Saturday, December 31, 2011
The holidays were nuts around here. Little weasel was really sick the week leading up to Christmas, and the two nights prior (including Christmas Eve), he woke up screaming and writhing around in his bed, holding his head. Fever, vomiting, the whole nine yards. I wound up having to take him to Emergency on Christmas Day, and our whole day fell apart.
I'm beginning to think it's normal to spend Christmas Day at the hospital, since it was six years ago to the day when I hemorrhaged and wound up in the maternity ward while I was six months pregnant with him, then put on total bed rest thereafter. As it turns out, that's when I started getting serious with my writing and wound up publishing Out of Her League because of it. Had I not been bedridden, I don't know if I'd ever have taken it so seriously. Isn't life strange sometimes? Little weasel's okay now, but this was not a fun Christmas for any of us. Hope you all had a better holiday!
On a brighter, happier note, in celebration of the New Year, my amazing pal Katie Reus has a humongous contest starting January 1st and running through mid-February. She's got a romantic suspense release on January 2nd (His Secret Past), along with that naughty Callie Croix's newest erotic romance (Touch Me), and then the first of her major New York published books comes out from NAL on February 7th. Alpha Instinct is the first of at least five books in her Moon Shifter series, so if you love paranormal romance featuring kick-ass shifters, you're in for a real treat.
Katie's giving away all kinds of prizes, including books from authors like me and Cynthia Eden. The grand prize is the newest Kindle from Amazon. To see the details and find out how to enter, go here. I hope a lot of you will sign up for this awesome contest!
Friday, December 16, 2011
There are a couple of contests going on with giveaways for the book, so you can check out the info on Callie's personal blog.
Hope all of you are ready for the upcoming holiday madness! I've got all my shopping and wrapping done, so that's a huge relief. But if my Callie persona lands me on Santa's naughty list, I'm going to be ticked :) (You won't tell him, right?)
Monday, December 5, 2011
We're hosting Christmas dinner on Boxing Day this year, because it's hubby's side of the family's turn, and a few relatives can't make it on the 25th. There'll be 15 of us, so I'll have to do up lots of dishes to make sure everyone has enough to eat while ensuring we have lots of leftovers.
I got a lovely email yesterday from Rhonda Penders (editor-in-chief) of The Wild Rose Press, and I had to smile. Meeting her and my TWRP editors at that Texas dude ranch was wonderful on both a personal and professional level. It makes all the difference when you meet and actually spend time with the folks you work with, and it's no different in the publishing world.
Callie Croix has another release next Friday, the sequel to Deacon's Touch. Dillon's Claim features Dillon (yeah, you'd never guess that from the title, right?), the eldest Dumen brother. He's quite the alpha male :).
Hope everyone out there is handling the December chaos well! Happy holidays to everyone.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Well, it took almost 7 weeks, but the master bathroom face lift is finally complete! I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I've been wanting to make some changes since soon after we moved in, as things were starting to break/peel/chip and generally just feel dated.
To make a long story short, it was actually the shower I hated since day one because of a bulkhead drop wall that trapped all the steam inside and made the paint in and around the shower peel and get all moldy. Ick. I was so sick and tired of sanding and repainting in the shower all the time! Once I got the accounting department's permission, it was go time on this bathroom operation.
Here are the before shots I took:
And... *drum roll* Here are the after shots!
Yeah it took awhile to get all the tradespeople lined up to do their thing, but the important part is that it all turned out well in the end. I love the room, and I had my first long soak in the tub last night. Very nice, if I do say so myself! Hubby likes it, though not as much as the kids and I do. But a happy wife means a happy home life, right? So I say it's all worth it, lol.
In writing news, I found out last week that Absolution took third place in the 2011 Laurel Wreath Awards. Another accolade for Luke and Emily! I miss them.
Now that the bathroom's done and I'm finally wrapping up edits on the last story I have contracted (gulp), I plan to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done in the next week or so, then write without any undue stress hanging over my head! How are your Christmas preparations going?
Monday, November 21, 2011
He forgave me, and we went ahead with our dinner plans to a fancy place downtown, followed by a special Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performance featuring Loony Tunes cartoons (Bugs Bunny et al) while the orchestra played the musical score. Was a great evening.
In other news, Callie Croix has a new release today. A very hot short read, but did I mention it's hot? Oh yeah. If you're interested, you can find the details on her website. Hence the incognito post :)
Hope everyone south of the border has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week! Have some turkey for me. Yum.
Monday, November 7, 2011
When all was said and done, we wound up filling the back of my hubby's pickup truck with donations for goodwill. When he took them over, though, he was told they no longer take toys.
Say what?! What kind of a goodwill place doesn't take toys?
So we're still looking for a home for them. But, we did get the majority of the Christmas things up--only three trees and the outside decorations are left to go.
Our master bathroom renovation (it was only a cosmetic makeover) is moving along at a snail's pace. Seems our job is so small it's a giant pain in everyone's butt to come over here and do what needs to be done. The rest of the house is looking cozy and Christmasy though, so that makes me happy.
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 8:17 AM
Monday, October 31, 2011
Tonight we've got a costume party to attend, and hubby and I are trying to get excited about dressing up. I've decided I'm going as a Stepford wife, all dolled up in my vintage tea dress with a strand of pearls around my neck. No idea what the man is going to do about a costume, and at this point he doesn't have a clue either. My little guys are dressing up as Bobba Fett (Star Wars) and BumblePrime, a hybrid of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from Transformers.
Everyone stay safe out there tonight! I'm really looking forward to this upcoming weekend, because it's tradition in our house to haul out all the dozens of boxes of Christmas decorations the first weekend after Halloween. I can't wait! Deck the halls, baby. That's where it's at.
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 7:24 AM
Monday, October 24, 2011
Right now I'm completing line edits on Darkest Caress, a paranormal romance coming out next April from Carina Press. Once those are done I'm going to hack away at this first draft of the second Bagram book, featuring Ryan and Ace. I've got everything plotted out now, so it's just a matter of getting the words down.
