Cover Reveal! Breath of Deceit Coming May 15th!

I am beyond excited to reveal the cover for the first in my brand new romantic suspense series Dublin Devils. BREATH OF DECEIT will release on May 15th, and this gorgeous cover was designed by Lori Jackson. Read on to find out more about BREATH OF DECEIT:

The Departed gets a modern upgrade with the injection of cybercrime and four sexy Irish mob brothers fighting to stay alive amidst drug deals and FBI probes.

Cian MacFarlane is the oldest son of Chicago’s reigning crime family. Now the defacto boss of the organization after his father’s retirement, Cian is feared by his enemies and revered by his brothers. But what if Cian isn’t all he seems to be? What if his end game isn’t to maintain his father’s empire but to topple it? As the MacFarlanes broker a deal with the owner of the world’s largest dark web site, Cian brokers a deal with the FBI. But when he meets Lila Rodriguez, a genius hacker working with the dark web, his feelings for her only make life more complex.

Determined to save his brothers, even if it means sacrificing himself, Cian lives moment to moment in a deadly underworld of cybercrime, drug deals, federal agents, and a vengeful parent who won’t hesitate to remind his oldest son what it means to be a MacFarlane. Through it all, Cian fights for his brothers to make it out of Chicagoland crime. But will the pieces fall into place before his breath of deceit is discovered?

 

Add it on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/BreathofDeceitGR

Preorder in paperback: http://bit.ly/DD1BNPaperback

Read on for an excerpt from BREATH OF DECEIT and a Giveaway to celebrate:

The text came at six am on a Tuesday, and all Lila could think was that Cian MacFarlane must be nothing like Tony Soprano because she knew for a fact Tony stayed up all night snorting coke and screwing hookers, and wouldn’t have been caught dead texting people at six am.
     We need to meet. Eight am at Starbucks?
    Lila squinted at the phone, because unlike her mobster associate, she was not normally awake at six am—business in the world of the dark web started sometime around ten—and had been sleeping soundly before his texts started chiming in her ear.
    Now the only question was what the hell did the man want at such an ungodly hour?
    Why are you texting me at six am? Normal business hours don’t start until 8. Mine don’t start until 10.
    She waited for a response, her tension ratcheting up as the little dots danced on the screen while he typed. Her judgement at six am wasn’t the best. Maybe she shouldn’t have mouthed off to the mobster.
    But when the answer finally came, it took her breath away, and not out of fear. No, it was breath stealing for an entirely different reason.
     I was thinking about you all night, so it seemed only natural to contact you first thing this morning. Will nine work?
    Just like that. No warning. No explanation. Simply “I was thinking about you all night.” Did that mean about her in her capacity as a her? Or her because she was part of the project he was thinking about all night?
    Lila stared down at the phone, a slight tremor passing through her body.
     I’m not sure what to make of that she typed out.
     I’m not either he replied quickly. But regardless we need to discuss the project.
    She agreed to the nine am meeting and spent ninety minutes lying in bed, trying desperately to go back to sleep. When it became apparent she was wasting her time she climbed off the nine thousand dollar mattress she’d splurged on with her ill gotten gains, and went to the shower, trying not to think about the scary guy she had to go meet with.
    At nine oh five Lila walked into what seemed to now be “their” Starbucks. She stifled the urge to slap the inner her who would think of hot mobster Cian MacFarlane in any context that resulted in “we.”
    “Good Morning,” he said as she arrived at the table he’d staked out in a back corner away from the front windows and all the activity of the fancy reserve coffee bar. She wondered if he always sat away from glass in case of drive bys. While she had to worry about getting caught up in an investigation of dark web activity and finding the FBI on her doorstep someday, she never had to fear for her safety walking around in the world. She was hidden behind some of the thickest virtual walls ever erected. Almost no one knew who she was, what her real name was, or how she earned her living, and it kept her relatively safe. She couldn’t help but wonder what it was like to be a moving target every time you set foot outside your armored car.
    Lila gave Cian a small nod of her head in acknowledgment before sitting in the chair he’d pulled out for her in a gesture that was oddly gentleman like.
    “What can I get you for breakfast?” he asked.
    She peered at him, her brain still somewhat foggy from lack of sleep. “How do you know I haven’t eaten already?”
    “Because I woke you up far too early and you spent the next two hours trying desperately to go back to sleep before you finally had to crawl out of bed and rush to get here five minutes late.”
    She stared at him, disgusted by how accurate his assessment was. “It was only an hour and a half,” she muttered.
—>>Enter the giveaway for a $25 giftcard here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ef955ddd19/?

