Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

 ACAMH (Actual Conversation at my House):

Me, to Navy Guy: So, have you ever seen UFOs when you were flying?
Him: Not yet.
Me: But if you really DID and you're just lying to be part of a government conspiracy to cover it all up, you'd say no, wouldn't you?
Me: If I ever find out later that you saw an alien and didn't tell me, you're in SO MUCH TROUBLE.
Him: How would you ever find out?
Me: *dark look* I Just Would.

Happy New Year from my crazy family to yours!! xoxo Alyssa

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Christmas tree of books!!

Whee! My new publisher, Penguin Teen, made a Christmas tree of books and there's a whole layer of my upcoming Lucy Connors release, THE LONESOME YOUNG!!  Right underneath a layer of Laurie Halse Anderson's new book, which is thrilling, because I'm a total fangirl of her writing.  wow!

and here's the evolution of the entire tree:  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/lucyconnors

I can't wait for you to read THE LONESOME YOUNG (or recommend it to everyone you know who enjoys contemporary young adult novels with a dark, gritty feel), because so much of my heart and my own teen past is in this book.

Friday, December 13, 2013

just because I don't make this stuff up...

...although I could, if I wanted, because -- writer.  But, no.

TO:  Attendance office

RE: my daughter, grade 9 – our phone call of 12/12/13

Please excuse my daughter for being absent November 1, 4, 5, 6.  She had the flu and was very ill.  Apparently the illness also affected the part of her brain that is in charge of turning in notes. 

Thank you.

Alyssa Day, mother & backpack excavator

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I've just realized that censoring myself is blocking my creativity. And also maybe my intestines.  It is going to get crazy up in here in 2014, just be warned...

Monday, November 25, 2013


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And happy week of November 28, for my non-U.S. readers! <g>  I have a special surprise for you today - a sneak peek at Ryan Stone from the new book by one of my favorite authors!!

 Katie McGarry writes steamy young adult/new adult fiction, and she's not only amazingly talented, she's one of the sweetest and most gracious people I've ever met.  She was kind enough to say wonderful things about my upcoming YA/NA novel that I'm writing as Lucy Connors, THE LONESOME YOUNG, and I SO appreciate it!

I'm so pleased to be part of her release day excitement--because I can't WAIT to read this book!! So, without further ado, meet Ryan Stone from CRASH INTO YOU!!

Meet Ryan Stone from Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (releases November 26th)

Description: Eighteen and the pitcher for my high school team. Sandy-blond hair, light brown eyes, Red’s shirt, and a baseball cap.

Loves: Beth Risk, baseball, and writing.

Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams

Favorite Music Video: “How Country Feels” by Randy Houser. Everyone says the video reminds them of me and Beth.

Favorite Memory: Waking up next to Beth on those nights she sneaks out to visit me. She always looks so beautiful and peaceful in her sleep.

To find out more about Ryan, Crash Into You, and to win prizes visit her HERE!!

And here's the scoop about CRASH INTO YOU:  

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker—a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks—no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Conference tips for RWA national convention for first-time attendees!

My first RWA national conference was the amazing Denver location in 2002 and I have never missed a single one yet - I even flew back for the NY conference the year I lived in Japan!  I've loved every bit of it, but I'm a mad extrovert, and I know conference can be a bit overwhelming for the first-time attendee or the introvert.  I've put together a top 10 list, in no particular order, of ideas to help you make your conference GREAT! I hope it's helpful:

1. if you're an extrovert like me, you're probably fine. if you're an introvert, like so many authors are, then you have to force yourself to reach out and talk to people. Sometimes you'll be surrounded by strangers. Look for other people with FIRST TIMER on their conference badges and strike up a conversation. Likely, they're just as freaked out as you and will be happy to meet new friends.  Some of the people I met at my first conference are my best friends in the WORLD today, 11 years later, because they've gone through it all with me.

2.  Even if your head is spinning, try to go at least take a glance at all that's offered to map out what you want to do. The conference booklet in your registration bag is a great resource - I generally try to get mine Tuesday night or Wed. morning and then I take time to sit with a cup of coffee and go through the entire thing with a highlighter, marking out sessions I'd like to see or book signings I really want to attend.  

3.  If big hotels overwhelm you, take 20 minutes to walk the hotel (the conference room part) before things get kicking. Then you'll have a general idea and won't be lost when you're trying to get to a workshop.  There is usually a map in the conference booklet.  

4.  As speakers, we all know audience members will be coming in late or leaving early for pitch appointments, editor meetings, or whatever.  But if you know you have to leave a session early, please be considerate and sit on the aisle near the back instead of front row center.

5.  At the lunches, introduce yourself to everyone at your table.  Asking "what do you write" is a sure-fire conversation starter because we're all excited to talk about that to someone other than our pets, right? <g>

6.  Even if you're overwhelmed, try to go to as many sessions as possible.  if two or more of your favorites conflict, check the program to see if one of them won't be taped. If so, go to that one and listen to the other on the conference CDs.

