Out With The Old And In With The New…

Anna@wedding

It’s almost 2014 and and as this year comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my first year as a published author.

The two words that immediately pop into my head are #1…CRAZY and #2…AWESOME!

Crazy in a good way, as I attempted to find the right groove in which to do all the things necessary to get my name out there. Working a full-time day job made things somewhat tricky as to finding time for writing, editing, picking out cover photos, and promoting. I found the time, however, because a lifelong dream was realized in January when the first book hit the ebook venues. I wasn’t about to let it stop there! I set a goal for myself, one that many said was unrealistic. Well, guess what…I met that goal and exceeded it!

Things really got crazy when a reader, who I had met through another author, approached me and asked if she could start a street team for me. She also offered to be my assistant, to help me with some of the things I didn’t have the time to do. Up until then, marketing had been a one-woman team…ME.  After some thought and lengthy discussions with Anne, I decided to take her up on her offer. Soon, a few other readers she and I were acquainted with offered to join the bandwagon. So, Anne, Crysty, Deb, and I started the street team, Anna’s Fab Friends. Personal friends soon got on the bandwagon and the group began to grow. Lee, another friend from way back in the hometown days had begun to market for me in the state he lives in so I asked him to join the group. He did and is now an integral part of the team. He and Anne work together behind the scenes planning signings, contests, and many other marketing ideas. We have over fifty members now, adding more as we go along. We have members from the US, Australia, Canada, Scotland, and many places. We have aspiring authors, published authors, a country singer, and a wide variety of readers in the group. My daughter and my niece have joined. We run contests, they promote for me, and we have a good time. Most of all, we’ve become a close knit group, always willing to send a word of encouragement if one of us is having a bad day. We can joke with each other, we can cry with each other, and we ARE truly the Fab Friends. Ironic, since the Fab Five series that I write is  about an awesome group of friends. In fact, many of us are planning to meet in May in New Orleans at the RT Book Reviews Convention. Fabs are coming from Australia, New York, Tennessee, Florida, maybe Pennsylvania, and I don’t know where else but I do know it’s going to be a blast!

AWESOME…is thirteen books released in twelve months! Twelve under Anna’s pen name and one under my spicier side, Isabella Kole. Ah yes…Isabella or IzzyB as we call her in the Fabs…she was another goal of mine. I normally write sweet, sassy, sensual books but the readers and other writer friends were encouraging me to try something a little different. With the popularity of Fifty Shades Of Grey, books about BDSM were being released like crazy and doing quite well. It wasn’t something I had ever considered writing, but after much thought, I decided to try my own version, a tamer yet sexy version. Accepting His Terms is about a couple experimenting with a light form of domestic discipline. It’s been well-received and the readers as well as the publisher want more. And so it begins.

My first book, Crossroad To Love, reached the semi-finals in the Authorsdb Cover Contest! The results of that contest will be announced in February. My team worked hard to get votes so I’m anxious to see how that goes!

book-contest-semi-finalist

I’ve been a bit slower with my writing the last few months. I needed a breather, to catch up on my personal life, and work on promoting the thirteen books already written. I did some book signings, attended a book show, and got my batteries recharged. I’m ready to go into 2014 full steam ahead with many things already in the works. The Fab Five series has more books to be added, Remember Our Promise is now the first in a trilogy rather than a stand-alone, IzzyB has more to offer, and I’ve come up with an idea for something other than a romance novel…

So as 2013 comes to an end, I want to thank all of you for making it a fun, exciting, and worthwhile year for me.

Anne designed this and my street team shared it on Facebook…so sweet

CongratsAnnaIzzy

As we enter 2014, I am more determined than ever to make it an even better year! Happy New Year to all of you and I’ll see you back here next year!!!!!

Love,

Anna/Isabella

Advertisements

A Woman Like Her

AWomanLikeHer_Cover (1) perfectWelcome back! I’ve got a new release! My thirteenth release in twelve months! 2013 has been a whirlwind year for this new author and I’ve learned a lot about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing in the past year as well as having made many new friends! I’ve been blessed with wonderful assistants and a “fabulous” street team! 

I’ve even dabbled in a new form of my genre with a different pen name. Both my publishers, LazyDay and Rebel Ink Press have been wonderful. This latest release is from Rebel Ink Press and I’m going to tell you a little about it, so get comfy and read on!

A Woman Like Her is a novella, the sequel to If You Love Me. If you read If You Love Me, you’ll remember fondly Amy and Dillon. Amy is Ashley’s best friend and Dillon is Adam’s brother. Together the two of them plot to reunite Ashley and Adam when their marriage hits the skids. But…there’s always a but…Amy and Dillon have some unresolved issues of their own, which you’ll find out about in the new book.

**Here’s the Blurb for A Woman Like Her:**

When Amy Brewer met Dillon Brant at her best friend’s engagement party three years ago, she was instantly attracted to him. But Dillon made it very clear he didn’t need a full-time woman in his life. His brother, Adam, had rushed into marriage with his wife, Ashley, and Dillon had never approved.

