Uncategorized

Herc’s Mercs: Once a Hero

Herc’s Mercs #4, Once a Hero, is now available for preorder from Torquere Press, and it’ll be released on Wednesday! This is the fourth book in the series, and while characters from the previous three books make appearances, it’s a stand-alone work.

Ezra Levin spent years as a soldier, just as his father had wished. But after stints in the Israeli military, the Mossad, and finally as a member of Hercules Security, the man once known as “Ghost” decides to retire and pursue his own dreams of being a chef. At forty-five, he knows his yearning to have a partner and a family of his own are probably unattainable, but as a private chef for Judge Mason Whittaker and his young son, Jamie, Ezra finds some measure of fulfillment. 

Unfortunately, Mason’s past as a District Attorney has made him a lot of enemies – one of whom seems to be looking for payback. When a series of unsettling events disturbs the Whittaker household, Ezra immediately steps up, wanting to protect Mason and Jamie. He calls upon his old friend, Cade Thornton, for help, as a cunning criminal plays a game of cat and mouse that endangers Mason’s life. Ezra realizes that Mason has come to mean far more to him than just an employer, and that he’s going to have to use all his old skills to stop a killer – or else he just might wind up losing the man he loves.

onceahero4

Uncategorized

News!

Wow, long time, no update! Ari and I have both had a really busy spring, but we hope to get back in the groove of updating this summer.

Our first bit of news is that we have a new Herc’s Mercs book coming out in August! Herc’s Mercs: Once a Hero is a little different from the previous Herc books in that our merc starts off in retirement.

Ezra Levin formerly served in the Israeli Army and the Mossad, and he ended his career working with Cade “Herc” Thornton at Lawson and Greer and then Hercules Security. But at 45, he’s feeling the effects of a soldier’s life on his body, and he’s retired to work as a personal chef for Judge Mason Whittaker, a widower who is raising his son, Jamie. But when it appears an ex-convict is holding a grudge against the man who put him behind bars, Ezra must come out of retirement to protect Mason and Jamie — and admit the truth about his past to the man he loves.

This book is different not only because our merc is older and retired, but also because for the first time, I wrote the merc! Usually, I write the client because Ari is better with action than I am, but we decided to switch it up this time. Writing Ezra was a fun, new challenge, but for Herc 5 and 6, I’m writing the client again. 😉

Speaking of which, we’re putting the finishing touches on a draft of Herc 5 now! We need to add a couple of scenes and go through the editing process, and then we should be able to submit it within the next 2-3 weeks.

Herc’s Mercs: Once A Hero will be released on August 26 by Torquere Press.

Meanwhile, I have a solo story coming out in July! My collaboration with Ari is still going strong, and neither of us has any intention of quitting, but for various reasons, I decided to try flexing my solo writing muscles again. I submitted a short story to the Plaid Nights anthology call at Torquere Press, which was for stories from 3,000-10,000 words featuring men in kilts. My story, “As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad”, was accepted, and it will be published as part of the anthology on July 15!

Currently, I’m working on another solo short story, this one for Torquere’s First Time anthology. After we finish up the draft of Herc 5, we’re going to focus on finishing Blood Bathory 3. It’s taken us a while to get to the point of being nearly finished, partly because we had two or three false starts with that story and partly because we’ve gotten derailed by hot, hunky mercs. 😉 Given that this is the last book in the trilogy, we’ve taken extra care to make sure we end on a strong, solid note. That’s not to say we can’t or won’t revisit the Blood Bathory universe! The plot lines from the trilogy will be wrapped up, but there’s definitely room for us to explore other characters and conflicts, and we have a few tentative plans for what we might do.

So much writing, so little time!

Uncategorized

Plot bunnies everywhere

I’ve mentioned before that Ari and I use Evernote for our notes and ideas. It’s really useful because you can clip articles and images from the web, upload documents, and create your own notes, all saved in specific notebooks.

We have one note that’s just an on-going plot bunny list. Whenever one of us gets an idea for a plot or character, the standard response is “Put it on the list.” Although now that it’s pushing 100 plot bunnies, I think it might be deserving of capitalization: The List.

Since the Herc’s Mercs series seems to have taken off nicely, we’ve been thinking more and more about ideas for continuing the series. We’d been lumping the Herc bunnies in with all the other bunnies, but last night, we decided it was time to give the Herc series its own bunny list. So I pulled all the plot bunnies specifically earmarked as Herc ideas plus a couple of others that we’d discussed as being of potential use for Herc stories and added them to a separate note in our Herc’s Mercs notebook.

The Herc plot bunny list is already 7 items long, which doesn’t count the two stories we’re currently working on. So if our readers like the Herc’s Mercs series, I don’t think they need to worry that it’ll dry up any time soon!

We have two Herc’s Mercs stories going at once because we started one, realized it wasn’t working out the way we wanted, and decided to backtrack and do over. However, before we got started on the do-over, another insistent Herc bunny came along, so we decided to roll with that one and get back to the do-over afterward.

Right now, we’re probably about 3/4 finished with the insistent Herc bunny, which features a retired merc whose attempt at building a second career as a private chef is interrupted when the circuit court judge he works for is targeted by an ex-con with an axe to grind. Ezra “Ghost” Levin ends up calling in a favor to his former boss, Cade “Hercules” Thornton, and getting a team of mercs to help him keep his judge safe. For those who liked Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed, Daryl “D-Day” Greer makes an appearance in this story as part of Ghost’s team. 😀

Uncategorized

Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed now available!

