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Wild For You is now available!
Lacey Wilde’s L.A. nights have never been hotter.
I’m the only female exec at my father’s music label in L.A. As the head of PR, I make rockstars’ dreams come true. Gorgeous gods who melt panties with their voices and chiseled bodies.
Beautiful men are in my face every day, but my bed’s been empty. Why?
Nate, my on-again/off-again boyfriend, a golden-haired rock god has a groupie problem.
Jaxson, the inked-up and body-pierced singing phenom just signed to my label has forbidden written all over him.
Aidan, the former rock king and daddy’s A&R genius who’s as gorgeous as the first night he stepped on a stage, is my ex-husband and totally off-limits.
I try to keep things professional with Jaxson, but he’s used to getting what he wants and he wants me. Nate’s willing to do anything to apologize to me. And Aidan won’t stop looking at me like he still wants me.
When I give in and let them play their filthy games with me, it’s too good to be true.
It’s night after night of HAF gods with huge…egos satisfying me.
But with our careers on the line and the demands of being adored by fans, how long can I keep my superstars all to myself?
Welcome to best kept secret in the L.A. music world…
Wild For You contains explicit scenes of love between multiple partners/consenting adults. If a woman being adored by three men offends you, please don’t buy this book…
Sometimes you have to take several steps back to move forward.
Writing a book today is much different from the days when I dreamed of being a published author and imagined stories in my head. For authors who have dedicated readers, they still get to follow their hearts and their readers will devour whatever they put on paper (or their Kindle).
New authors trying to find their audience today don’t have that luxury. A buzz phrase going around the Indy (independent author) world is ‘write to market.’ It makes some authors want to throw their laptops against the wall. It’s part of the strategic release plan an author has to make, not just before they publish, but before they write one word.
Will this story sell? Is there a ‘market’ for it? That last sentence is the polite way of saying, are readers (primarily on Amazon) gulping down books in that genre. Or are they flying by seventy miles an hour. Hot genres are nothing new. And traditional publishers have been rejecting excellent authors and masterfully written stories based on this theory for decades. Great book. I love it. Sorry, it just won’t sell.
Building on that, if you’re writing a series, you also have to consider sell-through (the rate at which a reader will keep reading the other books in the series). You can’t have sell-through, though, if the first book in the series isn’t selling at all. I faced both issues recently. So little people were buying (based on lack of visibility) my book 1 and those who did were not buying the other books. At the end of 2019, my small-town, family drama series, Darling Cove had four books, one being a Christmas short story featuring all the main characters from the first three books.
I’d made a few ‘mistakes’ or ‘misteps’ with my Darling Cove series. The family I’d based the series on, consisted of only three adult siblings. And one son. (Hint to new authors, write large families and lots and lots of brothers- winks). By book 4, I had exhausted all the Mallory siblings. However, I had been reading in author support sites and boards that the way to position is a series is for Book 1 to either be free or 99 cents. Or to have a Prequel to use as a free entry point into the series. I had that for a while. I had a free prequel, showing the characters in book 1, the summer before they met. That failed miserably. I’d not seen one sale. So I pulled that prequel back. That meant I had to reduce book 1 to free or 99 cents. But with only three additional books, I didn’t feel that strategy would work.
Those thoughts led me to start plotting out a fifth Darling Cove book. But with no more Mallorys, I had to branch out. I’d also not been very strategic in the other books to ‘drop in’ random tertiary characters that could eventually be used as leads one day. The only reasonable additional character was Martin Mallory, Greg, Gwen, and Skye’s father. So many readers have told me how much they love Martin. And I’d considered it for a time. Then that ole’ ‘write to market’ concept came back and sadly, ‘older, much older’ main characters were not appealing to the ‘masses.’
There’s a reason why New Adult (early 20’s), Academy (Young Adult) and Bully (College) romances are topping the charts. A large segment of readers fit into those demographics.
While writing book 2 of my series, Must Have Faith, I created a strong secondary-ish character in Lily Matthews. Faith’s assistant producer. And friend. The person she opened up to about her hidden feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Greg Malloy and the lingering desires for the man she’d left at the altar ten years earlier. While creating the setting for Faith’s world, a news organization, I rounded out the cast with the stage director, Carter Holden.
While finishing the Christmas book, the strategy for the series was coming to fruition and I knew I needed one, maybe two more books. Lily and Carter seemed the best choice. So I brought Lily into the Mallory family crisis in book 4 because Faith was in the hospital. And Greg needed someone to talk to through that difficult time.
Even as early as book 1, I had laid the groundwork for each future book and the conflicts. Greg (book 2) had been left at the altar by Faith and she was recently back in town. Skye (book 3) had a secret admirer, Fire Chief Edward who had a son. And while I’d hinted there may be something going on in the dark corners of the production studio between Carter and Lily…that’s all I had. I had to start from scratch and create two more backstories.
Plot, plot, plot. Conflict, conflict, conflict. I’d been using the same plotting worksheet for each book. I filled in all my boxes and off I went. My writing had changed at that point because I’d been writing vampire books, too, so my head was in a different place while plotting book 5, (Must Keep You). I was leaning toward a more edgy, dark, and combative romance.
