Who's a crazy cat lady?

You are, Mel. 

You are, Mel. 

When I heard about the Crazy Cat Lady box set, I really wanted to be a part of it. After all, if there’s one thing that my books have in common—besides hockey, feisty heroines, and clinical sex scenes—it’s cats. There’s a cat in every single book and novella. In fact, once when my editor suggested that I remove a cat character, I explained that cats are my thing. So instead, I increased the role of the cat to make her important.

The Crazy Cat lady box set is filled with romances where cats play a major role. I’ve read and enjoyed all nine novellas. Some stories feature big cats like lions and panther shifters, while others feature domestic cats, usually in multiples. The romances range from sweet to sweaty.

My contribution is called Mr. November. It’s about Vancouver Vice tough guy, Marty Devonshire. We met Marty in The Tao of Hockey where he was the only player who offered genuine friendship to Eric Fairburn. Now it’s big Marty’s turn to fall, and he falls hard for petite Elaine Salang. They meet at a cat shelter where the Vice are shooting a charity calendar. But poor Marty, who’s not too experienced with women, blows his chance with Elaine. Luckily, his new teammates have his back and give him advice on how to win over women. The advice ranges from sensible to hilarious. And does all this advice work? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

How many women have even seen the cat? Other than me

How many women have even seen the cat? Other than me

Other books in the box set are:

The Vet & the Geek by Sidney Bristol

When veterinarian Raul is reunited with his long lost cat he gets a lot more than he bargained for in Miranda, the curvy, sassy woman who can wipe the floor with his subpar gaming skills. But Miranda doesn’t know if Raul is flirting with her, or if he’s the stalker she’s lived in fear of for years. Is he the crazy cat guy of her dreams, or is he the man who wants her—dead or alive?

Cat Scratch Fever by L.C. Alleyne

Inspector Rafael Montigue detects the scent of a potential mate during a delegate meeting. Kristin Wallin is working undercover to bring down the Brazilian Minister’s drug ring. When terrorists attack, Rafe exposes his panther shifter identity in order to protect Kristin, but she surprises him with secrets of her own that make him look like an innocent kitty cat.

 Decker & Joy: A North Pole Unlimited Romance by Elle Rush

Jaded P.I. Decker Harkness must track down a missing Christmas prototype if he wants a shot at a corporate security contract. Sexy cat shelter manager Joy McCall needs help figuring out who broke into Kitten Caboodle and made off with her foster kittens. If they work together, everyone may get a happily-ever-after.

Cats in the Cradle by Jerri Drennen

Being accused of murder by red-haired beauty Beatrice Dailey, a woman known to be the crazy cat lady in the neighborhood, somehow kick-starts Sam Littman’s floundering career. Soon he finds himself writing her as the main character in his novel—but as fact & fiction start to blur, Sam & Beatrice tumble headfirst into something most unexpected.

Forgive Me by Lori Whyte

When a neighbor’s cat deposits a severed finger on Rachel Connor’s doorstep, the last thing she expects is that it’ll bring Grady Randall back into her life. He shattered her heart when they were teenagers, but she finds herself turning to him when a menacing stranger shows up at her door. Can their reunion & reignited attraction survive the night or will the murderer strike again?

Sanctuary by Sukie Chapin

When Indiana finds her life is in shambles & her exotic cat sanctuary on the verge of bankruptcy, her only hope rests in the capable hands of a tall, dark, & bearded stranger. Jake’s on the hunt for the only good thing left in his life, his lost lion Loki, but he never expected his search to lead him to beautiful, anguished Indy & her dilapidated refuge. As their attraction grows fiercer than the lions they love, Indy & Jake must decide if they can overcome old wounds & fears to find sanctuary in each other’s arms.

Mr. Hot Stuff by Abby Cheshire

After eight awful & all too memorable blind dates in a row, all Lily wants is to stay home with a good book & her five cats. But when her latest rescue cat Captain Kitt goes klepto & steals a set of keys that belong to the hunky fireman in the neighborhood – Lily may be closer to a perfect match than she ever imagined.

Dress Blues by Lisa Carlisle 

When Vivi Parker volunteers at a fundraiser for a cat shelter, she’s stunned to run into Jack Conroy, the one man she couldn’t have, but never forgot. While they served in the Marines, any relationship between them was off-limits. Years later in Boston, the rules have changed. But so have they.

This purrfect box set releases on October 11 and costs only 99¢. Bargoon! You can buy it on presale here: Amazon iBooks Nook Kobo

 

An Irresistible Force is coming soon!