 When Adam’s marriage hit a rough patch, Dillon and Amy worked together to get the couple back on track and Dillon began to rethink his earlier thoughts on women. If he could find a woman like Ashley, he might change his mind.

 Dillon knew Amy was trouble from the start. He was far too attracted to her for his own good. And when she made it known to him she was nothing like Ashley, he began to think maybe he really didn’t want a woman like Ashley after all. Dillon wanted Amy.

 But is Dillon ready for a committed relationship? Amy is, and there lies the problem.

Can the two come to an understanding or is their relationship doomed to fail from the start?

**Now, would you like a little excerpt?**

When she opened the door, a smiling Dillon greeted her with a large cup of Starbucks coffee. He handed it to her, walked inside, and planted a chaste kiss on her cheek. “Good morning, Sunshine.”

As she looked at him, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she couldn’t help but notice how sexy he looked in cutoffs and a Colts tee shirt. He looked at her and they both laughed.

“Great minds think alike,” he said.

“I can change my shirt,” she offered as she took a sip of the heavenly brew. “Thanks for the coffee, by the way.”

“No, don’t change. I think it’s kind of cute, we’re dressed alike.” He gave her one of his sexy grins again that made her tummy do flip-flops every time she saw it. “Are you ready to go? I’ve got the food in the truck.”

“Sure, let me grab my purse.”

He waited patiently for her and soon they were headed for the lake.

“What made you come up with this idea, Dillon?” she asked.

“When I woke up, it was such a beautiful day and we both have the day off, so I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful day than with a beautiful girl. Of course, you immediately came to mind.”

“Dillon…” she said, blushing.

“Amy, I meant what I said last night. I’m falling under some kind of spell with you. I’m as shocked as you are, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to convince you I’m not kidding around.”

“I just don’t know, Dillon,” she replied as she sipped her coffee.

“I understand your reluctance where I’m concerned, Amy. I’ve given you every reason to believe I don’t want a relationship. Hell, I’ve said it enough times. But something’s changed. I can’t explain it, but I sure as hell want to explore it,” he replied as he reached across the seat and took her hand.

“This is going way too fast for me, Dillon.”

“Baby, don’t say that.”

“I’ll try to go with it, but I don’t know if I can.”

“That’s all I ask, Amy. Give us a chance to find out where this is leading.”

“And what if you change your mind, after I give you a chance, Dillon? Where does that leave me?”

“Amy, I can’t tell you what the future holds for us. But at least, give us a chance to find out. If it’s meant to be, it will happen and if not, well…we can say we gave it our best shot. I’m not going to pressure you.”

When they arrived at the lake, he helped her out of the truck, handing her the basket his mother had packed for them. He carried the rest of the food and led her to a spot in the shade. After laying a blanket on the ground, he took the basket from her and invited her to sit down.

He began to unpack the food. He’d thought of everything, even chocolate cake and wine.

“Dillon, this is so sweet,” she said as he handed her a glass of wine.

“I’m trying, beautiful,” he replied with a wink.

“I can see you are,” she said as she leaned up to kiss him.

“Wow,” he said after the kiss ended. “If a picnic will get me a kiss, I’ll have to plan one every Saturday.”

“Oh, Dillon,” she teased. “Starbucks and a picnic, you’re just buttering me up to beat me at Euchre later.”

“Dang, you guessed it,” he said with a laugh. Leaning over again, he kissed her sweetly. “Amy…I think I’m falling in love.”

“Dillon, don’t say that,” she answered as she pulled away.

“Somehow, I always knew when it happened, it would hit me like a ton of bricks, the way it did with Adam when he met Ashley.”

“Dillon, have you ever felt this way before?”

He shook his head emphatically. “Never, Amy, I knew something was different the night we were at the Slippery Noodle, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself. That’s why I asked you out last weekend. I wanted to see if I’d get you out of my system after a date. It didn’t happen. You’re under my skin, and in my heart.”

“Dillon, I’d like to believe you, but I’m…scared of getting my heart broken. I’ve always wanted to go out with you. When I met you at the engagement party, I knew. But, you drilled it into my head so many times that you weren’t looking for anything permanent, so I put it out of my mind. I told myself I had to give up on you. Now, I’m confused.”

He caressed her cheek with a gentle touch of his hand. “I know, baby, I know. I’ll take it as slow as you need to. I said no pressure, so anytime you need me to back off, I will. It’ll kill me, but I’ll do it.”

“You’d do that for me?” she asked as tears welled up in her eyes.

“I’d do that for you,” he replied quietly.

“Thank you, Dillon.”

He smiled and said, “Eat your chicken. Let’s just enjoy the sunshine and the food and the wine. We can relax and enjoy each other’s company all afternoon.”

