Thursday, December 20, 2012

It May Be the Day Before the Darkest Day of the Year...But it's All Joy and Light Up in Here!!

Hello, friends! Thank you all for being so cool and patient after I announced a book release date and then seemingly fell of the edge of the earth! I was actually battling a family flu, writing and editing, and poking my itchy ears with Q-tips until I developed a nasty ear infection. Word of warning: Q-tips are to be used gently, lovas, so gently! Hahaha!!

So there is some fantastic news to announce. First and foremost, I'd like to tell my UK/Australia/Ireland/Falkland Island readers why they can't seem to get a hold of my books. The incredibly cool team at Random House UK swooped in and asked if I'd like to work with them. Which means that some of my titles (Double Clutch, Junk Miles, Slow Twitch, and Fall Guy) will be available in stores in the UK and assorted territories! Which is super exciting and makes me so happy. Random House UK is filled with passionate, book-loving people and I'm truly pleased we're working together!

It does put a snafu in what I can release where, and for that I'm sorry. I can't tell you how much I love you all, and how amazing it is to have people in other countries waiting on my books. I can promise to keep you updated, and I can tell you that they have been unbelievably quick and eager to get the books out...which is, again, beyond rad! One very fun tweak is that my books are getting new covers! Would you like to see the first two?? WOULD YOU?! YOU WOULD!!! Well, here you go!
Funny story...I actually had this exact couple saved in a file for use on a Youngblood cover that I hadn't ordered yet. So, yes, apparently the art team at Random House UK and I are psychically connected. LOVE!!

Isn't she GORGEOUS!! Like Brenna, but all glammed up for an exciting night dancing in London. LOVE THIS!!

Beyond my exciting UK news, Benelli and Cormac's book Perfectly Unmatched is out for limited territories on Amazon! I'm sorry to those of you who can't access it yet, but I promise it's coming widespread soon! Despite coughing up a lung while writing this, I loved every minute of this book. I love Benelli and Cormac as a couple...they may have made me laugh more than any couple has before. I loved the changes the Youngblood family went through...they're learning and growing every day! And I loved getting to visit with Winch and Evan, getting to see a whole new side of Lala, getting to know them all in a different way. It was an awesome experience, and I hope you love it as much as I did!

So, that's all my awesome news! Yep, pretty overwhelmingly awesome. Thank you all so much for being amazing and cool and bearing with me and celebrating with all rock hard, and I sincerely wish you the happiest holidays and the very best for this upcoming new year!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I'm slowly recovering from a bout of the flu, and what better way to follow up a night of cold sweats and shivering than with something fun and a new book cover! Benelli is Winchester's sister in Fall Guy, and she's got some major romantic problems of her own. I love her and Cormac's story, and am excited to be able to share it with you guys very, December 20th soon! So, here it is, thank you so much for taking a look, and I may be going to hit the NyQuil again!

Benelli Youngblood is dedicated to her family. Unlike her unpredictable, selfish siblings, Benelli plans to do what's expected of her: get married to a good, stable man who will help her father save his floundering business. And she's sure her current boyfriend is that man.

When she catches said boyfriend sleeping with his secretary, she hops the first plane to her family's summer house in Hungary armed with a list of eligible men from solid families to go on dates with so she can find the perfect marriage partner. It may sound old-fashioned, but it's what's always worked for her family, and it's how she'll mend her shattered heart.

What she doesn't plan on is falling for Cormac Halstrom. The witty, sexy professor with no interest in business or marriage couldn't be further from the right choice for her. But his hot kisses and sweet words make her feel something she hasn't in years; she finally feels like herself.

When things go too far with Cormac and her family shows up unexpectedly, Benelli will have to decide if she's going to listen to her heart or her head when it comes to finding her perfect match.

PERFECTLY UNMATCHED is a new adult novel that contains mature language, sexuality, and adult situations.

Monday, December 3, 2012

On Merriness, Baby Love, Awesome Friends, Awesome News, Boston, New Books, Upcoming Covers, and Winning...Always Winning :)!

There has been much coolness in life recently!! I got a new baby niece last night...she had a bit of a tough time at first, but she's doing great and is a gorgeous little monkey I cannot WAIT to meet. I'd already be holding her, but my daughter would go nuts if she found out I visited a baby without her ;)!

Hey baby girl!! She had a rough time coming into the world, and her arm is bandaged because of a broken clavicle...but she's on the mend, doing awesome now, and I can't wait to snoogle her ;)! Babies are rad, right?! LOVE EM!!

And I'm feeling warm fuzzies. My writing partner and amazing friend, Steph Campbell got a deal through Simon and Schuster UK for Grounding Quinn and Delicate. I fell in love with Steph over Quinn, then helped beta Syd's story, so these two books hold a special place in my heart, and now they will hold a special place on bookshelves in the UK. Which means...STEPH AND LIZ UK TRIP!! I think it would be super awesome to go stroke their glossy covers overseas!

Not only did Steph get this great deal, but S&S was smart enough to scoop up Abbi Glines, Nicole Williams, and Jamie McGuire, too!! Talk about an author list full of AWESOME!! I could not be prouder of these incredibly talented women!!

Check out the good news below:

And, in the midst of all this warm happiness, Steph and I are GIVING AWAY not one but TWO Kindle Paperwhites!! Why? Because we love each other so much and always want to share cool things, so we want you to be able to win one and give one to YOUR bestie. Shared love rocks the hizzle and that's that. So PLEASE enter to have two weeks from today, which means this would arrive in time to be a rad holiday gift for someone special. Plus you win a Kindle for being so all works out!!

Click right here and enter the amazing giveaway!!

Have you been kind of wanting to meet me and get a big, crushing bear hug and have me sign your bra (hahaha! or your book or your ebook cover or you bag...whatever you'd like!)? Well, cool news...I'll be in BOSTON, MA on MARCH 16 along with many, many other amazing, wonderful, phenomenally cool writers. Please think about hanging with us, and please tell all your friends! The more the merrier, no doubt!! I will be providing a link with more info and the full author list as soon as it's available!

