Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa's New Contract

There’s a chill in the air (it dipped to a nipply 60 degrees yesterday) and everyone at the mall has their elbows sharpened. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Course, if you hang out in department stores, you probably thought that sometime in mid-September.

So, ho-ho-ho and all that.

Unfortunately, the economy has taken its toll on the North Pole. A new contract for Santa has finally been negotiated. He swung by to check in on uncle Ebenezer (he ascertained the relationship because I have nary a decoration anywhere in sight) and asked me to pass along the following information:

To Whom It May Concern:

I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve Southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now serve only certain areas of Canada and the northern boarder states.

As part of the new and better contract I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies so keep that in mind. However, I made certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us.

Differences such as:
1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: These toys insured by Smith and Wesson.

2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC cola and pork rinds [or a moon pie] on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn’t smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.

3. Bubba Claus; sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flying coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen’s head now overlooks Bubba’s fireplace.

4. You won’t hear On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen . . ., when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead, you’ll hear, On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliott and Petty.

5. Ho, ho, ho! has been replaced by “Yee Haw!” And you also are likely to hear Bubba’s elves respond, “I herd dat!”

6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus’ sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words “Back off”. The last I heard it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is a Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) going wee-wee on the Tooth Fairy.

7. The usual Christmas movie classics such asMiracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Lifewill not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you’ll see Boss Hogg Saves Christmas and Smokey and the Bandit IVfeaturing Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.

8. Bubba Claus doesn’t wear a belt. If I were you, I’d make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.

9. And finally, lovely Christmas songs have been sung about me like Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer and Bing Crosby’s Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. This year songs about Bubba Claus will be played on all the AM radio stations in the South. Those song titles will be Mark Chesnutt’s Bubba Claus Shot the Jukebox, Cledus T. Judd All I Want for Christmas Is My Woman and a Six Pack, and Hank Williams Jr.’s If You Don’t Like Bubba Claus, You can Shove It.

Sincerely Yours, Santa Claus
(member of North American Fairies and Elves Local 209)

*thanks to

I hope you all have fabulous plans for the holidays that involve friends, family, and lots of food. I'll be in Florida for Christmas because I believe Santa can land his sleigh in sand so why freeze my butt off going to the snow. I fully expect to have a completed draft of Outside the Lines bk 2 by the time I get home. (My gift to myself.) Thank you all for an amazing year! I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the BEST readers! I'm excited to bring you Hot Mobster Sex in 2015! Here's a preview: My gift to you!

Have a happy, healthy holiday and a fabulous New Year! See you in 2015! xoxox

Monday, December 8, 2014

Books I read this year that you definitely WANT!

I read some amazing books this year. So many that I'm having a hard time remembering all of them. But there are two that really stuck with me.

This first one hasn't published yet. It's out on December 31st and I'll tell you it's definitely worth spending your holiday gift cards on. This book was sent to me over the summer to read for a blurb, but life happened and I wasn't able to get to it until October. And then I hated myself for not getting to it sooner. I finished it in a day, then sat there staring at my screen, sort of in shock. It's like watching a slow motion train wreck. I wanted to jump into this book and URGGG!, and AAAAH!, and NOOOO! But alas, I just lamented for weeks afterward. I read other books and still found myself going over this one in my head, trying to figure out how to fix everything. You can probably tell I'm still thinking about it. It is this book
and you really want it.

The other book is by one of my favorite authors. Jay Crownover is a character writer, and nothing pulls me into a story like a great character. One of her best yet (characters, that is) is Shane Baxter. This guy had me right from the start. You can find him here:

The second book in the series, Better When He's Bold, publishes in February, and I'm waiting very impatiently to see what's in store for the rest of the crew.

And, speaking of upcoming books I'm drooling over, there's also There You Stand by Christina Lee that doesn't even have a cover or buy links yet, but is publishing in April, I believe. I will definitely be checking that one out.

What are your "must reads" from this year?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hot Mobster Sex! (aka: What's Next From Me)

I finally get to share my news!

(You'll need to click on the pic to read it, or you can find it in Publishers Marketplace if you subscribe.)

Most of my ideas are inspired when a character comes to life in my head and starts telling me their story. This project was different. The concept came out of a brainstorm between the fabulous publishing professionals I've been lucky enough to surround myself with. I'm not usually great at writing other people's ideas, but these characters took me by storm: the brooding heir apparent to the largest crime organization in Chicago; his brilliant business-minded sister, who may or may not be in love with the man who's contracted the hit on her family; his womanizing club-rat younger brother, who might just find himself now that he's out from under his Chicago persona; his youngest sister, who's already made a name in fashion design, only to have to give it up to protect her littlest brother from men who want them all dead. There are some powerful stories of self-discovery there. Plus, lots of hot mobster sex, danger, and suspense.

As always, I owe an enormous thanks to my omnipotent uberagent, Suzie Townsend. I'm super excited to work with my new editor, Leis Pederson at Penguin. I just heard from her yesterday that Outside the Lines is set to publish in October, and the second book in January. In the meantime, I promise much more eye-candy like the picture of my Rob above, and many previews to whet your appetite for my sexy Mafioso. So stay tuned.