What I’ve been reading

intangible1_1So…this list has been in the making for MONTHS. I’ve gone through spurts of reading, reading, reading…and nothing but reading. I do this when I’m not in the midst of writing a book. BUT, the funny thing is, when I’m writing a book, at some points I start to get desperate to read. I miss other people’s stories. So I immerse myself in someone else’s world for a little while as a little break from my own worlds.

I’ve been doing that lately—getting in my word count goals as quickly as I can in the mornings, so I can read as much as possible that night. The hard part is forcing myself to go to sleep when all I really want to do is keep reading. But I’m a MUCH better mom (and person, in general) when I’ve actually gotten some sleep. Even so, there is occasionally a book that I simply cannot put down and will read into the wee hours, trading my patience and sanity of the next day for finding out what happens. (Sorry, kids.)

In order starting from what I most recently read, these were those kind of books:

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
I adored Fitzpatrick’s first book My Life Next Door, so I was so happy to see she had another book out. And it was just as good as her first. Fitzpatrick has a way of making you fall for The Boy as soon as he makes an appearance, and then you’re dying to see the two main characters figure out how to make it work as soon as humanly possible. (And you stay up waaaaay too late reading to do just that.)

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
This was a re-read because I knew Dessen had a new book coming out and I LOVE her writing so SO much…I couldn’t stand to wait, so I picked this one off my shelf while I waited for Saint Anything to be released. And had trouble putting it down to do other things even though I’d read it before. Sarah is GIFTED at quirky secondary characters and funny dialogue. She’s one of the few authors who have made me laugh out loud—it never happens, you guys. Not with books or comic strips. It takes a LOT to make me laugh, and Sarah does it. (The only book to have me laughing so much I was in tears, was the brilliant This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers. It also had me sobbing at the end. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. One of my all-time favorite books.)

I Was Here Gayle Forman
I stumbled on this one by accident at the library, not knowing she had another book out. Brought it home and devoured it in one day, neglecting my husband and children because I simply could not put it down. She has such a way of telling a story.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
I don’t know what it was that made me pick up this book, but oh my goodness, I loved it. It’s written in an unusual format and it’s at times uncomfortably honest in the portrayal of a marriage on the rocks, but it’s wildly romantic in a realistic, real-world way. I was in awe by the time I got to the end. I’d borrowed it from the library, and as soon as I finished, I went and ordered a used copy online.

(Side note: If you like buying used books like I do, my preferred vendor is BetterWorldBooks.com because they donate a book for every book you buy AND they donate to literacy funds among other fantastically literary-philanthropic things. Plus they send you funny emails when you order. I mean, how can I not support that?)

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with Kinsella’s books. They are romantic comedy at it’s absolute best. (I’m sure part of my love for her books stems from my deep, undying love of British humor.) If you haven’t picked up any of her books, go do it now. You won’t regret it. My favorites are Can You Keep a Secret, I’ve Got Your Number, and Remember Me.


What have you been reading lately?



Finishing what I started

intangible1_smSo, people have been asking lately if/when I’m going to write the next book in the Intangible series, and the answer is a resounding YES/SOON!

You guys, I am so excited to get back into that magical, mystical world, I cannot even tell you. I’ve been dreaming about Jonas, Luke, Sera, and Fey, letting ideas steep in my brain about what might happen to them next. There is so much more story to tell, but I’m hoping that one more book will wrap it all up nice and neat.

Um…it may be a long book.

Of course, once I get started plotting, planning, and scheming, it may turn out to be two more books. I won’t know until I actually take the plunge. Which I plan to do this summer as soon as my next two collaborative romances with Victoria Green are out.

