|Cover image by Jenn LeBlanc/Text design by Jennifer Johnson|
Remember I was going to write a Christmas novella? And then I somehow couldn’t get Defiant done to my satisfaction until January 20, making a Christmas novella a bit untimely? And then I got pneumonia so I didn’t write a damned thing for the entire month of February?
Good times! Not.
Well, I got to work the moment I started feeling better, opening the novella I had started, setting aside the Christmas theme and just working on a straight novella — my very first I-Team After Hours novella.
I’m using I-Team After Hours to brand these I-Team spin-off stories as being somewhat different than a regular I-Team novella and also shorter. My average novel is about 120,000 words. These novellas will come close to 40,000 words, making them about one-third the size of an I-Team novel. Accordingly, they’ll be priced at about one-third the cost of an I-Team novel — $2.99. I’m self-publishing them straight to ebook through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Smashwords. It will be available in all ebook formats, including Kobo (Smashwords) and Apple. If you don’t have an ereader, you’ll still be able to enjoy the story by downloading a free ereader application from Amazon or B&N that will enable you to read the story on whatever computer you’re using right now to read this blog post.
The first novella is titled Skin Deep. No doubt you’ve already noticed the delicious cover image provided by friend and fellow Colorado journalist Jenn LeBlanc, who is also a romance author. Jennifer Johnson of Sapphire Dreams did the text design. But what we all notice are the abs, the muscles in the arms, the veins. Yes, the veins... Ahem.
Skin Deep is about half finished and will be available as soon as I can have it edited, formatted and uploaded — perhaps before the end of the month, but definitely by early April. Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter if you want to make certain you are notified when the book is released. To be added to the newsletter, click here.
This is a new venture for me and a way to give stories to characters in the I-Team series that would otherwise not get a story.
I’m starting with Megan Rawlings, Marc Hunter’s little sister. Those of you who’ve read Unlawful Contact know what a terrible life Megan has had. I won’t elaborate in order to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read the book.
Here’s the blurb that would go on the back cover of the book (if it had a cover):
Broken on the inside
Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man’s rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.
Broken on the outside
Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family’s ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal—and be alone. Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her—and to heal her wounded spirit.
But confronting the past is never easy—especially when it’s carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than … Skin Deep.
That gives you a quick overview. I’ll be posting an excerpt soon! Stay tuned for more!
MacKinnon’s Rangers news: Jenn LeBlanc just finished reading Surrender and Untamed and loved them so much she decided on her own to start a closed Facebook discussion group for anyone interested in reading the series and discussion the stories in preparation for the release of Defiant.
Anyone who wants to read and discuss the stories can ask to join. Jenn’s plan is to start reading the books on April 1, I believe. If you’re on Facebook and are interested in joining, click here.
Project: Happiness Update: I continue to improve my eating and to go to the gym, though I find it difficult to write, keep a clean house, be on the Internet, go the gym, cook healthful meals and write. My instinct when the story stalls is to drop everything — good eating habits, the gym, getting enough sleep — just to get the story back on track.
But that’s what I can’t do. That’s what I’ve always done, and in the end it doesn’t do me any good. So, despite feeling stressed about finishing the story, I did go to the gym, cussing all the way. I wasn’t cussing when I came home, however. The moral of this story? Go to the damned gym.
I have never, ever regretted going to the gym.
Oddly enough, living a different life means doing things differently. And that’s what I’ve committed to through Project: Happiness.
And, dammit, I’m sticking to it!