The afternoon was perfect. They ate, took a walk, and napped on the blanket. Finally, he woke her and said, “Baby, wake up. If you want to change your clothes before the barbeque, we need to go.”

Sleepily, she sat up and said, “Okay. I’m sorry I dozed off. I…I didn’t sleep very well last night.”

“I’m sorry, Amy. If I could have, I’d have held you all night. You might have slept, safe in my arms.”

“Dillon,” she said, smiling. “You promised not to go there.”

“Can’t blame a guy for trying, can you?” he teased as he picked up the picnic basket and held out his hand to help her up.

As she folded the blanket, she replied, “No, I can’t blame you for trying. I feel it too, Dillon. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give in to those feelings. Not yet, anyway.”

“That’s promising, the ‘not yet’ part,” he said as they walked to his truck.

After he’d put everything in the truck, he leaned down again and kissed her. It was a sweet kiss, but full of passion all the same. As a warm glow filled her body, Amy moaned. “Dillon…”

“Yes, baby?” he whispered against her ear.

“I’m falling….we need to get going.” She walked around the truck and climbed in.

Dillon sighed and got into the truck. Starting the engine, he said, “It’s okay, baby.”

Amy looked down at her hands folded in her lap. “I’m sorry. I just can’t…”

“It’s okay. Don’t get all upset about it.”      

Well there you have it. If you haven’t read If You Love Me yet, why not download it when you download A Woman Like Her and read them both?

Buy Links for IF YOU LOVE ME

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-You-Love-Anna-Kristell-ebook/dp/B00FKOTV06/ref=la_B00B1LK14W_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387123323&sr=1-10

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-you-love-me-anna-kristell/1117050991?ean=2940148476771

ARe:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ifyouloveme-1310172-149.html

Buy Links for A WOMAN LIKE HER

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Like-Her-Anna-Kristell-ebook/dp/B00HB7NDF4/ref=la_B00B1LK14W_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387123447&sr=1-12

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-woman-like-her-anna-kristell/1117701175?ean=2940148880684

ARe:https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-awomanlikeher-1374096-149.html                          

Join me next time when I’ll have country artist Jackson Young with me to tell us about his Christmas charity project!Rebel Ink Press

IfYouLoveMe_Cover

Happy Birthday LazyDay Publishing!

December tenth marks a very special day, the birth of LazyDay Publishing!
My beloved Fab Five series is published through LazyDay as well as my spicier side, Isabella Kole. Isabella made her debut on October ninth with her erotic romance, Accepting His Terms.
Stop by and like LazyDay’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter to keep up with new releases.
If you are an author, check out their submission guidelines.
Happy Birthday, LazyDay!!!

20131209-205239.jpg

A Chat With Author Lyn Croft

Lyn's cover.jpegI have Lyn Croft with me today! She’s answered the famous “Anna” questions and is going to tell us about her new book too. Pull up a chair, get comfy, and read on as we see what Lyn has to say.

 

What inspired you to choose your genre (genres)?

I’ve always been in love with the sci-fi world. The creativity has no limits, yet you still have to find a way to bring a reality of it all to an audience. That has always intrigued me. But I have to say it is the ability to create new worlds and characters, as well as making your own rules.

I can understand that. I don’t write in that genre but enjoy reading it. Now, we all have issues with balancing our time between writing, editing, promoting, along with other obligations and personal time. Tell me, what works best for you?

I would love to say I stick to a schedule, but I do have a busy life. I try to make sure I set time aside so that I can have time for my writing. My muse gets cranky, and so do I if I can’t get the characters to come alive on paper.

I can totally relate to that. Tell us about your characters. What type of hero do you normally choose? What type of heroine?

I have a few different types of heroes. The Nephilim/Halflings from my book are heroes that were born into being warriors, and then I have the Cara and Kelsey, the ones who grow into the role over time. They start off weak – or believing they are – and find the strength inside them when faced with challenges. I love watching characters grow and overcome. When they do realize their potential, and how they’ve made it through their trials and see their true strength, that makes them a true hero in my eyes.

Good point! Who are some of your favorite authors? Did they inspire you to write?

I know people are tired of hearing this, but Stephen King is the King. I love his style, his imagination, and the way he shares his experiences and processes so that other authors can grow their talent. He’s my mentor and inspires me with how far he has come in the writing word.  He’s mastered so many genres, and to me that’s a rare talent. I have others as well; Gena Showalter is another of my favorites as well as Dean Koontz.

Some impressive names there! What would you say has been the most difficult aspect of your writing career?

My schedule. I work full time, and am a single mother. I would love to have more time to write than I’m currently able to.  I watch other writers churn out book after book, and then have fans ask me when my next one will be ready. I feel bad that I’m not producing faster, but I also like to take my time with my stories to make sure I get them right. So that combined with my current obligations gets as little frustrating at times.

