My publishing career began with novellas. Wolf Signs, Tidal Wave, Rocky Mountain Heat (which was originally only 30,000 words long!)
When I had a few under my belt, I asked my editor what I should do to improve as a writer, and she suggested learning how to write longer stories would give me more room to play with plot and character development.
I tried. The goal was to write a stand alone short contemporary, Turn It On. The biggest difference I remember, thinking back now over 10 years later, was how much talking they did! Lol. In a novella, there’s a lot of action, and things move quickly. In a novel, there’s time to actually sit and have a cup of coffee while they chat. It was a challenge, but it was also fun, and I got to add in tons of interesting twists. There’s a big family with a strange family tradition of naming everyone some variation of “Max”. There’s the twins, who are close as siblings, but very different in character. There’s a touch of mystery, and there are typical real life situations with friends that don’t always go smoothly.
In the end, I had what I thought was a fun, super sexy (!!!) stand alone story. One and done!
But then, Turn It On came out, and readers really wanted to know more about the brother to the heroine, who was clearly already in a happily-ever-after of his own. I’d even given him the unfortunate name of Junior!
Writing his story meant going back in time, which meant the books were published out of chronological order. A fault I’m convinced to this day is why I write chronologically whenever possible, even if publishing doesn’t always work.
The end result is now the books ARE in order, and they’re very sexy, and while they’re older, they’re still about chosen family and finding the person who not only believes in you, but is willing to do everything to help bring you to the point you believe in yourself.
If you haven’t met Maxwell Junior (ugh! lol) and Natasha, or Maxine and Ryan yet, I hope you’ll check them out.
Maxwell Turner Junior has led a charmed life. His easy-going manner and higher than average smarts usually get him what he wants—with one exception. Natasha Bellingham has resisted him for far too long. She may be ten years older, but so what? He’s plenty old enough to know they belong together. Now all he has to do is convince her.
Natasha’s love life has degenerated into a series of bad clichés. Her biological clock is ticking—loudly. As a proven architect with her own company, she’s financially ready for a baby. Who says she needs a permanent man in her life for that? She just needs a “donation”.
When Max discovers Natasha’s plans include artificial insemination, he’s outraged. She wants to get pregnant? No problem. He’s more than willing to volunteer—no turkey basters involved.
But there’s one non-negotiable clause: He wants forever. And he intends to do everything in his power—fair and unfair—to make it happen.
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Inheriting her grandmother’s home is a dream come true for web designer Maxine Turner. She’s looking forward to a little freedom from the constant demands of her beloved, crazy mob of a family. When vandals expose just how vulnerable she is living alone, she seeks help.
Ryan Claymore’s well-thought-out life was wrenched away when responsibility for his special-needs stepbrother landed on his shoulders. Going from military man to business man challenges his take-charge nature, but luckily enough he’s found Maxine—he’ll trade his security-system knowledge for her website expertise.
Red-hot chemistry sizzles between them, and resisting the attraction is a fight they can’t win. Even the secret Ryan hides isn’t enough to keep Maxine from working her way into his heart—and his bed.
But when the attacks on Maxine and her home escalate, Ryan’s protective instincts go into overdrive. He’ll have to find a balance between safeguarding and smothering the woman who’s just learning to spread her wings, or they could lose the best thing they’ve ever found.
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We’ve got a couple of red-hot seniors finding a well-deserved happily-ever-after.
Tons of adorable family time. Some laughter, some tears.
Come settle in for a good, long visit with your friends.
Here’s a peek into Blake and Jaxi’s morning…
Curled up against him, Jaxi pressed her lips against the side of his neck, easing her legs on either side of his. A throaty moan escaped her, and Blake wanted to both laugh and curse as he realized his hand no longer rested innocently on her hip. Nope. He’d full on cupped her ass and was even now in the process of dragging her on top of his body.
“Looking for trouble—” Jaxi began.
“Maaaaama.” The doorknob rattled as PJ’s voice rang against the door. “Daaaaaadeeeee.”
Absolutely adorable even as their four-year-old’s timing made Blake groan. “Invasion?” he asked Jaxi.
She pressed a quick kiss to his lips before carefully crawling off. “I’ll get him. You deal with—things.”
With a slightly wicked pat of her hand against his belly, Jaxi swung away before he could grab her, hips wiggling saucily as she headed toward the door.
Blake rolled, adjusting his hard-on to a more comfortable position that was slightly protected in case their oldest son decided to jet propel his way onto the mattress like he usually did.
“Yes? We didn’t order any pizza,” Jaxi said as she knelt beside the door.
Around her, PJ’s expression went utterly serious as he shook his head. “Not peeza. Cuddles.”
“Well, that’s totally different.” Jaxi scooped him up, closing the door and returning to the bed. “Look, Daddy, we have an early morning delivery of cuddles.”
