Her Thin Blue Lifeline
Indigo Knights Book I
by A.J. Downey Genre: Contemporary Romance
Chrissy Franco has every reason to take one hell of a victory lap around the courtroom. She’s just defended her client to the best of her ability and what’s more? Her client was actually innocent. Oh, she’d killed her husband, baseball legend Skip Maguire, alright; but he’d been about to hit a homerun with Miranda’s head.
His rabid fan base doesn’t agree with the verdict, and they’ve set their sights on Chrissy as the one to blame. One of them is about to set into motion a dangerous game when he publishes poor Chrissy’s address online…
Enter Tony McCormick, a detective with the right kind of attitude and Chrissy’s sort of ex-boyfriend. When he’s called to Chrissy’s apartment, he’s prepared for the worst. He’s a homicide detective after all. When he arrives, it seems that someone might have forgotten to check to see if Chrissy was still alive… now it’s everything he can do to find the man who did this and the other behind it all before it’s really too late.
I heard Tony’s jacket hit the back of the chair he usually hung it on, and those heavy footfalls come my way, his shadow looming over me at the sink. He started to move my hair aside and I turned, whirling on my sneaker and backed up against the counter.
His blue eyes penetrated mine and he nodded carefully, leaning in none the less to kiss me. My eyes fluttered shut as his mouth moved carefully over mine. I kissed him back, and it was just as magical and as beautiful as the kiss the day before. I blindly set my glass aside on the counter and went to reach for him, but dammit, I’d misjudged and it slipped off the counter’s edge and shattered on the floor.
The crash of breaking glass made me jump and cry out, and I stuffed my hand against my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut. Cringing from my memories.
“It’s okay; it’s totally okay…” he murmured soothingly and smoothed some of my hair out of the way of my face so he could see me. “It’s just water and just glass, I’ve got it… no big deal.” He gently moved me the opposite direction of the mess around the kitchen island and said, “Go grab a stool, sit down.”
I swallowed hard, on the verge of tears, my heart racing, pulse jumping painfully out of the side of my neck, chest crushed as I struggled to breathe normally, in through my nose hold for a few seconds, and out.
The first panic attack had happened in the hospital, Pasquale had recognized it instantly and had helped me through some exercises. I knew what they were now. I am in control. I told myself. Tony went about cleaning up, letting me have some space and by the time he was done, I felt better. Still rattled, but better.
“You alright?” he asked, and I nodded.
I knew in the front of my mind that it didn’t matter, that Tony was the last person who would judge, that any number of medical personnel had seen the scars, but for some irrational reason, Tony was different. He wasn’t someone I wanted to see the ugliness… He just… wasn’t.
He came around to me and I twisted in my seat to face him, looking up at him and biting my bottom lip. He looked like he was going to give me a pep talk but the words died on his lips. He searched my face and stepped in close, between my knees and lowered his face to mine. I closed my eyes, and let him kiss me, kissing him back and sighing out with relief. I wanted so badly to feel something good and Tony’s kiss was like heaven.
His hands smoothed over my hips and up to my ribs and he gathered the hem of my fitted workout tank with his fingers, slipping his hand underneath and putting it against my skin. My desire for him shot through the roof at the same time my anxiety rose. I broke the kiss and pulled back and said breathlessly, “I can’t… my scars.”
He growled low and intense and said, “Baby, you’re gonna be on your back; no way I’m even going to see your scars.”
His Cold Blue Command
Indigo Knights Book II
Assistant District Attorney Damien Parnell leads a double life above and beyond his membership with the Indigo Knights. Driven by dark desires considered shameful by most, he covets the one thing he can’t allow himself to have – a real relationship.
Enter Ally Blaylock, an innocent by Yale’s standards. She’s the sweet and beautiful girl who makes his coffee at the café across the street from his office. She’s done her best to flirt off and on with the high powered attorney and he can’t help but be drawn to her whimsical charm.
When Ally finds her world tipped on its axis, Yale goes against his better judgment and offers her some unlikely help. He knows better than most that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but in this particular case, could it be the opposite? Could Allison Blaylock be the start down the road to his salvation?
