You can check out my books on, and at Barnes & Noble too.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Twas the Night Before Halloween

I love Halloween. Love it. I'm so obsessed with the aesthetics of all things in life, and the whole cobweb/raven/crumbling mansion/ black candle vibe of Halloween is something I cherish. This year, though, for some reason, I just haven't gotten into the spirit of things. October flew. Like the page just ripped off the calendar and it's November and how the heck did that happen?

I did get a chance to play photog this morning on my walk with Viktor. I love this month and I strive to capture its colors every year. Took these pics this morning:

It's my goal to make up for yesterday's missed Workshop Wednesday today sometime. Will probably happen during my evening writing block. I've got to make the most of this morning for Fearless.

Just a couple reminders:

- Fearless Part III: All-American Monsters is slated for release second week of November.

- You can click on "Email me when there are new releases my Lauren Gilley" on the right side of my Amazon page to be notified when Part III becomes available for download.

- While you're waiting, don't forget there's nine other novels and two short stories to check out. I think Fearless fans would most enjoy God Love Her. Sly and Layla's story is one of my favorites.

Happy Thursday

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nerd Things 10/28

Good stuff this week. Two books I've gleefully anticipated:

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice: the 11th novel in her Vampire Chronicles. The summary sounds like this is a return to her big production way of doing things, reminiscent of Queen of the Damned; I'm so excited to see the whole gang back together, though, let's be honest, I'd read an entire book about Lestat shopping for velvet frock coats. It released today and I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on a copy. This is a must-have hardback for me. Anne Rice has joined the likes of Tolkien and Martin in my list of forever-inspiring superauthors.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss: This is not the third installment of his Kingkiller Chronicles, but rather a companion novella, one that explores secondary character Auri, and her life beneath the school. Hopefully, this will be a nice little story nugget to tide me over until the third novel of the trilogy is released. Rothfuss writes with a natural blend of graceful detail and real-life grit; his prose sucks you in. Great books for long cold winter days, if you're a fantasy fan.

Taylor Swift's new album is on iTunes:

I don't like each and every song of hers, but I'm not afraid to admit it: I dig Taylor. 1989 feels like a natural step for her, given the pop vibe of Red, and given the frat boy turn the country music world has taken in the last year or so. I really like "Bad Blood" because I'm a sucker for her "bless your heart" push-backs against meanies. And "Welcome to New York" feels like 80s soundtrack music - in a good way. The thing about Taylor is, I appreciate talent, true talent, in all forms. And what she does so well is turn smart phrases; the girl is a poet, laying down honest, relatable lyrics that read like novel prose. Her heartfelt songs are where she shines; I think Taylor is at her best when she's singing lines like "kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats."
Casting News: I know you should never trust a rumor, but talk is getting loud that Benedict Cumberbatch has been picked by Marvel to play Doctor Strange. I'm withholding my excitement until it's confirmed.
Scratch that: excited anyway. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lines 10/27 - Fearless Part III

Lines again today. I'm working away; regular blogging tomorrow.


From Fearless
Part III: All-American Monsters
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley

           “Where are you off to?” Maggie asked, cheerfully.

            “Ronnie’s. I’m spending the night.” She glanced up, to check for a reaction, shaking her overnight bag for emphasis.

            Maggie nodded as she stirred her white cream sauce, taking it all in stride. “Take this.” She slid a brown paper lunch sack down the counter toward her with her elbow.

            Ava picked it up and unfolded the top, saw the gauze, tape, syringes and ointment inside.

            “You know,” Maggie said with another sideways grin. “In case Ronnie comes down with a bad case of gunshot wound.”

            Ava felt her mouth tug at the corners, a reluctant smile.

            “Tell him I said ‘hi.’ ”

            “I’m leaving.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014


If you aren't a writer, you're thinking, what the heck is that? If you are a writer, you've no doubt at least heard of it. I'm participating this year in the most unofficial sense possible: I'll be reaching the word count for the month, to keep on track with Fearless. And since it's literally just around the corner, let's take a look at it.

NoNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is write a novel in the month of November, with a minimum word count of 50,000 words. Something like 300,000 writers will join in this year, and as a writer, I've been hearing the annual chatter build over the last month. Everyone's prepping. Everyone's getting excited. It's intense! Not to mention, could there be a more challenging month in which to dedicate your existence to novel-writing? With the holidays looming?

If you're interested, you can check out the official site here, and read the always-fun BuzzFeed interpretation here. I think NaNoWriMo sounds like a great way to get over the forever-unfinished-story hurdle. That's something I struggled with for years, and a month-long writing project like this would blast away doubt and boost confidence. The goal is not to write the perfect story, but to write a first draft, start to finish, one you can then edit and perfect.

