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Saturday, June 6, 2020

New Release: King Among the Dead

Book one in a new series, now available:

“It’s a love story. Love doesn’t require morality, does it?”

Rose Greer’s life of pain and terror changes the night Simon Becket finds her locked in a cabinet. Blood on his face, but a hand held out in offering – a hand she takes.

Beck is kind, and eccentric; rich, and generous, and soft-spoken. Beck is cultured, and patient. Beck is lonely, rattling around his crumbling townhouse with only his elderly upstairs tenant for company.

Beck is a killer.

And Rose thinks she might be, too.

With Beck, she’s discovering all her darker impulses – and her passions. And she’s learning that the Atmospheric Rift which altered the world years ago isn’t exactly an event from the past.

“King Among the Dead” is the first in a new supernatural/horror erotica series based loosely on the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, set in the not-too-distant future. Featuring angels, demons, mythology, monsters, plenty of steam, and an eventual OT3. Dark, weird, and sexy, Hell Theory isn’t for the faint of heart.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

#LoneStar Now Live

Book seven of the Dartmoor Series, Lone Star, is now live for Kindle. Other platforms coming soon. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

#DartmoorSeries Read-Along: Tastes Like Candy Part Two

"Darla...Was I supposed to give better warning about the Calloway girl coming?"

She gave him a sideways look as she scrubbed the skillet beneath the tap. "What do you think?"

"I think I'm glad I don't have an old lady to worry about. One sister's bad enough."

She chuckled. "You don't mean that."

"Sure I do."


See yesterday's post about the prologue and chapter one, our introduction to Michelle and the London Dogs that make up the club on her side of the Atlantic. Chapter two opens with Candyman, who we've met in several previous Dartmoor books, most notably Snow In Texas, and who now takes one half of center stage. 

I like to think that if you manage to wind up voted into the president's chair, you share some important qualities with your fellow presidents from other chapters, but Candy is a very different leader than Ghost. Part of it is that he's Texan; if you grow up in the South, you learn that each state has its own subtle attitude; everyone's Southern, but there's cultural differences that show themselves in lots of little ways. Another aspect is the sheer size of Candy: he's got a big man's laid-back self-confidence. And, unlike Ghost, he grew up in a loving family environment. He's not power hungry; he's always known he was destined for leadership, but was perfectly happy to serve under Crockett...until Crockett's dementia pushed him into the president role. He takes his job very seriously, but he's not a task-master like Ghost. He wants his guys to be happy, to be seen as their friend first. At the start of TLC, we know that he likes women - he has a strong relationship with his sister - and he likes sex, but he's certainly not looking for any sort of special relationship. Nothing that would detract from club business. 

Nine - their father had sired nine children. The thought gave him heart palpitations. 

The chapter itself is another point of contrast. In Knoxville, Ghost has built Dartmoor: this sprawling complex of legal businesses that support and supplement club activity, and offer the Dogs a base from which to act charitably within the community. But in Amarillo, the clubhouse is just that - a house. The club is small, financially failing: just eking out a bare living in a much more down-to-earth, blue collar fashion. 

Enter Michelle. 

So this was the infamous Candyman's lair. For some reason, she'd expected discarded bras and panties, mountains of dirty clothes, clutter, empty bottles, condoms laying out in the open.

Michelle comes to Amarillo with lots of preconceived notions, most of them about Candy, who's one of those larger-than-life, legendary club members who features heavily in club gossip circles. He's 45, a notorious bachelor, and she thinks she knows what he's like. 

I love their first meeting: she's staying in his room, wearing a towel, and he walks in, fresh out of the shower, and it's awkward, and one of those cliche, oh-shit moments, and both of them freak out. 

It was Derek Snow alright. The years between the last time she'd seen him and now had filled him out, added layers to his musculature, hardened his face, weathered it, a typical biker mosaic of lines and sunburn.

But she'd been eight the last time. And now she was twenty-six, and very single.