She touched the side of my face and I refocused on her, her beautiful eyes trapping mine, something passing between us in that undefinable way… Whatever she saw in me made her smile, smile! I almost couldn’t believe it, but there it was, this sweet little smile painting her so soft looking lips, tempting me to kiss her and seal my fate, and for a flicker of a moment I wondered who was really in control.
“I don’t think you’re heartless,” she murmured dreamily, her fingertips dropping to graze my ribs.
“You don’t know me, yet…” I growled and I turned her to lay her down on the carpet. Her legs wrapped around my hips and I palmed hers, driving into her and pulling her down onto me at the same time. Powerful, driving strokes that made her cry out, those luminous eyes of hers closing, her bottom lip captured between her teeth. I drew it out with my thumb in a light caress and pressed it firmly, but gently past them. She sucked on it like I wanted her to, teasing the pad with her tongue while I drove into her, over, and over, and over again.
I dragged my fingertips over her body, rearing up to look down at her and used my thumb to tease her clitoris gently. She cried out again, arching, heavenly. So beautiful, she came around my cock and as she bent beneath me, I fully expected pure, white, wings to erupt from her back.
A Low Blue Flame
Indigo Knights Book III
Lillian Banks’ career took off like a house on fire and she’s on top of the world. Great job that she loves, moved to a great city, into an opulent new condo, in one of the world’s premier smart buildings no less; all she was missing was the kind of romance to set her soul aflame. She thought she’d found it but instead, found herself burned.
Backdraft knows what it’s like to get burned and not just by fire. His ex, Torri, did quite the number on him recently by banging one of his firehouse bros behind his back. He’s sworn off love and dating altogether for the time being and is happier for it. He just wishes he could get the time he wasted with that crazy skank back again.
Out of the ashes, an unlikely friendship is formed. Backdraft and Lilli could find themselves rising if only they can get past their hurts and give things a chance. Of course, lasting happiness is no guarantee, no matter how much they might burn for each other. After all, sometimes what was doesn’t want to let go.
“Dude, are you even listening to me?” Golden demanded, and I held up a hand. He shut up, and I diverted the rest of my attention fully to the couple at the table nearby.
The dude held her hands in the middle of the table and was talking to her in low and earnest tones but her eyes were too wide, glassy with shock, and I knew the look. I’d felt it myself only a few weeks ago, as one of the guys at the firehouse had told me the same thing that I would bet my last paycheck that this guy was telling her.
“Look, I’m sorry, I… I never expected things to go this far, but being with you… I’m sorry, Lillian; it just showed me how much I love her. Reminded me why I fell in love with her in the first place.”
The woman abruptly pulled her hands from his and put them in her lap, those wide, storm-chased blue eyes of hers finally letting loose, twin crystalline tears slipping over the careful makeup she’d put on before their date, tracking mascara down her cheeks.
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” she uttered, her voice hollow, and I knew that feeling, too. I put things together with lightning speed.
This guy was breaking up with his side chick and the side chick had absolutely no idea there even was a main.
That was a new kind of low, even for me.
“Did I just hear that dude say what I think I did?” Golden demanded, and I held up a hand and waved him off. Aly’s face was set in surprise as I abruptly walked away from the table. Yale held his girl practically in his lap, protectively, and I was struck by how this piece of shit should be doing the same to the petite little thing across from him. Instead, he was smashing her heart with a ball-peen hammer, and in one of the most humiliating ways possible, to boot.
The motion of my stalking away from our table caught those devastated blue eyes of hers and she made eye contact with me. I got the full brunt of the pain she was desperately trying to mask and god, wasn’t that a familiar ache?
My heart went out to her, and I read clearly the pleading in her eyes for me not to intercede, but chose to misinterpret it. I couldn’t ignore what was going on right in front of me. I wouldn’t. Some pains were indeed private, but she needed to get the hell away from this guy, like yesterday.
“I’ll be back later,” I muttered at Golden who’d kept pace with me, and with a shrug, he broke off and went back to his beer. He didn’t say a word; neither did Blaze, who I caught out of the corner of my eye, leaning back on his stool. They both knew better.