We're also in the middle of renovations on our master bathroom right now, and of course it's taking longer than expected. Trades not showing up when they're supposed to, which pushes the whole project back. What can you do, right? It's going to be purty when it's done, so I'm holding on to that thought.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
At any rate, I'm happy to have an accolade to put next to Relentless :)
Monday, October 10, 2011
But first, I'm going to see Moneyball with the man and a group of friends, including one who's a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers, currently playing in this year's NLCS. How cool is that? Can't wait to hear some stories from him after the movie.
After my last post, you're probably curious what the hubbster did for me on our anniversary. Well, he had a driver pick me up and take me downtown to Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific Hotel. There I received a 75 minute aromatherapy massage, and when I came out my man was waiting there for me (the massage was great, but best of all it forced me to take a break from edits on my paranormal romance coming out from Carina Press next year). He'd booked us a room at the hotel, and whisked me up there to change, then took me to a fancy dinner overlooking Coal Harbor and Stanley Park while the sun set. Pretty romantic, I must say, and I appreciated the effort.
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 10:36 AM
Friday, October 7, 2011
Today is my wedding anniversary. My two boys are both in Catholic school, and this morning are actually attending mass at the very church we were married at 11 years ago today. Pretty cool, no?
My hubby is a wonderful, steady guy. Rock solid with lots of family values, which are my two favorite things about him. (Besides him being a sexy beast in his catcher's gear when he used to catch for me, that is.) He's the first to admit he's not the most demonstrative or romantic guy in the world, but every now and again he blows me away with something completely thoughtful and over-the-top. Today I found a card taped to my steering wheel, telling me that the kids are taken care of this afternoon and that I have to be ready to leave at 2:45 today. Oh, and I should shave. (Thanks for the tip, honey!) I hope that means he has plans to see me in a short dress, and not that he seriously thinks he has to remind me to shave, lol.
A year ago today we were in New Orleans to celebrate our 10th anniversary (another huge surprise from hubby, and he even arranged for my crit partner, Katie Reus, to meet me there as another surprise). We spend the day touring some plantations, such as Oak Alley...
Seriously hard to wrap your brain around that one. Seeing it written down in stark black and white was almost mind boggling. If a slave had any white blood in him at all, he was worth way more than a pure African slave fresh off the boat. Old slaves were worth practically nothing, and the more skills you had as a laborer, the better.
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 10:22 AM
Monday, September 26, 2011
I have one last set of edits to do on another Callie Croix story, then I'm jumping back into Crash and Burn. It's been tricky to figure out how/where I can have Ace and Ryan spend time together to form some sort of a relationship, because of their difference in rank, and because the book is set at Bagram. But I'm up for the challenge!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I'm so excited to be hosting the amazing Marliss Melton over at Writers Gone Wild today. She's giving away a signed copy of The Protector to a commenter, so if you love military romantic suspense (and I guess if you're reading my blog you must like it!), I hope you'll come by.
One of the things I admire most about Marliss is the effort she puts into her research. She really tries to get it right and portray the military men accurately, something I wish every writer would do. I've asked her all sorts of questions about her research on SEALs, and about why her publisher no longer wanted to buy her SEAL books. Once you read the interview, I bet you'll have even more respect for her.
Blurb: Eryn McClellan teaches ESL in Washington, D.C., until the day she’s targeted by terrorists avenging her father’s actions in Afghanistan. The FBI has stepped in, but when it looks like they are using her for bait, General McClellan enlists the aid of the only man he knows he can trust: former Navy SEAL Ike Calhoun.
Embracing solitude in his remote cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ike thought he’d left the War on Terror far behind. Now he’s stuck shielding a blue-eyed beauty from ambitious federal agents and crazed jihadists. More disturbing still, the charming Eryn seems intent on shattering his self-imposed isolation. Ike does his best to resist her welcoming ways, but he can feel his restraint eroding like a mountain in a mudslide. With the FBI hot on their heels and the terrorists not far behind, Ike willingly wages a one-man war in defense of the woman whose passion and faith have given him the strength to rise above his past.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Blurb: Devon Crawford is an officer; Air Force Pararescueman Cam Munro is enlisted. Dev flies medical evacuations; Cam jumps into danger zones to save lives. Dev wants to return home from Afghanistan with her heart untouched; Cam will do anything to win the woman he loves.
Reaching for happiness in a war zone is the last thing Captain Devon Crawford plans, but she can't ignore the feelings she's hidden for so long. Cam's sexy charm and wicked kisses weaken her resistance, but she's too afraid of losing him to give in.
When Dev's helicopter and crew are shot down and set up as bait by a notorious warlord, Cam risks all to save the team. What he doesn't know is that the trap is set for him.
This week is nuts for me (in a good way), so here's a list of places and dates where you can find me if you'd like to try and win a copy of Deadly Descent.
Monday, September 5th: Fresh Fiction
Tuesday, September 6th: Carina Press blog, SOS Aloha blog
Wednesday, September 7th: Smexy Books, Writers Gone Wild
Friday, September 9th: Cynthia Eden's blog
Monday, September 12th: Book Lovers Inc.
Whew! That's a lot, huh? Plus both my kids are starting school Tuesday, and I have another set of edits due back by the end of next week.
I hope you'll enjoy Cam and Dev's story. PJs truly are amazing. They live and die by their motto "That Others May Live", and deserve our respect and our gratitude.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Well, it's here. Release day for my alter ego, Callie Croix. Deacon's Touch is the first of a series that one of my editors and I have created, and my second addition to it is called Dillon's Claim. Probably won't be out until next year, but we'll see.
In the meantime, here's the blurb and buy link for Deacon's Touch. I'm also at author CR Moss's blog today, and will give away a copy of the book to a commenter there. Feel free to stop by and say hello!
Have a great weekend!
Ex-Air Force Pararescueman Deke Dumen doesn’t know what to make of the sexy yet reserved brunette who breaks through the walls he built after an injury ended his career and a divorce soured him on relationships. As a guest at his family's ranch Jessie is off limits, but the Dom in him rebels at the restriction, even as he realizes his penchant for control in the bedroom would likely scare the holy hell out of her.
