Saturday, January 14, 2017

One more month!!!




That's right, only one more month until Wynter's Bite comes out!

You can Preorder Wynter's Bite on:

And to celebrate, I thought I'd give you all an excerpt. My newsletter readers got to check it out first, so if you want this kind of stuff from me early, sign up here!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the excerpt and are excited about the book. I'm heading back to my writing cave, so I hope you all have a great weekend!

Chapter One:
Morningside Asylum for Lunatics
Manchester, England, May 1825

Bethany Mead cringed against the stone wall of her cell. Greeves was guarding the female ward this night. She hated Greeves. The way he looked at her, like he could see through her shift, the way he held her too long when guiding her back to her cell, all filled her entire being with sick dread. She’d been in this hell long enough to know what unscrupulous guards did to female— and sometimes male— patients.
“I’ve got most delightful news, love.” The guard spat through the bars. The man was incapable of speaking without emitting a shower of spittle. “The good doctor will be taking a holiday at week’s end. That means we’ll have more time in private to get to know each other better, you and I.”
Bethany made a small choking sound, but knew better than to scream. That would only get her thrown in the quiet room for at least two days. Doctor Keene may have thus far kept her safe from being violated, but his prescribed treatments for her hysteria were agonizing. She was rarely allowed outside, never allowed to read a newspaper, and could only read novels that the doctor had perused and decided they would not “overstimulate” her. That resulted in very insipid reading material. The most passion she’d read was a kiss on a gloved hand. The most intimate touch, the hero lifting the heroine from her horse.
Never could she read of heated embraces that lingered in her memory. Never could she read of kisses that inflamed her dreams.
So Bethany often pushed the dull romantic novels to the side and accepted the equally dismal literary novels offered to her, full of dull musings, but no story. Though every once in awhile, Eleanor, another patient, would smuggle her gothic novels and stories. Bethany’s favorites had been written by Alan Winters, who was reputed to actually be the Duchess of Burnrath. She had been captivated by the tales of ghosts and witches and had been distraught when Dr. Keene caught her poring over them and tossed her back in the quiet room.
For Bethany was absolutely forbidden from speaking, hearing, or reading anything about the supernatural, especially vampires.
Never vampires.
After all, that was what had landed her in this prison in the first place.
Greeves’s sibilant voice pierced her musings. “That’s what I like about you. Yer so quiet. I wager you’ll be quiet when I have ye as well. But I’ll try to get some noise out of ye.”
Nauseas roiled through her belly at the thought of Greeves’s filthy hands on her body. She’d once planned on giving her maidenhood to a dashing, crimson-haired viscount whom she’d believed had loved her, a man of secrets and dark magic beyond her most fervent imaginings. Now, after eight years of hell, her virtue would go to this wretched lout.
Eight years. The words scratched her mind like a fork on slate. Had she really been here that long? The first four years hadn’t been so bad, as her parents sent money to ensure she had a decent room and meals, and her mother came to visit from time to time. But once they had the son they always wanted, the money and visits stopped. She hadn’t even received a letter in over three years. And without funding, Bethany had been moved to the pauper’s wing, subject to rougher patients and lecherous guards.
Bethany cringed as Greeves leered at her. More than ever she longed to leave this place.
Tears burned hot on her cheeks and a strangled sob tore from her throat.
“Oh yes.” Greeves clasped his hands together. “I like it when you—”
He halted abruptly when Doctor Keene came ’round the hall. “How is Miss Mead this evening?”
Greeves cast her a smirk before turning to face the doctor. “Overwrought, it seems. I tried to comfort her, but she won’t have it.”
“Oh?” Keene lowered his spectacles and peered at Bethany. “I’ll see to her then. You run along and make sure the doors are locked before you return to your station.”
“Very good, Sir,” Greeves replied before tipping Bethany a wink on his way out.
Dr. Keene opened her cell door and approached her, brows drawn together with concern. “What ails you, Miss Mead?”
Bethany bit her lip. Keene had already dismissed her complaints about Greeves, and if he thought she was having hysterics, he’d lock her up in the quiet room for a day or two. She hated the quiet room, a small, coffin-like chamber that isolated her from all light and sound.
“Very little, Doctor.” She forced herself to smile. “I am only missing my mother.” She wiped the tears from her eyes. “I feel better already.”
Dr. Keene regarded her with a skeptical frown as he patted her on the shoulder. “Are you certain? Your hands are shaking. Perhaps you should spend some time in the quiet room.”
Bethany shook her head vigorously. “I only need some rest. I will go to bed now.”
Keene smiled and reached into his pocket. “Yes, rest is the cure for many things. A dram of my soothing tonic will help you sleep.”
