End of Year Rap

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Health: This was our year for health and you might remember our fasting journey over Thanksgiving 2017. It literally changed our lives and in 2018 we were able to live clean, healthy and happy. We drank green juice every day and 6 months ago I went fully plant based. Again, it’s changed my life. DH is a little behind me and continues eating some animal products, but he says it’s only a matter of time. I also started http://thehealthygrandma.com blog which will see more activity in 2018. Overall, I lost 80 pounds, I now work out at least 10 hours per week, and I love my new body which I haven’t seen since my early twenties. I didn’t diet or have surgery (not a jab at weight loss surgery), I changed everything about how I look at food. I’m no longer addicted and I can’t believe the difference it’s made in my physical and mental health. Look out 2019!

Wealth: This goal needs improvement. The book industry is fickle and I’ve been around a long time and seen so many changes. I’ve got things in the works for 2019 and #1 is writing more books. My goal is 6 new books for the new year and one rewrite. You can cheer because I always hit my goals ?

My book release schedule:

Shadow – 2/12/19 Genetically Modified Series

Warrior – 3/5/19 Genetically Modified Series

Street Fight – TBA Hotter Than Hell

Swelter – TBA Hotter Than Hell

Title TBA – TBA Genetically Modified Series

Title TBA – Something from my heart that I really want to write that’s not part of the GMS or HTH series.

Happiness: Being healthy is the number one thing I contribute to this year’s happiness. We stayed active and achieved major goals. Our grandchildren are growing older and it’s fun getting text messages from them. They’re the only ones I don’t say, “On deadline” to because their messages are so precious. I learned to make vegan butter and almond milk this year too. Tastes so good and I don’t need to give up some of those foods I love which makes me very happy!

A thankful year: There were so many incredible people in my life this year beginning with Holly’s Wicked Warriors, the best street team in the world. A special shout out to Tara, Amanda, Dinah, Michelle, Wendy, Bobbi, Linda, Melissa, Bethany, Sharon, Stephanie, Haleigh and Laura, thank you! To my husband, the mad green juicer in the house keeping filled with micronutrients. You’re my rock. I love you. To my writer friends who help stay me sane, thank you for your encouragement even if it’s just to say, “Stop whining and fucking write!” KC, Jodi, Theresa, Teresa, LK, Pamela, Connie and so many more. I’m a better writer with you in my life. To my editor Michelle and my incredible proof readers, Michelle (different Michelle), Sally, and Carol thank you for making me a better author. To all the readers who buy my books. THANK YOU!!!!

Loss: I lost an incredible friend in the book community this year. She was my second editor and her death hit me hard. Pat, I know you are hording the best books and looking down when I’m writing and crying because I no longer have you to lean on. Thank you for so many years of learning and joy. You inspired me to always be better and your legacy is that you still inspire those you touched.

2019 Goals: This year we are concentrating on mental health. Exercise relieves my stress and I want to increase my workouts to 20 hours per week and gain a set of six-pack abs while doing it (yep this grandma has it going). More walks in the mountains and more meditation time to stay level headed. I also want to watch movies/television with a positive message. I find it relaxes me more than say watching Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper. This doesn’t mean I’m cutting Dwayne from my life. I’ll just intersperse mellower shows with the bad-ass ones and I plan to do the same with books. My next goal is trying out for that roller derby team I’ve been procrastinating over. I’ve put it off long enough and this is the year. The worst they can say is no. We’re also remodeling the gym in our house, adding mirrors, carpet and new equipment. The projected end date for the project is Jan. 18th in time for my writer’s group to come visit and workout. I can’t wait to get the project started. I’m also adding kickboxing into the mix with a Wednesday evening class along with my Thursday morning private training session. Look out world, Holly’s on a kick-ass rampage for 2019!

Have a wickedly Happy New Year and many, many more!

Inferno #9 Top Indie Books of 2018

I’m in writing hell which is short for my characters are not listening to me. The only thing that’s saving me is I just got word that Inferno came in #9 at Readfree.ly for the 50 Best Indie Books of 2018.

You have no idea how exciting this is. Inferno about broke me to write it and to know that so many others connected to the story is simply amazing.

Thank you, my wonderful readers!