It's finally here! I've been writing away, and now I've completed not one, but two books. One is a novella that comes out in October, but the other is the second book in the Vancouver Vice series. And it launches on July 22nd.

When Amanda Richardson was a teenager, she had a huge crush on hockey superstar, Chris Luczak. Now over a decade later, she walks into a boardroom and there he is—looking as hunky and confident as ever. But working with Chris is the least of her problems, since her family’s hockey team is in crisis mode.

Chris Luczak hated retiring from his one true love: hockey. He’s been going through the motions at head office, but now he’s been offered a real challenge. All he has to do is persuade the ownership of the Vancouver Vice that—given their current problems—their best option is to sell the team.

At first, all they do is argue. Amanda has a million reasons not to trust Chris, beginning with his reputation as a womanizing playboy. But she needs all the hockey knowledge inside that sculpted muscular body—not that she’s noticed, of course. And Chris realizes that the longer he puts off this deal, the more time he’ll get to spend with this fiery woman.

Can they work together to save the Vancouver Vice?

Sunny Side

Are you on my mailing list? If you have been on it since the beginning, you've already received three short stories, three deleted scenes, and notice of hundreds of free books (not all mine, of course!)

You can still get the latest freebie. When you sign up, you get a copy of my new novella, Sunny Side. It's Vancouver Vice 1.5, and takes place after The Tao of Hockey.

It's the story of an optimistic hockey fan named Rosie, a tech genius named Peter, and the dating app that brings them together. Sign up on the sidebar on the right. 

I just wanted to add that the research for this book has resulted in my receiving ads to meet nice men in my area every time I go on the internet. Oh well, better than the email offers I get to meet Russian women.

Finally, if you're not already sold—did I mention free?—here's an excerpt:

Number 12 skated behind the net to make a pass to the next player and gave Louise a full view of his face.

    “Oh. My. God.”

    I smirked. “Told you so.”

    “He’s gorgeous. Like Chris Hemsworth hot. Those eyes, those cheekbones, those lips—everything. I can only see his neck, but it looks like he’s really built too.”

    “He is. I Googled him, and there’s a photo of him in a t-shirt and shorts at training camp and everything looks… amazing. And he’s got a huge package.”

    “What?” Louise dropped the binoculars and stared at me.

    I laughed. “Just kidding. You can’t tell that from a photo.” Unless his legs were positioned in just the right way and the shorts fabric was clingy, which they hadn’t been. 

Find your Spirit Animal

One thing I’ve learned to love about writing is research. If I get an idea for a character who is out of my personal experience—like being a 23 year-old guy—I have to do research. And if this 23 year-old is a zen winger who is completely in touch with his spiritual side, then I have to do a ton of research.

In The Tao of Hockey, Eric Fairburn sorts out the important people in his life by deciding what their spirit animal would be. It’s his way of determining the essence of someone’s nature.

Here's Eric explaining spirit animals to Josie:

“Okay, let’s talk about what your spirit animal would be.”

“My what?”

“Your spirit animal. We all have animal guides who appear to help with the problems or opportunities in our lives.”

“How do we find them?” Josie leaned forward and looked interested for the first time all night.

“Well, the best way would be for you to do some kind of physical journey, like a long meditation or a vision quest. An animal might appear to you in a dream.

“But the most important thing is being conscious of what’s around you—like animals reappearing in your life. Take a lion, for example. You might see a lion photo on the side of the bus, or when you turn on the TV an African nature show might be on.”

“I don’t have a TV,” she said.

“On your laptop. Whatever. Notice what’s around you and be sensitive to the signs.”

Josie cracked a new breadstick in two. “There is one thing that keeps appearing in my life repeatedly and unexpectedly.”

“Really, what?”

She pointed the breadstick at me. I laughed, and Josie smiled.

“If I had to guess, I would say your spirit animal is an owl,” I told her.

“An owl? I think I’m more the lion type.”

“A spirit animal doesn’t mean an animal you identify with. It’s your guide animal.”

“What does an owl say about me—that I stay up all night?”

“No, it says that you’re smart and knowledgeable, but you’re watchful. You like to look around and take stock of things before you act. Maybe a little detached.”

What do you think your spirit animal would be? If you don't want to do a vision quest in the desert, there is an easier way to find out. 

Here are two quizzes to determine your spirit animal. I took them both, and I’m an owl. Just like Josie, except minus the hot 23 year-old boyfriend.

http://www.spiritanimal.info/spirit-animal-quiz/

http://www.jerismithready.com/quiz/

Do you agree with the spirit animal you got? Is that your personality type?

The Launch of Tao

The Tao of Hockey is on sale today. Cue the brass band.

