Dawn Kimberly Johnson says what?

GrandAdventures_FBThumbHello, all! I’ll be chatting on the Dreamspinner Press Facebook page between 1 and 2 p.m. on Monday March 31. In fact, many authors who participated in the Grand Adventures anthology to benefit Eric Arvin and TJ Klune will be chatting throughout the day. It should be a blast…all day long. So come by and visit with us, won’t you? The anthology features twenty-eight stories and is available for pre-order right now (it goes on sale Monday). If you’d like to know more about it, read this. The beautiful cover of the collection was done by the talented Paul Richmond, and there will be prints of it for sale as well. I hope you stop by and say hi.

Have a great week, everyone!

Ball & Chain coverartI’m a fan of Abi Roux. I love her Cut & Run series, and recently I finished #8, Ball & Chain from Riptide Publishing. I enjoyed the continued character development, the setting (old Scottish mansion), the new characters (the Stantons), and the revisiting of old friendships that are tested to the breaking point. The people who love you the most, certainly put up with a lot of shit…and still love you. It’s a beautiful thing.

You’ve read the premise: Ty and Zane and Nick and Kelly (these two haven’t let their friends in on their new relationship, so there’s that) go to Scotland to attend Deuce’s wedding to Livi, but of course there are mysterious threats all around them. Momma and Papa Grady are there too, as are other Gradys, including one kick-ass ten-year-old named Cooper. He rocks. I’m particularly fond of the Gradys because they’re from my home state of West Virginia. Makes me feel closer to them somehow. I like that they pick up strays like Zane and Nick, who are two men in desperate need of a loving, supportive family. It’s cool. Ty’s happy to share.

I never tire of watching a committed couple continue to learn new things about their mates, and Ty and Zane keep unraveling and exposing their layers for each other, as do Nick and Ty. Best friends are in a relationship too, and sometimes difficult things need to be said…or shouted.

I laughed quite a bit and really enjoyed the back and forth between tough guys (our heroes versus Stanton’s bodyguards). All that testosterone and aggression, tightly wound with danger in the air and dudes cracking under the stress are a blast and offer some tense, if funny, moments.

I recommend Ball & Chain. Check it out.

 

Please be on the lookout

At this moment in time, I’ll have five works coming out this year. FIVE! I know, I’m surprised too.

  • Come Clean (a Valentine short) was my first release for 2014.
  • Witness Protected comes out this month or next as part of a very special collection. I had a blast writing this, and I hope people enjoy reading it.
  • Sandman and The Cookie, another short story, will be released in April as part of an anthology called Juicy Bits.
  • Right On Time comes out in May or June. This novel is a sequel to my short story One Constant, which was released June 2012, so you’ll get to spend more time with Charleston and Barnaby.
  • Plummet is set for release in July/August. It’s a tiny thing, but I hope chock-full of fun and romance.

There. Enough about my work. I’m currently reading Floodgates by Mary Calmes. It’s simply wonderful. I didn’t want to put it down, but I had life to do. The characters are vivid and funny and clever and…well, just a hoot! Love that family! The mystery and danger have me on the edge of my seat. But it’s the romance (the subtle touches, the looks, the blurted “honey” or “baby”) that keeps making me smile. It’s so quietly done that apparently the reader is the only one aware of how much desire and love are in the room. Perhaps some of the delightful snark is drowning it out. I highly recommend this book. It will have you sighing, laughing out loud, and cheering. Check it out!

Have a great weekend, people!

During a fit of browsing on Amazon the other day, I came across Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk. I read the blurb and snatched it up along with the second book, Threshold, which I just finished last night. Then I began book three, Stormhaven. In fact, as I write this, I’m already thinking ahead to bed and curling up with book three again. They’re like that, these stories. You can’t get enough of them. The characters of Whyborne and Griffin are vivid, well-developed, and detailed, and, of course, endearing. They feel like real men. I rooted for them immediately. The secondary characters are equally vivid and eye-catching. I love Dr. Putnam. Don’t call her Miss Putnam. You’ll regret it. Haha!

Jordan L. Hawk has brought a world to life for me that is loaded with all my favorite delights: humor, hot sex, mystery, danger, scary tingles, and monsters.

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And she’s done it beautifully.

Off to bed and Stormhaven.

Have a wonderful week, people!

My mom

You know, you spend every day with someone, so when they’re gone, there’s this hole in your everyday life. Just the little things like watching The Price is Right or The Young and the Restless feel different because she’s not there to discuss or celebrate certain moments. She’s not there to share theories with: is Adam Newman still alive somewhere? Will Dylan and Nick become real brothers to each other? Ooh, and Scandal returned last night, but my mother wasn’t there to share that with. These things, things I used to really enjoy, feel flat and hollow now.

Donna Kay Johnson was a sweet and caring woman. That’s what everyone says, that’s what everyone remembers, that’s the first thing that comes to our minds when we think of her. It’s only been three or so days since her passing, and I find myself thrown a bit each time I do something I used to share with her. Last night I was finishing up reading Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford, and I almost called out to her to tell her how cool the story was and how funny. Then I remember and….