There was one problem (well there were many), I really had no idea who Lily and Carter were. And it showed in the early draft. I’d received a brutal edit/critique that left me shattered. So much so, I put the book aside. “No one’s waiting for this book. No one cared,” I shot back to the editor. I felt broken and this was the book that nearly brought my writing career to the end.
The summer months were approaching. My husband is off during the summers and I knew my writing process would be interrupted. It was also the second year we’d be spending most of July and August at our summer retreat up in Maine. The first summer I spent most days writing my second vampire book, Guarding Bloodlines. I felt I’d missed so much that summer. I made a vow to not actively write a book and be more present.
However, I’d also decided to go back to Books 1, 2, and 3 of Darling Cove to address my ‘sell through’ problem. Despite the smack-down I got about Must Keep You, I’d felt my writing had improved enough to revisit these books and polish them back up. I also needed to add links to help readers find the next books in the series.
That exercise (which was supposed to be a two month project) turned monumental. Each book needed a drastic re-write. I’ve accepted the premise that my writing had drastically improved in just three short years. Grinding through chapters upon chapters, fixing weak sentences with a passive voice and plot holes, I’d not identified, geared me up to tackle Must Keep You head on. By strengthening Books 1-3 (4 didn’t need the same help), it made sense to make this a five book series with the lead book at a lower price point. In late December, I lowered Book 1, Must Love Fashion to a permanent entry price of 99 cents.
On December 1, 2019, I dug back into Must Keep You. I spent every day, (no breaks) until December 29th with Carter and Lily. Grinding into each chapter, figuring out who they are, what they really want, and what their fears and ghosts were. What made them tick and what made them happy. By the time I finished, I was more confident about this book then most others. And I love, love, love Carter and Lily. I hope you do as well.
Early reviews say:
“Must Keep You is an absorbing tale rich with heartfelt emotion, drama, and love. What a great addition to the series, I highly recommend you give it a chance, it’s certain to leave your heart happy… but not before torturing it just a little first!” ~ Reds Romance Reviews (5-Stars)
“The connection between Carter and Lily is explosive, confusing, devastating at times, yet, always emotional with a true, unbreakable bond. I had to know what was going to happen!!!” ~ In Our Opinion Book Reviews (5-Stars)
“Wonderfully fantastic… The book was amazing…” ~ Kathy B. (Goodreads 5-Stars)
I was so relieved!
Must Keep You is now live. It’s now out there. It’s a billionaire surprise baby romance set in the Mallory world of Darling Cove.
Also Must Keep You is Free on KindleUnlimited…
Fall in love with Carter and Lily. And read their story HERE
Happy New Year! Are you sick of hearing that yet?
I remember one New Year’s Eve, years back, a friend’s mother was crying. Not wailing. Not howling. Just quietly sobbing. When I asked about it, I got an answer that surprised me at the time. She was sad at all the years that had passed. That made no sense to me at the time.
While so many people look forward to a new coming year with positive attitudes, some sadly look at another year gone by with regret. To end a decade, and not just one year, must magnify that.
That’s how I felt last night. I felt that sob in the back of my throat.
Crying is wonderfully cathartic and can clear your head.
2020 marks a milestone, because it was August 2010 when I started writing my first novel. Ten years I’ve been at this. I’ve learned more in the last year than anything else to be honest. And I hope I can lasso that into a successful year and deliver books and stories you’ll want to read.
That title isn’t missing a word. In my vampire novels, the terminology my vampires use often is, I am vampire. It’s a verbal cue in the novels too. As a human comes to term with becoming a vampire, they drop the a.
Paranormal Romance authors have the best job in the world. Contemporary Romance offers a broad range of situations the average person would never find themselves in, and that stretch grows more and more every day, as authors compete for readers’ attention. No matter how the CR explains a character’s motivations and makes the setting as plausible as possible (as a CR author, as well as a writer of PNR, I know!), there’s always the risk of being so completely unrealistic that it distracts from your romance.
PNR authors, by contract, can just make shit up. Sorry for the expletive. But it’s true. And make it up, they do! The level of creativity I’ve seen is mind-boggling. And my hat is off those authors.
When I decided to dip my toe in the PNR world, I played it safe. With vampires. Sounds like a contradiction, right? Perhaps it came from the popular wave vampires had been on at the time, Twilight, TruBlood (Sookie Stackhouse Novels), the Argeneau series, and of course the Black Dagger Brotherhood vampires. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve not read Anne Rice. But I didn’t need to. Vampire authors don’t have a set playbook they have to follow. That being said, I felt there were a basic set of vampire anatomy rules I needed to follow to make my vampires relatable. Okay, that’s not the right word. Familiar, is a better word choice.
Back to the creativity thing, I wanted to concentrate more on the world in which my vampires existed and how they interact with not just themselves, but with humans. How they were organized. Who they obeyed. Who their leaders obeyed. There’s always a chain of command. So while I organized what I called the Allegiant World, I let my vampires be ‘classic’ vampires. As ‘classic’ as one could imagine.
