PLAYING IT COOL

This novella was harder than any I’ve written. To take two characters with very little history, and throw them together in a snowstorm and watch the sparks fly between them, but also to nurture the tender beginning of a relationship. It’s not just the sex, though Gina is very happy that the sex is amazing, she is awed by the way Spencer just slips into her life, like he was always there, that blows her mind.

Gina, too, deserves that. She’s a single mom – trying to be there for her little girl and build a business. She doesn’t have time for the wrong relationship. If you read Winning Cait or Tempting Sophie, you will have met her there, and hopefully like her as much as I did.

She needed her story to be told and I hope you like it. No doubt, you will continue to see Gina in future stories within the Men of Steele series. Her and Spencers’ story is just beginning.


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WATCH THE TRAILER 

When Spencer’s old college roommate offers him a job at Steele Construction, he doesn’t hesitate. Not only does he get to be closer to his sister and her family, he may finally have the chance to repair the rift between himself and his parents.

His parents live only three hours away but it may as well be on Mars as a blizzard moving up the coast has him seeking refuge at The Red Gate Inn. Spencer prides himself on playing it cool, but something about the raven-haired innkeeper has him overheated.

As a single working mom, Gina didn’t get much time to herself. With her mom and daughter off to Florida for a week, and the inn she owns closed for the holidays, she is looking forward to some me time. Then it started to snow. In good conscience she couldn’t turn away her brother’s newest employee when he needed shelter from the storm, but her guest has her feeling anything but professional.

It may be cold outside but things are heating up at the Inn.

(Reader Advisory: Grab a glass of wine, and put the kids to bed to read this novella. It’s cold outside but the temperature is rising at The Red Gate Inn.)

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Finishing a book… what does it feel like?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, so I finished writing many stories, and at least two books before I finished the first book that I would try to publish. That book was Winning Cait.

I was pondering this weekend as I finished the edits for what will be my eighth published story – Playing It Cool – whether the feeling has changed since then. And if so, for the better, or the worse.

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When I finished Winning Cait I knew who I was trying to sell it to. I wrote it in a style that I hoped would be appealing to Ellora’s Cave. I had read their authors voraciously and I knew at that time, I wanted to be one of them. Unfortunately, my brief time with them was at the end of their shooting star, I just didn’t know it then.

When I finished Winning Cait I was relieved and nervous. I remember tentatively giving it out to a few beta readers and hoping for the best. I remember labouring over the synopsis hoping to do the story justice so that someone would read it. And then submitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

The experience of the latest book is 100% different. It’s self-published, so I don’t have to worry and labour over the synopsis and question will a publisher want it or not. It will be available for pre-order before my editor returns her final remarks. But the nervous excitement is still there. Wondering what will readers think?

At the end of the day, that is the big question? Regardless of whether it gets to their hands through a publisher, or through self-publishing, the only opinion that matters is yours. The readers.

I would like to think that anyone who writes a book and publishes it and asks for your dollars in return for our time and our creativity (and the not inconsiderable costs we put in to it have it edited, the cover designed, and the final product formatted), are doing it because we want you to be entertained. To gain something from the experience of reading it… even if it is only a few hours of escape after the kids are in bed.

The other interesting feeling, which hasn’t changed for me since book one, is that the book isn’t done. In my heart, I can’t let it go. I keep thinking, “Oh, I should have told the story about the time Jim and Jane did X, or went to Y. You live with your characters, they are inside a writers head and sometimes heart and they have so many tales to tell, and it’s up to us to determine which ones make the cut. It’s not easy.

So as I get ready to publish book number eight, I revel in the fact that there are still butterflies in my stomach. And that I am still invested in the characters I create. It hasn’t, yet, become just a job. I hope it will always be more than that.

And I hope you will keep reading.