Saturday, August 18, 2018


Out TODAY!  The new series by Anne Conley, Playing with Fire's first installment, Truth or Dare.

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Burb:

When a child’s game goes delightfully wrong, Jude finds himself rethinking his current status quo.  Jude finds himself strangely looking to Annette to make sense of his own life.
Annette is trying not to get distracted by the sexy firefighter, but when her artistic retreat begins in disaster, Jude’s playing the hero she can’t ignore.  Suddenly, her artwork is completely changed with Jude’s exquisite lines transforming her landscapes.
Up until now, their life was like a notebook full of doodles, but it’s turning into a full-fledged art showing, and neither of them know how to deal with the embers of desire when they ignite into flames.

Excerpt:

She walked through the cabin, taking stock. The first thing she noticed was it was rustic, and had one room, an open plan divided down the middle. An enormous brass bed was in the back corner, divided by a half wall that separated the bed/kitchen area from the living room. 

Next to the bed, along the back wall, was a row of cabinets and countertops broken only by a sink for washing up and two large windows that exposed a breathtaking view. A butcher block island and a refrigerator, along with a coffee pot, seemed almost like decorations instead of necessities in the spartan room.

On the other side of the half wall was the living area with a couch, a couple of old recliners that looked more like homes to creatures than comfortable seating areas, and giant wood stove. Annette looked closer and noticed it had removable burners on top, which meant this was her stove for the week. She’d only cooked on a wood-burning stove once, at Luke’s deer camp, with horrific results. Oh well. She shrugged to herself. Fine dining was not a priority at the moment. She’d gotten Drake to leave, she just needed to get the cabin set up and she could get to work.

Aside from the recliners, the furnishings were old yet warm. Patchwork quilts covered the bed, there was an afghan the back of the sofa, and a closet held more blankets, towels, a stack of board games, cold weather gear, and a locked box. The bathroom was utilitarian yet had everything she would need, including running water.

It was cold, so she went outside to gather wood for a fire in the stove.

Huh.

There wasn’t much. Scratch that. There was a ton of huge logs she had no hope of picking up and carrying inside, despite the fact they wouldn’t fit inside the barrel-bellied stove anyway.

She stifled the silent alarm that rose inside her as she looked at the sky. It was clear-blue with a few fluffy clouds. It looked gorgeous, but she didn’t know much about mountain weather. She’d moved here from the piney woods of east Texas. It rarely snowed there, much less was a way of life.

November on a mountain was a different story. She went back inside and looked in the wood stove, pleased to see there was a small fire already stacked. But how long would it last with no wood?

With a heavy sigh, she went over to the bed—where Drake had left her things before driving back down the mountain—and grabbed another sweater to put on. She would save the wood until she was nearly frozen, then start breaking up furniture, she supposed.

Annette opened the refrigerator to find a bottle of ketchup and a jar of mustard, and two cans of Bud Light.

The pantry was much the same way, but the spice cabinet was full. A snort left her lips. She could use it to flavor the mustard.

Was she supposed to freaking starve out here all alone in addition to freezing to death?

“Thanks a lot, Drake,” she muttered to herself while she stalked to her cell phone to call him.

No service.

Alarm bells were clanging in her head. She was stranded here with no food, no heat, and no cell phone.

She was suddenly freezing, starving, and had an inane desire to call her mother.


Preorder the entire series TODAY!
Hide and Seek-Releasing September 11

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Spin the Bottle-Releasing October 9

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Hot Lava-Releasing November 6

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About the author:

Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the past several years. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.

Currently, she has five romance series.  Playing with Fire explores the trials and tribulations of a small team of fire fighters in the fictional mountain town of Pamona Gulch. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, Jordan, Hollerman, and Simon. Her favorite series, Book B!tches, is all about a group of women in Mystic, Texas who get into all sorts of shenanigans. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human.

Follow her on the platform of your choosing!