Oh, girl, I’m right there with you. I work full time and even though my kids are grown, it’s still hard to fit everything in. The fun part now, give us a little dirt about yourself. What’s your favorite guilty indulgence?

Oh, goodness. I’m a video game nut. I’ve had to discipline myself to set goals for writing before I’m allowed to play on the Xbox. Or else, I’ll be online constantly playing Call of Duty or Gears of War, and not producing stories for the public. Sometimes I think I’m a teenager stuck in a grownups body.

You’d get along great with my little grandson. He is a video game junkie already! Okay now for the good part. We’ve all been waiting for this.  Tell us about your newest book.

I’d love to!

Once cast from Heaven, Zillah has vowed to destroy God and overtake his kingdom. But a key is needed to open the gates between the two realms.

 

The Key to the gate walks the earth in the form of a woman…young, innocent and completely unaware of her importance in the battle between good and evil. Once her blood is shed, Zillah can open the portal to release her father…Lucifer himself.

 

Cara, a college sophomore, is quickly thrown into a world of supernatural, as well as learning of her true ancestry. Vampires, werewolves and the Nephilim are now a part of her real world. As the beings struggle to protect her, she fights to keep her sanity as her mortal realm is crushed.

 

Secrets are revealed that could shatter Cara’s new found love, as well as lead to her ultimate death. A family is torn apart as the battle to save the key leads them down a road of betrayal and heartache. Loved ones are lost, lines are crossed, and nothing is as it seems. Lies and truths twist and turn, leaving us with only one question…

 

Could you sacrifice the one you love to save the world?

Blood & Lilies Excerpt

The evening sky pulsed, hues of deep purples and blacks engraving blurry lines above the earth.  The night echoed its cries, carried by angry breezes through the hills of the land.  The cemetery, cascaded in carved tombstones that sprouted from the ground, laid empty and dormant, except for the busy, yet silent whispers of the dead.

The ground, wet and damp, gave way beneath Cara’s bare feet as she trudged through the mud pushing between her toes.  Her eyes traveled towards the ground to study her soiled feet, finding her body was draped in a simple, yet elegant white dress which graced her pale legs just below her knees.  The plunging neckline stopped just beneath the cleft of her breast as the thin silk straps hugged the tops of her shoulders, exposing her bare delicate skin. 

She scanned around her, alone and frightened, like a young child strayed from its mother.  It was so dark, and the crested moon, swarmed by rolling darkened clouds, offered no safe haven of light to guide her way.  Slow and unsure, she stepped cautiously, waiting blindly for an edge that would send her spiraling down into a never-ending abyss, swallowing her whole.  The shadows danced in front of her, playing tricks on her unfocused eyes as her feet took her step by step.

Where was she?  How did she get here?  She could hear faint whispers of the dead crying out to her from the spirit world.  Their words made no sense as they all jumbled together like a soft but unmelodic hum in the air.  Her ears strained to make out parts of the words, hoping to piece together some language so she could better understand why they’d brought her here.

 Realization struck.  The voices had guided her here.  She turned around to where the whispers grew, louder and more needful.  She followed them as they increased, vibrating through her head as if they were coming from inside her brain, instead of churning in the air around her.  The darkness frightened her, yet she still continued, following the only guidance she had.
            Cara.

She could hear it now.  Through the vast echo of the whispers, she could make out her name.  They called to her, begged her to come near.  She obeyed. 

Something hard struck her toes, shooting instant pain up through her legs, like lightning igniting through her to her very core.  Her body flew forward as she reached out to stop her fall.  She expected a large stone to split her head.  Or perhaps the tip of a metal cross would impale her through her chest and end it all, without her knowing or seeing it in the darkness before her.  But there was nothing as her body hit the soft ground beneath her. 

Grass laced itself through her fingers as she looked up to the gravestone in front of her.  The clouds that had hugged the moon so well broke, lighting the etched carvings before her so she could see.  What she read on the engraving shook her to the core.  Her eyes couldn’t process, couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing.

Cara L. Chadwick
Beloved Friend and Student
We will miss you always
Oct. 18, 1992 to Dec. 21, 2012

A cry escaped her lips as Cara pushed herself up from the ground as fast as she could, stumbling backwards.  She wanted to turn away, run and never look back.  There was no way in hell she was going to stay here to hang out with her own tomb.  And the date…it was this Friday’s date…or had it already arrived and was now in the past?  Cara realized she had no idea of what time it was, or the day, but she needed to escape and get out of this place as fast as her bare feet could carry her.

Laughter filled the air around her, swirling and vibrating through her head as Cara searched to find where it came from.  She knew the sound all too well, deeply etched in her head from the nights before.  From her past experiences with the twins, she knew running would get her nowhere.  She was a lost cause already from the moment she had stepped foot in this graveyard; the moment she saw her own grave laid out before her. They would win.