They're both instantly attracted to each other, but they're also both very practical, savvy, club-smart people, so they both try to hold it together, and act cool. Both of them know the reasons why a relationship shouldn't work - but those are the exact reasons why they do work.  

Saturday, March 21, 2020

#DartmoorSeries Read-Along: Tastes Like Candy Part One

Men win wars.
Legends inspire them to do so.
And some legends...some are still living...

We've lost all momentum with this read-along, but I'm endeavoring to limp along anyway. For the next few days, we'll take a closer look at Tastes Like Candy

Looking at reader comments since the book's release in summer of 2016, this is one of the most well-liked books in the series. After Fearless, it's the one most often mentioned as a favorite in reviews, comments, messages, and emails, and I must admit I've always found that a little surprising - though maybe I shouldn't have. Candy is tall, and bold, and a good brother, a good leader, with a honeyed tongue. I've always loved his name; as with so many of my characters, Derek Snow's nickname was borrowed from a horse I used to know. Candyman; Candy for short. In-universe, this human Candyman earned his nickname thanks to a mean right hook; he's got a reputation for ruining teeth. 

The thing I enjoyed most about writing this book, however, was the glimpse it offers us of Devin Green's brood. 

It had begun like any other task, a photograph slid across her father's ancient cherrywood desk. It was raining, fat drops sliding down the window, casting shadows across the rug in the upstairs room above Baskerville Hall. 

(By now, you'll know that the club is named after a black dog legend - just as in "The Hound of the Baskervilles," and I couldn't resist the chance to name the London chapter's pub and headquarters after the estate in my favorite Sherlock Holmes story of all time.)

Like Ava, Michelle was born into the club - but unlike Ava, she was brought up as a useful soldier - or, more accurately, covert operative - in her father's London biker army. 

Her mother's passing had hit him hard. Someone had needed to step up and be the woman of the house. The woman of the club. She'd never viewed it as a choice, but as a natural progression. 

Michelle's dad, Phillip, never remarried after his wife died, nor did he settle down with a serious, long-term girlfriend, so Michelle, by default, became the woman of the London chapter. Not only that, but the London chapter operates very differently from the Knoxville chapter. London is a major metropolis, and an international hub, and it's simply not possible for a club like the Lean Dogs to be much in charge of anything, the way they are in smaller American cities and towns. Everything Phillip's done, every ladder he's climbed, every toe-hold he's achieved, has come through subtly and subterfuge, rather than the outright flexing of muscles, and he's used every tool at his disposal - including his daughter. The London chapter doesn't ride down the street in formation, or have shootouts in public - but like with all chapters, they handle problems that regular folks bring to their doorstep. When someone gets in deep trouble that can't be handled by the police, they come to the Dogs, and the Dogs make it right - though with less flash and strutting about than the American Dogs. The delightful irony of it all, for me, is that all of Devin's boys hate him, and yet all of them have tackled life's problems with dispassion, cunning, treachery, and finely-honed skill, just as he would. 

I'm still genuinely surprised that readers were surprised by the spy angle in Prodigal Son, when this book lays all the groundwork for it. Oh well. 

TLC opens in London, with Michelle and her uncle - who was raised as her brother - Tommy on an op gone wrong. We get to see flashes of the weeks leading up to it, the ways the club, as it expands and matures, is changing, the ways Tommy's already worried about the way some members react to her role with the Dogs. We get to meet Albie, and see his secret stash. And we get to see the verdict handed down, after the explosion: Michelle can't stay in London. 

Michelle has a lot in common with the other old ladies that we've met - her toughness, and her attitude, and her fierce love of family - but she interacts with the club in a completely new way from all the women we've met so far. That was exciting to write. Her role is one that inevitably shifts when she goes to Texas...but it's a role that we're exploring again in Lone Star, which is book seven of the main series, and coming soon. LS asks, Can someone who worked in the trenches alongside the club take a step back and be content with a more domestic life? The book is all about restlessness, in all its forms, and learning how to reconcile the different sides of a life. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

#TeaserTuesday: Lionheart First Look

Big teaser today! A look at Sons of Rome book five, Lionheart, due out this Christmas. 