 

#Passion2Profession: Editing, Writing, and Story

When I started this series I swore to myself I wasn’t going to talk about editing, because seriously how many forums, groups, and loops are you on where people ask for recommendations for editors? It’s the oldest, most repeated question in Indie land. So, I’m going to stick to at least part of my pledge, and I’m not going to talk about editors. Instead, I’m going to use a recent blog by Hugh Howie as a launching pad to a discussion about editing and writing and story.

First of all, here’s the link to Hugh’s post: http://amazonauthorinsights.com/post/161308225145/a-question-about-poorly-edited-books-by-hugh?ref=aai_ts_write

Now, to summarize, Howey says that while writers should strive to do things decently, readers are expecting too much and we should all work harder at reading. He ends with “Plot is king, prose is pawn.”

So here you are, you’re striving to be a professional Indie writer and you hear…well, stuff like that. The simple fact is, you’re Indie, and you can do what you want. You don’t have to worry about the writing if you don’t want to. You can use cheap, second or third rate editing so that you can check that off the list, and comfort yourself with the thought that “I paid for professional editing.”

And the ultimate justification always used for this approach is Fifty Shades of Grey. Seriously, how many times have you heard it? “If writing really mattered Fifty Shades wouldn’t be the phenomenon it is.” And if any of us dare say writing is more important than a mere vehicle to distribute story, then we’re snobs and don’t understand what readers really want.

So what I’ll say is this: If you’re going to be a professional, if you respect the art and business of books, and if you understand that markets and readers and trends change drastically from year to year, then you need to care about writing. That doesn’t mean story doesn’t matter–of course it does, otherwise you’re writing what? Random words? Grocery lists? Novels are stories, stories must engage readers, and one of the best ways to help with that? Decent writing.

Qualified editors can help make sure your writing is solid–no matter what your personal voice and style may be. Not every book needs the same types of edits, not every writer can afford Cadillac edits, but if you’re going to be a professional Indie author, do yourself and the rest of us a favor and give a damn about your writing. Will your book be perfect? Of course not, because no book ever is, but contrary to what Howie suggests, readers shouldn’t have to develop a whole new ability just to read your book. Your book’s not that special. No one’s is. Instead, be a professional, make sure the writing is every bit as good as the story. It’s part of the job, and if you ignore it you not only damage your own brand, you damage the reputation of the profession. If Plot is King, then Writing needs to be Queen. Cleaning the house can be pawn. Indie writers are allowed to have dirty houses. It’s a rule. Ask anyone.

Release of Vaughn’s Pride!

●☆●☆● VAUGHN’S PRIDE IS NOW AT ALL RETAILERS ●☆●☆●

And to Celebrate I’ve put the first in this series of standalone books on SALE for 99cents!

Grab CADE’S LOSS Here —>> Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | AmazonUK | Amazon CA

Now, here’s all about the second installment in the Jenkins brothers’ saga, VAUGHN’S PRIDE:

Once upon a time a boy kissed his best friend…the rest is complicated.

