carolina rebels

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Y’all. Don’t give me that look. I can’t handle the puppy dog eyes over the fact that you’re waiting on the Collin’s book. I know, I know! I still haven’t announced a release date for the next Carolina Rebels novel, a title, a cover, or even a description.

But I am making progress and I’m thrilled about that! I don’t want to say when I think I will be finished because that will jinx me (happens every time)!

I might even go ahead and write a blurb soon and share it.

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I AM super duper excited about this book and what I plan to work on next. You may see it listed in the upcoming events section, but don’t count that date as the publication date! That’s my let’s-release-it-before-the-end-of-the-year goal spot.

I’m going to end this with a little teaser. Enjoy! :)

“Do you mind if I actually take a nap? I promise to be better company later, but I'm exhausted.”

I shake my head. He walks over to me and gives me the tightest hug he can without breaking a rib. “I'm glad you're here, Jules. I've missed you.”

“I've missed you too,” I whisper before he releases me and walks away to his bedroom. I just wish he loved me like I love him.

A Final Sneak Peek: Worth the Risk

Chapter Three

Raelynn

Bree stays home with Elias and his mom while I take Jackson to school. I may shed a few tears on the way home because for the first time, my baby wanted to walk by himself to class. I walked him to the entrance of the school, and then he left me without a backward glance. It was almost like the first day of school all over again. I had to go inside anyway to update his files with a new home address.

When I return, Elias goes straight into showing me every nook and cranny of the house practically before having another round of discussion in the kitchen with his mother nearby with Bree.

“I won’t be home until kinda late because we have a game tonight,” he continues. “Lock the doors if you go to bed before I get home, but if you set the alarm, make sure you do the silent alarm. That way it won’t go off when I come in and wake the kids. I have to run out and get a key made for you before I head to the rink. Is there anything you or Jackson need me to pick up? Do you want me to go ahead and set up her carseat in your car, so you don’t have to do it later?”

“I don’t think so, and if you want. It doesn’t matter.”

“I’ll do it.” He nods to himself. “And here’s a credit card you can use in case you decide there is something you need or would like to have here.”

He holds out the card, but I stare at it, flicking my gaze to see a disapproving look from his mother. “Um, that’s okay. We’ll be fine.” It doesn’t feel right to basically have my employer’s credit card to use at my disposal for things for Bree or Jackson and me. It’s worse that his mother watches my every move, waiting for me to mess up so she can convince him to fire me. It feels that way, at least.

“Raelynn, take it. I said I’d provide groceries for y’all. There’s a road trip coming up around Thanksgiving. You’ll need this. I’m not always going to be here or have time to go shopping.” Reluctantly, I take it, and he adds, “You don’t need to ask before you use it either, but Mom will show you where to put the receipts. Need anything else before I go?”

I think about my car, which is low on gas. I think about my phone bill, which is due today and will likely wipe my account of what money I have left. “Could I get this week’s pay already?”

“Yeah, sure.” He disappears upstairs and returns a minute later with a check.

I’ve never made so much money in one week before. I almost feel like I should argue about the amount since I’m living here rent free, utilities free, and grocery free, but I’m not. This was the amount he offered and I could definitely use the money.

“Thank you,” I say softly.

“Just don’t let me down.” He walks over to his mother, kisses her cheek, and then leans down to kiss Bree’s forehead, causing her to have that goofy baby smile. “Love you, princess.” It’s so sweet to watch Elias interact with his daughter. It also makes me wonder how he ended up with custody; he’s yet to mention her mother. I’ll have to ask about that later. I don’t want to be unprepared in case someone shows up. “I’ll be back shortly, Raelynn,” Elias tells me before heading out the door.

With her son gone, Alice interviews me with far more questions than her son did. I answer them completely. What harm is there in telling her that Jackson and I have struggled and the only reason I’m here is because I needed a job and Elias was offering? She asks me if I’m trying to take advantage of him, but when it becomes clear that I’m not because I had no clue I could take advantage of him, she accepts that. When she asks of my past, I politely shut her down. My past is my own and has no relevance.

~ ~ ~

Alice hugs Bree in her arms. “Take good care of my granddaughter, okay? I have complete faith that you will, but I have to say it anyway.”

“I will take care of her as if she’s my own,” I promise. Today is a big day for a couple of reasons, one of which is Alice leaves to go home.

I’m also here to take care of my daughter, Ma,” Elias tells her. “She’ll be fine. Unless you don’t trust us?”

“I trust you. That’s how I’m able to leave.”

It’s been nice to have Alice around. She’s helped me adjust to things here, learn my way around, and feel comfortable, somewhat. It’s nice to know she’s giving me her official stamp of approval.

Alice kisses Bree’s cheeks until Elias takes matters into his own hands and takes Bree away, giving her to me.

“It’s time to go, Ma. We don’t want you to miss your flight.”

“Fine. Fine.” Alice hugs me, kisses Bree one last time, and says, “Tell Jackson I said goodbye.”

“I will.” He’s already at school, so he’s missing the goodbye session. Alice did say goodbye to him this morning, but I’ll be sure to pass along the second goodbye.

