Monday, November 26, 2012

Free reads for your Kindle and Cyber Monday deals

In the spirit of Cyber Monday, here are some freebies and bargains for you to enjoy for the holiday.

Check out SAN FRANCISCO SERENADE, a Christmas novella that is free for your Kindle Monday, November 26.

Also free for Monday is COMIC SQUAD. Check it out for the younger reader on your holiday gift-giving list.

For some sexy suspense, download TASTE OF BLOOD, the first book in the Reese Mackenzie franchise.

And for the Cyber Monday low price of only $3.99, you can download three of my Rubenesque romance novels in a convenient, low-cost bundle. That's less than $1.50 per book! This bundle is only available through the holidays, so act now to own all three books at these rock-bottom prices. (Fans of the GROUPIE franchise will want to get to know some of these characters, who will be making appearances in the third book in the GROUPIE trilogy, MOGUL, in February!)

Don't forget you can own both GROUPIE and ROCK STAR in a low-cost bundle! Just $5.99 for both, at a savings of 25% off the listing prices if you bought both books separately!

My titles are also available on All Romance eBooks, and for Cyber Monday there are significant savings, which will help fit any of my titles into your Cyber Monday Budget. ;)

So Happy Shopping, Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

UNDER TEXAS SKIES chapters and notes #samplesunday

When I was a teenager, I was a huge fan of the classic rock band, the Eagles. I came to the party late, after their infamous breakup in the early 80s, so instead of concerts and new music I happily immersed myself in the vast discography of their old material. One record that I found myself drawn to was their 1973 release, DESPERADO. It was a theme album, which means all the music related to a central story. As a burgeoning storyteller myself, I let my own imagination run free for the drama that read between the lines. By the time I was sixteen, I got the idea that I could write a stage play for a musical in which this material could be used. My dream was that I would ultimately send it to the guys and, because they recognized the rare genius of this unknown Texas teen progeny, we would all work together to make my vision a reality.

When I dream, I dream big.

Since I consider Don Henley and Glenn Frey master lyricists, this would put me side by side with true idols. I felt pretty confident I belonged there until I started actually writing the darn thing, with no clue at all how to it justice. No matter how hard I tried, it still read like a clueless teenager wrote it, because – well, one did. Eventually I shelved that too. I still have the stage play, handwritten on notebook paper, safely tucked in a binder. But you’d have an easier time getting me to pluck all my fingernails off and dipping my hands in alcohol than show my sophomoric attempts to anybody, much less Glenn or Don.

Many years later, after I had successfully finished PICTURE POSTCARDS, I decided to pick the bones off of this forgotten corpse for a traditional romance novel. Instead of gamblers and outlaws, who found love in a widow and met their ends at the gallows, I decided to shift the focus to the feisty female lead and give her that basic romance staple – a marriage of convenience – to shake things up a bit. This, truly, was my homage to the romance novels I grew up reading, Janet Dailey's books in particular.

Like in my novel PICTURE POSTCARDS, Jessica Austin started out thin and beautiful – even though she was completely flawed by being ornery as a cranky rattlesnake. When I decided to concentrate on Rubenesque romances, I rewrote the story by showing how her weight was her fortress to keep men at bay. This is a struggle I know all too well. You can’t be tempted if you don’t tempt anyone, right? Well, that strategy only works as long as there aren’t any men who find you attractive. Even when you carry some extra weight, you’re going to find someone who sees beyond your size and falls in love with all those faults you think are deal-breakers, when really they’re the things that draw people to you. Like Jessica, I’m stubborn and controlling, which usually sends folks running to the hills. For my husband, he just tells me I’m a force of nature while he sits back and enjoys the ride.

No matter what Hal Sparks says, you just never know.

Rather unwittingly, Jessica herself ends up the “Desperado” character – running from love and betting her heart on material things she thinks she can’t lose. (This is a revelation I just made upon this writing.)

Naturally the best way to mix things up for my heroine was to introduce a very tempting cowboy who didn’t find her weight any kind of barrier at all. This drives the conflict in a setting that, as a native Texan, I know all too well. (Trivia: the cover photo is taken near my hometown of Abilene, Texas, at a place called Fort Phantom Hill.) This is where I grew up and a place my heart still calls home.

