Looking Back at 2018



The thing is…

Well, okay. I have some pretty good excuses (I was quite sick for several months this year) but the truth is I’m scared to look back at how I did accomplishing the goals I set for this year because I don’t think the picture is going to be pretty. But I can’t do better just by averting my eyes, right? So here goes…

Goals that are in bold are ones I accomplished.

  • Finalize the Author Guide for Pen and Kink Publishing and begin distributing it

Yay! One down!

  • Formalize the style guide for Pen and–you know what? Nah, I kinda like having ‘Something like a style guide’

Apparently I changed my mind about this goal somewhere along the way. And good for me. I still kinda like having ‘Something like a style guide’ 🙂

Oh hey, I did this too! I also got a new matching cover for “Circles Within Circles” and re-launched it. Plus I gave the series a title. It’s now called ‘Prairie Magic’ 🙂

  • Edit and publish “The Coolest Wife Ever” now known as “The Switch”

I made an effort but it turned out the story was just too broken. I’ve shelved this one indefinitely. It’s got potential, but I’m not sure how to fix it right now.

  • Publish a collection of all the “She’s on the Bottom” stories

I did not do this. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this? Perhaps I just forgot. Originally I was waiting to add “The Switch” to the collection, but when I shelved that I could have moved forward on this. Oh well. A goal for next year, perhaps?

  • Finish writing and editing the untitled novelette/novella? about Ben and Maggie
  • Write at least one more story in the Paranormal Circus series.
  • Write and share a holiday-themed story set in the Paranormal Circus series

No progress on any of these because I got wrapped up in the Prairie Magic series instead. The good news is I wrote 50,000 words on book #3 for that series for NaNoWriMo, which ain’t nothin’. The story isn’t done yet but I think it’s shaping up nicely. Another goal for next year 🙂

The series is out and delighting readers (and me, to be honest). I loved working with those ladies to bring their stories to the world and look forward to doing it again. Soon. 😉

Done and done. The editor put together an awesome anthology.

  • Acquire a new project for Pen and Kink

I didn’t just acquire one new project, I acquired four. Well, I guess that depends on how you define ‘project’ but I was super excited to edit and publish INKarnate, INKapable, INKurable and INKonsolable by Mara Malins. They are all amazing (and the first one is available for free).

  • Write at least one short story and submit it for publication rather than publishing it myself

*sad trombone sound*

Though I am working on a collaborative project with someone… sadly the story has hit my desk and kind of gotten stalled there but I’ll get back to it soon. I will!

I haven’t written anything new for this, but I did plan out a sort of arc that the series could take, so that should count for something, right? I think so.

Okay. Phew. That wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, actually. I can accept this progress. It was pretty decent.

I’m going to have to carefully set my goals for next year, though, so as to make sure I get to make a few more of them bold 🙂

Posted in Enchanted, Mara Malins, NaNoWriMo, Pen and Kink Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

December 0.99 Sale!

That picture right there? That shows all the Pen and Kink titles that Kobo has chosen to include in their December sale. As you can see, I wrote one of them and edited two more, so I’m pretty excited!

Now, in theory this sale is in the US only, but when I looked at the Canadian version of Kobo I saw the discounted price. So it’s possible that everyone can benefit from this $0.99 sale and Kobo is only promoting it in the US.

Either way, if you have been curious about any of these titles and you use Kobo, this is the perfect chance to check them out. If I may be so selfish as to highlight the books I wrote or edited…

The Longest Night is the second story in my ‘Prairie Magic’ series, and happens to be the one with a Christmas theme, which makes it a great read for this season.

In The Longest Night Mary (a newbie witch) and Cairn (the incubus she accidentally summoned from Limbo) are going to be celebrating their first Christmas together.

This one is heavy on the heat and a bit light on plot. It was meant to be mostly a steamy holiday read that will bridge the space between the first book in the series, Circles Within Circles, and the third which I’m currently writing and doesn’t have a title. But it stands alone and is, I’m told by people who haven’t read the first, a great bit of heat for a cold winter evening.

Rough Edges is the first anthology I did for Pen and Kink. It’s all about cowboys (and girls) and though most of the stories land on the steamier side of the romance and erotica spectrum, they are definitely not light on plot.

