It’s Been A Pretty Decent Week…So Far

Yes, this is a bit preemptive, given it’s, well, Monday, but I’ve had a pretty decent week so far. Considering the anniversary that’s happening in a couple days, I figure I should take what I can get.

Granted, it didn’t start out fabulously, what with the one-and-a-half hour commute to the day job, slipping and sliding along unsalted and unplowed roads due to early morning snow showers (that lasted all day, by the way – WTF, Mother Nature? Don’t you know it’s almost spring??). But after that, things got better.

Not the weather, though. Actually, it’s still snowing. And while it’s pretty, IT’S MARCH, FOR GOD’S SAKE, MOTHER NATURE! (Also, it sucks to drive in snow. Even if you’ve done it for most of your driving life.)

Let me count the positives, in hopes they hold up against that big, fat negative. Or at least help me get through it…

A sweet text from the bestie. “Going to check up on you over the next couple of days. Fair warning.” No, she’s not a stalker. She just loves me, and knows this is going to be one rough week.

A royalty check in the mail. (A small one, but hey, we’re counting every little positive here.)

A card full of tiny paper hearts from my husband’s bestie (Is it cool to call guys ‘besties’? Or does that make it weird?), with a note that said, “Sometimes life is just bullshit.” So, so true. But friends who send you cards like that are the silver lining.

And the best news of all: My daughter has been invited to apply to become a member of the National Junior Honor Society! I couldn’t be more proud, and the timing couldn’t be better. As sad as this week will inevitably become, I’m celebrating the moment. My wonderful tribe. And my beautiful daughter and her accomplishments. Honestly, I would have been pleased as punch if her brother were still around to share in this joy (he was NJHS too), but I confess, this little thrill is even more impactful now.

I’m sure I’ll be drowning in the sadness in the next couple days, but for now … It’s been a pretty damn decent week.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is an author who drinks wine, wins awards, and writes happily ever afters. She also sends cool newsletters. You should signup: http://www.subscribepage.com/Tami_Lund

Meet Tanner Lyons from Into the Light

I figured since Dawning of Light, the second book in the Lightbearer series, is coming out tomorrow, I’d reblog this interview with Tanner, the hero from the first Lightbearer book, Into the Light.

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It’s a beautiful summer day, and I’ve managed to catch Tanner Lyons during a rare moment of downtime. And alone, as well, which is unusual for the shifter to whom other beings tend to migrate. We are sitting outside a local brewery (his choice, not mine; I would have chosen a winery), in a roped off area that allows us to watch the foot traffic in this small town, and still be able to enjoy the craft beers he seems to favor. Tanner has, not surprisingly, situated himself so that his back is to a solid brick wall, and he can still keep an eye on his surroundings. My first question is a blurted, “Are you looking for someone?”

 He arches one black brow and gives me a cool look. “Have you met my father?”

This interview is not starting on the right foot. I need to try to make up for my blunder. “Tell me about yourself,” I encourage.

“What do you want to know?”

Tanner, I know from the book, Into the Light, is not a man of many words. I suspect this will make the interview a bit of a challenge.

“What do you do for fun?” I ask.

“Fun?” he repeats with another eyebrow arch.

“Yeah, you know: movies, reading, going to the beach. Fun.”

“I have inherited a small pack of lightbearers with no fighting skills whatsoever, my practically invalid mother, and a female shifter with a young child and who is about to whelp her second any day now. Fun doesn’t exactly fit into the equation at the moment.”

I am at a loss for words now. If he isn’t willing to open up to me, I’ll have no material for my blog post. I don’t know what to do.

Abruptly, he softens. “I know you are only trying to do your job,” he admits as he leans back in his chair and takes a long drink from the dark beer he’s selected off the extensive menu. “I’ll tell you what. Let’s talk about Olivia.”

“Olivia? The lightbearer princess?”

“That’s the one,” he agrees, and I cannot help but notice his eyes are glowing faintly. I look around, wondering if any other humans in the vicinity have noticed.

“Humans only see what they want to see,” he says, accurately reading my thoughts.

“Oh. Right. So … tell me about Olivia.”

“She’s beautiful. Strangely delicate and yet impossibly strong all at the same time. She has been forced into a situation she doesn’t want, just because of who she was born to.”

“To whom she was born,” I automatically correct him. Stupid grammar Nazi author.

“Whatever.”

I clear my throat. “So what does that have to do with you? I mean, what’s your relationship?”

“She was captured by my father. He meant to kill her. I rescued her and now have to return her to her coterie.”

“What’s a coterie?”

“It’s this place where all the lightbearers live. It’s protected by a bunch of magical wards. Few lightbearers ever leave those protective wards, and as a result, most shifters assume they’ve gone extinct.”

“Except your father.”

“Yes.”

He clearly does not enjoy discussing the topic of his father, but I press anyway. “Why did he believe they were still alive, when everyone else didn’t?”

Tanner leans forward, those still faintly glowing eyes watching me with an intensity that is utterly unnerving. I want to look away. Actually, I want to run away, but it’s like he’s holding me prisoner, without even touching me.

“Shifters are a highly obsessive group of beings,” he explains in his low, gravely voice. “When we latch onto something – such as an idea or a person – we do not easily let go, if ever.”

“Such as Olivia?” I dare to ask.

“Are you implying something?” he growls.

I shrink away from him. “It’s just that every time you talk about her, your voice softens and your eyes glow and …”

He takes another drink of his beer, shifts his gaze away from me. “She is … special,” he states, almost grudgingly.

