Monday, April 27, 2015

Light Beyond the Darkness by Tami Lund Release Day

Today, Tami Lund releases another installment of the Lightbearer Series with her third book, Light Beyond the Darkness. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this fabulous read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can check out my review on Goodreads.

There's a party happening on Facebook from 2pm-7pm pacific to celebrate the release. Lots of authors and giveaways. Click the link below and make sure to join the party.

Here's the blurb:

In the third installment of the Lightbearer series, lightbearer Carley Santiago and shifter Reid Hennigan are running from their pasts. Hiding in the human world, they meet and sparks fly. But what happens when Carley’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Reid?

Carley was once the premier chef for kings - the King of the Lightbearers, that is. But when her mate pushes her over a cliff and she miraculously survives, she flees her home, the coterie, knowing he will want to finish the job. She figures hiding in the human world is the best way to ensure her own safety.

While working as a chef at one of Chicago's top restaurants, she meets Reid Hennigan, a lone shifter running from his own past. Carley tries to push him away - she wants nothing to do with anyone from the magical community - even a persistent shifter who insists he only wants to show her pleasure.

Reid Hennigan is another reject from Quentin Lyons' defunct pack. When he received word his pack master was dead, Reid ran away from his pack, from pack life, having no interest in being forced to be subservient to another abusive pack master. Unfortunately for Reid, shifters are hardwired to desire to be part of a pack, and he finds himself wandering aimlessly through life, with no clear idea of what to do next. When he stumbles upon the shy lightbearer while eating the best steak of his life, he discovers a new lease on life.
Reid sets out to woo the beautiful, broken lightbearer. Passion turns to love, and Reid figures his life is pretty damn perfect, despite no longer having a pack. But Carley has secrets of her own, and her secrets.

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This is the third book in the Lightbearer Series, and each and every one was an amazing read. Since you took the time to read this blog, I am including an excerpt from the book as a little incentive to one-click this awesome paranormal romance.


“He sent it back?” Carley asked in disbelief.

Sara nodded. “He said he can tell you didn’t make it, and he refuses to eat anything from this kitchen that does not come specifically from you. He suggested you could come out and talk to him about it.”

Carley shook her head and rolled her eyes. She would just bet he was open to her going out into the dining room to talk to him.

“Tell him I’m not making steaks tonight. Tell him I’m focusing on the vegetarian dishes,” she said suddenly. She grinned when Sara walked away. That ought to teach him.

The waitress returned a moment later. “He wants the vegetarian special,” she said. “And the key lime pie.” She tilted her head and gave Carley a quizzical look. “What’s going on with you and that guy? I thought you said you didn’t know him?”

“I don’t,” Carley insisted. “I know…someone close to him,” she said. She knew Tanner and his mother, Ariana, Finn, and Lisa, the shifters who were currently living in what had once been Carley’s home, the lightbearers’ coterie. Whether this shifter knew them or not, she had no idea. But they were the same species. That meant he was closer to them than any other species, right?

She washed her hands and nudged Eric away from the vegetable station. “He wants our vegetarian special? I’ll make him a vegetarian special,” she announced, and she set to work chopping every damn type of vegetable she could find.

When Sara returned with the empty plate from the shifter’s table, she held it up for Carley’s inspection and said, “He wants to speak to you. He said he’ll summon the manager if you don’t go out there.”

Carley’s heart sank. The manager would undoubtedly force the issue, if it was brought to his attention. He saw no reason why his chef wouldn’t want to go out into the dining room and schmooze customers.

“Fine,” she grumbled as she sliced a wedge from one of the key lime pies she had made earlier in the day. She deliberately dropped it onto its side on the plate and didn’t add garnish before shoving a few strands of hair behind her ear and stomping out of the kitchen.

“Here,” she said as she unceremoniously dropped the plate onto the table.

The shifter gave the sloppy slice of pie a cursory glance before lifting his pale blue eyes and focusing so wholly onto Carley that she was certain he saw absolutely nothing else in the room at the moment. How could someone be that focused? She didn’t think she’d ever had anyone pay her such full attention in her life.

She fidgeted, nervously twisting her hands together before she realized what she was doing and clasped them behind her back. The shifter continued to stare at her.

“You owe me for that one, Carley.”

She visibly jerked at the sound of his voice, low and deep and smooth as whiskey.

“For what?” she asked, wondering how in the world he knew her name and for what she could possibly owe him. As far as she knew, she’d never met the man before yesterday.

“That dinner. As enticing as it was eating something with your magical stamp on it, forcing me to eat vegetables does not put me in a particularly good mood.”

She blinked owlishly. “I didn’t force you to eat vegetables.”

“You refused to make me a steak.”

“Sean’s steaks are practically as good as mine,” she protested.

“‘Practically’ isn’t yours.”

With a great deal of effort, she pulled her gaze away from his and made a swift perusal around the restaurant. All human, and none were paying them any particular attention, other than the ones she knew were listening at the door behind her.

“Do I know you?” she asked.

“Not yet,” he replied.

She frowned. “What is that supposed to mean?”

