Questionable Calls, Misremembering, and Edits

Tags

, , , , , ,

Being a Seahawks fan has been a teeny bit difficult the past week, for the obvious reasons.  Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson and everyone else have defended the call to pass when it seems the entire world was screaming, “You should’ve run!” but one thing that rings true for me as a lifelong football fan and former tight end/wide receiver (totally not kidding– I also played hooker in rugby during college), is that if the play had worked as planned, it would’ve been a touchdown and no one would be saying anything.  Because Butler made a great play (a rookie corner with no interceptions until that spectacular one), the game was over.  It was probably the best Super Bowl in recent memory, a constant give and take by two incredibly well matched teams, and for that I am grateful.  Honestly, last year’s blowout by the Hawks was a bit boring and that’s coming from a fan.

This week also has one of the most respected newscasters on television turning out to be a little bit of a fiction writer.  Now, we all know the news is not just the facts, and there is always a slant depending on the particular channel or publication, but inserting oneself into a situation is certainly not the way to honor the veterans who were actually there.  Can Brian Williams recover from this?  Time will tell.

For me, well, I have been struggling with Burn for the last, well, forever.  I love Nate and Belle, but I’m not loving the way their story is turning out, and the villain is crazypants, but too prominent in the current version of the book.  So… you will be getting the first of the Aylesford Series this year, and hopefully the last of the Everett Series as well, but, well, not for a while.  Thank you for bearing with me– this whole working 40+ hours a week and raising children thing really gets in the way of writing– and I truly hope when I actually have a book ready, you’ll love it.  Until then, how about a snippet?

Burn Cover

So, now Gabe doesn’t think the arsonist is after you?” Belle asked, hating herself for the deflated feeling that came with the thought he might send her back to Claire’s.

“No one is sure anymore. He seems to think it’s sex, or at least things related to sex or sins being targeted, but that’s so broad, so crazy, I have no idea where to start.”

She gave him a saucy smile. “You’re about the sexiest thing in Aylesford, so you’re definitely in danger if that’s the case.”

He returned her wicked grin. “Likewise.”

She had to step away so she wouldn’t jump on him in the middle of a conversation that might mean both their lives were in danger. Her stomach pitched when she told him, “I’ll pack my things.”

The smile slid from his face, replaced with a fierce look. “You said you wouldn’t run.”

“Oh. I.” Her heart was beating double-time. He wasn’t going to send her away, and now he thought she didn’t want to be here.

“You’re mine, Isabelle Baxter.” His green eyes were intense as he laid his claim, but he didn’t move toward her.

“Yours?”

His brows furrowed. “Didn’t I make myself clear this morning?”

He hadn’t said much, but the intent was there, especially after she’d begged him to leave bruises. Still, she needed to hear the words. “You didn’t say—”

“Actions speak louder than words, sweets,” he told her before closing the space between them. “I can’t leave you vulnerable, and I refuse to let you go.”

She swallowed. She’d never seen him like this, determined and possessive, and she liked it. “I don’t want to go,” she started.

“Then don’t.”

“But if the arsonist is after me, I will not put you in danger.” She spun away from him. “If something happened to you because of me—”

He turned her to face him, cut her words off with a kiss. “You told me once that I put my life on the line for strangers all the time. Why shouldn’t I risk myself for you?”

She studied him, taking in the hard look in his eyes, the ticking muscle in his jaw. He was a firefighter, a hero, and she had hidden behind that, hidden from him for years because of that fact. Now that she had promised to accept his nature, his need to make a difference, to save people, she had to back up her words with actions. “What if you lose your home because of me?”

“A house can be rebuilt, Belle.” He pulled her to him again. “You can’t be replaced.”

“Neither can you,” she said quietly as she laid her head against his hard chest.

Well, hello there, 2015!

Tags

, , , , ,

Fourth quarter was a tough one for me, and I have not been blogging nor have I spent much time on social media. So, hi and Happy New Year!