“Are you two …?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Relationships usually are.”

“We do not have a relationship. At least …”

“What?” I prod, anticipation thrumming through my system. Is he about to divulge something no one else knows?

He lifts the pint glass, drains the contents and places it back on the table. And then he stands, his gaze sweeping over the groups of humans wandering about the quaint little downtown area. “We’re done here,” he says, and then he is gone. I don’t even know in which direction he went.

And I have no idea how this interview veered so far off course.

~~~~

Haven’t yet read Tanner’s story? Want to? Click HERE. (It’s on sale for 50% off right now!!)

Tami Lund Headshot 2014I’ve written multiple self-published books as well as published books through Crimson Romance (Crimson Romance/Naked Truth) and Liquid Silver Books (Liquid Silver Books/Into the Light and Liquid Silver Books/Love Gumbo). The second in the Lightbearer series, Dawning of Light, will be available as of tomorrow! You can pre-order here.

Into the Light dawningoflight_Cover

My goal is to live, love, and laugh, and I want the characters in my books to do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

I also love to be stalked on social media. My website is: http://tamilund.com and I can be found on nearly every social media outlet. Just type “Tami Lund Author.” I’m probably there.

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Finally! Dawning of Light #Coverreveal!

dawningoflight_Cover

Dawning of Light by Tami Lund

(Lightbearer Book 2)
Publication date: December 15th, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
DAWNING OF LIGHT BLURB:

Finnegan Hennigan meets his match in spunky Cecilia Druthers, a woman he can barely stand. Cecilia’s opinion of Finn? He’s an oaf and a killjoy. But, opposites can’t resist each other in Dawning of Light by Tami Lund. You’ll love Book 2 of Tami’s hot fantasy series, Lightbearer, a saga about lightbearers and the shifters who hate to love them.

The Lightbearers are a group of magical beings who have lived for five hundred years hidden away in their warded and protected coterie. Now that the princess of the Lightbearers is mated to a shifter, their peaceful lives have been turned upside down.

In this second installment of the Lightbearer Series, shifter Finnegan Hennigan is doing his damnedest to keep lightbearer Cecilia Druthers out of trouble. His job is made all the more difficult by the fact that Cecilia doesn’t want to stay out of trouble.

Despite their mutual annoyance, sparks ignite between this odd couple. As it becomes increasingly more apparent that someone is out to get Cecilia, the flares of attraction become impossible to resist, and soon, Cecilia and Finn tumble into, well, a closet together. And then the bed. And if Finn wants to keep her there, he’s going to need to keep her alive.

Which means figuring out who the hell keeps trying to kill her.

Content Notes: Hot, Non-sexual Violence, Fantasy, Fairies, Paranormal, Shifters, Suspense

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5169798.Tami_Lund

AUTHOR BIOTami Lund Headshot 2014

I like to live, love, and laugh, and I do my best to ensure the characters in my books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

I am lucky enough to be multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk me on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of my books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?

AUTHOR LINKS:

W: http://tamilund.com/

T: https://twitter.com/@TamiLundAuthor

F: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund

G: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=&query=tami+lund

GIVEAWAY:

I’m hosting a giveaway for some eBooks of Into the Light (Lightbearer Book 1) and an Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c4fff9c78/

BOOK RELEASE FACEBOOK PARTY:

I’m also hosting a book release party on Facebook with author takeovers, contests and prizes, and swag, and would love for you to come!

Join the party!! https://www.facebook.com/events/317271781806501

PRE-ORDER RELEASE SPECIAL:

Pre-order Dawning of Light and email me the receipt to be entered to win!

Pre-Order Here: http://amzn.to/1rlBxRc

Release Day Special - DOL

 

DAY FOUR: A Week of Wands, Fangs, & Wings Paranormal Blog Tour

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Welcome to DAY FOUR of

A Week of Wands, Fangs and Wings – A Paranormal Book Blog Tour!

From August 15-22, we will feature books by EIGHT different authors. What kind of books? Paranormal! What do we mean by paranormal? Well, just as the title implies: wands, fangs, wings and everything in between. Pretty much, if it isn’t real, it might be here. If you enjoy reading all things paranormal, we are about to hand you heaven on a gilded plate. Or, at least, on your e-reader.

 What do we have in store for you? Excerpts from cool books. A fun Q&A session with the even-cooler authors who wrote them. A rafflecopter contest in which you could win a total of ELEVEN e-books. Wait, let’s note that again, just for clarification.

Eleven. Books. Free.

 Score!

 The contest closes at midnight on Thursday, and the winner will be announced Friday evening, so don’t forget to enter! As if you would. In the meantime, we have A.J. Naverre and Tami Lund featured on today’s blog. Ash has a book out called Good as Dead, while Tami released a paranormal called Into the Light.

 

AJ Naverre Bio PicA.J. lives in the smog-filled oasis of California’s Central Valley, where she spends the days at a desk covered in paper and half-empty rum bottles.

Find A.J. at http://ajnavarre.wordpress.com/, at her Facebook page www.facebook.com/storyscribbler, and at Twitter @OutlineofAsh. 

We asked A.J. a few questions, because everybody likes to get to know the person behind the book, right? This is what she had to say: 

1. Red or white? We’re talking about wine, right? Then both. I’m a writer – the only thing I like more than words is booze.

2. Fave paranormal being? Werewolf. I love the idea of a dual nature stuck in one body, and how many ways that can be explored.

3. Favorite author? Mikhail Bulgakov. His work manages to be satirical, grotesque, fantastic, and realistic all at once. I love it.

4. Do you like heroines who get rescued, or heroines who do the rescuing? I like it when a story has a heroine going through both experiences. Makes things a little more complicated.