UNDER TEXAS SKIES gave me the opportunity to play around with some of the elements I love, specifically Texas, sexy Southern men and the excitement of an unpredictable thunderstorm. Like the marriage of convenience, these are fan favorites in the romance genre, which makes UNDER TEXAS SKIES one of my top sellers.

You can read a sample chapter here.

Now you can own UNDER TEXAS SKIES along with my books LOVE PLUS ONE and PICTURE POSTCARDS all for one low price. Purchase my RUBENESQUE ROMANCE BUNDLE of three books for only $3.99!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Readers! Special Holiday Savings

I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, thanks mostly to all my readers, reviewers and fans. You all took a chance on me, read my work and gave me honest and enthusiastic feedback. What's more, you shared it with others, who shared it with others still. One ripple led to another, which led to another, which still continues on in ways I had only hoped to see. Your passion for these stories and these characters inspires me and drives me to do better as I continue the series, and turn my focus to the future. It's just such an amazing process to witness and be a part of. I am both so rewarded and deeply humbled.

So along with my profound thanks, I'd like to offer holiday savings on some of my titles.

For Thanksgiving, I'm offering my paranormal romance, "My Immortal," for 30% off on Smashwords, using the coupon GQ57H at checkout all throughout Thanksgiving Day.

You can read some back story here, and a sample chapter here.

Starting Black Friday and running until Sunday, I will offer all my titles listed on All Romance Ebooks at 25% off. This includes the best-selling Groupie/Rock Star series.

For Free Reads Friday, I'm offering my Rubenesque Romance Sampler. This will give you some insight into these stories, as well as three sample champers of my Rubenesque titles.

Thanks again for reading. Happy holidays to you and those you love.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's my birthday, but you get the gift. ;) #freekindlebook

November 21 is my birthday, and the Universe has been exceptionally generous to me this year. I thought I'd share these blessings with others by offering a little something to all of you.

Most of you who have read my books are familiar with my romances or gritty dramas, but one of my favorite books that I've written is geared more toward the kid in all of us. It's called COMIC SQUAD, and it features some of my favorite characters ever in a story near and dear to my heart.

Not only is it a labor of love, it's the baby I conceived, labored and delivered thanks to my beloved hubby, @MrGeevie.

My husband, Steven, is a geek. A loud and proud, card-carrying, comic-book-collecting, Doctor-Who-salivating geek. He was going to Comic Con before it was the "hip" thing to do, back when it only cost $45 to go all four days. This was back when he pursued his passion by managing a comic book store. His ultimate dream is to own one.

This is the kind of guy who has spent hours in a darkened theater watching "Star Trek" movie marathons, and has seen almost every comic book movie at its midnight showing.

You wanna talk romance: our very first date was at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood when he saw that the 1982 geekgasmic "Tron" was playing. I indulged him because I'm a geek in my own right (Journey had provided the music for the soundtrack) but I guess I shoulda known then exactly what I was getting into.

When we first moved in together I found myself up to my ears in discarded Magic the Gathering collectible card wrappers. By 1999 I still hadn't seen Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and so he had to correct this grievous wrong by making me watch the original three back to back in one sitting.

(For those who think I'm making you wait for the GROUPIE Trilogy, thank your lucky stars I'm not George Lucas. S'all I'm sayin.)

The ringtone of his cell phone is the Doctor Who theme, and his text alert is a Dalek. If he and Dr. Sheldon Cooper got into a debate over the finer aspects of comic books or science fiction, he'd win and Sheldon would finally short circuit as a result.

Not only is he a geek, he's a carrier. Thanks to Steven I have been sitting right beside him at those midnight showings. I have become versed in things like Doctor Who and Star Wars, and I live for The Big Bang Theory each and every Thursday night.

Essentially, I've become Penny.

After living with him for many years, I decided to dig a little deeper in the geek sandbox to come up with a story that would be accessible to all readers, not just the adults I usually cater to. It was a challenge, because the way my demented mind works I thought for sure I'd end up writing something more Flowers in the Attic than Stand By Me.

But I had a whole lot of fun watching these comic book adventure movies, so I really wanted to flex my muscle past all the angst and drama and write one. More importantly, I wanted to write a story that involved a young comic book fan that was a kick-butt, wickedly smart girl. I knew I could related to her because I know what it means not to fit in with any group. But I wanted to take all the confidence hard won as an adult and stuff it into the fearless mind of an adolescent. As a result, Alice Thornton was born.