So yes, my friends, another Intangible book is coming! I’m sorry it’s been such a long gap in between, but it was a much needed break, and now I’m refreshed and more than ready to finish what I started. ;-)



Five Things

1. We drove through a town by the actual name of Mudville this week. MUDVILLE. Like “Casey at the Bat” Mudville. Steve and I once tried to memorize that poem, but do you have any idea how many stanzas there are? Thirteen. I didn’t make it very far, lol. But Steve, I think, used to know it all. So when we were driving through Mudville (did I mention that the Welcome to Mudville sign is right next to a couple of baseball diamonds? HOW GREAT IS THAT?) I lamented that we’d never learned it, and Steve proceeded to recite the first few verses. Color me impressed.

2. We were driving through Mudville on our way to Middleville in Herkimer county, NY—the only place in the world where you can find Herkimer diamonds. They’re quartz crystals that are interesting because they form points on both ends, and you can go search through a pile of rocks to find them yourself. Which we did.





The crystals form inside little pockets in the rocks. Isn’t that cool?


We also found some other pretty crystal formations, too.

DSCF0785   DSCF0778

It was a great way to spend a day. Geology class, homeschool style.

3. I’ve totally fallen in love with the new books I’m working on with my writing partner, Victoria Green. Oh my, you guys. I cannot wait to have these books out and in the world. Tors and I have been looking through stock photos this week, searching for our perfect cover photos, and we’ve found them! Cover releases will be coming in May, and we’re on track for a June release. Yay!

4. The Intangible series books are available again at all retailers—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Anywhere is going to be available in all places again, as well. I have big marketing plans for this summer and fall, so the more places my books are available, the better.

5. Lastly, my family of six has outgrown the house we’re in, and we need to find a place that has more rooms—not necessarily more square footage, but definitely laid out better and split into more rooms. We’re hoping to buy land and build, so I’ve also been spending a lot of time researching passive solar houses…which are just possibly the niftiest structures on earth. There is SO much I don’t know, so much to learn before I even know the right questions to ask someone…and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

In a good way. I think.

So much going on, and it’s ALL good. :-) Hope you all have a great weekend!



Starting Something New

If you follow my Jinsey Reese books and are on the mailing list, about a month ago I had to make a really hard decision…and subsequent announcement. Something I really didn’t want to do.

But, well, let me back up a little…

When Tors and I wrote the Untamed series, we had big plans to write series for each of the Wilde siblings—something that we were very excited about, especially the next series because we fell in love with Dash Wilde and his band when they made an appearance in Untamed 3. We couldn’t wait to tell Dash’s story and have more fun interactions with his bandmates.

We finished the Untamed series at the end of August, burned out (200,000 words written, polished, and published in five months) but elated it was DONE. Then we took a good long break. In November, we finally reconvened and started writing Dash’s series, Unbound.

And from the get-go it felt off.

We wrote through December but still something wasn’t working. In January we decided that maybe the first book we were writing needed to become the second book because there was SO MUCH history between the two main characters. Maybe we needed to write their history as the first book. We were sure that would solve the problems we were having. So we set to writing that.

And still things simply weren’t coming together right. We discussed and tweaked…discussed and tweaked. Fell in love with little details, but the overall still wasn’t gelling. But we kept at it because we’d promised our readers that this series was coming soon and we couldn’t disappoint them.

Then, in mid-February, during yet another discussion about how to make this story work, one of us finally said, “What if we took a break and wrote something else?” A scary thought because we’d made promises and we weren’t delivering on them. We were talking about disappointing our loyal readers—few though they may be, lol, they are nonetheless REALLY important to us. Plus we’d already put SO much work into it. So many hours wasted. We talked back and forth about it, took a few days to think it over, and finally decided that we needed to abandon this project, at least for the time being.

Neither of us is capable of putting out work that is less than our best, less than something we are 110% proud of. We didn’t want to let down our readers, but we also couldn’t force ourselves to keep working on something that just. Wasn’t. Working. No matter what we did with it.

Can I tell you how scared we were to make that announcement? But we sent out the email, announced it on our Facebook pages, and…ducked.

