Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where'd that idea come from?

As a writer, my brain is constantly in "what if" mode. Anything can trigger an idea or a "hmm" moment. Usually when this happens, I grab a piece of paper and write stuff down because there's no way I'm going to remember it!

A lot of time, it's something that comes up in general conversation such as the time my son was telling me that the president's limo carries three pints of his blood in case of an emergency. Tons of ideas immediately went through my mind and I blurted out I could kill him with that, thinking if an assassin got into the car, switched out the blood with a type completely incompatible then arranged a reason it would have to be used... Ridiculous, but hey, we're dealing with fiction and as long as it's properly motivated, executed and well-written, it could be done.

Research is another great way of finding ideas and that's what happened to me this weekend while looking for an origin story for my vampire society. I didn't want to go with the "they've always been here" route. Nor did I want them to be mutations or a plague or anything like that. I wanted something different and unique. I just couldn't come up with anything.

The idea hit me like a lance to the breastplate!
I had a list of questions about my world that needed to be answered and where did they come from was number one. When I couldn't answer it, I decided to skip ahead. Later in the book, I mention two groups. One is the Brigade and one is Guardian. On the Brigade, I wrote Vatican-type secrecy, wealth and power. They are the leaders of the vampire society. The Guardian are the protectors, the army that ensures they remain safe in the human world. On this, I noted "like the Pope's Army." This last tidbit was just what I needed to spur my origin story.

I came up with something that I really love and has been fueling my story, actually the whole series. It's exciting and daring and I don't think it's ever been done before. I hope not!

You'll have to wait until June to find out just where my vampires came from when Bound By His Blood is released. It's the first book in my new Masters of the Night series and it's been a wild ride so far.

To whet your appetite, here's a small excerpt:

Boston, 1888
“Come on, Logan. It’ll be a grand night. It’s your eighteenth birthday. Time to become a man.”
Logan McCallister gave Joseph Kilkairn a sour look. The Scotsman was bound and determined to drag him to a brothel. McCallister wanted to go. He really did. Fear held him back.
If Father finds out where I’ve gone…
His straight-laced father would have an apoplectic fit if he knew his first born son, the one he’d been meticulously grooming to join the family shipping business, had gone to the seediest part of town to pay for sex.
Darren McCallister did not believe in crossing class lines.
The fire in the hearth crackled and popped. Wood groaned as it shifted into ash. The big house he lived in with his father, younger brother and sister was as empty and personable as an ancient tomb. None of his family had stayed to celebrate his birthday with even a special meal much less gifts or well wishes.
Not that I expected anything different.
His father ran a strict household. Frivolities like presents, celebrations and affections were frowned upon.
McCallister set his jaw as a spurt of rebellion tempted him.
One night out of a lifetime won’t matter.
McCallister shifted the perfect knot of his cravat, brushed away non-existent lint from his custom jacket and nodded his head. “All right. I’m in.”
Joseph chortled and thumped him on the back. “You’re going to love it,” he said. His dark blue eyes gleamed. “I was there last week, myself. Had a gorgeous dove named Claudine take care of me. Gor, she was something else.”
Excitement thrummed McCallister’s veins, easily beating away any lingering fear.
They arrived at Desdemona’s Palace an hour later. McCallister climbed from the coach and stared at the elegant house in front of him. A full moon washed over the two-story building and elegant wrought iron railings. Soft golden light flickered in nearly all the windows. A curtain moved on the upper right and he saw the perfect form of a woman outlined against the light. A taller male figure joined her and they disappeared from sight.
McCallister rubbed his hands together, suddenly eager to find and bed a woman with large breasts and a lusty appetite.
Joseph sprinted up the stairs and pulled the discreet gold chain near the door.
“Ready for the most incredible night of your life, McCallister?”
He grinned at his friend. “Absolutely.”
The door opened and a tall man with shoulders wider than the entry looked down at them. Recognition flickered in his black eyes when he looked at Joseph. He stepped back and waved them inside.
“Madam Desdemona will be with you shortly.”
He disappeared down the hall and McCallister stood in the entry, looking around and trying to calm his racing heart.
A flight of stairs to their right led to the upper floor where he assumed the actual bedding took place. The entry in which they stood flared out into a long and mostly dark corridor with a closed door at the end.
Sounds from around the house buffeted him. Throaty laughter and deep moans floated from above while from what seemed below, indeed under his feet, he thought he heard someone sobbing.
He frowned. “Do you hear that?”
“Yeah,” Joseph said. He rubbed his hands together. “Sounds just like Claudine when she was riding my cock last week.”
The far door opened and McCallister straightened, all thought of the peculiar sound dispelled.
Desdemona was beautiful. Tall, raven haired with a lithe, lush body revealed by the diaphanous gown she proudly wore.
The edges flared as she glided toward them. Beneath the robe, her full breasts and wide hips pressed against a white satin gown. McCallister swallowed hard. Her nipples puckered visibly through her dress.
“Good evening, gentlemen.” Her throaty contralto wrapped around his cock and held fast. He prayed he didn’t disgrace himself.
“Madam Desdemona. You look ravishing as always.” Joseph bent over her hand.
McCallister thought his friend overdid it just a bit with the bowed head and near subservient posture but then she was an incredibly beautiful woman. Her eyes were a shade of blue he’d never seen before. They looked as though they were lit from the inside by flashes of lightning. Her mouth was full, lush and ruby red.
“Who have you brought me, Joseph?”
She didn’t take her gaze from McCallister and he forced himself not to squirm.
Joseph made the introductions. “I was hoping you would personally see to his entertainment, Madam Desdemona.”
Her small smile revealed a set of perfect, white teeth. McCallister found himself captivated by them. He licked his lips.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t do that anymore. I’ll be happy to set you up with one of our other girls, though.”
Joseph leaned forward. “But Madam, it’s his eighteenth birthday today.” He tossed a wink over his shoulder at McCallister. “And he’s a virgin.”
“Damn it, Kilkairn,” he snapped. Embarrassment engulfed him like a ravenous beast.
The look on the madam’s face changed dramatically. Her brows lifted and the lightning flashed in such quick succession McCallister had to look away. He suddenly felt dizzy, breathless, weak.
The madam stepped closer and curled her long fingers around his forearm while nestling her breast against him. “Is this true, Mr. McCallister?”
He didn’t want to admit to it, wanted to lie and claim he’d bedded dozens of chits. But he couldn’t. Her blue gaze demanded only the truth.
“Yes,” he said with a rasp. “I’m a virgin.”
Her smile was like a gift and she squeezed his arm before letting go. “Joseph, I will send Claudine to you. Mr. McCallister, come with me.”
Joseph hooted and pounded him on the back. “See you soon, you lucky bastard.”
McCallister followed Desdemona down the hallway, his gaze glued to the sway of her ass and hips. His hard cock bounced with each step and anticipation made his balls tighten painfully.
She opened the door, stepped through then beckoned to him. “Shut the door, Mr. McCallister and let me take you.”
McCallister carefully did as commanded, took a deep breath and turned to face the beautiful whore.
* * *