The third book in the Herc’s Mercs series, Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed, is now available! It’s about 40,000 words/141 pages for $4.49.

Daryl Greer isn’t a bodyguard. He’s Hercules Security’s “odd-job” specialist, as wild and dangerous, as he is competent. Fiercely independent, he resents his older brother Matthew’s view that he spends his life “playing G.I. Joe”. When he’s sent to rescue a kidnapped scientist, Dr. Emerson Winfield, from a terrorist organization, Daryl finds himself attracted to the snarky, outspoken man even though Emerson is the kind of rich, successful person Matthew claims could never be interested in a hick like Daryl.

For his part, Emerson doesn’t care about Daryl’s lack of polish; he’s more interested in the incredible chemistry between them. He sets out to prove to Daryl that they can make a relationship work despite their differences. But Daryl’s defensiveness about his career drives a wedge between them — and if he doesn’t find a way to deal with his issues, Daryl might lose Emerson forever.

Uncategorized

Herc’s Mercs 3 — available for preorder!

Torquere Press has changed hands, and there are great new changes in the works. One of these changes is making books available for preorder! We’re fortunate that Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed is one of the first titles available in the new preorder system, and it’s now available here!

Daryl Greer isn’t a bodyguard. He’s Hercules Security’s “odd-job” specialist, as wild and dangerous, as he is competent. Fiercely independent, he resents his older brother Matthew’s view that he spends his life “playing G.I. Joe”. When he’s sent to rescue a kidnapped scientist, Dr. Emerson Winfield, from a terrorist organization, Daryl finds himself attracted to the snarky, outspoken man even though Emerson is the kind of rich, successful person Matthew claims could never be interested in a hick like Daryl.

For his part, Emerson doesn’t care about Daryl’s lack of polish; he’s more interested in the incredible chemistry between them. He sets out to prove to Daryl that they can make a relationship work despite their differences. But Daryl’s defensiveness about his career drives a wedge between them — and if he doesn’t find a way to deal with his issues, Daryl might lose Emerson forever.

141 pages / 40200 words for $4.49

Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed will be released on Wednesday, January 14.

Uncategorized

FYI: Herc’s Mercs 3

The release date for Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed has been pushed back one week from January 7 to January 14, 2015! This is the third book in the Herc’s Mercs series, one that focuses on Daryl “D-Day” Greer and Emerson Winfield, who snark their way into bed together.

This is my (McKay’s) personal favorite of the Herc’s Mercs stories we’ve written (so far — #4 is currently in progress). I like all of the stories, but I really like Daryl and Emerson’s dynamic because it’s different for us and Emerson was a lot of fun for me to write.

hercsmercsbloodybutunbowed

Uncategorized

Herc’s Mercs book 1 — free for 24 hours!

On December 19 from 12:00 AM CST until 11:59 PM CST, Herc’s Mercs: The Bigger They Come will be FREE! That’s the first book in the Herc’s Mercs series, so if you’ve been wondering whether to try it, tomorrow is the perfect time to find out. 😉

Torquere Press is offering the first book in select series free through December 24, so check  back daily!

12daystq

 

 

Uncategorized

Herc 2 release day!

It’s here! “Herc’s Mercs 2: Line in the Sand” is now available from Torquere Press! Or you can buy it here from Amazon.com!

In order to keep his skill in the field up to date, Alec “Red” Davis, Hercules Security’s Chief of Operations takes a job protecting Jon Baldwin, an actor thrown into the spotlight by sudden fame. Although he’s attracted to Jon, who is modest about his success and genuinely appreciative of his fans, Alec knows he has to keep his distance. Even when Jon makes it obvious he returns Alec’s interest, there is a professional line Alec knows he must never cross – no matter how great the temptation.

While accompanying Jon on a vacation to Central America, the two are caught in a devastating flash flood that pushes Alec’s abilities to their limits. Determined to get Jon to safety, Alec has to battle both nature and his own feelings. But when Jon falls ill, Alec realizes that professional integrity won’t mean a thing if he loses the man he loves.

126 pages / 40000 words for $4.49

Spoilery discussion below.  Continue reading “Herc 2 release day!”

Uncategorized

Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration

To start on a random note, I really like my nails right now. I don’t normally go for pale colors, but I found a combo I wanted to try: In the Flesh with Vintage Confetti glitter coat on top. Both are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, which I’ve found wears pretty well. The glitter coat caught my attention first, and In the Flesh is a subtle pale pink that picks up one of the glitter colors, so I thought it would make a good foundation. I’m very pleased with the results!

Also, I’m trying hard to cut down on processed foods, but they make it really hard when they throw things like Lays potato chips in “Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese” flavor at me.

I’ve talked a bit about Herc’s Mercs: Line in the Sand before, but mostly I nattered about how Tom Hiddleston was the inspiration for Jon and then I veered off into talking about Herc 3. So I wanted to talk about visual inspiration, which we use a lot in our writing.

Choosing visual references for our characters helps us set a clear image of that character in our minds for ourselves and each other, which means we’re both on the same page in terms of physical description. Usually, we end up taunting each other and trying to whip each other’s muses into a frenzy by linking to sexy photos of the person we’re using as visual inspiration, which is fun if a little distracting. 😉 Continue reading “Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration”