Cover for Syncopation!

This past Saturday, the lovely people over at From Top To Bottom Reviews were kind enough to host the reveal of the cover for Syncopation. But in case you missed it, here it is, in all its hot glory!

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And here’s the blurb!

There’s no resisting the thrum of temptation in this male/male rock-star romance from genre-favorite author Anna Zabo!

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

Wanna Preorder? Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Google Play

2017 in Review and Looking Forward

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So, that was 2017. Whew.

What did I accomplish? I finished writing 2.5 books:

  • Outside the Lines: 63,000 words
  • Syncopation: 103,000 words
  • 1/2 of Counterpoint: 50,000 words

That’s more or less 216,000 words in a year, which is a lot. I had expected Syncopation to be about 75,000. It wasn’t, as you can see. That book was almost like writing two novels in the end. And the edits were great and wonderful and I had to work hard on them. I think it’s the best book I’ve written to date.

I published two new novels this year:

I am very proud of both these for different reasons. Outside the Lines was the first (but not last) foray outside of m/m. Daily Grind deals with an older person finally acting on their bisexuality, which is vaguely based on my own experiences.

I wrote a bunch of Takeover shorts for Alpha Book Club, which you can find on the Takeover Extras page. I also started work on some Takeover holiday stories. Alas, I did not complete them. Perhaps next year!

This year, I also received the rights back to two titles (a novel and a short story), gave them a light edit, bought covers, and re-released them via self-publishing:

I also signed a contract with Riptide Publishing for two more books. I can’t talk much about them yet, but they’re going to be part of a multi-author series that I think you’ll like.

Reading-wise, I read 48 titles this year. I think my favorite was probably Layla Reyne’s Agents Irish and Whiskey series, with Kris Ripper’s Scientific Method series a close second. Both of these series grabbed me, pulled me under, and didn’t let go until I’d finished them all.

But I read SO MANY good books this past year. If you’re curious what those titles were, my Goodreads Challenge is here.

So what’s next? Well, more books!!

Syncopation, the first book of my new rockstar series Twisted Wishes comes out from Carina on April 8th, 2018. The followup, Counterpoint, comes out in September.

And I am bound and determined to release No Quarter Given in July. That’s the second Close Quarter book I keep promising, the one where Rhys and Silas face what awaits them in New York.

You can read a bit more about Syncopation over on my Coming Soon page.

I’ll have more about the other titles in the future. For now, I’m sipping wine from my Carina cup and still working away on Counterpoint.

Happy New Year! May it be filled with all the best things.

Love, Anna

Outside the Lines is Out in the Wild!

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It’s release day for Outside the Lines, my fun, sexy, polya romance!

I had so much fun writing this one and I adore these characters. I hope Ian, Simon, and Lydia find a home in your heart too.

There’s also a blog tour going on with a chance to win a $25 gift card from Riptide publishing!

 

 

 

Buy Links for Outside the Lines:

Outside the Lines and More

In a couple of hours, anyone who’s pre-ordered Outside the Lines from Riptide will be able to download it two days before it comes out on the 18th!

There’s going to be a big old blog tour, coordinated by Riptide, too. Excerpts and posts and a chance to win a gift card, so check it out!

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I’m really pleased with Outside the Lines. It was so much fun to write and I really wanted to branch out and show other types of HEAs. It’s already gotten some great reviews, including a starred review from Publishers Weekly, but…

OutsideTheLines_1800x2700HR…but book releases are scary, yo! Because once a book is out, it’s out. In reality, it’s been out for a while with ARCs and such, but now it’ll be OUT.

And you’ll get to meet Ian, Simon and Lydia and watch them build an interesting loving family through trials and tribulations and some foolishness on both Ian and Simon’s part.

It’s also slightly bittersweet for me, because Outside the Lines is also the second to last book in the Bluewater Bay series. Be sure to check out the very last book, New Hand by LA Witt, out on the same day.

But as series end, new series begin, and I have a new series coming! It’s called Twisted Wishes, and it follows the careers and love lives of the member of the up-and-coming rock band, Twisted Wishes.

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The first book, Syncopation, will be released April 9, 2018. I don’t have a cover yet, but I do have a blurb! And preorder links!

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

You can pre-order it here: Amazon / B&N / iBooks

I’m hard at work on the second book, Counterpoint, which should come out in September.

In between now and then? Well, a certain fae couple is going to finally get a sequel. Be on the look out for No Quarter Given in July.

I wish you light and contentment at the closing of the year!

Close Quarter Free for 2 days & Slow Waltz Out

Man, I haven’t posted in ages! I should remedy that, because LOTS has happened.

But I wanted to post a quick update that my erotic paranormal romance Close Quarter is currently free on Amazon for October 31 & November 1!