In parting, I'd like to announce that I've been quiet lately, but it's because I have been busy. I promise! Steph whipped me to get A Toast to the Good Times out in time for the holidays, and then I was crazy focused on Benelli's book...I'm planning to reveal that cover very soon, and would love to leave you with a snippet of her story. I'll keep posting teasers, and you'll get a chance to hear from her guy as well! Stay tuned!

(Also, if you are a blogger (or just a reader) interested in sharing the cover on your blog, FB page, on twitter or any other forum, please shoot me an email at or PM me on my author page on FB ( and let me know...I'd be glad to send you the link and have your help with the share ;)!)

So, I love you all. Love you big. Hope you win things and love people and read stuff that makes you happy and maybe come and hug me in March!!

And now, here's some Benelli angst!

And then he’s right there.
My secret. My love. My infuriating puzzle of a boyfriend. The one person who understands exactly what I want and could be my perfect match in life and love.
If he would just take the next step with me.
“Hello,” I whisper, breathing in the clean, cologne-laced smell of his skin mixed with the leather of his jacket and the faint aroma of the Marlboro he smoked before he came here. His breath is laced with Jack, and his dark eyes half-close when he looks me over.
“How the hell do you get more damn beautiful every time I see you?” he asks, his mouth closing over mine.
I fall deep into that perfect, delicious kiss, letting all the worries I’ve carried like a yoke on my shoulders ease away. “Damian?”
“Mmm?” His mouth drags from my lips and forges an urgent path down my neck and back up, meeting my lips again before I have a chance to say what I need to say. When he finally pulls back and I’m completely out of breath, he starts to undo the laces that hold the top of my shirt together. “What were you saying, princess?”
“It’s just…” I put a hand on his wrist and still his fingers. “It’s my father.”
His spine goes stiff, and he jerks away from me and sighs, running an irritated hand over his face. “This again?” He blows a long, aggravated breath out and holds his hands up at his sides. “Okay, shoot. I know you’re not going to let me rest until you get to say your piece. So say what you need to say.”
“You and I talked about announcing…about letting them know…if he knows our intentions, he’ll give us his blessing, and we can go ahead and start planning for a wedding. I mean, once we’re officially engaged and all.” All the words I want to say are perfect, ripe pieces of fruit dangling just out of my reach. I press on, desperate to get my point across no matter how clumsily I present it. “He needs help. And if you and I were married, he’d trust you to—”
“I’m not really sure why exactly we gotta wait on your dad’s blessing to start living our life, Benelli,” he interrupts, his words ricocheting out a little too loud. He corner-eyes the door and drops his voice. “See? This is what I mean. All this sneaking around is ridiculous. Why is it that we always need permission to do anything? You’re a grown woman, not a little kid. I’m a grown man. I’ve proven myself in the game, and that should be enough for your old man. I feel like once we go begging for his permission, he’s gonna have a leash around my neck that he’ll yank whenever he wants.”
“It’s not like that,” I protest, rubbing my fingers over the sensitive spot on the back of his neck that always soothes him. “What my dad will offer us after we’re married will eventually become our own piece of the business. Sure, we’ll have to help him for the first few years to pay back for the startup, but that’s not him having a leash around your neck. It’s just a business arrangement.”
He rolls his neck on his shoulders and presses his body closer to mine, possessively.
“So I’m not his slave, but I’m his indentured servant for life?” Damian’s hands reach up and grip my shoulders. “Benelli, run away with me. Tonight. Elope with me. I promise you, we’ll have to start small, but I’ll give you twice what your mother has in three years, if not sooner. You’ll live like a duchess, like you deserve. And I’ll be able to hold my head up around your father.”
My heart thunders in my chest, bolts of lightening spark through my brain, and the cold, clear downfall of this potential reality soaks through the skin of my conscience.
I break from his touch and put my hands on my cheeks, burning up with the exciting possibility of doing this, breaking out and flying in my own direction for once.
But I can’t. A decision this big is one I need to make with my family at my side. No question. I take a few controlled breaths and focus.
“Damian, I could never do that to my parents. My mother has been looking forward to my wedding for my entire life. It would be a huge slap in the face to just not include her. And my father is a very powerful man. He’s going to want someone as talented as you on his side, not competing with him. Don’t you see how if we do this together, with my family, it will be that much better?”
But, instead of my calm words arranging everything in neat little piles like I wanted, it’s like they’re a tornado ripping through the plans for our life. Damien is not happy, I’m not happy, and I know my father and mother will be completely unhappy if I even consider eloping.
They might even be furious knowing I’m dating Damien.
Because that’s not what we agreed to.
Because I was supposed to wait for them to begin arranging dates for me with eligible men, men who would understand all that I’m trying to explain to Damien without my having to deal with the issue of this frustrating angst.
But things got so crazy with my other siblings, and I was so lonely, and Damien seemed…like he would fit in. Like he was the right person. So I took a chance and started to see him behind my parents’ backs, and the more I knew about him, the more I knew they’d appreciate what a good, level-headed choice I’d made.
It’s just hard to get him to play by the rules. He always has a hard time seeing the bigger picture.
“I’m not going to be a soldier for the Youngblood family, Benelli.” He takes his hands off my arms and backs up, edging out the door, his mouth hard and pulled to one side. “You need to know when it’s time to cut ties with your family and start your own life on your own terms.” One of his hands is fisted around the doorknob, waiting for me to call him back, tell him I want what he wants.
“Damien, please stay.” I walk over to him, and he lets my body curve close to his, watches my fingers brush lightly over his chest and down to his belt-buckle. I keep my voice low and throaty, trying to seduce him back to a better place.“We can talk about this more. If you listen to what I’m saying, I know you’ll see—”
“There’s nothing else to say.” He cuts me off, his words sharp, his body twisting away from mine. “You need to make a choice. Me or them.” He holds his arms up and out at his sides.
I cross my arms tight over my body and pop one hip to the side as I watch him stalk backward out the door. “You’re being ridiculous. You call me when you’re ready to talk like a reasonable man. I don’t do ultimatums, Damien. Do you hear me?”
I watch his dark silhouette head back to his car, parked far enough up the street that the rumble of his engine won’t alert my parents to his presence, and I feel a mix of dread and despair that puts all my thoughts into a cyclone of jumbled confusion.
He’ll be back, I tell myself. He just technically proposed to me.
He’ll definitely be back.
I lie down on my bed and fold my hands over my stomach, watching the ghostly flicker of the candlelight on the walls until the first flame drowns in the melted wax and sputters to its smoky death. Shadows chase across my ceiling and more candles extinguish as I doze in and out of a choppy pseudo-sleep that’s interrupted by dreams that feel so real and ominous, I startle awake over and over.
Every time I jolt awake from another mini-nightmare, I’m shocked that Damian isn’t in my room, flowers in hand, a small smile of apology on his face. Somewhere between midnight and early sunrise, I fall into a dark sleep that’s mercifully dreamless and wake way too early. I welcome this new day with such an enormous leaden lump gathering weight in the pit of my stomach, no amount of concentrated Reclining Goddess pose can get rid of it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A New Project and Cover Love!!