Perhaps I say this because I am, in fact, her mother, but Alice is one of the bravest, strongest, most solid heroines I have ever had the pleasure to write. She's quick thinking and fearless, and determined to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves most.

She's what I wish I could have been at age 12.

At first, her devotion is saved specifically for a fictional hero named Joe Dakota, who came alive only through panels of an old comic book she used to share with father. These familiar stories bring her comfort in the wake of her dad's death. They also drive a big wedge between Alice and her mother, the over-worked and under-appreciated Barbara Thornton, who learned the hard way there were no such things as superheroes.

Both Barbara and Alice are uprooted from their comfortable existence and thrown into a new town where neither one off them fit in, especially with each other.

Serendipitously, however, Alice happens upon the only other person in her vicinity that would have any use for her or her antiquated box of old comic book memorabilia - an opportunistic little weasel named Dwight. He owns the local comic book store and really, REALLY, wants to get his hands on a piece of her rare paraphernalia. In the world of "Joe Dakota," only five issues of a 3-D comic book were released, to go along with a matching pair of 3-D glasses. Time had scattered the collectibles so that no one owned a matching set, making it Dwight's lifelong pursuit to do just that.

When Dwight sees she has the glasses, he takes it as a cue from fate that he is destined to have them, since he already owns one of those rare five issues. He uses nefarious means to procure the object of his desire and inadvertently tearing open a portal between their world and that of the fictional "Joe Dakota."

This causes quite a hullabaloo in their peaceful little burg as an evil villain gains access to their town and all the unsuspecting adults in it. The only people who know what's wrong - or how to fix it - are a hodge-podge group of geeks who must depend on each other and their individual strengths to subdue the bad guy before he takes over their world.

When I first wrote this book for NaNoWriMo many years back, a Myspace friend who read along as I posted sample chapters asked if she could read it to her class. I, of course, said yes. The kids loved it, and every adult I've shared it with feels the same way. Yet for some reason it is my slowest moving book, which breaks my heart and confounds the hubby. Nearest we can figure, it just hasn't found its audience yet hidden adrift all the other titles for middle grade readers.

So here's the deal. It's my birthday but I'm the one who's gonna be giving the presents. I'm going to give away Kindle copies of Comic Squad. If you have a kid in your life, especially on your Christmas gift list, give it a read and see if it's something you'd like to pass along as a present of your own.

This is a book about finding the hero in yourself - and in your family and friends. I'm extraordinarily proud of it. (It is my baby, after all.) I hope to finish and release book 2 by July, and I've got my sights set on the San Diego Comic Con to premiere it.

(If you're gonna dream, dream big.)

All I need are people to fall in love with it and champion it like Groupie. It's not filled with the adult stuff I normally write, but if you have a young reader in your life, I'm pretty sure he (and especially she) won't be disappointed. There are huge spiders, fireworks, magic potions, evil villains and kids trying to save the day. What's not to love?

So join our party, won't you? This holiday season, free your inner geek!! :D

Monday, November 19, 2012


Will there be another book in the GROUPIE/ROCK STAR series?

Yes. The third book, MOGUL, is scheduled for a February 2013 release, ideally Valentine's Day or thereabouts.

How many books are in the series?

There are three in the original series that star Andy, Vanni and Graham. But MOGUL will introduce characters that will spin off into a new series geared to a YA audience, starring a full-figured singer named Jordi. That book, FIERCE, will feature some of your favorite characters from GROUPIE, LOVE PLUS ONE, UNDER TEXAS SKIES and PICTURE POSTCARDS, and should release in the fall of 2013.

Why isn't ROCK STAR or the GROUPIE/ROCK STAR BUNDLE available on iBooks?

They have a different reviewing process that varies in when books are made available. Both have been submitted and should be available any day - I just can't provide a specific date as to when.

Will the GROUPIE series end with a HEA (happily ever after) for Andy and Vanni?

Like the Go-Gos famously lips are sealed. The ride is still in motion, with a lot of twists and turns to come. It'll be a lot more fun if you don't know where the dips and drops are - kinda like Space Mountain. ;) I think you'll find, though, whereas ROCK STAR focused on the escalating drama that kept Andy and Vanni apart, MOGUL revives some of the romantic spark as they fight to stay together. (If you thought it doesn't get any better than Andy's birthday in ROCK STAR, rest assured... it TOTALLY does.) But the book begins with an explosion - so you'll have to reach the epilogue to know for sure. ;) What I will guarantee is that each storyline introduced in GROUPIE and ROCK STAR will be fully resolved.

