Friday, August 29, 2014

Fearless



So here we are. The product of my computer-free weeks. Fearless is many things: it's the spirit and the womenfolk of a story I wrote several years ago that I wasn't sure would ever get its chance to shine out in the real world; it's a character epic; it's a forbidden love story; and it's an experiment of sorts.

"Lying Down With Dogs" is the first installment in a multi-part novel. Rather than release Fearless six months from now, I decided to try something new, and release it in ebook installments. It's something I've always wanted to try, and the expansive world of Fearless is a perfect fit for this project. After all the installments have been released, I will then release a final, complete ebook and paperback of the novel. And I would love to host a signed paperback giveaway when the time comes.

The project has its own page here, and I'll be posting release dates and other info on Twitter, Facebook, and here on the blog through the rest of the season.

Okay that's all the boring stuff. Let's talk story.

Fearless shifts from the Russells' outside perspective of the Lean Dogs MC to an inside perspective, that of club wife, Maggie, and club daughter, Ava. Maggie and Ava have been with me a long time, and I'm so excited to bring them to life like this, in a totally new, reimagined way.

Then of course we have the boys. The wives. The hangarounds. A rich cast of characters steeped in local color.

Lace up your boots, folks. Here we go...

From the back of the book:


From the author of the Walker Series comes a family drama like no other, a sprawling character epic, a forbidden love story full of angst, adventure, heartbreak, and second chances.  Welcome to the mother chapter of the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club; meet the girl raised by outlaws, and the fearsome man who will always hold her heart.

Ava Teague left for college with a busted heart and a deeply ingrained love for her biker family. She returns home to Knoxville for grad school, just in time for her father to accept the burden of president…and for Mercy Lécuyer to roll back into town, looking to patch into the Tennessee chapter once more. She’ll steer clear of him, she tells herself. She has a new life, a new boyfriend, and a new outlook. But she can’t shake her DNA. And maybe she doesn’t want to.

Felix Lécuyer left the swamps of Louisiana for a life as an outlaw biker named Mercy, but it was his family, and the retribution he dealt because of it, that made him famous within the club. Fourteen years ago he fled New Orleans for Knoxville, to become an extractor and bodyguard within the mother chapter, guarding Ghost Teague’s family, becoming a constant companion to little Ava. When she was seventeen, he finally crossed the line. Now she’s twenty-two, and he’s back in town as on old nemesis rears its ugly head, and puts the entire club in danger. The fate of the club is uncertain, but Mercy has no doubts about his heart; it still belongs to Ava.

Told in installments, this rich narrative travels from the swamps outside New Orleans to the foothills of Tennessee, spanning fourteen years, following a family of outlaws bound by brotherhood, blood, and a love that knows no boundaries. Dive into Fearless Part I: “Lying Down With Dogs,” and be on the lookout for Part II: “Crossing Lines,” this fall.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Song A Day: Nothing But The Water (I) - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals





I've gotten behind on this "song a day" thing. Sorry. We'll make up for it today.



First up is "Nothing But The Water" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Lots of water in this story.



Then it's the entire Magic Potion album by The Black Keys, namely "Strange Desire" and "Goodbye Babylon." If you haven't ever listened to any of the tracks, I recommend you do so immediately. I personally think this is their best album. A little more drama and darkness than some of the newer stuff.



The official release date for my new project Fearless is tomorrow, so we'll talk about it then. But it's on Amazon if anyone wants to go take a peek. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Playing It Safe


The Lean Dog

If you read my blog, you by now know how much I adore Sherlock Holmes. My favorite adventure being The Hound of the Baskervilles - or "The Hound of the Baskervilles" if you're watching it. Long have I been fascinated by the black dogs of British folklore, the spectral dogs - the crossroads demons, the hellhounds, the heralds of death - who haunt the moors and back roads of the Isles. The legend of the black dog is pervasive; there's been a concentration of sightings on Dartmoor, but they are said to haunt other quiet places. In Hertfordshire, the malevolent spirit of a huge black dog with glowing red eyes, said to be the spirit of a chimney sweep hanged for murder, haunts a roadside where a gibbet once stood, sinking into the road when anyone lays eyes upon it. Locally, it is known as the Lean Dog.

I love the sound of that: Lean Dog.

I love that it resides in Hertfordshire, the setting of my all-time favorite literary novel, Pride and Prejudice.

I bring up the legend of the Lean Dog because I have some news regarding my Russell novels and my upcoming Friday release. When I first wrote God Love Her in 2008, I knew I had to name the motorcycle club "The Black Dogs," my special tribute to sinister folklore and Sherlock, too, if I'm honest. I searched online, and could not find an outlaw club by that name. But I didn't publish God Love Her then; it was only released last year, and the copyright stands only from that point forward. I've recently realized that there now exists a law enforcement MC that has copyrighted the name "Black Dogs MC," one founded before my book was released.

Crap.

What are the odds a club would care about my books? About me using the name? I asked myself. But I've been thinking on it all week, and I realized something: the name of the club in my novels isn't as important as being respectful of other people's copyrights. It's just not.

In my writing life, I've had the bejesus plagiarized out of my stories. It's a terrible feeling. I never want to do that to anyone else. I never want anyone to think I stole something from them.

So, moving forward, The Black Dogs of my novels are still the Dogs - they are still steeped in mythology and folklore and the bar in Keeping Bad Company is still called Baskerville Hall, but their name will now be the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club. They're still black dogs, and bear them proudly on their cuts; they're just not Black Dogs.