“One of my favourite things,” Blake said sincerely, opening his arms.
PJ snuggled in, and Blake felt that pulse deep inside again. The one that made him ache even as it brought a smile to his face.
Jaxi sat on the edge of the bed, her expression filled with wonder. “I love you.”
She said the words so simply, but it was clear the message was meant for him, not their son. Although she totally loved their kids to pieces, this thing between them wasn’t getting any smaller. After eight years of marriage it seemed to simply grow, expanding to fill every single bit of room, not just in Blake’s heart, but in their home.
Even as he draped an arm around their son, he patted the mattress beside him. “Climb in. It’s cold out there.”
She smiled wryly. “I will. But I figured I’d wait to let the rest of them in first.”
He shouldn’t have bothered asking. He knew the answer.
“Daddy?” A chorus of little girls.
Jaxi blew him a kiss before sneaking from the room. By the time she got back with two-year-old Justin in her arms, the seven-year-old blonde-haired twins, Rebecca and Rachel, had settled on either side of six-year-old Lana.
Lana sighed contentedly. “I like sleepovers.”
“Not a sleepover when it’s Mommy and Daddy’s bed…” Becca explained seriously.
“…it’s family cuddles,” Rae finished.
“Shove over there, kids,” Jaxi said with amusement. “Make room for your brother.”
Shockingly, ten minutes later the bed was silent. The girls had curled up in a heap like puppies and fallen back asleep almost immediately. Against Blake’s chest, PJ’s blondish hair spread in a tangled mess. He’d snuck his thumb in his mouth, his little chest moving easily.
Justin was sprawled on top of Jaxi, contented baby snores rising from him.
And Blake and Jaxi, teetering on the opposite edges of the mattress.
Rocky Mountain Forever
Back in 2014/15, my good friend Elle Kennedy and I had a blast writing a series together. Three military friends who are now retired but instead of starting a security company like most of their buddies, they end up running a dating type service.
Yeah, it’s a little off the wall, but it was so much fun. The books are red hot, the guys are total bromance, and we loved the fun of diving into the DreamMakers world. (Two of these books have mfm menages in them, but all finish with dedicated m/f happily-ever-afters.)
If you’ve never read them before, prepare to fall in love with Parker, Jack, and Dean.
Parker and Lynn: one-night stand to forever. Good girl getting lessons in getting dirty.
Jack and Pepper: best friend’s little sister. Opposites attract.
Dean and Emma: second chances. Reformed playboy.
All Fired Up
As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., Parker Wilson takes the skills he learned as a Ranger to help men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. But when a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of fiery passion, Parker’s mission becomes personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.
She’s more than willing to follow
Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.
Love Is A Battlefield
After two tours of duty, former Army Ranger Jack Hunter is back in the US, working to keep DreamMakers a brilliant success. Now that his best friend’s little sister is home from college, it’s time to retire his hands-off policy and take action. He wants Pepper Wilson in his bed, but seducing the feisty redhead could be dangerous for more than one reason.
She’s ready to push all his buttons…
Pepper is tired of being bossed around by everyone in her life, especially arrogant, annoying, overbearing Jack Hunter. While she can’t deny the man is out-of-this-world gorgeous, his alpha routine is getting old. His steely determination proves a match for her own, though, and the attraction simmering between them ignites into fiery passion.
But can their wild sexual exploration turn into more without someone getting burned?
Don’t Walk Away
For former Army Ranger Dean Colter, sexual escapades and wild flirtations are the norm—but it wasn’t always that way. Years ago, the DreamMakers co-owner was a one-woman kind of guy until he tore Emma Lee’s heart apart. Yet he’s never forgotten her, and when Emma waltzes back into his life, a second chance is suddenly within his reach…and he’ll be damned if he’ll screw up again.
She wants her world to stop spinning apart
Emma’s no longer the naïve girl she used to be. Now a successful designer in the fashion world, she refuses to let Dean’s killer smile and sweet-talking ways distract her from her goals. But being the target of Dean’s full-out seduction isn’t easy to resist, even as the dynasty she’s built teeters toward disaster. This time she might the one who breaks both their hearts when she has to walk away.
Nook Coupon Code
I have a special surprise for you! While you can get All Fired Up for free at ANY retailer, you can also get Love is a Battlefield and Don’t Walk Away for 50% off. Just use the coupon code BNPDREAM50 at checkout!
It’s here! This book is full of fun days, and learning how to be a two-some when that’s not what they expected. I couldn’t have picked two better people for this adventure, though. Julia is what Zach needs, and Zach is what Julia needs, and once they both figure that out, they’ll find they’ve built a relationship on a solid foundation.
In spite of having started under the strangest of circumstances!