A few months ago, Steph Campbell and I collaborated on a New Adult romance, Lengths. It was the most fun I've ever had writing, hands down, and as soon as we were done, we said, "What next?" (Because we're crazy and writing-addicted and fun-lovers.)

"What next?" is finally an answerable question! Steph and I squished our brains together again and came up with a book we totally love, and hope you will too! This is a New Adult book that takes place right before Christmas...but it's not exactly a holiday tale.

It's a book about messing up and running away. But it's also about finding lust and losing love and closing off and opening back up. It's a book about families who fight as fiercely as they love and all the things that tear them apart and piece them back together. And it's also funny and sexy and romantic. We really love it, and we can't wait to share it!

We do have to wait, though, which makes us glum.

But, until the whole book comes out, we can totally share the cover and blurb (which makes us very cheery) and will now ;)! 

(Please feel free to snatch and share at will! Thank you!)

 It’s the eve before Christmas Eve, and all that twenty-three-year-old Landry has on the agenda for the holiday is moping in the bar that he left everything behind to open.

And he’s got plenty to mope about.

He found his girlfriend treating herself to a little holiday delight with his best friend;
He hasn’t seen his family in over a year- since he alienated them all and ended up spending a night in jail;
And he may have just ruined the perfect, uncomplicated thing he had going with his platonically hot roommate, Mila.

Drinks all around!

But when he gets a call from his sister, Paisley, begging him to make it home for a huge announcement, he tosses aside his better judgment, (or, what’s left of it after that last round of drinks) and hops on the first train back home to Jersey.

But home for the holidays isn’t all mugs of cocoa and fireside chats with his family.
Landry left the people he loves the most high and dry when he fled to Boston and spent all of his inheritance…the inheritance money that he was supposed to use to help save his family’s floundering bar.

His dad will hardly look at him, his ex is maybe stalking him, his sister has dropped a bombshell on the family, and a flame from the past catches his eye. When Landry’s present and near past collide, it only further complicates things.

Landry thought he was leaving all of his problems behind when he left his family in New Jersey. But he comes home to find out that problems, like family, never go away. And sometimes facing the past with the help of someone who’s fearless about the future is the only way to move on.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


Fall Guy is officially out and about in the cyber world!!

I wanted to write something poignant and deep about this journey...but my brains are fried! Hahahaha! That's what staying up half the night checking to see if your book went live will do to you!

So, until I'm more coherent, here is the link to Fall Guy on Amazon, and I will update links as they go live.

And thank you to everyone who's been excited, cheered me on, given me positive guys rock. So hard. Seriously! 

You can pick up a copy at Amazon now!

Friday, September 7, 2012

FALL GUY Release Day Madness!

I've been locked away in a cave, writing, rewriting, editing, thinking...and I have a date and a sneak peek and need a long nap! A nice long one.

The official Fall Guy release date is September 20! That's only about 2 weeks away, so I'm getting excited for you all to see Evan and Winch's story!

In honor of the 2 week countdown, here's a little teaser that I hope you'll all enjoy. And now, how 'bout that nap!

I put on a clean pair to mollify her, give her and Granddaddy a kiss, and fly to my car, ready for the day, eager as a kid ignoring the burn of the hot sand to get to the beach.
Eager for a day of muscle-tiring, bone-deep ache-inducing labor in some old dump.
With Winch.
Brenna texts me.

Brenna: Ready for your date with criminally hot McHottie?!?! Get it. It's a pun! Get it?
Me: You're such a dork. And don't be a halfwit. I told you about the guy at the park.
Brenna: I can smell a lie, miss! Are you rushing to see him NOW? Sweaty palms? Butterflies in your stomach?
Me: Can't text. About to drive.
Brenna: LOL!! I KNEW IT!!

I pull in at the dilapidated building that is looking much less dilapidated with every hour of work we chisel into it and feel puffy-chested with pride. I'd accomplished things before; written papers, completed projects, aced exams. But I'd never worked with my hands, turning something ugly into something gorgeous using my own sweat and talent. Well, using a ton of criminals' sweat and my very limited-but-slowly-increasing talent.
When I walk in, the officer in charge, Officer Rannick, points me in the direction of one of the offices we'd painted last week. "They refinished the floors and the precinct had some file cabinets sent over. Unfortunately, they tipped some of the drawers out. They're letter labeled. You just need to fish though the files and put the correct ones in, back in order."
"Okay." So today will be an easy day compared to the grueling grind of last week. I go through the door and my eyes nearly evacuate their sockets. "Oh shi...z," I amend as Officer Rannick frowns.
"Go ahead. You can handle it." She opens the door wider, and I stumble into a roaring, heaping, sliding typhoon of papers that goes up to my knees and has absolutely no rhyme or reason that I can decipher. My eyes race a circuit around the cluttered, paper-filled room, and I feel like I've been buried in sand up to my neck, weighed down by the millions of individual grains.
But, if I'm going to be balls-to-the-wall honest with myself, this never-ending deluge of papers spiraling in every direction isn't what makes my heart drop.
Winchester isn't here.
I edge a pile of papers aside with my toe and consider that he might just be late. I put my back to a huge filing cabinet and push off with my feet to move it and rationalize that maybe last week was just a fluke. There is no reason to expect we'd be assigned together every single time. The cabinet slides against the wall and gives me a tiny square of space to work in, and I pick up a few manila folders and put them back down, shuffle some papers into a heap, and stare at the never-ending, impossibly overwhelming whirlpool threatening to suck me down. I put my hand to my mouth, praying I won't turn sissy, cry my eyes out, and make all my lovingly applied eye makeup roll down my face.
A light knock at the window glass makes me jump and skid on the files and folders, and I can't help the upswing in my heart when I see his face, all soft blue eyes and wry smile. I throw up the sash and say, "Hey, slacker. You having a picnic out there?"

