Thursday, September 21, 2017

Join me on my preorder blast! $25 Amazon GC

Have you Pre-ordered Night’s Caress by Mary Hughes yet?

Author Mary Hughes’ newest release NIGHT’S CARESS is book one in The Ancients series. Brie Lark has given up her hometown and vampires.  Too bad the FBI just teamed her with the perfect male specimen, special agent and ancient vampire, Seb Rikare.

Pre-order NIGHT’S CARESS and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at NIGHT’S CARESS and to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card!

Title: Night’s Caress
Author: Mary Hughes
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: The Ancients
Page Count: 288 pages
Format: Digitial
ISBN-13: 9781640633360


In this small town, nothing is as it seems…

When artist Brie Lark left her vampire ex and her straitjacket of a hometown to breathe free in New York City, she promised herself two things: she’d never go back to Meiers Corner, and no more vampires. The last thing she expected—or wanted—was to be sent back home on an assignment. But her boss at the FBI needs her undercover on a murder case, working with a black-haired, black-eyed giant god of a man who’s her idea of perfection, except for one thing—he’s a vampire.
FBI Special Agent Seb Rikare is an ancient vampire hardened by loss. He’s cut all emotions to protect himself and leads a deliberately steady, almost sterile life. The brash young woman forced to pose as his lover irritates him, with her jangling bracelets and colorful hair. But as much as she irritates him, he finds himself drawn to her lively spirit and he’s tempted to make fantasy a reality.

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Night’s Caress Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Mary Hughes
“I tell you, Sera, I’m never going back to Meiers Corners.” I spoke into my Bluetooth headset as I skimmed through the glass doors of 26 Federal Plaza, hitting the Broadway-side concrete concourse at the height of the lunchtime rush.

A pizza delivery guy ran toward me like a bullet. I dodged him then played do-si-do with a nanny shepherding three identically dressed little boys clutching brand-new balls.

One bright red ball slipped from chubby fingers, getting kicked away by oncoming traffic. The youngster’s face clouded. Before his thunderstorm could burst, I twisted and lunged, my rainbow bracelets jingling like bells, and caught the ball on a bounce. Tossing it back to the nanny earned me the boy’s bright grin, totally worth my getting knocked around by a pair of freight-train pedestrians.

“Never, Brie?” The voice in my ear was warm and compassionate, my friend and, until I’d gotten my job with the FBI and moved, one of my roommates, Serendipity Braun Thorsson. “But it’s Oktoberfest. And there’s beer.”

Practically a microbrewery on every corner. As I crossed the street, I admitted, “That’s tempting. Not tempting enough.”

She knew why I’d left the Corners. Cheating ex and stifling small town might be cliché, but add in the fact that the ex was a vampire? And the town was ambitiously folksy, to the point that my high-school job was making sculptures out of cheese and summer sausage? I was exhausted living with all that day in, day out. New York was the first place I could breathe.

“Brie, I miss you.”

I winced. Temptation punch crowned by guilt KO, the specialty of every Meiers Corners matron. Sera must’ve learned it from her mother.

“I miss you, too. Why don’t you visit me here? We can take in a Broadway show, go dancing—Oh, shit.”

“What’s wrong?” Her voice went high, breathless.

I’d been heading for a hot dog cart near the corner and had just spotted a man standing in line. He stood unmoved by the bobbing masses, literally head and shoulders above the crowd.

Only one man I knew that stunningly tall—Special Agent Seb Rikare.

Or rather, not man. I guessed Rikare was a vampire.

“Brie?” Sera prompted.

“It’s nothing. A ping on my asshole meter.” My last boyfriend had been a vampire. It had not ended well, like a marshmallow Peeps party held in a microwave. I’d vowed never to get involved with another fanged male.

Naturally, Fate, who was a snarky bastard, molded the very next guy I met into my idea of perfection—gleaming black hair, granite jaw, bedroom eyes, and muscles like bowling balls, plus a brain that catapulted him to top agent with the FBI.

I’d have tapped that in a second except for the likelihood that, along with his shield, Rikare carried the extra-large V-size condoms in his wallet.

Under my breath, I muttered, “Damn it, I just want to grab a sandwich. I don’t want to deal with him now.”

Other Books by Mary Hughes


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

Ever read a clunky sentence and the perfect replacement pops into your head? A brilliant, fresh way of saying the thing, so amazing you just have to preserve the before and after (either to show how brilliant you can be or how utterly clueless, lol). Or just a simpler, cleaner phrase?