Website/newsletter/blog: www.anneconley.com
Follow on Instagram: anne.conley   https://www.instagram.com/anne.conley/ 



Saturday, July 21, 2018

#CoverReveal Truth or Dare, Playing with Fire series by Anne Conley 7/21


Truth or Dare, the first in a new series, Playing with Fire, by Anne Conley!
Cover Art: James Price with AEP Designs
Cover Model: Stanley Fields
Photographer: Jeffrey Todd Photography
Publish Date: August 21st, 2018




When a child’s game goes delightfully wrong, Jude finds himself rethinking his current status quo and begins looking to Annette to make sense of his own life.

Annette is trying not to get distracted by the sexy firefighter, but when her artistic retreat begins in disaster, Jude’s playing the hero she can’t ignore. Suddenly, her artwork is completely changed with Jude’s exquisite lines transforming her landscapes.

Up until now, their life was like a notebook full of doodles, but it’s turning into a full-fledged art showing, and neither of them know how to deal with the embers of desire when they ignite into flames.











Excerpt:


Jude let out a hiss of air, probably because the paint was cold, but it made his nipples stand out, a stark relief against the flat disks on his chest. She traced the ridges of his abdomen with strokes of color that stood out against his tanned skin.

The bristles of the brush loved Jude’s skin, flattening and molding to it, leaving color in their wake. It was glorious, the way her hand was working the brush.

His jeans hung low, and Annette held her breath as she outlined the line that went down the outside of the abdominal ridges, leading into the miraculous “V” that ended with the jutting 
bulge in his jeans. Jude was holding his breath too.

Moving back up his body, she painted his collarbone, his neck, his Adam’s apple, then stood back and looked at him, trying to imprint the picture in her mind. Grabbing her sketchbook to ground herself, Annette quickly drew the lines, transposing them from Jude to paper so she could look at them later.

And remember.

His eyes were dark and intense, like a caged beast was inside him desperate to be let loose. Not finished with her work for the day, she tried to ignore that thought.

Vague impressions of Drake and his intentions for her show made her focus enough on her work to make sure she utilized the light while she could.

She made a quick sketch of Jude’s torso lines and looked at him again. He hadn’t moved and was still looking at her intently. A shudder of need slammed into her, but she still required something more.

Annette looked at him, trying to be dispassionate as she thought about what it was she needed.

She needed him to move a little bit so she could get the lines in motion.

“Can you hold onto that beam above you?” His golden eyes looked up to the beam in question, a good two feet above his head.

“Sure.”

Her breath hitched as he jumped straight up in the air and grasped the beam, his muscles popping with the exertion.

Those were lines a girl could dream about.

“Perfect,” she breathed as she reached for a chair to stand on and continue painting him.

The muscle around his armpit was bulging out roundly, so she started there. God, his arms were phenomenal. She loaded up her brush and went to work, tracing the routes of the veins on his forearms as his hands gripped the beam. His biceps were bigger here, more defined from this position, so she re-marked them in a darker shade of the flame color she’d mixed up.

His jeans sunk lower on his hips, so she was able to trace this “V” a little further down, gulping at the top of the nest of curls peeking from his jeans. The curve of his ass showed as she went around to the back of him.

“How long can you hang there?” She really wanted to get his back. It was amazing, the muscles a brilliant topography of the human body.

“As long as you need me to, sweetheart.” He wasn’t breathless at all, so she took his word for it.

After a quick sketch of the lines on his front, she went around to the back and started painting it.

Annette hadn’t done many portraits and hadn’t had much of an interest in sketching the human body. It was mostly because she went to college in east Texas, and the nude model they’d had for the one lesson had been a woman.

She may have to rethink the human anatomy.





This one's a live release, so there's not a preorder, but sign up to follow me on Bookbub or Amazon to get the link as soon as it's live!  OR you can sign up for my newsletter.  Oh hell, just stalk me EVERYWHERE!  Add it to your Goodreads!  


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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Blues


I always, always, always underestimate how busy my summers are going to be when making my yearly plan.  I treasure my time with my family and want to make the most of it.  I always realize this is a prime working time, since I don't have to stop and pickup/drop off children and run them various places.