New Close Quarter Cover

I also re-released Slow Waltz, the fun erotic short that follows Close Quarter. It’s on Amazon and in KU.

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Yes, yes, yes, there will be a sequel! It should be out in the summer of 2018.

What I’ve Been Reading

One of the things I’ve been trying to do this year is read. Reading is one of the activities that fills the creative well for me. Diving into books, or getting pulled in, makes my head turn around my own stories.

So, what have I been reading? Well, my GoodReads challenge list is here. It, of course, doesn’t have the seven books I read for the RITAs or the works I’ve beta-read for others, so I’ve actually read a bunch more than that.

I’m going to point out a few from there. Up first is a series that unexpectedly pulled me in and grabbed me by the collar and made me keep reading: Layla Reyne’s Agents Irish and Whiskey series. They’re not standalone, so you do need to read them in order, and read all three. The relationship arcs over the trilogy.

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It hit me in all the right ways. It’s romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s hurt/comfort with a lot of both. It’s really smart men being emotionally venerable. It’s got great secondary characters. It’s got an internal conflict you can see coming like a train in a dark tunnel and you know it’s gonna crush you when it hits. And then it does and the resolution is wonderful and painful and perfect.

And it’s got Jamie, the most cinnamon roll of cinnamon rolls.

Another book I adored was Cass Lennox’s Blank Spaces.

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It’s a lovely book about a loving but very queer relationship that develops into something that is just as loving and HEA as your typical monogamous (i.e, socially accepted) relationship.  Both Vaughn and Jonah are lovely men, trying to find what they need in a world that has pretty rigid ideas of what “relationship” and “love” means. Vaughn isn’t interested in sex but craves connections. Jonah can’t live without sex but doesn’t understand relationships at all. They find something wonderful in the spaces between them…all while investigating art thefts at the gallery in which Vaughn works.

Next up are two of Cat Sebastian’s historicals, The Soldier’s Scoundrel and The Lawrence Brown Affair. (I have yet to read Ruin of a Rake. It’s next on my TBR.)

One, the writing of these is just SO DAMN GOOD. Even if you’re not into regency romances. I think one of the aspects I loved about these books is that the angst revolves more around class differences and social structure than around men loving men. Also, The Lawrence Brown affair deals with science and anxiety and family.  The Soldier’s Scoundrel features a thief with a heart of gold and a wounded lord. These books are pure catnip. I want to roll around in them for days.

I also beta-read an early draft of a manuscript for Cat, and OMG people, it’s a wonderful book and SO queer. I’ll be yelling about that book as soon as it’s announced.

Last but not least, I just finished the first of Kris Ripper’s Scientific Method Universe books.

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And I’m in love with this series. One book, and I want to read them alllll. They’re not so much a romance as books about friendships and family and love and sex and kink and relationships and finding the unexpected. This is another book where the relationships are just so queer that they make my heart sing.

The first book is about Will Derrie discovering he’s kinky and…not nearly as straight as he thought he was. It’s also about Hugh Reynolds discovering he can let people in. And about Truman Jennings discovering that sometimes boyfriends come with extra bonuses.

So that’s a little about what I’ve been reading! If any of these seem up your ally (or you want to branch out a little) give them a try!

Guest Post: Steel Blood Blog Tour and Excerpt

Today, I have a little something different for you all, an excerpt of J.L. Gribble’s latest, Steel Blood! Vampires! Alternate history! Intrigue!

About the book:

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddAs her children begin lives of their own, Victory struggles with the loneliness of an empty nest. Just when the city of Limani could not seem smaller, an old friend requests that she come out of retirement for one final mercenary contract—to bodyguard his granddaughter, a princess of the Qin Empire.

For the first time in a century, the Qin and British Empires are reopening diplomatic relations. Alongside the British delegation, Victory and her daywalker Mikelos arrive in the Qin colony city of Jiang Yi Yue. As the Qin weredragons and British werewolves take careful steps toward a lasting peace between their people, a connection between the Qin princess and a British nobleman throw everyone’s plans in disarray.

Meanwhile, a third faction stalks the city under the cover of darkness.

This is not a typical romance. It’s a good thing Victory is not a typical vampire.

Excerpt:

The following scene takes place near the beginning of Steel Blood, when Victory and Mikelos have arrived in the Qin Empire’s colonial city of Jiang Yi Yue. As a vampire, Victory was prepared to wait on the ship until night fell to safely transfer to the palace and begin her mercenary contract as a bodyguard to the Qin princess. But the British delegation would have none of that, and arranged for alternative transportation.


