Sexy Bad Cover Reveal!

 

Title: Sexy Bad Daddy
Authors: Misti Murphy & Tami Lund 
Genre: Romantic Comedy
 
 
 
 
Once upon a time Garrett Frost, bad boy of professional golf, found out he had a two year old daughter. 

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that long ago. His escapades are still in the media, and his sponsors are all in a tail spin, but his daughter sure is cute. 

That’s where I come in. I’m his nanny. The kid’s nanny. Of course, I’m not his. He’s older, my employer, totally off limits. And I can’t forget that, even if he makes me want to fall for him with every lingering gaze, each secret touch. 

He’s trying so hard to reform his professional image and be the father his daughter deserves. If anyone knew he was screwing his nanny it’d be all over the media, ruining his sponsorships, and affecting his relationship with his daughter. Or worse, convincing everyone we could be a family. 

But Garrett Frost’s family is the game and his daughter. There’s no room for me. So why does it feel like I’ve finally found my forever?
 
 

 

 
 

 

Misti Murphy & Tami Lund
They live on opposite sides of the world, but an eighteen-hour time difference doesn’t stop these two obsessed authors. They write, they debate over storylines, they thoroughly enjoy the process of gazing at hot men while trying to come up with cover ideas, they fall in and out of love with their characters, and at the end of the day (which day is anybody’s guess), they create sexy bad books for your reading pleasure.
 
 
 
 
 
PS – If you haven’t yet read Sexy Bad Neighbor, what are you waiting for?
sexy-bad-neighbor-3d

 

Road Kill: No Jury Would Convict Me

Dear MDOT (also known as Michigan Department of Transportation—or, in some (many) circles, Michigan Department of Torture),

On any given day, my feelings for you are little more than a basic dislike. Sort of like the way I feel about that first mosquito of the evening in the summer, the one that’s warning me that I’ve got about ten seconds to take cover, because I’m about to be eaten alive by its brethren. What’s really annoying about that damn mosquito is that gorgeous summer nights in Michigan are rare, and we are reluctant to give them up, even for blood-sucking mosquitoes. Bring on the DEET.

If only there was MDOT DEET.

You see, right about late April, that general annoyance turns into hardcore, absolute loathing. As the orange construction barrels come out and my commute grows longer and longer and LONGER, I run out of ways to occupy my time while I SIT IN TRAFFIC. And since it’s frowned upon to scroll Facebook while you’re on the road, even when you’re practically parked in the middle of the street, I tend to start daydreaming. And since you are first and foremost in my thoughts these days, I’ve begun to imagine what MDOT employees’ lives are like.

I imagine what it’s like to work for a state-funded road construction company in January, in the Midwest. On a frigid day where the sky is a gorgeous shade of blue, unobstructed by a single cloud. It hasn’t snowed in a few, so the roads are clear, dry even. And there’s no precipitation in the forecast for at least thirty-six hours. No need to call in the salt truck and snowplow drivers, no need to replenish the supplies. So you have nothing but time on your hands…

“Hey, Joe, let’s play that Game of Thrones game.”

Joe jerks out of his snooze, the front legs of his chair hitting the linoleum floor with a thwack. “What the hell you talking about, Frank?” he demands while rubbing sleep out of his eyes.

“You know, where we look at the map and decide where to set up construction next spring. And our goal is to fuck up as many commuters as humanly possible. Remember when we came up with that seventeen-year I-75 project?” Frank’s bobbing his head, practically panting like an eager puppy, ready to play fetch.

“Yeah, that was pretty genius,” Joe says with a chuckle, as he recalls last winter, when they played this same game. “Okay, okay, let’s play. Who gets to go first?”

“Here’s a piece of paper. Whoever can draw the most convoluted detour route wins. Ready? Go!”

“Shit, I always suck at this part.” Joe shakes his head as he stares at his drawing. “Look, I took drivers a really direct way around the construction. No closed roads or anything. Man, I need more training.”