5. Cover – hot guy or unique/creative? Unique/creative always draws me in more than rippling abs – though those are nice to look at, too.

 I don’t know about you, but I am really intrigued to see what A.J. writes. Well guess what? There’s an excerpt of Good as Dead below!

GADcover

 

As if sensing my doubts, Gideon says, “Are you sure about this?”

I settle the purse over my shoulder and move for the kitchen door, wanting to get it over with. “Laci specifically said wood. Maybe silver only burns vampires.”

“I meant attempting to kill him.”

“Oh. Yeah. Are you?” It never occurred to me that he might try to ruin my plan, and I give him a sharp look as we step into the garden, scrutinizing his expression for any hint of reluctance.

But he has his agent face on. “Even if I were to collect enough evidence to arrest him, it’s very possible he might be released by my superiors. When they dismissed my report, I discovered signs that certain people in the Kingdom would prefer Scheer to be charged, no matter what. And INKtech, despite what it conveys otherwise, isn’t above political machinations. If the evidence is there, then yes, I agree killing him is the only way to be truly safe.”

I’m not an idiot; I know most people in official positions dip into corruption when it suits them. Try experiencing just one bad hospice counselor without losing faith in the safety of a system. But hearing Gideon admit it so flatly is a big shock. What will they do to him afterward? Something ripples through me, and it feels a lot like fear.

My silence must tip him off, because he glances at me. “Don’t worry; I’ve already considered the consequences. I’ll still help you.”

If that’s supposed to reassure me, it’s doing the complete opposite. “What kind of consequences?”

“Depends on the outcome, really.”

When he doesn’t say any more, I grab for his arm. “Wait a minute, I don’t want you doing this if you’ll be killed for—for insubordination or something.”

It’s deliberate hyperbole I’m using, trying to make him dismiss it as the absurd idea it should be. But he doesn’t smile at that, and the muscles under my fingers go tense. “No, I won’t be killed.”

I can only stare at him. His face still doesn’t show anything, but behind those quiet words is something that sounds like grief. “Gideon?”

“Phoenix, please. This is hardly the place to bare souls,” he says, shooting a significant glance at Valentine’s back door, which waits only steps away.

Can’t wait to read more? Buy link: http://amzn.com/B00IHRWZU6

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Our second author of the day, Tami Lund, likes to live, love and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles, of course.

5D3_3721She loves to be stalked via social media at www.tamilund.com, on Facebook: AuthorTamiLund, and on Twitter @TamiLundAuthor.

Let’s see what Tami has to say about our Q&A session…

1. Red or white? Both, although lately I’ve been hitting the vodka bottle. I heard a rumor that Vitamin C burns belly fat, and who drinks orange juice without either vodka or champagne?

2. Morning or evening? Morning.

2a. Was that answer in reference to writing… or something else? Um….

3. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Crazy. Oh wait….

4. Furbabies? How many? One, a mutt we adopted shortly after my 13 year old rescue furbaby passed. She loves to sit with me on the back porch while I write.

5. Antagonist: kill off or make disappear? Make disappear. That way, you are almost guaranteed a sequel.

How do those interesting answers translate into Tami’s writing? Read this excerpt from Into the Light:

Into the Light

 

“Yeah, I get that they got their magic from the sun,” Tanner acknowledged. He eyed the scrap of material in Mickey’s hand. “But no one has seen a trace of lightbearers in over five hundred years. Somebody wiped them out. Probably our kind, trying to inherit their magic.”

“Probably our kind eating them for dinner,” Finn contributed to the conversation for the first time. “Back then we were slightly more primal.”

“Slightly,” Tanner remarked tongue in cheek. Finn smirked. Tanner recalled how they used to hang out together as kids. They’d shifted for the first time together. Now, Finn was Quentin’s best tracker, and Tan

ner was doing his best to avoid getting sucked back into the pack. Time and change and all that.

“If a shifter kills a lightbearer, he’ll inherit its magic.” Mickey refused to give up on Quentin’s obsession.

Considering the only magic a shifter possesse

d was the ability to change forms at will, it was a heady idea to be able to steal another creature’s magic. Especially for one who considered himself to be the top of the food chain, even without much magic.

“Touch it,” Mickey demanded as he waved the bit of material in Tanner’s face.

Tanner batted at the material, if only to push it away. His fingers skimmed the surface. A jolt shot through his system, so raw and potent that his entire body reacted as if he’d been electrocuted.

“Told ya,” Mickey said triumphantly.

“Give me that,” Tanner said as he snatched the torn bit of material out of Mickey’s hand. He held it, reveling in the feel of magic there. It felt…intoxicating. “Where did you get this?” His breathing accelerated as he stared at the gold and silver thread that wove a pattern through the white material.

“The lightbearer. Your father figured you wouldn’t come unless you had proof.”

Tanner continued to stare at the material. It wasn’t true—was it? Tanner—and a great many other shifters—believed they didn’t really exist. His father had never let go of the belief that they were simply hiding, and all he had to do was find one of them. Just one.

Was his father right all along?

Fates be damned, but Tanner certainly hoped not. He’d spent the better part of his life desperately hating the man for what he represented, for how he ruled his pack, for the way he treated Tanner’s mother and every other woman in his pack. Most of all, he’d hated the man for his obsession over a race of magical creatures that Tanner had been certain no longer existed.

Tanner didn’t understand his father’s obsession. The man was already pack master over one of the largest and most respected—or at least feared—packs in the country. He didn’t need magic to gain prestige and power. He already had it all.

“Come on, Tanner,” Mickey begged. “He won’t let none of us see her until you come back to the pack. He says you get the first honor. Come on.”