Elias leaves to take his mother to the airport and I focus on a new milestone I must cross. Elias is about to leave for his first road trip with me as his nanny. I’m slightly terrified, especially since his mother is gone. To stay calm, I’ve been doing what I’m doing right now: sitting on the floor, playing with Bree, so I don’t have to think about it.

“Hey,” Elias says as he comes into the living room. “Feeling good about being on your own?”

“Yeah,” I lie. I mean, I can take care of my own baby, no problem, but it’s giving me serious anxiety to be left alone in someone else’s house with someone else’s baby and with someone else’s credit card to use as I see fit. What if I mess up? What if I do something that’s not up to his standards? I don’t feel like I know Elias well enough to know boundaries yet.

“Good. I, uh...”

At the sound of Elias sounding nervous, I glance up. “Is something wrong? Did I do something?”

“No,” he quickly says. “I feel like a jackass, but I’m not sure what’s the polite way to tell my nanny to give me my baby and sort of leave me alone until I have to leave.”

I laugh. “You say, ‘Raelynn, I’m about to leave for a few days and I’d really like to spend some time with my daughter before I go. Shoo, please.’” I stand, picking Bree up as I go, and hand her to him. “There you go. I’ll be in my room.”

Elias’s smile slowly disappears. “You don’t have to hole up in your room.”

“I don’t mind,” I say, meaning it. “Pretend I’m not even here.” I walk away before he can say anything else.

This is another thing I haven’t figured out yet. When and how to give him space. I live here, but I’m also an employee. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I don’t want him to feel like I’m constantly intruding on his space or on his time with his daughter, like I almost accidentally did just now. That’s one reason why the other night, when he texted me after a game, mentioning how the guys were going to a bar and he was debating going with them, I told him he should go. The kids were asleep. Why should he rush home? To keep me company? Ha.

I need to figure out a game plan to combat this. This, as in, a way to make sure he’s free to do as he wishes in his own home, and even out of it. I guess Jackson and I could always hang out in our rooms or outside when he’s home. We’d always be out of his way if we did that.

Despite my nerves and uncertainties, this job has been such a blessing. I’ve been able to do some schoolwork when I manage to snag some free time. Thankfully, Elias has internet, so I don’t have to go to the library to get my work done. I’ve been slowly working through earning a degree online. I’ve been lucky to receive grants through financial aid to pay for the expenses. I normally do my work when Elias has a game or once everyone has gone to bed.

I’ve been getting my baby fill, too. Every now and then, I’d wish I could find someone only to give Jackson a little brother or sister. He’s such a shy kid who sticks to himself. Maybe a sibling would help. I was an only child and I hope that one day I can give Jackson siblings. One day when I’m better off financially, which means it’ll be a long time before I can entertain the idea. Well, I’d need a man, too, but that’s not the point.

This is the only drawback to a job like this. I love babies. Jackson was a good baby. Then again, I was so in love with him, he could’ve cried twenty hours out of the day and I would have thought he was a good baby. Bree is also a good baby. She loves to interact and play. She naps during the day. She cries and makes a fuss when she wants something. She’s crawling up a storm and loves for us to walk around the house together. She’s adorable.

After awhile, Elias calls my name because it’s time for him to leave. He’s been great, too. It’s been sweet to watch him with Bree, but also because my second day here? When he was out getting a spare key made for me, he bought Jackson a nightlight. He refused to let me pay him back for it, but it was sweet that he decided to do that for Jackson.

As he hands Bree to me and I say, “Say bye bye to DaDa,” I see the nerves on his face for the first time. That’s not reassuring in the least, especially when Bree hiccups and whines a little, reaching for him. She knows what bye bye means. She also knows who DaDa is.

“Take care of my princess, please,” he says softly with his eyes on her.

“I promise I will.”

“If she says a coherent word that’s not DaDa, don’t tell me.” At that, I laugh and Elias looks at me. “Okay, tell me anyway.” He smiles easily and kisses her forehead once again. “I’ll see you soon. Call me if you need me.”

“Go,” I whisper. He’s wasting time unnecessarily. Elias nods and then he’s gone.

Bree and I play the day away until it’s time for her afternoon nap. She wakes up just in time for us to leave to pick Jackson up for school. Jackson has settled in okay; he’s taken a great interest in hockey all of a sudden. We watched a game on TV last night for the first time, but saw a player get hurt. Not so much fun. However, I’ve never seen Jackson take so much interest in something before. He keeps asking me about things, but I don’t know anything about the game.

“Momma, Bree is looking at me,” he says from the backseat on the way home. He hasn’t quite gotten used to her yet.

“She’s curious about you. Why don’t you talk to her? Or sing to her?”

Jackson decides to talk. He does so for a few minutes, but then asks, “Is Bree really a princess? She doesn’t look like a princess and Mr. EJ calls her princess.”

I smile and say, “She’s his princess. Like how you’re my baby.”

“So, she’s not really a princess?” he asks, not letting it go as I pull into the driveway.

“It doesn’t really matter.”

“Definitely not a princess,” he mutters. “Where’s Mr. EJ?” he asks once we’re inside and it’s clear we’re home alone.

“Mr. EJ is on a road trip. The team goes to other cities to play games.”