His Wild Blue Rose
Indigo Knights Book IV
Alyssa isn’t completely honest when she answers the ad for a roommate online. True, she needs a place to live, true she’s getting a divorce, true; he’s a cheating jerk. There’s just a little bit more to it than that. So when the ad comes across her screen Indigo City beat cop looking to rent out a fully furnished room… she jumps on it, because what could be safer than living with a cop?
Golden isn’t too keen on living with a chick, but after posting online looking for a roommate, he’s found the pickings are slim. The softly spoken brunette doesn’t seem like she’s much trouble, plus she’s got the cash up front, so what the hell? She’ll just have to get over his bringing home badge bunnies from the 10-13. He’s got a stressful job, and the best way to blow off steam, in his estimation, is hot sex.
It’s a pressure cooker waiting to blow and it turns out the new roomie has moxie, which gets Golden to thinking, which leads to him feeling. This is either going to be a really good or a really bad idea.
He cleared his throat behind me and I jumped. I don’t know why I jumped. I knew he was home. I’d seen him walk past the mouth of the alley, had heard him come in the front door. Still, I jumped, and then I closed my eyes and felt my shoulders droop in defeat.
“Hey,” he said, haltingly, and I opened my eyes again to watch the rain lash the window and trickle down the pane.
“Hey,” I intoned back.
“I see you found my good whiskey.”
I snorted a derisive laugh and said back, “Yeah, well, I figured you owed me a stiff drink.” I picked up the glass at my hip and took a sip. The bite of the alcohol was strong, the flavor very oaky, but pleasant as the warmth trickled across my tongue and down my throat.
“That’s fair enough,” he said and I sighed, lifting my head from the wood window frame and turning it slowly.
He stood in my doorway, hands stuffed into the pockets of a pair of jeans, the button undone but the fly mercifully up. He was shirtless and comfortable, and looked entirely too delicious. And I really couldn’t believe my brain was even going there right now. Then again, if I drank enough, I might become attractive to him, too. That’s the way he seemed to like them. Drunk and horny, not a lot of class.
I swallowed my bitterness and turned to face back out the window. He sighed and I heard him pad barefoot across the carpet in here. He came into view, leaning a hip against the dresser near my feet.
“You know,” he said softly, “You’re doing this all wrong.”
“Oh, yeah?” I challenged him. “How’s that?”
“The kind of pain you’re trying to drink away? It’s the straight-from-the-bottle kind. No need for a glass.”
He picked up the bottle by the neck and took a swig, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He held the bottle out to me. I took it, and the peace offering that it stood for, and took a swig myself. He picked up my glass and gave me a nod.
“There you go.”
Her Pained Blue Silence
Indigo Knights Book V
Everleigh has had a wandering spirit since the day she was born. Her boring, small town could barely contain her and at the first opportunity, she fled. It was only natural falling in line with the freedom that MC life brought to her. The allure of never being told what to do a strong one. Sadly, she found herself trading one cage for another. Given the road name Silence, for her shy lack of voice, she's been a part of a motorcycle gang out of Maryland. A rough and tumble lot believing in sovereignty, running guns and drugs through Indigo City.
Narcos has been undercover with the outlaw MC, the Knights of Crescentia for more than a year. In that time, he's seen and heard all sorts of things, except for Silence's voice. She's the president's Ol' Lady and probably knows infinitely more than he does as a prospect to the club. All that is about to change. Narcos is about to be patched in. Unfortunately, patching in means going to an extreme he'd never thought he'd be pushed to and Silence is in the crosshairs.
How will he get through this, through to her, and keep them both alive?
I waited, the light breeze rustling the trees, the sound of the river water rushing over stones the only answer to my call. I frowned, worry gnawing at my gut, and I cupped my hands around my bearded mouth and called again.
One of the shrubs at the edge of the clearing rustled and she came around it, dirt streaking the front of her white skirt, her long hair tangled and with at least one leaf in it. I watched as this wild woman picked her way gingerly across the bare earth in her equally bare feet, the bucket she’d taken brimming with dirt and bits of green.
“What have you got there?” I asked.
She held out the bucket, beaming and I looked inside.