7.  When noise and chaos get to be too much, a room service lunch or just a nap can be extraordinarily refreshing.

8.  If you don't have a publisher party or agency dinner to go to, Thursday and Friday evenings can seem deflating.  This is a great time to set up a dinner with friends or sightsee in the city, so you have exciting plans, too.

9.  Remember that whether the speakers say it or not, almost every workshop on craft should be prefaced with "This is the way I do it, but different things work for different people."  We all write in different ways--do NOT, no matter WHAT, walk out of a workshop and think "I'm doing everything wrong because my POV shifts happen by chapter instead of by scene" or whatever.  Many roads to Shangri-La, my friends; learn how to improve, but NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!!

10.  Finally, and not to be trite - I really mean this - have FUN!!!  The chance to learn and network with hundreds (up to 2000, right?) authors does not come along every day.  Take in everything you can and worry about digesting it all when you get home.  Meet new people, make new connections, and enjoy this grand adventure!!

Good luck!! And if you see me in the halls, come up and say hi!! I really mean it!! I'm looking forward to making new friends!!


Watch for THE LONESOME YOUNG, by me as Lucy Connors coming in April!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Excerpt!! The Curse of the Black Swan!!

Hey, gang! If you haven't read chapter 1 of The Curse of the Black Swan, coming July 2nd in the ENTHRALLED anthology, check it out HERE!

With wonderful stories from three other amazing authors, it's a very hot and wonderful read!

So are you back? Did you read chapter 1?  OK, drum roll please!

Here's chapter 2!!
[Excerpt from The Curse of the Black Swan, coming in ENTHRALLED, by Alyssa Day, copyright Alesia Holliday]