If you love cyber parties and book talk and random ramblings from me and here to attend the Fall Guy Release Party! The downside is that we can't have snacks or dancing. Well, we can. But in our own homes. Which is nice, since you won't have to worry about double-dipping or some lunatic doing the sprinkler and konking you in the head. But the upside is that you can go in your pajamas with unwashed hair (NOT that that's my plan...but, you know, sometimes writers get busy and lose their minds in a social sense!) and still mingle! So come as you are...and celebrate!! WHEE!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

When The Critics Get You Down: Sail Away With Me (Or Them...At the Bottom of This Post...They Look Like They're Having Fun, Whatever They're Doing)

When I was a junior in high school I took crafts.

I come from an extremely artistic area. People don't mess around when they're making their crafts.

It was a really normal thing to see a gorgeous girl with long, flowing hair sporting amazing metalwork jewelry...that she'd designed herself. Or a guy would come in with these incredible leather boots that he'd learned to hand-stitch while apprenticing himself to a cobbler. So, I was running with the big dogs.

And crafts were NOT my forte. My craft teacher would set his mouth in a firm line and shake his head over my ghoulish projects. They had no symmetry. They had no elegance. They were poorly done and often cracked in the kiln or got knotted in a lopsided macrame explosion.

This is actually a project by a 4th grader who was supposed to make an 'ugly jug.' This young person did a fine job. I did something similar when I was a junior, but, um, mine was NOT supposed to be an ugly jug. Even to this day...I still find this 'ugly' jug pleasant to the eye! Yes, you can totally call me crazy!

Crafts wasn't the first class I was awful in. I was a junior who also had math class with sophomores. I was used to big red x-marks on my papers. But I didn't care too much about math. (Sorry, Mr. Warwick. You were amazing, and I should have paid more attention. Now I have to count on my fingers when I add the tip to the total at a restaurant.) And the x-marks on a math paper just said that I hadn't done the problem correctly. Okay. I could see the mistakes I made. Nothing personal.

My craft teacher's critiques were a little more difficult to take. I think he thought I could do better. I think he thought I was messing around. I think he thought I was wasting his time and mine. He wasn't a fuzzy, sweet, encouraging teacher. He said things like:

"This piece is hardly worth grading."

"You tried to combine colors to make a statement. Instead you made a mess."

"You have no eye for the aesthetic."

Ooooh. Burn!! But, you know, he made some good points.

So, that girl with the gorgeous necklaces and the boy with the boots would come over and re-adjust my clay pieces or walk me through thread patterns until I got it. A little. Slowly.

When I said maybe I should quit crafts because I clearly wasn't cut out for it, they'd jangle their silver rings and toss their manes of always gorgeous, beaded hair and say, "If you want to be an artist, you have to do it in the face of criticism. You have to do it because you love it. And, if you love it enough, you just keep doing it."

Sitting with them, watching them do what they did with such passion and purpose, made me try harder. I put all my efforts to making a fabulous art project.

Yeah, this is what my high school art classes looked like. I was usually sitting in the corner with an extremely well made, gorgeous dunce cap on.

Um. Yeah. My craft teacher won that round.

My skills were negligible and, even though I stuck with crafts because I loved the people, I moved on to poetry. I looooved poetry. But it still wasn't right.

Finally, one day, when I was supposed to be writing a term paper, I wrote a book.

My craft teacher would have had a field day with that baby!! One-dimensional characters? Check! Wooden dialogue? Check! Complete lack of plot? CHECK!!


But I met other writers. I read books. I grew my skill base. And, finally, I was ready to publish.

In the back of my head, I thought there would be criticism. But it couldn't be much, right? Because I loved doing this so much, and I was so proud of what I'd done. It had to be something everyone would love...right?

Um. The answer is a firm 'no.'

Some critics were nice. Some were harsh. Some picked apart the book. Some picked apart me. Some made me tear up. All made me a tad obsessed.

So how do you deal? How does it work when someone doesn't like what you do or say or just plain old silly you?

C'mon! Who could hate this little guy? Who? (Maybe someone...but not me!! Awww! Look at those eyes!!)

Now, this is only my advice, but I think it's pretty good.

Remember my craft teacher? You know what I said to him after I'd gone to college and came out with a shiny art history degree with honors?


I went back to high school and rubbed shoulders with all those teachers who had been sweet and encouraging. Like Mr. Warwick. Man, that guy never gave up on me! I'm so sorry I still run screaming when I see the Pythagoras Theorem. I talked to the teachers who saw my weaknesses, pointed them out, then held a hand out and helped walk me through getting better. My craft teacher and I never got along, so why waste time hanging with him, when I could hardly see and thank all the people who cared about seeing me achieve?

And remember the books I wrote? When my rank is amazing and my selling is great, you know what I say to the haters?


It's cool to have your opinion. Some people are really good at writing clear, respectful reviews even when they didn't like a book. Others aren't. In the end, there are so many well-wishers, critique partners, readers, other writers, supportive family members, whining pets, bouncing children demanding attention...I honestly have no time for anything but the good!

And it's been so good! So, so, so sweet and good!

If I focused on the bad, I'd be giving a ton of attention to one small sliver of reality that comes with writing. I don't even have time to focus on all the good! Right now there are books on my dining room table waiting to be sent out to readers who took the time to enter a contest to win my book. MY BOOK!! There are emails from readers who loved the story I wrote. Enough to EMAIL ME!! There are other authors who have the most amazing conversations with  me about craft and life and what we do and why we do it. And they are my fangirl-squealish FAVORITE WRITERS OF ALL TIME!!

