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Friday, October 30, 2015

Secondhand Smoke - First Teaser

To celebrate reaching 800 Facebook looks, a rare teaser snippet from Secondhand Smoke.

Secondhand Smoke
Copyright © 2015 by Lauren Gilley
All Rights Reserved


He lifted his brows. “You’re onboard with outlaw justice?”

            “When it comes to keeping my family safe, absolutely,” she said, without missing a beat.

            The wind picked up, pushing against them, reminding him that the season was about to give way to a chilly fall. It caught strands of her pale hair, tugged them loose from her braid, swept them across her face. A strand got stuck in her lip gloss and she brushed it away, still looking up at him.

            A dawning awareness overcame him, as she stared up at him. She looked at him – a lot. Usually when he glanced her way, her eyes were already on him. Except for last time, at Waffle House, when she’d refused to make eye contact. Had she looked at him in high school? He tried to remember, but that time of his life was a faded blur, dominated by his obsession with breaking into the club, littered with groupies and cheerleaders.

            But Sam was looking at him now, and her lip gloss looked like it might taste good, and her brows tucked together with the slightest show of concern as she waited on him to say something.

            She was…lovely.

            He’d never had lovely before.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Release Updates

Bit of a misleading title, actually, because I'm not giving any dates. *crouches down to avoid rotten tomatoes* But let me explain.
Right after I announced the release date for Skeleton, I came down with the flu. It was a doozy of a flu, lemme tell you. I missed two solid weeks of writing, and those were two weeks I couldn't afford to miss given my timetable. My grandmother was in the hospital. I got sick again. And I felt the pressure of that deadline. I didn't want to let anyone down by pushing it back; I wanted to do the "professional" thing. I met all my due dates with time to spare, and aside from the fact that I'd intended the novel to be longer and meatier at the outset, I was happy with the outcome.
Except...I really did want more meat on those skeletal bones. And there were certain plot points I wanted to set into motion.
Fast forward to now. The writing on Smoke is coming along at a nice clip. It is my great hope that I can have the novel in your hands before the end of the year. BUT, the holidays are coming up. It's a busy time of year. It's sickness season. The last thing I want right now is to be constrained by a date, of all things, because my goal is to write the best book possible.
Which brings me to my next point, re: The Best Book Possible. You all know how I like to write by now. I feel fortunate that it resonates with so many readers. For those who disapprove, I promise you that my style is no accident. Words are not mere vehicles to take us to our ultimate destination. I am not a "get it done quick and fix it later" sort of writer. Many hours are spent at the computer debating precise word choice, the exact placement of scenes that, perhaps while not scintillating, are building our characters and the overall scope of the narrative.
Aidan's book is not a steamy biker romance. It is a story about complicated responsibility, the affects of the choices we make, and second chances. And within this story, a romance - maybe even steamy at times, we'll see. I want the book to hit certain notes; I want it to have a particularly lyrical sound to its narrative, and I want to do every little thing that will make it memorable and worthwhile for all of you. And in order to do that, I don't want to announce a date.
Be assured, the moment I know, you will know.
As to Snow in Texas, I don't have a Kindle/paperback release date for that either. But I plan to update it regularly, and it will hopefully help with the waiting.
I wish I was giving better news, but I wanted to get everyone up to speed. I've been sick this week, and sort of MIA, so I thought it best to address the release date question with one big post. I hope you'll be patient with me. Smoke will be worth the wait.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Snow in Texas

You've probably seen the link for Snow in Texas on my Facebook page by now. But in case you haven't, or in case you're wondering what the heck it is, I thought I'd offer a more in-depth explanation.
Colin you met in Half My Blood, the irresponsible brother Mercy tried to turn into hamburger on the living room floor. Well, Colin went back to NOLA to prospect with that chapter of the Dogs, and now he's being transferred to the Texas chapter. Snow is a tie-in adventure, starring Colin, Candyman and the rest of the Texas crew. Timeline-wise, it falls in between The Skeleton King and Secondhand Smoke, as we will be seeing some of these characters in Smoke. This is an ongoing story being told one chapter at a time, with hopefully regular updates, available free to all readers on Wattpad. When it's complete, it will be made available for Kindle and Nook, and probably even paperback.
It's been simmering in the back of my mind to write another novella, this one, in fact, but I didn't want to derail the main story timeline and push back Smoke publication. So I'm doing it this way, and personally, I love writing a chapter at a time. It should be a fun way to wait for the next book, due out sometime this winter.
Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I've already blogged about the fact that October is my favorite month. I love autumn, Halloween, everything creepy, Gothic, dark and celebratory about this time of the year. This month makes me as excited as a kid. But, neither being a kid nor having any of my own, Halloween tends to fall by the wayside these days - a true shame. So I feel like celebrating it this year.
Tomorrow marks exactly one month since The Skeleton King released, and while a month isn't exactly a milestone, I continue to be warmed and brightened by the overwhelming positive response to my Dartmoor books. I had two local events last month to launch Skeleton, and now I think it's time to have a little online fun. So starting tomorrow, I'm hosting two weeks of Trick-or-Treating.
There will be:
- flash sales (24-48 hours)
- flash giveaways
- teasers
- assorted other treats and tidbits (no tricks involved!)
Everything's going to be dealt out on a flash basis, without prior warning, so you'll need to go like my Facebook page and check in daily to see the treat of the day. This would be a great chance to bring your friends into the series, or to check out some of my backlist books. Pop into FB tomorrow to join in!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Touching Nerves