In short, my vampires are turned. Not born. My vampires are technically dead. They need blood to survive, but they do not eat. They do not sleep. They have unbound strength and speed. My vampires are immortal. But they can be killed. A reviewer called my vampires classic, but in a negative way. She wanted ‘off the wall.’
My vampire series, The Princeton Allegiant, currently has three books published. With six total planned. It was vital for me to introduce my vampires and what they could do in book one, Drawing Bloodlines. Just as the first chapter of a book is difficult for an author, book 1 in a series is hard, too. There’s a lot to accomplish. Facts to convey. Backstories to tell. Motivations to reveal. Expectations to set.
Drawing Bloodlines set the baseline for the entire series. While also introducing the reader to the types of vampires that exist in my world. Maybe that’s boring. It was also my very first PNR. Drawing Bloodlines took me nearly two years to write. It went through many edits and changes. The Allegiant World developed more and more with every draft.
PNR authors also get away with letting the subplots take the wheel. But the R in PNR is ‘romance.’ It’s what distinguishes a book from Urban Fantasy. In PNR, the romance has to be the primary motivation for the characters, while fighting off enemies. In UF, the author doesn’t have to promise or deliver a happy ending for their main characters.
First and foremost, each of my Princeton Allegiant books are romances. Each book features a different couple fighting for their happily ever after, against all odds, usually a world that wants to keep them apart.
The first half of Drawing Bloodlines had to accomplish a lot. It had to introduce my version of vampires and the world in which they exist and the rules they follow. Oh, and the main characters in that book! I open my series with Dr. Alexander Manning, single-mother, Elizabeth Lockspier. Alex and Elizabeth fight their attraction to each other, while balancing their other loyalties. For Alexander, it’s to his Prime Direction: stay hidden. In my vampire books, vampires are a secret. For Elizabeth, her first loyalty, of course, is to her daughter. Part of the character growth for Alexander, ‘an all-consuming beast’ is to let the woman he wants to possess put someone above him. For Elizabeth, it’s to trust, well, a vampire, and his troublemaker friends and let them all into her life.
I had not intended for Drawing Bloodlines to be a series, to be honest. It was supposed to be a one-and-done. Then somewhere in my edits, I introduced a vampire that changed everything. I took my own rules and everything I thought I knew about my vampires and turned it upside down. Wait, that’s not true. The character did that. All authors can point to a character who lands on your page and just takes over. For me, that was Loren Tagaris. (Pronounced Law-ren, like short for Lorenzo)
I admit to being ‘inspired’ by the vampires in many other books, as far as what they can and cannot do. Loren is the only vampire with magical powers. In most vampire books, vamps have some kind of additional ability that goes beyond speed and strength. Mind-reading, mind-control, disappearing and reappearing, moving objects, setting objects on fire, etc. Loren can do it all. I threw the kitchen sink at this guy.
He’s Grindewald, Dumbledore, Magneto, Charles Xavier, Superman, Spiderman, etc, all wrapped up into one. Maybe not Antman, though. Can you say, ‘off-the-wall’?
A vampire that powerful, however, was a challenge because every character needs a weakness. My vampires are already fairly indestructible. It’s their oath of secrecy and their fear of discovery by humans that keeps most of them in line. Loren is no different. He’s been shunned because he’s so feared. And that loneliness has grated on him. He also understands that vampires need to be controlled by leaders. Every vampire must bend the knee to a commander (or be considered a rogue) and every commander reports to the controlling Lords. Every vampire except Loren. But he knows while the allegiant system is not perfect, it’s better than nothing. So he’s bound to their laws because he knows vampires won’t win a war against humans.
For me, instead of reinventing the wheel and educating a reader on a unique combination of characteristics for my vampires, I went classic. Familiar. I wanted the world to be the draw and the inner turmoil of the allegiant system and how it’s on the brink of war.
So why Princeton, some readers have asked me. In short, I was working on a design project in Princeton, New Jersey, when most of my ideas for this book came to me. Attacked me really. The sleepy university town seemed like the perfect gothic setting for mysterious hidden vampires to walk among humans, who only see them as tall and breathtakingly beautiful. Luring women who are strong and brave enough to take them into their bed, where they are ravenous and insatiable lovers.
Oh yeah, I wasn’t leaving those details out.
In April, Drawing Bloodlines, Book One of the Princeton Allegiant was released.
The TBR Pile said, “it’s sure to heat your blood.
The Romance Reviews was “drawn into this new paranormal vampire world.”
InD’tale Magazine said, it was “unique” and “quite engaging.”
NEVER FORCE A VAMPIRE TO MATE…
In October, Guarding Bloodlines, Book Two was released.
The Paranormal Romance Guild gave it 5 stars from , saying it’s “non-stop excitement until the end.”
The Romance Reviews said, “world-building is excellent,”.
NEVER STEAL A VAMPIRE’S MATE…
In just a few days, Book 3, Matching Bloodlines will be released.
NEVER MATCH A VAMPIRE WITH THE WRONG MATE…
2019 has been the year of the vampire, indeed.