I don’t think it’s completely sunk in yet, but we have managed to laugh about some memories of her, good memories. We have a lot more of those, and I think they’ll come back more vividly as time goes on. I hope so. Everyone is in preparation mode and working out logistics of her memorial service. Everyone is keeping an eye on each other, being kinder to one another, making sure everyone’s eating, or asking if they need to talk. After that’s done, we (Dad, me, sis, and my brothers, and everyone else who loved her) will have to work out a new way to move through the day.

There’s so much missing now, but she gave us all an immeasurable amount of herself and her heart.

I’ll miss you, Mom, but I’ll always remember who you were to me.

Looking forward to more

olnlCalmesWe’ve all read those stories that seem to linger in our thoughts for a while afterward, so here are a few that continue to cross my mind. Just the other night, I finished reading Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes and loved it. There was plenty of passion, but there was also a delightful amount of snarkiness and humor. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so frequently over the comments and behavior of characters in love with each other. I smiled so much and so often. It was a true delight, and I think promises more to come. It reminded me of the hilarious exasperation I felt when reading Jory Harcourt’s antics in the Matter of Time series. Right now I’m reading Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford and am already hooked. I’ve read the Cole McGinnis series, the Sinners series, and I’m eager for more of the Hellsinger series. Fish and Ghosts was fantastic (note to self: pick up Clockwork Tangerine ASAP)! A little while ago (maybe a month) I tore through Brandon Witt’s Men of Myth series. I can’t say enough about how completely I was pulled into these stories. The world he built was real enough that I felt as though I were walking through it, greeting the characters, or shouting “Look out behind you!” Hahaha! It was simply beautiful, and the underwater scenes especially so. Well done, Mr. Witt. In September of last year I think I mentioned how much I enjoyed Lou Harper’s L.A. Paranormal series (I’m a sucker for the spooky, but it was the characters and writing that captured me), so the other night I picked up Last Stop and Secrets and Ink, which I’m confident promise future fun. If you trust my opinion, click on the book covers for buy links. Hope you’re having a good week, people!

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February of love

ValentineRainbowLGI’m giving away some books, but first…it’s February, and there’s this collection of stories available at Dreamspinner Press that I want to tell you about. A Valentine Rainbow is a set of 14 short stories, that if purchased individually, would cost about $41 bucks. However, you can now buy the complete set for only $27.99. Stories included are:

The Colors of Romance by Ashavan Doyon
Love and an (Orange) Lamborghini by MA Ford
In Trouble with Angels by Felicitas Ivey
Under the Table and Into His Heart by Raine O’Tierney
Blue Valentine Blues by Ken Bachtold
The Accidental Cupid by Xavier Mayne
Aunt Adeline’s Bequest by Amy Rae Durreson
Pretty Sally Couldn’t Marry Albert by Jefferson Parrish
Orange You Glad I Said Kiss by David Connor
Come Clean by Dawn Kimberly Johnson (Hey! It’s me! ;-P)
Campfire Confessions by Bru Baker
Valentine Shower by John C. Houser
A Cupid’s Wager by Deanna Wadsworth
A Secret Valentine by B.G. Thomas

Now, if you’d like to win the ebook of my short story Come Clean (on sale Feb. 10) and an autographed paperback copy of my latest novel Button Down, (here’s an excerpt) simply leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for them. I’ll randomly draw the winning name on Tuesday, February 11.

And just so you’ll have a tiny idea of what you’re getting, here’s a short excerpt from Come Clean:

ComeCleanABlurb: Peru Cabral, the youngest of five brothers, has just come out to his family. Lawson Todd has returned to his small hometown in disgrace after losing his corporate advertising job. When Peru and Lawson spot each other at the family Laundromat where Lawson works, the attraction between them is undeniable. But the fears, insecurities, and false fronts both men are hiding behind might doom the relationship before it begins—unless the brothers Cabral step in. 

Excerpt: The mechanic came so close that Lawson could smell the garage on him, the motor oil, the sweat… the man. Surrounded by all the gears and engines and tools, all those trappings of masculinity, Peru was disarmingly beautiful as he tossed a shiny lock of black hair out of his eyes with a quick whip of his head. Lawson’s focus dropped to Peru’s beautiful full lips and white, even teeth as the mechanic smiled up at him. As Peru reached across him to grab a clean rag and begin wiping off the oil plug, their fronts almost touched. The slender young man was an inch or two shorter than Lawson. They would fit together perfectly.

“You okay, man?” Peru asked.

Lawson exhaled and opened his eyes—When did I close them?—just as Peru stepped back and nonchalantly finished cleaning the plug. He thought he spotted a bit of tenting in the front of Peru’s baggy coveralls, and Lawson was certainly feeling a swelling and tightening in his own crotch. Jesus, what am I doingHe’s nineteen… but I came looking for himMy fault.

“How old are you, Laundry Boy Lawson?”

“Huh? I’m… I’m twenty-six. Why?”

“Just trying to work out if you’re too old for me.”

He hadn’t considered that. “Oh…. Am I?”

“Nah, man.” Peru shifted his focus from the plug and held Lawson’s gaze. “You’re just right.” The mechanic’s voice held a sexy amount of promise, and Lawson gulped.

*****

I hope that whetted your appetite.

Remember, leave your comments below, and good luck, people!

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