When the elevator finished its descent, the doors opened to reveal a spacious lobby. She flinched out of habit, but like at the top of the tower, shutters blocked all of the windows. A stretch limousine, similar to those Victory had seen on the streets of Roma two years ago, sat in the center of the large room. The cavernous space was otherwise empty except for the small cluster of uniformed Qin gawking behind one of the ticket counters. No one in Limani owned such an outrageous town-car. The amount of electricity it took to run must be astronomical.

“The governor has sent his personal vehicle,” Tan said with calm inflection, as if refusing to acknowledge how ridiculous this entire adventure had become. “The tint on the windows is adequate protection against the sun for you.” He gave Victory a short bow.

“Not to be crass,” Mikelos said, approaching the ostentatious town-car and running a finger over a rear window, “but how sure are you of that?” Victory followed him and opened the back door, examining the glass from both sides.

Still unruffled, Tan said, “Last month there was an emergency in the mountains that would have caught a priest out during the day. The governor sent this vehicle then as well, and Brother Shi was retrieved without incident.”

If Governor Yu sent his own transportation to rescue wayward vampires on a regular basis, that was good enough for Victory. She nodded at Mikelos, who handed her into the town-car. She slid down the bench seat toward the front of the vehicle, and Mikelos and the Brits joined her. Tan sat in the front passenger seat.

They all gave a startled twitch as the engine rumbled to life. In Limani, the colonies, and most of Europa, only larger trucks used precious gasoline and diesel. Personal vehicles had all been electric for going on fifty years now, once the families and corporations controlling the desert oil fields in southeastern Europa choked their exports to a trickle after the Last War.

Rob’s nostrils flared. “Ethanol,” he said. “I’d almost forgotten.”

“I’m sorry?” Victory said.

“This engine is running on sugar cane,” Rob said, exchanging smug grins with Guy.

Reynolds straightened with pride. “That’s right. Ethanol is one of the exports for which we hope to establish more rights.”

Victory tucked this tidbit in the back of her mind to bring to Limani’s city council when she got home. But before she could ask about the cost of shipping the ethanol versus continuing research into developing effective electric engines for larger vehicles, the town-car pulled out of the docking tower and into the sun.

A hiss of pain escaped Mikelos, and Victory eased the grip she had on his thigh. She leaned closer to the window and pressed the palm of her hand against the glass. The town-car fell silent, and she knew the three Brits must be staring at her odd reaction, but she ignored them.

Sunlight.

This part of the city was unremarkable, cast in late-afternoon shadow and indistinguishable from any other major port she’d been in except for the Qin lettering on signs and the people traveling the streets. But her attention trailed up the side of the mountain to the shanty neighborhoods perching above the city. Light dappled the buildings painted a myriad of bright colors from whatever materials the occupants could scrounge. Then the trees and plants farther up the cliffs, shimmering in hues of green she’d never seen outside of a television screen. Green the color of emeralds and the shadow of her foster son’s earth magic.

Perched upon the mountain sat a carved dragon, overlooking the city with diamond eyes that glinted in the sunlight. It sat proud on its haunches, with one clawed hand raised in welcome and fantastical stone wings outstretched, embracing the city in its shelter. Though it appeared tiny from this distance, she knew it was over a hundred feet tall, even without counting the base.

“That is a hell of a sculpture,” Rob said. He and Guy had been sucked into the sights as well, though probably for much different reasons.

“Jiushizhu Statue,” Reynolds said, naming the famous landmark. “Cement and soapstone.”

“Ben knows everything, as usual,” Guy said, but his voice lacked malice as he also pressed his face to the town-car’s window.

The vehicle shifted direction, aiming for the palace nestled on the smaller mountain between the city’s two main beaches. And Victory was enraptured again by something else she’d never expected to see in person, despite the protective glass.

The ocean, shimmering light blue in the sun. To her, water was always black, perhaps with sparkling reflections of the moon and stars. Not this blinding expanse of turquoise, highlighted gold by the early evening sun.

A thumb touched her cheek, and Victory turned her face into Mikelos’ hand as he wiped away the tear she hadn’t noticed trailing down her face. He sucked the smear of blood from his finger. Instead of watching the city, he’d been watching her, and the expression on his face almost made her tear up again. This might wreck her badass vampire mercenary image for Rob and Guy, but she didn’t much care at the moment.

“I’d forgotten,” Mikelos said. His breath tickled her ear as he leaned close.

Unlike most vampires, her first death hadn’t been a choice. Asaron had brought her back from the brink after she’d experienced a traumatic brain injury at the hands of the bandits he’d been contracted to hunt. While most of her had healed in the transformation to vampire, she had no memories of her human life.

This was the first time she had seen the sun outside of a movie or television screen in over eight hundred years. Rob would never know how precious a gift he’d given her as a result of his reckless whim.

Buy links:

About the author:

Gribble photo colorBy day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).