When Jessie shocks Deke by asking for exactly what he's been craving, he's ready to break the rules and introduce her to his own brand of dominance. Her willing surrender rocks them both to the core. But once the weekend's over, they must decide if it was just a wild fling or the start of something more.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
First off, some links:
Today I'm at Badass Book Reviews giving away a copy of Cover of Darkness. Authors Pamela Clare and Caridad Pineiro are there giving away prizes also, so come on by and say hello.
At Writers Gone Wild I've "outed" myself as Callie Croix, and I'm giving away a digital copy of my upcoming release, Deacon's Touch (comes out officially this Friday).
Also, Callie has officially been invited to blog at Naughty Author Chicks every other Wednesday, and today there's an interview about me on their site. I'll be alternating weeks between NAC and Writers Gone Wild.
On a less hectic note, here's a picture I just couldn't resist posting:
Isn't it exactly what you picture Sam would say to Ben (No Turning Back) if she walked in and saw this? Lol. I love the cat's unimpressed expression. He looks exactly like my cat, Shiloh (named after a Civil War battle, of course, plus he's Confederate gray).
That's it for now, except to say the initial reviews for Deadly Descent are rolling in, and so far they've been awesome! I hope you all love Dev and Cam's story.
Have a great week!
Monday, August 15, 2011
I'll post some pics and a write-up about the air show later, but I am so excited to tell you that the incredibly talented Anne Calhoun is coming to Writers Gone Wild this Wednesday, August 17th. I've grilled her about her writing style, her upcoming releases, and she's giving away TWO books from her backlist to the winning commenter. I hope you'll come by to meet her and say hello. And if you haven't read any of her books, you're missing out big time. They're erotic romance, so they're very explicit, but there's such depth of emotion and characterization it astounds me every time I read a new story of hers. All you need to do is read all the glowing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon to see what I'm talking about. This is one scarily talented author!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I also received word that same day that The Wild Rose Press wants to contract the second erotic romance I wrote (as Callie Croix) for the Dumen Ranch Series. The first book, Deacon's Touch, will release August 26th, and the second, Dillon's Claim, will probably be out sometime this winter.
It's the August long weekend here in BC, and we've been celebrating with family that have been in town since last weekend. Right now I'm cooking a big dinner for 15 of us: sweet glazed meatloaf (hubby's absolute fave), cream cheese mashed potatoes, spinach salad with fresh fruit and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing, a vegetable medley baked in homemade cheese sauce, and for dessert, a very decadent chocolate mousse layer cake. A totally low cal dinner for their last meal here in Vancouver :) I think a long family walk after dinner is in order, maybe down to the Spirit of the Sea Festival here at the beach to watch the fireworks later on.
Monday, July 25, 2011
He's from Arkansas, so he's got a charming Southern accent and all the swoon-worthy manners to go with it. Add in his time in the Corps, and I was in love with him in about three seconds. We talked about all sorts of military stuff, including his two tours in Vietnam. Such an interesting man, and a real sweetheart despite everything he's gone through. He and his wife live in Oahu during the winters, so they invited us to come stay with them and show us around all the historical sites. Um, yes please! Being shown around Pearl Harbor and all the other spots with a decorated former Marine? That's my idea of a great time.
He had to leave the Corps suddenly after 21 years of service, having attained the hallowed rank of Master Sergeant. For the latter part of his career, he was stationed at Camp Pendleton, just south of Los Angeles. We passed it on our way from Disneyland to Legoland this past March, and I was so excited to see a Chinook and two Black Hawks flying close to the highway.
So there we go, Kaylea has a new crush :) My hubby just smirked and shook his head at me yesterday at breakfast, but he doesn't seem mad or jealous, lol.
Got home last night and received word that both Cover of Darkness and No Turning Back have finaled in the 2011 Aspen Gold Awards! I'm kind of surprised that those two books seem to be the ones judges like best. I really think Relentless and Absolution are the best books in the series, but perhaps it takes the first few books for readers to understand the characters and story arc enough to make the last two books shine. Hmm. Something to ponder for the future if I ever do another series.
Have any of you out there met military veterans that have made an impression on you? Would love to hear your stories.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Looking for some awesome summer reads? You're in luck. For the next two weeks, all of us over at Writers Gone Wild are hosting a contest there. Each weekday we'll be posting about a different sort of hero, so drop by and leave a comment for a chance to win one of two bundles of great prizes from all of us. My post will be up this Wednesday, featuring the courageous military hero and why he's the best kind of hero. To me that's really kind of self explanatory, but I don't mind spelling it out for everyone :)
Finally, I've got my writing alter ego up and running over on Goodreads and Facebook. Just look me up as Callie Croix to learn about my upcoming August and November releases.
Hope you're all having a safe and happy summer!
Monday, July 11, 2011
The weasels are in swimming lessons and a morning bike camp next week, so I'll take my computer with me and hopefully get something done while I'm waiting for them. With my other pen name dominating most of my writing time right now, I haven't written anything for Kaylea Cross in a long, long while. This means there will most likely be a long gap between Deadly Descent and the next release, but it's not for lack of effort in trying to get another book published!
I didn't make it to RWA Nationals in NYC, and neither Cover of Darkness nor No Turning Back won the awards they were nominated for, but I hear my name was mentioned at least a couple times in public, so that's pretty neat :)
I've got a blog tour set up for early September when Deadly Descent comes out, and it looks like my first release under my alter ego will be out August 26th, followed by another November 21st.
Over at Writers Gone Wild we're having a hero party in the middle of July, and I'll be featuring some very cool guests there as well in August/September, including Roxanne St. Claire, Anne Calhoun and Denise A. Agnew. I'll be sure to post the dates so you can come by and say hello and ask questions.
Hope everyone is having a safe and happy summer so far!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Dear friends of ours are getting hitched tomorrow, and hubby's the best man, so I'm looking forward to seeing him in his tux (yum!). After the long weekend we'll be footloose and fancy free, with nothing but swimming lessons, bike camp and a couple road trips on the schedule.
