Deep in the Cave


I’m not blogging today…Okay I lied. I’m blogging to tell you I’m not blogging. I’m deep in the writing/editing/creating cave. I have my summer short, Sea Breeze, with my editor and I’m waiting for her notes to work on any changes. My other current project is my novel Choosing to Dream, and I’m in the final stages of self-editing, trying to get it ready for my editor. I’ve signed up for another project, which I’m not yet ready to announce, but is due to editing soon, and I should’ve started a while ago, because I have a deadline looming. Arghhh. I need more hours in the day.

So, no blogging today. Nope, I’m getting off social immediately and going to work on edits.

How do you handle deadlines? Do you procrastinate until the very last minute or are always ahead of the game?

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Back to work.



Sea Breeze-a new summer romance

Sea Breeze is my brand new romance, and scheduled to release this summer as part of a Writing Wenches summer anthology. Here is my first teaser.



Stay tuned. You can find me and all my links online at

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Cover Reveal and Teaser- Light Beyond the Darkness by Tami Lund

Book Enthusiast

Light Beyond the Darkness is the 3rd book in Tami Lund’s Lightbearer Series. Whohooo. So excited for the next installment in this series. I can’t wait to read it.

Into the Light was the first book in the series. You can read my 5 star review on Goodreads.

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

They were supposed to be enemies, not lovers. Tanner Lyons is a shifter without a pack, which is just the way he likes it—until he rescues Olivia Bennett, princess of the Lightbearers. Suddenly, he finds himself fighting an attraction that makes no sense, because Lightbearers and shifters have been mortal enemies since the beginning of time. Intrigue, adventure, magic, and passion – you’ll find it all in Into the Light, Book 1 of Tami Lund’s exciting new fantasy series, Lightbearers.


Dawning of Light is the second book in the series, and I gobbled it up just as fast as the first. Here is my review on Goodreads.

Dawning of Light Cover

In this second installment of the Lightbearer Series, shifter Finnegan Hennigan is doing his damnedest to keep lightbearer Cecilia Druthers out of trouble. His job is made all the more difficult by the fact that Cecilia doesn’t want to stay out of trouble.
Despite their mutual annoyance, sparks ignite between this odd couple. As it becomes increasingly more apparent that someone is out to get Cecilia, the flares of attraction become impossible to resist, and soon, Cecilia and Finn tumble into, well, a closet, together. And then the bed. And if Finn wants to keep her there, he’s going to need to keep her alive.


Now book 3, Light Beyond the Darkness, is scheduled to release April 27, 2015, and I’ve been selected as one of the lucky bloggers to reveal this beautiful new cover. Check it out.

Light Beyond the Darkness

Here’s a synopsis.

In the third installment of the Lightbearer series, lightbearer Carley Santiago and shifter Reid Hennigan are running from their pasts. Hiding in the human world, they meet and sparks fly. But what happens when Carley’s past threatens to ruin her relationship with Reid?

Carley was once the premier chef for kings – the King of the Lightbearers, that is. But when her mate pushes her over a cliff and she miraculously survives, she flees her home, the coterie, knowing he will want to finish the job. She figures hiding in the human world is the best way to ensure her own safety.

While working as a chef at one of Chicago’s top restaurants, she meets Reid Hennigan, a lone shifter running from his own past. Carley tries to push him away – she wants nothing to do with anyone from the magical community – even a persistent shifter who insists he only wants to show her pleasure.

Reid Hennigan is another reject from Quentin Lyons’ defunct pack. When he received word his pack master was dead, Reid ran away from his pack, from pack life, having no interest in being forced to be subservient to another abusive pack master. Unfortunately for Reid, shifters are hardwired to desire to be part of a pack, and he finds himself wandering aimlessly through life, with no clear idea of what to do next. When he stumbles upon the shy lightbearer while eating the best steak of his life, he discovers a new lease on life.

Reid sets out to woo the beautiful, broken lightbearer. Passion turns to love, and Reid figures his life is pretty damn perfect, despite no longer having a pack. But Carley has secrets of her own, and her secrets.

And an excerpt to tease you.

“He sent it back?” Carley asked in disbelief.

Sara nodded. “He said he can tell you didn’t make it, and he refuses to eat anything from this kitchen that does not come specifically from you. He suggested you could come out and talk to him about it.”

Carley shook her head and rolled her eyes. She would just bet he was open to her going out into the dining room to talk to him.

“Tell him I’m not making steaks tonight. Tell him I’m focusing on the vegetarian dishes,” she said suddenly. She grinned when Sara walked away. That ought to teach him.

The waitress returned a moment later. “He wants the vegetarian special,” she said. “And the key lime pie.” She tilted her head and gave Carley a quizzical look. “What’s going on with you and that guy? I thought you said you didn’t know him?”

“I don’t,” Carley insisted. “I know…someone close to him,” she said. She knew Tanner and his mother, Ariana, Finn, and Lisa, the shifters who were currently living in what had once been Carley’s home, the lightbearers’ coterie. Whether this shifter knew them or not, she had no idea. But they were the same species. That meant he was closer to them than any other species, right?