She lifted her eyes, outlining their shadows in the darkness before her as they stepped closer.  Three slim figures moved towards her, gliding as if they walked on air.  Two of them were the twins, but the third was new.  One she had never seen. 

Moonlight shone down upon them but seemed to focus upon the one in the middle, like a spotlight specially designed just for her.  It graced her with such an illuminating light, as if the lunar orb had no other job in the world but to light a path for this godly being.  Cara finally made out the woman’s face.  She was absolutely beautiful.  Breathtaking features sat on a perfect feminine frame.  Her hair was jet black, wrapping like silk around her shoulders, flowing effortlessly past her thin waist.  Natural waves cascaded through her locks as it glimmered off the light, highlighting scarlet tones that glistened through her hair.  Her eyes sparkled, shining like ebony pearls, even though they held no light themselves.  An endless black abyss filled them, contrasting against her smooth ivory skin.  The twins flanked her sides like bodyguards, each paling in comparison to her existence.  Dark eyes stared at Cara, taking her in as full ruby pouted lips carved up against sharp pallid teeth, exposing a ravenous smile that threatened to consume all in her path.

Fear filled Cara’s blood as she stood before them; she marveled and was terrified all at the same time.  Her feet were helplessly stuck to the ground as if the mud beneath her toes had turned into glue, holding her prisoner in front of her grave.  The air in her lungs grew rapid and short as the panic raking though her veins clenched at her chest.  She grew dizzy from the hyperventilation thinking about the date on her gravesite.  It must be today, right now, December 21, the day Cara would leave this earth for good.

They wouldn’t have to carry her far to bury her either.  No, they could just have their meal and toss her away like a rotting apple.  Her limp body would lie lifeless till passersby found her decaying corpse and tried to contemplate the irony of a deceased body being outside of its grave.  Her eyes shifted back and forth between the three goddesses before her as they approached, coming closer. 

The one in the middle spoke, “Ah, Cara, my child.  Do not be frightened of me.”  The woman’s voice was soft and sweet, almost alluring as she gazed upon her with treacherous eyes. 

Cara didn’t move.  She just stared in awe and fear.  Something inside her stirred as if the voice was all too familiar.  Her terror began to subside, though she knew she had to fight against this.  Let the fear feed her, this witch before her could be casting a spell for all she knew. 

“Sweet Cara.  I have waited for you for so long and now that you are here…oh child.  Come to me.”  She motioned with her hands for Cara to approach her. 

Though every cell of Cara’s being told her to turn away and run, her body did not obey.  Instead, it followed the orders of the hypnotizing goddess in front of her.  Her feet, mechanical, moved towards the predators in front of her, and there was nothing Cara could do to stop it.  Control had abandoned her.  It didn’t belong to her anymore.

The woman’s slender hand caressed Cara’s cheek, her face motherly as she stroked the child, “Oh Cara, dear.  Do you know how special you are?  How special you are to me?”

“No,” Cara answered, feeling spellbound by the soft hum of the woman’s voice.  Her body was frigid from the touch of the woman’s hand.  Though captivated, something screamed deep down inside her to wake up from this bad dream.  She shouldn’t be here right now.

“You will find out soon enough, my dear.  Soon enough.  I will see you soon.”  She turned her gaze to the twins, giving them a slight nod before turning her focus back to Cara.  Her eyes were now glazed over to the blackest of black, swimming with a hunger, an evil that threatened to swallow everything around it.  “Run!” the woman yelled, as the twin’s stance became predatory.

Cara jerked back as the woman screamed.  Her voice was so sweet and melodic one moment and was now a raging demon thirsty for blood the next, awakening her from her dreamlike state.  The twins snarled at her response, moving forward to pounce on their kill. 

She didn’t think, she just reacted as she turned from the three monsters and ran.  Her heart pounded frantically, feeling like it would burst out of her chest any moment.  Her feet, bare and mud-sodden, tore through the ground as she darted away as fast as they would carry her. 

The clouds hugged the moon again, cradling it so the little light it shed began to vanish.  Darkness clung around Cara like a blanket, but she didn’t let it stop her.  She ran, faster and deeper into the cemetery, not caring where her direction took her.  Only that it took her away from them. 

 Lyn’s Bio:

Lyn Croft is a sci-fi fantasy writer born and raised in sunny Southern California. There, she raises her daughter, works full time, writes novels, and plays video games in her spare time.

Her new book, “Blood & Lilies ~ Bloodlines” is her debut novel, and the first in a series of epic tales for the battle between good and evil.

Where you can find Lyn:

http://lyncroft.beaucoupllc.com/  (under construction, but should be up in the next few days)

https://www.facebook.com/lyn.croft.3

https://twitter.com/LynCroft27

http://mortal-angel.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much for visiting Anna’s World today, Lyn. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you and come back anytime. Best of luck to you with this book and all your future works!

And for you readers out there, I’ve just been told by Lyn’s publisher that two lucky commenters will be awarded an ebook copy of Blood and Lilies so be sure and leave a comment!!!