Any chance of an early release?

Not likely, but I will try to share some sneak peeks along the way. I do recommend reading LOVE PLUS ONE, because the lead character in that book (Shannon) along with her fairy godfather (Jorge) will make memorable appearances in MOGUL, to sprinkle some of their matchmaking magic on some of your favorite characters. ;)

If you have any other questions regarding the series, leave them below and I'll try to answer what I can.

Happy reading!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Author notes and free chapter of "Love Plus One"

I wrote LOVE PLUS ONE as a protest of sorts. I’ve been plus-sized since elementary school, and even though I didn’t see any protagonists or heroines in contemporary romantic fiction that looked like me, I still managed to have a fairly active love life almost from the time I decided I wanted one.

Yet if I found any overweight characters introduced in romance novels, they generally played second fiddle to the protagonist. Their extra weight proved fodder for comic relief or a negative characterization tool, making the female less sympathetic.

Eventually I woke up to this subliminal message that suggested one had to be perfect to be romanced by the handsome prince charming, but not before succumbing to it myself.

In 1995 I finished my first “romance” novel, PICTURE POSTCARDS. I had leaned heavily on this ‘standard,’ mirroring all those stories I had read as an impressionable young girl. I made my protagonist blindingly beautiful and perfect in every way – physically speaking – because I bought into the notion that was what it took to find love in a romance novel. Imagine my surprise when I was told by publishers that she wasn’t relateable. It was a fair criticism given I couldn’t relate to her either as I had never had the experience of being blindingly beautiful or perfect in every way. I wrote what I thought would “fit into” the romance genre, rather than out of my own experiences, and this rendered my protagonist one-dimensional.

Ultimately I shelved the project, but the critique stayed with me. I wasn’t sure how to “write what I know” when my experiences with romance didn’t resemble anything out of a paperback novel, no matter how many of them I read. Yet I knew what love was, I knew how to manage long-term relationships. How was I supposed to convey this in my own voice, when most books out there spoke a completely different language?

Like LOVE PLUS ONE’S heroine, Shannon, I had to step out of the shadows and discover my voice was one that deserved to be heard. My stories were worth sharing – and were completely relatable for the average American woman, who resembles size-12 Shannon more than the beautiful, perfect (read: slender) heroines I had always read about.

By 2007, when I wrote LOVE PLUS ONE, I was ready to tackle a protagonist who wasn’t so perfect, since I myself was imperfect. I wanted to show what my experiences were finding my own prince charming, where I would find love and acceptance from a romantic hero who could love me for all my traits, not just some number on a scale. I also vented about all those back-biting beauties who played nice to the fat girl for their own self-serving purposes. Many felt I was no threat to the men they wanted to pursue and therefore easily discarded – and this proved especially toxic when I dared to believe I could get the guy in question.

Shannon’s insecurity that I describe in the book has also come to represent my own unsteady steps toward this acceptance in my own mind. I dared to stand against mainstream media and proclaim that girls who are imperfect, who represent those outside the norm, can be beautiful, can be desired, and can be loved.

That is Shannon’s journey in LOVE PLUS ONE, but it was ultimately mine as well. Apparently it is a message that resonates; it is the top selling book I’ve published, nearly double that of my second best seller. The most rewarding part of the process is when a reader tells me how much the book touches her, and how much she relates to Shannon’s journey.

I’ll let the Danielle Steels of the world write about thin, blindingly beautiful heroines. I prefer those heroines who are beautifully, wonderfully, imperfect. They’re much more fun to write. And I’m convinced they are completely lovable, because I love them completely.

To read a sample chapter of LOVE PLUS ONE, click here.

Here's some music to set the mood. ;)

To read more behind the scenes stuff with more samples, check out my RUBENESQUE ROMANCE SAMPLER.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For those in a GROUPIE/ROCK STAR afterglow - #samplesunday reads

Recently you lovely people catapulted GROUPIE/ROCK STAR onto the best-seller list for the Kindle Store in Women's Contemporary Fiction. Many of you fell in love with the story and are anxious to read Book 3 - MOGUL - which I'm writing as fast as my little fingers can carry out all my diabolical plans for Andy, Vanni and Graham.

