State of the Blain Address: January 2017

It has been a while since I've posted anything to my blog. Sorry about that.

January 1, 2017, my husband's aunt died. I'll just say it put a crimp on some of my plans for the start of 2017. My editor hasn't been feeling well, so I'm so far behind schedule it's ridiculous and rather comical.

Onto the shenanigans!

Playing with Fire, a magical comedy romance (with a body count!) about a woman with an affinity with trouble and a serious crush on Manhattan's Most Wanted Bachelor, will release on February 26, 2017. This date may be earlier, but it will not be longer. (There's a promotion starting that day, and so the book will be published then or earlier.) Keep an eye out for it! It's a magical adventure where nothing is quite as it seems.

Here is a small scene to whet your appetite!

From Chapter One…

No one in their right mind would ever license me as a private investigator, but that didn't stop people from coming to me when they needed something found. Fortunately, I liked my job as the only human barista at Faery Fortunes Coffee and Book Shop. Most came for a cup of joe and left too buzzed to read a thing, but who was I to complain? People paid top dollar for their pixie dust infused latte, and they tipped me well not to judge them.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t so fond of Chief Quinn. When he walked through the door, bad things usually happened to someone—me. For him to come in five minutes after opening, long before the sun even thought about rising, he needed something, and it wasn’t a cup of coffee. Why couldn’t he want coffee? I could deal with making him a drink, and I’d double his dose of pixie dust to keep him happy.

I gave the espresso machine a defiant swipe of my cleaning cloth before stepping to the counter to deal with Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor. Without my help, he’d still be married, too.

What a way to start the day.

And to think people wondered why I refused to help find anything for anyone anymore. The reason stood across the counter from me. Chief Samuel Quinn, aged thirty, hotter than sin and hell rolled together in one smoking tall, dark, and handsome package, hated me for good reason. It was his fault, too. He had been the one to ask me for help finding his wife. I had found her all right, right in the middle of teaching a college stud the nuances of the reverse cowgirl.

If no one asked me to find something or someone again for the rest of my life, I’d be a very happy woman.

“Chief Quinn, what a pleasant surprise,” I lied. “Can I get you something? A dark roast, cream, no sugar, light on the dust?”

Why couldn’t I have been blessed with forgetfulness? I knew my worst nightmare’s favorite drink, and I had to make it for him first thing in the morning. Of course I knew it. He came in at least three times a week to torment me. Screw it. Who was I kidding? Instead of the coffee, he could take me instead. If I had to put up with the hassle of dealing with him, why couldn’t I enjoy it, too?

“Cream, no dust, and make it a large, Bailey.”

Alarm bells tinkled in my head. Since when did Chief Quinn address me by my first name? On a good day, he snapped my last name like he worried it would contaminate him. “Of course, sir.”

The faster I made his coffee, the sooner he’d go away. I’d love every second I spent watching him go. In less than a minute, I had his drink ready, and to lower the risk of him spending any extra time with me, I chirped, “It’s on me today, Chief Quinn. Have yourself a nice morning.”

If it meant we parted without incident, it’d be well worth the five bucks.

He saluted me with his cup, flashed a hint of a smile, and walked out the door. Facing him was hell, but I glimpsed the heavens when he left, and if my panties hadn’t caught on fire under my jeans, I’d be very, very surprised.

“You’re drooling, Gardener,” my boss squeaked. The moth fairy, with just enough pixie heritage to dust glitter when she wanted, fluttered over my shoulder, her tiny arms crossed over her chest. “Reverse cowgirl.”

“Stop reminding me!” I wailed, slumping over the counter. “He hates me. Worse, all I think about when he struts in is taking off my clothes and giving him my panties. I think they caught on fire this time, Mary. Why couldn’t he have had one of his cops find his wife instead?”

“You just want to indulge in some guilt-free fantasizing like every other hot-blooded American woman in the city.”

“Exactly. This is why no one in their right mind asks me for help. I ruin everything.”

“Except my coffee, which is a miracle. Now that we’ve had our daily dose of excitement, can you handle the shop on your own for an hour? We’ll call it even on the coffee.”

Was she serious? Alone for an hour on a Monday morning forty minutes before rush hour? If she thought I’d be all right alone, she was completely cracked. I could already hear her if I dared to complain about my shift. What could possibly go wrong in an hour? Didn’t I like my job? The list went on and on and on. I smiled so I wouldn’t cry. “Sure, Mary. I can last an hour.”

“You’ve gotten better at lying. Your smile didn’t even slip that time. Try not to die while I’m gone. Good humans are so hard to find.” Mary zipped out of the shop through the pixie door and dove through the window of an idling sports car.


Sports car? Red, convertible, top up despite the nice summer morning? I leaned over the counter and squinted. Yep. My boss had just ditched me for a ride in Chief Quinn’s car. Sometimes life really wasn’t fair.

An update on Water Viper

It's really in the works, but we're behind. Part of this is my fault. Playing with Fire was just so much fun… It's about a third of the way edited, and I would rather release a good book rather than a rushed book. I'm way behind schedule with this, but I'm still in love with it as much as I was the day I started the book. Once my editor is feeling better, we'll be getting on the roll with this.

No known release date at this point–I'm sorry. I really am. But, I would rather delay and release a good book than half-ass this one. You all deserve the best I can put out, not something kicked out the door haphazardly.

License to Kill, Balancing the Scales Book 2

I have written 40,000 words of the book so far. It's a side project I work on when I'm not doing the real work. The side project got a life of its own, so… here we are. It started as conceptualizing, trying to find the right tone for the book. After a couple of false starts, I found my stride, so I have part of the book's core written.

This will be a long book. I'm going to finish the main storyline started in Karma in License to Kill. I will be leaving myself open to write a book 3, but book 2 will conclude the action and adventure started in book 1.

While I'm on the subject of Jake and Karma, I've started the second short story (or novella) for the Case Files of Karma Johnson, an anthology of stories focusing on these two characters. It will include scenes from Jake's perspective, including a few that took place during Karma. A few of the short stories will connect like in Tales of the Winter Wolf, but unlike Tales, it is not a novel of parts–they're cases the pair face–or important events in their lives that just couldn't be written in the actual novels. No planned release date.

Wolf Hunt, a New Witch & Wolf Series.

Wolf Hunt (Wolf Hunt #1) is also technically Witch & Wolf #5. While Silver Bullet concludes the main Witch & Wolf series… there's a new threat, one that could lead straight to the next World War.

Declan McGrady is an art enthusiast and a thief, a con-man of the best sort–and a werewolf on the run from the military who wants him back for special ops. He's never met another of his kind, but when a client sends him into the French version of Castle Dracula, he rescues seven hostages, all of them werewolves, and all of them women.

That's only the start of his troubles.

The draft is done. It requires a lot of editing, but the story is in place. It'll release after Silver Bullet, and is sitting around waiting for tender loving care.

Silver Bullet, Witch & Wolf 4.

I'm well on my way to being done this book. Two solid weeks of drafting, and it'll be ready for the editing phase. I'll be starting this work in earnest after Water Viper is completed.

Rider of the Sun Horse, a standalone novel in the Requiem for the Rift King world

At least halfway done the draft. It's on the agenda after Silver Bullet / Wolf Hunt, but may end up done prior–all depends on a lot of factors. But, progress has been made, and it's in the works, and it will be a real book soonish. I'm really excited for this one.

And that's all she wrote, folks!

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Hendrik Boom says January 17, 2017

Eagerly awaiting Rider of the Sun Horse.

Add Your Reply