Just got word this morning that my first release as Callie Croix (Deacon's Touch) will be at the end of August, and another novella will be out at the end of November (No Holds Barred). I'm actually just finishing up another Callie novella right now, and since she's been hogging all my writing time, I'm beginning to wonder if Kaylea will ever get another release! I'll try to see if I can fix that over the summer.
What's everyone else got planned for the summer? I know my pal Katie Reus will be busy, since she's having a baby in the next week or two (I'm so excited!). I can't remember if I mentioned it here before, but not only does Katie have a shifter trilogy coming out next year with NAL, she just sold two novellas to Harlequin's Nocturne Bites as well. The woman's on fire!
Monday, June 13, 2011
If you've been reading my blog at all, by now you know that I'm a gardener. This picture to the left has a place of honor in my little slice of paradise. Out of Her League was the first book I ever published, and it was under the Crimson Rose imprint of The Wild Rose Press. In honor of receiving the contract, I went out and shopped around for a red rose tree, something special to commemorate my first sale. This rose is called Black Cherry, and its blooms were described as "deep crimson red". And darned if the first blooms didn't appear the week that Out of Her League released, in August of 2008. *cue Twilight music*
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Later on I came home after running errands to find two more e-mails from my editors, both asking for new stories from me. That tickled me immensely. I even received the preliminary cover for Deadly Descent yesterday. It's very hot, and I'll show it to you as soon as it's approved.
Last but certainly not least, I found a message on my answering machine from the coordinator of the Kiss of Death RWA chapter's Daphne du Maurier Award contest. This is pretty cool, because she was actually my cabin mate last year at the Wild Rose Press's retreat in Texas.
Anyway, she'd personally called me to say that Cover of Darkness was a finalist! The winner will be announced at RWA Nationals in NYC later this month, just like the National Readers Choice Award winner will be. Had I known I would final in these prestigious contests, I would for sure have attended Nationals! I'm so bummed. To think I could have sat with Roxanne St. Claire and Brenda Novak--twice--and schmoozed with NY Times bestselling authors.
I'm thrilled by this, and sales have been going very well for my little series this past month (truly, ever since Osama bin Laden was killed), especially Cover of Darkness. I assume it's because my hero is a SEAL, but maybe word of mouth has spread from readers who judged my entries for the Daphne? Not really sure, but I'm loving it!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Look what I got in the mail today! I know, wearing this necklace makes me a geek, but I don't care. I'm a Civil War nut and proud of it, and besides, General Lee and I share the same birthday. That makes us kindred spirits. And now he can hang around my neck and help me churn out more pages! He graduated at the top of his class at West Point, after all, and was a master of organization. If anyone can whip my muse into shape, good old Marse Robert can.
I've just finished reviewing galleys for my first erotic romance story that will be published under a different name, but no word yet on a release date. I've subbed the 2nd story of that series to my editor over at TWRP and hope to hear back soon. The two others I have with Carina Press won't be out until winter this year.
In other news, another side benefit has come about since the death of Osama bin Laden. Since that day--literally--Navy SEAL romance books have seen a spike in sales. Including mine, Cover of Darkness. Actually, the whole series has seen a bump in sales this past month. I couldn't be more thrilled about that, and I hope my new readers will learn something about the various branches of the Spec Ops and Special Forces world that they never knew before. That's my favorite compliment to receive (other than the readers loving the story and my characters, of course)--that the reader appreciates the effort I've put into research for each book. I know I won't always get all the details right, but I hope I always get most of them right :)
With my desk pretty much cleared off, I'm back working on my CCT novel, Crash and Burn. Again, I've had more great input from my CCT contact (thank you, A.L.!) and it's just a matter of getting the words down now. Hope to finish off the draft within the next couple of months.
How's everyone doing out there? If you're in an area prone to tornadoes, I hope you and yours are keeping safe and warm. My thoughts go out to to those affected by these horrific storms this year.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Since the May 1st night-time announcement by President Obama, there has been an insane amount of increased interest in these elite warriors. There's even been a huge increase in demand for SEAL romance novels, as outlined in a recent Washington Post article that mentions Suzanne Brockmann's series (click HERE to see article). Even my little series has seen a bump in sales since last week. Yay!
The emblem at the start of this post is the coveted SEAL Trident, and only a very select few will ever earn the right to wear one. For good reason. The Navy does a very good job at weeding out all but the toughest, most determined and physically fit men. It's no wonder why the public sees them as heroes, so it stands to reason that these alpha male warriors would wind up as characters in romance novels. But I suspect that SEALs, and all other Special Ops members for that matter, don't do what they do to win the hearts and minds of the US public. In fact, they'd no doubt prefer to stay off the radar, and simply be left alone so they can do their jobs and hopefully come home safely to their families. They are all to be admired, yes, but let's give them the respect they're due. Along with our heartfelt thank-yous, let's give them the privacy they deserve. I think they've earned that right.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish
No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross
Edge of Sight by Roxanne St.Claire
A Rancher’s Brand of Justice by Ann Voss Peterson
Killer Heat by Brenda Novak
Desperate Deeds by Dee Davis
The winner will be announced at RWA Nationals in July. There's no way I'll win the category against competition like that, but I'm just tickled the judges loved the story so much. Especially because I represent a little e-publisher :) And, obviously I'm thrilled to have finaled amongst this group of powerhouse authors.
Like I've said before, Ben was a difficult hero for me to write, and the book is so violent and graphic it's not everyone's cup of tea, so finaling in a contest like this means a lot! If you love to root for the underdog, please send out good thoughts for Ben and Sam's story.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Morning everyone! Well, after a very stressful time yesterday when Ma Eagle seemed to step on and crack the egg open before the chick was quite ready, the little one appears to be doing well. Its sibling has not yet hatched, but hopefully we'll have another addition to the nest shortly. Click HERE to go to the live camera. Come over and say hello to our new fuzzy gray bobblehead! He's sooooo cute...