Finally, Magic Spark is first book in the Enchanted trilogy and it features a story each from three very talented romance writers — Sara Dobie Bauer, Em Shotwell and Wendy Sparrow. If you’re interested in a taste of magical romance and want to sample three very different flavours, this could be the book for you.

Check ’em out. Each title is linked to its Kobo page. Enjoy!

The sale ends at midnight on December 17th 🙂

Posted in Enchanted, Rough Edges, The Longest Night | Tagged | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo 2018 — Mission Accomplished

Whoot whoot!

I’m excited to announce that I completed NaNoWriMo!

I crossed the finish line last night with 50,142 words. Yay!

The story, Prairie Magic #3 (no title yet) is far from finished, however, so I’m still going to have to keep chugging along there. I feel like it’s beginning to come together though, so that”s a nice feeling. Hopefully it will continue LOL

When I am doing NaNoWriMo I don’t delete anything. Like, nothing. If I write a paragraph and then decide I hate it, I don’t delete it. Instead, I just hit enter a few times to shove it down to the bottom of my manuscript and then keep writing. So as a result the bottom of my manuscripts look something like this:

Cairn nodded. “Dragons are real enough. But I haven’t heard of any around this part of the world.”

, clearly dodging the question. “What can I get for you?”

around and around her neck, mouth and nose. She tugged her mittens on and gave a cheery wave. “Good afternoon then. I hope you’re

SOMETHINGED away to a handful of words and then

to ‘One. She was quite

“It might have been the fever,” Mrs. NAME was saying, and Mary knew


It’s a huge mess. But the fun part is that as soon as I cross the finish line I just select all that crap at the bottom and delete it.

This year when I did that my NaNo novel went from 50,142 words long to 37, 935 words long.

I threw out just over 12,000 words because I’d changed my mind about them LOL

That makes my ‘My Book Progress’ chart look like this:

Prairie Magic #3
Phase:Exploratory Draft
Due:2 months ago

That little dip down amuses me 🙂 Hopefully I will have recovered those words soon enough.

My goal is to have the first draft of this story done before the new year. That will be tricky because I have another looming writing deadline… but NaNoWriMo is tricky and I pulled that off, so maybe?

*fingers crossed*

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INKomplete is no longer… incomplete, that is…

INKomplete is no longer… incomplete, that is.

There is definitely a more elegant way to make that joke but… well, my defense is that I’m not appropriately caffeinated yet 😉

But I am super excited! I’ve been talking about this books off and on for a long time now, most recently as I shared excerpts from the last three volumes, but now they are here. All four of them are out in the world and ready to be devoured.

These books span several different stages of life, have varying degrees of kink but all offer a real love story, a HEA and a fair bit of heat. I love them. I’m proud to have edited and published them, and I hope they find homes on a lot of bookshelves. Including yours!

Free — iBooks | Kobo | Instafreebie

$0.99 — Amazon (US) (CA) (UK


Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)




Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)





Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)




Review of INKapable:

“I loved how deeply complicated Joe was. Her character wasn’t a traditional or straight-forward one. She had many layers – some of them not at all pretty – and while not easy to read or relate to at times, it made this whole story really different for me and it certainly stretched my boundaries. I also really enjoyed how Nathan was nothing like what Joe assumed him to be. Watching him prove to her, over and over again, that he could satisfy her unlike any of her other hook ups was delicious. There’s a fair bit of kink in the story that should definitely satisfy readers who like some heat and spice to their story.

A different and very interesting read, this was a great story.”


Long And Short Reviews

Review of INKurable:

“Hard but realistic description lived from inside that can live a young woman who has just discovered that she has breast cancer. This includes her fear of the disease, the reactions of her friends, her future whether or not she will have her old lover whom she finds 10 years later. The story is exciting, touching, but never tiresome or boring, with always, in this series, a small part of BDSM.
I really like this author and her ability to tell me a story with delicate situations that she transforms, that she improves to arrive at a happy ending by a tortuous path.”