One of my resolutions for this year is to write more– I’d really like to release more than one book this year!– and one of those books needs to be the as yet unfinished SPEEDING that started me on this journey. Looking at it now, I see it needs A LOT of editing and revision to go along with the final chapters, but that is something I would love to do this year. I will also be taking it down from the site in the next few weeks so when it is finished and released it won’t bring up any plagiarism alarms, and it will of course be free (charging for something I’ve offered for free for years seems a bit, um, wrong.)

BURN is first up, and it in full swing, with characters you know along with new ones that will anchor the Aylesford stories. That said, how about a snippet with some old and new characters?

“You’re living with Nate? Oh my god!” Kendall shrieked as she sat down to lunch, meeting Belle, Claire, and Taylor.
Belle felt her cheeks heat with color. “It’s not like that.” At the disbelieving looks of her friends, she gave in. “Okay, it’s kinda like that, but not.”
“Sure, that makes sense,” Taylor commented, a smile on her lips.
Belle took a deep breath, held it a moment, blew it out and tried to explain. “He wants to keep me safe. After my building was burned down, they’re worried.”
“So, naturally, you move in with a yummy firefighter you’ve had the hots for forever,” Taylor finished.
“And the other part? Where you said it’s kinda like that?” Claire asked.
“We kissed last night, and let’s just say…” Was there really a word to describe it? She settled on, “Wow.”
“That’s all you’re giving us? Really, Belle?” Claire complained.
“How’s Owen these days?”
“Touché, sister mine.”
“That’s what I thought.” She stared her little sister down. “You’d better not forget.”
“Tell!” Kendall ordered.
Claire looked away, took a breath. “Belle made me promise to go after Owen if she took a step with Nate.”
Kendall and Taylor both gasped at that. “What? You’re dating Daniel,” Kendall sputtered.
“He’s boring!” Belle drew the word out.
“Boring, huh?” Taylor asked, eyes on Claire.
“Total vanilla, home to watch TV by nine, meatloaf every Wednesday, boring,” Belle continued with a smirk.
“Maybe not that boring,” Claire defended halfheartedly. “He’s just so… So…,” she trailed off to search for a word.
“Just so-so?” Taylor asked.
“We broke up this morning. It was,” she paused, “really easy.”
“He wasn’t feeling it either?” Kendall asked.
“Guess not,” Claire agreed with a shrug. “We were much better friends than lovers.” She blew her hair out of her eyes. “We really weren’t great lovers.”
“So, what’s your plan, baby sister?”
Claire shook her head, her cloud of dark hair flying. “I called him.” Three sets of eyes focused on her as she swallowed and continued, “I left him a message and asked him to call.”
“A message?” Belle repeated.
“I called his office.” When Belle rolled her eyes, Claire added, “After hours. Tonight.”
“Please tell me you left him your cell.”
“I’m doing this, Belle. I’m making the first move. I’m sorry if it’s not as big as you moving in with your lickable firefighter, but I’m doing it.”
“Good for you,” Kendall encouraged.

Series Binge!

Tags

, , , , ,

With the weather being a horrible, stormy mess lately I have not been able to stand looking at a computer screen, but I have been able to handle a Kindle (yay old school Kindle Keyboard!), and last week I discovered a new to me, awesome author in Cristin Harber.  Girlfriend can write an alpha man, lemme tell ya, and her heroines are badasses in their own right, putting the Titan series right up there with my favorite Romantic Suspense series’ of all time.

In order, with blurbs since I am not a good reviewer nor do I like giving synopses.  I will say that while I’m sure you could enjoy them out of order or separately, reading in order is best.  And Book 6, Savage Secrets is not kidding when it says there are violent (well, more violent than others) scenes and I will admit to bawling crying.  Oh, and Book 1, Winter’s Heat and Book 1.5 Sweet Girl (prequel to Book 2, Garrison’s Creed) are FREE!!!

After putting her life on the line to protect classified intelligence, military psychologist Mia Kensington is on a cross-country road trip from hell with an intrusive save-the-day hero. Uninterested in his white knight act, she’d rather take her chances without the ruggedly handsome, cold-blooded operative who boasts an alpha complex and too many guns.