I hate the idea that this might cause any confusion, but it's something I felt was important. I have already gone back and adjusted the name in God Love Her, will do so for KBC, and Friday's release is ready to go as the Lean Dogs.

So, the Black Dogs are now the Lean Dogs, and all the novels should now reflect that. Sorry, everyone. I thought it best to rectify the matter before going any further, especially since Friday's release is so chock full of Dogs. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Short Change Hero

A soundtrack song a day: "Short Change Hero" by The Heavy

http://youtu.be/P1QUZzeZoPQ

Welcome to Knoxville

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/32721534763044943/
source: pinterest
The Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.
 
The waterways of a place have a profound effect upon them. The rivers, lakes and coastlines drive the local culture - to a certain degree. The identity of the city is often wrapped up in the water that flows through it. This is the Tennessee River, and along its banks you'll find the setting of Friday's Super Secret Project. We're going to Knoxville for this latest adventure. 
 
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/29343835045819036/

 
Market Square Alleyway art print by David Patterson
 
 
Neyland Stadium at University of Tennessee
 
 
 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jypsi - Mister Officer





A soundtrack song a day for the Super Secret Project. Love this track; one of those bands they'll never play on the radio around here. Their cover of "House of the Rising Sun" is amazing.

New Faces


Happy Sunday, everyone. I hope it's not as muggy where you are as it is here. So much for autumn rolling in - it's hot! A certain baby boy doesn't "do" the outdoors when it's muggy and hot. I tell you, Dobermans are born spoiled rotten. So we're having to play with toys indoors, being careful not to mess up the wrapping on his freshly posted ears. I'll have before and after shots soon.

So Keeping Bad Company hits the market September 12. It was my greatest hope to have it ready for an August release, but with my computer troubles, that just wasn't possible. I've got my final proof, and am doing one last run-through. I think all the edits will make it well worth that wait. I'm so excited to share it.

But during my laptop hiatus, I had some time to reflect on some things, and some time to play around with a story I wasn't sure I'd ever bring back to life. I ended up doing a lot of writing by hand, and some writing on my old iTunes-only computer. I had a bit of a revival, if you will. The Russells might not return until next month, but this Friday, I have a super secret project to share, one I am so excited about, and I hope my readers will enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

To get ready for it, you need to meet two new faces. If you've read the first four chapters of KBC, you've met Walsh. Now meet Mercy:

From Keeping Bad Company
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley
 
~*~
All the guys were up in the clubhouse, ranged around the common room’s centermost tables. Johnny spotted the two new faces right off: a tall, darkly tan guy with shiny black hair pulled back into a short bun, sleeves cut out of his shirt, and an unassuming dark blonde with scruffy cheeks and narrow blue eyes who couldn’t have been taller than five-nine. He was even shorter than Jaeger. Both wore cuts. The tall dark one had the Black Dogs dog tatted on one impressive bicep, surrounded by a series of tribal swirls that flowed down to his elbow. The blonde wore a chambray shirt with a collar that stood up, a pack of smokes rolled into one sleeve. The tall one glanced over as Johnny entered with curiosity. The blonde’s expression was too guarded to tell.

            “Preppy,” Danner greeted from his perch on a table. “Come be social.”

            Rev stood. “Johnny, this is Mercy” – the big one – “and Walsh” – the smaller one. “Boys, this is Johnny Russell. They’re from our New Orleans chapter,” Rev continued, motioning to Mercy. “And Knoxville.” That was Walsh.

            Mercy stepped forward first. “You’re Ray Russell’s nephew, huh?” His accent was flavored with New Orleans, warm and Cajun. He extended a massive hand that swallowed Johnny’s and gripped hard. “I like Ray. Lawyer turned outlaw.” He laughed.

            Johnny tried not to wince as he retracted his hand and flexed his fingers. “Yeah. That’s me.”

            “They call you Preppy?”

            He plucked at the collar of his American Eagle t-shirt and twitched a half-smile. “Yeah.”

            “They’re real creative, huh?” Mercy winked.

            “Sure.”

            “Ain’t none of ‘em ever got my name right. It ain’t Mercy. It’s Merci.” His accent spiked the word, highlighted the French version of it.

            “Thank you?” Johnny asked.

            “By the time he gets done with someone, they say ‘thank you’ for the kiss of the knife,” Doc explained with a grin, dragging his finger across his own throat to demonstrate.

            “Only the rednecks can’t ever say it right,” Mercy explained, still grinning a wide, white grin. “So I’m ‘Mercy.’ It ain’t so bad.”

            Johnny was half-impressed, half-intimidated. He glanced over to Walsh, who jammed his hands in his jeans pockets and said nothing, just kept staring with those strange, light eyes of his.

            “Walsh is our money man,” Rev explained. “He sets up businesses for the club. The whole club.”

            Recognition dawned; Johnny had heard talk of him. Originally from the London chapter, he was ex-air force and a genius with financial planning. Anywhere within the Dog sphere, if there was a startup happening, he was called in to consult.

            “They’re gonna take over the Elephant for us for a while. Get things rolling with Quinn and his crew.”

            Coffee churned in Johnny’s empty stomach. He nodded. “Okay.”

            “And you’re gonna help.”

            “I am?”

            “Yeah. There’s not anything to do around here today. Go load the van and be ready when they’re ready.”

            Mercy slugged him on the shoulder in an affectionate, friendly gesture.

            Walsh lifted a foot and studied the underside of his boot, finding something he plucked out of the treads with careful fingertips.

            Johnny wished he’d run into a telephone pole on the way over.