Battle Music

Battle Music

I am in the process of editing the next book in my Paranormal Romance series, and there is a riot scene in the heart of the book. I enjoyed the research, actually found the videos I watched informative. But when it was time to write the actual scene, I struggled to find the correct way to string the words together. The words wouldn’t come, because the last place you’d ever find me is in the heart of a demonstration or riot. In this case, I’m just not a joiner.

After a couple of false starts, I turned on my Games Of Thrones Pandora station and it was smooth sailing from there. The song selection helped channel the emotion and sense of threat I wanted to convey. Here are a couple of examples:

Here’s another amazing offering I discovered on the station. This really helped focus the emotion I wanted in the scene. It builds to a great crescendo.

And there’s this – did you know if you search YouTube for ‘angry music’ you get and incredible assortment of powerful and threatening options?

I don’t write angry things very often, so it was nice to find some options to help me through. But for the record, I’m an 80s woman. Give me the Doobie Brothers or The Eagles any day of the week.

 

What Was I Thinking

What Was I Thinking

I recently went back to work after being a stay at home writer for two years. I love writing, but  I worried about doing nothing but pounding away on my keyboard day after day. Some days I didn’t leave the house. I felt I never had anything interesting (or not writing related) to say to my husband.
I didn’t want to become one-dimensional (Flat Stanley might have gotten a new girlfriend in Flat Gemma). So I asked for my old job at the health club back. My boss said yes immediately, and that part-time would be perfect. 15-20 hours a week, I thought. Perfect.

Except …

The company was sold, and thanks to my steal-trap mind, I know a lot more about the old system than most of my co-workers (I know all the secrets, and all the best hiding spots). I am unable to get my behind out of the office once I hit the 4-hour threshold. It’s my goal every day, but if you multiply my 4 hours by 2, that’s how much I’m working. Each and every day.

So I try to sneak in writing time when I can. Up at 5 AM to write, writing at night after dinner. Doing my social media stuff when I can. Grocery shopping at night (a task I hate worst than cleaning the toilets, but we won’t be discussing my lack of time for cleaning the house).

I know there is a thing called work/life balance, but my teeter-totter is definitely stuck on the work side of things. But, with my usual Pollyanna attitude, I’m just going to leave a working song that always gives me happy feet.

I’m Just A Nerdy Girl, Living In A Nerdy World

I’m Just A Nerdy Girl, Living In A Nerdy World

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m a total geek about all things Sci-Fi. Star Trek, Star Wars, doesn’t really matter (except for an enduring adoration for Chris Pine and Karl Urban in the new incarnation of Star Trek). If the action takes place in space, the final frontier, I’m watching it. And Guardians Of The Galaxy? Oh yeah. I’m on it. One of my all time favorites is FireFly.

There is something so intriguing about this series. I love the characters, the interaction, the fact that it seems to take place right here on Earth, yet we know if doesn’t. I didn’t know about the series until after I’d watched the spin-off movie, Serenity. I fell in love with the entire premise, and was hooked. If an episode of FireFly is on, I’m sitting down with popcorn to watch it.
True story – recently, we converted out Customer Management Software where I work. I didn’t have log-on credentials, so my supervisor told me to use his. He recited it, and it included the word serenity. He explained it was his favorite word and his mantra. I told him I figured it was a play on FireFly. His jaw dropped and when he recovered from the shock, he told me his regard for me just skyrocketed. We bonded over a sci-fi reference.

Are you nerdy like me? Do you park it on the couch to watch a favorite futuristic show? Please, don’t let me be the only nerdy girl living in a nerdy world.

Just A Taste Of The Wedding Gift

Just A Taste Of The Wedding Gift

I’ve never written a story for a boxed set, so this was a novel experience for me. My book, The Wedding Gift is one of 20 in the Wedding Dreams Boxed Set, releasing April 18. 3000 pages of sweet to spicy tales of nuptial bliss, and sometime, not so blissful.

My story is about Gage Cassidy, a wounded warrior, his fiance, Elle Sweeney, and a marvelous goggle-wearing therapy dog named Sigmund. I hope you enjoy this little taste…

“What I don’t understand is why he’s pushing me away.” Elle Sweeney shoved her phone in her back pocket and bent to straighten the kindergarten kid-sized chairs. She worked her dark blond curls into a ponytail as she used her hip to shove a pint-sized desk back into an orderly row.

School had let out for the summer two hours ago and her room was in disarray. Elle had conducted a cute little awards ceremony and she’d accepted a bazillion hugs from her students.

In the now quiet classroom, she had only her aide, Sally, and a burgeoning sense of helplessness and frustration to keep her company. She’d texted Gage the second the kids and their parents had scattered, and, now, an hour later, it was apparent he was ignoring her.