She bit back a grimace. Keene’s tonic was anything but soothing, making her feel off kilter and sometimes bringing her hallucinations and vivid nightmares if he felt a higher dose was necessary. But the doctor had neatly manipulated her into making a choice, the tonic, or the quiet room.
“Whatever you think is best, Doctor,” she said as demurely as possible.
Thankfully, he only gave her one teaspoon of the bitter potion instead of two. One time he’d given her three, and Bethany had spent countless hours trapped in a barrage of bad dreams, unable to wake.
“I will look in on you tomorrow morning, Miss Mead,” Keene said as he strode out of her chamber. “If you are calm, perhaps you may take a turn through the gardens with the other ladies. Won’t that be nice? Until then, sleep well.”
The door shut with a clang that reverberated through her ears with undulating waves. Already, the tonic was taking over her senses. At least Keene had the mercy to slide the privacy panel closed on the door so Greeves couldn’t peek in at her. Bethany stumbled to the small straw-stuffed cot and sat down hard on the prickly mattress, rubbing her arms as a draft swept in through the small barred window. She’d forgotten to shutter it. But the sight of the full moon in the sky gave her comfort, reminding her that there was a world outside, a world she had faint hopes of rejoining.
Wrapping her thin wool blanket around her shoulders, Bethany twisted her fingers in her lap to distract herself from the dizzy sensations the tonic wrought. From the scratches she’d made on the wall behind her bed, it was Wednesday. Four days until Doctor Keene went on his holiday. That left her little time to come up with a plan to save her from Greeves.
She wished she knew how long Keene would be gone. If it were only for a few days, she could muster the courage to get herself thrown in the quiet room for that time. Only Nurse Bronson was trusted with the keys.
But a sennight, a fortnight? She shuddered, unable to fathom torment of that duration. Such a long time in the dark might break her. Yet what Greeves had in store may also drive her truly mad.
But her family had abandoned her, she had no funds for herself, and he never came for her like she thought he would. Justus, Lord de Wynter. Although she finally came to understand that he wasn’t a vampire. Somehow she had imagined that part, but now it seemed she had imagined Justus’s ardent love for her too. From the moment she’d been committed to the asylum, she’d believed he’d come to rescue her, to marry her as they planned. Even when Dr. Keene convinced her that Justus couldn’t have been a vampire, Bethany still thought Justus cared for her.
But as days turned into weeks, then months, then years, Bethany’s hope for Justus to rescue her gradually dried up like the last pool of water in an arid desert. He wasn’t coming. He never cared for her. He’d just been a rake like her parents had insisted.
And Bethany had paid the ultimate price for falling in love with him. Her family had thrown her in a prison and abandoned her.
Swallowing a lump in her throat, Bethany pulled the scratchy blanket tighter around her body. She needed to bring her tormented thoughts under control before the tonic turned them into nightmares.
Just as she was about to fall back on her pillow, a voice echoed in her cell.
“Bethany…”
At first she thought Greeves had returned, but then she heard the voice again, rich as marzipan, and achingly familiar.
“Bethany!”
The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. It couldn’t be! As she heard a soft rapping on the bars of her window, Bethany turned and gasped as she saw a face peering in at her. Her heart clenched like a fist at the sight of crimson hair, pearl-white skin, and glittering green eyes.
A strangled cry trickled from her throat. “You’re not real.”
More than ever did she loathe Keene’s horrid tonic. What kind of evil substance was it to inspire such heartbreaking hallucinations?
The vision made a noise that sounded like a cross between a laugh and a sob. “Of course I’m real.” Arched lips curved in a small smile. “Look at me. Touch me.”
Long pale finger reached through the bars toward her. Bethany cringed back against the wall. How long would this drug delirium last? “Not real,” she whispered again.
“Then take my hand and feel for yourself.” The vision crooked his finger, beckoning her, daring her. “Come on now, I never before knew you for a coward.”
That old, not quite mocking, slightly daring tone held the same compulsion as it had in real life. Without thinking, Bethany swung her legs over her cot and slowly shuffled towards the window. Moonlight reflected on his skin, turning it luminescent and casting an angel’s nimbus over his fiery locks. If he was a hallucination, it was the most vivid one she’d ever experienced. Had Keene changed the recipe of his tonic?
With trembling hands, she reached out to touch the long fingers outstretched towards her. Warm and firm, they slid across her skin with solid tangibility. Frissons of electricity sparked at his touch, just as when they’d first met that fateful night long ago.
Once more, she dared to meet his eyes and study the face that had haunted her dreams. As if transported back in time, she saw the same love, longing, and touch of melancholy in his gaze that had lingered in those green depths the night he asked for her hand.
“Justus?” she whispered.
“Yes, Bethany.” His lips curved in a broad grin. White fangs gleamed in the moonlight. “I’ve come to take you out of here.”
Blood roared through her ears before the world went black as pitch.