Cover of Inferno

Holiday Reading

I’m not much of a holiday book reader (deadlines and such) but I have a few books that are exceptions. They’re my oldies but goodies and I’m always looking for another. At the top of my winter reading list is Christmas Journey by Rexanne Becnel. I have a paperback copy that’s seen better days and I tried to order an ebook copy without success. I did manage to find a paperback copy on Amazon was over $100. I’ll keep my tattered book thank you very much.

My next go to is any Christmas story written by Debbie Macomber starting with A Season of Angels. Such a fun series and always special through the holidays.

I would love to hear about your favorite holiday books and add to my TBR pile.

Inside the Inferno

Book 7 in the Hotter Than Hell series is now available and the reviews are fantastic. Like most of my books, I worried. I worried that readers wouldn’t understand why I told the story how I did. Inferno is written from my heart and it pushes the boundaries of love. You met Mak and Moon in Heat. They’re the couple who started it all. If I’m honest they already had their Happily Ever After but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Moon is a criminal and he’s dragging Mak right along with him. When you live the life they do, danger is around every corner and someone must pay the price. That person is Madison or “Mak” as she prefers to be called. I love Mak because she’s so strong but everyone has their limits and Inferno pushes Mak to be someone else. As you know, in real life that doesn’t work and I had no intention of letting it work in this book. Pick up your copy today and discover what true love is and what it takes to protect those you care about.

Inferno is available for sale or FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Combust is Live

I’m so excited about this book. It’s much darker than the previous Hotter Than Hell novels but I had to tell Austin’s story his way. You met Austin in Sizzle and I’ve been thinking about his book for a long time. He’s complex and it took a very special woman to bring him around. Melina is kickass and has had a rough life. When Austin kidnaps her it only gets rougher.

What I really love about Melina is her inability to give up. She’s a fighter and proves it.

Available in Kindle Unlimited

COMBUST:

Austin Miller, the enforcer for Southern California’s crime boss, takes over after his boss and mentor dies. He’s set on revenge against the people responsible for Victor’s death and he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Melina Fernandez has never wanted anything to do with her brother’s criminal organization and has nothing to do with the hit he ordered on Southern California’s leader. She’s caught in the middle of a deadly game and her brother plans to sell her to the highest bidder as soon as possible.

When Melina is kidnapped by Austin, her worst nightmares are realized. It’s not her body he wants, it’s her flesh and her sanity. Trapped in a dark basement for days she decides to unravel her life story while Austin works on mutilating her skin with a tattoo machine.

When Moon, the crime lord of Arizona steps into help, Melina might find her salvation. The clock is ticking and her brother now wants her dead. Austin isn’t a man for games but he does want Melina at any cost, even his life.

Are you ready to COMBUST?

Buy Now AMAZON

 

An Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

I went into a Barnes & Noble store for the first time in years.

Occasionally I shop online at their store for books because I have the nook app, though I’m sorry to say, I prefer reading on my Kindle. When B&N went off the deep end and stopped supporting their devices, I never bought another because their marketing was just too iffy. You sent way to many mixed messages that basically told consumers to jump ship. I did.

So, the store. I took my 3-year-old grandson in to buy a book. In my mind it could be a boxed book with a small toy or stuffed animal to go along with the story. We were both very excited.

What I didn’t know is that B&N has added an entire toy section totally unrelated to books.

Toys like you would find at Walmart or Target. We walked out with a Power Ranger toy. No book for us to read because my grandson had his heart set on PR and I’ll be darned if I forced a book on him.

My daughter told me her and her three children spent a lot of time in B&N stores and they loves walking out with their books. It was a treat. But my daughter stopped taking them because all they wanted was overpriced toys and the actual excitement over books went out the window.

So here’s my problem… B&N you cannot keep up with the Jones (Amazon). Just get it in your head that you cannot. What you can do is go back to your roots, BOOKS! Not toys, or alcoholic beverages for people who don’t buy what you should be selling.

I get it. Amazon takes a huge bite out of your market but have you really looked at your clientele? Honestly they’re a little pickier than the average Kindle reader. They like shopping small and they loved the sense of “class” B&N gave them as a consumer.

I owned a small independent bookstore for twenty years. I had to change with the times and I did. It’s funny because I can look at B&N with a business eye and see exactly what they should be doing. Independent authors run the navigation of the tricky publishing dilemma daily. We adapt.