What do you think? Anyone giving it a try this year? My goal is at least 70,000 words to knock out Part IV of Fearless, because I'm a glutton for punishment. If you're thinking about starting a novel, but need some incentive, it might be a great way to jumpstart your project.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lines 10/23 - Fearless Part III

From Fearless
Part III: All-American Monsters
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley

Ava made an involuntary mewling sound of distress. It felt like the floor tilted beneath her feet. There was a lot of blood. He was a big man, and he could stand to lose a lot, but…Her eyes were filling with tears and she was wracked with shivers by the time Mercy looked up and spotted her.
            “Christ,” Ghost said, “why the hell did you get her up for this?”
            “I need another set of hands,” Maggie snapped back. “She’s alright. Ava, babe, come on. He’s okay.”
            Their voices sounded like they were coming down a pipe. Her eyes were riveted on Mercy, on all the blood.
            He gave her one of his widest, most disarming smiles, all sharp teeth and sharp eyes. She could see the undercurrent of pain, though, that little line of tension in his lean jaw. “Hey,” he said, voice soothing. “Hey, hey. It’s just a little blood, yeah? You’ve seen way worse than this.” His head tilted, his eyes softening. “I’m alright, fillette. You come here and help your mom.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Hemingway's Wisdom

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”  

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”  

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”  

“A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.”

“If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.”  

“Good writing is good conversation, only more so.”

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.”  
Ernest Hemingway

Just a handful of my favorite Hemingway quotes about writing. The best writing advice allows for individuality; it encourages through simple truths that we as writers can use as building blocks for the more fantastical elements of our stories.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hamilton House

I'm a person who is prone to obsessions. I have a monogamous spirit; I commit to things, even if they're just ideas. If I stew on something long enough, if it haunts my thoughts to a certain degree, I put it on scrap paper. And it goes into The Box. I have a box in the top of my closet, full of very rough drafts, half-started stories, orphaned chapters, truly forceful characters with no novel in which to exist. There's stuff from high school in there, maybe even before, because I can't bring myself to throw away ideas that stayed with me for that length of time. The deeper I get into my publishing career, the more I use The Box as a cadaver, harvesting it for useful parts. That's a bad analogy; it's more like finding places for the misfits who didn't belong in their own stories.

Hamilton House is one of those misfits. I have written that house into countless intended books, and finally, in Fearless, had a real place to put it. It's the embodiment of one of my small obsessions: abandoned historical houses.

I've only ever lived in houses built in the 80s, and the 80s were a dark time for home design. Houses built in that decade have no character; they don't have that solid, timeless bone structure; the color choices were trendy and vulnerable to aging. 80s houses aren't haunted; 80s houses don't have echoes.

There's something fascinating about the idea that, in some of these old creaky houses, these empty shells left to rot and ruin, you could put your hand against the bleached scraps of wallpaper and be touching a place someone else touched over a hundred years ago. That gets me. I love history; I love how small and unimportant it makes me feel.

That's one of the reasons I love writing so much: it gives me an outlet for obsession-expression that real life will never afford me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Cover

It's coming right along. I'm so happy with how the cover came out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What a Week

Viktor pretty much sums it up with this picture. What a week. Markus has been sick; an auto-immune response triggered a mass production of lymphatic fluid in his left hind leg, and the swelling was just obscene. It's a condition called lymphangitis, one I've treated before, so thankfully, it was nothing new, just created lots of worry in me about my poor biggest boy. He's a senior horse now, and this was his worst flare-up of the chronic condition yet. Thankfully, he's feeling better today, after being on the meds a few days. He's so difficult about taking them, I have to disguise his antibiotics in molasses and inject his steroid with an intramuscular shot. I'm so thankful he's on the road to recovery and feeling more like himself.

I'm not sure I've ever told my Markus story, how he came to me. I'll have to do that soon, one afternoon when I'm not knee-deep in knives, literally and figuratively. I asked my dad if he had a knife I could photograph, and he proceeded to produce almost a dozen of them for me to choose from. My dad the weapons consultant! I'm working on the "All-American Monsters" cover, as well as that overall final Fearless cover. That one's a bit of an art project. Can't wait to share it.

So, Saturday night - I'm thinking staying in with wine, Cheetos, and Shakespeare sounds like a brilliant plan. Y'all go party for me. I'm recouping.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lines 10/17 - Fearless Part III

From Fearless
Part III: All-American Monsters
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley
Her smile was thin, but she couldn’t seem to help it. “You wanted me to be different.” From the rest of you, she left unsaid.