But we also had this new idea—a new series of standalone books about a group of 20-something friends, each book focusing on a different friend. Funny books. Sexy books. Smart books. Friends meets Sex and the City. Something we’d been talking about for a few months and were REALLY excited to get started on.

So we started, dove right into this new world, and I’m loving these characters so much, you guys. The stories are flowing, the words tumbling out onto the page with ease again. (Thank god.) And as I’m working on this first draft of one of the books, I’m dreaming about the Intangible series on the side, gearing up to start working on the next book (the final book, I think) this summer.

So many plans.

Failures and successes. Ups and downs, my friends. That’s life, right? I’m disappointed about Unbound, but I’m also so stinking excited about the new smexy rom-com series I can barely stand it. Funny AND sexy? Yes, please! You don’t usually get both in romantic comedy novels, and since I’m a big fan of both, I’m thrilled to be combining them. Can’t wait to share them with you!

Hope you’re having a great week!




Cover Makeover & Giveaway!

The entire Untamed Series (under my Jinsey Reese pen name) got a cover makeover! Check out the PRETTY.



To celebrate the prettiness, Tors and I are holding a giveaway of Untamed: The Complete Series over on our Facebook pages. We’re each giving one copy away…and you can double your chances of winning by entering both! Visit my Jinsey page here and Tors’ page here to enter. (Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday.)

Hope you’re having a great week!


Jinsey Reese book sale

Hello, lovelies!

Just popping in to tell you that Victoria Green and I have just put into motion a rolling sale of the Untamed Series (published under my pen name Jinsey Reese). What does that mean?

Untamed_smallUntamed (Untamed #1) is free this week until Friday, January 16.

Starting this Thursday, January 15, Out of Control (Untamed #2) goes on sale for 99c for one week.

The following week Escaped Artist (Untamed #3) will be 99c. And then Wild at Heart (Untamed #4) and Rebel Roused (Untamed #5) will follow suit—a six week long rolling promotion.

These books are VERY different from my Intangible series. They are hot and steamy romances full of angst and drama. A collection of 5 novels, each one is a complete story unto itself, but also a piece of a larger story as well, kind of like your favorite TV drama series. And just like a series, each book leads right into the next.

Untamed is about rich, beautiful, and wild, Reagan McKinley who has everything she needs…but nothing that she wants. That is, until she meets sexy, unbridled Dare Wilde, an untamed artist with an attitude. Sparks fly, hearts break, clothes come off…it’s a wild ride.

So if you like hot romance, now is a perfect time to try out my most recent series. :-)

Hope you have a fantastic week!


Five Things

1. I’ve been taking a break from writing, and it’s been wonderful to reconnect with people I haven’t seen for too long. I get so focused on work, I forget to make time to see friends. So last week we met up with some at a nature center for a picnic and some play…and then took an impromptu visit to the ER after my 8yo’s head hit a wooden post.

Ten stitches. In his forehead.

I wasn’t right there to see it happen, but while the 5yo ran to get me, the 10yo whipped off his t-shirt and pressed it to his head. My heart swells at that. The 10yo said he did that because he read about it in The Ranger’s Apprentice, his favorite new series. <3

Books save lives, y’all. Just saying.

2. My knitting is calling to me—well, it IS fall AND soccer season, which is when the urge to knit always hits me hard—and I’m SO close to finishing a sweater I designed myself, and I can’t tell you how ridiculously excited I am about that. I’ve based it on a couple of patterns that I liked but didn’t love, and I’m loving the way it’s coming out. It’s cotton, really long, and in two tones of blue. This pic is just a tease, but I’m in the middle of the collar and button band, so you’ll just have to imagine what it really looks like until I post pics when it’s done.


3. Of course I have at least seven different knitting projects going at once (that’s totally normal, right?), and the most pressing is a cotton rainbow-striped hat for the newly banged-up 8yo to protect his wound/future scar from the sun (which apparently can worsen scarring). He requested the rainbow stripes and has even knit part of the hat himself.