Tanner continued to stare at the scrap of material for a few more moments, pondering his decision. Finally, he tossed the pool stick onto the table. “Damn it to hell,” he muttered as he turned and strode from the pool area, out of the bar and into the cool summer evening air.

Damn the man for luring him back like this.

 

Ohh… can’t wait for the rest? Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Light-Lightbearer-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00LS899XC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407618884&sr=8-2&keywords=tami+lund

Want more paranormal? Two books by Patricia D. Eddy will be featured tomorrow! And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter contest!

 

 rafflecopter

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f6defd8610/

Why Do I Write Happily Ever After?

So I’m a romance author. That means a lot of things, but mostly, it means I crave a happily ever after so much that I feel inclined to write about it, over and over again.

Is there a reason I feel compelled to figure out a happy ending for every heroine in every book I ever have – and ever will – write? Is it because reality is so terrible that I just need to escape from it, through the written word?

I’ll let you be the judge.

My husband and I recently celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Over dinner, we spoke fondly of the honeymoon we spent in Napa Valley, and the tenth anniversary we spent there too, along with our best man and maid of honor and their spouses – and most important: no kids.

432330_10150646636261579_1645736578_nSpeaking of, we have two kids, a boy and a girl. They are just shy of three years apart and for the most part manage to make us feel proud. So far, anyway. We are on the cusp of the teenage years, so stay tuned.

What do you think so far? Well, let me tell you how my husband and I met.

I was 25. He was 31. I was at a point in my life where I was finally happy; secure, comfortable being single and living on my own. Throughout college I dreamed of finding Prince Charming and settling down right away and birthing adorable little babies. Unfortunately, the boys I dated in college, and shortly thereafter, were far from those guys in the romance novels. Eventually I realized I was having far too much fun simply hanging out with my girlfriends and I figured if Prince Charming existed, he’d come along… Someday.

Oh, did I mention that I lived in Louisiana and the hubs-to-be lived in Michigan?

Before you think, how in the world…? Let me add that I am originally from Michigan and the vast majority of my family still lives there.

We met in May. A dear friend whom I have known since we were fourteen, was graduating from broadcasting school and asked me to come to the ceremony and after-party. I had some vacation time, and I hadn’t been home in a while, so I decided to burn two weeks and spend it up north.

Turns out, the hubs-to-be was graduating from broadcasting school, too. At the same time. In the same class. Notable event from the graduation ceremony: My girlfriend’s brother and I sat in one row, while her parents sat two rows behind us. I asked my future in-laws to please move for a moment so I could take a picture of my friend’s parents.

We didn’t officially meet at the ceremony. Nope, not yet.

It was at the party, afterward. My friend’s brother and I sat at a table in a corner, indulging in alcoholic beverages and pretending we were commentators on The Talk (or whatever version of that show existed back in 1998), while my social butterfly friend flitted about the room, celebrating with her classmates. At one point, she was out on the dance floor with my hubs-to-be and a few minutes later, she came bee-bopping over to our table.

“Hey, Tami. See that guy out there?” she asked, motioning toward the dance floor.

I nodded.

“He wants to know if you’d be interested in a one-night stand.”

What?!

(The joke I like to tell now a-days is, “He sure ended up with a hell of a long one-night stand.”)

I was naturally affronted and admittedly a little turned on (Oh yes, this is reality. You are not reading a novel right now.), so I downed the rest of my drink and headed out to the dance floor. To this day, I have no earthly idea what I intended to do or say. All I know is that we immediately began dancing, then we eventually took a break so that I could go to the restroom, and when I returned, he had a plate in his hand with a piece of cheesecake perched on it, and he spoon-fed me the cheesecake.

I probably would have gone home with him then and there, except the biggest joke of all is that he absolutely was not that kind of guy. He had been trying to be funny. Instead of a laugh, he ended up with a wife. Joke’s on him…?

We spent quite literally every single day of the rest of my vacation together. I met his parents (officially). We discussed bridesmaids and groomsmen (nope, not kidding). I met his best friend, who had to give his stamp of approval before the hubs-to-be could officially date me. (Apparently he had a history of picking up the wrong kind of woman. Maybe he should have changed his pickup line. Or maybe not.)

The day I left to fly back home to Louisiana, I had his demo tape tucked into my luggage. At the time, I worked in PR, and was friendly with the general manager of one of the local television stations located in the city in which I lived.

We met on May first. The week of Memorial Day, he flew down to visit me and interview for a job at the local television station. They offered him the job that same day.  My BFF had to meet him and give her stamp of approval (hey, fair’s fair, right?).

At the end of the week, he flew home and gave his two weeks’ notice at the current job. He moved into my apartment six weeks after we met. And proposed at Christmas. We were married six months later. And still are, fifteen years later.

Mostly happily.262788_10152258347136579_748681343_n

So why do I write romance? I guess the answer is, because it happened to me.

Like this post? You’ll probably love my books. Give one of them a try. And if you do like it, please let me know by leaving a review.

Thank you. Be sure to stop by again next Monday. There’s a new post every week.

Evolution of the Beach Experience

Readers often ask, “Where do you get the inspiration for your books?” Book Publishing PicThe easy answer is … Everywhere. I once concocted an entire novel in my head, about a wedding planner and one of the guests, along with some intrigue for excitement, while sitting through one of my husband’s cousin’s weddings. When the hubs nudged my arm and said it was time to go to the reception, I protested. “I haven’t worked out the ending yet.” (Luckily, he was used to this sort of behavior by then, so he did not make me an appointment for psychiatric treatment.)