God, she’d been so happy to see him. The drive to the airport in Denver had passed in a blur of eagerness and anticipation. He’d requested only she meet him, instead of his entire family making the trip. And his mom and dad had agreed.

The sight of him riding the escalator to baggage claim had finally caused the tears to spill over. Rugged, handsome, weary, but looking so damn good in his BDUs. It was only after he’d swept her up in a hug she realized how gaunt he’d become. He’d buried his face in her neck for several long minutes, hiding his tears against her skin. She hadn’t bothered to hide hers.

Their kiss was like a recreation of the very first time he’d kissed her. Tentative, sweet. It felt like coming home. Every inch of her body tingled when he’d wrapped her in his arms for the first time in a year. Deployment was hell, but oh, God…that first kiss. They’d spent the night in Denver, in a luxury suite she’d been saving for months to pay for. They’d checked in early to the knowing smile of the desk clerk. And for a time, life had been rosy, filled with pent-up passion and words of love. Until he’d rolled to his side and fell into a fitful sleep without…

The nightmares began that night. His moans had jerked her awake and she’d held him tight while his heart slowed and he withdrew into himself. He’d refused to talk about it. She had no experience dealing with returning warriors, so other than whispering words of love, she didn’t know how to calm him. How to help him reclaim the funny, happy man he’d been before he left for war.

“Is he seeing someone?” Sally Gagnon asked. At fifty-something, Sally had started working in Elle’s classroom as an aide, helping with whatever was needed for a class of twenty kindergartners.

“No. My dad is standing by, ready to help, but Gage is uncomfortable even talking about setting an appointment.”

“Well, I guess I can understand that. But I’d bet your dad would remain impartial.”

“He should be able to, but can you imagine talking to your future father-in-law about intimacy issues brought about by traumatic wartime experiences?” Heat flashed up Elle’s chest, neck, and face. The curse of being pale. Those blushes were unconquerable. She couldn’t believe she’d said anything to Sally. But frustration was getting the better of her. They’d had a spectacular physical relationship before he’d shipped out. But in the month he’d been home, they’d only made love three times. Each time had left her…lonely.

Sally shuddered then laughed. “I see your point. Does Gage have a dog?”

That was an odd question. Elle tipped her head to the side. “Cricket passed a year before Gage was deployed. He hasn’t had the heart to get a new dog.”

He’d loved that old Black Lab so damn much. He’d been devastated when the vet had told him Cricket had cancer. His hand had shook as he signed the consent forms to euthanize his pet. More than a pet, really. Cricket had been his best friend, other than Elle. He’d sat, his back to the wall, with the seventy-pound dog on his lap as Cricket breathed his last.

Gage had broken down as soon as they’d left the vet’s office. They’d driven to the dog park Crick had loved. They sat silently on a bench, watching other dogs playing with their humans. Gage had hurled the dog’s leash into the small pond, then kicked a tree hard enough to rake bark from the trunk. Thankfully, Gage had been wearing the steel-toed boots required for his job at the mine.

It had been the first time she’d seen him so upset. But not the last. Normally, Gage was even-keeled, but in the month or so he’d been home, he’d become more and more fidgety and out of control. He tried to hide it from her by constantly heading to the river trail to jog for hours. He’d come home too exhausted for words. Just thinking about it now made her eyes sting and ache with unshed grief.

“Listen, my daughter has been training dogs for stroke and cardiac patients,” Sally offered. “She told me last week she was fostering a shepherd-boxer mix that had been trained for PTSD victims. Have you heard anything about therapy dogs? Is that something your dad could recommend?”

“I haven’t heard of them. Dad’s never mentioned them. But I haven’t really talked to him about Gage’s problem. Somehow, it feels disloyal.”

Sally laid her hand on Elle’s forearm. “Grab your purse. I’m going to introduce you to Emily and Sigmund. Men are basically boys at heart. And what boy doesn’t want a dog?”

This set is on preorder right now for 99¢. You can buy it at all these retailers.

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By the way – The authors of Wedding Dreams are sponsoring a great giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win an iPad mini by clicking this link 

 

My Affair With Fall Out Boy

Last fall, I was taking a walk through the neighborhood. I had my Imagine Dragons station on Pandora, the weather was a cool 68 degrees. Pretty much a perfect day. I’d even chosen a alternate route for the day; I turned right out of my drive, instead of left. Maybe that’s what made the difference. Usually, when I walk with music, I don’t pay as much attention to the words as I do to the cadence. But that day. I heard the words of “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.