“Are those leeks?” I asked.
She waffled her hand back and forth and I raised an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes at me and I had to laugh.
“Guess I’m going to have to trust you aren’t going to poison me.”
She nodded and it was as matter-of-fact as she could make it.
I shook my head and said, “I got the truck up and running. I’m headed into town. Did you make a list?”
She chewed her bottom lip and finally shook her head. I cocked mine and said, “I know we need more food, but what else?”
She set her bucket down and made like she was showering and I nodded.
“Soap, shampoo, probably some dish soap and laundry soap, too, huh?”
She nodded and made like she was brushing her teeth.
“Oh, believe me that is at the top of my list. You don’t even know.”
She giggled lightly and it was a good sound, like a babbling brook, laughing over stones.
I smiled and asked, “Anything else, Silence?”
She made a face and shook her head, waving her hand back and forth. It was a strong reaction to have to wanting to know what she wanted from the store, so that couldn’t be it.
“What? ‘Silence’? You don’t want me to call you ‘Silence’?”
She nodded emphatically and I had to smile.
“Well, what do you want me to call you, then?”
She frowned, then frowned harder. I chuckled and with a sigh said, “I’m sure you’ll figure out how to tell me. You’re crafty like that.”
She cocked her head and nodded slowly.
“For now, it’s all I’ve got.”
She looked a little dejected, but nodded.
“Be back as soon as I can,” I told her and she nodded again.
I climbed into the old truck and fired it up. It wasn’t happy about it, but it started and it stayed running. I climbed the old switchback driveway up to the front of the cabin where she stood just outside the front porch and waved, her lips twisted in what looked like regret at my leaving.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up that that was what it really was. I mean, shit, if I were her, I wouldn’t be able to wait to see the back of me after what I’d done. I just wanted to get into town, get the shit I needed to pick up from the general store, get the fuck out, and get on with it.
Part of it was I shopped like just about every other guy, except Pasquale, but fuck he was some kind of mutant hybrid, I swore. Too good for the likes of us, for all that he kept hanging around. The other part was, I didn’t like hanging around where I was seen and people got curious and started asking questions I'd have to lie to answer. The thing about lying is how much and how many lies were you going to have to keep straight down the line. That, and these were good, salt-of-the-earth kind of folk. They didn’t deserve to be dragged into our melodrama, because, unlike television, ours was very real and got people really dead.
I pulled up at the auto parts place first to return the starter; it had turned out it was the battery and some really filthy sparkplugs. I got it running with the battery I picked up along with the starter here yesterday. I’d bought the battery; the parts guy had actually loaned me the starter and told me if that was the trouble I could just pay him for it today. If not bring it back; no harm, no foul.
Yeah. That’s how Podunk small-town this place was.
“So, I see you got her runnin’!” he called jovially when I went through the front door.
“Yeah, yeah I did.”
We chatted amicably, and I got the fuck out of there before the questions could start.
“She sure is a beaut, ever thought about fully restoring her?” he asked before I ducked out the door. I looked at the old, tired truck and shook my head.
“Naw, it was just there with the cabin when we bought it, title for it came with the deed to the place.”
“Shame, she’d be worth the love and attention. Ain’t many like her nowadays.”
I nodded and said my final goodbye, and got over to the general store as quick as I could. I only had an hour or so until closing.
I was thinking about Si as I went up and down the narrow aisles with my basket. The final words of the parts guy echoing in my brain. There sure weren’t many like Silence nowadays. You could tell she’d been through some shit, with her always jumping and flinching, always trying to please everyone around her. Yet, resiliently, she still managed to trust people who she honestly had no reason to trust. People like me.
She hadn’t put up too much of a fight back at the hotel. Hadn’t tried to run away, or bounce on me. Hadn’t tried to back out of testifying – and I still didn’t know how the fuck we were going to pull that off.
I stopped in the hair-care aisle and picked up the box of her red, that deep auburn she was so fond of that made her spectacular green eyes something out of this world. I remembered this one time, we were on a run with the Knights of Crescentia and stopped at this gas station-market hybrid store. More than a mini-mart, but less than a full-blown grocery or drug store, you know? King had sent Si in for road beers and smokes and she’d come back out with those items, but when he’d demanded the change, he’d nearly blown a gasket, until he got a hold of the receipt.