“Let’s see if we can fix that. Here, take these darts. Now, let me set up this dartboard. What’s that look like to you?”

Joe lifts his hand and points at his palm, at the base of his thumb. “Southeast Michigan.”

“Yep. And see this road?” Frank waves his finger up and down, indicating north-to-south.

“Yeah. That’s M5. Isn’t that a fairly new road? We aren’t planning construction already, are we?”

“Oh, hell yes we are. Not just construction, but we’re closing the fucking road. Those commuters are getting way too comfortable. We need to shake things up a bit. Now, how good a dart player are you?”

Joe grins and smacks his chest. “Pretty decent, actually. I’ve won my family’s annual tournament seven years’ running now.”

“Excellent. Here. See how many roads near M5 you can hit. For every one you get, we’ll shut it down for approximately the same time we expect the construction on M5 to take. Bonus if they’re north-south routes, like M5.”

Joe whistles. “Damn, you’re cold-hearted, Frank.”

With a wicked grin, Frank says, “That’s why I work for MDOT, Joe.”

 

Disclaimer: I’m sure MDOT employees are lovely people who do not throw darts to determine which roads they should close or repave. Heck, they may even read romance novels. This is simply the mental meanderings of an author stuck in rush hour traffic…again.

 

Living With Grief

It’s Sunday morning. I’m stretched out on the couch wearing comfy pajamas, a super soft fleece blanket draped over my legs. It’s dark outside, a rainy, overcast day. There’s no one else awake at the moment. I’m trying to write a book, but every time I glance up from the laptop, my gaze focuses on a family pic, one that includes my son.

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve felt the waves of grief crashing over me. Admittedly, it’s been nice. Grieving is exhausting and if I’m really being honest here, I’m kind of sick of doing it. I’m not foolish; I know it will never go away, but I do welcome that time when it doesn’t encompass my life, when it isn’t a major player in every moment of every day. That will happen at some point, won’t it?

It’s coming again, though. I can feel it. That lurch in my chest on Saturday as I dusted the mantel, over which a gorgeous black and white pic of my two children hangs. I think they were five and two or maybe six and three in that picture. Her arms are thrown around his shoulders and they’re both smiling, so obviously happy. Like at that moment, they knew they had their whole lives ahead of them–together–and in general, it was gonna be positive. It’s amazing how swiftly such an outlook can change, isn’t it?

My daughter is starting to talk about her brother with more frequency lately. I know this is good, because I know she’s still grieving too, and she’s struggling to figure out how to get on in this world in a capacity she never, ever expected: as an only child. I know she’d sure as hell rather not have that status. Besides wanting her brother back, she doesn’t like having all the attention focused on her, plus I know she feels this new sense of obligation to be “good” for the sake of her parents’ sanity. So not fair to her. To any of us.

But it’s hard, so very hard. I’m not there yet; I can’t talk about the good times, the memories. I can’t look at the pictures for more than a moment.

Two of my nieces spent the night this weekend, and I pulled out his bike so they could all go bike riding. Just cleaning it up; greasing the chain, putting air in the tires, wiping off the dusty seat was hard, because it makes me remember. His birthday, when we gave him that bike. His surprise and elation; it hadn’t been what he was expecting, but he’d been thrilled. We’d nailed the birthday gift that year.

And now we have an extra bike taking up space on the back porch.

Even though one of my nieces is the tallest and therefore would have been most comfortable on his bike, my daughter claimed it as her own. She does that; what’s his is now hers, and she’s not really interested in sharing. I get it, although I’m not like that. I’ve been more inclined to throw things away—because what the hell am I going to do with them?—whereas she collects mementos, physical reminders of the memories. I don’t begrudge her this, nor was I about to suggest she let the taller girl ride his bike. Those seats adjust, and mine worked just as well for my niece.

And then they were off, riding up and down the street, armed with sweatshirts to protect them against the slight nip in the spring air. Enjoying themselves, the comradery. Life. The way kids should.