“Can we watch the games?” he asks hopefully.

“Maybe.”

Later that night, my phone vibrates with a video call from Elias. Before I answer, I pick Bree up from where she’s playing on the floor and say, “Want to talk to DaDa?” Her face lights up with a smile, and I’m pretty sure it’s only because I said DaDa. I swipe across on my phone and hold it away from us.

Bree is looking at me with her smile, patting my chest, until she hears Elias say, “There’s my princess.” Her head swivels toward the phone and she squeals.

Jackson leans over from next to me, his eyes filling the screen. “Hey, Mr. EJ.”

Elias laughs. “Hey, J-man. Did you have a good day at school?” My heart warms a little at him entertaining Jackson, even though he only called to see his little girl. It’s already sweet that he has a nickname for my son, too.

A foul smell tickles my nose as Jackson answers him. “Jackson, hold my phone for a second, and you don’t have to hold it so close to your face.” I peek into Bree’s diaper and find the source. “Talk to Mr. EJ. Elias, I’m changing her diaper real quick and then she’s all yours, I promise.”

“No rush,” he says.

Bree is pretty easy to change. She likes to play with her feet. As long as you talk or sing to her, she’s happy and lets me clean her up and change diapers rather quickly. Jackson has gone quiet on Elias by the time I return, leaving him to do all the talking. Sometimes, he talks to him just fine. Others? He reverts to being shy.

“Thanks, baby,” I say, kissing the top of his head. Jackson doesn’t waste a second saying goodbye to Elias and handing the phone back to me. “No coherent words so far,” I tell him, causing him to smile.

“Good. How’d today go?”

“Just like every other day,” I speak over Bree who wants to talk just as much in her gibberish. Elias doesn’t seem to know who to focus on: me or her. I decide to be quiet and let her talk, making sure I smile and laugh when she seems to want a reaction.

“She really likes you,” he says quietly, bringing my gaze back to my phone. “She cried a little when you left the room today; that was when I knew. She doesn’t do that for just anyone.”

I can’t tell if he’s happy about this or not, so I’m not sure what I should say. “I really like her, too,” is what I settle on.

He talks to her for a little bit before it’s time for me to lay her down for the night. He doesn’t hang up, though. Oh, no. I have to take her upstairs, place her in her crib, and then let Elias say goodnight. She cries as I walk out of the room and Elias frowns.

“I always hate when she does that, even though I know she’ll stop within a minute or so. It took my mom a long time to convince me not to stay by her side all night.”

“It’s nice that you had a good support system to help you learn the ropes.” It took forever to become semi-confident in my actions as Jackson’s parent because I was so young and didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. A question seems to be on the tip of Elias’s tongue, but I don’t want to talk about me or my past. “I’ll let you go. I need to get Jackson ready to wind down for the night as well and tidy up the house.”

Elias nods and says goodnight, hanging up a moment later. I take a deep breath and peer into Bree’s room. She’s still lying down. I’ve caught her standing up a few times after I’ve walked out. I’ll check on her later to see if she’s asleep.

~ ~ ~

The next day, Jackson watches cartoons while Bree sits on my hip. She’s been a bit fussy, so I’ve been dancing around the house with her, singing, much to Jackson’s annoyance. Bree has loved it, though. There’s a knock on the door and I freeze, mid-step. I should have no guests with Elias gone. What if it’s her mother? I still don’t know if she may pop up at some point. Damn it, I should’ve asked Elias!

With a deep breath, I slowly walk over to the door and open it. My eyes nearly pop out of my head. Never thought it would be this guy. “Brayden, right?” The man from the quilt shop. Elias told me his name is Brayden. He’s one of his teammates and Deanna is his girlfriend.

“Yeah. Sorry to drop by like this, but I needed to get out of the house. Can I hang here for a while?”

“Um.” Why on earth would he want to do that? Why is he even here? Then, it hits me. He was the guy who was injured in the game Jackson and I watched. I glance over my shoulder at Jackson, who watches with interest with his chin resting on the top of the back of the couch. This guy was nice to me. He’s friends with Elias. “Sure,” I say, not totally confident in this answer.

“You can say no, you know. I just wanted to see Bree, but if you’re not comfortable or whatever...”

“No, that’s okay. Come in.” I won’t take it back now. I step aside and Brayden doesn’t give me a chance to change my mind again.

“Hey, Jackson,” he says as I close the door.

He knows my son’s name? Jackson looks as surprised as I feel. Elias probably told him.

“This is Mr. Brayden, Jackson. He’s friends with Mr. EJ.” Jackson, my shy, shy boy. He turns around and focuses on the TV. “Sorry. He’s shy around new people.” That’s what I always say. “Did you want to hold her?”

“Yes, please.” He holds his hands out for Bree and I let him take her, watching as he walks into the living room as if he’s been here before.

For a moment, I worry if this is the right decision. Would Elias want him over here while he’s not here? Would he want him to play with Bree? Does Elias know he’s here? But then, I remind myself that this guy helped me get this job, so Elias has to trust him.

“Do you mind if I catch up on some chores?” Might as well take advantage of the unexpected babysitter.

“No, go ahead,” he says. “I’ll find you if we need anything.”