B&N you don’t adapt. You hire CEO’s who have NO book background to look at your business and move into the future. You’ve failed, so how about go back to a general manager who has worked in the business, knows the business, and is customer savvy to what readers want.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s good old-fashioned business sense.

I’m available if you need me. I have an entire slew of ideas. I want you to succeed and you could if you would stop doing everything in your power to go out of business.

Signed,

A very frustrated B&N consumer

Writing Romance

I’m a romance writer.

What that means is I deal in love and happily ever after. It’s truly a wonderful thing. Before I became a police officer (long before I became an author) I was a mystery reader. Mysteries were some of my favorite books but I’d throw the occasional romance in the mix now and then. Being a police officer changed my perspective on mysteries and I found I needed books that made me feel good and allowed me to forget what a horrible place this world can be. Reading Romance books and writing them saved my sanity.

A romance book can change your life!

A romance book can make you laugh and cry and sigh. They can leave you breathless and craving that special someone. They can take you on adventures around the world. Romance novels can lift your spirits and put a smile on your face. I sincerely hope mine do.

But here’s the thing… I keep reading that romance authors and readers are endlessly shamed for their choice in literature. It really boggles the mind. I love romance novels. It’s happened to me too, the shaming that is. I have some pat answers prepared now. I thought I would share a few with you. Please use whenever the the opportunity arises.

I hope I never stop believing in love.

I hope I’m never too old for sex and so does my husband.

Romance is what makes the world go round and keeps human beings in existence. How can that be a bad thing?

Pardon my laughter, I’m trying to figure out how you got here without romance. Was your parent’s marriage arranged?

You’re ridiculing my reading? Do you even know how to read?

You can judge me after you read a romance. I judged your books by reading them. I’m judging you strictly on attitude.

When I owned my bookstore romance novels kept me in business. They were always my number one seller. Romance readers are veracious when it comes to the books they love. Romance has one common denominator and that’s LOVE. LOVE is never a bad thing.

I’ll read a mystery every now and then since I retired from the police department but they don’t hold the same oomph they once did. Give me a sexy book boyfriend, a real tear jerker, and a story that will pull me in and squeeze my heart. I make no apologies.

ROMANCE ROCKS!

More Dragons

I’m hard at work writing a new paranormal, the next dragon book, Dragons Don’t Lie and I thought I would share the first chapter (unedited). It releases in September. I promise I have the perfect mate chosen for Ashrac.

Chapter One

Ashrac

Looking down at the small white business card in my hand, I can’t help wondering what I’m doing here. I glance up at “PDA” etched in white script on the glass door in front of me. I’ve lost my marbles and sunk so low even my best snake eyes won’t save me. Shrugging my shoulders, I decide to go for broke. What the hell do I have to lose at this point? I open the door and shove it forward a little harder than I meant to. It slams against the far wall with a thud. An older woman behind the large oak desk looks up and I grimace inside my head. This won’t go well.

“Mr. Ashrac?” she questions in a sturdy, direct voice.

My back straightens and a low growl escapes my throat. “It’s Ashrac of the Red Dragon Clan,” I correct.

She rolls her eyes, pulls out a stack of papers, and arranges them on a clip board. “I’ll call you Mr. AOTRDC.” Her prissy lips say she thinks she has the last word on this subject. My eyebrows lift as I try to decipher what she’s talking about. “It’s the acronym for your name,” she adds with another eye roll and lifts the clipboard in my direction. “I’m Gerri Wilder of the Old Woman Clan. I’ve been expecting you for—” she looks at the large clock on the wall and then back at me, “two hours,” she chides.

I ignore the sensor of her words and take the offered clipboard.

“Fill out what you can and we’ll use a private room for your interview.”

“Interview,” I grumble under my breath as I take a seat and look at the first page of the form. It’s straight forward until I turn the page. “Humph,” I grumble again and flip through the next page without filling out the required lines. My, “this is ridiculous,” is loud. Gerri Wilder or GWOTOWC ignores me.

I turn in the sheaf of papers with only the first page filled in. Gerri looks through them, huffs and stands from behind her desk. She’s not even five foot tall and I have no idea why I’m letting her ruffle my scales. Her short white hair is a lie or at least I think it is. She’s shifter of an unknown variety. During my fifty years of visiting the human realm there have been many changes. This realm is now a melting pot of every paranormal creature imaginable. I’m undecided if that’s good or bad. Bottom line… I prefer my own realm where dragons are lords of land and sky. Even at my young age I’m old-fashioned that way.