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund writes books, drinks wine, wins awards, writes blogs, and occasionally sends cool newsletters. Signup here: http://www.subscribepage.com/Tami_Lund

Vote for MIRROR, MIRROR!

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NEWSLETTER

Cinderella

Easter Dresses, Baskets, Eggs, and Memories

Another Easter mass under my belt. Another round of tears, another giant wad of used tissues stuffed into my purse (I should probably clean those out). Another what? Fifty or so more to go, if I’m lucky? Oh the irony in that statement.

Now I’m home, changed from the pretty dress into my fave comfy pants, and I’ve made myself a mimosa, which I’m sipping while I wait for the family to converge for Easter dinner. Yeah, we’re hosting this year.

Mimosa

There’s a ham in the smoker, and the husband made a carrot cake from scratch that I’m probably a tad too excited to try. Carrot CakeHe’s making a salad as I type, and we’ll also have Brussels sprouts, deviled eggs, and plenty of booze. Lent is officially over, after all.

I think I’ve earned this mimosa. It’s the second Easter for which we only had to fill one basket, hide eggs for one kid. Not that my son would have been into egg hunts this year anyway. He would have been 14, and I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of its-not-cool-anymore cutoff before that point. We’ll see, I guess. My daughter is 11, and while she seemed to enjoy the holiday tradition, I’m pretty sure she’s at that denial stage I call I-don’t-want-to-give-up-childhood. I suspect by next Easter, she will have moved into I-don’t-want-to-be-a-kid-anymore.

Not that it will stop me. I’ll still make her a basket, although it will be nice not to stress over getting those plastic eggs hidden before she wakes but not so early that the wildlife get to them first. That’s assuming, of course, the weather cooperates enough to hide them outside. I live in Michigan, after all; it’s a crap shoot each and every year.

Death affects the lives of the living in so many ways we cannot possibly anticipate. And when it’s a premature death—say a 13 year old—it’s so hard, because damn it, this was not part of the plan. This isn’t how life is supposed to play out. I’m not supposed to become frustrated until I’m reduced to tears during every single holiday.

Last year, I took everything as it came; I had no real expectations, other than the understanding that I would be devastatingly sad, would undoubtedly cry. But otherwise, I was laid back, enjoyed what I had: my beautiful daughter, my husband, my dog, my family and friends.

Now it’s year two, and it’s a new season, new ballgame. We’ve already been through this once, so now I have … expectations. I want my daughter’s Easter basket to be awesome; I want her to be surprised by the colored eggs hidden in the yard. I want us to dress up in cute dresses and take a family pic because it’s so rare we actually do so. Plus, maybe if we take enough of these pictures, I’ll get used to seeing only one kid.

And naturally, with expectations come frustration and potential heartbreak. The husband who didn’t want to help stuff plastic eggs (“Isn’t she too old for this?”); the kid who didn’t even want to go to church, let alone actually wear a dress. And then take a picture with mom? Are you kidding? My husband spent half the mass whispering to her about why taking a picture in our Sunday best was so important to me, and in the end, I told her I already had a Facebook post prepared (“Reagan only wears dresses for weddings, funerals, and Easter mass. And she wonders why I want to take a pic?”), and that was what convinced her to laugh and throw her arm around my shoulder so we could capture such a precious moment forever.

IMG_7196So here we are. I got the picture. This mimosa is damn good. And we’re figuring it all out, one holiday at a time…

Happy Easter, for those who celebrate. And happy life, everyone.

 

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When your kid commits suicide, you spend a lot of time wondering what if…

What if you’d left work early that day?

What if you’d called/texted and asked him to walk the dog?

What if you’d called/texted and asked if he picked his sister up from the bus stop?

What if you’d called/texted and asked what he wanted for dinner?

What if the dog had realized what was going on and barked incessantly?

What if, four months prior, when he’d gotten so angry he shouted, “I wish I was dead!” you’d sent him to counseling, instead of told yourself, “He’s being an angsty teenager. This will pass.”

What if you’d been a better parent?