“Thanks.” I glance down at Jackson. “I’ll be in the kitchen, baby.” He doesn’t look up at me. “Mr. Brayden plays hockey with Mr. EJ, so you’ll be fine,” I add, hoping that relaxes him. He finally glances at Brayden when I say that.

Feeling better about things, I leave the three of them to clean up the house. I scrub and clean the kitchen until it’s sparkling before I return the living room to check on my guest.

“How is it going in here?” I ask.

“Is there a place I can lie down for a minute?”

He wants to lie down? I nod, hoping I didn’t look too surprised. Brayden and Bree are behind me as we walk upstairs. “You can lie in here if you want,” I say as he lays Bree down in her crib. “But if you’d rather have a bigger bed, you can have your pick of Elias’s or Jackson’s, I guess.” I’m certainly not offering mine, even if he does seem nice enough.

Brayden seems confused for a moment, which worries me, but then he says, “I’ll lie in here. I’ll be out of here soon.”

“Let me know if you need anything.”

The moment he nods, I leave the room, pulling the door until it’s almost closed. I could use a break for a while, so I go sit with Jackson. He and Brayden apparently talked about hockey. Jackson shows me what he’s learned, which is mostly what the referee’s signals mean.

He, of course, wants to watch the hockey game tonight and I don’t think I can deny him. He won’t be able to stay up for all of it, but he can watch some of it. The game comes on and I keep glancing at the clock. Where is Brayden? It’s getting kind of late. I wait and I wait, but when eight thirty rolls around, I walk upstairs.

He’s lying on the bed with a pillow over his head. Oh, man. I have to wake him up. He probably wants to go home. With a deep breath, I shake his shoulder. “Brayden? Brayden?” He lifts the pillow and winces immediately. “I’m sorry to wake you, but it’s getting kind of late and I thought you might want to wake up.”

“What time is it?” he grumbles.

“Eight thirty.”

“I’m sorry.”

He rubs his forehead before standing and sighing. When he has to blindly reach out for the wall to steady himself, I worry about what happens if I have to support him. This is a big, tall man. I am not even average height for a woman. He’d probably crush me if I had to help him down the stairs. He’d lose his footing and then we’d fall and I’d die either from the fall or him landing on me.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

“Yeah.” He pats his pockets and then pulls out a phone. “I’m going to make a phone call.”

He seems to be fine. Bree stands in her crib, so I pick her up to take her with me downstairs. She’s not used to people in and out of her room and talking, or to going to sleep as early as she did. Tonight will be a long one with her; I just have a feeling.

I reclaim my seat next to Jackson on the couch and Bree pulls on my hair. It’s her favorite thing to do. She doesn’t really pull too hard. She likes to tug while her fingers try to make knots form in my hair.

Brayden’s footsteps are heavy down the stairs. “Someone’s coming to pick me up,” he says. I nod as he takes a seat in the chair, looking absolutely miserable. He leaves with a quick thanks and a see you later once he sees his ride is here.

With him gone, I focus on getting Bree back to bed. With Elias gone for a few days and Jackson out of school until next Monday due to Thanksgiving, my plan is to take him shopping. He’s in desperate need of new clothes and now, I have some money to buy him some. It’ll be interesting to shop with both him and Bree, but I’m sure I’ll manage just fine.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

The next Carolina Rebels book is up for preorder!

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EJ fans, have you heard? Worth the Risk is the next Carolina Rebels novel, and it will release April 12, 2018! Read on for all the details! :)

EJ Bertuzzi didn’t expect to be a father so soon in life, and he’s had to rely on others for help when it comes to taking care of his little princess, Bree. At first, it was his mom, and after a long, excruciating search, it’s now his attractive nanny, Raelynn. But EJ has some insecurities. Not to mention, the last thing he needs to do is something to cause his perfect nanny to quit.

Raelynn Woods is a young single mom who has had many lows in her life with the only bright spot being her son, Jackson. For the past five years, she's done whatever she's had to do to make ends meet for her and Jackson. Raelynn has a difficult time trusting others and letting people in, but she hopes working as EJ's nanny can help change that and bring some much needed stability into their lives.

EJ and Raelynn battle with their attraction to one another while struggling to keep a friendly, yet professional relationship. If they give each other a chance, they might just discover the outcome is worth the risk.

Get it on iBooks | Nook | Kobo

(Amazon linking coming as soon as I can list it on that site!)

WIP Progress Report

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- Title: Untitled (working on this!)
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Release Date: Spring 2018
- Series? Carolina Rebels 

The first draft of the next installment in the Carolina Rebels series is DONE! In case you've missed it, the next Rebel is EJ! And the leading lady? Raelynn. :)

I finished this WIP about a week ahead of my deadline, which is good, because that means I can wrap up a few other things and truly take two weeks off. I plan to read, read, read, and sew, sew, sew!

I'm excited for a break before I return to these characters and work on them some more. I hope to settle on a title, write up a blurb, and get a cover created soon, too. Stay tuned because I'll post once it's ready to share here!

That's all for this report! Continue reading for updates on other projects.

Other Projects:
- Details for the first book, Steady, in my New Adult Romance series, Hearts in Carolina, has been announced! 