The whimpering woke him. Soft, pathetic sounds of despair bounced inside his head. McCallister frowned and struggled to open his eyes. They were gritty and painful.
Cold, damp cement pressed along his back.
He forced himself to keep his eyes open. The room was mostly dark. A single beam of sunlight streamed from a narrow slit in the wall across from him. It took long seconds for his eyes to adjust to the shadows.
Something cold surrounded his throat. His arms were thrust over his head and manacled to the hard cement wall. Fear exploded in him.
Where am I?
He yanked at his chains and choked as the collar bit into his throat. The stench of piss and putrid water rose from the ground, gagging him. He continued to pull until sweat poured down his temples. His neck, chest and arms burned from the effort.
“It’s no use,” a weary voice said.
McCallister squinted into the darkness. Three men were chained to the far wall in similar fashion. One man with golden eyes that burned like candles stared back at him. The room was too dim for any other impression but fear again shuddered through him.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Don’t know.”
A sudden cacophony of  noise, voices and movement assaulted McCallister. He groaned against the painful intensity. Just when he thought he would die from the sheer volume, it disappeared.
He fell back to the wall and sucked down a deep rasp of air, shaking and shivering like a newborn colt.
The creak of wood and rusty iron sounded in the shadows. He managed to turn his head enough to see a door open.
A familiar voluptuous figure was outlined in the doorway.
“Good. You’re finally awake.”

I hope you're looking forward to Bound by His Blood as much as I am!

Happy reading,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Slight catch up...

And I don't mean the red stuff you dip fries into!
Since I last posted, I've had an avalanche of awesomeness occur. An avalanche? I hear your skepticism. Understandable since I live in Texas and we don't have much experience with avalanches that involve snow, but good news? Heck yeah!

