My Last Book Release for 2017

by Ashlynmathews on September 18, 2017

It’s official, I hit the pre-order button for my last book release for the year 2017. I started writing Nightbound: Seducing the Vampire Slayer back in 2013. The idea for the story of star-crossed lovers began when I read a quote from Lord Byron, a 19th century English romantic poet. “In secret we met, in silence I grieve, that thy heart could forget, thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee after long years, how should I greet thee? With silence and tears.” Romantic. Sultry. Beautiful. Tragic. Hopeful. Those are the words that come to my mind when I read that passage.

I can’t wait to share Phoenix Lancaster and Zane O’Day’s story. Nightbound will release December 5th at a special release price of 99 cents exclusively at Amazon. December is far away so I hope you enjoy the very sexy cover, book blurb plus a sneak peek.

Two houses at war…

When an ancient scroll is discovered and the interpretations made public, vampire slayer Phoenix Lancaster refuses to believe she is the Alpha, her kind’s hope for survival. Or that her family’s most hated enemy, Zane O’Day, is the Omega, a vampire destined to love her to submission and rule over all vampires with her death. Phoenix will never give herself to the man whose father had murdered her mother. And Zane is nothing but a cowardly vamp hiding behind a mask, his face scarred by the sun, his just punishment for killing werewolf pups.

In secret we meet…

Sam—the sexy captain of the guards sent to “fetch” her by Zane’s orders. He is a tempting blend of mysterious and mouthwatering with his ruthless intelligence, animal magnetism and annoying habit of helping her conquer her fears, and Phoenix is terrified she’s falling for the arrogant vampire as they struggle to survive in the deadly Black Forest searching for the scroll’s true meaning.

If we should meet again, how should I greet you, as friend or foe?

Sam—the name Zane gave the slayer as she was being chased by a pack of pissed-off werewolves the first time they met. In the months she’s been sneaking out of her family’s compound in the shadow of nightfall, Zane’s pursued her through the streets of Williamsburg only to let her go. As a lowly captain of the guards, he can slowly earn the stubborn slayer’s trust, and eventually, her heart. But does his end goal of protecting his family justify the means of deceiving Phoenix?

When the truth of Zane’s identity is revealed, will the hatred between their warring families deepen? Or can love conquer all?


Sneak peek (unedited)

“There you are.” The masculine voice boomed loud in the emptiness, yanking her out of her thoughts like being on the end of a rip cord.

She would’ve smiled and said, “Yes, here I am,” had the situation not been so serious, which it was. The enemy came for her, sent by the rival family.

With the moon behind him as a backdrop, he stood alone, a figure with broad shoulders, muscular legs, and the strength, speed and thirst of a vampire.

“I’m surprised they again sent a lowly captain of the guards to collect me instead of an O’Day.” Beneath the sliver of moonlight casted into the shadows, the navy blue of his uniform disclosed his rank.

She baited him yet he didn’t bite. Interesting. In her past encounters with this particular vampire, she’d goaded him with better results.

“How many months have we gone through this ritual of ours?” he said. “Of me chasing you? Of you stubbornly refusing to come willingly?”

The clouds moved over the moon. Once again, darkness engulfed them. Yet Phoenix didn’t need the light to reveal what she understood deep in her gut. Already, a tingle of awareness sent a pool of heat to the junction between her legs while a hand seemed to grab hold of her stomach and twist.

Arousal and fear—a wondrous, but confusing blend for a woman who hadn’t had much experience in regards to the opposite sex. Two hulking brothers tended to keep even the bravest man a safe distance from her.

Not ready to speak to the vamp, Phoenix scrutinized him. How had she missed the animal magnetism and confidence oozing from his pores through the well-fitted uniform? Or the square jaw with the determined set to them as he looked at her with keenness and cunning?

Most importantly, he held his head high as though he were more than who he had stated or appeared to be—a lowly captain of the guards.

Yes, she had every right to run far and fast from the vampire with a sword in his hand and a wicked smile on his face. Then why did her heart race in anticipation of his next move and her mouth watered at the sight of him, like a delectable meal offered after a fasting?