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I got something cool in the mail this week. My new CCT friend sent me a DVD, commemorative coin and lapel pin, just because he's a nice guy. I'm dying to watch the DVD, but I have to hold off until I get these second round of edits finished for my first Callie Croix release, and then finish off my next ranch story.
In other exciting news, it's finally baseball season here. It's been extremely chilly and windy here in these parts, and I have to tell you we're all sick to death of it. Let's hope it warms up fast so that my weasels actually enjoy heading to the ball park!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I'm over at Writers Gone Wild today, talking about this quirky obsession of mine, so click HERE to drop by and take a peek.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
It's finally spring! My favorite season of all. Here in Vancouver it's still chilly, but at least the sun's come out a few times and we're desperate for more of it. My little garden is slowly coming to life, which is great, but I've yet to re-paint the fence and do a last time cleanup of the yard. In a couple weeks I should know how bad the black vine weevil infestation is going to be this year. Every year I hope and pray the nematodes have killed them all, but each year I'm always severely disappointed. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
In an effort to get my name out into the world more, I'm part of Ron Knight's 100th blog. To visit and find a host of new authors you might not have heard of yet, click HERE. To visit Ron's blog, click HERE.
Hope all of you are doing well out there. I'm just getting over an awful bug so I haven't written in a long while. Plan to fix that this week.
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 11:24 AM
Monday, April 4, 2011
Right now I'm working on the dedication and acknowledgements for Deadly Descent. As you know I got in touch with some really cool inside sources for research on this one, and had a ball talking with them. When I e-mailed my recently retired PJ contact and asked what official title to call him in the dedication, I got a response that so typically embodies these men that I could only smile and shake my head. I'm paraphrasing, but basically his answer was, "No thanks are necessary. We're just ordinary guys, and I'm glad I could help."
If that doesn't encapsulate their humility and heroism, I don't know what does. So Weaver, if you're ever reading this, just know you're a hero to me and always will be no matter how much you try to downplay your years in Pararescue. So there.
Another cool thing happened too. I don't even know how he found out about me (must have been through this blog, but I never asked him), but a retired Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) contacted me to ask how the heck a young woman from Canada became interested in CCTs. He said some people in the Air Force don't even know about them--which I hope isn't true--so he was curious about me. I joked that I'm a little odd, and that on top of being a Civil War superfreak, I love learning about Spec Ops stuff. I love it even more when I can put what I've learned into my writing and give it more realism.
Wait--what? You don't know what a CCT is either? Not to worry, there's a picture of one at the top of this post. Deadly Descent will introduce you to Ryan, a CCT embedded with a SEAL team out of Bagram. You'll learn plenty about why these guys are damn handy to have with you out in hostile territory. Or in any combat mission, for that matter. At the most basic level, they're Special Ops trained air traffic controllers that go out into harm's way and bring a lot of firepower with them. They bring the rain. Heavy ordinance from bombers, missiles from fighter jets, or close air support from gunships, just to name a few. And that's merely a part of their job description. I'll be highlighting the hellish ordeal they undergo just to earn the right to be called a CCT in a later post, so stay tuned.
Anyway, this retired CCT and I chatted back and forth a few times, and I assured him that while my books are steamy romantic suspense, I make an effort to research my heroes' line of work and add a level of detail that readers won't find in other books of the genre. His response surprised me. He said he's actually proud that I'm taking the time to learn about his CCT brothers and bring them into the spotlight. Even if it's only a small spotlight.
He also said he sincerely hopes my hero gets to spend the night with a belly dancer at some point in the upcoming book :) He wants to read the book, but I told him it's pretty steamy and he probably wouldn't like it. "Are you kidding? I love steamy!" was his reply.
He's in his early sixties now and has been out of the game for a long while, but he offered to put me in touch with a recently retired CCT while I'm writing the draft of Crash and Burn. And he's sending me a DVD on CCTs and a couple trinkets, just because he's a nice guy. How awesome is that? And to think this connection literally landed in my lap (er, inbox) last Monday. Gotta love the Internet! As soon as I'm finished this latest novella, I'm back into Ryan's book, and I'm looking forward to writing it more than ever.
So, Mr. A.L., if you're reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to contact me. Very cool getting to "meet" you.
Damn I love what I do :)
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I keep forgetting to tell you all, but David Hancock (of the Hancock Wildlife Project) has put up permanent cameras in the eagle nest on my father's property here in White Rock. While we were in Hawaii (the day after the tsunami, actually), the female eagle laid an egg. Two days later, she laid another. This is unusual, especially since she had twins last year. Pickin's must be good out there for her to be able to lay two eggs again!
The eggs will hatch 35 days after being laid, so here's the link if you're interested in watching the live camera feed. (in case the link doesn't show up in the text, here's the website: http://www.hancockwildlife.org/index.php?topic=White-Rock-Eagle1) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Play button for either the wide angle or close up feeds. I prefer the close up, so I can watch the wind ruffling their feathers and see the eggs when they shift in the nest. This pair of mates has been together for a while, and you may recall the posts about the baby twins last year. Very entertaining to watch them trying to figure out how to fly :)
It's really cool to watch mom and dad taking turns sitting on the eggs, but around April 19th or 20th, we should have some new chicks to meet. How amazing is that? The cameras are crystal clear, and also have night vision so you can watch the eagles after dark. I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I'm finally home, safe and sound after all the excitement of my trip, and I'm glad to be able to put my feet up for a while. That was a wild vacation, for sure. A tsunami, a 4.6 earthquake on the big island, then exposure to some low level radiation all the way from Japan in California the day we left. Yup, home's looking pretty good right now.
In writing news, I got word last week that Carina Press has acquired my latest naughty novella I sent them, tentatively titled Touch Me. Very excited! I love being accepted :) Have to say, writing these spicy novellas has been really fun, but after finishing this next project for TWRP, I've got to get back to my Bagram Special Ops trilogy and finish Crash and Burn. I've left my poor hero in the midst of a night-time HALO jump deep behind enemy lines, and that's just not right.