What if you’d figured out how to be a stay-at-home-mom?

What if you’d kept going after undergrad, so you had a better job and more flexibility, so you could be there for him more frequently? Or less frequently?

What if you’d waited another six months to start trying?

What if you’d only stopped at one?

What if you’d not allowed him to close his bedroom door when you were home?

What if you’d insisted on more frequent family dinners?

What if you’d pushed him harder to join clubs/sports/anything?

What if you’d asked more questions about school/life/friends/anything? What if you’d not given up when he said, “Fine?”

What if you’d let him play “mature” video games sooner? Or later?

What if you’d lived in a different city? Different state?

What if he had different friends?

What if you hadn’t yelled at him that one time four years ago? Or two days prior?

What if you’d encouraged him more often? Or less often?

What if his math grade hadn’t dropped to a B the week before? What if you hadn’t made such a big deal about it when he made all A’s? What if you didn’t make a big enough deal about it?

What if you’d insisted he practice more frequently, so he made first or second chair in jazz band?

What if you were a better athlete growing up, and maybe more likely to pass those genes onto him?

What if you and your husband expressed more affection? Or less?

What if you’d said “I love you” one more time?

What if you’d figured out how to make his sister less annoying (in his eyes)?

What if you had been aware of any possible bullying going on in his school?

What if it had occurred to you to send him to a different school?

What if there had been signs?

What if you didn’t realize there were signs?

And on and on and on and on … This is what suicide victims leave behind. This is what their parents go through every single day, from the moment it happens, for the rest of their lives. This is what their aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins go through every day. This is what every adult who played any sort of role in that kid’s life goes through every day. This is what their friends struggle with, as they try to maneuver through this fucked up life, made a thousand times worse when they lose a comrade in arms.

Every. Single. Day.

For the rest of their lives.

If you think suicide is the answer to your problems, you’re wrong. Those demons in your head aren’t real. We are. And we care. So. Damn. Much.

#dontdoit

Tempted to Try a Vampire?

Ever wanted to try a vampire romance? Here’s your chance. RESIST, my contribution to the Blood Courtesans series, is only 99 cents for a limited time. It’s about a vampire who is the leader of the Chicago covens and a young human woman who believes vampires killed her aunt and have now kidnapped her sister, and a mutual attraction neither wants or needs at the moment.

Here’s a teaser:

There was no reason to mingle our blood, to lift her palm to my mouth and lick while she stared with eyes so wide they very nearly encompassed her entire face. She tasted of wine and fresh earth and air and crisp grass and sunshine. She tasted like memories I haven’t allowed myself to wallow in for far too long.

And she tasted of sex. Not virginal, though, which would have put off some vampires. There was something about virginal blood that stirred something deep in a vampire’s soul, or what passed for one. It was the reason the idea of blood courtesans had been created.

Me, I wasn’t picky. Humans were necessary for survival, and I’d indulged in my fair share of courtesans, some virgin, some not. My preference tended to lean more toward willingness and desire to stick to the rules we’d laid out for the relationship. The one time I ended up with a sappy, clingy courtesan was the last time. I very nearly changed the woman just to do it, just so she could see what an obnoxious brat she was being.

I enjoyed one more lick before allowing Anya to have her hand back. The slightest tremor shot through my arm when I released her. I wanted to feed—and to indulge other desires as well—but I had never taken blood or sex from an unwilling partner, and I wasn’t about to start now.

That little blood bond notwithstanding, of course. That, I reasoned, was a matter of her safety.

She stared at the closed wound, at the white, puckered scar for long moments before lifting those large expressive eyes to me.

“Why’d you do that?” The suspicion was a palpable thing in her voice. This was no naïve country bumpkin. For some reason, that excited me further.

“Would you prefer the sugar-coated version or the entire truth?”

Her eyes narrowed. “The truth.”

I didn’t understand my fellow brethren’s taste for innocence. Anya’s inexperience with my kind was overshadowed by her natural confidence and spark, and was far more alluring than dealing with a young woman who would do and say whatever I asked. Or demanded.