Chapter 2

Brynn raised her backpack to show him she had a purpose under that bench and wasn’t trying to pounce on him, and then she walked a few feet away, ducked behind a large flowering bush, and yanked on her clothes.  After that, she stopped to hyperventilate a little bit, because he’d seen her transform.  Catching her naked wasn’t nearly as worrying as catching her turning human, because this was Bordertown and sometimes people who were different enough found themselves sold on the black market to collectors.
This guy, though, he’d seen her, and now she had to wonder why it was that she hadn’t noticed him sitting there, when she was usually so very careful, why the moon magic hadn’t shielded her from his view, and what the consequences might be.  The only clue offering her even a little rational thought was the BFTD fire helmet sitting on top of a pile of what looked like firefighter gear next to him.  Even she, self-proclaimed hermit that she was, knew the insignia of the Bordertown Fire Department.  Maybe he was one of the good guys.
Or he’d killed and eaten a firefighter and stolen the guy’s uniform.  Again, this was Bordertown.
The man was seriously beautiful.  Even in the dim light from the decorative lanterns lining the square, she could see that he was an amazing specimen of sheer male virility.  He had long, muscular legs and broad shoulders that tapered down to a narrow waist.  He was no poster-perfect model, though.  His dark hair was too long, his face was too stern ever to be called pretty, and she could have sworn his eyes had gleamed briefly with a spark of hot orange-gold, but in spite of all of that—or maybe because of all of that—she’d felt a bolt of interest that had registered as pure sensation the minute she’d completed her transformation and seen him sitting there.
But he’d seen her as a swan, and that was a problem.  She stepped out from behind the bush and stared him down, evaluating which step to take next.  None of her options were good.   He sat with the perfect stillness of a hawk or a falcon, and like those creatures, he gave off the impression of leashed power that could explode into action in a fraction of a second. 
It amused her that she sometimes thought in terms of other avian species, after the early years when she’d rejected everything about the curse.  Defiance and stubbornness had sometimes been the only supports underpinning her hold on sanity.  Curses did not travel lightly on their victims.
“Maybe we could talk,” he ventured, holding his hands out, palms up, at his sides. 
She realized he’d been careful not to stand, and he wasn’t making any gesture or movement which might startle her, and the knowledge calmed her a little more.  On the other hand, psychopaths were usually good at luring women in with a false sense of security. 
A breeze coming from behind him teased her senses, and she sniffed the air.  “Why do you stink like fire?”
He smiled, probably laughing at Brynn and her abrupt question, especially since the firefighter outfit was right there next to him on the bench.  Normal people tended to mock her for her lack of social skills, anyway.  She was better with animals.  They didn’t mind her shyness, her long silences, or her general inability to tell the little white lies that oiled the wheels of polite society.
Right.  She didn’t need another source of pain in her life, even if it happened to come from the hottest guy she’d seen in years.  She wheeled around to head out.
“Stay,” he said, and the word came out like a command, which freed her from indecision. 
Commands were easy to ignore. 
She took a step toward home but, out of the corner of her eye, she saw him lift a hand as if reaching out to her.
“Please.”  His voice was hoarse when he said the word, as if it were one he rarely used, and something about it made her stop when nothing else would have.
She’d been alone for so long, and part of her yearned so desperately to make a connection that it loosened her determination and left her wavering--indecisive and unsure--simply because he’d used the word please.
He sighed, and the mere exhalation of air carried more meaning than it should have.  It told her that he, too, might be lonely, or at least sad.  For some reason, she wanted to know what had caused it.  She took a breath of her own and turned, clutching her backpack tightly in her hand as if it contained a weapon with which to defend herself from crazed killers or from an incredibly hot man who carried his sorrow in his deep, dark-chocolate eyes and slumped shoulders.
“I just want to talk,” he said, and she could almost taste the richness of his voice. 
As a woman who spent every third night singing, she was exquisitely, almost painfully attuned to nuances of tone and pitch.  His voice was beautifully low and deep; a calming baritone that stood out from the symphony of cracked altos and drunken sopranos she was forced to endure every third night.
“Look at the swan!”
“Do you think it’s lost?”
“Maybe it thinks the statue is its mate!”
If they knew her real story, maybe they’d quit laughing at her.  But if people quit laughing, they might begin to pity, and Brynn knew that would be worse. 
“I understand if you want to go.  A beautiful woman, alone in the middle of the night with a strange man,” he continued, but now he’d sunk his head into his hands, and she could tell he didn’t hold out much hope that she’d stay.
She should go.  She should.  Two things stopped her, though:  his voice when he’d said please, and the BTFD insignia on the pile of smoke-drenched fabric next to him on the bench.  She decided to conclude that he was a firefighter.  If he’d killed the original owner of the uniform, there would have been less smoke and more blood.
She thought about that.  Gruesome, but her logic seemed pretty sound, so she dropped down to sit on the end of his bench.  “What was on fire?”
He glanced up, clearly surprised that she’d decided to stay.  A glimmer of a smile crossed his face, and it transformed his face from ruggedly handsome to a startlingly dark beauty.  She realized that, if he ever flashed a real smile at her, her legs might collapse out from under her.  Before she could even suspect him of flirtation, sadness dropped back over his features like a dark cloak, and she realized that seduction was the last thing on his mind.
“An apartment building, an ice cream shop, and Ancient City Antiques,” he said. 
Brynn’s heart jumped into her throat.  Too much of Bordertown was built out of wood, and too much of it had been around since the 1800s.  Fire in an apartment building would be devastating.
“Did—did everyone get out?”
“This time.  But what about next time?  We can’t seem to catch him.”  He clenched his jaw so hard she was surprised his teeth didn’t shatter, and she was sure that she saw a gleam of orange fire briefly light up his eyes.
What he’d said, though, shocked her into stunned disbelief.  “Somebody did that on purpose?  To an apartment building?”
He aimed a long, measured stare at her before he finally answered.  “This is Bordertown.  What haven’t you seen done on purpose around here?”
She flushed, feeling na├»ve and a lot like a fool, but she didn’t jump up and run away, no matter that it was her first, second, and third instinctive reaction.  Something about his attitude—his anger at the arsonist who’d shown so little consideration for human life—caught at her and made her want to know more about him.
Anything about him.
Like his name, for instance.
“I’m Brynn Carroll, and I can’t believe you haven’t asked me about being a swan.  That’s usually a big topic of conversation with me and new people,” she said, lifting her chin and squaring her shoulders.  Ready for the barrage of questions.
She could do this.  She could meet a new person.  She firmed her lips and then found the courage to hold out her hand.  Normal people shook hands.
“Sean O’Malley, and I figured you’d tell me when and what you wanted to tell.  This is Bordertown, after all,” he said, and then she caught what had only been teasing the edges of her senses before--the slightest lilt of Ireland infusing the music of his voice.
When his big, strong hand carefully enfolded hers, a gentle wave of warmth spread over her.  She was glad to be sitting down, because she suddenly knew her knees would have gone weak and wobbly if she’d been standing.  He was big, and he looked rough and scary and dangerous, especially here in the dark, illuminated only by the glow of the lanterns, but he’d taken her hand so carefully, as if it were something to be cherished.
As if she were someone to be cherished.
She pulled her hand away, banishing the fancies as she did.  Loneliness was her only companion most nights; that didn’t mean she had the time or inclination to transform a chance encounter into a romantic interlude.  Not even in the privacy of her deepest yearnings.
She already knew that love never, ever would be an option for her. 
“I have to go,” she blurted out, jumping up and ready to run.
As with please, the single word stopped her when a dozen might not have. 
“In a brightly lit, public place, I promise,” he said, holding his hand over his heart and smiling that almost-smile again. 
She started to shake her head.  He was too tempting, too intriguing, too . . . too everything.
“Unless you only eat bird seed.”  He finally stood, stepping back so as not to loom over her, which was good, since the top of her head came to about his nose. 
Her lips quirked into a smile, almost in spite of herself.  “No, I don’t eat bird seed.  I’m more of a pumpkin pancakes girl, actually.  With bacon.  Lots of bacon.”
He groaned; a deep noise that sounded like it came from the depths of his being, and it made her wonder what noises he’d make in the middle of love-making.  As soon as the idea danced into her mind, she blushed so hot that she was glad for the darkness.
“Bacon.  And eggs. And hash browns.  Coffee.  Lots of coffee,” he said.  “I think I’m going to like you, Brynn Carroll.”
“I am very likable,” she dared to say, as if she’d suddenly become a woman who knew how to flirt with an unbelievably gorgeous man.  Now he’d make fun of her, surely.
Instead, he grinned, and his smile felt like a gift he’d given her to unwrap.
“Breakfast,” she agreed.  “Where should we go?”
“Anywhere but O’Malley’s,” he said cheerfully, and she suddenly made the connection.
“You’re one of those O’Malleys?  The O’Malley’s Pub O’Malleys?” 
Everybody knew at least one of the O’Malleys; well, everybody except Brynn.  Until now.  They were big and brash; quick to anger and quicker to forgive, everybody said.  They’d owned the pub for more than a century, and everybody in Bordertown drank there or at the Roadhouse.  O’Malley’s had Irish music on the weekends, and Brynn had lingered outside the pub on occasion, listening to the lovely sound and wishing with all of her heart that she’d had the courage to step inside and join the fun.
Sean reached out to take her hand, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to hold hands with a woman he’d only met mere moments after she’d transformed from waterfowl to human. 
“Yes, I’m one of those O’Malleys, but don’t hold it against me.  I like to pretend I’m adopted,” he confided.