Starting today, the fabulous bloggers over at Guilty Indulgence Bookclub are featuring me on their blog for the entire week! I'm very flattered by that. I'd love some company over there, so feel free to drop by and visit with me. They're going to feature the books in my romantic suspense series and I'll talk more about why I love to use special ops soldiers as my heroes. But really, what's not to love?
Also, I'm being featured at author CR Moss's blog as well, and I'm giving away a copy of Cover of Darkness there.
Last but not least, both Cover of Darkness and No Turning Back have been nominated for best romantic suspense of 2010 by The Romance Reviews. If you'd like to vote for either of them, please follow this link.
Hope to "see" some of you at these sites this week!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you know about the horrible quake and tsunamis that shattered Japan last night. For my family and I visiting the big island of Hawaii (including my dad, sister, step mom, step siblings and their families), last night was certainly more exciting than I'm comfortable with.
We'd spent the day in Kona, eating lunch at Bubba Gump's and shopping for some souvenirs. When we arrived back at the hotel we had a late dinner out at the fancy surfside restaurant here, bathed by a warm Trade wind while tiki torches flickered amongst the hibiscus flowers. Just another gorgeous evening in paradise. Or so we thought.
Someone took our reserved table, so we didn't get seated until 9, very late for the little ones we had with us (my two weasels, and two two-year-olds). About ten minutes before our mains arrived, Dave Ritchie, founder and former CEO of Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers, came over to tell us there'd been a massive quake in Japan, and powerful tsunamis were on their way toward us.
My face blanched. I literally felt the blood drain from it. All I could think about was the Boxing Day tsunamis in Thailand/Indonesia a few years back. With an 8.9 quake sending waves at us and nothing but open ocean standing in their way... Yup, I was already making evacuation plans in my head.
Big weasel didn't understand the magnitude of the threat (he's 7), but since he was running a fever with a sore throat, hubby took him up to the room early. I stayed with little weasel (not quite 5) and wolfed down what should have been a decadent dinner of beef tenderloin and lobster tail. Afterward I took him straight up to the room, going past the front desk on my way. People were milling about already, and their concern was palpable. One lady was in tears.
I went straight up to the room, turned on the news, saw the pictures of the tsunami in Japan, and started packing. No evacuation orders had been issued yet, but I'm not the type to take any chances, especially with my little guys. Then the tsunami alarm sirens went off at 10, and that sealed the deal. Hubby and I packed up pillows, blankets, clothes, ID, food and water. And some TP. If I'm going to have to do my business and wipe my bits and pieces out in the great outdoors, I'd just as soon have TP to wipe with.
A couple minutes later the phone rang. My dad, saying the rest of our group (13 in total) was planning to head for higher ground, and that I should pack emergency supplies. I almost snorted. Did he not realize who he was talking to? He's only known me for 36 years.
By this time the weasels were scared to death. I had two sets of huge blue eyes fixed on me as I packed. When they saw me shoving things into a bag, they quickly dumped their stuffed toys into their backpacks and stood by the door with anxious expressions. While hubby left to start packing the car, I tried to calm them down, explaining the waves wouldn't hit for at least another four hours, maybe more. We had lots of time, and it was important to be calm in the meantime. We had a plan to get everyone to safety, and we were acting on it. Was I scared, though? Hell yeah. None of us knew what to expect or how bad it was going to be. If it was going to be a repeat of the Thailand/Indonesia tsunamis...
And then little weasel broke my heart. Standing by the door with his running shoes on and his little backpack strapped to his shoulders, he looked up at me with brimming eyes and said, "Can we just go, now? I don't want to swim--I don't know how to swim!" Big weasel joined in, begging me to just go, go now and get in the car and get away from this place. Talk about a punch to the gut. I thank God we had enough warning to get packed and make it to somewhere safe. People in Japan weren't as lucky.
A mandatory evacuation order was given soon after that, but we were already packing up the cars. Our rental, and an SUV for the rest of our group. The hotel guests were stressed; you could feel the tension as people prepped to leave. The adrenaline was pumping pretty hard, and we still had four hours until the first wave was expected to hit. We were parked at the curb waiting for my step siblings to get their babies into the SUV with all their gear, and a bus driver stopped near us. He opened his door and brusquely said, "You guys better move that thing, or I'm taking it out." Nice. Like we weren't stressed enough.
The minute we left the hotel and started for higher ground, I felt better. The weasels were absolutely silent in the backseat as we headed down they highway and then inland, up the mountain. We stopped at 1,000 feet, since my sister, step sister and her hubby had been scuba diving earlier in the evening and couldn't ascend past that altitude. I tell you what, I felt ever so much safer up the hill parked next to that horse pasture at the side of the road than I did back at the hotel.
We spent a very cramped night in the car, and only the weasels slept a little. I made good use of my TP stock, which took me back to my days as a Girl Guide. Peeing outside turned out to be the weasels' favorite part of the whole experience :)
None of us knew how bad the damage was down along the coastline, but as we listened to the news reports over the radio, it varied from area to area. Bubba Gump's, where we'd eaten lunch the day before, was heavily damaged by the waves, along with some of Kona. We got conflicting reports about the damage levels to our hotel, but weren't allowed to go back because waves were still coming in and the state officials hadn't issued the "all clear" yet. The SUV's battery had died overnight, so hubby took us into town to get some jumper cables, and after the others were good to go, we found a Subway for breakfast. Information was sketchy; someone reported damage to our hotel and that we wouldn't be allowed back for hours yet. Police were turning people back from the area.
Eventually the tsunami warning was lifted and we went back to the hotel, not knowing what we'd find. Turned out there was no damage to the buildings, but the man-made beach was damaged and they'd lost some furniture to the tsunami. The images of the devastation in Japan are heartbreaking, and I'm so thankful we were all safe up on that hillside. Turned out we would have been safe at the hotel, but even in hindsight I'm glad we evacuated. My heart goes out to the people of Japan affected by this disaster, and all their loved ones.