He’d laughed and said, “Leave it to a bitch. Send her in for smokes and beers, she comes out with that and a bag full of fuckin’ hair dye.”
She’d pulled the box from her bag and had pointed out the clearance stickers on it; at that price, if I were a chick, I would have scooped them up, too. I remembered the box, not for the smiling model, but for the pink flowers on it. I’d had the stray thought that those pink flowers belonged in a crown on Silence’s head. How she’d be the perfect hippy chick, straight out of a Woodstock photo with her white hippy skirts and dresses.
I picked up two of the boxes. It’d been a while since she’d colored her hair, and with as much of it as she had, I couldn’t imagine one box would do the trick.
I rushed through the rest of my shopping and got up to the cash wrap. Dick, the store owner gave me a nod and rang through my items by hand on the old-school register.
“Mitch over at the hardware store said he managed to scare up a couple of them fuses you was lookin’ for after you left. Said if I seen you, I should send you over,” he said as he bagged up my purchases.
“Oh, yeah? Thanks for letting me know, much obliged to you.”
He gave me a solid smile and I dumped my change in his dusty little donation jar by the register.
“You have a good night, now, y’hear.”
“You too, Dick.”
I took myself to the hardware store just as Mitch was flipping the sign to ‘closed.’ I halted in my step and waved, backing off but he unlocked the door and opened up for me.
“Glad you got the message,” he greeted me, and I nodded and said, “Yeah, Dick just told me about it, but I can come back tomorrow, it’s no problem.”
He chuckled and waved me in with one gnarled hand. “Naw, get in here. I haven’t cashed out my register yet. You made it in the nick of time.”
“Oh, man, you’re saving my life right now, you don’t even know.”
“Ed over at the bakery said you come ridin’ into town with your girl; I think I might have an idea.”
Shit. I thought to myself. Word travels fast in a small town. Thanks, Ed.
I bought the fuses with a promise to pick up the others coming in the next day as spares. The sun was just starting to set when I got back to the truck. I made sure everything was secure and headed back to the old fishing cabin, suddenly nervous about what kind of project Si would have for me this time. Although, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to regret the screened-in porch tonight when I had all the windows flung wide and the cooler air moved through the cabin.
I felt weary all the way to the bone and was totally ready for a hot shower and some rest. Boy, was I in for a surprise when I got back to the cabin.
I got out of the truck down by the garage and took a load in each arm, to head up the outer stairs. Si appeared out of nowhere at the bottom as I turned from the truck, and I jumped, taking a faltering step back and just barely keeping myself from accidentally dumping the paper bags from the general store.
“Jesus Christ!” I gave a restrained cry. “You like to scare the shit out of me!”
She hunched her shoulders and wrinkled her nose in this adorable sheepish expression that screamed ‘Sorry not sorry’ and I took a second to catch my breath.
“Jump-started my heart, that’s for sure. Can you take one of these?”
She rushed forward and took one of the bags from me, allowing me to grab the last one. I followed her up the stairs, which she took lightly, and stopped cold just inside the back screen door.
“Where the fuck did you find an entire bed?” I demanded and she beamed at me, impishly.
She’d found an entire full-sized daybed somewhere. An old one with what looked like an iron frame. She’d put it out here on the porch, a classic area rug underneath it. She’d stacked apple crates to one side, closest to the back door and I realized, she’d set it up the way she had because I could see her from the bed inside at night, knowing I would want to keep an eye on her. I shook my head in disbelief.
“You were busy while I was gone.”
She nodded happily and pointed up to the loft when we went inside.
“Was that where it was at?”
“How’d you get it down here?”
She raised one finger, then two, then three, then four.
“One piece at a time?”
“You took that whole thing apart and put it back together all by yourself?”
“Good job,” I declared, impressed.
She beamed at me.
“I’ll be right back, hardware guy managed to scare up some of those fuses. I want to get the electricity going while I still can. A hot shower sounds really good right now.”
She smiled even bigger and nodded enthusiastically.
I left her rooting through the bags on the table and went out and around to the side of the cabin that held the metal fuse box. I flipped the catch on its metal cover and opened it up, replacing the blown fuses and hoping like hell that was all that was needed. This place was older than dirt and needed a lot of renovation, so…
I flipped the switch and a light came on inside. I heard a smattering of applause from Silence and ran a hand back through my hair, pushing it out of my eyes.
“Looks like we’re good to go!” I called. “Should have hot water in an hour or two.”
I went around the corner in the back door and stopped. She was standing so very still by the rickety dining table with a box of hair dye in each hand, staring at them with an unreadable expression.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, leaning a shoulder against the back door’s jamb.
She looked up at me, her eyes troubled, and held the boxes out almost helplessly in front of her.
“Well, it’s your brand, isn’t it?”
She nodded, her confusion clear.
“Is it the wrong color?” I asked, knowing it damn well wasn’t.
She shook her head, and I pushed off the door frame.
“Well, all right, then.”
A Code Blue Call
Indigo Knights Book VI
It was a dark night of the soul for Angel, the night she appeared like his namesake. He would have liked to have known her, but she was gone the next morning. Now, more than a year later, he was doing much better, continuing his work in Indigo City’s streets as a paramedic, responding to medical emergencies.
Claire could never forget the medic whose life she saved just by being in the right place at the right time. Still, it wasn’t enough to rescue her from her own dark night of the soul and unlike him, she followed through.
Fate had other ideas for the both of them and for whatever reason, their paths crossed again at exactly the right moment. Both of them were now determined to not let this second chance pass them by, not like the first…
A.J. Downey is a born and raised Seattle, WA native. She finds inspiration from her surroundings, through the people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too much caffeine.
She has lived many places and done many things though mostly through her own imagination... An avid reader all of her life it's now her turn to try and give back a little, entertaining as she has been entertained. She lives in a small apartment in a quiet neighborhood with a larger than life fiancé and two cats.
What inspired you to write this series?
Well, it started back in December of 2016. An internet troll got pissed off at me for something I didn’t even do but had a strong opinion about and it seriously went downhill from there. The next thing I knew, he’d doxxed my home address telling people to show up at my home and “show me their displeasure” and then it devolved into harassing and making threats against anyone who dared host me at a signing. When that didn’t deter me from living my life, my home address was posted to the internet while they knew I was out of town for signings letting the world know I wasn’t at home, to kick down my door and to help themselves to my belongings.
Eventually, things got so bad, I wanted to end my life just to make it stop. Cue hospital stay and everything.
So yeah, pretty much f@&# that guy and everything about him and the premise for Her Thin Blue Lifeline was born. Of course, for the book version of events, I ramped up the drama even further, did a metric ton of research about the consequences, and tied everything up neatly into a happily ever after. The real life version didn’t go down nearly so pretty, but I am still here and now five books into the series, going on six – so I guess that’s somewhat of a happily-ever-after after all, right?
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Well, they’re all a bunch of white-knights. Literally. Every single one of the guys in the MC is a first responder of some type or is in some part of the hierarchy of law-enforcement. There are cops, fire fighters, EMT’s, lawyers, and even a correctional officer. Each one of them has a deep sense of what’s fair, justice, and a need to help their fellow man – or woman in most of these stories’ cases.
The thing about these guys, is just like real-life heroes, they have their trials, flaws, and tribulations. When I started writing these books, I was going for what I’m known for and that was real, relatable, romances.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
Anybody who knows me knows I love my naming conventions. Originally, I wanted the title to be a play on the words ‘the thin blue line’ which is a phrase cops use to identify themselves as being what separates chaos from order. In this case, the male main character of the story was the female main character’s lifeline so I used it. The subsequent books I have been trying very hard to stick to the naming convention of [word one] [word two] [the word ‘blue’] [last word] while keeping the title about something going on in the book.
Her Thin Blue Lifeline – Tony is her lifeline when her world goes to hell.
His Cold Blue Command – Yale is a lawyer and comes off cold and aloof. Plus BDSM.
A Low Blue Flame – Backdraft is a firefighter and the relationship starts low and slow.
His Wild Blue Rose – The female main character is a florist and he’s helping her to grow.
Her Pained Blue Silence – She’s an elective mute and this book starts out with a lot of pain.
A Code Blue Call – He answers a call where she codes and that’s how they reunite.
I have a lot of titles lined up but I don’t know that I will use them all. Some examples are:
Rise of Blue Waters (This will definitely be used.)
A Clear Blue Sky
Under A Blue Moon
A Cold Blue Morning (I have an idea for this one as well.)
Chasing The Blue Dragon
Up in Blue Smoke
His/her ice Blue Heart
Forged In Blue Fire
Crash of Blue Lighting
Sound of Blue Thunder
So yeah, I’ve put way too much thought into these titles. As a little Easter egg, every title is mentioned at least once in each book. Also, champagne appears in each book as well. Have fun reading and finding all the scenarios they’re used in!
Do you see writing as a career?
Oh god, considering it’s how I’ve been making my living at it with no safety net since – oh, geez… 2016? I should think so!
When I first started self-publishing back in 2014, I treated my books as nothing more than a really expensive hobby. I put out, I think, four books with little to no return, what, between editing, cover art, formatting costs etc. I was dumping in quite a bit per book and saw back maybe one quarter of what I put into them total for the first four books I had out. Then I wrote my first Motorcycle Club romance novel in Shattered & Scarred, published it in the summer of 2014 and the first month it was out I saw enough out of it to cover the first four books and then some. I basically recouped my costs and was like ‘Ha! That’ll never happen again.’
Boy was I wrong. When I published Broken & Burned a couple months later, I saw sixteen times what I’d received for Shattered & Scarred in its first month and I swear to god, my jaw hit the floor and it took me the next two years to believe that it wasn’t a fluke and that I could quit my day job and make a viable living off of writing.
That’s not to say that it happens like this for everyone. I am well aware of both how lucky and blessed I am to have ‘made it’ and I seriously chalk it up to just pure dumb luck of hitting the right sub-genre at the right time to allow me to build my little empire book by book.
It’s also not to say that the money has remained steady by any way shape or form. It really is feast or famine as an indie author and there have been more than a few close call months of nothing but ramen and hard work to keep myself going. This career, while fulfilling, is so not for the faint of heart and comes with pitfalls I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. (See how I started this series in the first place.)
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One at a time, and one hundred percent in chronological order… but that’s not to say I don’t have more than one in my brain nagging me at a time.
For this series, I did something I never do. I wrote books out of order. Usually and for all my series that have come before, they were written in the order of their publication dates. When it came to this series, I wrote His Wild Blue Rose, then immediately wrote A Code Blue Call knowing that Her Pained Blue Silence came between them. After A Code Blue Call was written, I set it aside and wrote Her Pained Blue Silence. It was weird, and kind of knocked me about for a minute.
Usually, if I need a break from contemporary and the MC world, I bounce over to my other pen name and write a paranormal romance before coming back to them. Still, it’s always one book at a time.
Fun fact: My other pen name is a character in one of the Indigo Knights books. What’s more, the book that is discussed in that book – the one that was turned into a movie for the purpose of the Indigo Knight’s book’s storyline– has been written and was released before the book in the Indigo Knight’s series so that if people were like “Aw, man! That book actually sounded good! I wish it was an actual thing!” Well, I didn’t want to disappoint, so I made sure it was available. It’s listed as the first book under that other pen name, but you’ll just have to read the Indigo Knights books to figure out who she is and what the name of the book is.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I’ve slowed way down, but there was a time I could churn out a first draft in a couple to three weeks. Now I take anywhere from a month to six weeks per draft, and I try to keep it so I have releases stacked and ready to go. Like right now, Her Pained Blue Silence has just released, but I have A Code Blue Call written, edited, and through formatting – ready to go. It could release tomorrow, but I like to keep the pressure off as much as I can by keeping things stacked up like that so something is always ready to go. You know, in case something happens like the zombie apocalypse happens, or worse, I come up against something like writer’s block and it slows me down.
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