Colby Winters, an elite member of The Titan Group, has a single objective on his black ops mission: recover a document important to national security. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out operation. But now, by any means necessary becomes a survival mantra when he faces off with a stunning woman he can’t leave behind.

When Titan’s safe houses are compromised, Colby stashes Mia at his home, exposing his secret—he’s the adoptive father of an orphaned baby girl. Too soon, danger arrives and Mia lands in the hands of a sadistic cartel king with a taste for torture. As hours bleed into fear-drenched days, Colby races across the globe and through a firestorm of bullets to save the woman he can’t live without.

Sometimes falling in love means going through hell.

Nicola Hart grew up under the heels of her older brother and his sexy best friend, Cash Garrison. Years of ignoring her spark with Cash has transformed their friendship into a slow burning sizzle. One night with him could ruin everything. Or it could be more than she ever dreamed. They play. They flirt. But they haven’t crossed the line because too much is at stake. Family. Friendship. And the deepest kind of love that she’d have to be crazy to walk away from.

She’s his best friend’s little sister. The definition of hands off. Cash has tried to ignore her for years. Those innocent eyes and her smile that screams kiss-me-if-you-dare… Instead, he’s looked at every pretty little thing who’s crossed his path, all to ignore the girl he seems destined to want. But when his hard partying ways get old and everyone at school is interested in Nicola, it’s time to stake a claim. To make Nicola his girl, no matter the risks, and hold the hand of the one he really loves.

A SPY RUNNING FOR HER LIFE
Nicola is an injured CIA agent on the run from a failed undercover operation. Her escape plan shatters when she slams into the man who buried her a decade ago. Cash Garrison. Her first and only love. Now, sexier than her best memory and cradling a sniper’s rifle, he has questions she can’t answer. Why was she alive? And armed?

AND THE MAN SHE COULD NEVER SEE AGAIN

Cash is an elite member of a black ops organization, The Titan Group. He thought Nicola died his senior year of college and swore off love to focus on a decade of military missions. But when she shows up behind enemy lines, bleeding out and wielding a weapon, his heart and mind are unsure how to proceed.

BATTLE BETRAYAL TO SAVE THEMSELVES
Titan and the CIA join forces to uncover a mole hidden in a network of international terrorists and homegrown mobsters, teaming Cash and Nicola again. They fight old wounds and re-ignite sparks while closing in on a double agent. When disaster strikes, Nicola’s hidden past makes her the hunted target and Cash’s best kill shot may not be enough to save them.

 

THE MASTER OF EVERYTHING HAS FOUND HIS MATCH
Jared Westin knows his reputation and likes it. He gets the job done. No emotion. No baggage. That’s why his elite ops company, The Titan Group, is better than the best. They complete projects classified as mission impossible.

And then, in walks a woman as tough as she is sexy. His counterpart in every way, should he choose to admit it.

SHE’S NOT WILLING TO LET HER HEART FALL
Ousted undercover ATF agent Lilly Chase only answers to “Sugar.” Jared is the only man who can see past her leather-and-lipstick demeanor, and that revelation is terrifying. She was fired for helping Titan on a questionable arrest she should’ve ignored, then partnered with Jared’s rival on an assignment in Afghanistan.

Distance and danger do nothing to change her feelings. When she’s left on the side of a mountain to die, an unexpected ally comes forward, and might open her heart.

THE STAKES COULDN’T BE HIGHER
Saving Sugar isn’t a normal rescue operation. It pits Titan against its rival, Jared against his nemesis. Chasing Sugar’s heart isn’t a simple task, either. She fights him, fights them, always ready to run. When she becomes a pawn in a game of collateral damage, Jared must risk his life to save her—the woman whose bravado and surprising sweetness has given him the one thing he never had. Love.

 

Brock Gamble’s epic fall from the Titan Group labeled him a traitor. He betrayed his men. He failed his family. And when he thought he’d hit the lowest point, his wife walked out with their children, leaving him alone to drown himself in the bottle.

Surviving an abduction didn’t end the nightmare for Sarah Gamble. The aftershocks of post-traumatic stress disorder hit her hard. Self-doubt and confusion. Anger and hurt. Running away was an easy escape until Brock shows up on her doorstep offering a trip to paradise and a promise to fix their marriage.