So we're all safe and sound, and there might even be a future book in this somewhere down the road. My family kept teasing me about that, and asking if I'll ever travel again after this. Wouldn't you know something like this would happen while I'm here? But you know, suddenly the thought of getting on a plane doesn't seem so bad anymore.
Friday, March 4, 2011
In another couple days I'm off to paradise, so wish me luck on the flights. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of being afraid of flying. I've missed out on so many travel opportunities already and I've got to get over it somehow. I thought it would get easier once I "got back into it", but that unfortunately hasn't been the case yet. Still, one can hope, right?
I'm taking my laptop, though I don't know how much actual work I'm going to get done, and my Kindle is loaded full of steamy books to keep me occupied. By the way, did you know it's The Romance Reviews grand opening celebration right now? Check out the highlighted link to enter contests, win prizes and find out about all kinds of books you never new existed. They've already got something like 9,000 Facebook followers.
Did I mention I'm working on another naughty novella for The Wild Rose Press? This one features one of the other brothers in our Dumen Ranch series. I'm really enjoying the shorter lengths right now, and it's been just what my muse was craving. Maybe Hawaii will inspire me even more!
Posted by Kaylea Cross at 2:22 PM
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Luckily, I've had lots of things keeping me busy with my writing. I've been deep in my editing cave for the past week, revising and editing my upcoming Carina release, Deadly Descent, and my upcoming first erotic romance release from The Wild Rose Press, Deacon's Touch. The contract for my next erotic novella (coming this winter from Carina), No Holds Barred, arrived this week and is winging its way back to the Harlequin offices as I type this.
On top of my edits, I also wrote and submitted another naughty novella this past week, and have been asked by my TWRP editor to write another. In all, I've edited over 150k words since last weekend. I'm pretty proud of myself :) So, basically my desk is clear for the next couple weeks. I hope to plot out and maybe begin the requested novella this week, but I'll try to work on my next military romantic suspense novel for Carina during the flights. Lord knows I won't be sleeping, so I might as well make use of the time and get something accomplished, right?
I'll definitely keep you posted on release dates or any more contracts that come my way. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Today I'm featuring Cover of Darkness, but the winner can choose any book from my backlist. Stop by and leave a comment to enter!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I'm going to Hawaii in a couple weeks, but part of me is already there because Kim Adams of SOS Aloha has hosted Luke and I over on her awesome blog. She interviewed him for this piece, which I thought was kind of neat, and we get to hear about his Valentine's Day plans with Emily.
If you'd like to pop by and leave a comment, you'll be entered into the contest for a copy of Absolution. And Kim's not only an Air Force veteran; she's made of pure awesomeness. When I told her I was coming to Hawaii (she lives there) she didn't just say "Yay, good for you!" and leave it at that. Nuh-uh. She e-mailed to say she's going to have a tour guide of the big island, written by a local, waiting for me at the front desk when I arrive. And she might even look into flights so we can meet up while I'm there! Talk about above and beyond the call of duty.
I swear, people in the romance community--writers, editors, agents, bloggers and reviewers--are among the most generous people on earth. I love networking like this, because it means meeting more people like Kim.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
A couple days after I sent back my first round of edits, Angela James of Carina Press contacted me (by e-mail this time, though I still have her voice message saved on my machine from November, and I don't care if that's pathetic) to say she'd read and loved the short erotic romance I'd subbed to them. After she passed it onto another editor who loved it too, they offered me a contract! It's tentatively called No Holds Barred, but it might be changed somewhere down the line and I'll keep you posted. I had so much fun writing it and finished it within a week. It's short and hot and will probably release sometime in late summer or early fall. My erotic romance editor over there seems like a lot of fun with a great sense of humor, so I'm looking forward to working with her.
The picture above is blurry, but it's the new journal I bought myself on Etsy, my new favorite place to shop because everything there is made by artisans. Like it? It's handmade, and ultra French-girly, which is right up my alley, with a big satin ribbon rose and vintage pearls in the center. So pretty! Oh, the things I've bought there... The accounting department is less than thrilled :)
I always treat myself to a new journal before I begin plotting a new project, and this one is sure to keep my muse inspired. I'm currently plotting out a new hot short story and then I'm going to dive into Deadly Descent's sequel, tentatively called Crash and Burn.
Also, next week I'm blogging with Kim at SOS Aloha on the 15th, and the awesome Katie Reus on the 17th. Oh, and I guess I didn't tell you, but I'm biting the bullet and flying to Hawaii with my family for a couple weeks in early March, so I'll be sure to ask you all for more arm flapping.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
It's the official release day for Katie Reus, and her new book Dangerous Secrets, from Carina Press. Katie also writes erotic romance under Savannah Stuart, so this is the first romantic suspense release under her other pen name in a long while and she's very excited about it!
As usual, the cover gods love her and have awarded her another gorgeous one. If you look at her backlist, you'll know what I mean.
Here's the blurb:
Isabelle Ballantine has been fighting for independence since she was old enough to walk. Now that she's finally out from under her father's shadow, she won't let anyone stand in her way. It's tough living on her own, working in a bar and keeping her true identity a secret, but things start to look up when a sexy new stranger walks into her life. After working side by side for weeks, Izzy can't figure out why he won't make a move...
To cinch the deal of a lifetime, Adam Marcellus agrees to help Izzy's eccentric father convince his daughter to move home. He'd assumed Izzy would be another spoiled rich princess, but he's surprised to discover his feelings for her are stronger than anything he's ever experienced. When a deranged stalker targets her, Adam finds himself fighting not only an unknown threat—but an unexpected attraction to the one woman he can't have...
You'll love Katie's writing style, and she's got another upcoming romantic suspense release with Carina in late summer. To purchase Dangerous Secrets, click here.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Also, be sure to check out Katie's new romantic suspense, Dangerous Secrets, coming out from Carina Press on Feb 7th. I'm very excited about this book and there's another one coming out from her later this summer that will knock your socks clean off.