Life is amazing. I. Have. Zero. Complaints.

This happy! Deranged 90s cartoon happy! Happy happy joy joy happy!! Don't even test me, because I will sing and dance and draw you into my weird, crazy happy! I'm serious! So happily serious!

Well. Maybe I have a few complaints. Like, could a hard-working writer get her husband to help fold laundry once in a while? And how did I miss the ENTIRE Olympic games on TV? And could my kid stay little for just a while longer, because it's all going by too fast.

Life is going to throw me some wicked curve-balls.

It's done it before.

It will do it again.

But now?

Right now?

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I feel good. I feel like sending some big love to my craft teacher and the people who write angry reviews, because, c'mon guys! Loosen up! My craft teacher only had me in class for one period a day for two years. That's not so much time spent looking at my ugly work (even if it was really, really, really ugly!).

And people who hate my books? I put my name on the cover of every single one, so you will never have to read a second if you didn't like the first. And there are so many great books out there! So many! Do NOT waste time with authors who don't ring your bell, for whatever reason. I don't! I barely have time to read all the books I just KNOW I'm going to fall in love with!

There are so many others to choose from, and, I say this with total happiness: GO READ SOME AMAZING AUTHORS!! If you need some excellent recs, I have them all over my Facebook page. There are so many on my Kindle, I'd need a separate HOUSE to store them in if I owned them in paperback.

In short, my optimism is just bordering on ridiculous. How could it not be? Things are pretty damn awesome at Casa de Reinhardt. And we hope, here amid the dog farts and unfolded laundry and crazy happiness, that things are just as good for you. (Even if you hate my anthromorphic clay pot or my teen angst book. Even still. Find your happy, baby!!)

Hey, it's not my personal idea of fun...but these people look like they're having a blast! So, more power to them! And, you know what, maybe whatever they're wearing on their heads IS fun to paddle around in. I try to keep an open mind!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Friday!! And An Early Release Surprise!!

Steph Campbell is this brilliant, undeniably adorable writer who shares my passion for sexy, angsty books. Some kind of wonderful luck led us down the co-writing path, and we wrote a book we're both super, amazingly, incredibly proud of. So we wrote this book, and polished it, and polished it more, and picked a date for release.

Then we kinda had nothing left to do.

When she told me we should release Lengths a tiny bit ahead of our planned August 13th reveal day, I was a Nervous Nellie. Should we take more time? Slow down? Think things through?

There she was, on the other end of the phone, laughing her beguiling laugh and making such sensible arguments.

She has a will of steel and a head full of logic.

So, with our excited powers combined, Steph Campbell and I are proud to release (just a tad early!) our much loved book baby, the New Adult contemporary romance, Lengths! We hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fall Guy Friday Sneak Peek...And Then Right Back To Work, I Swear!!

I promised a very cool reader/blogger a sneak peek of Fall Guy, but totally lost track of time yesterday and didn't get to put it up!

Easily remedied! Here is a little snippet from Fall Guy, my New Adult, due out the end of this month. Evan and Winch keep bumping into one another, going crazy and stumbling over problems. And it's making things hard and exciting and oh so full of angst. Read away and enjoy ;)!

And sharing today makes awesome sense, because the lovely Indie Bookshelf is running a Fall Guy Friday-a-thon until this book comes out! What a rad way to end the week! Head over there later this evening for a swoon-worthy review of Forgiving Trinity, which, if you haven't read it, might be something you'd like to check out until I get this bad boy up and running. 

This morning has been like every other tangled, crazy, hot time Winch and I collide. It’s strange how it’s possible for me to go from thinking he’s the only guy I’ll ever want to be with, to considering slicing him out of my life completely and possibly punching him in the nuts as a sendoff.
But there’s something about him that keeps me right in the eye of the storm, no matter how nasty it gets.
And it’s just gotten rip-off-the-roof, flood-that-will-float-your-car-away nasty.
I snuggle in his arms, enjoying the clover and spice tang of his skin, my tiny bikini burning to have his eyes all over it (and his hands all under it) when his damn phone plays “She’s Like the Wind.”
My first thought is, Who the hell would he use that ringtone for?
My second thought, tripping right on the heels of my first thought, is, It’s not “House of the Rising Sun!”
My second thought is so overwhelmingly ecstatic, it blots out my first entirely, and I don’t even have the urge to vomit over that cheese-tastic ringtone or grill him about who would have inspired it.
Until his mouth opens and he starts to say words I’m not ready to hear.
“It’s Remy, Evan. I’m so sorry—”
“No, no, no, no, no,” I interrupt, pressing my fingers against his mouth urgently “No! I’ve got a bikini on. A scandalous bikini. I ordered it from Paris. No one in America has a bikini this sexy.” I push close to him, the phone locked in his hand between our bodies. “Winch, you promised me, ten minutes ago, you promised me things would be different. You promised—”
Winch closes his eyes and groans. “Oh, baby. Please. Hear me out.”
It’s the first time he’s called me ‘baby.’ A pleasant tingle thrills through me, up my arms and down my spine, in direct contrast with the molten anger that’s volcanoing through my blood “Explain, then,” I demand. His eyes fly open, and I take two big steps back before I cross my arms in the international girl-sign that unequivocally communicates ‘watch what you’re going to say very closely.’
He clears his throat, runs a hand over his hair, double checks the message on his phone, moves toward me, groans when I move back, and finally opens his mouth to talk. “Remy’s about to fight.”
He stops. I glare. “Really? Behind the baseball dugout at three sharp? What is he, in middle school? If your brother wants to fight, let him fight.”
Winch grips the roof of the car and grimaces. “Okay, listen. You’re gonna hate this, but listen. My family…where I come from, a fight is more than a fight, okay? When the families fight, there’s a lot at stake, and Remy just picked a really, really powerful family to throw down with. Pissing them off isn’t a good idea, and it will mean a lot of bad for everybody if he loses. Basically he can’t lose. So I gotta go. It will take half an hour, an hour tops, then I come back, get you, and you let me see that sexy-ass bathing suit that’s already making me crazy.” He holds his fists out in front of his body hopefully and gives me his best, charming, begging smile.
“You know that saying, ‘A picture’s worth a thousand words’?” I ask. Winch nods with slow uncertainty. “Well, a live fight is probably worth twenty-thousand questions.So I’m in.” I pull on the passenger door handle and attempt to swing the door open, but Winch already has his hand on the frame and is shutting it before I can slide in.
“Out of the question.” He takes me by the shoulders and moves me two steps over, back toward my grandparents’ house. “A fight is no place for you. It’s dangerous. I’ll be out there in the mix. I won’t be able to help you if anyone messes with you, and—” He pulls back and lets this long, low whistle escape his mouth. “You’re gonna get messed with. Look at you.” He shakes his head. “Anything else you want, you got it. Anything. Just not this.”
Every internal alarm bell is sounding off like crazy, and I decide to give Winch a final trial by fire. “What if I asked to be invited to dinner at your family’s place? And go to mass with you? Next week?”
The color leaks out of his face and leaves it looking drawn and ashen. His mouth pulls tight and his eyes blink fast. Then he looks at me levelly and nods. “Okay. Done.”
“Really? You’d do that for me?” My heart does this little slide, shuffle, slide before it leaps up and kicks its heels together.
He delivers the sweetest half-smile, all sexy curve of the lip and gorgeously half-lidded eyes. “Of course. You’re my girl. You gotta meet them all sometime anyway. Might as well be sooner than later. I’m gonna warn you, though; they are crazy as hell.”
The fear and worry on his face is so bald it’s almost dizzyingly hilarious. I slide my hands down his arms and pull on his elbows. “I don’t want that until you’re positive you’re ready.” The color springs back to his skin, and he sags with visible relief. “But I do want to come with you to this fight. Now. No more arguing. And I can take care of myself.”
He tenses back up. “No way. Dinner every night with my family for the rest of the month if you want. By the way, I’m positive you’re gonna regret asking for that. My family is not the party you think they are.” I purse my lips and he rushes to add, “Dates. Weekly dates. Phone call check-ins, love letters, that sonnet I promised you. Anything, Evan, but not this.” He comes towards me and takes my hands in his. “I’m begging you, not this.”
It’s romance. Every word out of his mouth is like the first time I wrapped my arms around a boy’s gangly neck and slow-danced in eighth grade; thrilling, exquisite, exciting romance. But I’ve let him direct enough of this relationship, and I know I have the leverage to make this happen.
“I. Want. To. Go.” I set my feet apart in a determined stance and radiate a pure refusal to back down.