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Goals for 2017



Happy New Year, everyone!


Now's the time to document my goals for the year. I met most of last year's goals, so I'm fairly optimistic about most of these, daunting as they are. I intend for this year to be my most ambitious, writing-wise. I usually average 3 books a year for writing. Last year, I wrote 2 1/2 novels and one novella. This year, my goal is to write four books.


So without further ado, this is my agenda, most items with plans on how to accomplish each goal.

1.) Write thirty thousand words a month.

I don't have a pic of me writing, so here's The Hound and Freddy Krueger battling on my desk.

How will I do this?
Come up with a weekly schedule. I seem to do well with to-do lists.
Learn how to outline books. 
Currently I'm reading Save the Cat and then I'm going to check out another author's "beat sheet."
I will also schedule things like my time on social media to avoid distractions.


2.) Quit smoking


How will I do this?

My first step was to not smoke in my new car, so that I'm breaking one aspect of the habit. Next, I'll buy an e-cig and start substituting for real cigs on Saturday, Jan 7th. First it will be every other cigarette, then it will be more.

3.) Quit day job.

These will be my full time work clothes.


How will I do this?

Aside from my existing savings, part of it is my plan to produce more books, another part is the other part time job I took and part of it is...


4.) Implement a marketing plan/ schedule/ set aside funds to do so

How will I do this?

First off, I'm going to get very familiar with Google Calendar and use it religiously. Secondly, Bonnie Paulson has some amazing courses at FindingYourIndie.com and I'm going to take them.

5.) Get Little Beast back on the road

She's actually further along than this, I just haven't taken a pic in awhile.

My poor Datsun has been languishing in pieces for far too long.

How will I do this?

I already have the tools and parts. All I need to do is eke out the time.


6.)  Spend more quality time with my son

He's usually not this dapper, but oh well.

My baby boy is leaving the nest soon. He's taking driver's ed this year and we already have a truck for him. It just needs the right engine in it. We can do that together.


7.) Remember to do nice things for my boyfriend.


This man is so good to me that I don't want to lose him, so I'm making it a priority to remember to not get so lost in my work that I neglect him. It'll probably be little things like cooking him nice meals, helping him with his dishes and laundry, and giving him backrubs, but I hope it works.