- As soon as my secret project (a newsletter exclusive) is ready, it'll be shared with my newsletter subscribers. I'm working on edits for this right now!

- The last Carolina Rebels book, Attached to You, just released last week, ICYMI!

 

You can now read all about Brayden!

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The wait is long over, y'all! Brayden's book, Attached to You, in the Carolina Rebels series released yesterday! I made cookies to celebrate. Sorry, I can't share. :(

But I can share all the info of his book with you!

Brayden Hayes is all work and no play. Meeting one woman is all it takes to finally force himself to find a balance between work on the ice and relationships away from it. If there’s one thing Brayden is sure of, it’s that he wants to keep her around and make their time together worthwhile.

Deanna Mitchell hops from guy to guy because she doesn’t want to settle for just anyone. She has made a lot of mistakes, but deciding to see Brayden is not one of them. She thinks. What she feels around him makes her think he could be the one.

While Deanna remains unsure, Brayden is going all in and he’s ready to face whatever problems arise. Together, they discover that finding a balance isn’t hard when you’re with the right person.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Have you heard about my new series?

My new Hearts in Carolina series starts off on January 4, 2018 with Steady! And, if you've been reading the Carolina Rebels series, it's with a character you're already familiar with: Logan (Sydney's stepbrother) from It's Our Time

Steady is a New Adult Romance.

Steady_Lindsay Paige

A chance meeting and a spontaneous marriage proposal leads Logan Archer on a first date that turns his dull, unhappy life around. With her help, he finally lands his dream job. But what Logan really wants is his dream girl to spend his time with.

He’s certain that girl is Kayla. He’ll do whatever is necessary to secure a future with her.

Kayla Murphy might be able to turn down Logan’s many proposals, but she can’t resist his charm, his many nicknames for her, or his ability to make her laugh when it’s the last thing she wants to do.

But unwanted distractions threaten what these two are building together.

 

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

About the series: The novels will be set in North Carolina, loosely connected to one another, and can be read in any order. There will also be some crossover with my Carolina Rebels series on occasion, as seen with Steady.

Back to Me is FREE!

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Hey, y'all! Guess what?! You can now start the Carolina Rebels series for free! That's because Back to Me doesn't cost even one penny right now! So, go, go, go and download your copy!

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Noah Ramsey has a great hockey career, a wonderful family, and a good best friend, but what he wants most is to be with the love of his life who walked away from him years ago. When he finds her at the airport, he realizes she's changed, and she's struggling with things she doesn't want to tell him about. Noah also realizes just how much she scarred him when she left.

Meredith Quick always plans everything out. She chose her tennis career over love in order to better succeed, but her plan dissolves when an injury threatens her career and her fiancé leaves her. Struggling through pain and the uncertainty of her future, she realizes her first misstep was walking away from Noah. She impulsively decides to go back to him while she attempts to put her life back together.

Reacquainting isn't easy when Noah doesn't quite trust Meredith to stay and Meredith struggles with overcoming the pain she's endured without him. Can they work through their issues and move forward, or will their past ruin things between them forever?

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

WIP Progress Report

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- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 49,409/80,000
- Release Date: Spring 2018
- Series? Carolina Rebels 

It's been a LONG time since I posted my last WIP progress report, which was back in mid-June. I've been slacking, and I apologize.

There is a lot to catch up on, but I'll start with my current WIP. 

So, Scott & Sylvia's An Unexpected Life released last month. Brayden's book, Attached to You, releases next month. We've already met Rebels Noah, Marc, and Ian as well.

Up next and the Rebel starring in this WIP?

EJ!

His story has been flowing so smoothly! I can't wait to get this first draft done. I've had his story in my head for a very long time and it feels so good to finally write it. I can't wait to share it with you next year!

Now that you're all caught up on my current project, let me catch you up on my others.

Other Projects:
The first book in my New Adult Romance series, Hearts in Carolina, goes to edits and gets a cover soon! More details to come. (If you liked Logan from It's Our Time, then you'll be excited about this book!)

- As soon as my secret project (a newsletter exclusive) is ready, it'll be shared with my newsletter subscribers

- As I mentioned above, the next Carolina Rebels book, Attached to You, releases October 19, 2017.

WIP Progress Report

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: New Adult Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 33,410/80,000
- Release Date: Early 2018? Maybe.
- Series? Yes. Book 1 of new series. 

Yes, you read all of the above correctly.

No, I'm not working on a Carolina Rebels book. 

Yes, I'm going back to NA.

Yes, it's a new series.

What else can I tell you? Well, the female main character? Her name is Kayla. She's pretty awesome. The male? I can't tell you his name because you may have met him already in another book. I am telling my readers in Lindsay's League next week who he is, and they'll be the first to know. 

I can tell you that I'm having so much fun with these two. I'm so happy I decided to go on this new adventure with this new series. (And don't worry Carolina Rebels fans, I haven't abandoned that series at all!) 

The main point of this progress report is to let you know that I've started a new project/series. I don't want to say too much just yet since it is in the early stages, but I can say that I've worked it in such a way that there is loads of possibilities available. I don't know about you, but that makes me squeal with excitement! 