            “I wanted you to be better,” Ghost corrected. “And you are.”

            The backs of her eyes burned. She blinked and stared at her hands.

            “I just…” Ghost took a troubled breath. “I wanted you to know that. That you’re doing a good job and I’m proud.”

            That was probably her cue to leave, because she wasn’t going to get bigger praise than that. But she felt unsteady. It had been a very long time, she suddenly realized, since she’d sought shelter in the arms and leather-covered chests of any of the Lean Dogs in her life. She missed that. She was rabidly nostalgic for that, and wanted to dive across the table and into her father’s lap so he could tuck her under his chin and promise to put bullets in all her fears.
            But she wasn’t a little girl anymore – not that club-attached girl she’d been growing up – and he was proud of that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Lessons From The Page

This weekend, I treated myself to a little downtime and began reading this book; it's over a thousand pages, so I'll be a while at it, but I just can't stop working through Anne Rice's entire body of work. I'm ensnared. Today's Workshop Wednesday is less of a workshop and more of an observation, one of those pearls of wisdom plucked from the pages of a truly great author.

Rice's Gothic, supernatural tales may not be your thing, but no one could deny the true magic of her attention to detail. The rich histories, the depth, the shining personalities of her settings. Whether her characters are on the coasts of Cali, or in the swamps of Louisiana, or along the Seine in Paris, she pens a love letter to the city, and makes us, the readers, fall in love with this place. She writes especially lovingly of the South, which strikes a chord in me; I was raised Southern, and not ashamed of that. So many Southern writers spend their efforts razing the humid climes of their childhoods to the ground, humiliating, berating, belittling. But I love that, as twisted as some of the happenings of Rice's books, there is nothing less than sheer joy in her settings. Some of Lestat's exuberance for the world bleeding right through the page, making me feel familiar with Paris, with San Fran, with New York.

She makes me want to be there, inside the world of her stories, and that's a lesson I carry forward. Show your audience that they can fall in love with a place, and likely they will.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Talking Points

Rainy day. Coincidental outfit/rain boot coordination. Unintentionally awesome. I burn through cheap rain boots like they're made of sugar; might as well be stamped with Disposable at the factory.

I'm really enjoying this album. I love her voice and half the songs put me in a good mood to write Ava and Mercy, "Fire" in particular.

Fearless Part III is underway and so far, I'm happy with the progress. By now y'all know I'm a big fan of flashbacks, but this part is all present day, and it's all new for the characters, and it's a lot of fun. In Part III, we dive into the Carpathian conflict and there's lots of good drama-filled, heavy moments with Ava and Mercy; and lots of family side-action. Don't hold me to it, but I'm hoping to have it out in about a month.

I'm also working on "Green Like the Water," my Russell short story due out in December. It's set between the end and the epilogue of Keeping Bad Company, another peek into family life the way "Things" was. Layla, Lisa, and their menfolk on a beach getaway leads to, what else, family drama. Expect the long-awaited happy ending for Lisa.

The plan is - I say plan because a certain puppy likes to mess with my schedule - for all four parts of Fearless to comprise the first novel of my Dartmoor series. I introduce a character in this novel who will feature in the sequel. The plan - there's that word again - is to keep the series going. Books for Aidan and the other guys fleshing the club out even further. There's so much potential there, so I'm excited about the prospect of it all.

As always, any feedback is welcome and appreciated. Links over to the right. I'm off to make the most of the rest of puppy nap time.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Viktor Life

One of these days, I'll stop naming dogs after fictional nefarious types. I'm convinced at this point, that if I had named either of my boys Buttercup, they would have been docile and sweet as flowers. Instead, I have a rowdy little monster, who's pretty freaking adorable despite being monstrous.

The big difference, I've noticed, between my first Doberman and my second, is that Viktor is happy. I mean, really happy, all the time. And every new person or animal he meets, he wants to play with. And thinks they want to play with him. He thinks the barn cats want to play with him. He thinks the minis want to play. And, most dangerous of all, he thinks the big horses want to play. It's nothing short of adolescent exuberance pouring out of his little round eyes when he's around...well, anyone. Or anything. He's high on life, this dog.

For him, everything is a possibility: a new friend, a new game, a new toy; a new day, full of walks and tummy rubs and couch-leaping and leaf-chasing and stall-cleaning. It's a good lesson for me: look for the possibilities. This fall, I'm all about the possibilities of my writing: learning, growing, stretching, reaching. If only I had Viktor's energy! Right now, I'm all learn, learn, learn; grow, grow, grow. I just need to remember to chase a leaf now and then.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back in the Habit...?