 

 

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Book News

by Ashlynmathews on September 7, 2017

I can’t believe fall is just around the corner. Or how about all of the holidays coming up? My local stores already have Halloween decor on their shelves. Time is flying by too fast! I’m so excited to share book news, book blurbs, expected release dates as well as a cover reveal for the second book in my Universal Law series. Below, you’ll find the book blurbs for Breaking Emery (#2 Book in the Club Forsaken series) and Outcast:  Dante’s Redemption as well as expected release dates. For the remainder of 2017, I plan on releasing one more book. Nightbound:  Seducing the Vampire Slayer is a book I’ve been working on since 2013. I hope to release the story of Phoenix and Zane either late October or early November. The cover will be revealed soon, and I think you’ll find the cover romantic and stunning. I definitely enjoyed searching for the right images that would convey the story of a very stubborn and independent Slayer and the charming vampire who relentlessly pursues her. More to come. For now, here’s Ink and Emery’s story, and River and Dante’s.

Releasing January 2018:  Breaking Emery 

Emery:  Money can’t buy love, but I’m not looking for a forever after when I make the sexy guy who wouldn’t give me the time of day an offer he can’t refuse. What I didn’t expect is for him to up the stakes. Isaac Nathaniel Kavanaugh, what were you thinking proposing after a night of hot sex? And why the heck did I say yes?

Ink:  Emery McGuire. I want her. I want revenge on her family for destroying mine. When she offers me a load of money to help my dad get back on his feet, how can I refuse? What I didn’t expect is for a McGuire to be so giving. Accepting Emery’s money and V-card isn’t the problem. Had she stuck around long enough to enjoy the honeymoon, I could’ve forgiven her father for destroying my old man’s business. Or get past how her mother had wrecked my parents’ marriage. But Emery hadn’t stuck around. It’s been a year, and I can’t forgive or forget. I want revenge. I want her truth. I want to break Emery of all the secrets she’s kept from me.

Her money can’t buy my love but will her truths have me begging for her forgiveness?

Releasing March 2018:  Outcast:  Dante’s Redemption

A disgraced demon knight in search of redemption. A thief willing to do anything to solve the murders of her father and grandfather.

When her grandfather and father are murdered in cold blood, Vampire Slayer River Redding vows to find their killers. Hitting dead ends and with no other leads to chase down, she is ready to give up. Until a chance encounter with the Outcast, Dante Everton, changes her luck. As a common criminal, River can picture life with an Outcast. But is Dante truly who he portrays himself to be? Or is the sexy-as-sin Outcast more off-limits to River’s heart than she could ever imagine?

Stripped of his title as a demon knight, Dante will do whatever it takes to get back what is rightfully his. Yet to get the evidence that will restore his title and bring down the gang rumored to be trafficking children and killing Slayers, Dante needs the expertise of a thief. He finds help in a small-time thief. Now he just needs to stick with his original plan minus the complication of possibly falling for the fiercely independent, secretive and mouth-watering River. Once his title is restored, he’s to marry a woman with money and influence. As a criminal and an Outcast, River doesn’t fit the bill. Or does she?

 

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Fallen: Universal Law On Sale

by Ashlynmathews on August 9, 2017

I’m so excited to announce my paranormal romance, Fallen:  Universal Law, will be on sale for 99 cents exclusively at Amazon.com from 8/10-8/17. Grab your copy!

Next in line to command the dark lords of the Underworld, Xavier Doom is expected to marry a woman with money and influence. But when he falls for a Vampire Slayer who can only offer him her love, he questions whether tradition and his innate desire for money and power are worth abandoning to have a shot at love.

Elise Castle:

He skimmed his fingers over her bare arms, and bumps rose over her sensitive skin at the slight touch. She licked her lips, and his gaze lingered there before he moved his hand to cradle the side of her face. Mesmerized, Elise couldn’t look away, the instant attraction between them catching her off guard.

“When a woman says she doesn’t want me, it makes me chase her more. Why don’t you make it easy for both of us? Give in, sweet thing, and we can get this heat between us out of our systems.”