Does Evan go?
Does Winch stick to his guns?
Will Liz focus and get today's chapter done?
I can't tell you the answers to the first two, but the answer to the last is: YES!! GOING RIGHT NOW!!
Have a lovely weekend, all!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Sweet Sneak Peek of *Lengths,* Chapter One (AND Chapter Two...Cause Steph Campbell And I Are CRAZY Like That!

The fabulous Steph Campbell and I are diving into final edits on our New Adult book Lengths, and we're so hyper-uber-phenomenally excited, we decided to share the first chapters of our book. 

Though this was a total collaboration, with each one of us tweaking/adding to the other's chapters, in rough form I would write from Deo's point of view, and Steph would write from Whit's. 

We alternated back and forth (which I LOVED), so I will be posting the ARC version of chapter one, from Deo's perspective, right here!

If you skip over to Steph's blog, you'll be able to read chapter two, which is Whit's first chapter.

SQUEE!!! We're almost there, friends!! This book makes me swoon, hardcore!

And, just for gorgeousness (and because I love blogs with pics) here's the cover one more time:


Chapter 1


My mom stuffs me with homemade coconut cake laced with dark rum and gives me a name and number on an old scrap of grey recycled paper for my twenty-second birthday.

“Rocko does fantastic work.” She pulls down one shoulder on her flowery dress and shows me a bunch of lotus flowers in pinks and whites so perfect, I feel like if I reach out the petals would be smooth under my fingertips. “Tell him I sent you and that this means we’re even.” She ducks her face down, all her waist-long hair falling forward and hiding her little blush like she’s a teenager with some crazy crush.

I shake the paper at her. “C’mon. Tell me you didn’t do some fucking booty-call barter to get me a tat.”

Her eyes, light brown just like mine, narrow in my direction. “Don’t be a creep, Deo. First of all, the lavender I just pressed sold out before I finished bottling it, and I have double orders in for my next harvest. Secondly, my nookie is none of your damn business, but I will voluntarily tell you that I don’t use it for barter.” Her lecture completely loses its serious tone, and she pokes me with a foot decorated with a dozen silver rings. “Though it’s so damn good I could make a killing off of it if I wanted to.”

I’d just scooped a mouthful of rummy icing into my mouth, and now I have to resist the urge to vomit it back up. “Too much, Mom. I don’t need to know.”

“Then stop being a smart-ass and say thank you when your mother gives you a perfectly nice gift.”

She holds her cheek out and I kiss it, catching a whiff of the vanilla and jasmine scent she mixes herself in her little hippie-dippie store. It’s not my thing, but I’m happy for her. Her weird little cottage full of creepy potions and witchcraft draws every looney hippie from a hundred miles in for all kinds of herbs and oils, and she makes a decent slice for herself. I like that I don’t need to worry about her and that she’s happy.

And I thank Gaia, or whoever the hell she’s praying to nowadays, that she can’t hear my thoughts and give me another women’s libber speech. My mom thinks it’s cool that she doesn’t have to rely on a man for her living. Me too. Just, sometimes, I wish she had someone else to lean on when shit gets rough.

“Thank you. It’s an awesome gift. You know most moms would have picked up a nice sweater set or a tie or something.” I tug on her long hair, red from the henna she puts in it all the time.

She lays a cool hand on my arm. “Really? A tie?” For a minute she squishes her eyebrows down together uncertainly, like maybe she’s thinking a tie would have been a good idea.

“I have no clue, actually. We’re not most people, right? Let me go get a nice heathenish tattoo to celebrate my youth before it’s all gone.” Mom likes being edgy except when she thinks I’m behind the curve or losing out.