A perfect example of inspiration is this particular blog. Last week, I read a blog about going to the beach and the differences between childless individuals who go to the beach and parents with children who go to the beach. It was utterly hilarious (because it’s so true), and the link is here: http://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/286/This-Mom-Perfectly-Explains-Going-To-The-Beach-With-Kids-Vs-Going-Without-Kids.

This past weekend (not surprisingly, if you know me at all), I went to the beach, with my kids and a few of my neighbors and their kids. As I sat there, half paying attention to my kids and sipping cocktails with the neighbors, I thought about the above blog, and about my personal beach experience over the years. So was the inspiration for a blog about the evolution of my beach experience.

When my husband and I were searching for our first home (which happens to be the same house in which we still live), just a couple years after we were married (so yes, a long time ago), we had a handful of criteria:

  1. The house had to be located in a decent school district (for our future children)
  2. It had to have a fireplace (we live in the north and roaring fires go a long way towards helping one deal with the long, cold winters)
  3. It had to have a garage (see long, cold winter comment above)
  4. It had to have access to a beach (also see long, cold winter comment)

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Lakefront would have been nice, of course, but we were poor as dirt back then and were lucky to even afford a house at all. We ended up in an established neighborhood with residents that were a healthy mix of retired folk (my kids call one of our neighbors “Grandma”) and young couples either with children, or, like us, planning to start families of their own soon. The house also had access to a private beach that was owned by the neighborhood association.

For the first two summers, we simply walked down to the beach, towel, sunscreen, and book in hand. That’s it. Every nice weekend, all summer long. Then we had our first child. And then the second.

For years, my beach experience involved standing over two young children who were generally content playing in the shallow water near shore. This slowly evolved into two young children who were trying out their wings, or rather, fins, and were determined to give their mother a heart attack, as they swam into deeper and deeper water. I was afraid to turn away, even for a second. Except to grab another drink, that is. Drinks became a requirement at the beach, just to keep me somewhat sane during this phase.486541_10151192409961579_1171425848_n

One summer, a few years ago, the kids became brave enough to swim out to the floating raft. Without lifejackets. Then they became brave enough to jump off said raft. Without lifejackets. I can say with all honesty that my heart lodged into my throat every single time.

Now, finally, they are old enough and experienced enough swimmers that I do not think twice about them swimming out to and spending hours leaping from the dock. In fact, my thoughts are usually along the lines of, “Oh good, they will probably fall asleep early tonight.” The next rite of passage is the swim across the lake, but we’ll cross that bridge when we have to. Until then, I am enjoying this phase of the beach evolution.

We have not been alone throughout this nearly fifteen year cycle. In fact, I would venture to say we have almost never been alone down at that beach. This perfect neighborhood really is just that, and together, we are raising our children. We are standing over them at the beach and chewing our nails as they swim to the dock for the first time and holding our breath when they leap off the dock for the first time. Each and every summer weekend, I say a little prayer of thanks that the hubs and I were too poor to afford lakefront property back in the day. Because the experiences I have with this neighborhood are something I would not trade for anything.

320359_10151114685666579_519189452_nThere’s more where this blog came from. I post a new blog every Monday. I have also written a few books. You can check them out through my website. If you purchase them, and you like them, please leave a review. Thank you!

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Candy Crush – My Book Boyfriend

Candy Crush Nook-150

For today’s blog, I’m going to talk about Candy Crush, a self-published contemporary suspense I released in January 2014. This is one of my favorites, of all the books I’ve written, and I think that is largely due to the hero, Brandon Sarantos.

He’s gorgeous (well, duh), but it’s more than that. I just adore his personality, and even though he has been a bit of a man-whore for most of his life, he really is a good guy. He loves his family unconditionally, despite their meddling into his less-than-acceptable lifestyle. He is loyal to a fault, and he faithfully supports and believes in the small town in which he grew up and continues to live. And somewhere, deep down – way, way deep down – he really does want his own happily ever after, as opposed to the happy-in-the-moment he experiences with each of his conquests.

When Gabriella Hadley walks into his life and initially rebuffs his come on, he finds himself attracted to her for the obvious reasons – she’s hot, she’s beautiful, she’s female – but also for another reason that is entirely foreign to him.

She isn’t attracted to him – or, at least, she does a damn good job of hiding her attraction. Too good. Almost good enough to chip away at Brandon’s overblown ego and confidence.

The best part of this book, I think, is following along as Brandon gradually comes to the realization that what he feels for Gabriella is not just typical lust, but something more, something much deeper, something that just might spell happily ever after.

Below is an excerpt from Candy Crush. It is the scene in which Brandon and Gabriella meet for the first time, from Brandon’s perspective. I think it sums his personality rather succinctly. If you enjoy it, feel free to download from:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Candy-Crush-Tami-Lund-ebook/dp/B00HXKTBAU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400423460&sr=8-1&keywords=tami+lund

