Tuesday, December 29, 2015

That's How the Cookie...er...Game Crumbles... with Megan Slayer

Odd title for a post, I know. Right? It is. I've just finished watching my favorite sport--football. I'm a die hard, dyed in the wool Bengals fan. You're not? That's okay. Not even a fan of football? That's fine, too. Different strokes for different folks.

So why post about football on a paranormal romance blog? The answer is simple--well, it is for me. I use my football games as therapy and a reason to write. I get a few hours (hopefully) to sit and write. I'm a late night writer. Once everyone is in bed and the house is quiet, that's when I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. But on Sunday, I give myself the luxury of writing. The family leaves me alone and allows me to be creative.

Now I bet you're wondering. How does this apply to cookies and crumbling...and writing? As I said, I just finished watching my beloved Bengals play. It's Monday night and I have to admit, the Bengals do NOT deal well with prime time play. They don't handle that kind of stress well. The first half started off fine, but I had this feeling and I was right. The curse of prime time came back to haunt us.

What does this have to do with me? I'm not on the team. I'm a fan. I'm pretty sure I bleed black and orange. What this has to do with writing is that it's really hard to write romance and hard to write happy thoughts when the team you love... isn't performing.

I'm trying to finish my latest Sanctuary story and it's hard as heck to focus when I'm spending more time hollering at the television--hey, I get into my games--than I am at putting those fingers to the keyboard. I know where the story has to go. That's the beauty of the notes I took the night before. I'm prepared, but I can't get my head into the story.

There are a few pluses to all of this. Yes, my team lost. Yes, I would've liked a better ending than the quarterback DROPPING the football. But...there is a silver lining. We made it to the playoffs. We're in. We didn't get a bye week, but then again, we didn't exactly earn it. Have I given up on my team? Nope. There's always next week--well, there is until the season is over and then there's always next season.

I have to add in here that the Bengals have an interesting history. For the lion's share of my fandom, they haven't been the best team. That's taught me something very important and I apply it to my writing--the game, team, story might not be working out right now, but that's no reason to give up.

The same applies to tonight. I wanted to scream at the players and I admit, I turned the channel as soon as the game ended. But I'm not giving up on my team and I didn't give up on my story. Sanctuary, Book 5 has been written. Shortly, it'll be turned in.

So that's how the cookie crumbles. You win some and you lose some, but never give up. I'm not. I'm still a card carrying member of Who Dey nation and I love my Bengals. I love my lion shifters, too. Thank goodness I can have a rest until next week--at least with football. I'm going to need it. As for writing? I've got another work in progress calling my name. I'll get up in the morning and start on that story. Never surrender.


* * * * * *
Bonding with Ben 
Sanctuary Book 4
Resplendence Publishing
M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation

Sometimes the biggest hurdle in life is accepting who you are and what you want.
Joe Dallas thought he’d escaped the draw of the shifters at the Sanctuary. He doesn’t mind. With his tendency to keep relationships simple, he doesn’t want to get involved with a lion shifter. Then there’s Ben. The quiet shifter piques Joe’s attention. When Joe accompanies Ben on a rescue mission, he realizes the attraction isn’t one-sided. But can a shifter and a human really make a relationship work? Joe isn’t sure.

Ben knows who he wants in his life and bed—Joe. The lion wants to bond with the human he desires. The difference in their species doesn’t bother him a bit. Will the shifter be able to convince Joe they have a future or will fear dominate and destroy the love before it can blossom?

Warning: Once you’re in the sight of this shifter, you may be the “mane” attraction. This lion doesn’t give up until he has his prey.

Available at:


Copyright 2015, Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

What was it about Ben that kept Joe thinking about him? He closed his eyes and stood under the searing-hot spray. With other guys, Joe did the casual thing. Have a good time but no strings, so no one got hurt. Until now, that plan had worked. Right?
Kind of. Sure, he had nothing holding him down, but when he looked at John and Markas together, jealousy hit. He wanted that kind of devotion. Would he get it with Ben?

Ben was certainly different. He was innocent and deserved someone worthy of him. Joe wasn’t worthy of too much of anything. He’d had a little too much fun and broken a few too many hearts along the way. Ben needed true devotion and a good match.

Joe snorted. He was great as a reporter and nosy as hell, but he sucked at relationships. Ben deserved a partner, not a player.

Still, he liked Ben. He worried about the shifter and wanted him to be happy. Could Joe make Ben happy? Doubtful.