And considering I’m officially twenty-two, recently fired from my fucktastic full-time job, without a place of my own or reliable transportation, maybe she thinks a tie might have given me some direction. 

“Just…get something meaningful, okay? Something you really care about.” Her eyes are shiny, probably from tears, but I’m just gonna pretend it’s because she’s excited.

I grab my hoodie off the back of the old wooden kitchen chair. “So, no severed clown heads?”

A smile tugs on one side of her mouth. “No. Unless you have some spiritual tie to severed clown heads. Don’t forget to take a plate of cake for Grandpa.” She gives me a too-tight squeeze as I head out the door, the cake she wrapped up balanced on one hand. “Oh! And you got a package.”

The smile that was almost a real thing goes wooden and overly wide on her face. I sigh, not knowing what’s in the little brown box, but positive about who it’s from.

“Dad?” I don’t want to even take the fucking thing, but she’s holding it out with all this hope, like I’ll be able to be super mature and look past his douchiness and be glad he sent something.

Being cool with his fuck-ups is her bag, not mine.

“You know he wanted to be here this summer, Deo. You know that. He’s in the Congo. There’s no way he could have made it back.” She presses the little box my way, and I pull it out of her hands and turn it over in mine, wishing I was badass enough to toss it in the garbage and not give it another glance.

But he’s still my dad. He still sent a gift. He still fucking cares, even if it’s not as much as he should.

I hold it next to my ear and shake it, long like a pencil case and strangely light. “I’m gonna guess it’s a boomerang.”

“Did he ever wind up getting you one? You must have asked five or six years in a row.” She tucks her hair behind her ears, and it hits me again how much my grown mother can look like a little girl. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t do the whole makeup thing or because she wears all this jangly jewelry like some teenager, or just because she has this optimistic-but-vulnerable vibe down pat, but she looks so young, it’s easy for me to pack up whatever hard shit I’m trying to deal with and put it away where it won’t bother her.

“Yeah. The Christmas I was fifteen. Airmail from Sydney.” I toss the box and catch it in the hand not balancing the cake. “Thanks for the cake and the number. I’ll stop by when I’ve got some decent ink to show you, alright?”

She leans in the door frame behind the torn screen door I should fix but haven’t bothered to yet and smiles at me.

Pissed as I am at my father, I sure as shit managed to pick up some of his crappiest traits. Like being able to leave my mom hanging. Worrying the piss out of her. Dropping more on her shoulders than she needs to deal with.

I slam the door on my Jeep and throw the box into the back, then pull away from my mother’s house fast so I don’t have to focus on that rolling disappointment, all wishful eyes and sweet, sad smile. 

I slide my phone out and unfold the scrap of paper she gave me, dialing with half an eye on the road.

“This is Rocko.” The voice is business-crisp.

“Hey. Marigold Beckett gave me your number, told me I should call you for some good ink.” I glance at the box from my father in the rearview mirror and wonder what he felt was an appropriate gift for this un-monumental birthday. Last year, for my twenty-first, it was Balkan 176, vodka so strong it knocked me over and out before I could drink enough to get myself in real trouble. My grandpa and my best friend, Cohen, pried it from my drunk fingers and proceeded to help me down the entire bottle over the course of a weekend. We were stupid-drunk as sailors on leave, and it was good times.

Would have been better to have had my dad there for it, but beggars can’t be choosers.

“Marigold, eh?” I feel a wave of pissed-offedness at the creepy happiness in this guy’s voice when he says my mom’s name. 

“Yeah, Marigold Beckett. My mother.” I make sure the words are clear as a fucking ringing, clanging bell for him.

He clears his throat. “Right. Okay. I’m off of 80, past the Surf Shack. You wanna come by and check out my portfolios, work up some sketches? I have a client scheduled in a few minutes, but once she’s done, the night’s open.”

“I’ll stop by.” I click off just in time to pull into my grandfather’s driveway and honk twice. He swings the door of his tiny-ass house open with a bang.

“What are you honking like that for? You got no manners, you know that? You do that when you pick up girls? Cause if any girl comes when you honk like that, she’s a damn floozy!” He has a limp on his left side, but other than that, my grandpa could wrestle a fucking tiger with one arm tied behind his back.

“I only date floozies! They’re the most fun!” I yell at him, and he cracks a wide, gap-toothed smile. “I’m just stopping by to tell you I’m going to get a new tattoo, so I won’t be around til late. You need a phone you can hear, you deaf son of a bitch! I tried you twice on the way here!”

He leans into the driver-side window, slaps me on the back of the neck twice and says, “More tattoos? Why? You aren’t ugly enough yet? You think you’re a big man now? I can still put you over my knee and cane you anytime.” He pats my shoulder. “Did you bring home some of your mom’s cake?”

I pass the piece to him through the window. “Did you eat anything real today? I don’t need to come home to you in a diabetic coma.”

“Stop clucking around me like a damn mother hen,” he gripes, taking a swipe of the icing and eating it off his finger like a little kid. Or like me fifteen minutes ago. “Your mother is an angel. You got a package from that idiot son of mine?”

I jerk my thumb in the back. He raises an eyebrow at me. “I don’t want it,” I explain.

“Stop pouting like little girl and open the damn thing,” my grandpa snaps.

But I hear the letdown behind his grumpy-ass words. My dad is a professional at letting people down, fucking up, not being where he’s needed most, not doing what he should be doing. When I was a kid, all I could focus on was what that meant to me and how much it fucked up my world. Now that I’m older, it kills me to see how it bites and eats at my grandpa and mom.

“Fine.” I reach back with one hand and fish the box off the floor, rip the paper away, and dig through the little box, pulling out three cigars. “The label says ‘Gurkha,’” I read and my grandpa chuckles like a kid on Halloween. “Good?”

“Too good for you.” Grandpa grabs them in his hand and turns to walk back to the house. “Get home at a decent hour, and we’ll have these with the lobsters I caught. Bring that numbskull friend of yours too.”

“You made me lobster! Aw, you old sweetie!” I call to him. He waves his hand in disgust, but I catch the laugh that bobs his shoulders up and down. 