His voice pitched low. “It means I intend to get to know you, every inch of you, from the inside out. I intend to possess you. I intend to do things—” He reached for her, and she pulled away as if he was about to hit her. He froze, mid-reach and mid-sentence. And then he slowly lowered his hand.

“You’ve been abused,” he stated, matter-of-factly.

She shook her head, trying to deny it. Don’t go there. Don’t go there.

“Past lover?”

She shook her head again. How had the conversation turned to this?

“Family member then.”

“No,” she finally managed to get out.


“Stop,” she said as she lifted her hand, palm facing out. “Just stop. This is none of your business. I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name, and I have no idea how you know mine. I—” He cut her off.

“My name is Reid. And one of your employees referred to you by name yesterday, when I went into the kitchen to meet you.”

“Fine. Fine. Reid. Look, Reid, obviously you know what I am, and I know what you are. So can we just be honest with each other? What do you want from me?”

“I was in the middle of telling you when you flinched away as if you expected I would hit you.”

Carley blew out a breath. Damned instincts. But it was hard to change the only way she knew how to interact with men.

“I don’t know how you found me, but—”

“It was purely by accident.”

She drew in a ragged breath. “Fine. By accident. Whatever. Look, I’m trying to establish a nice, normal life here. One that doesn’t involve shifters or lightbearers or anyone else from the magical community for that matter. That means there isn’t any room in that nice, normal life for you. So the best thing for you to do is just finish up that key lime pie and go back to whatever pack you came from, okay?”

“I can’t go back,” he replied. “And it isn’t acceptable that you have no room in your life for me.”

Was he serious? She stared at him. He certainly looked serious. If he was joking, he was doing a damn fine job of acting deadpan. Too fine a job.

“I don’t understand,” she finally said.

“Which part?”

She flapped her hand. “All of it. What do you mean, it isn’t acceptable? Since when do you have any say in my life?”

“Since I entered it and decided I want you.”

She stared again, her jaw falling open. “You want—”



“Clearly it isn’t for your quick wit.”

She snapped her mouth shut and stabbed her finger at the restaurant entrance. “Get out of my restaurant. You can’t have me. Get out. Now.” She didn’t wait to see if he complied. She turned and stalked back into the kitchen with her head held stiffly, refusing to turn around and look at him again. She didn’t need to, to know he was watching her. Lights above, she could feel the intensity of his stare without having to look.

Just as soon as the kitchen door swung shut behind her, she leaned against the wall and took great, gasping breaths. Her entire body shook as if she was in shock. Hell, she probably was.

Someone thrust a glass into her hand. The stench of bourbon assaulted her nose.

“Drink,” Vivian commanded. Carley obediently drank, and then sputtered and gasped when the amber liquid slid down her throat.

“What did he do to you?” Vivian demanded, clearly having decided she was coherent enough to speak of the incident.

“Nothing,” Carley said.

“Well, what happened, then? You’re shaking like a leaf. Something scared the crap out of you. What was it?”

Carley shook her head, but Vivian was a tenacious human being. Finally, Carley admitted, “I’ve never stood up to a man like that before.”

Vivian looked at her as if she’d just sprouted an alien head. Carley shook her head again.

“My father—he wasn’t exactly the most loving parent. And I ended up in a really bad relationship,” she said, conscious of the fact that she’d never spoken of this to anyone, not since the day she left the coterie, five months ago. “I never had the option to say no.” She smiled, just a little. “It sort of felt good.”

“Hell yeah, it did,” Vivian said fiercely. But then she frowned. “Problem with those types, though, is that they generally see someone like you as a challenge.”

“What does that mean?” Carley asked in alarm.

“It means that I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Mr. Rare Steak.”

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

When she’s not doing that, she’s a mom to two (growing far too fast) kids and a furbaby who conveniently forces her to exercise at least once a day. She’s also a wife to her own knight in shining armor who proposed in a way worthy of a romance novel.

Most of all, she loves to write. She figures it keeps her from going insane. Or at the very least, it keeps strangers from believing she is insane, because if she goes too long without writing the characters down on the computer, she tends to start talking to them. Out loud. Often, in public places.

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and, (as of June 2015) Soul Mates Publishing.

 You can read my interview with Tami back in February here.

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Sea Breeze, a contemporary romance releases May 2015.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Don't Rush-Publish Your Best

A lot of writers, myself included, work on a deadline. Some of them self-imposed, others imposed for projects they have signed up for, and still others, part of a contract from a publisher.

The beauty of being a self-published author is controlling your own deadlines. I have control of my own career. And now that I'm starting to grasp that, I know that it's important to put out the best work possible.

That being said, I recently pulled out of a project because of this exact reason. I was excited to participate in it. I would be publishing with my friends, as I have before. But my work is not ready.

The assignment was a short story. It has now become an epic saga, at least, in my mind. It's a paranormal suspense series. I've come up with such an extensive storyline, that I've decided to turn it into a series.

I could use the project to feature a short novella and kickoff the series, which is what I was considering for quite a while.