But I have an inane desire to keep them busy during the summer months, so they don't become vegetables.  I love to hear them laugh, see them smile, and do things with them.  I love that I have a job that allows me to do these things, and I don't want them being grown ups and singing Cat's in the Cradle with not so fond memories of their mom who never had time for them.

So summers are busy.  I work in the morning, while they're sleeping from their late nights watching tv and reading.  Then we go to the gym, swimming, to the library, or just hang out somewhere air-conditioned.

It honestly doesn't seem like that much on paper.  Not to me, anyway, but holy cow it fills up the days.  Add in the fact that most of the people I work with (editor/formatter/PA/etc) are night owls and productive in the PM hours, I'm still on my phone answering PMs or emails while I'm supposed to be being present for my kids.

It's that time of the season where the gilt has worn off and we're not super excited to be spending time together anymore.  My trips out of the house are met with rolling eyes more than anything else (especially at the idea of "active time").

I've had to institute a rule of no electronics after eleven and the kids are on the honor system with that, since I'm barely conscious at that time of day.  They are awake several hours after I go to bed, hence the quiet morning time I get to work.

My daughter has begun working for me, with time-sheets and everything.  She's doing a lot of copying and pasting, making me documents I've been needing (lists of all my ISBN's, AISN's, etc., documents with blurbs that need to be re-written, ad/spend documents, lots of things I need to be keeping up with but are time consuming and overwhelming to me).  So far, it's working out, but it's only a week in, so that will soon loose it's luster as well, I'm thinking.

Stress from these releases is starting to build.  I have a release in August, and it's ready to go.  The one in September is almost ready.  The one in November will be.  The one for October?  Not even finished.  And stuff is piling up.  I'm about to get Girlspawn on the release events, but that is all time consuming for me because as much as she's the digital generation, she hasn't spent much time on the practical side of things.  I've had to teach her how to send emails, create folders on her laptop, organize files, etc.  Knowing I'll have to walk her through the release stuff too is daunting, even though I know it will pay off in the end (hopefully).

Anyway, this summer is busier than most, even though I wouldn't trade a second of it.

Next week, I'll have some release info for anyone who's paying attention.  I'm super excited about these firefighters, and I hope you guys are too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New projects

Wow.  It's been so long since I blogged about anything, I almost forgot what to do.

Haha.

Just kidding.  Not really.

I've just been super busy.  I've been trying desperately to get my next project underway, I've let a lot of things slide.  I'm sorry to those of you who check here semi-regularly for updates.  I promise I'll get better.

So what's this new project, you ask?

I'm going to try to publish a new series, the entire series in four months, so there's minimal waiting on the readers' part.  It's insanity, but I don't want to make promises I can't fulfill, so I'm trying to get it done before I start.

Yeah, that didn't make sense to me either.  Let me try again.

I'm trying to get the series finished before I start releasing them.  There.  That's better.

I've got two of them with my editor, and am almost finished with the third to get it to her.  The fourth shouldn't take too long.  So far, I'm a little bit behind my schedule, but still on track to publish the first book in August.

So, without further ado, let me tell you a little bit about the series.

Jude, Joey, Zane, and Logan are firefighters in Pamona Gulch, a fictional town in the mountains of New Mexico.  There's an arsonist plaguing the popular tourist destination, distracting them from finding love with these pretty ladies they meet.  Have you read Fortune's Kiss yet?  It's sort of a prequel.

Anyway, it's four stand-alone novels with the arsonist revealed in the fourth story, each novel with it's own HEA for the couple, cuz that's how I roll. 

I have other stuff going on, and hopefully will have some details soon to share, but for now, this is what you get.



Oh, and the stories are called Truth or Dare, Hide and Seek, Spin the Bottle, and Hot Lava.  The series is called Playing with Fire.  Get it?  I thought it was clever, myself, but I'm me, and probably a bit cocky, but that's another story altogether, one I'm sure you've heard before, and if not, I'm not getting into it.

Teasers and graphics coming soon!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Unedited FIRST ending to Echo. Never published. Probably a mistake to post, but here you go.