Goodreads Reviewer

Review of INKonsolable:

“I thought this was an intensely emotional, complicated story about two people trying to find their way together after both suffering deep grief and loss. While there are a bit of sexy shenanigans the emotional aspect of this story is very strong and readers looking for a mainly kinky, erotic read mightn’t find what they’re seeking here. But with a rich cast of characters and an author not afraid to tackle the harder elements of real life, I feel this story is well worth picking up.”


Long and Short Reviews

Posted in INKapable, INKarnate, INKomplete, INKonsolable, INKurable | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sneak Peek of INKonsolable

Last week I posted some sneak peeks at the books from the INKomplete series by Mara Malins. Today I’m going to conclude my ‘sneak peek series’ with an excerpt from the final book in the series — INKonsolable.

INKonsolable is Blakey’s story. Blakey is the gruff ole teddy bear patriarch of the tattoo studio. He’s already had his love story, but the love of his life died five years before this story started. Can he find love and happiness again, or is that chapter of his life done forever?

Mara blogged about this for the Pen and Kink blog and you can read it here.

Or keep scrolling to read an excerpt from the book 🙂

It’s been five years since Blakey’s beautiful wife Elizabeth died and his grief is just as sharp today as it was back then. But now he’s desperately lonely too. As he becomes closer to his friend Aisleyne, Blakey fights it with everything he has. How could he even think about moving on? No, friendship is all he has to offer. That will have to be enough.

In this excerpt Blakey is at Indecency, a kinky club that the staff at the tattoo studio frequent every Friday. Only this Friday isn’t just any Friday, this Friday is the five year anniversary of Blakey’s wife’s death…

Over the heads of the dancing crowd, Blakey saw Aisleyne over by the bar. She was sipping a whiskey and water, surveying the room over the rim of the glass. In her early forties, she could still pass for a woman in her thirties. Her figure was as lithe and dancer-like as it’d probably been ten years ago. She was dressed in a pair of fitted jeans and a sheer blouse—so sheer that he could see her lacy black bra beneath. The sight made his mouth dry.

Matt followed the direction of his gaze. “Aren’t you going to go and talk to her?”

“Maybe later.” For some reason, the thought of going over to talk to her like he usually did made him anxious. Even through the flashing lights of the club, she looked lovely. Her long dark hair had been brushed into a midnight shimmer and it hung down to her slim waist. She was tapping the pointed toe of her boot in time to the thumping music.

Matt’s brow furrowed. “You always go and talk to her. What’s different?”

“Nothing,” Blakey answered, not entirely truthfully. Lately, he’d felt acutely aware that he was stealing Aisleyne’s time when he had nothing to offer in return. A fat, unfit widower was hardly a catch, and even if it was, he wasn’t ready to be on the hook. He wasn’t sure he ever would be. He didn’t want another woman, even one as lovely as Ais; he wanted Elizabeth. Nobody else would do and leading her on just didn’t seem fair. Ais was a good woman, she didn’t deserve it.

Not that she was interested in anything other friendship, he thought, his eyes returning to where she was standing.

Their two times together had been as impersonal for her as they had for him. No names had been uttered, no endearments voiced. In fact, he suspected she’d been thinking of someone else—she certainly wouldn’t meet his eyes as he thrust inside her. He didn’t mind; they weren’t kids anymore. They understood that sex didn’t always lead to weddings and babies. She could take whatever she needed from him.

Matt was studying Blakey’s face again. “Something’s going on with you today. What is it, Blakey?”

Emily, obviously sensing that Blakey wouldn’t open up whilst she was at the table, grabbed her coke and headed towards Phee, Nathan, Joe, and Pete, who were all dancing. Blakey watched her go, trying to form the correct words in his head. He opened his mouth to answer but he faltered when he caught Aisleyne’s gaze. As soon as their eyes locked, she smiled. It was an intimate smile, as if they were the only two people in the room. He knew that smile; are we on tonight? It asked.

His stomach gave a sour flip. She waved at him and he tipped his glass at her in greeting… but then he turned his back on her.


** Reserve Your Copy Now **

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)




If you pre-order one of Mara’s books you can enter to win this necklace:

Details are here: https://maramalins.com/2018/10/11/youre-inkomplete-without-this/

The books come out tomorrow, though, so you need to act quickly to get in on the contest!

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