Before the couple can search for answers, Brock is pulled back into the very world that Sarah is so scared of—kidnapping, cartels, and guns—and the stakes are too high for either one of them to ignore.

Jenny Chase has loved Asher McIntyre, her best friend’s older brother, since she first laid eyes on him. But their flirting over the years never progressed as well as his career. He’s the Asher McIntyre, Mr. Rising Star Politician, the congressman who is soon to be the senator to New York State. He holds a spot on every magazine’s most handsome, most powerful, and most unattainable list. All while Jenny has followed her acting dream, waiting for her big break.

Asher McIntyre has never had time for a serious relationship. Work is too demanding. But he’s also never stopped thinking about Jenny. When a stalker with a political agenda focuses on her, Asher can’t play the role of disinterested buddy any longer. The sparks are too strong, and his alpha gene is provoked. He wants her under his arm and in his bed.

But can two hearts on opposite career paths survive while Asher’s enemy seeks to take them both down?

**Adult audiences: book includes violent scenes**

Caterina Cruz has no home. No loyalties. No objection to exacting torturous revenge. Her life’s mission is to destroy the terrorist who murdered her family. Then she steps into an elaborate game of charades alongside a Titan Group operative posing as an arms dealer—and her newlywed husband. The sexy distraction may be more than she can handle.

Attacked with a psychedelic drug weeks before, Rocco Savage is plagued with hallucinations that threaten his new rank as Titan’s second-in-command. No one knows and he wants to keep it that way. Throwing him further off his game, he now has a wife with her own secrets he can’t crack and an agenda he can’t control.

Their mission—an elaborate deception of heated glances and passionate kisses—spins out of control. With Rocco’s mind already compromised, can he keep his secret and his distance? And with Caterina’s tragic past controlling her every move, can she keep the con up long enough to secure her revenge? Or will both go down in flames?

So, yeah, this has been a post of Hayden fangirling, and nothing else.  Hey, sometimes a girl’s just gotta be a fangirl, right?

 

If Weather Could Kill….

Tags

, , , ,

This summer has been especially brutal for me as one of my biggest migraine triggers is barometric pressure changes.  I have managed to add to BURN, but although I’m not as far along as I’d like this book shouldn’t take a year and a half to land on your ereader of choice (probably.)

So… What do you say to a hot snippet from BURN?

Burn Cover

She crept into Nate’s room, stopping to take in the smörgåsbord of muscle lying among the twisted bedclothes. Intellectually, she knew fighting fires was hard work, understood that he worked hard for the rippled abs and bulging biceps, used them to do good work, but as a woman she couldn’t help but sigh. This is how men were meant to be built. Strong, protective, unyielding. She couldn’t wait to trace the furrows with her tongue, to line up his rock solid body with her much softer one. She’d taken two steps toward him when he startled her, his voice low and roughened with sleep. “You’d better be ready.”

“I’m here,” she answered, suddenly unsure of herself, all the reasons she’d stayed away swirling in her mind.

“You have about five seconds to leave,” Nate said, an almost menacing edge to his voice.

She swallowed, grateful for the darkness surrounding them. Hopeful she sounded confident, she promised, “I’m not leaving.”

“Then come here and let me touch you. I’ve been dying to touch you,” he growled, and she was powerless to deny him. She closed the space between them, vaguely aware she was holding her breath. If he had been dying to touch her, so too had she been desperate to touch him. He rose from the bed, his gloriously naked chest rising and falling with short pants, his fully aroused cock tenting his boxers. Her mouth watered. She wanted to lick him all over, to take him down her throat, to feel him explode within her, swallow his salty essence, but all she could do was stare.

“Come here,” he commanded and she obeyed. As soon as she was within touching distance he had her plastered to him, his mouth on hers. He devoured her, exploring her with his tongue, owning her mouth, stealing her breath. She wrapped her arms around his strong neck and jumped, throwing her legs around his waist. He was so strong he held her easily, allowing her to climb him like a tree.