So... This is the ending to Echo that I wrote and hated before I re-wrote it with exploding trucks and things.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this, because a lot of people haven't read Echo yet, and this may contain spoilers, even though it's not the real ending.  So it's with conflicted emotions that I present you, the unedited FIRST ending to Echo.




When Lacie had the cab let her off at the turn off Simon had turned onto, she swiped her credit card and got out of the car, breathing through her fear.  She could turn around now and go back to the hotel, and only be seventy five dollars in the hole.  That’s totally what she should do.  She had no plan.  No skills.
But she had determination.  And that would have to get her through.
At least she’d worn tennis shoes.
As she watched the taxi drive off, her only way back to something that made sense, Lacie turned to the dirt drive in front of her.  It was little more than a driveway, leading into the woods.  Every horror movie she’d ever seen flitted through her mind, and she told herself this was real.  There wasn’t a boogey man up there.
Except she knew better.  Whoever had targeted her and put her out like a cattle call for stalkers and rapists was up there.  And that couldn’t be much better.
She started walking, forcing one foot in front of the other, clutching her cell phone in her pocket, like a lifeline.  She probably should have called the cops.  Except Simon probably hadn’t done that, and it would mess up his plan.
Her steps faltered.  She was messing up Simon’s plan.
No.  She was helping him.
Lacie walked up on two vehicles parked off to the side of the road in a small clearing.  Simon’s rental was there, and another car.  A newish model VW Beetle.  Maybe his sister’s?
A renewed sense of confidence she was on the right track lifted her spirits.  Or maybe it was the fresh air.  She didn’t know, maybe she’d just gotten really good at this compartmentalism thing.  But she felt a sudden lightness in her step telling her she was on the right track.
Finally.  Some sense of resolution.
Until suddenly, there wasn’t.
Footsteps to her left, off in the woods, tracked her.  For every step she took, a heavier, more lumbering one matched her.  She stopped, but the steps kept on, coming closer.
When he man revealed himself, Lacie screamed.  He was no man.

He was a demon.
As he advanced on her, her limbs turned to jelly, and Lacie was pretty sure she might have wet herself.  But the fight or flight reflexes took over, mercifully, and she ran.