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/candy-crush-tami-lund/1118090567?ean=2940045601542

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/399279

And as always, please leave a review!

****

Her hand was dainty and smooth, and he noticed she had perfectly manicured pale pink nails.  She wore three silver stackable rings on the ring finger of her right hand and her left hand was devoid of jewelry.  No wedding ring.

“Are you the new owner of the candy store?” he asked.

“How did you know that?” she asked suspiciously.

“By definition of my title, it’s my job to know these sorts of things.  You aren’t planning to sell drugs are you?”

Gabriella gasped and looked genuinely shocked and he decided the answer was no.  Considering her reaction to the acronym DDA, he felt inclined to ask.

“Just checking,” he said amiably.  “So what’s your name?”

Brandon stuck his hands in his pockets and took his time appraising the new candy store owner, now that he was up close.  From across the street, by the pale blue glow from the new state of the art yet antique in stature lamppost hanging above her head, he determined she had long blond hair that was braided down her back, an average sized chest, small waist and long legs.

Up close, he could see that the hair was professionally colored in a salon.  All those shades of blond couldn’t possibly be natural.  The chest was still average, the waist was tiny and the legs were indeed long.  She wore a fitted white scoop neck shirt under a thin jacket, slim brown pants and tennis shoes.  He bet she looked hot in four-inch heels.  He wondered how long she’d last in this town, and he decided he wanted to sleep with her before she left.

“I’m Gabriella Hadley,” she said.  Her soft voice was as delicate as her hands and had a distinctly southern drawl.

“Nice to meet you, Gabby,” Brandon said, and she corrected him, “Gabriella.”

“How long do you plan to stay in town?” Brandon asked, rocking on his heels and still watching her.  He could tell his scrutiny made her uncomfortable.  He hoped it was because she was attracted to him.

“Well, since I just bought the candy store, I’d say it’s a bit of a permanent arrangement,” Gabriella pointed out.  “Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Sarantos?” she said impatiently.  He watched as a guilty look flittered across her features.  Did she feel guilty for acting impatient?  He was pretty sure he had never in his life met a woman who felt guilty about something so trivial.

“It’s Brandon.  I was still in the office and I saw you pull up, so I figured I’d welcome you to town.”  And I never miss an opportunity to meet a hot blond.  “Where are you from?”

“Thank you for the welcome.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to take a peek inside and then go find something to eat.  I haven’t eaten since noon.”

He noticed she ignored his question, but he let it slide as he tried to come up with ways to keep her talking.  He didn’t usually like it when women talked too much, but he decided that Gabriella could talk to him all day long, with that thick southern drawl.  It was sexy as hell.

“That place hasn’t been opened up in years.  Why don’t I hang around to make sure no raccoons come flying out at you, and then I’ll show you the nearest pizza parlor?”

She looked appalled, although Brandon wasn’t entirely sure if that was due to the prospect of a raccoon flying out at her or having to endure his company for that much longer.  She demurely said thank you, and turned and bent at the waist to retrieve her purse from the floor of the car.  Brandon watched and thoroughly enjoyed the way her cotton pants strained against the roundness of her backside.

She stood up and turned around, realized what he was doing and huffed out a sigh.  She stalked past him, her nose in the air.  The cocker spaniel trotted along beside her and Brandon followed behind, not feeling the least bit guilty for ogling.

Gabriella turned the key in the lock, opened the door and then quickly stepped to the side, presumably just in case a raccoon really did come flying out at her.  The dog trotted inside and Brandon stepped in front of the door and stuck his head inside, his eyes sweeping from side to side, taking it all in.  He glanced back at Gabriella, who had made no move to follow suit.

“Did you know what kind of condition it was in when you bought it?” he asked.

“No,” she admitted.  “I bought it over the internet.  The pictures were definitely old.  All the letters were still on the sign and there were displays in the windows.”

“Brace yourself,” he said as she finally stepped in front of the door and peeked over his shoulder.

 

Now that you know my favorite type of hero… What’s yours? What personality traits cause you to fall in love with your latest book boyfriend?

Writing and Vacations

vacation1

My family recently returned from a cross-country vacation. We drove from Michigan to Dallas, Texas (nineteen and a half hours without spending the night along the way). From there we headed east to spend a few days in north Louisiana, and finally headed further east to Alabama before veering north again and returning home.

It was an adventure, to say the least.

There were many lessons learned along the way. The first was that my DH, who normally does the bulk of the driving on these trips, is not able to carry his typical weight when he is hit with severe seasonal allergies.

Also, he’s really grumpy and not overly exuberant about participating in vacation-like activities. Considering he isn’t an overly exuberant person to begin with, well, you can imagine my own frustration…

Another lesson I learned was that my eldest child only has the capacity to be what I like to call normal for brief periods of time. During those periods, he is such a spectacularly wonderful child that all adults in the vicinity are lulled into the misguided belief that he is such an easy kid to travel with, hang with, enjoy spending time with. Until he loses his mind just as spectacularly, leaving us all stunned and reeling and unsure of what just happened and how to recover.

The third lesson I learned, which goes hand in hand with the last one, is that my youngest is a wonderful traveler. easy-going, flexible, amenable, laid back, just happy to… be. I am strongly considering taking just the one the next time we travel. It would probably make us all happier….