Here's the thing; since I know this is a project, that will contain historical aspects, paranormal aspects, and characters that will reappear over several books, I need to get this shit right from the get go. Blunt, but there it is.

I need to build my world and outline it. My timeline needs to be complete so I can see the tie in for each book, especially since the series will have several overreaching arcs. My characters need to be fully developed. With paranormal aspects, I need to decide what characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses my creatures posses. With historical aspects, I need to do research. A lot of research.

I want this project of mine to be fabulous. Not half-assed. So it was time to put on the brakes.

Do I want to publish books as fast as I can? Yes. But that doesn't mean I should. I want quality. Quantity will come.

As a reader, I hate having to wait for the next installment of a really good book, and have stopped reading a series, while I wait for the next one. Why would I expect my readers to be any different.

Nope. I will be taking my time. Getting it right. I want to readers to clamor for the next book in the series, and I want it to be available. So I will not rush. I will publish my best.

What are your thoughts as a reader about waiting for the next book in a series to be released? How long do you wait? What is the ideal timeframe between releases in your opinion?

Thanks for reading. You can find me and all my links on my website at

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Summer Affair

Instead of working on my blog on Sunday, I was with the family, walking the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The same boardwalk where Lost Boys was filmed, and where the fifth oldest roller coaster, The Giant Dipper, is located. Yes, I rode it and survived.

A beautiful 80F all day. The ocean to our right, waves crash against the sand as small children build sand castles and parents wrestle the seagulls for their snacks. To our left, carnival games people rarely win, more fried goodies and funnel cake than you can eat, and rides that will make you laugh, and make some cry.

I had a great time. My kids rode the attractions while I laughed from the shade with my husband and mother-in-law. Teenage boys and girls ran from ride to ride in their shorts and bikini tops. Plenty of grown ups, who should've been wearing a lot more clothing, also packed the sun baked wooden planks. It's the beginning of summer in Northern California.

How many times, as a teenager, did I stand in line, my shoulders crisping in the sun? My friends and I'd giggle at the cute boys as they strutted by, pretending they didn't see us. They were too cool to notice us, as we sucked down our lemon slushy drinks.

I admit, I was feeling a bit nostalgic. My ride on the roller coaster built in 1924 brought out my inner dare devil, and I was very tempted to buy a wrist band of my own. Instead, I left with just the one ride under my belt and two happy kids, that are growing up so fast, I worry soon they'll have better things to do than go ride the roller coasters at the beach.

If they only knew how sometimes we all wish, even if you had a not-so-nice childhood, we could go back to more innocent times. When flirting had a whole other meaning. When spending the day with friends at the beach or the amusement park, was the highlight of the summer.

Why not go back. We may begetting older, but we're not dead yet. One day this summer, take a trip to your local amusement park or water park with your partner or friend, and spend the day, without the kids. Have fun. Channel your inner child. Flirt. Eat the funnel cake. Get your blood pumping. Have a little summer romance at the beach.

Have you ever spent a date, as an adult, at an amusement park? Were you brave enough to go on any rides? Did you date chicken out? Tell me your funny amusement park stories.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Character Development- The Personality Test

This weekend I worked on an outline for a new series. Originally, it was just going to be a short, but the story has grown into more than just one book. So now, in order for me to write the short, I need to plan out the series. Yeah. It's a bit of a project. Not one I was planning, but I'm very excited about it. 

Which is why I need to do it right. I may only be writing a short for now, but if I want this to be the beginning of a series, then I have to know everything about my characters. What are their secrets? What are their habits; good and bad. What is their history? What is their motivation? I already know what the characters look like, how they interact with each other. But, in order for my story, and ultimately my series to be consistent, I need to know what makes each of them tick.

So I took a personality test as my FMC and MMC, separately, to find out their personality types. The results were consistent with what I had imagined for each character, but none the less, fascinating. It's too early to go into too much detail about the story or series, but I will reveal the results of the personality tests.

My heroine came back with a INTJ, also known as The Architect or The Mastermind. According to, "People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy." According to, "Although INTJs aren’t usually warm or particularly gregarious, they tend to have a self-assured manner with people based on their own security in their intelligence. They relate their ideas with confidence, and once they have arrived at a conclusion they fully expect others to see the wisdom in their perceptions. They are typically perfectionists and appreciate an environment of intellectual challenge." Yep, that is her.

My hero came back with ENTP, also known as The Visionary or The Debater. According to, "Taking a certain pleasure in being the underdog, ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up and pushing them in clever new directions." According to, "ENTPs are typically friendly and often charming. They usually want to be seen as clever and may try to impress others with their quick wit and incisive humor. They are curious about the world around them, and want to know how things work. However, for the ENTP, the rules of the universe are made to be broken." I can't wait to write him.

I love it. These tests tell me what I know, but also what I haven't even thought of yet. They give me a chance to round out the characters. This is the first time I have taken a personality test as one of my characters, but it won't be the last.

This project is where my love of history and researching locations will come in to play. It will also test my organizational skills. But that's a different blog post.

Have you ever taken a personality test for yourself? Have you ever used one to assist in your character development? Did the results surprise you?

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