Chapter Twenty six
Simon found the house with little trouble.  It looked ramshackle, but he of all people knew looks could be deceiving.  He watched from the tree-line for a while until he saw some movement in one of the front windows.  Dumping his bag on the ground, he pulled out his long-range radio and called Ryan.
“ETA?”
“We’re about ten minutes out, maybe fifteen.”
“Hurry.  I’ve found the house.  Don’t have a count, yet.”
“Copy that, Sarge.”
He dropped the radio and carefully, he squatted and ran, his gun ready to fire, held at his side.
Back against the house, he risked a look inside.
Quinten was tied to a chair, unconscious and bleeding from his face.  Somebody had used him as a punching bag.  His lack of consciousness was alarming, because to Simon’s knowledge, he’d never been knocked out before, and his ability to take punches rivaled anybody he’d ever seen.  But he wasn’t typically tied up either.  Bonnie had said he sounded drunk, so maybe he was drugged.  Either way, it was horrifying.
Simon looked for wires around the window, expecting to find some sort of alarm system, but there were none.  Still, with the level of technological advancements this guy had used with the StrongArm thing, Simon expected some sort of motion sensors or something protecting the property.  He left the window, edging along the perimeter to peer in others.
All were empty except one.  A room, which was sort of a bedroom, except everything was chillingly covered in washable vinyl, with a computer station set up in one corner, and a shower in another.  Simon recognized it for what it was.  A clean room.  For killing.
And his sister was in there.
But she wasn’t alone.  Jonas Prestley was in a swivel office chair, looking at something on the computer, an image of the road Simon had skirted on his way up here.  So there was surveillance on the property, but apparently, Simon had missed it.
Thank God for small favors.
Bonnie appeared to be unharmed, and pissed off, which was good.  Simon would go back and get Quinten, and they would kick this guy’s ass.  It appeared he was here alone.  So, if he could get Quinten conscious, this would be a piece of cake.
Slinking back to the other window, Simon edged it open and stepped inside.  Using his knife, he sliced through Quinten’s bindings, then went around to the front of him, crouching between his legs.
“Quinten,” he whispered, slapping his blood-slick cheek.  “Wake up.  Val’s gonna kill me if you get your nose broken again.”
His eyes fluttered open, but focused on something directly behind Simon, just as Simon heard the loud click in the silent room of a gun cocking near his temple.  Ever so slowly, he turned his head to look down the barrel of a gun being held by his sister, Bonnie.
Her eyes were wide and her hands shook, as Jonas held her hair in a tight grip and a skinning knife to her throat.
“Well, shit,” Simon muttered, as he stood up, his hands in the air.  Jonas grinned at him.
“So nice of you to join us, Simon.”  Looking from one brother to the other, his grin only showed joy.  As if he was glad they were all here.  “Have a seat.”  In Bonnie’s ear, he cooed, “Hand me the gun, love, you did really well.  Thank you.”  Now he had the gun and the knife, shoving Bonnie toward a chair, he managed to cover them all.  “You know what?  Just to be on the safe side…” he mused, as the gun wavered over toward Simon.  With a loud CRACK fire exploded from Simon’s kneecap.
“Fuck!”  Simon gripped his knee, as pain whitened his vision.  His entire leg was on fire, and even as his mind tried to minimize the injury, just a tiny lead ball in his knee cap with excruciating force, his lungs couldn’t catch the air necessary to breathe.
“Oh Excellent!  You brought your girlfriend!  V has been wanting to meet her.”  Simon managed to retain his vision just long enough to see Lacie being manhandled into the room by the ugliest tattooed motherfucker he’d ever seen.  And then he passed out.

Chapter twenty seven
“Yoga girl!”  The man clapped his hands together, and Lacie could only assume he was the mastermind behind all of this.  But any words lodged in her throat at the sight of Simon, ashen faced, slumped over in his chair, with blood pouring out of his knee.
“Simon!”  She launched herself at him, pressing on his knee, to keep the blood from flowing so freely.  Quinten looked on, his hands behind his back, while his sister wept in the chair on the other side of him.  She removed her jacket and passed it over to Lacie.
“Here,” she whispered through her tears.
“Fiend, tie them up.  Go ahead and dress the senior Mr. Pierce’s leg.  I don’t want him bleeding out just yet, if you don’t mind.”
The man was actually smiling at everybody, like he’d just invited them over for beers and the game.  It was the weirdest thing Lacie had ever experienced.
“So, you’re just carrying on business as usual for dear old dad?”  Quinten snarled from her right side, and a shiver of fear coursed through Lacie.  The scary looking man with the red tattooed face was tying her up.  Living in Austin, she’d seen her fair share of body art, even some of the implants to make people look like dragons and unicorns and stuff.  But never this evil looking.
He had horns surgically implanted onto his shaved scalp, and every inch of his skin was tattooed in the shape of a red skull.  His teeth were filed into points you could see when he smiled, and the guy smiled a lot.  Everybody here was so freakishly happy.  It was insane.
Meanwhile, Quinten was talking as if they all knew each other, which lent another texture to the surrealness of the experience.
“Yeah, but Dad was too short-sighted.  He was in it for the big bucks, whereas I saw the future.”  He spoke with the gun trained on Quinten, obviously the biggest threat, even though he was tied up, with his hands behind his back.
Meanwhile, V was tying her hands.  She could hear his breathing echo in her ear, as his gentle touches sent a sliver of dread across her skin, making her feel slimy.
“I’m not hurting you, am I?”  He spoke softly, intimately, and the illusion it held of familiarity was the stuff of nightmares.  He had a lisp, and Lacie figured it was probably from a forked tongue, slithering around in his mouth.
“No,” she managed to squeak out.  “You’re not.”  She had to stay on friendly terms with one of these guys, and the leader of the two currently had his gun trained on her.  “Who are you?  Have we met?”
“Oh, I’m sorry.  I’m Jonas Lawrence.  I have yet to make your acquaintance.”
“I know him,” Bonnie spoke.  “He stalked me in college.  Apparently, I look like the sister he had some weird affair with before she died.  Am I right?”  Bonnie spat at his feet, already tied to her chair.  “Then my brother killed his dad, and apparently he’s holding a grudge.”
Lacie looked back over at Simon.  The exchange was too much information for her to process, and the fact that her boyfriend was right here, still passed out and bleeding, was freaking her out more than a little.
Jonas advanced on her.  “V may be a little in love with you.”  Lacie’s eyes darted to the aptly named apparition, standing in the shadows.  “He’s been watching you for a while.  In fact, a lot of men have been watching you.  I’ve made quite a bit of cash from you.  I’ll be sad to see it go, but there are always others.”
That’s what she was afraid of.  But she was too afraid to ask.  She didn’t really need to, as he just kept on talking.
“They pay to watch.  They pay more to get a location.”  He chuckled to himself.  “The attacks?  Men paid extra to see those, even.  And the women are a re-usable commodity, until they can’t be used anymore.  It’s brilliant?”
“How did you do it?  Is there a sicko website to watch the girls?”  Quinten asked, fidgeting beside her.
“Why yes… Yes there is.  I took one of Dad’s old ideas and modified it a bit, looked for a different clientele, edgier, more criminal.  I satisfy the craving to watch, and participate.”  Motioning to the tattooed devil, he said, “Fiend, here, helps with silence motivation.  Turns out, he’s quite good at it.”
Lacie threw up a little bit in her mouth, but managed to swallow it back down.  It was gross, but she didn’t want to know what would happen if she drew attention to herself that way.  Next to her, Bonnie had fallen silent.  Quinten was still struggling behind his back and Simon began to mutter incoherently.  She wanted to go to him, badly, to apologize to him.