The future looks brighter than ever and I'm so excited for it! 

As y'all know, I'm always juggling multiple projects, so read on for more updates.

Other Projects:
- A Carolina Rebels WIP is with betas.

- One WIP (a secret project) is on hold because I keep getting caught up in the current WIP.

- The first secret project is with betas and eventually, I'll have my plan finalized for this.

Happy Release Day, Us at First!

Those are some delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the corner. :)

Those are some delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the corner. :)

I am SO EXCITED to share with y'all that Us at First has released! TODAY! I love Ian and Sydney. They hold a special little place in my heart, like all of my characters do, I guess, haha! But with them, things were a little different.

I've been trying to think of the last time I was so obsessed with a couple that I carried my laptop EVERYWHERE with me because I simply would NOT stop writing. I knew if I stopped, I would constantly think about it, so why stop writing? 

Anyway, that's how it was for the duration of writing both Us at First and It's Our Time. And now, *squee*, you get to read Us at First! I sure hope y'all like it. You can check out a handful of teasers on Pinterest if you missed them when I shared on social media.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Ian Rhett is seventeen when he meets Sydney. She's gorgeous, blushes easily, and has a southern accent. Ian can't help but talk to her and get to know her while she's in town.

When Sydney goes home, they keep in touch by texting and talking over of the phone, becoming closer and closer.

Sydney Jarvis can't believe a chance encounter at sixteen led her to a guy she talks to every single day. Ian's her best friend, who is somehow more than just a friend.

They're young, in love, and the one person they want most, they can't have. Not yet, at least.

Get it on Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

WIP Progress Report (#18)

WIP Progress Report.jpg

- Title: I have two possibilities, but haven't decided yet!
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Release Date: Late 2017
- Series? Carolina Rebels

It took two days longer than expected because...well, the reason isn't important. BUT WOOHOO THIS BOOK IS DONE!

And by done, I mean the first draft is complete.

It's now time for me to do revisions.

And dance! 

You're probably thinking, "Damn, Lindsay. You seem more excited than usual about finishing this book. What's up with that? I'm highly suspicious here."

I see your point. Let me explain. As you can see above, this book is set to release late this year. It's May and my first draft is done (ahead of schedule). Which means, I'm ahead of schedule in general.

Which is good because I'm changing up my schedule and I needed a window in order to assess things, plan things, plot things, and finishing this book meant reaching the much needed time slot to do all of those things. Finishing it early? Tickles me to death because that means I can do all of that this month and pick right up on my schedule on June 1st and not be behind! 

That feels worthy of another one these.

<<<<<<<

So, that's what's next, plus what's in my other projects section below. It's still a heavy workload this month, but reaching this point means I'll be dancing like Carlton while I work. ;)

Other Projects:
The couple after Ian was edited last month, but I now have to go through it and make the changes, and get it ready until the final version is complete! This novella also got a cover, which I'll reveal soon. (If you're in Lindsay's League, you'll see it first!)

- This month, one of my secret projects is resting before it undergoes final revisions and edits. My timeline for this is still too tentative to announce anything definite yet.

- I'm also working to finish writing the second secret project this month.

HUGE Hockey Romance Giveaway!

I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you today. I'm part of a giveaway with more than 30 fantastic hockey romance authors to give away ALL of those books above.

That huge collection of novels will go to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner!  You can win my novel, Because It's You, plus books from authors like Sawyer Bennett and Kate Willoughby. 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/hockey-romance  

Good luck! 

WIP Progress Report (#17)

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 42,583/80,000
- Release Date: Unknown at this point
- Series? Carolina Rebels

I'm working on so much this month, I don't even know where to start! Plus, it's been since around late January since I posted a WIP progress report, so there's a lot of catch up on! Let's start with my main WIP.

So, Ian is getting a novella and a book. After that, there will be a couple (I'm announcing soon, I promise!) with a novella, and then there will be another couple with a book. That last couple is my main WIP.

I'm really enjoying these two. There's a bit of an interesting aspect to their story, so that's been fun to deal with. Plus, I've added a dog to the story and that's always fun! I'll even admit that I'm slightly nervous about this story. I can't quite put my finger on exactly why, though. That part isn't so fun, haha!

As you can see by the word count, I'm a little over the halfway mark. That's so good because I will be taking small breaks on it this month. Why? Let's proceed to the Other Projects section.

Other Projects:
The couple after Ian is getting some of my attention this month between revisions and edits. This also needs a title and the cover process will start soon as well.
- If you're a newsletter subscriber, then you saw in the April 1st edition that I mentioned a project that might just be a newsletter exclusive. This month, I'm also working on revisions for this. I don't have a timeline available for this just yet. That's also something I'm hoping to figure out this month, but I'll definitely keep everyone posted! :)

Happy Birthday, Book Birthday, & Release Day!

There is a TON to celebrate today! Let's start with me! ;) 

Today is my birthday! I'm celebrating tomorrow by going to the Penguins/Hurricanes game in Raleigh (thanks to my lovely Mom)! I may also venture out for a banana split blizzard at some point.