“I hurt for and loved both Vaughn and T.J., turning page after page right up until the end.” — Rach Lawrence Books

Vaughn Jenkins is the youngest in a long line of proud men. But he was only seventeen when his parents were killed during a storm on a California highway. Seven years later, another stormy night nearly took Vaughn’s life. Now he’s half a leg lighter, full of shame and doubt, and taking it out on everyone around him, even the woman he’s loved most of his life.

T.J. Brisco is the girl next door. She and Vaughn grew up together, inseparable friends, then high school sweethearts. But when tragedy strikes, Vaughn retreats and this time is no different. She’s determined to help him recover from his devastating amputation. But Vaughn’s not going to make it easy. When his anger becomes too much for T.J.’s shattered heart, she decides that their story is over for good.

Now Vaughn is faced with the rest of his life–as an amputee, as a brother, as a man–and as T.J. moves on, Vaughn falls farther and farther behind. Can he learn to run fast enough to catch up to the only woman he’ll ever love? Or will his pride stand in their way forever?

Want to read an exclusive excerpt? Click here: USA Today HEA

Buy it here:  Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Amazon UK | Amazon CA |  Amazon AU | Paperback

 

I’m Turning 50 and We’re Having a Party!

 

On April 17th I turn 50. Yep, it’s a big one, and as these things do, it’s caused me to pause, and take stock, and consider all the things that I’ve done and still want to do.

So first, since that’s what most of you are here for, let’s talk writing. At the beginning of 2016 when I was doing the whole “what are your goals for the year” thing, I told a friend, “I want to be reliable. I want to be the kind of writer that readers know they can depend on for a solid performance every single book.” In other words, I want to be your auto-buy. When I get reviews that say, “Ms. Laurence can always be counted on to deliver a solid plot and well-developed characters” I think I’m achieving that objective. It may not sound glamorous or inspiring, but for me, it’s essential. I’m not here to be a one-hit wonder, or to give you variations of the same book over and over, I’m here to have a career, twenty plus years of delivering solid romance books that readers can depend on.

And in pursuit of that objective, I decided this year to broaden my horizons, expand my catalog, and put in place the foundation for the kind of steady, consistent growth I’m after. To that end, I renamed my business Golden Age Press, and I’ve committed to publishing ten new books in 2017 (I’ve already published four and the fifth will release May 1). I’ve also released my first German translation (Italian coming soon!), put paperbacks in brick and mortar bookstores, and added KU offerings as well as expanded my wide distribution books to Google Play.

Because I operate in a world where everyone is an author, and most are Indie authors, all of these things don’t seem that significant to me sometimes, but a few weeks ago I was visiting home and my 76 yr old mother asked me to come to her book club and talk about what I do as an Indie author. I was thrilled to find that three of the women there had been traditionally published authors, and one had worked for a Big Five publisher decades ago. But guess what? They were still astounded at what Indie Authors do. The idea that we sell books all over the world, that we work with audio narrators and translators and cover artists and freelance editors, and that we manage all of it by ourselves, kind of blew them away. And some days I have to stop and acknowledge that it kind of blows me away.

But when you’re about to turn 50 years old, you need to be amazed with yourself. Because no matter who you are or what you do, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve achieved some amazing things–maybe you’ve known the love of a lifetime, or created new humans. You might have started a business, or run marathons. Maybe you’ve served in a war, or gotten a college degree or three. You might have survived a serious illness, or brought comfort to all sorts of people through your job or volunteer work.

No matter what, I guarantee that if you’ve made it fifty years on this earth, you’ve had an impact somewhere, on someone, and that’s amazing.

So, April is my month to celebrate–the things I’ve achieved, the things I still have to achieve, and the unique journey that is fifty years of life on this planet. I really hope you’ll celebrate with me! Join me for a 50 for 50 Book Sale with a bunch of my friends, and my 50th birthday bash on Facebook. To make sure you get notified about the sale, sign up for my mailing list: www.bit.ly/subscribetoselena And here’s where the party is: https://www.facebook.com/events/798421303672168/ Click “join” so you get all the notifications!