Video Credit: Vevo

“Some legends are told

Some turn to dust or to gold

But you will remember me,

Remember me for centuries”

I remember getting chills as the idea for a new series gripped me and wouldn’t let go. I increased my pace to a jog, my mind racing more quickly (I’m not a fast runner. Well, really I’m not a runner at all). I had to get home and put the thoughts on paper. Because this series, about finding inspiration, was going to be great. I also spent an hour or so on You Tube listening to all their music, looking for whatever other inspiration FOB could lend.

And all because of one song I have four books written in this new series. That’s all it takes really, to find inspiration. Simple words, or pictures (We won’t discuss my idea based on an album cover from the late 70s). And now, any time I hear anything by FOB the volume goes up and I dance with a wide smile on my face. And I always listen to words now when I’m walking or driving, or just sitting on my deck enjoying sunshine.

What song inspires you?

Just a taste of Daughter of Darkness

Just a taste of Daughter of Darkness

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Daughter of Darkness is the sequel to Son of Thunder. Set in my Heavenly Wars universe the story deals with Tyr, the Norse God of Courage, and Nott, Goddess of the Night. In the following scene Tyr and Nott meet up after not seeing each other for over a thousand years:

***

The Kentucky Club had been famous in its day, known for inventing the Margarita. Icons like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Bob Dylan had walked through that door. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton toasted their divorce right there. The place was iconic and, back in the day, usually packed with patrons. Now it was too dangerous to visit.

The scents of smoke and stale beer hung in the air. An old, rough looking bartender dragged a dirty rag across the stained counter in the dimly lit barroom, his eyes dark with suspicion. A quiet tension filled the mostly empty barroom.

The single occupied table sat in the center of the room. Three men, one of them passed out on the floor by his chair, another dropping his head toward the table in defeat. The third man, raising a glass to his trembling lips, eyes glazed and bloodshot, would probably not survive the shot of tequila in his hand.

Then there was Nott. Tyr’s heart skipped a beat.

Mysterious. Exotic. Sexy as hell.

Even more stunning than he remembered, her beauty lit the room. In the thousand years since he’d last seen her, she’d only grown lovelier.

Breathe.

Damn, was he ready for this meeting?

The scene kindled a spark of familiarity. He cleared his throat, drawing her attention. “You’ve been watching too many movies, Nott.”

Her startling ebony eyes glinted in the dim light. “Well hello, Indiana Jones.”

The man with the shot glass growled. “Go away, gringo. The lady, she is mine.”

His words slurred. As he drew back his head to take the shot, his body followed, chair tipping back. With a crash, the man joined his companion on the floor, unconscious.

Nott pushed back her chair and stood. Tight black jeans accentuated the sleek lines of her long legs. Her leather jacket hung open revealing a black, half tee and the ivory skin of her bare midriff.

“Tyr.” Breathy, sensual. Amusement played across Nott’s face as she ran her tongue along her lower lip. Teasing, tempting. The woman exuded an aura of sensuality.

Captivated by her sexy eyes and breathtaking beauty, Tyr hardened. Damn. He didn’t have time for this.

He faked a casual stance as best he could. “There are very few gods in Asgaard you can’t drink under the table, Nott. Why pick on mortals?”

“These poor boys?” She raised an eyebrow and cocked a crooked smile his way. “They had a drug shipment heading north tonight. Looks like they won’t make it.”

He wasn’t surprised. He’d known her better than most of the other Norse gods, at least he had a thousand years ago. Her goals were noble. Her tactics, less so. “And what did you promise the winner?”

She raised her hands to the sky and did a slow pirouette. “A night in heaven, of course.”

***

Daughter of Darkness is available now at: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Darkness-Heavenly-Wars-Book-ebook/dp/B01FUO50EG

Steve

Healing Eden’s Playlist

Healing Eden’s Playlist

When I was writing the first book in The Eden Series, Unexpected Eden, I never really thought about developing any kind of music playlist. Pinterest boards? Sure. I mean, there’s loads of inspiration on Pinterest, but a playlist? Nope. Never even crossed my mind. Which is kind of odd considering fifty percent of my plotting is done in the car driving to and from the day job with the music cranked WAY high. (The other fifty percent is done in The Plotting Chamber–AKA the shower.)

Then one day I was chatting with the lady who coordinates my blog tours and she suggested I do one. I never got around to building one for Unexpected Eden, but you can bet I kept track of all the tunes I used on book two, Healing Eden, plus every other book after it. Since Healing Eden just released, I figured I’d make that my Dinner Music share for today. Obviously, I’m a rock gal to the core, but hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

Oh, and if you haven’t started The Eden Series yet, now’s a good time. Unexpected Eden is on sale for .99 cents! Woot!

I’ve listed blurbs and buy links for you below, but today is all about music, so let’s get to it! Rock on!