She washed her hands and nudged Eric away from the vegetable station. “He wants our vegetarian special? I’ll make him a vegetarian special,” she announced, and she set to work chopping every damn type of vegetable she could find.

When Sara returned with the empty plate from the shifter’s table, she held it up for Carley’s inspection and said, “He wants to speak to you. He said he’ll summon the manager if you don’t go out there.”

Carley’s heart sank. The manager would undoubtedly force the issue, if it was brought to his attention. He saw no reason why his chef wouldn’t want to go out into the dining room and schmooze customers.

“Fine,” she grumbled as she sliced a wedge from one of the key lime pies she had made earlier in the day. She deliberately dropped it onto its side on the plate and didn’t add garnish before shoving a few strands of hair behind her ear and stomping out of the kitchen.

“Here,” she said as she unceremoniously dropped the plate onto the table.

The shifter gave the sloppy slice of pie a cursory glance before lifting his pale blue eyes and focusing so wholly onto Carley that she was certain he saw absolutely nothing else in the room at the moment. How could someone be that focused? She didn’t think she’d ever had anyone pay her such full attention in her life.

She fidgeted, nervously twisting her hands together before she realized what she was doing and clasped them behind her back. The shifter continued to stare at her.

“You owe me for that one, Carley.”

She visibly jerked at the sound of his voice, low and deep and smooth as whiskey.

“For what?” she asked, wondering how in the world he knew her name and for what she could possibly owe him. As far as she knew, she’d never met the man before yesterday.

“That dinner. As enticing as it was eating something with your magical stamp on it, forcing me to eat vegetables does not put me in a particularly good mood.”

She blinked owlishly. “I didn’t force you to eat vegetables.”

“You refused to make me a steak.”

“Sean’s steaks are practically as good as mine,” she protested.

“‘Practically’ isn’t yours.”

With a great deal of effort, she pulled her gaze away from his and made a swift perusal around the restaurant. All human, and none were paying them any particular attention, other than the ones she knew were listening at the door behind her.

“Do I know you?” she asked.

“Not yet,” he replied.

She frowned. “What is that supposed to mean?”

His voice pitched low. “It means I intend to get to know you, every inch of you, from the inside out. I intend to possess you. I intend to do things—” He reached for her, and she pulled away as if he was about to hit her. He froze, mid-reach and mid-sentence. And then he slowly lowered his hand.

“You’ve been abused,” he stated, matter-of-factly.

She shook her head, trying to deny it. Don’t go there. Don’t go there.

“Past lover?”

She shook her head again. How had the conversation turned to this?

“Family member then.”

“No,” she finally managed to get out.


“Stop,” she said as she lifted her hand, palm facing out. “Just stop. This is none of your business. I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name, and I have no idea how you know mine. I—” He cut her off.

“My name is Reid. And one of your employees referred to you by name yesterday, when I went into the kitchen to meet you.”

“Fine. Fine. Reid. Look, Reid, obviously you know what I am, and I know what you are. So can we just be honest with each other? What do you want from me?”

“I was in the middle of telling you when you flinched away as if you expected I would hit you.”

Carley blew out a breath. Damned instincts. But it was hard to change the only way she knew how to interact with men.

“I don’t know how you found me, but—”

“It was purely by accident.”

She drew in a ragged breath. “Fine. By accident. Whatever. Look, I’m trying to establish a nice, normal life here. One that doesn’t involve shifters or lightbearers or anyone else from the magical community for that matter. That means there isn’t any room in that nice, normal life for you. So the best thing for you to do is just finish up that key lime pie and go back to whatever pack you came from, okay?”

“I can’t go back,” he replied. “And it isn’t acceptable that you have no room in your life for me.”

Was he serious? She stared at him. He certainly looked serious. If he was joking, he was doing a damn fine job of acting deadpan. Too fine a job.

“I don’t understand,” she finally said.

“Which part?”

She flapped her hand. “All of it. What do you mean, it isn’t acceptable? Since when do you have any say in my life?”

“Since I entered it and decided I want you.”

She stared again, her jaw falling open. “You want—”



“Clearly it isn’t for your quick wit.”

She snapped her mouth shut and stabbed her finger at the restaurant entrance. “Get out of my restaurant. You can’t have me. Get out. Now.” She didn’t wait to see if he complied. She turned and stalked back into the kitchen with her head held stiffly, refusing to turn around and look at him again. She didn’t need to, to know he was watching her. Lights above, she could feel the intensity of his stare without having to look.

Just as soon as the kitchen door swung shut behind her, she leaned against the wall and took great, gasping breaths. Her entire body shook as if she was in shock. Hell, she probably was.

Someone thrust a glass into her hand. The stench of bourbon assaulted her nose.

“Drink,” Vivian commanded. Carley obediently drank, and then sputtered and gasped when the amber liquid slid down her throat.

“What did he do to you?” Vivian demanded, clearly having decided she was coherent enough to speak of the incident.

“Nothing,” Carley said.

“Well, what happened, then? You’re shaking like a leaf. Something scared the crap out of you. What was it?”