Next exciting thing about today is that it's Bending Under Pressure's book birthday. It released on this day last year! If you haven't read this Young Adult Romance, you should check it out. :)

Even crazier is that today my 15th solo releases! Say, what?! As if we needed another reason to celebrate!

And then, the most exciting news of the day is that MARCO IS HERE! 

*faints*

I am unbelievably THRILLED that this book has finally released. I hope y'all love (or at least like) Marc. He's my new favorite at this point. He's definitely my favorite Rebel so far. He's just awesome, and so is Elizabeth.

Check out a ton of teasers on Pinterest, read the first five chapters, or buy the book and dive in already. :)

Y'all should celebrate with me by treating yourself to a book or a tasty dessert! Have a lovely day and happy reading!

Get it on AmazoniBooks | Nook | Kobo

Marc Polinski is known for having fun, always smiling, and being a third wheel for his friends, Noah and Meredith. A rare one night stand at a Halloween party and running into the woman again sets Marc on a path of no return. He can’t walk away from her, even if he wanted to, and he absolutely doesn’t want to do that.

Elizabeth Boyd hasn’t dated in a long time and if it wasn’t for her sister-in-law, she wouldn’t have been pushed toward the seemingly bad idea of Marc Polinski. She’s not sure she wants to date, but she can’t seem to turn Marc down either. Little by little, she lets Marc wiggle past all of her defenses.

Their relationship is rocky from the start, and with both of them having demons and secrets, things between them are a struggle. Will they be able to overcome their pasts, let each other in, and start building a life together or will they find they were doomed from the start?

WIP Progress Report (#16)

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Secret project means no details!
- Word Count/Goal: 3943/?
- Release Date: Secret project, remember?
- Series? SECRET! 

Well, I'll be. I'm still ahead of schedule.

 

So much so that I have 3 projects in various parts of the pre-publication stage (stay tuned because I'll announce details soon!) and I have time to work and focus on my secret side projects (there are two, but currently working on only one) before I have to work on the next book.

In the last update, I was working on revisions of Ian's stories and was about to start the next couple as well as the secret projects. Well, the couple after Ian (who is after Marc) is done for the moment. More details to come at a later date. The couple will be announced after Marc's book is released.

Now, I'm working on my secret projects. There are two. I obviously can't tell y'all anything because they are a SECRET. You can't know anything! 

You can know that I'm working on something y'all will hopefully like and want. Once it's done, I'll tell more. I want to make sure I can get these written before I say too much.

Other Projects:
Because It's You releases on 2/20! I share teasers every Tuesday on social media and add all of them to Pinterest, so you can catch up if you've missed any of them. 

- Ian's covers are almost done! I will be sharing them first in Lindsay's League, next in my newsletter, and then everywhere else soon after that. If you want to see them first (and trust me, they look FANTASTIC!), then either join my Facebook group or sign up for my newsletter, or both!

Hello, 2017!

The new year is upon us and I'm looking forward to 2017! Not even going to lie, the most exciting and equally dreadful thing about this year is that it's my final year of school. It's exciting because it's my last year. It's dreadful because I still have this one last year. 

But enough of that! Let's talk about other things I'm looking forward to as well as some goals.

I'm looking forward to traveling to Pittsburgh next month with my mom to go to the outdoor game (*faints*) and then we'll be back the very next weekend for the Angels and Sirens signing. Be sure to check out details about that! I'll be going to Detroit in March for a hockey game. I'll also be in Raleigh in August for For the Love of Books and Raleigh signing. At some point, I'm supposed to plan a trip down to Florida to visit my brother, too. That's all the traveling I have scheduled right now. I wouldn't mind adding one more trip. Maybe a cruise?

I'm hoping to have 6 releases this year. Most will be in the Carolina Rebels series. :) Y'all already know about Because It's You and I'll be announcing the next two soon. My writing goal this year to be more disciplined. I did semi-well in 2016 in starting to be more disciplined, but I can do better and I need to keep aiming to do so. I also want to plot a new series. Don't worry! It wouldn't start releasing until 2018 and all I'll say about it is that it won't be a hockey romance series. I have a little bit of everything in our future, but 2017's focus is more about planning those books while still focusing primarily on my Rebels. That's all I'm willing to say because things change too often and I'd rather not say too much until it's basically a sure thing. :)

Moving on!

My reading goal this year is 100 books. Since I couldn't meet the same number as 2015 in 2016, I figured my safest bet is 100 books. That's roughly 8 books a month and I think I can do that. I'm going to keep doing the Paperback Pick of the Month and I'm going to try to read an additional paperback per month to get through my massive stack of unread books.

The same goes for those ebooks I have. Let's not even disclose the number of unread ebooks I have. But I did discover that I usually read the books I recently bought/books that recently released, so when I couldn't decide and started my new system of choosing a random letter of the alphabet and then a random book on my Kindle that started with that letter, I read some books that I've had for way longer. I'm going to try to read at least three books a month with that method.

I'm hoping to bring the good habits I started in 2016 into 2017 and keep going strong. That's really it for me and 2017. What are your reading goals? What are you hoping to accomplish in 2017? Where are you hoping to travel?