4. In fact, he’s inspired a whole flurry of knitting here amongst his siblings. The 5yo is knitting herself a pink and purple striped hat (though she’s said she’ll let me work on it, too), and the 12yo is knitting himself a black and green vertical striped hat, his soccer team’s colors. And the 10yo picked up his knitting from last year—the first in a pair of fingerless gloves in grey and purple stripes. (We definitely got a stripe thing going on right now.)


5. And lastly, I was going to give you a list of good books I’ve read and loved lately, but then I came across this video of Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers getting down to “Can’t Touch This”…TOTALLY made my whole day. :-) So I had to share. I’ll tell you about the books next time. (Thanks to Kara for the link!)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

On Coming Back

Hi. I’ve missed you. :-) It’s been a while. I’m coming back to this space, trying to slow my life down a bit, make time to do the things I like doing. Like sharing things with you here.

I think my brother’s death last September affected me in ways I hadn’t realized. It was really hard to come back here and be all “life’s great!” and business-as-usual. It didn’t feel right, in part because, while most of my life was great and business-as-usual (life has this really weird way of continuing after someone dies, that feels simultaneously right AND wrong), my heart was broken.

It still is.


I forget-him-not

As we get closer to the anniversary of his death, I’m still just as stunned that he’s gone. Still trying to adjust to his absence in the world. I still can’t look at pictures of him—or really even think about him—without tearing up. Like right now.

Deep breaths.

So I’ve been keeping busy. Way too busy, actually. :-) Right now, I’m just finishing a whirlwind ride co-writing hot and steamy romance as Jinsey Reese with Victoria Green. Tors and I are writing and editing the fifth and final episode in the Untamed Series (of which the first book, Untamed, is FREE everywhere), which we are wickedly proud of. We’ve been working so hard—plotting, writing, polishing, and publishing over 200,000 words in only 5 months. (I’m slightly incredulous at that number, honestly.) We’re both exhausted and a bit burned out, so we’re taking a little break before starting another serial story this fall.

Anywhere_JR_smallAnd that means I’m going to pick up my sweet and steamy romances again, get going on the companion books to Anywhere. I’m already plotting out a prequel novella to Anywhere that will tell some of Paige’s story, and that I’ll be making free everywhere (in September/October, I think), and then I’ll pick up the companion novel I started in January and finish up that story. I can’t wait to get it done because I love it so much, and I’ve really missed writing low-drama, heart-swelling love stories. They’re my favorite, and I’m excited to get back to it in the coming weeks.

intangible1_smI’m also planning to finish the Intangible series next year. It’s been too long, I know, since I wrote in that world, and I’m really looking forward to discovering the rest of Sera, Luke, Fey, and Jonas’ story. I have ideas, of course, but I won’t know exactly everything that’s going to happen until I sit down and plot it all out chapter by chapter. Just thinking about it right now gets me all excited. :-)

So, this is all just to say that I’m going to be posting here again, about writing and life, and I hope you’ll come around to see what I’m doing and tell me what you’ve been up to lately, too.




Long time…

It’s been too long. I know. Ever since I decided to write romance as Jinsey Reese and jump into serial novellas, life has gotten crazy. My life is out of balance (AGAIN), and I’m trying to reel it in (AGAIN), find my center, be the person (mom/wife/friend) AND writer I want to be. I wish it wasn’t so hard…but then things worth having don’t usually come easily, I’ve found.


But it’s all good. Life is GOOD. Spring is here. The natural world around me is exploding in pollen and color. (I like one of those a lot better than the other. ) I’m loving writing books with Victoria Green more than I ever thought possible—there’s a part of me that doesn’t ever want to write a book on my own again because it is SO much more fun writing with her.

But I will.

So much to write. So much to do. So much to live.


I hope you are all having a wonderful spring, looking forward to the summer ahead. (Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, that is. In that case I hope your fall is LOVELY—that’s my favorite season—and you’re anxiously awaiting the joys of winter.)


What’s new with all of you? :-)