The final lesson learned is that no matter my intentions, expecting to get more writing done than during a normal work week was an utterly unobtainable goal. I was far too busy corralling children, babying the DH, spending QT with my friends and family, and generally enjoying my vacation. Considering I have three different writing deadlines at the moment, not to mention the commitment of providing you with a new blog each and every Monday, I guess we all know what that means.

Just like in nearly every other profession, when one takes a break from writing, it means twice as much work upon my return. The lesson there, theoretically, could be that I should not take a vacation.

Which is one lesson I wholly plan to never, ever learn.

Want Some Candy?

Candy Crush Nook-150
For today’s blog, I’d like to feature two things: a huge *thank you* to Ricki Wilson and her Indie Author Spotlight website for promoting Candy Crush this past week. When I emailed Ricki, I had no idea what would happen. I just found her website and thought, this looks interesting. I’ll give it a try. What I discovered was an entire network of authors and more retweets than I ever imagined. Hopefully, of course, this will translate into additional book sales, but in the meantime, I am simply thrilled and honored by the attention to my ebook, Candy Crush.
If you are curious, the link is here: http://rickiwilson.com/4/post/2014/04/indie-spotlight-on-candy-crush-by-tami-lund-tamilundauthor.html
Feel free to roam around and check out the other authors’ books too.
As an additional incentive, I’ve added a small excerpt of Candy Crush below. It can be purchased through most online retailers – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, just to name a few. It is also up on Goodreads, so if you do read…I would love it if you left a review, too.  Thank you in advance and enjoy this excerpt….
CANDY CRUSH – CHAPTER ONE

In broken, paint peeling letters, the sign above the door proclaimed: and S ore.
It was supposed to say: Candy Store.
As she pressed her fingers to her temple, Gabriella Hadley thought, and I am sore, so I guess it fits.

The buildings were all attached, tall narrow soldiers running the length of the block, and

every one had a quaint, freshly painted sign affixed over the door and attractive displays in the windows. Every one, that is, except the address the real estate company had given to Gabriella.

This particular storefront stood out from the rest. The color of the remaining letters on the sign above the door was supposed to be green, which she knew from the pictures she’d seen on the Internet. From her current vantage point, sitting in the driver’s seat of her car, parked at the curb in front of the building, she couldn’t be certain of their current color. Muddy? Dilapidated? Was that even a color? It should be. Maybe she should go into business creating crayon colors, instead of trying to re-open a worn out old candy store.

The door and two large plate glass windows were haphazardly covered with brown butcher paper. Two planters flanking the door were coated with cracked peeling paint that also may have once been green but now simply looked dirty. Each had a handful of weeds growing from the dried out soil and a lot of brown stuff that had probably also been weeds that had given up the fight.

With a sigh of resignation, Gabriella resisted the urge to pull away from the curb and just keep driving. At the moment, she was left with precious little choice, so she cut the engine, flipped her long blond braid over her shoulder and leaned toward the passenger seat, absently scratching the ear of the yellow-blond cocker spaniel perched there, while she peered out the window at the row of businesses that ran along the sidewalk.

The candy store was nestled between a hobby shop and a small specialty shop with a carved wooden sign that proclaimed, Everything Is Made In Michigan. At least her new business appeared to be in a good location, right on Main Street. Main Street, according to what Gabriella read on the Internet, was the main thoroughfare through a historic downtown district that was located on the fringes of the suburbs of Detroit, and saw more than its fair share of tourists throughout the year. If the store had looked anything like what the real estate company promised, Gabriella might have felt a tremor of excitement, instead of a tremor of dread.

“What are we doing?” Gabriella asked the dog.

The dog wagged her tail in response. The fuzzy cocker spaniel had two emotions: happy and sleeping. It was one of the dog’s endearing traits, and heaven knew Gabriella needed some happiness in her life at the moment.

A desperate bid to find happiness was the reason she sat in a car, parked in front of a ramshackle, closed candy store, in a tiny town five states away from home. Eight days ago, she had packed what little possessions she had into a tiny U-Haul trailer, hooked it to the back of her car, and left Dallas, driving northeast until she hit Little Rock. For the last six days, she had been holed up in a hotel room in Little Rock, hunched over her laptop, researching the Internet for a new life.

While scanning the Internet, she stumbled upon the candy store for sale and thought, I can do that.

The ad proclaimed the candy store was a gem situated in the middle of a prestigious, historical village that was an oasis outside of the city of Detroit. A village with Midwestern values, the ad said, which Gabriella assumed was a good thing.

A place you could be proud to raise your family.

While Gabriella had no intention of raising a family – generally speaking, that required a man in one’s life, and Gabriella had recently sworn off the opposite sex – the idea of living in such a place appealed to her. A village that touted family values should be a safe place in which to relocate, Gabriella thought at the time.

While she shrank away at the prospect of winter – she had lived in Dallas her entire life– she figured it would actually be a nice change from eighty-five degrees in the middle of September. She would give herself six months, and if she really hated it, she would start looking for real estate in Florida. One thing was certain. She was never going back to Dallas.

Not ever again.

“I wonder if I should have just stuck it out?” she said out loud, and, as if she knew what Gabriella was talking about, the dog flattened her ears against her head for a brief moment before she resumed wagging her tail.

Gabriella sighed. “I suppose you’re right. Even winter is better than what I left behind.”