Joe opened his eyes and washed the cum from his body. He’d be a friend and help Ben find a suitable partner. No romantic entanglements—just friendship—even if it damn near killed him not to be the man in Ben’s arms and bed.

This was one situation he couldn’t screw up.

* * * * *

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
Subscribe to our newsletter ~ http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj 

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Parents, especially fathers, can have a profound impact on our characters. Revealing how our characters were raised helps readers understand their goals and motivations. Sometimes, a character can act just like their parent or the exact opposite. Since my Outer Rim series is about strong women on the frontier of space, my main concern is the impact of the mothers and fathers on the female characters.

In The Pilot, Celara’s father was a drunk and a cheat. At an early age, she was left to fend for herself and her younger brother. Responsibility and honesty—opposites of her father’s behavior—became important to her. She won’t take the easy way out. When she’s accused of smuggling, it’s worse than just a false accusation, it’s like a knife to her heart. Her brother, on the other hand, took the easy route and followed in their father’s footsteps.

 Jileena, in The Chameleon, was “Daddy’s Little Girl.” She tried to please him, but always felt like she fell short. Proving that she could run his company spurs her on. When he offers her the chance to prove herself, she’s so afraid of failing she takes dangerous risks.

In The Protector, Rissa’s preacher father abandoned her at a wild, unnamed outpost, pregnant and unmarried. Her mother had left years before. Rissa vowed to always be there for her child. Losing her baby to traffickers sends her into a deep depression. Only her inner strength pulls her through and gives her the courage to protect other children from slavers.

It’s not just the women who have to fight their fathers. Jileena’s brother, Konner, refused to be their father’s clone. When he was presumed dead, he found the perfect opportunity to be his own person and live the life he wanted.

Dillan, in The Protector, struggled against his father who had planned Dillan’s life—to follow in his footsteps. Dillan’s rebellion made him take unnecessary risks until the day his best friend, Konner, died. Feeling responsible, he was determined to change, to be a responsible adult, what his father wanted him to be. But legally exploiting landowners makes him sick. He must break away to save his soul.

On the other hand, some fathers are worth emulating. In my PI mystery series, Alex wants to be just like her dad. When he retires and leaves her his investigation agency, she’s determined to prove she’s as good an investigator as he was—if not better.

Today is Launch Day for the second Alex O’Hara mystery, The Case of the Fabulous Fiance. To learn more, visit my blog. http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/2015/12/launch-day-case-of-fabulous-fiance.html

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Escape the Cold with the #Alpha of Sutter Butte #WolvesofWillowBend

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. Misfits, castoffs, and forgotten wolves, they rose to create a pack more than a century ago in utter defiance of the order of the day. Seen as pitiless and cruel, Cassius wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack means to change himself, and he will find rebellion on all sides, not to mention from his own defiant heart.

Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack—a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.

Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

Read the first two chapters.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Branching Out

Next Tuesday, my first foray into strictly m/f romance, The Lost Coast, will be released. It's a gothic romance in a contemporary setting, both novel things for me. The only element that carries over from my previous body of work is the paranormal (although a tiny bit of BDSM did sneak in there). I'd originally planned to set the story in a non-magical world, but as I started writing, I soon discovered the characters had secret lives and histories rooted in magic.

My favorite thing about this book, though, isn't the paranormal twist (though I certainly enjoyed writing that part). It's the gothic. I grew up on gothic romance, hiding under the covers with a flashlight at night to read Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis A. Whitney.  I tried to stay true to those influences while giving the story a more modern edge.

The other thing that's a little different about this story is the heroine. Millie is an orphan who grew up in foster care after being badly burned and abandoned as an infant. Although the cover doesn't show it, Millie has burn scars covering the right side of her face and down the right side of her body. I wanted the cover to reflect that, but the design work required would have been too pricey.

I hope readers will be able to see Millie as a three-dimensional person instead of a conventionally beautiful romance heroine with flawless features. Millie is beautiful, but she doesn't fit what society tells us that word should mean.

But aside from not judging a book by its cover, I hope people will enjoy a little something different from me, especially those who love the old gothic romance tradition.

Some histories should stay lost. Especially those written in blood.

The only things Millie Lang’s mother gave her were third-degree burns, and a name Millie refuses to use. Abandoned as an infant, Millie grew up as “the girl with the scars”, shunted from one foster family to the next.

