Sometimes Perfection.

It’s rare, well, maybe unheard of, that I come across a passage in a romance novel worth filing away forever in my memory.  There is one in Sheryl Lynn’s contemporary romance-suspense, The Other Laura.

“Ever been with a woman and she loves you so much you want to crawl inside her skin and you into hers and the rest of the world drops off into space? Your heart gets six times too big for your chest. Like it’s going to explode.” Ryder thumped himself on the breastbone. “It’s a fire right here, stoking embers into your blood. Your skin’s too small to hold all the feeling in. Anything is possible and everything is right. The only word in your head is her name, and man, you can fly.”

Beautiful.

I love this book.  Read it in two sittings. Retro romance is so damn tasty. No apologies – I’m on a quest for older books that actually tell a story.

Aaa-ight. Off until Monday. I plan to work my ass off on In the Flesh, babies. Ya’ll have a good holiday weekend.

Monday Morning Update.

The weekend was lovely, the weather changing from fog to sun and back again.  It’s what I love about Northern California, the way your surroundings appear so different depending upon the weather.

This is a Pileated Woodpecker.  Huge birds, about the size of a raven or large crow.  They are very prehistoric in appearance.  They make a weird, jungle-bird type cry and when they feed on a tree, they pound like someone pounding on a set of drums.  There are two breeding pairs in the forest where we hike.  I’ve seen them for a couple years, not often, usually when the park is pretty empty.  My husband and I followed the sound and found a male yesterday.  He, my husband, was quite impressed.  He, the bird, was very impressive!

If you checked out my site on Sunday, you’ll notice I uploaded six sentences – maybe seven, from Kerosene, my romance-suspense in progress.  The story involves a young doctor, Caitlyn (Cait) Richards, her kidnapped twin brother,  Jason, his best friend, Kyle McKellan, and a corrupt government official.  This story is detailed and very much told through Caitlyn’s eyes so I’m going slow.  I want to get this exactly right.

Pushing Her Boundaries, my contemporary romance based upon my canoe trip to the BWCA (lol), will be released with Siren in April.  The first edits are completed.  I’m very excited about this book.  I honestly think it’s one of my very best.

I hear tell Beauty and the Feast – my delicious contemporary complete with recipes – will be available in print soon!  Can’t wait!

This week I have two guests, Sandra Cox and Nina Pierce – both have great new releases.  I can’t wait to hear what they have to say and get my hands on their books!

Oh, starting a new and very unique historical/paranormal – Release, by Nicole Hadaway.  I can’t wait to read this!  I’m hoping she’ll be willing to write a guest post about her very interesting inspiration for this paranormal.

***A wonderful review for Captured from Penny’s Romance Reviews.

Because Katalina Leon says so…

Kat says I need to promote my new book, that some readers appreciate dark truth in genre fiction.

We were talking about Come Back To Me and she said:

“I like dark too. I’ve had plenty of it myself and see the value of catharsis. The truth of darker material that transcends the situation is even if a woman hasn’t personally experienced an extreme abuse-she knows of it. It has happened to someone she knows or she sees the abuse of women in our culture. There’s a lot of darkness around us that needs to come forward and be healed. Making it into art and sharing it will be very healing to all involved.

At an art show 20 years ago. I decided to share a cathartic painting based on some of my troubles. I painted myself as an alley cat with a burlap bag tied over it’s head and a bloody wound in it’s side. The cat was laying on its side with its spirit escaping the wound.
I hung the painting in the show expecting the worse reaction possible. One man said it was the best painting he’d seen in a long time. Several women cried in front of it and confessed to being abused. It wasn’t a good time art-piece but everyone talked  about it and more importantly they talked about themselves and it was very emotional. A therapist bought it. So I encourage you to promote Come Back to Me because you never know who needs the catharsis that day.”
Kat is a very dear friend.
Blurb:
Sometimes the safest path is to keep people at a distance…especially men.

Cara’s life has been one nightmare after another. Abused as a child and neglected by her parents, she’s quick to blame herself for every cruel thing that happens to her. And then there’s James, the only man capable of making her forget her misgivings and learn to love again.

James, a young doctor in training, is aware of Cara’s history. He’s determined to break through her barriers and build a life with her…and fails. Cara runs away in an attempt to reinvent herself and James fears he’s lost her for good. When she falls into the hands of a drug dealer and mob boss, life as they know it is about to get a whole lot worse.

Can their love withstand the demons of her past and present?

My Red-Headed Stepchild.

According to the Urban Dictionary, the meaning of the above phrase is:  A person or group treated without the favor of birthright.  Sometimes, as my middle child, My Everything feels that way.  Ben and Grace told me themselves.  They made a very good point about getting the short end of the promo stick.  So here goes – Ben McCall and Grace Rafael, it’s your turn!

Security consultant Ben McCall is alone. His wife and unborn child are dead, victims of an assassination attempt meant for someone else. Grieving, he disappears. When his best friend is in danger Ben resurfaces, only to find his friend isn’t the target of a murderer, he is.

Grace Adams is one of the walking wounded. Her husband died two years ago. One night she is incapacitated. A man comes to her aid. He’s the man she fell in love with years before, Ben McCall. As the passion between them reignites, Grace too becomes a target of the madman who stalks Ben.

Yes, this is a romance/suspense, but it’s also a sweet story.  I fell so in love with Ben and Grace and had such compassion for their struggles that I did something I will probably never do again, I wrote them an epilogue – I wanted everything to come out right in the end.  Like Job, who got back what he’d lost, I wanted to give my characters back everything they’d lost in their lives.

Thanks to Cris Griffin, cover artist extraordinaire over at Cobblestone Press and Jimmy Thomas, a major hot cover model, I got the above gorgeous cover.  The book is available at Cobblestone and it’s just been listed on Fictionwise.

http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/myeverything.htm

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b110090/My-Everything/Julia-Barrett/?

Anytime Darlin’.

I wrote this sweet full-length romance suspense several years ago and it kicked around a bit.  The story revolves about a frightened runaway and the young man who saves her life.  Siren picked up the story and it will be released, after a re-write, in August.  I love the book because it’s the first romance I wrote.  I mention a real life location in the story – The Sawtooths in Idaho.

The Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho, may be one of my very favorite places on this planet.  At one point in my life, I spent a solid two months backpacking throughout the range.  I descended into the tiny town of Stanley exactly twice, both times to do three things: take a hot shower, wash some clothes and pick up supplies.  In the two months I spent in that wilderness, aside from my traveling companion, I encountered a total of three people, the ranger we checked in with from time to time, and two riders heading up into the mountains on horseback.  Otherwise it was just the animals and us.  After a while, I never wanted to come out.  But then the snows arrived early and our cached supplies dwindled and we moved on to the the High Uintas in Utah for another month before settling into jobs in Ogden.

I’m remembering the Sawtooths, not just because of Anytime Darlin’, but because the June issue of Sunset Magazine has a feature on The Hidden Rockies, the Idaho Sawtooths.

http://www.sunset.com/travel/rockies/things-to-do-sawtooth-mountains-00418000067836/

Enjoy the article and if you ever get the opportunity, make a visit.  The Sawtooths are way prettier and much more rugged than they appear in the magazine photos.