I hope you enjoy this trip to Heart Falls, and the chance to visit with so many of our past friends.
It’s really only the beginning…
You get this excerpt because it’s got one of my favourite exchanges between Zach and Julia. They’ve just woken in bed together, naked and still a lot tipsy…
While Zach very much wanted to be involved with Julia, being naked with not much memory of what had happened the previous evening was not a good way to begin.
Add in the fact that a quick glance around the room showed two closed suitcases still stacked against the wall, which meant if they had done something that they didn’t remember, dear God he hoped not, they would’ve done it without protection.
Julia blinked a few more times, gaze fixed on his. Her nose wrinkled as she considered his words.
Her lips curled into a perfect circle as understanding fluttered in. “Oh. Oh.”
She glanced to the side for a moment, her body tightening from top to bottom. Unexpectedly, she relaxed, releasing a breath hard enough it made her long hair wave.
A very decisive headshake followed. “It’s okay. Whatever we did get up to last night, we didn’t have sex.”
Oh, really? “And you know this how?”
Her lips twitched. “Wait. I suppose we might’ve had sex, but it’s very unlikely. Tell me, Zach. How big is your penis?”
The unexpected question floored him. “Uh…”
Her smile widened. “And on that note, I’m taking a shower. And finding some clothes. Then I want bacon. Lots and lots and lots of bacon.”
He was still reeling from the penis question.
I know it’s taken a long while to get here, but it’s finally time for Karen Coleman to find her happily-ever-after.
One of the things I loved the most as this story developed was the chance to spend time with the Whiskey Creek Coleman sisters. The entire Colemans of Heart Falls is about finding family—not just their youngest sister, Julia, but the a deeper connection between the already close older women.
There’s also some dealing with baggage, because family isn’t always perfect…and that’s part of life as well.
But for now, I hope you enjoy the visit with Karen, Lisa, Julia and Tamara as the oldest of them heads into a new adventure with Finn Marlette. This time their fling isn’t going to be secret, and he’s going to do everything he can to convince Karen they belong together.
And he might just get a little help along the way from the sisters who already approve…
Enjoy a little taste of some time with the girls:
Karen pointed at Lisa. “Finn Marlette. Start talking.”
Tamara snickered then wiped a hand over her mouth as she patted baby Tyler’s butt with the other. He wiggled in her chest carrier.
Karen shifted her finger to point in a new direction. “You’re next on the hit list. Both of you knew he was in town. Why didn’t you say something?”
“Because there was no reason to tell you at first,” Lisa said. She lifted one brow high. “Are you seriously telling me you never heard a word about him being around?”
Tamara leaned forward toward Julia, who was obviously at a loss. “Finn and his two brothers came to Whiskey Creek ranch a number of years ago to help out. Something intriguing went on between Finn and Karen during that time that they managed to keep all of us from finding out about until recently.” She glanced at Lisa.
“Could have knocked me over with a feather.” Lisa laid a hand over her chest with dramatic flair. Then she leaned forward as well, speaking softer as if Karen weren’t right there listening to the whole thing. “Obviously secret shenanigans were taking place. And so, when one part of the shenanigarians decided he wanted to move to our fair town and then began asking questions about the other part of the shenanigarian duo, it piqued our interest.”
Julia frowned. She turned to Karen. “We’ll just push aside the fact that Lisa makes up strange words way too easily. Is this Finn guy creeping on you? Because if he is, I will put a stop to it like, yesterday.”
A rush of emotion shot upward, and Karen threw caution to the wind. She wrapped her arms around her newfound sister and squeezed tight. “I like you. You’re good people.”
Julia patted her on the back. “Thanks. But I mean it.”
Karen let her go and stared at Lisa and Tamara, who were watching closely. “You guys are turkeys. And you’re both kind of assholes for not warning me, but no” —Karen faced Julia— “he’s not a stalker. It’s just really complicated, and as much as I love my sisters, they like to meddle.”
Welcome to Heart Falls—a place for family, friends, and a second chance to fall in love.
A stand alone novel in a new trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Vivian Arend.
Wealthy rancher Finn Marlette’s move to Heart Falls to fix what went wrong between him and Karen Coleman just got complicated. Suddenly he’s got five months to get his new dude ranch up and running, or lose the place to a hated rival.
New agenda: Show up on Karen’s porch, tell her they belong together, and offer her a job.
After a lifetime of following the rules and other’s dreams, Karen’s determined to find her own path. The last thing she needs is to get involved with Finn again—it was only a secret fling, and she still fell hard.
But the summer job he offers is tempting—it’s a chance to work with men who truly appreciate her ranching skills. Finn’s determined to tempt her into remembering all the delicious sexual appreciation between them as well.
Wild horses can’t keep them apart, but sabotage and too many secrets might…