Before she met Lukas Strand, she’d never understood what “home” meant. Then Lukas disappeared without a word. Eight years later, Millie is secure in the life she’s built as a physical therapist. Until she gets a letter from a mysterious stranger who knows her real name.

From the moment she arrives at the sprawling vineyard manor on California’s Lost Coast to work with the owner’s young son, she begins to doubt her secret benefactor’s motives. The vineyard is known as The Strand—and Lukas is her patient’s father.

As Millie delves into the tangled threads of their family histories, she realizes the fire that scarred her may not have been an accident—and Lukas’s son is in danger. Unless she survives long enough to unearth the key to some very uncomfortable truths…

Warning: Contains a vineyard owner whose family tree may not have the ideal number of branches, and a woman who is about to discover the magic hidden in her own DNA. May cause unsettling feelings of creeping anxiety and a sudden urge to make bad puns about wood.

The Lost Coast is available for pre-order now (and for purchase on December 15) from the following vendors:

Amazon | ARe | Barnes & Noble | BAM! | iBooks | Kobo | Samhain Publishing

Friday, December 4, 2015

'Twas the month after NaNoWriMo...

By Maureen L. Bonatch 

‘Twas the month after NaNoWri, and all through the house
The writer sat dressed in sticky notes with stains on her blouse;
The words had been written without worry or care,
With the hopes that a story lay buried in there;
The family slept soundly, resting in bed;
While the writer woke early with plot lines circling her head;
With the neighbor’s Christmas lights gleaming, earlier than she’d remembered,
She struggled to comprehend how she’d lost November,
While wandering through the house, that had become such a mess,
She returned to the computer, neglecting Christmas cards needing addressed.

Facing the blank screen, she plugged in the flash drive,
Opening the story where her characters came so alive.
The curser blinked beside more than one typo,
Making her wonder if the whole document should go,
When what to her curious eyes did appear,
But a glorious sentence, maybe her best all this year,
With prose written so perfect and slick,
She rapidly scrolled the document with click after click.
More swiftly than snowflakes, the needless words came,
She highlighted and deleted as she called them by name:
Now, That! Now, Had!, now Only and Always!
Backspace on Tried to, Perhaps, delete, Very and Stall words!
To the trash went the passive words! Her inflated word count did fall!
As she deleted, deleted, deleted them all!
As the sentence structure tightened, her smile grew,
Across the keyboard, her fingertips flew
Crafting her glorious story, with characters she knew—

And then, in the background, she heard something fall
The thrashing and mauling of her two kids in the hall.
As she paused on the keyboard, and was turning around,
Into the room, her kids came with a bound.
Their faces were scrunched and they demanded some food,
She tried to explain, she wasn’t in the mood.
The stacks of dirty laundry lay piled at their back.
The kids looked like ragamuffins choosing clothes from the stack.

Her characters needed her, but the kids wanted to eat,
Completing all of this seemed an impossible feat.
Their little mouths pulled down into a frown,
When she pleaded to wait until she wrote just one more word down.
The candy canes for the tree, lay trampled beneath,
They threatened to make a salad, from a ratty Christmas wreath.
Their old Christmas jammies displayed their little round bellies,
She took a whiff and found her kids had grown a tad smelly.

The story beckoned and called as she studied her brood,
She smiled at their frustration, in spite of their mood;
She hopped from the chair and jumped the laundry pile,
Promising her story it would only be awhile.
She spoke not a word, but filled up the tub,
Told the kids to jump in and rub a dub-dub,
Grabbing all the laundry, she rushed down the stairs,
Pausing to grab a pair of stray underwear,
Whipping it all into the machine she started the load,
Then gathered all the leftovers she found in the abode,
She paused to exclaim as she returned to the story—

A crockpot meal for you all, while I unearth my NaNoWri manuscript’s glory!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

Tell me...Did you participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how did you do and what are you doing with your story now?

Maureen L. Bonatch's stories boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.    

Find her:

Writing on her Website
Tweeting on Twitter
Pinning on Pinterest
Flapping on Facebook

Available for Pre-Order Now!

The car accident totaled Sabrina Post’s convertible and reinvented her memories. She can't recall dumping Cole Dawson ten years ago. What her new clairvoyant visions tell Sabrina is he’s her husband. 

Any practical girl would question her sanity. But if Sabrina wants to make this imaginary future a reality, she'll have to regain Cole’s trust and eliminate her rival, the coffee shop waitress who’s pegged Cole as husband #4.