Love,

Rhenna Morgan

Unexpected Eden

Paradise, love, power…and a prophecy with a price.
Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.
Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question—is she Myren, or human, which makes her forbidden fruit?
When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.
Amazon US     Amazon UK     B&N     iTunes

Healing Eden

In a world divided by war, falling in love is the ultimate betrayal.

Galena Shantos has never questioned her loyalty to Eden. As sister to the Myren king, she serves as a healer, one of the best in the army fighting to suppress the brutal Lomos Rebellion. She’s never doubted the importance of stopping the rebels bent on enslaving humans, until she spots a warrior across enemy lines—and knows instinctively that their destinies are entwined. . .
Rebellion warrior Reese Theron has nothing left to lose. He’s been forced to fight on the wrong side of a war he abhors in order to protect his family secret. His honor lost, as well as the trust of his own people, Reese has thrown himself into a battle he cannot possibly hope to survive. But after being rescued by a beautiful woman whose exquisite eyes seem to see him for more than the traitor he’s become—he may have just found a new reason to live. . .
Amazon US     Amazon CA     Amazon UK     B&N     iTunes
A Sneak Peak at Healing Eden

A Sneak Peak at Healing Eden

Hey there, sexy Spice Aisle Guests!

It’s my turn to man the sample kiosk at the end of aisle ten and the other Spice folks told me I could serve bottled water, some bland health food, or give a taste of my upcoming release. Seeing as how water and health food are about as exciting as watching grass grow, I opted for option C!! Plus, Healing Eden (Book two in The Eden Series) releases on December 8th!!! That’s just a little over a month away and I’m super giddy. (Yeah, like all the exclamation points didn’t give that little tidbit away…)

So, if you’re new to The Eden Series, it’s contemporary fantasy romance based in–you guessed it–the one and only land of creation. (Pssst…Book one, Unexpected Eden, is on sale right now for only .99 cents if you wanna get your Eden groove on and save a few bucks while you’re at it.)

See? Way more exciting that water and health food! 🙂

So, here we go! A little sample from Healing Eden told from Reese’s point of view.

Hope you enjoy!

Rhenna Morgan

“Reese’s heart stumbled then took off at a pounding gallop. Of all the reasons he might have rationalized to explain Galena’s visit, a personal request hadn’t been one of them.

She needed him. Not wanted, but needed. His cock stirred, and a rush of something dark and primitive swamped his reason. He shifted to ease the hard press behind his jeans, caution the only thing that kept him locked in place. Surely he’d misinterpreted things. Yesterday’s kiss had just been a gift, a sendoff from a generous woman before he met his death. Hadn’t it?

“Say something.” Galena whispered, the rasped request so vulnerable it raked inside his chest.

Maybe he hadn’t misunderstood.

She ducked her head, gripped the chair at her side for a beat, and turned away. “I should go.” Chin high, she strode toward the door.

“No.” He burst across the room with Myren speed and slammed his palm against the door to block her escape.

He caged her against the wall, her back to his front. Her ear nearly brushed his lips, her neck exposed by the long, thick braid down her back. He dragged his finger down the center of the plait. Myrens rarely bound their hair in any fashion outside of a relationship as it signaled commitment. The idea she’d come here bound to someone else rankled. “Why did you bind it?”

“The wind.” Energy bristled off her, and her stance made her seem torn between flight and surrender.

“There’s no one else?”

She peeked over one shoulder and shook her head, eyes trained on the floor.

The breath he’d been holding released and “stirred the fine hairs at her nape. He toyed with the platinum bead keeping the braid in place at the tip. “Will you let me free it?”

An innocent question for a human, but for a Myren it was intimate. A gift restricted to deeply tied lovers and mates.

She lifted her gaze, bringing her full lips close enough her breath fluttered against his face. “Please.”

His heart jolted, just the illusion of intimacy with this woman driving adrenaline through his bloodstream like a mainlined drug. He kissed her barely parted lips and groaned, imagining her soft, plump mouth stretch around his cock.

“Turn around,” he breathed against her mouth.

She shivered and turned, but kept her gaze locked to his until the last moment.

Using his mind, he warmed and loosened the platinum bead, and slipped it free. He sifted through the soft strands one section at a time until the fiery mass spilled down her back, unleashing more of her unique scent. He nuzzled the spot behind her ear. How easy it would be to lose himself with this woman. In her scent and her warmth. He let out a rough exhale. “This is wrong.”

She stiffened, but he tightened his grip on her hips and kept her locked in place.

“The secrets.” He pressed a lingering kiss where her neck and shoulders met. “They’ll hurt you and your brothers.”

“They’re only secrets if you’re not willing to own them.” She met his stare and a shiver rattled through her. Covering his hands with hers, she urged them up her torso. “I’m willing to own this.”