 

 

 

A HOLIDAY HIDEAWAY

HolidayHideaway_Cover (1)My Christmas novella came out today! A Holiday Hideaway was released by Rebel Ink Press and is available as an eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and AllRomance. This is my first Christmas romance and is set in beautiful Brown County, IN which is not far from where I live.

**Here’s the blurb:**

Sara Freeman is a high-powered attorney who’s just been made partner in the firm she works for. Cade Rollins is the attorney she was competing with for the position. Vowing never to get involved with a co-worker, Sara’s been dubbed “The Ice Princess” by the guys in her office.

 But there’s one guy she can’t quite get out of her head, Cade Rollins. Good-looking, with rock hard abs, perfect dark hair, and dark chocolate brown eyes, he’s also an arrogant ass. Or so Sara thinks.

 When they run into each other at the mall days before Christmas and he begins to tease her good-naturedly, she doesn’t know what to think. And at the firm’s Christmas party, when he asks her to dance, she’s even more confused.

 Deciding not to accompany her family to California for the holidays, she rents a room in a lodge in scenic Brown County, Indiana for the week. Planning to spend the week relaxing, before returning to work on a case with Cade, she’s surprised to run into him at the same lodge her first night there.

 He convinces her to have dinner with him and she begins to see a whole new side of the man she has always thought arrogant. Will they have a holiday hook-up, or will it go much further, as the two discover more about each other in their holiday hideaway that fateful Christmas?

**How about an excerpt now?**

After a fitful night of sleep filled with erotic dreams about Cade, Sara finally gave up and got out of bed. She brewed a pot of coffee in her room and sat down by the window. She watched the beautiful winter snowfall as she tried to clear her muddled head. It was still dark outside and the scene was breathtaking. Why was he in her head? A few days of bantering back and forth, a dance at the party, and one dinner shouldn’t change her opinion of him so drastically, should it?

And he was planning to go shopping with her today.

Her cell pinged and she picked it up. It was probably Sean or her mother letting her know they were in California. As she looked at the face on the phone, she smiled. It was a message from Sean. Unlocking her phone to read it, she learned they had landed safely, and were just getting ready for bed. The time difference was going to take some getting used to. He figured about the time they got used to the three hour difference, it would be time to come home. He also rubbed it in about the nice weather.

She replied that she’d gotten up early and was watching the snowfall with a cup of steaming hot coffee in front of her window. She wished him a happy holiday and told him to give her love to Annie’s family.

Looking out the window as she set her phone down, she saw that the sun was peeking out. The phone in her room rang. She jumped, startled. Who could be calling at this hour?

“Hello,” she said warily.

“Are you awake?” a husky, male voice asked.

“Cade, is that you?” she asked.

“Who were you expecting?” he asked in reply.

“I wasn’t expecting to hear from you this early.”

“I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been up for hours, drinking coffee and watching the snow from my window.”

She giggled. “I’ve been doing the same thing.”

“Maybe we should be doing it together. Your room or mine?” he asked suggestively.

“Very funny,” she replied.

“Since we’re both awake, would you like to get dressed and go down to the dining room for breakfast? They open in a little while.”

“I can be ready in a half an hour. Will they be open then?” she asked, in a slightly breathless voice.

“I’ll meet you in the lobby. They should be open by then.”

“Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.” She hung up the phone and hopped in the shower, allowing the warm steamy water to cascade over her body. Revived afterward, she dressed in jeans and a blue sweater. As she pulled on a pair of stylish boots over her jeans, she smiled. Who would have ever thought she’d be getting up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast with Cade Rollins? Certainly not her, she thought with a grin. She was almost looking forward to seeing him again. Almost, until she remembered her dreams from the night before. How could she look him in the face without thinking of the way he’d held her, and loved her, all night long in her dreams?

Shaking her pretty blonde head to rid her mind of the erotic thoughts, she took a deep breath and left her room. By the time she reached the lobby, he was there waiting for her, smiling at her as she walked toward him.

“You look chipper for an early Monday morning,” he said as he walked beside her to the dining room.

“I’m on vacation, remember?”

“If down time does this for you, you should take it more often. You look…so different,” he said in a low voice.

She blushed as they entered the room. It was empty. Apparently none of the other holiday guests had gotten out of bed this early. They sat down, ordered their breakfast, and as they enjoyed another cup of coffee, she said, “Are you still planning to shop with me today?”

“Of course, if you still want me to tag along. I can show you some of the sights, take you to the most unique shops,” he replied as he sipped his coffee.

“I’d like that,” she said shamelessly. What was she doing?

“Sara, I’m seeing a whole new side of you these past few days and I have to say, I like it. Gone is the harsh, all-business ice princess who wears her business suits and wears her hair up. I like your hair down, by the way. It’s too pretty to wear up.”