WIP Progress Report (#15)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my current WIP, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

 

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 79,038/80,000
- Release Date: Sometime in 2017
- Series? Part of the Carolina Rebels series

Say what?! I'm ahead of schedule! Holy moly, I can't believe it! Ian's book is done. Sort of. I'm setting it aside for a few days (I'll be reading) until I can clear my head and then, I'll come back to it to work on some revisions I already know I want to make. 

I'll also be working on some revisions for his novella, which has a blurb (I just haven't shared it yet *evil laugh*). I need to title these two soon and write a blurb for Ian's book here shortly. I'll be sharing them soon. You'll seen them first in my Facebook group, Lindsay's League, or you can sign up for my newsletter if you prefer to get news that way.

So, what's next? Well, I'm going to focus on Ian's story still. It's not quite done. Then, I have some secret projects I need to plot and the next Carolina Rebels project to plot. Out of those three, I do know how I want things to go for two of them, so they should be fairly easy to plot. The third one? Might not be so easy. 

Other Projects:
- Finally, for real, starting to plot those secret projects and the next Carolina Rebels project. The couple after Ian will not be announced widely until around the time Marc releases.
Because It's You is going to the formatter soon to get all dolled up. I'm also going to start sharing teasers on social media, so be sure to stalk me, especially on Tuesdays! 

WIP Progress Report (#14)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my current WIP, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

 

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 43,339/80,000
- Release Date: Sometime in 2017
- Series? Part of the Carolina Rebels series

In the last WIP Progress Report, I was working on the novella that comes prior to Ian's book. There's a lot of backstory with Ian, which is why I thought he needed a prequel novella. That's sitting in a corner somewhere while I'm working on his book. This past week, I hit the halfway point of the book (based on my word count goal), so yay! I need to keep my pace up, especially since I'm about to double my workload for a little bit. (You'll see why in the Other Projects section).

The first draft is set to be complete by the end of December, but I'm hoping to have it done before then if I'm lucky. *fingers crossed* I just need the holidays and school to be minimum distractions. Someone (and yeah, I mean me unfortunately) didn't time this deadline very well for the writing to occur during two holidays. It'll get done, though. No worries! :)

I'll also start the cover process soon, so :D Can't wait for that! Be sure to join my Facebook group, Lindsay's League, or sign up for my newsletter in order to see all the news first!

Other Projects:
- I still need to get started on those secret mini projects. I should be ashamed of myself that I haven't started yet, but it's been crazy lately, so I've been focusing on my main WIP instead. Good thing these don't really have a deadline!
- While working on this book, I also need to work on edits for Because It's You. Just call me a multi-tasking queen. :)

WIP Progress Report (#13)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my current WIP, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

- Title: Untitled
- Genre: Hockey Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 7,710/?
- Release Date: Tentatively sometime in 2017
- Series? #3 in the Carolina Rebels series, but it's a novella.

It's been forever (since August) since I've done a progress report! It's about time y'all get the news on the latest WIP, right?! Well, I've set aside Because It's You for the moment while my betas have it and I've started on the next leg of the Carolina Rebels series. After Marc comes Ian Rhett. 

Ian Rhett will be getting a prequel novella, which is what I'm working on now. His story starts long before where his novel will start, hence the reason he's getting a prequel. You can see that I also put a question mark for my word count goal because I'm not too sure how long I want it to be yet, so I'm just going to see where it ends up.

It's fun so far! I'm in love with this series; I was initially going to break to work on a standalone, but the words are flowing, so I'm going to keep going! That's really all I have for this go round. I just wanted to give a quick update. Plus, I have to go study for a test I have to take later today.

Other Projects:
- I'll start planning a secret mini project this week or next week as well.
- As I said earlier, Because It's You is currently with my betas.

Carolina Rebels News!

First of all, thank y'all for a fantastic release of Back to Me! I've said it before, and I'll said it again: I didn't think it was possible for me to be even more excited for a series than I already was, but I am! All thanks to seeing your excitement match mine! So, thank you!

Now, let's move on to the news! If you're a member of my Facebook group, Lindsay's League, then you've already seen the beautiful cover for the next Carolina Rebels book, but that's not only one thing I'm sharing today. 

The second book is Because It's You and it will release February 20, 2017 (my birthday)! If you've read Back to Me, then you know it's about Marc Polinski. If you haven't read Back to Me, then get a glance at the cover and don't read any further as the blurb can be a bit spoiler-y, I think. So, you've been warned.

Marc Polinski is known for having fun, always smiling, and being a third wheel for his friends, Noah and Meredith. A rare one night stand at a Halloween party and running into the woman again sets Marc on a path of no return. He can’t walk away from her, even if he wanted to, and he absolutely doesn’t want to do that.

Elizabeth Boyd hasn’t dated in a long time and if it wasn’t for her sister-in-law, she wouldn’t have been pushed toward the seemingly bad idea of Marc Polinski. She’s not sure she wants to date, but she can’t seem to turn Marc down either. Little by little, she lets Marc wiggle past all of her defenses.

Their relationship is rocky from the start, and with both of them having demons and secrets, things between them are a struggle. Will they be able to overcome their pasts, let each other in, and start building a life together or will they find they were doomed from the start?

Get it on iBooks | Nook | Kobo

(Amazon link will be available in late November or so.)