I have a couple files on my writing computer where I store such eureka moments. One is called "Great Lines" to store all those things friends or family have said that resonate (or are laugh-out-loud funny).

The other is "Improving Writing.txt", and I thought I'd share a few of those with you today.

Stronger phrases (before/after):
  • He wanted so desperately
  • He yearned
  • emotion that never made it to the surface
  • emotion that never surfaced
  • the expression on his face
  • his expression
  • which will mean death for any vampires between New York and Chicago.
  • and light a fuse of death for vampires from Chicago to New York.
  • a desert water pump
  • a water pump in the desert
  • John, bleeding heavily from a nasty head wound
  • John stumbled down the stairs, eyes glazed, blood streaming from a nasty head wound
  • She managed to slide her nearly naked behind into the other chair and found herself sitting in a cuddly cloud
  • She managed to slide her nearly naked behind into the other chair and found herself cuddled by a cloud
  • "Cedric of Gherwyn, son of Aldric the Proctor, grandson of Cedric, Magistrate of Gherwyn.” The way he said it made it sound like a royal succession.
  • He proclaimed the names like a royal succession.

  • A wave of nausea passed through her, followed by an overwhelming tiredness.
  • A wave of nausea passed through her, followed by a bone-deep fatigue.

  • “The cost is horrendous,” Caer said shortly
  • “The cost is horrendous,” Caer bit out.

  • As soon as Caer left, Robert unfroze, stutter-stepping to keep his balance.
  • At the slam of the door, Robert unfroze, stutter-stepping to keep his balance.

  • A surge of pride went through him.
  • Pride surged through him.

  • She didn’t like how her friends were being threatened because of her.
  • She didn’t like her friends being threatened because of her.
Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December 2016, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.

Everything Old is New Again -- Guest Lori Handeland--Originally posted September 25, 2014
I'm a huge fan of Lori's books, so I was thrilled when she agreed to be my guest. Lori is a NYTimes/USA Today bestseller/Multiple RITA winner. Please welcome Lori!

Readers may be wondering what's up with books they've read being re-released with new covers (and in some cases new titles) all over the place.

It's called reversion of rights and where once there wasn't much for authors to do with a book when their rights reverted from the original publisher, there is now. We call them e-books and print on demand and self publishing.

I asked for the rights back to every one of my titles the instant they were available, long before there was anything to do with these reverted works. When my publisher asked what I planned to do with my reverted titles I said, "Anything I want." And now I am.

When the rights to a book revert to the author, she needs to have a new cover designed since the cover design belongs to the publisher and the artwork/photo to the artist/photographer.

I am re-releasing the New Orleans trilogy of my Nightcreature Novels. Here are the original covers. At the time, this was the paranormal romance look. It is no longer.

Here are the covers I had done. Love them? I do.

As for titles, I usually keep the original titles because I want readers to know if they've read the book before, and that's the easiest way. However, I did change the title on one of my reverted books. I titled my first contemporary series romance COACH MOM. It's about a teacher and Little League coach being a mom and a teacher and finding romance, of course. Harlequin changed the title to MOTHER OF THE YEAR. I never much cared for that title, but the book sold well and I've learned over twenty years not to get attached to a title. But that's another blog.

Family playing pranks on a couch.LoriHandeland_MotheroftheYear_800pxWhen the rights reverted to me, I released the book with several covers and the same title. Sales were meh.


One of my friends had retitled one of her category books and had great success. I figured I'd try it. I was going to go with COACH MOM, but my cover artist thought it should be something sexier. We went with this. She was right. Sales went way up.

I wrote in big letters on the blurb and in the file that the book had previously been published as MOTHER OF THE YEAR. That seemed to help.

Are you like me? Do you go into bookstores or surf online sites and look at covers? For me they're artwork and I just adore comparing and contrasting. What are you favorite types? Clinch, guy only, heroine only, still lifes, landscapes? Where do you stand on the retitling question?

Lori's online! Visit her web site at: For up to date information join her newsletter: Follow Lori on Facebook:

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't miss a single moment! Preorder goodies disappear starting 9/12.

Get ready! This month is packed with good stuff. TWO brand new releases, ZILLIONS* of contests, a week-long party, and tons of fun.

This fabulous vampire-themed gift basket is a giveaway prize for my newsletter subscribers

If you're not a newsletter subscriber, now's the time!

Get in on the PREORDER goodies before they're gone!!