Okay, newsflash one! Two Cowboys in her Crosshairs is now available! This is book one in my Hellfire Ranch series. This series follows a group of ex-marines turned cowboys as they find love while battling a variety of evil-doing bad guys. Cowboys, marines, sex, murder... what more could you ask for? Two Cowboys in her Crosshairs can be bought at the Siren Bookstrand site BUT it can also be sent to your Kindle (sorry Nookies but you're coming soon. Wow, look at the double entendres in that one sentence!). Looking for a BUY link? I have that. Click HERE!.

Newsflash two! I released a new contemporary romance on Tuesday called Affair of Convenience. This book is a small departure for me since it's a traditional romance (no menage and not super erotic). I thoroughly enjoyed writing Taryn and Coop's story. And I didn't even kill anyone (though one of the secondary characters probably deserved it for being such a witch!). Want to know more? Sure! Here's the blurb:

When the subject of Taryn Kirkpatrick's midnight fantasies walks into her life, kisses her breathless and proposes an affair of convenience, what else can she do except say yes?
That yes, however, will lead to more than just hot sex. It will lead her back into the world of the high-and-mighty, the wealthy, the business and societal elite she left behind with her divorce. Because Cooper Malone is a straight-laced businessman intent on landing the right clients.

He’s fascinated by Taryn, a vivacious, bohemian, free-spirit whose joie de vivre leads him to exploring all sorts of new adventures...both in the bedroom and outside it. But what will his clients think of her?

Taryn swore she wouldn’t ever compromise herself again.

Can she—can they—be more than just a midnight fantasy?

Affair of Convenience is available at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.

Newsflash three. I sold book two of the Hellfire Ranch series! Her Heart Stealing Cowboys will be released in June 2013 from Siren. It picks up where book one left off and there's one hell of a kicker from the get go. It's the story of Sheriff Taggart Cain, his best friend Wade Merritt and the feisty Boston lawyer, Rebecca Lyons, they decide to claim as their own. If they can survive a murder charge, a stalker and a computer code that really needs to be hacked. Really.

Newsflash four (see, AVALANCHE!): June 2013 will also feature the release of Bound By His Blood, an erotic vampire novel. This is the first in a series called Masters of the Night. A little vampire bondage, anyone? Be on the lookout for a cover soon. If you want a teaser, check out the excerpt found in the back of Affair of Convenience!

So, that's a lot of good news, don't you think?!

Are you looking forward to any release in particular? Email me and let me know by clicking on my name below.
Happy reading,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Release Day for the Freedom, TX Cowboys!

I'm so excited! Today is the release of the first book in my new erotic romance series, The Hellfire Ranch. Book one is Two Cowboys in Her Crosshairs. It's full of sexy cowboys, interesting townfolk and a killer bent on keeping his secret at all costs.

I hope you'll stop by Siren and pick up a copy. Did you know you can buy it on the Siren site and have it sent directly to your Kindle? No? Well, yep, you sure can.

Even better, Two Cowboys in Her Crosshairs is also on SALE! 15% off until April 4. Hurry and get a smokin' hot romance for not a lot of money.

Here's a small excerpt: (If you want the adult excerpt, follow the link above and scroll down. It's naughty!)

Jake slowly sank back into the leather chair. Hudson remained standing, and Jake leaned to the left to look around him. “I didn’t do anything to him, Livvie.”

Hudson started and whirled around. “Livvie? You call her Livvie?”

Jake scowled and waved him back to his own seat. “Later,” he muttered. He knew his friend was going to give him a large ration of shit for calling his horse by Olivia’s nickname. He just never figured anyone would have the opportunity to make the connection.

Hud wavered for a long, silent moment. “Damn skippy you’ll tell me later.”

“Tell you what?” Olivia asked.

“Not important. What else aren’t you saying?”

She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth—the same way she always did when her quick brain was madly thinking and sifting through information.

“No bullshit, Olivia. Shag was my friend. Where’s the connection that brought you here?”

“All right, Jake, I’m going to trust you.”

He flinched at the reluctance in her voice. Not that he blamed her. Trusting him had not only gotten her heart broken, but it cost her an eye. “Thanks for the vote of confidence,” he rasped in a weary attempt to joke.

Her responding smile was strained at best. She dug into her purse and pulled out a wrinkled envelope. The outside was black with what he assumed to be fingerprint powder. With a stretch, she tossed it to the table between them. “That’s part of what he sent.”

Jake quickly read through the short missive and immediately understood why she’d come to the ranch. Shag pretty much drew her a map to his ranch.

“What’s he talking about showing me?”