GWOTOWC touches a button on her phone and a man steps from an office and waits by the door. “Follow me,” she says and walks through the door the man walked from. He heads to her desk and takes a seat. I follow as told even though fire heats my lungs. Dragons don’t like being bossed around.

The small room has one table with four chairs. The walls are white with colorful artwork positioned to their best advantage with accent lighting. Gerri takes a seat and stacks my paperwork in front of her. She lifts an eyebrow and waits for me to take a seat across from her. Once I sit she wastes no time. “We’ll go through each page and I’ll fill in the blanks that gave you such a problem.”

“Nothing gave me a problem I just didn’t wish to answer those stupid questions,” I tell her in a bored voice as I lean back in the chair and stretch my legs beneath the table. The room is too small and my dragon doesn’t like it.

She blows her bangs up from her face without blinking in obvious exasperation. “Do you want a date or not?”

“I want a mate not a date,” I correct her.

Now her gaze intensifies and the need to strangle her grows. Not that I actually would. Strangulation holds certain penalties in this realm that I’m not willing to pay right now. She continues talking like I’m no threat to her, “We will follow procedure. Finding you a mate begins with setting up a few dates.”

“No,” I say loudly while fisting my hands to keep from flying across the table. I don’t have time to waste and this woman is insufferable. “A mate is all I require. Match one to me and I’ll take her.”

She lifts the top page that I filled out and moves it to the back. She ignores everything I just said and insists on keep up this stupid charade. “First I need your shifter proportions—weight, height, and so on when you’re in dragon form.”

“Why?” I snap.

She gazes over the top of the paper completely unruffled by my semi-roar, damn her. “This will be more pleasant if you drop the attitude and help me here. I’m on your side.”

“I seriously doubt that,” I huff.

“Look Mr. AOTRDC, you contacted us. We provide a service. That service entails arranging meetings with several eligible females according to your specifications. If that isn’t what you wish, we can end this interview immediately.”

I give her my fire-breathing-dragon gaze and she has the audacity not to melt into the floor. “I want a mate,” I say and pound my fist on the table for emphasis. “I will kidnap her and take her to my realm where she’ll be held until she agrees.”

Gerri’s face goes from ghost white to red but I ignore that.

“My dragon form is as large as this building. Do you want my cock size for your form too?”

Without blinking she replies with a stubborn tilt of her head. “That question is on page six where your sexual preferences are covered. We’ll get there in a moment. This is easier if we do it in order.”

“It’s gargantuan.”

She still doesn’t blink. “I’m sure.” She marks a bit of information on the page and flips it over. “What are you looking for in a mate?”

I close my eyes for a moment and think about it before making a verbal list, “Docile, pretty, gently spoken, able to take orders. Frightens easily,” I add because I want her terrified when I kidnap her so we start our mating on the right foot.” I open my eyes in time to see Gerri shake her head. “What? You asked.”

She starts writing again and flips the next page over. “I need your social status.”

“What does that mean?”

“Can you afford a date, mate, wife, or concubine?”

I mull the word “concubine” over in my head because I like the sound of it. No, I tell myself. Mate only. “I have adequate wealth to keep one of each and it wouldn’t cause a hardship. My castle has just been completed and all it needs is a mate to handle my day to day personal care.”

Another head shake and more writing. She looks up after a few minutes. “Describe what is required for your care.”

This woman is something else. Are men really so different that she would need to ask this? “I want meals on the table at the proper time morning, noon, and night. I require a clean castle that runs like a finally tuned machine. My mate will handle those details along with her mate duties in my bed.”

She rests the papers back on the table. “So basically you want a sex slave?”

“No.” I shake my head. “A general slave who is seen and not heard would be better. Sex with me will be her bonus.”

I swear she tries not to smile. “I have just the woman in mind. You will date her first and if that doesn’t work out, you will call me and I’ll set you up with someone else. I think Flora will be perfect though and I’m rarely wrong about these things.”

“Good,” I grunt. “I like the name Flora. It sounds passive enough.”

*********

Here’s the paperback cover

 

Holly S. Roberts