Red set the little potted cactus down on the table in front of her brother, Eighteen. We have to give him a name! she thought for at least the hundredth time. She wanted him – both of them, Twelve, too – to choose their own names. Rooster had given her hers – but it had been a choice. What about Red? And she’d liked it right away, the simplicity of it; the way, just three letters, it sounded like a pet name, something intimate between two people who cared for one another. And in his low, rough voice, too…Red

Monday, March 16, 2020

#SnowInTexas Read-Along: Outside Knoxville

I'll be the first to admit that this book, the first of the spinoff Lean Dogs Legacy series, began on a whim. I was writing Loverboy, and it was heavy, and I wanted a bit of a palate cleanser, and I thought, why not Colin? We already knew Candy, and through him that a Texas chapter existed, so it seemed like an opportunity to go exploring within the larger Lean Dogs world. We'd been in Knoxville all along, and had come to know it well, but what about another chapter? What was it like to not only be a part of the American mother chapter, but a part of the whole of the Lean Dogs organization? 

The story focuses mostly on Colin, and Jenny, and their unexpected relationship, but when I go back and flip through this book, I find the thing I think about most is the club as a whole. That was what drew me to writing about bikers in the first place: the fascinating ways these counter-culture groups have been able to become large, prosperous, impossible to dismantle multi-national organizations. Some of them - the largest and most well known - have become their own little United Nations, with factions from all across the globe, working together, helping one another, growing and flourishing in the underbelly of polite society. 

The things I like playing with most are alternate POVs: giving us a chance to see the "main cast," the Knoxville crew, through the eyes of brothers from other cities - and other countries. I loved getting to explore the London side of things in Prodigal Son. Phillip runs a very different sort of MC than Ghost. 

Just like Candy runs Texas differently. Three presidents, three different approaches and different clubhouse cultures.

In Lone Star, we meet a few guys from the Cali chapter, and that's fun. There's a NY chapter we've never met, as well. I don't know what the future holds right now for the series, or if it will be possible to explore other cities and other groups of Lean Dogs. But I like the heft of it, even if it remains in the background: I like knowing they're part of this wider world. Even if the microcosm makes for the best, most intimate and compelling stories, it's intriguing to think of it in larger terms, sometimes. 

I've still got the book at 99c, and will go ahead and drop TLC and Prodigal Son down, too. When Lone Star hits, you'll need to be all caught up with the Lean Dogs Legacy books; it's all one series from here on out, and everyone's journey is relevant. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

#DartmoorSeries Book Seven: Lone Star Sneak Peek

Hi, friends! I hope everyone is doing well - is healthy! And safe! I'm working away out here in the country, trying to keep germ-free. I just passed a big milestone word count with Dartmoor Book 7, Lone Star, which I'm hoping to have up for pre-order very, very soon. Today I'm sharing a BIG look at it, the first four chapters, and the cover. 

Please be advised that is is RAW text. I've not edited or proofed in the slightest. There will be typos, and probably lines that I adjust heavily. But this should give you a nice long look at what everyone's up to for this next installment. Romance wise, the book focuses on Candy and Michelle, Fox and Eden, and Albie and Axelle; all three couples are exploring their relationships as things get messy in Texas. You will need to have read all previous Dartmoor and Lean Dogs Legacy books, including Prodigal Son, in order for this to make sense. 

Lone Star
Copyright © 2020 by Lauren Gilley 


Nighttime in December, in the desert, was colder than a non-desert-dweller might expect. A fine, crystalline layer of frost settled on the hard-packed dirt, and the hardy, spiny vegetation that grew in tufts between boulders, and along the open, dry-cracked pans of flat ground that ran between the highways and the jagged, unclimbable hills. A cold that could send you into hypothermia if you weren’t properly equipped. A cold that could, in this case, preserve something.