“It’s a statue. About this high.” Her elegant fingers showed a distance of about six inches. “It seems to be the figure of a standing woman. Unfortunately it’s been smashed into bits, and several pieces are obviously missing.”

Sweat broke out on the back of his neck. “Do you have it here?”

“In my SUV.”

“Want to get it?”

She hesitated, and again he saw the contemplation in her eyes. She still wasn’t totally sure of him. Jake was surprised by the amount of pain he felt knowing she didn’t trust him.


She rose and strode from the room. The front door closed behind her seconds later.

“Livvie?” Hudson said immediately.

Jake waved a hand. “It’s nothing. Just a name.”

“Bullshit, Jake. You love that damn horse. Hell, when she caught West Nile and Dr. Marsalis suggested you put her down, you nearly had a conniption fit. I had to hide the guns for a week so you didn’t go after Doc.”

An embarrassed flush crawled over Jake’s cheeks, burning him from the inside out. “She’s a good horse. Why kill her when she’s fixable?”

Hudson’s eyes flickered to the front of the ranch house. “Is Olivia fixable? What’s the story with her?”

The embarrassment faded, and regret slipped in. “There’s no story. She was part of the Hellfire Battalion. She was with us the day of the ambush. Hell, if it hadn’t been for her, we probably all would have died.”

“What do you mean? And why the hell didn’t you tell me about her?” Hurt sounded in his old friend’s voice.

Jake rose and shoved his hands deep in the front pockets of his jeans. He stared down at the dusty and scuffed tips of his brown cowboy boots. They needed a polish. He should really take care of that. Letting equipment go to pot was not the way a marine did things.

It wasn’t the way Jake did things.

Hudson poked him in the back, and Jake spun, dropping into a crouch.

Hud’s palms immediately rose and flattened against the air. “Whoa, whoa. Damn, you haven’t done that in months. She’s got you riled up.”

“It’s not just her,” Jake admitted as he rose. He exhaled sharply and tried to quell the gallop in his chest. “I can’t believe Shag is dead.”

Sorrow shone in Hudson’s face, and he clapped Jake on the shoulder. “Me either. I’m sorry, man. He was a helluva guy.”

“Yeah, he was.” Jake frowned and looked toward the front of the house again. “What’s taking her so long?”

He started to head that way, but Hudson stilled him. “You didn’t tell me how she saved your ass.”

Jake heard the unspoken and in his voice. Hudson wanted to know why Jake never mentioned Olivia—Livvie—in all the times he talked about his tour and the events leading up to the ambush. Jake didn’t really have a good answer himself. He shrugged, and Hud’s hand fell away. “She’s a sniper.” He paused and grimaced. “Was a sniper. She held those insurgent bastards off long enough for us to get to safety.”


Another bout of tearing pain ripped through Jake. “Yeah,” he rasped. “She saved us but lost her left eye. Got hit by a shrapnel grenade.”

“Jesus,” Hudson whispered.

Jake nodded. “She was lying up on that ridge, totally unprotected and bleeding. I couldn’t leave her there, so I headed up to get her. I wasn’t in time. We got shelled by the grenades.” He wiped his forehead, surprised when his palm came away damp. “Boone or Tag took out whoever shot them off, but it was too late. She’d been hit in the face.”

“There’s where those scars came from.”

“Yeah.” He looked to the door then headed for it. Olivia had been gone too long. With the news of Shag’s death, nothing felt safe, not even his own ranch.


Win a free copy of Two Cowboys In Her Crosshairs by answering this question: 
In Empowered, what defense discipline did Madelyn learn? 
Please EMAIL me your response to jenniferaugust (at) jenniferaugust (dot) com. I'll pick on Sunday.

Thanks for reading!
Jennifer August

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cover Reveal!

I'm so excited! I received the cover for my April release Two Cowboys in Her Crosshairs today!
I think it looks pretty awesome. Harris Channing did an amazing job yet again. Thanks Harris!

Two Cowboys In Her Crosshairs is the first book in the Hellfire Ranch series about a group of ex-marines turned cowboys, sheriffs, FBI and  more who find themselves in more danger on home soil than they did while deployed. I hope you'll join me on my journey to Freedom, Texas and the men and women of Hellfire Ranch.

Here's a little about Olivia, Jake and Hudson's story:

Marine sniper Olivia Martinez's injuries from Afghanistan aren't all visible. She's carrying scars on her heart as well, compliments of Jake Logan and their all-too-brief battlefield romance. Damage to her eyesight during an ambush has derailed her field work, but the gutsy Marine is still in the Corps and working for JAG.
Jake Logan retired to the quaint town of Freedom, Texas and the Hellfire Ranch he named after his unit. With his best friend Hudson Walker at his side, he's trying to forget that final mission gone so horribly wrong...and forget Olivia.