Man, it’s been torture having the book done for three weeks, but not getting to hear what readers think of it. When I finish writing a book, I’m so hyped that I want to run up to people and shove the book in their face and say, “Read my new book!” Then watch them until they finish and then ask what they thought. But given that would be super creepy and weird, I’ll have to settle for hearing from my readers—via reviews, emails, and facebook. I’m pretty damn excited about this!

However, the best way for me to calm down is to keep busy. And I wanted to tell you about what I’m writing right now. I’m creating a short story about the Vancouver Vice—the team you’ll meet in The Tao of Hockey.

This story involves a faithful hockey fan, a new dating app, and a geeky guy. The title is Sunny Side, and it will be free. However, the only way to get this tale is to be on my mailing list. So make sure you’re signed up, right here.

And if you read The Tao of Hockey, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Tao has launched!



The Tao of Hockey is the first book in my new series about an AHL team called the Vancouver Vice. 

Here's my elevator pitch: Eric Fairburn has one last shot at an NHL career, so distraction—in the form of a beautiful woman—is the last thing he needs.


The early reviews are in:

“…these characters are resilient and spunky, yet have a sweet, vulnerable side.”
Chelsy

“I loved this couple!!! this is not your typical book where the heroine is sweet, loving and quiet... nope Josie is as bad ass as you can think of!!” 
Logan

“I never read a book about a Yogi-health-nut-hockey player with a pretty sordid past before and I thought what kind of seduction techniques would this guy even have????” 
Amanda

“…different from most other romance books out there.” Jessica

You can find the book here .




Coming soon...


The Tao of Hockey is now available for pre-order. Find it here on Amazon.com. And here's a sneak peek:


Cover Reveal for The Tao of Hockey



Finally, my evil plan is coming together. Okay, perhaps it’s not evil or a plan—but my next book is coming together. The Tao of Hockey is getting closer. The first draft has been completed and beta-read. The feedback from the beta reads has been whipped into the second draft. The second draft is currently at the editor. 

The book is the first one in a series I'm writing about a fictional AHL team, the Vancouver Vice. Here’s what Tao is about:
After being selected in the first-round of the NHL draft, Eric Fairburn was in a car accident that destroyed his career. Now, five years later, he’s getting one last chance. If he can make the Vancouver Vice of the AHL, it could be the first step to making his hockey dreams come true. There are only two things standing in his way—the coach from hell and his own self-destructive ways.

The one talent he hasn’t lost is his way with women. So he’s surprised to be shot down by a mysterious woman he meets in a bar. Eric finds himself pursuing her when he should be focusing on hockey. Yet he’s drawn to her confidence and independence, believing that might be the key to fixing his own on-ice issues.

And meantime, the cover is finally done. My poor cover designer went through the wringer on this one. It was a tough balance because while the book is full of the usual hockey drama, but the hero is a zen philosopher. Finally, I think she tired of my nitpicking and went full tilt make-Mel-happy. She changed the colour to purple and added bokeh lights which I love.  I would put those little light circles on the whole world if I could. So, here we are. What do you think?

I am really excited about this book. What’s not to like? It’s got an attractive hero, a kick-ass heroine, a fast-paced plot, and lots of hockey goodness. The launch date will be December 26th. I can hardly wait for you to read it.


Of Cookies and Men


If my books were a house, I’ve been renovating them one room at a time. First I did all the bedrooms, one for Kelly, one for Jimmy, and one for Phil. Wouldn’t that be a fun place to live? Now I’ve gotten to the kitchen and what a lovely room it is. New Subzero fridge and Wolf cooktop where Frankie loves to cook up dinner for Jake.

That analogy will make sense only if you’ve read all my books. What I’m trying to say is that I have been redoing my covers one by one. Hockey Is My Boyfriend, Parts One, Two, and Three all got new covers. And now for the last one—How The Cookie Crumbles! My designer came up with this great cover, which perfectly communicates the laughter and eating that make up Frankie and Jake’s relationship. Because we’re not putting sex on the cover.

A few people have asked me whether there will ever be a sequel to this book. The answer is a resounding maybe. I have something written in rough, but it’s kind of a downer, so I’m putting it away until I can figure out how to solve the book’s problems. Sadly, that may or may not happen.

And meanwhile I’m proceeding on my new series… more about that next post!
  



Catch 'em all!


The Hockey Is My Boyfriend trilogy traces the story of Kelly Tanaka, intrepid girl hockey player, as she grows and develops into a confident woman. Part One shows the blossoming of her first love in high school. Part Two is takes place during her university years both on and off the ice. Part Three traces her life after graduation and her eventual happy ending.