(You can join the conversation for theories about what may happen next on Maryse's Book Blog Spoiler Thread.)

Until then, if you're in an end-of-book funk, anxious for another story, I have a few suggestions for your #samplesunday.

For a free, shorter, Rock Star Fantasy read, I recommend my highly rated novella, SAN FRANCISCO SERENADE.

If you're ready for another book and you like the pop culture/entertainment aspect, I recommend LOVE PLUS ONE, a story where a shy production assistant ends up in front of the camera, unwitting star to the next big dating reality show. I recommend this book for my GROUPIE fans especially... you'll see why in MOGUL. ;)

Here's a sample chapter to get you started.

Don't forget that you can enter to win one of five autographed copies of my supernatural thriller, TASTE OF BLOOD, on Goodreads throughout the month of November.

A top sample of that book can be found here.

So happy reading everyone! And feel free to drop me a line and tell me what you think.

(Amazon reviews are also welcome and appreciated!)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Before you read my books, there's something you should know.

I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel. I'm a heart-breaker and I don't care much for rules n' such. Being an independent writer, this means I don't have a big publishing house telling me how to mash my stories into neat little boxes to fit happy reader expectations.

I get to be raw. I get to live on the edge. I get to take left turns without rewriting my entire story to satisfy a crowd.

In my PRETTY IN PINK, Duckie would have gotten the girl.

I would want it no other way.

This puts me in a bit of a pickle when it comes to genre romance, since there are certain reader expectations a writer can only ignore at his or her own risk. I like the idea of falling in love book after book, story after story, but I don't like the idea that they all have to fit a basic A-B-C plot. There's no straight line in love and romance, and I like to explore every road that gets me there, even when (especially when) I need to color outside the lines to do so. So... I can either write formulaic, happy fairy tales... or I can get down and dirty with a little romantic realism and make love happen where I least expect it.

In other words, do I write to sell books, or write books I would love to read?

What to do... what to do?

I like to be real in my work because I think that makes things more interesting. I write flawed characters because I enjoy the struggle to mold them into something we can all care about and root for. Sometimes they mess up. Sometimes they mess up big-time.

Sometimes they don't even have the audacity to be ashamed about it.

In the case of GROUPIE/ROCK STAR, which hit the best-selling list in the Kindle Store for Women's Contemporary Fiction this week, I write about a polyamorous bad boy rocker. His addiction to attention and sex wreak havoc on his relationship with a quote-unquote normal girl who had the misfortune of falling in love with him even when he couldn't offer her anything - much less an exclusive commitment.

He's like any other commitment-phobe, only with plenty of opportunity to indulge his more primal, lustful nature to keep him at arm's length with the world. He makes no promises, he just takes what he wants when he wants it, damn the consequences. In other words... he's truly a bad boy rocker, collecting a jar of hearts right along with the notches on his bedpost.

Y'all watched Rock of Love. You feel me. When you love someone famous, he's already in a relationship with the entire world. You go into it with the idea you're going to share him on some level. That's just the way it is.

His dual nature of being a romantic hero and an opportunistic player makes him loads of fun to write. I get to tear him down, I get to build him up. He's quite pliable because he's unpredictable. He could be a one-dimensional cheater who doesn't really care about women (see PICTURE POSTCARDS,) but instead he's that wounded bad boy who needs to be loved so much he feels unworthy of the attention at his core. He wrestles with his love of women, his love of love and romance and with the idea he will never live up to anyone's expectations. So he self-destructs like many bad boys so many of us have found ourselves loving despite ourselves. And, if we're really young and naive, we want to save them - we want to be The One who turns it all around through nothing but indefatigable will. Hence why my heroine can't let him go, even when she meets someone older and more stable, who is willing to give her his world.

Just like my heroine Andy, I - and the readers who have come to love this story - flip-flop between sexy, dangerous Vanni and stable, gentlemanly Graham all the way through the saga. This is especially true in book two (ROCK STAR) where I get into why Vanni is so wounded. This happens as he messes up everything and sinks to an almost irredeemable level, along with everyone else who make mistake after mistake trying to force the hand of fate to deliver their own happy ending.

I am unabashed and unashamed as I keep that HEA (happily ever after) on a stick out in front of us all while I crowbar Vanni especially into the romantic hero people want him to be from the beginning.