For the first time in a very long while, Brynn laughed out loud.
xoxo Alyssa

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I have stickers!

If you have an e-reader, bookmarks aren't all that useful anymore, so I have lovely stickers to put on your e-reader case (the cover of THE CURSED), and I've autographed them all!  Please send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Alyssa Day
PO BOX 600083
Jacksonville, FL 32260
and write STICKER on the back of the envelope, and we'll send one out to you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

So I have NEWS!!

From Publishers' Weekly Children's Books exclusive:
New York Times-bestselling author Alesia Holliday/Alyssa Day writing as Lucy Connors’s The Lonesome Young, about a Kentucky bad boy and a blue-blooded good girl who fall for each other, reigniting the long-standing feud between their families now fueled by drug-running and financial backstabbing, pitched as Romeo & Juliet meets Justified, first in a series, in a two book-deal, to Laura Arnold at Razorbill by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich (World)

The first will be out in hardcover in spring 2014!! I'm so glad I can finally share the news!!

I'm very excited about this series, set in the kind of town where I went to high school my junior and senior years, except Clark, Kentucky is darker, more dangerous, and definitely more exciting!! I can't wait to share more news.  For now, if you like or know someone who likes gritty contemporary YA novels, please have them follow me on Twitter or on Facebook!  Website to follow soon!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chapter 2 excerpt: THE CURSED

SHH! This is a special excerpt for newsletter subscribers--I'm not telling anybody else it's here until later!   Remember, chapter 1 is here