“I wear it up for work mainly for convenience. I also need to look like I know my stuff. Clients don’t care if I have long, blonde hair. They care if I can win their case for them.”

“I understand that, but you’re a very beautiful girl. You tend to hide behind the suits, the hairdo, and those reading glasses you wear at work. You look like a different person, soft, happy, sweet,” he said, again treating her to his sexy, crooked grin.

“Is that how you like your women? Soft, happy, and sweet?” she asked, venturing where she knew she shouldn’t go.

He nearly choked on his coffee. Regaining his composure, he said, “I like a woman who is smart, yet soft, so yes, I guess so. I like you, Sara Freeman. I’ve known that from the day I met you, but now I know it even more.”

“What kind of game are you playing?”

“I’m not sure I understand that question. This isn’t a game. I’m genuinely enjoying our time together. I’ve always liked bantering with you, but somehow, the past few days have been different. Like I said, I’m seeing you in a whole new light. And I like what I see.”

“I don’t know what to say.” The waitress brought their food. She took a bite of her bacon, wiped her mouth with her napkin, and went on. “I’m enjoying this too, but we both know when this week is over, we’ll go back to Evansville, and back to the office. And we’ll be working together on a big case. A case in which the outcome will determine whether or not you make partner, so maybe this isn’t a good idea, the two of us becoming friends.”

“Friends?” he asked. “Oh, baby, I think we’re moving past the friendship stage. You surely can’t deny it.”

Well, there you have it…the ice princess and the arrogant ass…are they headed for disaster…or the love of a lifetime?

Here are the buy links for A Holiday Hideaway:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H2NAOZ4/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_awdl_qZGNsb07K9DNX

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-holiday-hideaway-anna-kristell/1117543826?ean=2940148948582

AllRomance:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-aholidayhideaway-1366154-149.html#.Up39GT8STh0.facebook

I’m also running a giveaway on my Facebook author page. If you purchase the book, take a picture of the first page of the book and post it in the comments under the pinned post about the contest. I’m giving away a “Road to Romance” tote bag and some other swag to the lucky winner!

Here’s the link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Kristell-Romance-Author/267879939980573?ref=hl

And here’s the book trailer which was put together by Anne Welch:

In other news, my other publisher, LazyDay Publishing, is running a holiday special on the the first three books of my popular Fab Five series. If you haven’t started the journey yet, this would be a great time to pick up the first three at .99 each. The sale is for a limited time only so act quickly!

Holidayspecial.jpeg

An Interview With Author Mike Faricy

 

LastShot577528_10201986557457726_1608700659_nI have Author Mike Faricy with me today and I’ve picked his brain about writing along with a few other things. He’s going to tell us about his books, including his latest one. So pull up a chair, grab your beverage of choice and let’s see what he has to say.

   Mike, tell me, what inspired you to choose your genre (genres)?

I write in the crime fiction genre primarily because I enjoy reading crime fiction as well as true crime. As much as I read and enjoy the genre it always puzzled me that there were so many works that dealt with the ex-special forces sort of guy who just wanted to be left alone, but someone pushed him too far and now he’s coming back with a vengeance. Or, the sort of tale where the protagonist just happened to grow up across the street from the head of the CIA, and now he has a special source for intelligence. My tales aren’t like that. They’re really about the sort of individuals we all know. We may wisely keep these individuals at a distance, but you know them none the less, and we’re curious. Maybe that sort of different guy in your high school class or that kind of crazy girl that bad luck always seems to find and she lives on the next block. They inhabit the strata of life just below the surface of polite society. They are not going to be saving the world from terrorists, stopping government coups or uncovering an international bank conspiracy. The situations they find themselves in are due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting tales.

     That sounds like an interesting genre to me. Now, next question, we all have issues with balancing our time between writing, editing, promoting, along with other obligations and personal time. What works best for you?

Well, what would work best was if I didn’t have to sleep, but that’s not happening. I really have to schedule my time and stick to it. By the way, this makes me just about the dullest guy in town. I try and deal with most of my promotional work before 9:00 in the morning. I break for breakfast then read and lightly edit what I wrote the previous day which maybe takes about two hours. Then I’m sort of in the swing of things and I try and write ten pages. Some days it’s eight and occasionally it’s twelve pages. I knock off around 5:00. I have a brief lunch in there somewhere. I usually have my phone off, no music or anything. I don’t work off an outline so at the end of the day no one is more surprised than me as to what has happened. I break for dinner then run errands or do social and promotional things in the evening. I don’t really watch TV that would represent three to five hours a night that I can be working ‘book stuff’. Having described my day it’s obvious my children are now out on their own. I no longer have the responsibilities that a young family require. Oh yeah, and I can’t have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner because I’ll drift off around eight o’clock. See, I told you I was dull.

      Wow, what a busy day. I still work a day job but would love to be able to spend my day working solely on “book stuff” like you do. I want you to tell us about your characters next. What type of hero do you normally choose? What type of heroine?

