Looking back, and forward too.

happy-sixthI’m celebrating my sixth anniversary of being a published author today. Though I could possibly have celebrated it when I received the offer letter, or even when I signed the contract, I’ve always counted today, the day PRIVATE PROPERTY actually released to the public, as being the day I should mark on my calendar.

It’s been a bumpy journey, filled with highs and lows. Opportunities I never expected, and challenges too. While I wish I was more prolific, as my hubby continues to say to me “if I showed you your webpage and your current booklist back before you were published, you’d be thrilled, wouldn’t you?”

He’s right. I would have been. Because despite having to deal with my father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2008 and his subsequent death in 2010, my mother’s stroke six months later, followed by taking her on numerous trips to the ophthamologist as she lost her vision the next year, despite the days helping her pack and move, despite the weeks and months educating ourselves about my husband’s diabetes diagnosis, or the numerous trips for Xrays and trips to specialists for the various illnesses my sons have had, and even more for my own hypothyroid diagnosis and all the issues that’s caused, despite the new stresses involving either my husband’s loss of his job or a transfer that would require us to sell our house and move … well, we’re not quite sure where yet, but it would be out of our area code anyway, that we face, I’m still writing. Be it all so slowly. And with a lot less hubris than I had back in 2009.

But this I promise will continue: I will always deliver a story that’s written to the best of my ability, one that has been professionally edited and has not been dashed out just for the sake of having another release on my “Coming Soon” page. I will not put out a story unless I’m proud of it and have fallen in love with my characters. In the hopes that you’ll fall in love with them too.

Snippet Saturday – First Night, First Kiss

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For those of you who haven’t read First Night, or may not even know it exists, First Night is a short story I wrote back in 2008 as part of a Samhain holiday celebration. Since it came out before Private Property, it was my way of introducing the world to my writing and Jodi and Mark, the hero and heroine from Private Property. (At the time I had no idea Private Property would be the start of the Hauberk Protection series.)  Two years ago, the head of my street team started nudging me to lengthen it and put it up on Amazon and other vendors so more readers could find it. Well, I finally sat down and followed her advice. First Night is now doubled in length and explains how Mark’s company ended up becoming part of Hauberk Protection (yes, Sam is in it — on a video call at least).  It is currently available on Amazon, Scribd and Kobo, and will be available through Barnes & Noble and iBooks shortly.

NOW AVAILABLE FROM

Kindle

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First Night

copyright© 2014 Leah Braemel

“What do you say, Mark? Do we have a deal? You ready for a little R&R?”

First-Night-400x600-(300dpi)The breathy hitch in her voice told him there was no misunderstanding her intention.

He caught her hand. “Are you aware of what I might ask of you?”

Her gaze dropped to the tent in his pants, then slowly raised to meet his. The heat in her eyes seared a path all the way up his chest. “I’ll be at your command for the night. In the bed. Up against the wall. Or on the floor if you prefer. Whatever you say, I’ll do.”

He forced his mind from the image of tying her hands behind her, of pressing her to her knees, when he realized she was still talking.

She ran a finger along his jaw, tracing her thumb over his lips. “Just tell me what you want.”

He pulled her toward him so she tumbled onto his lap. He cupped her head with one hand until her mouth hovered a hairsbreadth from his. “Let’s start with this.”

Despite the danger signals ringing in his head, he couldn’t pull back if someone held a knife to his balls. She tasted of champagne, and paradise. There was no hesitation from her when he slid his tongue past the part in her lips, no regrets, no second thoughts. If anything, there was a tenderness he’d rarely experienced, and never expected from his hard-ass operative.

Everything about her softened, and when he stroked her throat she leaned into his touch. A need to protect her, to treat her gently, while at the same time the need to master her roared over him.

Welcoming in the New (and revisiting the old)

Way back in 2008, before Private Property was released, I wrote a short story for Samhain as part of their holiday celebrations. They put it up on their site for a limited time, and after that I posted it here for readers to download.

For the past two years, my street team leader Tabatha has been poking and prodding at me to update it and make it available at all the various vendors for readers to find. I’ve been so buried in deadlines, I’ve put it off, but I finally reworked it and look what happened!

FIRST NIGHT

First-Night-200x300-(300dpi)a Hauberk Protection short story

Was it the excitement of the New Year or stubborn pride that drove Jodi Tyler to challenge her boss? But when the clock strikes midnight, and the ball drops on Times Square, has Jodi Tyler won the bet or lost her heart?

FIRST NIGHT is being added to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. though it may take a few days to post at each site. I’ll add Buy Buttons on the First Night page, and post the links on the sidebar as it goes live at each vendor, but it is already available for sale through Amazon (it will be available at all Amazon stores) and Scribd.

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I’ve doubled the length from the original version from 4K to 8K–approximately 26 pages. The newest version includes a short cameo by Sam (His voice anyway), and updated it a bit for new technology, and of course, let you know more about Jodi and Mark. In one of my beta reader’s words, “It has a more romantic feel…”  The original version had been edited by Angela James, but because of the additions I’ve hired a professional freelance editor to ensure you got a quality product. A huge shout out of thanks to Anya Richards of Grammargoggles.blogspot.ca, who edited it for me. And a big squishy hug to Tabatha Scott of Graphics by Tabatha who created the luscious cover!

It’s gradually populating through the various vendors even as I watch. (Unfortunately the blurb on Amazon got truncated for some strange reason, but it hasn’t affected the book — but the beauty of self publishing is I can edit the blurb easily, once Amazon allows me to in about 24 – 48 hours.) Because of the added length, and the costs for editing and formatting etc, I’ve decided to make it available for 99 cents.

Oh, and if you’re already a member of my Leah Braemel Reader’s group on Facebook, check for a message about First Night for members!