His arrogance was beyond annoying. She smirked and stepped back, out of his grasp. “Sorry, sir,” she said, giving him an exaggerated curtsy. “But I don’t sleep with anyone I work with or for.”

 

Xavier Doom:

When Elise tensed beneath his hold, Xavier shut his mind from hearing hers. He could guess what this Slayer would eventually want from him or any man — love and commitment, two ideals he wasn’t personally interested in. Xavier was too selfish to love a woman. That’s what his father had said to him before Mason Doom had died a rich but lonely man.

However, on the ride here, when Elise’s mind was darkened by sadness and her heart pained over the loss of her friends, Xavier had hurt for her. That was rare for him, to care about another’s feelings, especially a stranger’s. He didn’t intend to let the slip of concern be more than that — a slip.

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Competing Priorities

by Ashlynmathews on July 25, 2017

Does it seem like there’s too much to do and not enough time in a day or week or year? And not only too much to do but tasks competing with one another for your time? Just when I thought I had it down pat on achieving a do-able work, life and writing life balance, I throw going back to school in the mix. Last October, I went back to school for my bachelor’s degree in nursing.

I’ve been a registered nurse since 1998 and getting my BSN has always been my dream. Then I had my first child, another came after, and then my twins, and you get the picture. There was no time for school plus I was sleep deprived! Yet, the yearning to get my BSN never went away, just like my desire to write continues even when I tell my mind to stop thinking of my characters. Currently, my biggest problem is the writing competing with school. And we all know what needs to take priority–school.

The good news is I graduate at the end of September. Yay! The bad news? The writing will have to wait until I’m finished with school. School and writing are competing priorities yet they feed the two parts of my brain, the right and the left, the logical and the creative. So to feed the creative side, I’m planning and plotting my next books. I’m not a plotter. I’m a pantser. But to get the creative juices flowing without completely immersing myself in the writing, I figure I’d give plotting a chance.

But once I started plotting, I stumbled upon another case of competing priorities. Should I focus on my contemporary romances with Breaking Emery (Club Forsaken #2–takes place after Love, Actually)? Or should I focus on three paranormal romances that have been percolating in my head for the last 2-3 years?

For now, I’ll plot out the four books then decide in the fall which project to pursue. What about you? What competing priorities are you dealing with currently? I would love to hear from you!

Quote of the day:  “The real power of a man is in the size of the smile of the woman sitting next to him.” Gentleman’s Essentials.

Song of the day:  Back to Beautiful ~ Sofia Carson

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Changing Book Title and Cover

by Ashlynmathews on July 12, 2017

After contemplating the move for a while now, I’ve decided to take the plunge so to speak and change the title and cover of one of my paranormal romances. When I sold this book to my publisher back in 2013, Elise and Xavier’s story was entitled, My Fallen. The cover back then didn’t quite tell the story of a vampire slayer and the sexy demon who tempts her with his charm and Alpha ways.

When I received the rights back and republished the book in 2014, I changed the cover and the title to Never Forget Always Remember. Yes, the title is a mouthful. As an author, I believed the title would make sense to readers. The old blurb gave readers a hint of what Elise goes through in the book. She will never forget the deaths of her friends, deaths she feels responsible for. And she’ll always remember the horrible things that had happened to her and other kids in a foster home a decade ago. However, the blurb and the title doesn’t convey Elise and Xavier’s story. When I wrote this story, I hadn’t realized I was actually writing an erotic romance. No, not an erotica.

What is the difference? According to Sylvia Day (one of my favorite authors), erotic romance is “stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.” Erotica “is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship,” and “Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica though they can be included.”

The blurb gives a hint of why Fallen is an erotic romance. The sex (or lack of) is the appeal of the story and the development of Elise and Xavier’s relationship. How can she trust a creature like her father who had abandoned her mother? Can she trust herself not to go all the way with X? If she did, she can possibly hurt or even kill him with her Slayer energy. The most important question is can she trust Xavier, a Fallen, a demon knight? Period.

I hope by changing the title and the cover, I can entice more readers to download the story. Elise and Xavier’s story is near and dear to my heart because these characters are strong yet vulnerable in their own way, just like we all are in real life. One of the benefits of being an independent author is being able to rewrite the blurb and to change the title and the cover. I hope you like the new title and the new blurb. Fallen is exclusively sold by Amazon. The new title and cover (ebook and paperback) should be available in 48-72 hours. To celebrate the new cover and title, Fallen will go on sale the first week of August for 0.99 cents.

Fallen:  Universal Law

Fifteen years ago, at the beginning of the Third World War, Others—demons, vampires, werewolves, and everything in between—made their existence public on live broadcast, plummeting the world into turmoil. Four bloody years later, the war ended, governments banded together, and universal law came to be.

A sexy, selfish demon knight. A courageous vampire slayer.

The job seemed straightforward enough. Hunt and bring in a Fallen’s vampire-turned friend for reconditioning. What vampire slayer Elise Castle didn’t expect is for the vampire’s friend and boss to be so dangerously seductive.

After her Fallen father had left her mother for a woman with money and power, Elise vowed never to get involved with a Fallen. After her cop boyfriend was killed by her Slayer energy during their first time having sex, Elise swore never to sleep with a man again.

Xavier Doom could have her breaking her promises.

As a man, he’s dangerous to her heart with his charm and willingness to protect her at all costs. As a Fallen, he might be strong enough to handle her half Fallen, half Slayer energy. Falling for the dangerous, rich and powerful demon knight is the last thing Elise needs in her complicated life.

When an alliance is revealed that will guarantee Xavier more money and power, will he stay true to his feelings for the stubborn, loyal and fierce Slayer? Or will he break her heart and go after what he is born for? Fallens are known for their insatiable appetite for women, money and power.

Lives are at stake and loyalties are put to the test. Danger closes in around them, and Xavier and Elise must work together to discern who is a friend, and who is the true enemy.

 

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Love, Actually Live

by Ashlynmathews on June 27, 2017

Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue) “dropped” today at all major retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes, and Smashwords.

The story is near and dear to my heart for the setting. My husband and I lived in the Bay Area for a year. He was transferred there while serving with the Coast Guard. When he was home, we would explore the Bay Area. I love all of the nearby cities– Berkeley, Oakland, Sausalito, and Alameda, to name a few. A couple of years later, I missed the area so much, I “kidnapped” the hubby and we boarded a flight for San Francisco. He thought we were going local (Seattle) for a romantic dinner. Little did he know…

Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue) is the last book in my Willowbrook series but the beginning of a new adventure, Club Forsaken. Secondary characters, Ink and Theo, stuck with me long after I wrote, “The End,” to Love, Actually. Ink and Emery’s story will be told in Breaking Emery. Theo and Grace’s story will be told in Saving Grace. The release dates are TBD. I hope you pick up your copy! Here’s a sneak peek PLUS a cover reveal for Breaking Emery.

 

 

Sneak Peek:  Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue) ~ Available Now!

After pouring our drinks, he hands me my glass. I sip. Smooth, sweet, delicious. Warmth settles in my belly. I down a bigger mouthful. My head spins, and my body tingles.

Across the center island, he eyes me with that intense interest of his. I put my drink down and stare back with a forwardness I wouldn’t have had if not for the wine or the mask. This man can destroy me with his money and his connection to my messed-up past.

“Back to my question—”

“I’m under protective custody.”

“Try again, darling.”

“Lightweight.”

He pushes my drink toward me. “Give me another answer, Lightweight.”

God, I miss this back and forth teasing we’d once had. I take a drink and another. It’s easy to do with my wired nerves and the electric awareness of him as he comes over and stands in front of me.

He takes my drink and sets it on the island. “Tell me something?” He skims his fingers over my bare shoulders and down my arms.

I long to close my eyes and brand his feather-light caresses to memory, but I need to look into his eyes. Is there recognition in their depths? Or is what I’m seeing pure lust? I nod at his question.

“Why would a beautifully dressed woman, who thinks an old Victorian house is magical, request a low-key entrance to a party where everyone hopes to get a piece of the spotlight? Even the mask you wear is plain compared to the other women’s.”

He cups my hips, and his fingers press into my skin through the dress. Jaxson wants a straight answer. Just when I think the situation can’t get more dangerous, he tugs me to him, plastering me against his tall and muscular body.

Between the alcohol in my system and the heat from his body, I can’t think straight. I cover his hands with mine. His hands are big and capable of doing wicked things. Or choke the life from me once he realizes who I am.

My heart beats faster. I look up. He lowers his head. What’s happening might be insta-lust to him. For me, being held by Jaxson without animosity or bitterness is… I turn from him and inhale a quiet breath.

Peace is something I’ve searched for since Sarah’s death, but to find it in the arms of a man who hates me? It’s pathetic to think Jaxson can give me the one thing I can’t find within myself.

But I can hope.

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The Story Behind Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue)

by Ashlynmathews on June 17, 2017

The story behind Love, Actually began in 2012. The story is dark. It lived in my head and heart for a long time. The premise of the story came from a series of questions. What happens when the heroine makes a bad decision in her teens that severely affects her life as a young adult? What if the bad decision indirectly leads to her best friend’s death? What if she’s so guilt-stricken she cuts her face and has a mental breakdown?

As an author, how do I write a love story of forgiveness when my heroine is so broken, and the hero is hell bent on getting his revenge on her for causing the car wreck that killed his little sister?

By the time I finished writing Love, Actually, a message emerged that I hope will resonate with readers.

We all make mistakes. We’re only human. Bad decisions don’t make us bad people. And making bad decisions doesn’t mean we’re less deserving of love.

Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue) releases June 27th and is available for Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook. I hope you download your copy!

 

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Echo Available

by Ashlynmathews on May 23, 2017

I’m so excited to announce the release of my fourth book in the Extinction series, Echo. Echo and Rourke’s story began in 2011. Over the years, the heroine, Echo and the hero, Rourke, have gone through many transformations as their motivations changed. After Luminescence, I had a better idea of what their struggles and past hurts are. I think that’s the hardest part of writing. To better understand our characters and their motivations. What drives them to do what they do? What keeps them for going after their happily ever after? What is it about the guy or girl they fall for that changes them, hopefully for the better? When I wrote Echo, one particular line said by Echo in response to her friend, Cage Steele, hiring a bodyguard for her, stood out. She said, “I can never ask anyone to KILL for me.” Why? What happened in her past that she would say that? Then, as I kept writing to the finish line of, “The end,” the line changed to, “I can never ask anyone to DIE for me.” And that’s when I had the aha moment. Someone died for her to keep her alive, and that is why she keeps insisting that her bodyguard, Rourke Summers, rescind his contract. She realizes he stands between her and the assassin sent after her. She’d rather sacrifice her life than have someone else lose their life for her. Who died for her, and why? The answers was as surprising to me as I hope it is to the readers.

Echo is available at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.

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Cover Reveal~ Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue)

by Ashlynmathews on May 22, 2017

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue), hopefully releasing Fall 2017. Here’s the blurb:

My remorse is skin deep.

 I live paycheck to paycheck, call the apartment on the scary side of the city my home, and have no life outside of working two jobs. When given the chance to crash a masquerade party in the rich part of town, I readily agree. What I didn’t expect is to be escorted to the party by Jaxson McCallister, a man from my past who holds a dark grudge against me. A man who doesn’t have a clue it’s me beneath the mask. Or does he?

 I’m unwilling to forgive her.

 The law was too soft on her, and she knows it. I can’t forgive or forget Tavi Gabriel for her role in my little sister’s death. When she drops into my life again after going MIA, I’m determined to make her pay for getting off easy with community service. But when I see the pain and remorse etched on her face as a deep scar, can I forgive and forget her? Or will I demand a penance that will test my long-buried feelings for her?

Want password access only to more of Love, Actually? Consider signing up for my newsletter and I’ll send you the password!

 

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