All right, so in my “Winter Writing” blog, I said I was leaving Las Vegas, putting all of my belongings in storage, and moving to Utah. In spring, I had vague plans of traveling to the Pacific Northwest while writing my ass off. Uh, yeah, that didn’t happen.
It took 3 car loads for me to move what I wanted with me to Utah. It was a stressful time crunch and I had high hopes for my winter hibernation in this small town of less than two thousand residents. There was one grocery store with the basics, no traffic lights, and a tiny post office that never had a line. I was practically giddy, especially after the chaos of Vegas. The nearest city was an hour away and didn’t even have a Target (gasp). I was up to the challenge and thinking this country air and total change in environment was going to feed my writer’s soul. I guess I should mention here that I’ve lived in Hawaii, Texas, and Nevada–all humid (aside from Nevada), warm places. I didn’t know what the fuck I was in for when I moved to Utah.
My friend owns this house in Utah, which is normally empty during this time of the year since she spends the winter in the Pacific Northwest (for good reason). Before she left, I asked for some winter tips (since I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing) and she told me not to worry. Last winter was extremely mild. Okey dokey.
My friend’s brick house was built in 1920. It was charming, cozy, and (in my mind) an ideal writing cabin for the winter. A lot of the town’s residents went elsewhere for the winter so all was quiet. I had dreams of blitzing through books 5 and 6 in the Crime Lord Series while sitting in front of a picture window watching the snow fall with a steaming cup of coffee nearby. That shit didn’t happen.
It hit -10° within two weeks of me being there. The power went out multiple times for hours at a stretch and I wondered if I was going to have to sleep in front of the ancient pot belly stove. There were some freak accidents on the property and the house seemed to be falling apart around me. I was sorely unprepared for the temperature to be 0° at noon and I spent more time than I care to admit without electricity or internet and obsessing about what would go wrong next. I guess being a single gal, content to live in such a remote place, made the locals a little too interested in me. I got snowed in and wasn’t able to make the trip to the city for supplies and I realized I’d made a mistake and the mountain life wasn’t for me. I bailed. It was too dangerous to make the drive to the Pacific Northwest in the dead of winter so I found myself crawling back to Sin City. Damn. Vegas keeps calling me back. I have to admit, after the freezing temperatures in Utah, I luxuriated in the desert’s balmy 40°.
To sum up, I moved three times in two months. My poor parents who live in Hawaii just shake their heads at my shenanigans and keep penciling in my new addresses. Luckily, I was able to find a place to move and I love it! I walked into this townhouse and knew it was perfect for me. I’ve lived in many apartments and they all have the same boring, practical layout. This one was different. It felt like a New York studio with high ceilings, bay windows, and sparkling countertops. It was modern, airy, and gave me Carrie Bradshaw vibes. I thought to myself, “This is a writer’s apartment.” I knew it was going to be a great place to create.
Okay, so now that you know my winter hibernation turned into a moving fest, let me explain Bitter Heat. Three days after moving to Utah, I was in bed. I wasn’t quite awake or dreaming, but somewhere in between. I heard this guy’s voice in my head. He wanted my full attention. He told me I shouldn’t have left him, that he was pissed that I ran to my father for help, and how I was going to pay for what I’d done. I tried to wake up, but he dragged me back down. By the time I rolled out of bed, I had the plot for Bitter Heat. I ran downstairs and started jotting down what he’d said while my friend looked on, completely bewildered by my dazed fervor.
Bitter Heat is not connected to the Crime Lord Series, but it is still dark contemporary romance. I thought I could bang out Bitter Heat and then start on book 5, part 2 of Carmen’s story, but the move back to Vegas flushed my dreams of being super productive down the toilet.
You guys have been so patient about book 5 and I’m so grateful for that. I WILL get to Carmen’s story. Because of all the intricate storylines in the Crime Lord Series, it’s not the kind of book I could write in the midst of my move(s). I need to give that story my full and undivided attention, which I wasn’t able to. Also, with all the Team Angel and Team Marcus stuff, I want to make sure book 5 delivers. So, instead of book 5 you get Bitter Heat and I will work on book 5 after this release.
That said, let me introduce you to James Roth. He’s a cold bastard. Ruthless, complex, and in my opinion, worse than Gavin. He crosses the line A LOT and he is going to piss you guys off.
“Your face has been plastered all over the papers since your father died.”
She stopped dead in her tracks, hands balling into fists at her side. “Don’t talk about my father.”
He cocked his head to the side, scenting blood in the air like the predator he was.
“Patched things up with him, did you?” he asked softly.
“None of your fucking business,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Oh, I think it is.”
She wasn’t prepared for the hand that wrapped around her throat or the way he pulled up so she was forced to go on tiptoes. Her heart careened into her throat as she gripped his massive wrist with both hands.
“You think I forgot what he did to me?”
His clinical tone made the hairs on the nape of her neck stand up.
“That was seven years ago.”
His impassive expression melted into one of savage fury. “He kept at it until the day he fucking died.”
She didn’t want to believe it. “No, he—”
His fingers tightened around her throat, stopping her denial. He leaned in, so close that their lips were mere inches apart.
“Are you calling me a liar, princess?”
The vicious energy pouring from him made her temples throb.
“If you don’t let me go, I’m going to scream.”
“Do it,” he invited with a cold smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “I’m sure your sisters would love to see our names linked together in the media.” His beard brushed against her cheek as he leaned in and pressed his lips against her ear. “You’re not in New York with your bodyguards or your family to hide behind. You’re in Colorado, in the middle of a snowstorm, with nowhere to go. Don’t push me.”
This is the book description:
She was the wood. He was the flame. After this, they would be ash.
A cruel twist of fate leaves Jasmine Hennessy stranded in a remote cabin with her worst nightmare—her ex-husband, James Roth, who she hasn’t seen in five years. He isn’t acting like the man she married, but did she ever really know him?
One night together kicks off a series of events that threatens her freedom as Roth seeks vengeance on those who ruined him seven years ago. He’s determined to bring her back into the world she left behind where money is king, reputation is everything, and people will kill to keep their secrets.
My cover designer is running behind so once I have the date for a cover reveal, I’ll post the sign ups for ARCs for bloggers and the one for readers will follow soon after.
Thank you for your patience and support. I hope you enjoy Bitter Heat!