Cade’s Loss is Here!!

The California Cowboys Series

As writers, we’re required to promote all of our books as if they are “equal.” And for the most part we do love each of our book children the same. But every once in a while one comes along that you have to admit is extra special. While I can tell you something that is unique and significant in every book I’ve written, there have been a couple that were “more” special than the others.

CADE’S LOSS is one of those books.

The idea for Cade’s Loss came when I was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway last summer all happy and buzzy on post-RWA conference vibes. The waves of Big Sur were crashing below when I looked at the inland side of the road and saw a sign for a cattle ranch. A cattle ranch next to the ocean? That concept fascinated me, and within a few minutes, the idea of the California Cowboys had been born.

It took several more months, some plotting sessions with my fabulous friend Heidi Joy Trethaway, and numerous cover designs, before the concept for the series was solidified, but once it was, I started to work on Cade’s Loss, and when I was done, I knew it was special. It’s probably the most traditional contemporary romance I’ve ever written, but at the same time, it’s a modern take on cowboy romance. Cade rides the range, but he also surfs. He  doesn’t say, “Howdy ma’am,” and he’s more worried about going organic than he is about how many tons his pickup will tow. However, he is still so many of those things we love about western heroes–he’s honorable, responsible, and he loves his family.

Plus, since Cade is a Selena Laurence hero he’s sizzling hot.

But you can see for yourself! Here’s an excerpt:

There was nothing that soothed Cade’s battered soul more than the ocean. He’d been that way as long as he could remember, spending every available moment at the beach, in the water, following his dad from wave to wave until he’d been better on a board than the old man. As he looked at the water now, he could almost see the outline of his dad’s form, riding the long tail of a wave midway out, sun on his hair that was the exact color of Cade’s, water spraying on his tan skin, weathered from the years of being outdoors. The familiar ache that was his companion so much of the last six years caught him like a hoof to the gut, and he swallowed, tasting the lime and tequila in the back of his throat as he blinked the painful image away.

And that was when he saw her. She was leaning on the glass wall that ran along the edge of the deck, her blonde curls blowing in the light breeze that came off the water. She had on a sundress, white cotton, like a little girl’s, but it was backless, tiny straps running over her slim shoulders, and with the sun shining through it, the long skirt was nearly transparent. He could see enough to know that she was wearing thong underwear or none at all, and that her legs were long and lean, curved in all the right places.

Before he could think about it, he’d snatched the other two shots off the bar and was walking toward her, drawn like a moth to a flame, ready to incinerate himself for only a moment of warmth. As he drew closer, he saw another man approaching from across the deck. He gave the guy a hard look, and the dude stepped off, hands up to communicate “no harm no foul.” Cade slid into position to her right and set the shots down on the railing.

“Tequila?” he asked, turning to look at her profile. She had high cheekbones, and her skin was dark for a blonde, a beautiful golden shade that made her look like she’d walked off the pages of a swimsuit magazine. Her nose was straight and small, turning up ever so slightly on the end, but her lips were full, covered in some sort of peach shiny stuff that Cade thought might taste quite good if he could lick it off her.

She turned to look at him when he spoke to her, and the breath was knocked clean out of him. Instead of the standard blue eyes that he’d expect from a blonde, hers were amber, almost glowing under the frame of thick black lashes. She blinked up at him, and Cade’s sore heart gave a jolt that nearly had him gasping.

***

Cade’s Loss is the first in three books about the Jenkins brothers and their Big Sur ranch along the Pacific Coast Highway. I hope you’ll love this book as much as I do. It’s available in both ebook and paperback, and well, just look at that cover ;).

Buy Cade’s Loss here:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kBKJ7e
Nook BN: http://bit.ly/2mfLFPl
iBooks: https://itun.es/us/INj2hb.l 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kLoQG2
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2lrs9Qv
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2kTzuum
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2loXB0K
Paperback: http://bit.ly/2kqL3WR