My heroes usually have one foot on either side of the law. They deal with the day to day headaches we might all face. Hopefully assault, murder and kidnapping are not part of your daily routine, but they’re not involved in some huge international event. My characters deal in the messy side of life. They have a wise guy sense of humor, probably drink too much on a regular occasion. Possibly end up in a ‘relationship’ with the wrong sort of individual. Or, if they end up with the right sort of woman she usually throws her hands up and decides that the guy is just a little too much work and by the way her biological clock is ticking and well, thanks, but goodbye. Of course I never noticed this until it was pointed out to me, but it’s usually a woman who sort of saves the day for my guys, pulls their feet away from the fire. Then she tells them to never, ever call her again, maybe blocks their number, deletes them from her Facebook friends, files a restraining order, you know the usual…

      Oh my gosh! Do they ever end up together? Being a romance author I’m partial to the happy ending you know. Who are some of your favorite authors? Did they inspire you to write?

Let me answer that in reverse. Yes, they did inspire me to write. I really got hooked on Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, and Clive Cussler. Then, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard, William Kent Krueger, Carl Hiaasen and on and on. I have a tendency to latch on to a new author and read everything they have written. I love the idea of ordinary people getting into screwball situations. I have a friend who did about six months of social work as part of a masters program. One of her cases was two brothers who get in a fight with one another. One guy stabs his brother. The brother who is stabbed gets behind the wheel of his car and runs his brother down, then drags him into the car and drives the two of them to the hospital. I mean you can’t make it up, and that was just their stupid act for that week. They did some equally outrageous thing the week before and the week after. I like writing about those sorts of characters. If nothing else at the end of my book you’ve been entertained. And you know what? Come to think of it none of us really seem all that bad based on the characters in my books.

      Now for the tough question. What has been the most difficult aspect of your writing career?

I think the most difficult aspect of my writing career is just getting the word out to people that I even exist. It’s working now, or beginning to work. I have fans in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand. I was ranked number fifteen in crime fiction on Amazon in Germany for a while. I look back and it seems like a logical, structured plan when in fact it’s a series of grasping at straws and trying a million different things. Some of which work. Many of which don’t work, or take an incredible amount of time and effort. I’m never at a loss for stories and ideas, of course I’ve always been a good liar so that may have something to do with it. But in the end getting the word out and building that fan base has been a lot of work. It’s worth it, glad I did it, but it didn’t just happen.

    I think all authors can relate to the problem of “getting the word out there.” Fun stuff now. Give us a little dirt about yourself. What’s your favorite guilty indulgence?

Like I said earlier I’m the dullest guy in town so there really isn’t a lot of dirt on me. Or, if there is the statue of limitations hasn’t quite expired so it’s best not to mention anything. I do play the bagpipes in a band. The Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band, here in St. Paul, Minnesota. I’ve been doing that for about a hundred years. It’s a lot of fun and you get to wear a skirt, oh sorry, wear a kilt around town. Of course that leads to a whole lot of stories that we shouldn’t go into here.

      Okay…we won’t go there. So, Mike, tell us about your newest book.

My newest book is my thirteenth and has just been released. It is number six in my Dev Haskell series, entitled Last Shot. Dev Haskell is a private investigator with an eye for the ladies and a knack for making some wrong assumptions. Let me just say he finds himself in some unique situations. I had a lot of fun writing Last Shot and I have to say it’s an excellent tale. Dev turns down an investigation thinking he’s doing someone a favor and well, things don’t quite go as planned, but then they never do.

Once I finish a book I’m chomping at the bit to begin work on my next project. I don’t do a lot of signings, but I did two this past year and it bowled me over how many people wanted to know if I had a series. Then, they wanted to know what was the order in the series. My usual response was they’re all stand alone books and can be read in any order. That didn’t seem to make a difference, people wanted to read the books in order. Based on that experience I’ve come out with all new covers on the Dev Haskell stories that definitely indicate the books are a series and then after the title it lists a case number to indicate the order they were written. So, the official title of my most recent book is Last Shot: Case 6 in the Dev Haskell series. I’m currently working on a completely new series, I’d like to have two works completed in that by June 2014. The new series is going to be a little darker and more sinister than the Dev Haskell books, and I think just as entertaining. I’m also packaging three of my stand alone works, Chow For Now, Merlot and End of the Line as a trilogy and that package will be available in e-format hopefully by February 2014.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to get this far in the interview. Please check out all my books on Amazon. Please feel free to drop me a line, my email address is Mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com or you can find me on Facebook;https://www.facebook.com/mikefaricyauthor

Many thanks and enjoy the rest of your week.MikeFaricy1

Thank you so much for joining me here in Anna’s World today, Mike. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. I, too, will have thirteen books out by the end of the year. I also have a series, so I can relate to the interest sparked by a series. Readers love them! Stop back by anytime!