Chapter 2

Rio Jones knew she had maybe an hour, tops, before somebody found her.  She had that kind of luck; the kind that trips over cracks in sidewalks, falls off her bike in the middle of rush-hour traffic in the middle of Bordertown, and sees a major supernatural heavyweight kidnapping a kid in broad daylight. 
A major magical heavyweight.  She’d heard a flash of something so wrong—so other—in his thoughts that she’d nearly wrecked her bike when she’d turned to look at who or what was making that horrible noise.  The taxi hadn’t even clipped her that hard; she’d had far worse working as a bike messenger for Siren Deliveries. 
Not that most of the fancy companies she delivered to would believe they’d hired a company owned by an actual siren.  They just knew they got their packages on time.  Ophelia liked to hire humans as messengers.  She said they were slower but harder to distract.  More reliable.  Gave her the chance to focus on her budding opera career, instead of dealing with Fae and demon hatreds, feuds, and failures to deliver on time.  Punctuality was king in the cutthroat bike messenger wars, and Rio was human enough to pass muster. 
Rio nearly growled at the thought of Ophelia and her damned rules.  If Rio hadn’t been so focused on making it to her next delivery on time, she wouldn’t have taken that shortcut through the alley, and so she never would have rounded the corner in time to see the tall, dark-haired man step out of a limousine and snatch a small girl right off the street. 
The girl had screamed, Rio had slammed on the brakes of her bike and gone over the handlebars, and the kidnapping bastard had met her gaze with eyes that blazed a surge of dark power across the distance between them.  Black eyes, almost all pupil, had tried to bore into Rio’s mind until the struggling child had screamed again and the man had thrown the girl into the limo and slammed the door.  He’d given Rio one last dismissive glance as she knelt, bleeding, on the filthy pavement, and then he’d angled his tall body into the front seat next to the driver.  By the time he’d changed his mind and the brake lights had flashed on the limo, she’d seen them over her shoulder as she glanced back while racing away.  She’d used her throw-away cell phone to call in an anonymous report to the sheriff’s office, complete with license plate number, for all the good it would do. 
Bordertown hadn’t had any law of its own since the last demon uprising, when the rebels ate the sheriff. That very lawlessness was the draw for most of the people—human and, mostly, other--who lived, worked, and played in the five square miles of dimensional fold that lay hidden behind, beneath, and between the streets of Manhattan.  Bordertown was the Wild West, but the cowboys and outlaws of the typical frontier town were demon and Fae here.
Dangerous and deadly, with or without six-shooters.
But she’d made the futile call, and a few minutes later, still shaking, she’d tossed her cell phone in the back of the first trash truck she saw, with some vague idea that the kidnapper might trace it back to her if she kept it. 
It was all too little, too late, though.  She knew it.  She’d heard his thoughts—they’d shattered the everyday barrier she wore around her mind like an icy wind slicing through a flimsy scarf.  Her mental shield was plenty to keep out human thoughts; if she heard everything that people thought around her all day long, she would have gone insane years ago.
But this man—the kidnapper—he wasn’t human.  Okay, she was used to that, working for a company in Bordertown and living there, too, but he wasn’t a low-level demon or a Fae or an ogre or anything else she’d ever heard before.  Fae and demon royalty never leaked their thoughts, so they were out, too.  His thoughts had been wrong.  Dark and raging and, yeah, demons were often the same to a degree, but this guy was something . . . more.  Icy.  Determined.  Powerful. 
She wasn’t even sure how she’d known, but she’d somehow felt it.  His thoughts had crawled with power and focus—and once he’d changed his mind about her being beneath his notice—no loose ends had been the exact words running through his jagged mind—he’d aimed that focus at her. 
That had been eight hours ago, and she had no doubt that he’d been trying to find her every minute since.  She’d heard the rumblings of a new force in town from Europe who played with the Old Magic; a man bent on taking over organized supernatural crime.  It was too much to hope that this hadn’t been him.
“And one little freak of a telepath isn’t going to have a chance against that,” she muttered to her tiny stuffed fox before tossing it in her backpack.  She was already wearing her locket, as always, so there were the only two mementoes of her childhood safely retrieved.  Other than that, she didn’t know what to bother taking.  A couple of changes of clothes, all available cash, and her laptop.  Packing wasn’t exactly difficult when you lived in a closet disguised as a studio apartment and owned next to nothing. 
She was wasting time.  She knew where she had to go.  The one person whom she’d tried to stay away from, because he scared the crap out of her.  She knew he’d help—he was a private investigator.  She had money to hire him.  Problem solved. 
Luke Oliver had power; she knew it and everybody, even the riffraff, in Bordertown knew it, too.  He could help her figure out a way to find and help that child, and she was smart enough not to get caught up in the weird attraction she’d felt to the man whenever she’d made a delivery to him. 
A knock on the door broke through her stupid mental rambling and scared her so badly she stumbled and nearly tripped over her milk-crate coffee table. 
“Rio?  Rio, it’s me.  Are you okay?”
Rio’s heart slowly dropped out of warp speed, and she took a deep breath and opened the door.  Mrs. Giamatto, her landlady, stood just outside the door in a pale pink robe that had to be older than Rio.  The elderly woman gasped when she saw Rio, and the tips of her ever-so-slightly pointed ears turned a vivid pink where they peeked out of her fluffy white hair. 
“Oh, honey, I’m so sorry to bother you at this time of night, but I had a very odd phone call just now, and I wanted to warn you--”
“I know.  I’m leaving.”  Rio shouldered her backpack, picked up her bike and stepped into the hallway, pulled the door shut behind her, locked the door and handed Mrs. Giamatto the keys.  “Thank you so much.  I might be in a little bit of trouble, so I’m going to go away for a while.  I don’t want to bring any problems here.  Linda down the hall just had her baby, and of course I don’t want--”