Books planned:


Writing:

Hearts of Metal 5
Brides of Prophecy 5
Scandals With Bite 6
Blackwood 1. (This one's a secret.)


Release Schedule:


Scandals With Bite 5
Hearts of Metal 5
Brides of Prophecy 5
Scandals With Bite 6

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Recap






Despite all the depressing deaths and sad things that happened around the world and in my country, 2016 was my most successful year ever. I had FIVE book releases this year, finished writing my 12th novel, (well 13, if my holiday novella counts) and made three times as much money on book sales as last year. Sadly, those high sales dwindled at the last two months of the year, but hopefully I can fix that.

Anyway, a ton of awesomeness occurred and I'm breaking it down month by month.

January


A ton of writing
I kicked off the year with guns blazing, ready to write more than I’ve written before. I hope to surpass my word count in 2017 though.

Got addicted to tea (this is important for later)
OMG, loose leaf tea is the greatest thing ever. I discovered this when I got this amazing skull tea infuser and Iron Goddess tea for Christmas



Lots of editing. Not only do I have my own stuff to edit, I also do freelance editing work for other authors. I had a website, but I took it down and I’m now on a referral basis only.

Registered for RWA after having a weird premonition.
I couldn’t sleep one night and had an insane urge to go to the RWA 2016 National Conference. After speaking with my agent about it, I registered, found a roommate, and booked a flight.


February


Made a bunch of fun teaser graphics for my first two Hearts of Metal books.







Accidentally quit drinking


With all of my editing and writing and other stuff going on, I kept holding off on drinking my beloved hard cider because I didn’t have time to be hung over the next day. I drank tea instead. By July, I realized I hadn’t had a drink since January.


Did a Valentine’s Day signing at Barnes & Noble


It was probably my least successful signing ever, and because of it being the anniversary of my mom’s passing, my anxiety and depression were sky high. Still, it was nice visiting with my RWA peeps and meeting Linda Lael Miller.






Finished His Ruthless Bite


Despite said anxiety and depression, I pulled through and finished the book!


March:


Got a sewing machine


This was part of my New Year’s resolution for 2016. I let it sit around for a week or two because I was terrified.




Made a lot of pillowcases


Eventually, I gathered my courage and figured out the basics. I still can’t sew in a straight line though.









Took my son to his first caucus so he could learn about the process.


It was fun to see him learn, but we both hate crowds and people, so I’ll probably do early voting from now on.


Nominated for Reader’s Choice Award


Holy wow! The Romance Reviews nominated Kissing Vicious for the Reader’s Choice Award! It’s my first nomination ever and I was over the moon.


The Romance Review
April:


Got a lot of Morels
Morels are my passion. We made a lot of yummy dishes too.







Started my Horror Quilt

My reason for wanting to learn how to sew is because we’ve always made quilts in my family. But when I made quilts, I only painted the squares and my mom or grandma would do the sewing. My mom is no longer with me, and I won’t always have my grandma, so I was determined to learn how to do the whole quilting process myself. Thankfully, the first step is painting. The squares I painted for this quilt were the most detailed I’d ever done. I didn’t even know I could do this with these paints.



Here's Part One and Two of my Tutorial. I still need to do parts 3 & 4.







Yes! My first book release of 2016! My publisher had discontinued the series, but my readers wanted more and I did not disappoint them.


May:



Won Reader’s Choice Award
OMG, I WON!!! My first award ever, and I hope it’s not the last.




Finished Unleashing Desire


Another book done! This one had been in my head for years and the writing went so smoothly!


Released With Vengeance




Back to back book releases were hectic, but my second Hearts of Metal book was a success. This one was very special to me.
I also made a graphic with all the fun Easter Eggs I put in the book.





And I painted more quilt squares.





June:


Revised the cover of Wrenching Fate
My first indie cover needed an overhaul. I made the font more legible, improved Silas’s hair, and added Akasha’s gorgeous ‘73 Roadrunner in the background.