Carley shook her head, but Vivian was a tenacious human being. Finally, Carley admitted, “I’ve never stood up to a man like that before.”

Vivian looked at her as if she’d just sprouted an alien head. Carley shook her head again.

“My father—he wasn’t exactly the most loving parent. And I ended up in a really bad relationship,” she said, conscious of the fact that she’d never spoken of this to anyone, not since the day she left the coterie, five months ago. “I never had the option to say no.” She smiled, just a little. “It sort of felt good.”

“Hell yeah, it did,” Vivian said fiercely. But then she frowned. “Problem with those types, though, is that they generally see someone like you as a challenge.”

“What does that mean?” Carley asked in alarm.

“It means that I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Mr. Rare Steak.”

You can find Tami Lund online everywhere. I highly recommend this series.












You can find me and all my links online at

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Why I won’t review your book

Great article. This is the same reason why I will decline to review if I can’t give a 3 star or higher. Just because I didn’t like the book doesn’t mean I want to discourage readers who may.

Barb Taub

Why do you give such high ratings to all the books you review?”

cocaineIt’s a fair question, and not the first time I’ve been asked. The answer is simple. I don’t review books I know I won’t like. That doesn’t mean I only accept them from a particular genre, but rather that I triage the ones I read. If I can tell right away that I won’t like it, I don’t accept it for a review. If I get a few chapters into it and realize my review will be under three stars, I tell the author. (Not one has ever asked that I go ahead with the review.)

I was adding a review to Goodreads recently for a book that had almost all five-star reviews and noticed there was one reviewer who only gave it two stars. I was curious, so I looked at that review. The reviewer…

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5 Tips to giving feedback on an ARC

Quick Tips

One of the benefits of being an author is knowing lots of other authors, many of which will offer free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review. You have a direct line to the author. It’s completely different than buying a book directly from the bookstore. In my opinion, receiving an ARC comes with a lot more responsibilities as a reader.

Let me explain. You just received an ARC or free copy for review. You’ve read the book, but there are… issues. What do you do?

Here’s what I do.

I agonize over what to say to the author. I weigh and measure what I should take into consideration and what not to. Is the book already published and available for purchase? Am I reading the final version, or is this a draft? The author may still have a last proofread and final edits to do.

It’s never easy to tell someone you have found flaws in something they’ve worked so hard on. You don’t want to hurt their feelings, but at the same time, it’s important to communicate the information to the writer. If you don’t tell them, how are they going to know?

Here are my tips to giving a critique on an ARC or free review copy.

1. Be honest. This is the most important and sometimes the hardest thing to do.

2. Send your feedback privately. There’s no need to post all the issues you found in a public review. If you received an ARC, you have direct contact with the author. Send a private message or email.

3. Be humble. Tell the author what you liked and what you would like to see more of. A pill is a lot easier to swallow with a little honey.

4. Be respectful. Explain to the author your comments are not meant to not to hurt, but to help them. It’s up to them to decide what to do with them.

5. Don’t be a Yes Man. It does no one any good to inflate their ego by telling them their book was amazing if there were issues that you should have mentioned. Their book may be a two star in its current state, but with a few revisions could be a five star.

In the long run, most authors will appreciate your honest feedback. Some may not.

In the end, wouldn’t you want to know? I would rather have the honest feedback and decide what to do with it than read it in a review. What about you? Would you keep the information to yourself or tell the author?

For more on this subject read my blog post Supporting Authors- The Ugly Truth.

You can find me and all my links online at Thanks for reading.

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5 Tips to help you Stay on Task

Quick Tips

It’s really easy to become distracted by—ooh, I have a new comment on my blog! Sorry.

See what I mean. Writers have a million different ideas pulling them in a billion different directions, not mention all of our blogging and social media commitments. So how do we stay on task and actually get any writing done?

  1. Turn off all social media- This means, when you sit down at your computer, or with your notebook, turn off your social media apps. If you cannot resist checking the notifications that pop up on your phone, then turn the darn thing off completely.
  2. Isolate yourself- I don’t mean lock yourself away, let yourself go, and become a hermit. I mean find a quiet place away from family distractions. If you don’t have a room or office you can be alone in, find a corner, plug in your ear buds, turn on your favorite playlist, and tune all others out. Let your family know that the ear buds are just as good as a do not disturb sign.
  3. Set personal goals-Make a goal for the week. I prefer weekly goals rather than daily. If I get in my weekly word count, it doesn’t matter if it was all in one day or over seven days, it’s still an accomplishment.
  4. Get support- Find a partner or whole group, that is interested in encouraging word count. It keeps you motivated to keep up and keep track. Cheer each other on. Go team!
  5. Stay in the zone- When you are in the zone, do not stop. Keep beverages, food, music nearby, and family at bay for as long as you can. It’s not easy to get in the zone, so make the most of it. Write and let the words flow. This is the moment you want to maximize, not when it’s forced.


Well, time to follow my own advice, and get back to work on my WIP. For more thoughts on time management for writers, check out my blog Staying on Task-Time Management for Writers.

Do you have any tips for staying on task you can share? Leave a comment.

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You can find me and all my links on my website at