I feel like I ought to apologize for being a bad blogger. I'm thrilled with how Fearless is doing, and most days, I brush my blogging time aside in favor of writing. By the time I realize that I haven't posted anything, it's getting into the evening hours and Viktor has hold of my sleeve and wants to play a walloping game of Murder...
...and the idea of rambling on about my personal life or whatever makes me groan, loudly.

But I'm going to try to do better. I need to compartmentalize better. Most days, when I finish writing, I exist the rest of the night in a floating daze: Ooh, pretty leaves. Pretty raindrops. So pretty.

I'm going to try, TRY, to be a better blogger this week. I took most of the weekend to read and have a mini Community marathon, icing my back between games of Murder. So, the trying starts tomorrow.

In the meantime, Fearless Part II is out now, for all your family/biker drama needs.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Deep Breath

Turning a book loose (even just a part of a book, in this case) is always followed by a deep breath, a couple of heartbeats to let the dust settle and get my energy back. Fearless is a big, mentally-draining story to write; I love it, but I love taking a breather here and there too, catch up on my book club reading.

Everyone have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fearless Part II: Crossing Lines

I hope you'll forgive me for skipping Workshop Wednesday yesterday, but I was getting Part II ready, and now it's available! In the second act of Fearless, we travel back five years to the moment when Ava and Mercy's relationship crossed the line, and the moment when it fell apart.

Fearless Part II: Crossing Lines is available for ninety-nine cents here, and to get started, find Part I: Lying Down With Dogs here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lunch Break

Having a leftover bowl of this soup for lunch. Fall is here, in Georgia, and it means business. I've missed my favorite soups over the summer, and this one is hearty and filling and warms you right up. I like to smother mine with green onions. I can live without wheat, but never without potatoes.

After lunch, it's back to editing. Fearless Part II comes out this week! Be on the lookout for the announcement; I'll post it on all my sites.

Friday, October 3, 2014

On the Horizon

I feel a little like I'm playing a never-ending Scrabble game at the moment. For the last few weeks, I've been slapping words down. I want to take a step back for a sec and line up the tiles in front of me, see what needs to be put down next.

A few future things:

Fearless Part II: Crossing Lines is coming within the next week or two. Almost up to 250 pages at this point, pre-editing. This section concentrates on the "Five Years Ago" part of the novel, an important set of occurrences that needed hashing out in full. Lots of drama and sex and such. I'm letting my mom read it as I go - she always gets first dibs on reading before it goes off to editing, and she offered up that Mercy was - wide eyes - "badass." I'm psyched to turn it loose. I'll be announcing it on FB, Twitter, and here the moment it's ready.

Fearless Part III: All-American Monsters will be released sometime closer to Christmas, depending on how much writing time I have. I think there's been a little confusion about the book, that it's all written and I'm just chopping it up for fun. Rest assured, I WISH it was written. I won't do this publishing-as-I-go thing again. Price of Angels will be written in full beforehand.

"Green Like the Water": Another Russell short story set after the events of Keeping Bad Company is due out in December. I loved writing the first oneshot, and wanted to do another one.

My Amazon page got a little facelift. Very streamlined.

Have a great weekend. You know what I'll be doing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - It's Okay to be Proud

I read this post today (always enjoy his thoughts), and it was a healthy reminder. Some people won't stop talking about themselves. Some people won't start - that's me. At dinner last weekend, my cousin said, "I had no idea how many books you've written. You never say anything about it." And the truth is, I don't. I don't bring it up, don't try to work it into a conversation; I downplay it when asked about it and try not to post any of my writer stuff on my personal FB page.

Why? I just don't like bothering people. You should see me on a date: borrr-ring. I live in this mindset in which I assume no one cares, and no one wants to hear, and I keep personal things personal, really personal. And in the case of writing, this is the wrong attitude. Unfortunately, in our braggadocios world of self-congratulation on social media, where poppy seeds pried from teeth and Diet Cokes purchased become major happenings, if you aren't talking about yourself, people assume you aren't proud. And that's not true - I'm very proud of my work. I've got carpal tunnel from typing and I lose sleep fretting over plot points. So a gentle reminder, my fellow introverts, that it's okay to be proud of our work, and to bring it up now and then, and answer honestly when people ask what we do. It's our job to promote, not to worry about who might not want to hear it. Our work is no less valuable than that of the more vocal, just because we talk about it less.

Did anyone else need that? Good. I know I sure did.