“No!”  Mrs. Giamatto folded her arms across her frail chest and raised her chin.  “I won’t have it.  I know you, Rio Green, and you’re no trouble-maker.  Even if you did do something you shouldn’t have--and the gods know that’s easy enough to do in Bordertown--well, we stick together.  Nobody is going to mess with my tenants.”
For an instant—only a fraction of a moment—Rio saw someone else underneath Mrs. G’s little-old-lady surface.  Someone ancient; far older even than the renovated Victorian home in which they stood, and maybe older than New York itself.  Her landlady was more powerful than she appeared, it seemed, like so many in Bordertown.  But the memory of the kidnapper flashed into Rio’s mind, and she shuddered before shaking her head, too afraid to feel even her usual twinge of guilt for having given Mrs. G another of her many fake last names.  She was Rio Green with Mrs. Giamatto, Rio Jones at work with Ophelia and clients, Rio Smith with strangers, and Rio To Be Determined when she got the hell out of town after this debacle. 
Sometimes it was hard to keep all of her names straight, but a lifetime lived in the school of brutal knocks—and worse than knocks—had taught her caution.  True names held power, and she knew better than to offer hers up—even if she’d known what it was.  The names she used regularly were already beginning to take on a de facto sense of truth; at least enough for rudimentary spells to be cast.  It was maybe time to become Jane Doe.
“I love you for it, too, but he’s not an ordinary bad guy.  This is more trouble than we can handle.  I have to get help.  There was a horrible man.  Somebody with Old Magic.  He . . . took a child.  I think he plans to kill her.  Or worse.”
Mrs. G slowly nodded.  “You’re going to Luke?”
“I don’t think I have a choice.”  Rio took a deep breath and hugged her landlady and dear friend, and then she held out her laptop.  “Will you keep this for me?  Just for now?  I’ll try to keep in touch.  I’ll try to come back.”
They both knew neither might be possible.  When trouble came to somebody in Bordertown, it was often of the permanent kind.
Mrs. Giamatto took the computer and nodded, a hint of tears shining in her eyes.  She put her other hand in her pocket and held out an envelope. 
“Take this.  It should help.”
Rio glanced in the envelope, which was stuffed with hundred-dollar bills.
“I can’t take this.  I’m fine.  I have money; I just need to get to the bank in the morning--”
“You’ll take it,” Mrs. G said firmly, closing Rio’s fingers over the envelope.  “I never paid you for planting those flowers.”
Rio heard the edge of panic in her own laughter, and knew it was time to go.  “The going rate for landscapers is not a thousand dollars an hour, but I’ll take it as a loan for now.  I have to go.  If they called you, they know where I live.”
“Go.  The back stairs.”  Mrs. G hugged her again, the laptop caught between them, and then gave her a little push toward the dimly lit stairwell.  Rio grabbed her bike and ran lightly down the stairs and opened the always-locked door a couple of inches.  What she could see of the garden from her vantage point was empty of anybody or anything other than the marble statue of a very plump Pan eternally playing his lute in the fountain.  She slipped out and made sure the door clicked shut behind her, not that a door would hold out anybody who really wanted to get in, and headed for the garden gate, only to skid to a stop when the gate crashed open and three enormous, oddly misshapen men pushed their way into the yard. 
“Is that her?”  One of them said, in a broken, growly voice, like only part of him was human, and the other part was something ugly.  Nothing unusual for Bordertown, but this guy was big.  World Wrestling Federation big.  Half a mountain big. 
Rio dropped the bike and backed up, step by slow, cautious step, wishing for the millionth time that if she had to have a superpower it was something useful.  Like flying.  Or invisibility.  What was the use, really, of reading other people’s thoughts at a time like this?  She wouldn’t even be in this mess without her sorry excuse for a magical ability.
“I don’t know, she has a long braid, the boss said she had a long braid,” another one said in an unexpectedly high, squeaky voice that nearly surprised a laugh out of Rio.  Things that ugly and that big shouldn’t sound like Mickey Mouse. 
“Look, if you’re Rio Jones, the boss just wants to talk to you,” the first one said, his hands out at his sides in what was clearly meant to be a non-threatening position. 
“I don’t know anybody named Rio Jones,” she said evenly, eyeing the distance between herself and the fence.  “You have the wrong person.”
“See, that sounds like a lie,” Mountain Man rumbled, taking a step forward. 
The other two moved to flank her, and she pushed her fear aside and dropped her mental barrier, listening frantically for whatever they were thinking that might help her figure out how to escape. 
Mountain Man’s thoughts were so unsurprising she wouldn’t have had to be a telepath to figure them out.  Too bad the boss said not to kill her. Wonder if he’d mind if I play with her a little, first?
Squeaky’s mind wasn’t quite on business.  Shouldn’t have had that spaghetti Bolognese.  I need some antacids in the worst way.
And the third guy’s thoughts were so oily and incoherent that Rio nearly gagged just from brushing up against them.  Rip, shred, tear, bloody, bloody, Tuesday, lovely cake, lovely cake, rip, shred tear—
She slammed her mental barrier back in place and, in desperation, tried something that only an idiot would fall for.  She whipped her head to the side, stared at the gate behind them, and screamed.  “Rio! Run! These guys are here for you!”
Unbelievably, all three of them turned to look, so she ran the other way toward the fence like she’d never run before.  She put her hands on the flat surface of the wrought iron between two spikes and vaulted over like some kind of track star, marveling even as she flew through the air at what adrenaline could do for somebody in fear for her life.  Her ankle twisted a little as she landed; not enough for a sprain, but enough that she knew she’d need to ice it soon or pay the price the next day. 
If she lived to see the next day.  She hit the ground running and raced through the streets faster than she’d ever moved before.