Jonas walked over to Bonnie and yanked her up by the hair.  “Well, I’m going to go have some private time with my girl, here.  I trust Vwill keep you guys occupied.”
Vsmiled at Lacie and a shiver of revulsion coursed down her spine.  Under any other circumstances, she’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it would be a conscious endeavor to not judge the book by the cover.  She wouldn’t date the guy, but she wouldn’t automatically think he was evil.
Now, though, that thought was firmly off the table.  He’d chased her down in the forest, carried her here against her will, threatened other men to not talk about how they found out about her, had watched her live her life online, and was part of Jonas’s sick plan to exploit women.
Yeah, having him make a move toward her wasn’t on her bucket list.  But there didn’t seem to be anything she could do about it right now.
Suddenly, Simon yelled out of nowhere.
“NOW!”
Explosions racked the house, shaking everything, and ripping clouds of dust from nowhere.  Bangs and flashes disoriented her.
“Get down, Lacie!  Get down!”  She threw herself to the floor, and Simon’s body covered hers, as he fell on top of her.  With a roar, Quinten was up and out of the room through the clouds of smoke as gunfire rang out everywhere.
Then all was quiet.
Lacie’s ears rang in the silence as she could hear Simon’s team move through the house with yells of, “All clear!”  Two gunshots in rapid succession and another “All Clear,” from a woman’s voice, and a yell of “Who?”
“Ugliest motherfucker on the planet.”  It had to be Deena Rae’s voice, and Lacie sagged with relief.
“Are you okay?” Simon asked in her ear.
“Yes, but you’re not.  We need to get you to a hospital, Simon.”
A car started outside, and Simon stiffened before yelling, “He’s driving away with Bonnie!  Someone stop him!”
Ryan came in the doorway.  “He won’t get far.  I disabled his alternator.”
Simon grunted.  “Can we just kill the motherfucker?”
“I honestly think we’ve reached the limit of the Austin Police Department’s patience on that one.  But Hollerman’s taking him down right now, so you can bet everything will be done by the book.”

Haven't ordered your copy of Echo yet?