So Grandpa and I will drag Cohen over, eat some lobster dipped in butter, drink beer, smoke cigars on the porch, and talk about life and everything good while we try to ignore the hole that’s always firmly in place when my father’s not around. Not the worst end to my birthday.

But first I need to get a little ink.

I find the place, a little neat-looking building, all modern and light with lots of windows and lots more art on the walls. There are the fairly standard pieces that every tourist or eighteen-year-old comes in and wants, no imagination, no real deep thought. Not that I should talk. I have an eagle on one bicep and a heart with ‘Mom’ through it on the other. So fuck my attempts to keep my tattoos all original and meaningful.

I’m heading to the heavy black portfolio books when a soft, husky voice behind the counter asks, “Did you make an appointment?”

When I look up, I have a feeling I might do even better than some ink and coconut rum cake, lobster and cigars this birthday.


Like it? Want more? Check out Steph Campbell's blog and get chapter two, where we meet the very sexy, funny, crazy Whit!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What Happens When You Collabo-write a Book With An Amazing Author...So Many Sparks Fly!

My preambles preambulate everything, BUT...this one truly does rock.

I'm going to do a cover reveal for a cover that's close to my heart for a book that's close to done written by a team of writers close to being the most fun-loving, amazing team who ever cracked each other up and pushed the boundaries of New Adult.

I may have mentioned before that Step Campbell and I began talking and those innocent words unfurled into more magical words, and by more magical I mean they stopped being hilarious emails about our wacky lives and started to be a book about our characters' wacky lives.

Wacky and sexy. And strange. And wonderful. And exciting. And, can you tell I'm in love?

It's been a busy summer, and I've loved every second of it. I couldn't have asked for a rawer, more honest, more hilarious writing cohort, and I'm so damn proud of this book we've created together!

So here's a tiny sneak peek at our baby. I hope you enjoy!

Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little more benefits.

Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn't cutting it.

When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what's under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free.
Too bad Whit has a past she doesn't plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down.
Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away.

Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo?

LENGTHS is a Contemporary New Adult Romance by Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell, to be released August 2012.
Cover by Todd Maloy,


“Deo?” I turn and look at her, hands in my hoodie pocket. She takes a few tentative steps my way. “You have a phone?” She nabs her lip between her teeth again, like she’s about to do something she knows she shouldn’t, and it makes me feel this wild surge of triumph. I have a feeling her worst instincts are leading her straight to me whether she likes it or not.
And I’m betting she doesn’t like it much at all. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fall Guy and An Awesome Writer-ish Development!

I'm a terrible person about some things! I'm a wonderful person about others, though, I swear.

For example, I am an awful cook. One day we will all hang out together and be in love, but please don't make me cook dinner for you. We can hang at my house, but we'll order in! Or have my husband that guy knows his way around a kitchen ;)!

Also, I failed Algebra and Geometry. Please don't talk to me about the Pythagorean Theorem, because another thing I'm awful at is crying nicely. I will ugly cry and look at you with runny/red-rimmed eyes and snot running out of my nostrils if you ask me about right triangles. BUT I can calculate a tip perfectly. And, for all you wait-people out there, I always leave 20% because I was a waitress once and I loathed my time waiting tables.

So, I am bad about certain bookish things. Announcing, promoting, tweeting. And this isn't some silly false modesty. I mean, I love it when people hear about my books and buy them. How else can I take you all out to a fancy restaurant and leave a big tip?! But I just get scattered. Or sucked into my current project.

Or projects!

Right now I have two, and I'm super excited about both, and there is disgustingly little going on in my home on the toilet scrubbing/laundry/watering the plants front. Don't even ask about things like dusting, because I will laugh an evil laugh. Also, I'm dedicating my next book to Spongebob Squarepants, who's been taking wonderful care of my daughter. I digress...

First of all, there is a cover to share. A cover I happen to love very much. And it's the cover of the book I am working on with a passionate intensity!

When I saw this, I just thought, "Sigh. That is SO Evan and Winch!".

I am in the thick of wrapping up Fall Guy. It's a New Adult/Mature YA, and it deals with Brenna's friend Evan, who is at a really messed up place when she meets a really messed up guy and they need each other to figure things out. Winchester meets Evan the day they're both sentenced in court, and, despite this fact, he's incredibly responsible. So damn responsible, he forgets to put himself first and winds up falling into that trap of taking care of everyone else. But the only person he really wants to take care of is Evan. And she finds herself finally straightening up and growing a colossal backbone because he needs someone to fight for Winch and stop allowing him to put himself last all the time, and that's what you do when you're in love.

It's been amazing to write. Full of conflict and emotions, sexiness and romance. I have loved every minute, and can't wait until it's finally out for everyone to enjoy!

And, as if my writer cup weren't full enough, I am CO-WRITING a book!!

This is a pretty cool story, actually! I am a huge fan of Stephanie Campbell (Grounding Quinn, My Heart for Yours (with Jolene Perry), and Delicate), and we kind of hang in the same circles, being YA writers and all. One day she wrote me a note that was something like:

"I think Trinity and Quinn are long lost sisters."

Which cracked me up because that is EXACTLY what I said when I read Quinn's book!

I said, "You and I would make beautiful music together. We should co-write a book!"

And she said, "Are you kidding? I hope you're not because that would be amazing!"

So she sent me all these cool inspiration pictures and we got this really, super vague idea for a beginning...and I wrote her a chapter and sent it along with a little, "What do you think?"

And she sent a chapter back! And I sent another! And suddenly our lives were taken over by our characters and we were emailing at all hours and talking on Facebook and so freaking excited!

I've never really had an experience like this. It's extremely rewarding and fun to open your email and have this amazing, heart-wrenching, passionate chapter that you get to work and build from. It's been one of the best experiences of my writing life, and this's angsty and romantic and just so damn sexy! I cannot WAIT TO SHARE IT!!

Which brings me back to things I should be better about. See how fun this blog was?! Well, I was supposed to be working on our blurb rightthissecond. Because when our cover is finished and our blurb is done, we can SHARE THIS AMAZING BOOK!!

Until then, I'm just being  a huge tease!

Okay, okay, okay...I'll get back to work! And I promise I'll have something awesome to share soon! <3