Seventeen blocks.  Hit Tenth, turn left at the charms and potions shop just past the High Line Park entrance at 14th, and she’d be there.   If only he’d be there.  Luke practically lived at his office, she’d heard, and three in the morning wasn’t all that late for Bordertown, where business and social life came alive at night.  Rio’s breath came in short, harsh pants as she tried desperately to pretend she didn’t hear the footsteps pounding after her. 
The thugs weren’t all that far behind, and despair tasted like rusted metal in her mouth when she realized she probably couldn’t outrun them. A quick glance back showed them, if not gaining, at least keeping pace.  They were fast for such big guys, again with her sucky luck.  Terror-fueled adrenaline gave her enough of a boost that her heart sped up, her feet sped up, and she headed straight for the nearest place she could think of where she might find help.  The Roadhouse was only a block away.  Three a.m. was still happy hour at the Roadhouse, but hopefully the nightly stabbings and bar fights would be over. 
It’s not like she had a choice.  She wasn’t going to make it four more blocks without getting caught.  She put on a burst of speed that made her ankle burn like fire and nearly flew under the garish neon sign and through the door of the Roadhouse, slamming into a brick wall that stopped all forward motion.  Arms like curved boulders wrapped around her to steady her, and she looked up to discover that the brick wall wasn’t a wall at all. 
It was Miro, the ogre head bouncer. 
“It’s a little late for a delivery, isn’t it?”  His bushy black brows drew together in a tangled frown as he released her.  He was a solid wall of muscle, eight feet tall and a good five feet wide at the shoulders.  The coarsely woven shirt he wore with his jeans made him look like a farmer on the way to his barn in a land of giants.  His ruddy skin only had the faintest tinge of green—those kids’ movies had gotten ogres all wrong.
“No delivery, Miro; I just picked up some unwanted traffic on my trail,” she said, in between sucking in deep breaths.  She hadn’t run much since she’d started taking the bike everywhere.  Out of practice, out of shape.  She glanced at the door.
Out of time.
“Miro, can I duck out the back door, and you stall these guys?  They’re big, and I don’t want to cause trouble, but--”
Miro laughed his big, booming laugh, and the floor underneath Rio’s feet actually shook, but only a few of the sparsely scattered bar patrons bothered to look up.
“I will snack on their bones like pretzels if they try to cause trouble.  You run along, little girl, and bring me some jelly beans the next time you deliver.”
She rose up on her tiptoes, and he leaned down so she could kiss his cheek.  “I promise.  No black ones.”
Miro’s cheeks flushed a deep red.  “You’re a good girl.  Now go.  I hear somebody coming.  Time to do my Fee Fie Fo Fum routine.  You go.”
She went.
By the time she heard Miro’s rumbling growl thunder through the room in warning or threat, she was already halfway out the back door.  Her ankle was throbbing, and the initial burst of adrenaline was wearing off.  She didn’t know how she was going to make it all the way to Luke’s office. 
“That was a hell of a lot easier than I expected.  I’m good, but even I’m not that good,” a deep, sexy voice said from behind and to the left of the door. 
A voice she recognized instantly.
“Hello, Luke.  I was actually just coming to visit you,” she said evenly, trying not to look like somebody who needed rescuing--even if she did.
“There’s a funny coincidence,” he said slowly, sweeping his gaze from her head to her toes and back up again, assessing, measuring, and probably finding her wanting.  After all, he’d never had more than five or six words to spare when she stopped by with a package.
Damn him, though, he was as gorgeous as ever.  Silky black hair just a little too long, unshaven jaw line as if he were a pirate come to plunder, and chiseled face like a woman’s secret fantasy.  He was nearly six and a half feet of hard muscle and lean, dangerous lines, and rumor had it that his steel trap of a brain of his was always calculating his next moves at least ten steps ahead.  It was why he was so good at his investigation job—some called him the Dark Wizard of Bordertown, even though he’d always denied having any real magic.
Some called him the man who should be sheriff, and it was rarely a compliment. 
She’d never called him anything but Mr. Oliver.  And yet here they were.
A cacophony of shouting and crashes sounded from the bar, and she hurriedly shut the door behind her.  Luke glanced from the closed door to her, raising one silken eyebrow. 
“That anything to do with you?”
She lifted her chin.  “Why do you ask?”
A corner of that seductive mouth quirked up, and he shook his head.  “Stubborn, I see.”
She clenched her teeth against the wave of hostility that crashed through her.  It wouldn’t help her case to punch the private eye. 
“Can we go to your office?  I need . . . to hire you,” she said, unable to say the other H word.  Unable to ask for help.  She had money.  She’d get more out of her savings account in the morning and mail Mrs. G back her cash.  All she needed was to find that little girl, rescue her, and then maybe get out of town without being killed.
No problem.
Her shoulders slumped.  She didn’t even know how to begin to explain all this to Luke.  Luckily, he didn’t ask. 
“Let’s go,” he said. 
Just like that.  Like women always came crashing into him asking for help in the middle of the night.  She almost laughed at herself.  They probably did.
He stood waiting, silent and watchful, although he tilted his head when the sounds of what might be a full-scale battle inside the bar grew louder.  Luckily, she’d never heard that he could read minds, and she’d never been able to penetrate his, either, on those few occasions she’d tried.  He was a strange anomaly, but she’d never been bothered by it.  Until now, when she wanted to know what he was thinking.
What he was thinking about her.
“Let’s go,” she echoed, nodding firmly and taking a step toward him.  She landed on her injured ankle and cried out, then tumbled face-forward toward the sidewalk.  Strong arms scooped her up, and she found herself cradled against Luke’s hard chest, her nose pressed against his shirt, breathing in his scent of forest and spice. 
“This is not how I expected this to go,” he said softly, almost as if he didn’t want her to hear him.  “I think I’m in trouble.”
  The door behind them smashed open, and Mountain Man stormed out, carrying an axe.
“I think we’re both in trouble,” Rio said.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wrecked Tour - Let's Get Wrecked!!