A mysterious package, coupled with the recent deaths of other members of the squad, force Olivia to track down Jake as she investigates. Sparks immediately fly, confirming the passion between them didn't die in the desert.

The only problem for Olivia is she's getting sparks from Hudson, too.
When the trio find themselves under siege and taking fire, they know they have to solve the mystery of the package's contents, or wind up dead.

Unraveling the clues lead them to suspect ugly things about someone on their team.

But it's hard to focus. All Jake wants to do is love Olivia again. Hudson, who loves Jake like a brother, likes seeing his buddy vibrant again for the first time since returning from Afghanistan.

Olivia, in bed between them, makes them all feel alive.

Now if only they can stay that way.

In the end, it's going to come down to Olivia's ability to overcome her injuries, both physically and emotionally, to save the three of them.

But once a Marine sniper has you in her crosshairs...say your prayers.

She's way more accurate — and sexy — than Cupid.

The book isn't available for pre-order yet, but you can peruse some of my other books at Siren by clicking here. And of course, they are all available on Amazon and B&N.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gonna Party! 'Cause It's My Birthday!

Woohoo! Happy Birthday to me!

I hope y'all have as great a day as I'm going to have. Family and friends and presents and cake and Mexican food. Can it get any better?
As the years pass by I think of all the things I've learned, the things I've done, the things I wish I'd done or said and the things I can't wait to do.
I truly believe you wake up each day and choose what kind of mood you're going to be in. Most days I'm a happy girl. I've weathered my share of trials and tribulations but I've always made it through.
Here are a few of my birthday brain ramblings:

Treat everyone with respect unless they do something to make you lose it.

Love yourself. If you have issues and you beat yourself up for whatever it is, think about your sister, best friend, mother, grandmother. Would you ever say anything like what you're telling yourself? If you heard her saying something horrible to herself, wouldn't you stop her and tell her she's crazy? Then do it for yourself.

Take a moment to breathe every single day. Sit, relax, decompress and de-stress. Taking five, ten, thirty minutes or more for yourself is not a crime. You need to re-charge your batteries to be your very best self. Think of all you can do if you have the energy and the mental fortitude.

Don't take a minute for granted. Life is short. Life can be unfair and it's damn sure fragile.

Mend fences when you can. Apologize to those you've hurt. Forgive those who've hurt you.

On the flip side of that -- know when to let go. Of things, of grudges, of people who've moved on from you.

Tell your friends and family how much they mean to you.

Hug a cat or dog or bunny or bird or whatever pet you own. Love them as much as they love you.

Drink water.

What about you? What wisdom do you have that you'd like to pass on? Leave a comment and you'll be entered in a random drawing for the book of your choice in my backlist.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you're celebrating with someone special or practicing some self-love by taking yourself out to dinner and a movie, I hope you have a wonderful day today!

I often wonder how traditions start and what keeps them going. I'm pretty sure the chocolate and flower industries as well as Hallmark are responsible for the success of Valentine's Day. Consider the facts: over 1 BILLION Valentine's Day cards are sent each year. Lest you think they're all the same boring stuff, there are over 1,300 different Valentine's Day cards of which about a quarter are humorous. I like funny cards but sometimes I want romantic. Romantically funny?

As for the chocolate industry... ah, apparently on V Day (Not to be confused with V-J Day. Not to be confused with BJ...nevermind) anyway, on Valentine's Day, 36 million boxes of chocolate will be given as gifts. Which is good because American women say they'd prefer to receive chocolate over flowers. I am not one of those women. Give me chocolate roses and I'm perfectly content. So, does this mean that chocolate is the new gold?

Cards? CHECK!

Chocolate? CHECK!

That leaves roses. How about 110 million roses (most of them red, of course) will be distributed on this romantic day. How about them apples? Er, flowers? And something I find even cooler is that about 15 percent of those flower orders are sent by women to THEMSELVES. That is some awesome stuff.

I will leave you with two strange Valentine's Day bits of trivia:

1. Valentine's Day was originally associated with the mating of birds.
2. In Victorian times, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day card.

These days I think it's bad luck to FORGET to sign a Valentine's Day card.

Have a sweet and wonderful day no matter how you spend it or who you spend it with!

Happy reading,