**FIRE Giveaway** Kindle FIRE giveaway+free reads just for entering! To Sep. 13
**Fun Thank-You Gifts** Preorder Billionaire Ever After and get a free calendar and more!
**Facebook Release Party with giveaway TBD**
**AUTHOR-ONLY Giveaway**
**Read & Review Giveaway**

Keep your eyes open for announcements all month!

September 12 Billionaire Ever After releases
September 25 Night's Caress releases
Amazon | BN | iBooks | Kobo | Google | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

*Slight hyperbole. Zillion is not an official number or unit recognized by the General Conference on Weights and Measures.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Self-employment: You make your own schedule, right?

What do you do when you have more than one release in a month? Movie it! Check it out :)

Want more info? Here's the page for Billionaire Ever After. SPECIAL NOTICE: if you want Billionaire Ever After for Nook or iBook, make sure you get yours on preorder. I've heard rumors the set is going KU after the first week.

And In this small town, nothing is as it seems…

One of the comments I get when I tell people I'm an author is, "It must be great making your own schedule."

Having been self-employed in one form or another for decades, I just smile and nod. LOL.

I had a vacation last week. I tried not to work, because I desperately needed the break. But we stayed close to home and I monitored emails and when they turned out to be time-sensitive, I went into the office and got them done.

The fact of the matter is, when you're self-employed, the only decision you get to make is the product you offer (and even that is subject to your customers'/clients' needs).

Even indie authors are buffeted by the winds of the availability of their cover designer, editor, etc. Box set authors must coordinate their efforts, and that means joint scheduling. The complex weave of daily life affects all of us, time-wise.

Reflecting on it, I do get to make my own schedule. If I want to work my hours from midnight to ten am, I can do that. But as far as number of hours go, well, if I want to eat, I work.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Limited time 99 cent anthologies to benefit the March Of Dimes & GIVEAWAY 😍

Love Kissed Anthologies
Don't miss these LIMITED EDITION boxed sets created to benefit the March of Dimes.
Only 99 Pennies Each!!

Haunted by Love
Ten of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology. With vampires, witches, wizards, shifters, shadow walkers, fallen angels, demons, and a wraith king, you're sure to be enthralled. Be prepared for greed, lust, lies, and betrayal to culminate in coups and menages. After all, the fate of the world often depends on the actions of hot alphas.

New Love
Seven of your favorite romance authors have come together for a charity anthology. If you like billionaires and witty heroines, or high school sweethearts and runaways, or southern stories with a love as big as Texas, then settle in for tales of finding home, overcoming the past, loyalty, broken promises, and even a surprise wedding. Even family obligations can't hinder what's simply meant to be.

Lucky in Love
Ten of your favorite romance authors have come together. Enjoy second chance romances, sports romances, and rocker romances. Meet your new favorite bad boys and blue collar lovers. There may even be a surprise pregnancy or two.

Dangerous Love
Prepare to dance with the dark side of love. This collection is full of suspense with crimes like stalking, kidnapping, and murder. Meet some men in blue and some bad boys too. If you have a taste for dystopian, enjoy interracial love, and get hot and bothered over sexy protectors such as private investigators, the FBI and CIA, then one-click right away.


Forbidden Love
This set is about as naughty as a collection can get. They may look innocent, like the boy next door, or the brother's best friend, they may be working like the blue collar guy making a house call, the undercover cop, the rock star, the bodyguard, or the stripper. Don't be fooled. These stories are filled with romance,  suspense, and temptation. Oh, and no one seems to decline the opportunity for romps in public, with a stranger, a roommate, or the occasional affair.
Learn how forbidden love makes for strange bedfellows in these modern fairy tales of love, lust, and deception.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

My husband posts about creativity on Facebook. It's been helping me boost my own productivity in ways I'd never imagined.

Today (January 18, 2017) he posted one on how Isaac Asimov wrote the equivalent of a full-length novel every two weeks for 25 years (over 500, but over a lot longer period, lol). It's here:

The whole article is worth reading, but what stood out was Asimov's take on the dreaded writer's block.
Frequently, when I am at work on a science-fiction novel, I find myself heartily sick of it and unable to write another word.
It's normal to get stuck. His solution? Set it aside.
I don’t stare at blank sheets of paper. [...] I simply [...] go on to any of the dozen other projects that are on tap. [...] By the time I’ve grown tired of these things, my mind has been able to do its proper work and fill up again. I return to my novel and find myself able to write easily once more.
I've done this before out of profound disgust for a project, and I practice interleaving projects to make them continuously fresh, but never have I walked consciously away from something. Going to give this one a try.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.