He continued to ravage her mouth as he turned and pressed her to the bed. “I have dreamed of you here,” he whispered. “Tell me you’re really here.”

(c) Hayden Braeburn

 

I’ve Been Reading!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Since Live For Me is finally finished and for sale everywhere (well, except itunes, but that’s pending), I have been reading quite a bit, catching up on the books I really wanted to read while I was trying to finish Haleigh and Caleb’s story.

First up was DASH OF PERIL by Lori Foster.  I love Lori Foster, and this book did not disappoint.  Dash and Margo are a helluva team, and Dash isn’t the laid-back, beta man she assumed him to be.  That’ll teach you to assume, Margo!

 

Next was THEN CAME YOU by Jill Shalvis.  Jill is an auto-buy, absolute favorite of mine (with her own shelf on my Kindle with, oh, 25 books on it), and I have to say this is one of the best she’s written.

Then I switched gears a tiny bit, with the third in Natalie Gayle’s Centre series, FINDING FREEDOM.  This is such a great take on operatives, sting operations and sci-fi that I am forever sucked in.  Oh, and hanging out on the Gold Coast of Australia doesn’t suck, either.  Start from the beginning of this series with FINDING TRUST.

Then there was the beginning of what I’m sure will be a fabulous new series from Kaylea Cross with MARKED.  Kaylea is up there with the absolute best Romantic Suspense writers, and this book proved once again she knows what she’s doing.

Finally, I think I could take a trip to New Zealand and get along just fine with the slang having read Rosalind James’ entire Escape to New Zealand series.  I’d just need to make sure I pack my togs and jandals, yeh?  I did play rugby in college (not kidding!) so I actually knew what was going on with the games, but you totally don’t need to know the game to fall in love with these books and their heroes.

So… since I have now spent a bunch of hours reading… it’s time to write! Back to BURN and the good people of Aylesford.

LIVE FOR ME is Live (Almost) Everywhere!

Tags

, , , , , ,

Those of you who have been following me know this book tried (and succeeded multiple times) to kick my butt, but it’s now live!  It won’t be in the ibookstore for a while yet,  but you can grab your copy of Caleb and Haleigh’s story at all other ebook outlets (and yes, I will be a good author and give you links).

LFM Cover

Amazon Kindle

B&N Nook

Kobo

All Romance eBooks (epub, LIT, mobi)

Smashwords (all formats)

I’d love to say this is written as a stand-alone, and while it is (hopefully) enjoyable alone, it is best read in order as there are a lot of plot ties to FIGHT FOR ME.  As always, reviews, likes and shares are very (very!) appreciated.

Now I have to get back to working on BURN, the first in the Aylesford Series!

 

 

It’s Done!

Tags

, , ,

LFM Cover

LIVE FOR ME is finished!  I know it’s been a looooong time in the making, and there’s still a final-final read through to do on my Kindle to see how it looks and make sure after the many rounds of edits and proofreading we didn’t miss anything, but Caleb and Haleigh’s story is coming (very) soon to an ereader near you.

Since it’s been so long, a snippet!

 

He raised his hand to knock on the battered metal door, but it opened quickly, framing an overwrought Haleigh haloed by the kitchen light, bringing to mind angels once again. He nearly slapped himself in the head. Her daughter was sick and here he was waxing poetic about how she looked. “Where is she?” he asked, his voice sharper than it should’ve been.

Her blue eyes went wide and he wanted to slap himself again. He knew she was skittish and panicked, yet he’d barked at her. Blowing out a breath, he rushed to the couch to find Georgia pale and curled in a fetal position, her brow slick with sweat. “Where does it hurt, sweetheart?”

Tummy,” she answered, her little voice tired.

I’m Dr. E, and I’m gonna make you all better. Is that okay with you?”

E-I-E-I-O,” she sang softly. He sang the song with her as he lifted her into his arms, the heat of her fever seeping through his shirt. She had to be nearly delirious, but she was singing.