Alyssa’s Day

Welcome to Shiloh Walker’s latest and greatest latest and weirdest way to spread the word about new books.  This time, she enlisted fellow authors Helenkay Dimon, Thea Harrison and Alyssa Day and there is absolutely NO THEFT taking place…she didn’t go on a rampage and steal things.  She’s not trying to reunite lost lovers…nope.

These four authors are going to descend upon each other’s blogs and cause a tiny little bit of chaos.  I really wanted to WRECK things, but I didn’t think I could talk them into letting me crash our websites and that kind of defeats the purpose of promoting our new releases if you can’t access the website to read about them, right?

So…instead, we’ll just switch things up a little…you play a guessing game and right or wrong, you get entered for fun prizes.  Visit each blog, you get entered each time.  It’s easy!

This author used to be a nurse.  She’s something of a geek and is known for randomly tweeting odd lines from movies.  She married her high school sweetheart.
Who is she?

Cocking a brow, she said, “I dunno . . . being into finger painting and sex might be called kinky.”

He snorted and put his hand on the middle of her chest, nudging her back down. “Do you trust me?” he asked, leaning over her and staring down at her.

Golden-brown hair fell into his face, and against the stark bruising and swelling around his left eye, his blue eyes looked even more blue, even more compelling. Licking her lips, she caught his face in her hands and tugged him down. “Like I never trusted anybody else.”

“Then close your eyes and let me do something . . .” He quirked a grin at her. “Call it a kinky sex thing if it makes you happy.”

Nerves fluttered in her belly, but she hadn’t lied about trusting him.

Slowly, she pulled her hands from his hair and lowered them to her sides. Then, after one last look at him, she closed her eyes.

So… which author do think this is? Is it Shiloh Walker, Helenkay Dimon, Thea Harrison orAlyssa Day?  You can visit our sites…look through our latest releases, or just take a random guess.  Right or wrong, you’re entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win!!  And stay tuned for exciting news, coming soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Zombie romance?

Apparently I have been nominated to take a boatload of 8th grade girls to see this tomorrow.  I will report back.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

Quick pop-in to say hi and answer a few questions:

Quick pop-in to answer several reader ?s at once, since I've received these same questions from many of you, my lovely friends:

Q: Did writing Alaric's book make you cry?
A: Yes, several times. The goodbye scene b/w Quinn & Jack early in the book nearly destroyed me. Quinn & Alaric finally together. Bringing them all back to Atlantis in the end. Conlan's speech at the feast. So many scenes . . .

Q: Are you EVER going to post Alejandro's Sorceress, you SLACKER?
A: I have thrown out this entire story & started over twice now. I promise you that I WILL announce it when it's posted so you don't have to email me & ask any more. :)

Q:  What are you working on now?
A: Finishing the novella for ENTHRALLED, the anthology that will now be out in July, 2013.

Q: When will Denal's novella and/or Jack's 1st book be out?
A: I will never announce an upcoming date again until it is ROCK-SOLID FIRM. I have SO learned my lesson.