The truest sentence that you know. And over the years, you will add to that first sentence, and eventually you will string together great reams of true sentences. And then you will write a true novel, and it will reach with invisible fingers off the page, sink through the skin of the reader, and touch nerves. It will stir memories and boil the blood. A true novel will not flatter a reader, but will force a reader to examine the world - and herself. A true novel will capture the essence of the human experience; it will not always be comfortable, and it will not always lead to bright places. But it will stay with you, as if you had lived it, because you saw the humanity in it. It gave you your reflection, and you either liked or loathed what you saw. But you are powerless to deny that it was, at its heart, true.

"I needed a reflection. To see if it would echo back..."
- Adam, Only Lovers Left Alive, 2014
**This Movie**
I published my first original novel in 2012, but prior to that, I'd been sharing my work publicly for years, since middle school, really. And in that time, I've come to appreciate reader feedback of all varieties. Reviews come in all shapes and sizes - as do humans, not so ironically - and there is something to be learned from each and every one. Because each review is a snapshot, a captured reflection, of the way your novel has touched deep nerves inside a reader.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A New Season

In all the hubbub of the launch party and then the JLCM event, I completely missed the chance to celebrate the arrival of fall.

I love October for several reasons. I love Halloween - I love rereading "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and cracking my massive volume of Poe stories. I love the old black and white horror movies. I love cappuccinos, and the smell of rotting leaves, and the way the horses are all frisky and tossing their manes in the morning. October is a month for heading indoors a little early each night. A month for first frosts, first fires, and the first whiff of snow on the air.
Normally, it's a time for reading, and I'm sure my chiropractor wishes I'd do just that, since he says I need "rest." But my own books are keeping me a little busy at the moment.
A couple of quick things on the "what's happening" front:
- An entire signed set of the Dartmoor books are up for bidding at a wonderful charity auction benefitting one of my very kind and supportive readers. Bidding is open a few more days, so there's still time to make a play for the books available. And all proceeds go to benefit the family, so it's a fantastic cause.
- I'm working on Dartmoor Book IV, Secondhand Smoke, which is Aidan's story. I felt the pressure during The Skeleton King, because I'd committed to a release date and then got sick. So with this book, I'm going to work merrily along with no release date announcement - for now, anyway. A LOT happens in this book, and it's going to be big, and any chance there is to really flesh out the world and bring the whole club into play, I'm going to take. It'll be fun. Fans will really enjoy it, I think, and that's who this book is for - not the on-the-fence-readers, but the long-haul ones. I'll try to share as much as I can as we go.

So my October looks like work, ponies, reveling in my horror roots, and hopefully getting some of that much-needed rest. I'm hoping for some fun blog posts to celebrate my favorite month.
Happy October, and happy reading, as always.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Music Monday - 10/5

Haven't done one of these in a while. Three can't-stop-listening-to songs from my weekend playlist to put me in the mood for Book 4.

"Wildfire" - Marianas Trench

"Wild Horses" - Bishop

"Here" - Alessia Cara

Saturday, October 3, 2015

JLCM Fall Sustainer Event

Buffet setup
 For a geeky introverted writer, the prospect of public speaking is always at least marginally terrifying. But I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful event than Thursday's dinner with the Junior League.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reminiscing Week - The Skeleton King

First Line:
The trainer was a broad man, with a full dark beard.

Pages: 362

Publication Date: September 15, 2015
My Favorite Things about the Book:
The farm. I had a lot of fun playing with design and layout in my head. Briar Hall is admittedly a fantasy farm for me. Stone, tongue-and-groove, two arenas - sigh.
Walsh is one of my favorite boys, chiefly because he doesn't throw off a lot of obvious outlaw energy. Not everyone can be a six-five human wrecking ball (love you, Merc) and I like that Walsh can bring a different vibe into play. I love my strong silent types; the clever, responsible ones. Plus, there's the accent...

Things You May Not Know:
Well, you probably guessed it while reading, but I'm a real-life horse person. I used to manage a barn the way that Emmie does, so I can speak from experience when I say it's a backbreaking, never-ending job. A job we do out of love for the animals. And we love the smell of hay, fresh pine shavings, and good clean horse sweat.
Emmie's horse Apollo is modeled after my horse Markus, part-warmblood/part-guard dog.

Favorite Scenes:
Walsh and Emmie's first meeting.

Their dinner of "eggs and such."

Favorite Line:
"Club comes first. We protect it, and it protects the people who belong to it. The men who wear the patch, and the women we love, and the children they give us. When someone tries to hurt us, any of us, we put 'em down. Simple as that."

Last Line:
I can't put that here! Spoilers for people who haven't read. :)