“I’ve bonded you to me. This way, I can sense you, where you are, possibly even when you are in danger. As much as I would be pleased to do so, I know I cannot realistically keep you by my side for every second of every day and night. This way, during those moments we are not together, I will still know you are safe.”

She pulled her hand off the table and rubbed it against her jeans. Such lovely jeans. Not an expensive name brand, yet they fit her rounded ass like a glove, made walking behind her a special treat. What I wouldn’t give to peel that denim away from her skin so I could stroke her, lick her, taste her. One of my favorite areas to take blood was from a woman’s soft inner thigh. Hers, I suspected, would be softer, smoother, than any other I’ve experienced. And I’ve had a great deal of experience.

“You aren’t helping to change my impression of vampires,” she said, slapping me with a dose of guilt for making such a decision without her consent. What an unusual sensation.

~~~

resist_blood-courtesans

Tempted? Give it a try – it’s only 99 cents!

Amazon

Smashwords

And when you fall in love, there are a whole bunch of other books in the series, to satisfy your, er, vampire tooth. Here’s the link to the website, which lists all of them: BLOOD COURTESAN SERIES

Ready, set, read!

 

 

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

March Is Madness, But I’ll Be Okay…Eventually

It’s March. The worst month of the year. Which isn’t a fair assessment, generally speaking. March means spring, warm weather is coming. My dad’s birthday is in March; so is my husband’s and several other friends. St. Patrick’s Day. March Madness. Daylight Savings Time.

And my son died on March 15th, last year.

It’s weird. I cannot tell you what I did day by day, in these two weeks leading up to The Worst Day of My Life, but right now, every single day, I relive those few moments when it happened, over and over, a video stuck on repeat and I can’t figure out how to shut it off.

The exact moment when the call came through, as I was driving home from work. My daughter’s breathless voice blaring out of the speaker in the car. “Mom, Brady tried to kill himself!”

Me, instantly annoyed. “That’s not funny. Not even remotely. Don’t ever tell jokes like that again.”

Her, insisting she wasn’t kidding, then telling me to hurry up and get home, and then hanging up on me. My heart, starting to pound uncomfortably fast, even as I immediately began to tell myself it wasn’t true, it was a sick joke, and oh boy, was she going to be in trouble when I got home.

But I started calling anyway. Called the house phone, my husband’s cell, the neighbor whose kids were at my house at the time. No one answered. My heart rate increased, I almost felt like I couldn’t breathe. And I still kept telling myself it wasn’t true. It was a joke. A horrible, horrible joke.

My husband finally called back, and my greeting was, “What’s going on? Reagan called and said Brady tried to commit suicide. What the hell is she talking about?”

“She’s right,” he said. “Hurry up and get here.”

“What?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know why. Just get home.”

“Is he…”

“I don’t know. The ambulance just left, took him to the hospital. I’m waiting on you, so we can go together. The neighbors have Reagan. Just get here.”

And then the line went dead. Just like my son. My entire life, altered forever, in a way that can never be fixed. Death is rather permanent; the one aspect of life we can’t fix or change or get back.

So if I seem a little out of sorts these next couple weeks, I hope you’ll forgive me. Like every other aspect of grieving so far, I don’t really know how to handle this, as it’s my first time going through it. His birthday was, thus far, the hardest day since his death, but I have a feeling March 15 will be even worse, at least this year. As it turns out, the pain of losing your child is substantially worse than the pain of bringing them into this world. This pain never goes away, because everything went away that day.

So be patient, bear with me. I’ll be back to normal in a few weeks. At least, this new version of normal.

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author of books with happy endings, and a blogger of depressing real-life subjects. She also drinks a lot of wine, but I’m sure you’ll agree that can be forgiven. After her blog post makes you cry, I recommend trying one of her books, to lift your spirits again. Because that’s why she writes: To make you smile, and help us all escape reality for a while.

 

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