Haleigh followed after them, rushing to snatch her purse and lock the door. “Her car seat,” she called as he made it to his Jeep. She tore open the door of her small sedan to grab the plastic seat in question, crawling into the back of his SUV as soon as she had it in hand. “She has to go in the middle,” she dictated as she secured the seat. “So she’s safe.”

Haleigh was preoccupied with safety, yet she lived in the least secure apartment building he’d ever seen. Granted, he’d seen few, but it bothered him. They’d diagnose and fix up little Georgia and he’d see about the rest of it. If he was going to pursue something—or even if he wasn’t—he wasn’t comfortable with the two of them in a ground floor apartment.

 

Life is Short

Tags

, , ,

I’ve spent nearly a week reeling from the loss of my friend, Julieanne Reeves.  She was a good friend on both a writing and personal level, and her loss has reminded me that life is short, and we need to ensure we tell our family and friends just how much we love them on a daily basis.

The Romance Community is one of amazing support and after Julieanne’s untimely passing, her book, RAZING KAYNE, shot to #1 on Amazon in multiple categories.  The blessing here is that those royalties will go to her children– Jules supporting them even in death– but that doesn’t make their grief any less acute.  So, I say, if you haven’t already purchased RK as Jules called it, then consider doing so, and please go hug those close to you.

 

Forgive2

 

Crazy is the Word…

Tags

, , , , , , ,

That about sums it up right now.  I am closing in on the end of LIVE FOR ME, and by God, I hope it wraps soon.  These characters have given me a run for my money, and they sure have set my schedule back by, oh, a year.  So, yeah, I hope by the time this thing is edited, revised, beta-read, re-edited, and proofread it A) Doesn’t suck and B) You enjoy it.  I love Caleb and Haleigh and their friends and family, but holy crap on a cracker.

With that said, since it’s been hella long since I have posted anything here let alone a snippet…

 

She was cleaning up her office when a chill crawled up her spine, making her turn to look out the door and down the hall. Instincts on high alert, she took a deep breath to keep from panicking and searched the corridor for something or someone out of place. Finding nothing, she returned to her office, but the unease didn’t dissipate. Afraid something had happened to Georgia, she fished her phone from her bag.

Mommy!” Georgie greeted from Caleb’s phone.

Hi, baby. Are you having fun?”

We seed a billion animals!”

A billion?”

Uh-huh. And we had hot dogs and ice cream!”

At least she could say Caleb was true to his word. “I’m happy you’re having such a good time, baby girl. Can I talk to Dr. E?”

She heard Georgia tell Caleb it was his turn, and braced herself for the sound of his deep voice in her ear. “We’re fine, Mommy,” Caleb said through a laugh when he took the phone from Georgia.

I wasn’t worried,” she denied, causing his laughter to intensify.

Yes you were, and that’s okay.”

She sighed. “Having fun, Doc?”

More than I thought possible. I promise she’s fine, and I won’t let anything happen to her. You don’t have to worry, Angel.”

It was silly that his endearment made her feel better. Ignoring the niggling sensation something was still wrong, she said, “I’m glad you’re enjoying the zoo. I’ll see you both after work.”

 

Soooo OVER Winter

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I am so OVER this winter, I can’t even tell you.  The kids have missed two weeks of school (not sequentially), and I have spent this entire year (shhhh… just because it’s only six weeks old doesn’t make it any less true) sick in one way or another.  Just now I am finishing up the antibiotic from a sinus infection and I have a cold that has knocked me on my ass, not to mention the migraines that are affected by barometric pressure.  Anyway, I’m sorry to whine and rant, but if we’d wanted to live somewhere where it snowed all winter, we would’ve moved farther north!

So, with all this crap going on, I haven’t been writing like I’d like, and I’ve started and put aside a lot of the things I’ve tried to read.  I did stumble across some good reads when I couldn’t focus on a computer screen, but could tolerate my Kindle.

                                                                                

 

The first one is free and I really enjoyed this crazy, sci-fi adventure with very intertwined stories.  It is a trilogy so far, but each story has an HEA for the title agent and his lady within the overarching storyline.  Fun, fun stuff!

And, with that I’m off.  The screen is starting to blur and a dose of meds are calling my name.