(He's a fixer-upper. What can I say?)

As such, Groupie/Rock Star - while *technically* a romance novel centered around this main relationship - breaks a ton of "rules" along the way.

So before you invest the $5.99, here's some things you should know.

If your need for a HEA is more important than the road to get you there, you probably shouldn't buy this particular bundle. These are the first two parts of a long-suffering trilogy. It comes with a lot of angst as we all wait patiently for resolution through the first two WTF-cliffhanger novels included in the bundle. I wanted to write the HEA at the end of GROUPIE, honestly I did. But Vanni wasn't ready. And I couldn't bring myself to pretend he was. It's taken me a lot more time to shoehorn any of this into a story that offers a satisfactory payoff no matter if you're on Team Vanni or Team Graham... but the third won't be out until at least February. If you're all about the "money shot" at the end of every book, save yourself time and money and read my rocker-fantasy short SAN FRANCISCO SERENADE instead.

If you hate "cheaters" and triangles, GROUPIE/ROCK STAR isn't for you. I know many who read romance want the "fantasy" and not "reality" - but the fact that the world of celebrity comes with a different set of rules is what made me WANT to write about it. If I'm going to write about a bad boy rocker, I'm going to lay it all bare... the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact, the "cheater" criticism kind of amuses me, to be honest with you. Technically he's not really a cheater since he's not really promising exclusivity. I make no bones about it from the very beginning, in the very first chapter he is introduced. He came with a warning label, and these are the rules Andy accepts to be in the relationship. So if you need this guy to be more of a one-woman man than an unapologetic sex hound, save your money.

If you need a writer who caters to some paint-by-numbers formula to writing a romance novel, you should probably stay away from my books entirely. I can't always promise a HEA. Some have it. Some don't. Some are sweet. Some are tragic. Some are scandalous. And I'll never say which is which, because like River Song I believe life is more fun without spoilers. That's just how I roll. I'm a slave to the story, and can only produce what I would ultimately buy/believe when I, as the first reader, have it revealed to me. As an Indie, I have that luxury, which means I'm only going to sell the stories I myself would be happy to read.

And I don't like things tied up in a neat little bow every time. I like the emotional angst, the stomach-churning, toss-the-book-across-the-room, curse-the-writer, cry-and-wail and sometimes the not-know-how-it-all-turns out roller coaster of it all. I like ambiguity, I like WTF moments, and I like realism. I like getting down and dirty with flawed characters who aren't always likable, but somehow manage to be compelling anyway.

Love 'em or hate 'em, if you made it to the end of the book I've done my job.

Let me put it to you this way. I've been reading Harlequin novels almost as long as I've been watching soap operas. I don't remember many specific story lines from the HEA books, but I can recite Luke and Laura's push-and-pull history verbatim. I'm a Scorpio, tried and true. I like dark/gritty/naughty so I am unafraid to dig in the dirt.

You should have seen what my Barbies were doing in the 80s. It was scandalous. Cheating was the very least of what my characters would do.

Through my teen years I inhaled equal parts V.C. Andrews and Danielle Steel. I fed off of angst/drama/controversy/taboo that followed character over one specific relationship. I liked being uncomfortable and sad and strangely titillated when the story called for it. I trusted my writers to lead me wherever they wanted to go.

As a reader, as a writer, I believe story is king. I submit to it, heart and soul. I don't care about rules. I like not knowing where I'll end up. I love being surprised and having my expectations turned on a dime. As such I'll never be content to confine myself within the rigid structure of a white-cover romance novel. I want to dance across the line of what is expected and what is accepted.

People have said I'll have a hard time finding an audience because of this, especially with all the genre-hopping I'm known to do, but I don't think that's true. Each book comes with its own audience, one that can appreciate its virtues (and flaws) individually. I think there are people out there who are like me, who want to see stories delivered in a frank and honest way, even when I unearth the rotting corpses of societal taboos.

That is the writer I've always wanted to be, whether I sell hundreds or thousands of books... or millions. I apologize for none of it.

You may not like some of the twists and hairpin turns I take you on. And I may not always give the characters what we want for them, but I can promise I'll always give them what they need. Most of all... I promise to make the ride worthwhile for those who embrace the total abandon of story. We're in this together, you and I.

We may not get there in one piece (or one novel,) but we'll get there... together.

Happy reading.