
It’s release week for The Hate You Drink!! I’m super excited for the world to meet Erik and Monroe! I’ve had some ARC reviews come in and it’s been overwhelmingly positive, which is wonderful and a huge relief. LOL
It’s hard to know how books will be received, especially those that deal with real life issues like addiction. It’s an angsty read, which is a 180 change in direction after Upside Down. But those who have been following me for a while will know, I don’t actually get much choice about the stories my characters want written. LOL
Given release day is almost here, I thought I’d share an excerpt…
I didn’t need to see the photographs of the wrecked car or the glass and metal strewn across the gutter. I didn’t need the reminder of how close it had been this time. I closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and slid it across the counter and let out an exhausted sigh. I didn’t want to meet Jeffrey’s disappointed gaze. I knew that look. I’d seen it more times than I could count. Jeffrey Kwon, a distinguished Korean-Australian man with short greying hair and a kind face, had been a close friend of Monroe’s parents as well as their trusted lawyer for thirty years, and Jeffrey assumed the same role for Monroe when his parents died. He was no-nonsense and astute, but he had a heart of gold and everyone knew Monroe would be lost without him. Well, everyone but Monroe.
“Where is he?”
“Still asleep,” I replied. I walked over to the nearest couch and all but fell into it, my head in my hands.
“You haven’t been to bed yet?”
I was too tired to even scoff. “Nope. It was after three by the time we left the police station. And then I had to get him into bed.” I didn’t tell him that I’d sat on the end of Monroe’s bed when he’d passed out, trying to calm my anxiety. How many nights had I got a phone call from him, drunk, needing help or a lift, to pick him up from a bar or the police station? A quick glance at my phone told me it was just after eight. The morning sun was up and glaring angrily over the Pacific like it could feel my mood. I scrubbed my hand over my face, feeling the minutes of sleep I’d missed. “How he didn’t hurt himself or someone else, I’ll never know.”
“It’s only a matter of time before he does.” Jeffrey’s tone was as sharp as his suit, whereas I felt like Monroe’s crumpled wreck that had been winched onto the tow truck last night.
I nodded, because he was right. We all knew he was right. Everyone, that was, but Monroe.
“I’ll have the insurance forms sent over this afternoon,” Jeffrey said. He rarely let his emotions show, but I could tell he was angry and disappointed. He was probably a dozen different emotions right now. What he wasn’t was surprised. This was far from the first time.
“Thanks, Jeffrey. He does appreciate it.”
He gave a nod and walked toward the grand foyer, but he stopped before he got to the door. “Does he? Does he appreciate all you do for him?”
I didn’t answer. Even if I knew what to say, I couldn’t get the words out. But Jeffrey didn’t wait for a reply. The soft click of the front door was loud in the silence.
My heart was a weighted lump in my chest. My ribs felt too tight like I couldn’t breathe properly. Like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly in years. The space of Monroe’s house was vast—tiled floors, high ceilings, glass walls overlooking the ocean, no expense spared—yet the vast emptiness was overwhelming. A mansion worth several million dollars, on every elite real-estate list in Australia, was a hollow void of loneliness and grief, much like the man who owned it. Who was, at that very moment, passed out drunk in his bed.
The heaviness of the last twelve hours settled over me, and I slumped down on the couch, pulled a cushion under my head, and closed my eyes.
* * *
“Hey, sleeping beauty, wake up.”
I startled and shot up. Disoriented at first, until I remembered I was on Monroe’s couch. He was standing at the end of the sofa with his arms full of brown paper bags, and then I could smell something.
“I was starving,” he said. “And Uber Eats is a gift from the gods. Shuffle up.”
I slid up the couch a little and he parked himself next to me, shoved the bags and a pizza box onto the coffee table, then pulled it toward us. “I didn’t know what you felt like, so I got that wood-fired pizza you like and some curry and—”
“What time is it?” I asked. Usually the view out the window was a good indication of the time, but it had come over cloudy. Summer storms usually rolled in around four.
“Shit. I didn’t mean to sleep that long. I was supposed to go into the office today.”
Monroe shrugged like he did to most responsibility. “Here, get this into ya.” He opened the pizza box and turned it to face me.
I took a bite and moaned. It was so good. “How long you been up?”
“An hour or so.”
His black hair was damp and he smelled of salt water. “I didn’t hear you swim.” Which was surprising considering the living room opened up into the pool area.
“Stealth mode,” he said with a grin, his blue eyes sparkling. “Nah. You were dead to the world.”
I didn’t bother explaining that I didn’t get to sleep till after eight. I studied his face; there was a small scratch on his forehead and marks on his hands, probably from the glass or air bag. “How you feeling?”
And that was his problem. He always woke up feeling fine. Maybe if he’d ever suffered just one hangover in his life, he might think twice about drinking so much.