I'm going to be guest blogging with Katie on Feb. 17th, so be sure to come by and say hello for a chance to win one of my books too :)
Friday, January 28, 2011
I'm over at Autumn Jordon's blog today, giving away a copy of Absolution to one commenter. Hope to see you there :)
Happy Friday, and I hope all of you have a great weekend.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I don't know about you guys, but I had a crazy week and weekend over the past ten days. My little guy got super sick with the stomach flu--so sick he vomited continually for two days and couldn't keep a single thing down. I wound up taking him to Emergency for treatment two days in, and spent 12 hours getting IV fluids into him just to get him rehydrated. One of my friends was working there as a nurse that night, so it made his stay a bit more comfortable. I took him home next morning, but had to bring him back two days later. Not fun, and the poor little guy didn't eat a thing for six days.
By Friday he was feeling better, so I reluctantly remade plans to go up to Vernon (in the Okanagan Valley) for my uncle's surprise 50th birthday. Uncle Kev's my favorite uncle, and he's in the dedication for Cover of Darkness. He's a battle Captain in the reserves, plays softball and loves history, on top of being a hell of a nice guy. Enough said. But as it turned out, since my hubby was staying home with Little Weasel, I had to take Big Weasel with me and thought I'd catch a ride up with my dad. Only he'd decided at the last minute they weren't going to drive. They were flying up in his new Bell 407 helicopter instead.
Oh dear God.
Big Weasel thought this was an awesome idea, and I kind of had no other choice so I went along with it. Besides, my characters fly in helos all the time, and they manage it without having panic attacks. And Devon (the heroine from Deadly Descent, who you'll meet this summer) even flies them, for crying out loud. I refused to wimp out. Suck it up, princess.
My dad flew us while his instructor played the role of co-pilot. I was crammed in the back with Big Weasel, my stepmom and the co-pilot's wife as we took off and cruised through the Fraser Valley on our way to the mountains. And I pretended to love every second of it, smiling despite my pounding heart and sweaty palms. Wheee!!! Listening to the radio contact with air traffic control was pretty cool, as were the conversations between my dad and the co-pilot discussing various aspects of the flight, controls, avionics, etc. More research for my next book :) I'm still seriously thinking of taking the ground school portion of flight school. It would sure come in handy for my writing, plus I find it fascinating. Here's the Bell 407, my dad's new baby:
Friday, January 14, 2011
It's here! Savannah Stuart's newest release from Ellora's Cave is called Tempting Target and I'm so in love with this book.
There's a really cool story about it too. Back when I first met Savannah (who also writes as Katie Reus), I fell in love with her book City of Secrets, and that's actually how we ended up pals. Now she's extensively revised my fave book to make it even hotter for EC and as soon as I publish this post I'm off to read it. David is just...yum. Knowing the smexin's going to be even hotter in this one...I just might implode :) And, as an early birthday present, the author even put me in the dedication. *blush*
If you haven't read any of Savannah's books, give this one a try because I promise you'll love it. Here's the blurb:
After being widowed at a young age, Jade Hadley is tired of her celibate existence and is determined to add a little romance and sex into her life again. When her deceased husband’s sexy best friend admits a longtime attraction, her entire world is thrown off kilter.
Security expert David McIntyre is in love with Jade and has been from the moment they met. Unfortunately for him, that was the week she married his best friend. For years he’s stayed silent, giving her time to mourn. When he discovers she’s dating again, all bets are off. Then someone targets her to die and he realizes he has more trouble than he bargained for. Seducing her isn’t the problem. Convincing her what they have together isn’t purely physical, however, is. It might even prove to be a bigger challenge than trying to keep her alive.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Well we finally got around to taking down all our Christmas stuff this weekend. I start putting everything up the first weekend in November, because there's so much ot it and I figure I might as well get to enjoy the fruits of my labor for a couple months. I always dread taking it down again because it's such a huge undertaking, but at the same time I love getting my house back to its uncluttered state. Of course now we've got three hundred new toys for the weasels added into the mix, so they've still all got to be sorted and put away before we drown in them.
In writing news, I'm happy to announce I've finished the draft of my paranormal romance. Gotta admit, there were times I thought I'd never finish it. It still needs something, something I can't quite put my finger on, but I'm going to send the last bit off to my awesome crit partner and then put it away for a week or two before going back and seeing what I can do with it. From here on out, each pass will only strengthen the plot. Yippee! Love this part.
Got a road trip coming up next weekend, up in the Okanagan Valley of BC, a place famous for its lakes and wineries. It's my favorite uncle's 50th birthday, so hubby and the weasels are coming with me to celebrate with him. He's the one that served in the military (gee, I wonder why I love him so much?) and plays softball. Oh, and he's also a history buff. I lived with him and his wife for seven months while I finished massage therapy school up in Vernon, and got super close to them.
Anyway, before I forget I wanted to post some pics of our place at Christmas. Might as well show off all our hard work, right?
Front of the house, viewed from the street.
Family room. Trust me, there are decorations everywhere in this house, so I'm only showing you the highlights. You're welcome :)
Mantle in family room.
Here are some things I've painted over the years. What, you didn't know I paint? Well, not so much anymore, but that's how I burned up my free time before I started writing.
The Santa gourds are still some of my fave decorations.
Front hall entryway. My little snowman family and my favorite Santa, who stays out all year in our living room because he's too big an precious to be put in the garage. Everything on him is antique.
Hands down my favorite holiday decoration is this massive arbor in the entryway, framing the entrance to our living room (parlor, since it's a Victorian house). Isn't it something? Because I have to move all the furniture around upstairs to make room for everything, I have to give up my writing spot for a couple months and work out of the parlor. I love sitting there with the fire going while I write when it's Christmastime at our house.
Inside the living room. That trunk I painted is just one of the many hiding spots for our decorations when they get put away.
The tree in our master bedroom, done in blue because it matches my toile duvet cover :)
And, finally, the pile of loot we woke up to on Christmas morning. Santa even left another trail of footprints this year! The weasels were beside themselves, and seeing their excited little faces adds a magic that makes Christmas even more special.
All put away and tidy now, but hey, it'll be coming back out in a little under ten months!