She glanced at the storefront again and continued talking to the dog. “This looks nothing like the pictures on the website. This looks like it hasn’t been inhabited in years.”

She glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was after seven p.m. She’d been on the road since seven a.m. and lunch had been a long time ago.

It was Tuesday evening in mid-September. The street was nearly deserted and most of the shops were closed. Gabriella recalled from the website that when the candy store had been open, the hours had been ten-to-six on Sunday through Thursday and ten-to-eight on Fridays and Saturdays, except for Fridays during football season, when the entire town shut down at six to go watch the local high school football game. Gabriella, being from Texas, could understand that mentality.

“Come on,” Gabriella said to the dog. “Let’s go take a quick peek and then we’ll go find dinner.” She climbed out of the car and walked around to the passenger side and opened the door. The cocker spaniel leapt out and immediately rushed off to sniff at the nearest tree.

“We have a leash law in this town, you know.”

Gabriella jumped at the sound of a male voice and turned to watch as a dark haired man with wide shoulders and a narrow waist stepped onto the sidewalk and began ambling towards her. His hair was slightly shaggy and he wore dark blue slacks and a white pinstriped shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He wore a tie that matched the pinstripes in the shirt. The tie had been loosened around his neck and the top button of his shirt was undone. He should have looked rumpled. Instead, he looked as if he were heading to a shoot for GQ Magazine.

Gabriella sucked in a harsh breath. Miguel.

But as the man drew closer, she realized she was wrong. This wasn’t Miguel. Miguel had chocolate brown eyes. This guy had bright, crystal blue eyes. Miguel had deeply tanned skin, indicative of a great deal of time spent in the sun. This guy had olive skin. He looked Italian or maybe Greek. The look in this guy’s eye wasn’t at all calculated and devious, the way Miguel looked almost all the time.

He isn’t Miguel, Gabriella chanted to herself as she held her ground instead of running, like her instincts were begging her to do. He isn’t Miguel.

The man crouched and scratched the dog’s ear before standing again and offering his hand to shake. “I’m Brandon Sarantos. Head of the DDA.”

Fear lanced through Gabriella’s system and must have shown on her face, because he quickly added, “Downtown Development Authority.”

She blew out a breath. She really had been afraid for a few heartbeats. Gabriella worked to pull her emotions under control as she reluctantly shook his hand. “She isn’t going to hurt anything,” she said defensively.

***
Her hand was dainty and smooth, and he noticed she had perfectly manicured pale pink nails. She wore three silver stackable rings on the ring finger of her right hand and her left hand was devoid of jewelry. No wedding ring.

“Are you the new owner of the candy store?” he asked.
“How did you know that?” she asked suspiciously.
“By definition of my title, it’s my job to know these sorts of things. You aren’t planning to sell drugs are you?”

Gabriella gasped and looked genuinely shocked and he decided the answer was no.

Considering her reaction to the acronym DDA, he felt inclined to ask. “Just checking,” he said amiably. “So what’s your name?”

Brandon stuck his hands in his pockets and took his time appraising the new candy store owner, now that he was up close. From across the street, by the pale blue glow from the new state of the art yet antique in stature lamppost hanging above her head, he determined she had long blond hair that was braided down her back, an average sized chest, small waist and long legs.

Up close, he could see that the hair was professionally colored in a salon. All those shades of blond couldn’t possibly be natural. The chest was still average, the waist was tiny and the legs were indeed long. She wore a fitted white scoop neck shirt under a thin jacket, slim brown pants and tennis shoes. He bet she looked hot in four-inch heels. He wondered how long she’d last in this town, and he decided he wanted to sleep with her before she left.

“I’m Gabriella Hadley,” she said. Her soft voice was as delicate as her hands and had a distinctly southern drawl.

“Nice to meet you, Gabby,” Brandon said, and she corrected him, “Gabriella.”

“How long do you plan to stay in town?” Brandon asked, rocking on his heels and still watching her. He could tell his scrutiny made her uncomfortable. He hoped it was because she was attracted to him.

“Well, since I just bought the candy store, I’d say it’s a bit of a permanent arrangement,” Gabriella pointed out. “Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Sarantos?” she said impatiently. He watched as a guilty look flittered across her features. Did she feel guilty for acting impatient? He was pretty sure he had never in his life met a woman who felt guilty about something so trivial.

“It’s Brandon. I was still in the office and I saw you pull up, so I figured I’d welcome you to town.” And I never miss an opportunity to meet a hot blond. “Where are you from?”

“Thank you for the welcome. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to take a peek inside and then go find something to eat. I haven’t eaten since noon.”

He noticed she ignored his question, but he let it slide as he tried to come up with ways to keep her talking. He didn’t usually like it when women talked too much, but he decided that Gabriella could talk to him all day long, with that thick southern drawl. It was sexy as hell.

“That place hasn’t been opened up in years. Why don’t I hang around to make sure no raccoons come flying out at you, and then I’ll show you the nearest pizza parlor?”

She looked appalled, although Brandon wasn’t entirely sure if that was due to the prospect of a raccoon flying out at her or having to endure his company for that much longer. She demurely said thank you, and turned and bent at the waist to retrieve her purse from the floor of the car. Brandon watched and thoroughly enjoyed the way her cotton pants strained against the roundness of her backside.

She stood up and turned around, realized what he was doing and huffed out a sigh. She stalked past him, her nose in the air. The cocker spaniel trotted along beside her and Brandon followed behind, not feeling the least bit guilty for ogling.

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