“Your picture’s in the paper,” I said. “And photos of the car.”
He grimaced for half a second before he took another forkful of curry. “You see Jeffrey?”
I nodded. “He was here before eight this morning. He brought the paper with him.”
Monroe stirred his curry, frowning. “Was he mad?”
“Yep. Said he’ll have the insurance papers sent around for the car.” I took a bite of pizza and swallowed it. “Wanna tell me what happened last night?”
He sighed. “Not really. I had one too many. You know how it is.”
“Okay, a few.”
“And you drove.”
“I was fine.”
“Your blood alcohol level was high range.”
He frowned again, this time stabbing a piece of curried beef. “I was fine. I didn’t feel drunk at all.”
I knew there was no point in arguing with him, so I tried a different approach. “You could have hurt yourself, Monroe,” I said gently. “Or someone else. You’re lucky it was a pole you hit and not a pedestrian or a car full of kids.”
“Yeah, it was stupid, I know. I won’t do it again.”
“Well, no, you can’t. Because now you don’t have a car or a licence.”
He pointed his fork at me. “That is true. Well, there’s the old Discovery in the garage,” he said. “Haven’t driven that in a while.”
“Old? It’s two years old,” I said. “And you’re not driving it anywhere. You get caught driving unlicensed now and the judge will likely throw the book at you to prove a point. Not to mention that unlicensed means uninsured.”
“Where’s your sense of adventure?” he asked, giving me that sly grin that usually got him out of all kinds of trouble.
“My sense of adventure is keeping you out of jail.”
He chuckled and nudged me with his shoulder. “Always looking out for me,” he said. “Thanks, by the way, for coming to get me last night.”
“I should have left you there,” I said, nudging him back. “In a cell with two guys named Warthog and Donk.”
He laughed. “Sounds like a dream I had once. It didn’t end badly, let’s just say that much.”
I snorted, unable to stay mad at him. And that was my problem. I could never stay mad at him.
He put his curry down and took a slice of pizza, biting into it. “Mmm, this is good too. Hey, we should go out tonight. There’s a summer blues night on at the Wharf.”
I shook my head, but he was, like always, relentless and charming and so fucking cute, and I could never say no to him. Which was another one of my problems.
“Come on, it’ll be fun. It’s summer. We’ll have a swim, laze about for the afternoon, have a nap, then we can go out later. Who knows, you might even find some random to take home.”
I forced a smile, like I always did. “Unlikely.”
“Dunno why,” he said, oblivious. “You don’t look half bad,” he said with a smirk and a nudge. “If a young Robert Redford is your thing and you have more money than God. And fuck knows guys throw themselves at you.”
“More money than God?”
“Shut up, you know you do.” He pushed the pizza box away. “You know what your problem is, Erik?”
Actually, I did. But I played along. “Nope, tell me what my problem is.”
“You’re too picky.”
I snorted. “Is that right?”
“Yep. So tonight, when a guy looks twice at you, take him into the bathrooms.”
“Not really my style, but thanks.”
He laughed and stood up, then walked toward the pool. The glass doors were all pushed back, transforming the inside living area into a huge outdoor living area. He peeled off his shirt and stopped to face me. He looked even better in the sunlight. “Are you gonna lecture me about swimming after eating?”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Then get your arse into the pool with me. It’s too nice a day and life is too damn short.” He tossed his shirt and dived into the pool.
And there were both our problems laid bare. His was that he shirked off all responsibility, drank far too much, and lived like every day was his last, which in his case, with his drinking problem and reckless nature, it very well could be.
My problem was that I couldn’t stay mad at him and I couldn’t say no to him.
Oh, that, and I was absolutely head over heels in love with him. Had been since we were eighteen years old. I was so in love with him, I’d let him treat me like a doormat if it just meant he’d keep me around. It was a sickness.
He had his addiction, and he was mine.
His addiction to alcohol was killing him.
And watching him slowly spiral out of control, being so close to him but so far away, was killing me.
Addiction, in all its forms, fucking sucked.
The paperback will be available the same day, or a day after, depending on how distribution pans out from Ingram. The gorgeous cover by Cover Me Darling is soooooo pretty!!
My current WIP is at a very slow 11,000 words. There is a lot of research that makes it slow, and my self-doubt makes it even slower. Buuuuut, onward I will press. I’m still confident this will be a trilogy of novellas but that’s something only time will tell. I can tell you the main character’s names are August and Jacob. August is a grumpy detective, Jacob is a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but very competent and intelligent, senior constable. It’s set in Australia, and I’m actually enjoying writing it, despite my hesitation and reluctance to write a mystery/crime story.
Some days I wish my brain would just cut me a break. LOL
Okay folks, that’s it for this week. I’ll be back with buy-links for The Hate You Drink on release day! <3