More painting on quilt squares, which resulted in a celebrity autograph!
My frenzy of painting led to something amazing. Sean Whalen, who played “Roach” in People Under the Stairs signed my quilt square!!! Squeeee!!!





Redesigned author logo

Oh, and more writing.


July:


Got new glasses for the first time in 8 years.


They have really great transition lenses, as you can see.






Went to RWA National Conference





The conference was amazing. You can read my my recaps. Part 1 and Part 2.


Picked Huckleberries


I live in Northern Idaho. This is what we do.




Went to Grateful Dead
Even though I was sick with the worst summer cold ever, my boyfriend had tickets to see the Grateful Dead at the Gorge. I spent the day laying in the sun with a book before seeing an amazing show.





More painting.





August:


I’d been looking forward to releasing this one for awhile. The twins in Ironic Sacrifice reunite, and Silas and Akasha from Wrenching Fate get the biggest bombshell dropped on them.




Got my first Bookbub.


This was the best thing to happen to my career. Thousands of new readers discovered me and I sold enough books to be able to afford to go to the RT Convention this 2017 in Atlanta. Without the Bookbub, I would have had zero hopes in going.



Got my 10 Published Novels milestone pin from RWA


Ten Published Novels. Whoa. Though I had two more releases over the year.




I turned 34
Okay, moving on...


September:


Got to have dinner with a fan.





One of my readers, who I’d first met at The Novel Experience Convention in 2015, Rebecca Larsen had family in my neck of the woods, so we went out to Dockside for a nice lakeview dinner. Since she’s from southern Idaho, she gave me a 50 pound box of Idaho potatoes! Since I’m in huckleberry country, I don’t get these glorious spuds very often.





Released Rock God


Another back to back book release. I really don’t want to do that this year. But I was so pleased at how well this one was received!





Finished painting quilt squares.
I even arranged them on the wall to see how I wanted to sew them.





Started sewing the Horror Quilt.


::gulp:: This was terrifying, but I was so elated when I finished the first row!!!




October:


I didn't get to indulge in my usual Halloween joy, but I guess I did in a way because I finished my horror quilt!!!










I also painted a Vincent Price pumpkin at the day job




Carved a fake pumpkin... one of those "Funkin" things. It was challenging, but I want to get another one.




But I had to carve a real one too. So I did the Tall Man from the Phantasm movies in Memory of Angus Scrimm, who passed away the day before David Bowie and is not mentioned in most of the lists of lost celebrities.




Started designing the cover for Wynter’s Bite

Check out my cool asylum background that will mostly be obscured in the final cover!



Designed my own website:

Be sure to check it out at http://brooklynannauthor.com

Became a bestseller in Australia and Canada

Dude!!!



November:


Worked on Wynter’s Bite for Nano

I was sick almost all month so I have no idea how I pulled it off.

Finished cover design for Wynter’s Bite



And it's available for Preorder!!!

Decided not to quit day job because I needed a new car.

My poor beloved Toyota was falling apart, so I went shopping around.
Oh, Maneke Neko, you will be missed.



Started another part time job.
Because I wasn't busy enough.


December:


Finished Wynter’s Bite!!!

I am so excited about this one! A rogue vampire breaks his long lost love out of an insane asylum. So much fun!

Did I mention that it's up for Pre-order?

Did 2 scratch boards for Christmas gifts

Here's the LDS temple for my Grandparents on my mom's side.



And here's a hummingbird for my grandparents on my dad's side.




Metal and Mistletoe released!

If you're not over Christmas, you can check out my interacial death metal holiday romance!



Bought a new car!

After ten years and almost 300000 miles on my Paseo, I finally got my dream car! A 2007 Honda Fit! One of my goals is to paint it purple. I named her "Murasaki" which means purple. :D





Whew! It took me all day to put together this post and I only covered a fraction of what happened. And if everything goes to plan, 2017 will be even more insane.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!!!