2022 Year In Review

So many words, so little time … here’s what’s coming in 2023.

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. But I do like to look back on where I’ve been as a way to frame where I’m going.

Where I’ve Been

2022 was a funny old year. I had some expectations for it: that I’d publish another Daddy P.I. book, that I’d finish the Teddy’s Boys series, that I’d have more face-to-face social interaction as the country emerged from COVID lockdowns. Some of those expectations flopped: my first big face-to-face social interaction of 2022 ended with me getting COVID and spending six weeks recovering. Some of them were fulfilled (I published Max’s Bumble and Quaternion, two books of which I’m tremendously proud). Some of them took a zig and a zag but ended up being more satisfying than I could have imagined (my second big face-to-face social interaction, the Books on the Beach signing, was fabulous and convinced me to join signing events in 2023 and 2024).

Because I love numbers, here are some numbers for 2022:

Words written: 415, 447

Novels published: 4

Gabe’s Girl: 105,418

Max’s Bumble: 134,442

Quaternion: 132,830

Capricorn: 51,837

Novellas/shorts published: 3

Curvy Space Girls Need Love, Too: 19,377

Warrin With An I: 5,180

Under the Golden Moon: 16,955

These numbers do not add up, EJ! I hear you saying. True. That’s because some of the words I published in 2022 were written in 2021 (a good chunk of Gabe’s Girl and most of Max’s Bumble, which took me almost a year to write), and because I started a Patreon in 2022 where I’ve been posting short stories that now exceed 50k, which will be collected and released in 2023.

Where I’m Going

I don’t have any plans to slack off in 2023, so this is what’s on the planner:

Blunts Tales Vol. 1: this is the first collection of the steamy short stories I’ve been posting on my Patreon. They feature the house submissives of Blunts, the kinky club in the Daddy P.I. series.

Daddy P.I. 3.0: after the two spin-off books (Max’s Bumble and Missing Ink), it’s time to finish the trilogy. This is the last planned book featuring Logan and Emily, although they will certainly appear in future stories set in and around Blunts. Yes, there will be a baby. At least one …

Seismic Daddy: this is a short that will appear in the spring Dirty Daddies anthology. I’m already ridiculously invested in the characters, though, so they may have to join the Daddy P.I. world at some point.

A Little Summer Sizzle: a character from Daddy P.I. 3.0 will head off to the fabulous Rawhide Ranch to help rehabilitate a daddy who is in serious need of TLC.

Blunts Tales Vol. 2: the second collection of the steamy short stories I’ve been posting on my Patreon, this collection is focused on mischief and mayhem at the club and will feature appearances from a new character in Daddy P.I. 3.0. The clues in the stories will lead readers to a hidden story from the Daddy P.I. world. I really love the idea of sprinkling clues over time for readers to find, so I’m planning to work a related mystery into the physical newsletters I send out (the Emily’s Desk tier+ on my Patreon).

Daddy P.I.: The Second Collection: a box set of Max’s Bumble, Missing Ink, Daddy P.I. 3.0, and two short stories, Something Little This Way Comes, and Have Yourself A Primal Little Christmas, which are only available through my Patreon currently.

The Bad Boys of Bevington College: Arcana Primus: a box set of Teddy’s Boys, Gabe’s Girl, and Quaternion for readers who like to have all the books in one place. I’m planning for the box set to be my first adventure into hardback books; there will be special covers. And, of course, what would one of my box sets be without a bonus novella? There’s several years between Quaternion and Capricorn where Teddy and her boys might have had a few adventures …

Ulune’s Daughter: the next book in the Bad Boys of Bevington College series. It’s set after Capricorn (that is, seven years after Quaternion) and features Kellan, an Air-mage and magickal archeologist, and the three boys who claim their naughty professor and won’t let her go . . . no matter what. Ulune’s Daughter is inspired by my obsession with treasure-hunting shows like The Curse of Oak Island. As with the other Bevington College books, Ulune’s Daughter promises to be a little darker than my other books in both the situations the characters face and the kinks explored. I’ll be emphasising the content warnings on this one. As there’s a lot to this adventure (my plot outline is already over 5k), it may end up becoming a duet.

Fate and the God of High Steel: this is a spin-off from the Bevington College series and part of the Defying the Gods shared world series, featuring Trippy, a Fate with a very little side, and Joe, the God of High Steel. Trippy and Joe have cameos in Gabe’s Girl (although Trippy’s sister, Klotho, has a big role in Teddy’s story). I really wanted to explore their characters more but just didn’t have the space in Teddy’s books, so I’m seizing this chance. I anticipate Trippy and Joe will have cameos in Ulune’s Daughter, but I’m keeping my schedule flexible to avoid painting myself into another spoiler corner the way I did with Quaternion and Capricorn, so this may be their origin story instead of a later adventure. How does a Fate find a mate? Sometimes, they have to make one …

Omega Reclaimed: realistically, this may lap over into 2024, but I really want to get Kieran and Morgan’s first book out in 2023. Their origin story is “Under the Golden Moon,” in the Ruled by the Alpha anthology. Writing just the origin story broke my heart. I know their full story is going to wreck me. A fitting end to 2023, maybe.

What about De Leon, Jou and Tsara, and where are all these scifi-romances I keep teasing readers with? They’re definitely coming. So many words, so little time …

Book Review – The Lone Wolf’s Rejected Mate

Book 3 in the Five Packs series by Cate C. Wells

I stayed up all night (literally – sun was rising when I closed my eyes) reading this, my first read of 2023.

I’ve loved this whole series and this book is no exception. The ripple effects of the horrors of the time when Declan Kelly controlled the pack continue to spread. If you thought Killian was twisted and stunted from his father’s monstrosity, just wait until Darragh’s secrets come out.

This book takes the overarching plot line of what’s happening to the Five Packs a big step forward. I don’t want to spoil it, but that part of the book was tremendously tense for me. Yes, it’s a romance. Yes, I know there’s going to be an HEA. But, boy, was I in doubt as to how Darragh and Mari were going to get out of that very sticky situation. I loved that it wasn’t just Darragh to the rescue. A self-saving princess is one of my favorite tropes and Mari came through without turning into Wonder Woman, which would not have been true to her character.

And then there’s the tree house. Sigh. So many happy tears.
Highly recommended.

Quaternion Coloring Page

Color with me!

In honor of Quaternion’s release, I’ve made a dragon and castle coloring page. I’ll be including a blank and a page I’ve colored in the release Fae Box for a lucky winner. Join my Facebook reader group and watch for details!

In the meanwhile, color along with me! I’ll be going live in my Facebook group this week to work on the coloring page.

Don’t forget to grab Quaternion to find out the importance of the dragon and the castle.

If you’re new to the series, start here with Teddy’s Boys, only $0.99 for a limited time in honor of the release!

The Bevington College series ends … or does it?

Eighteen months ago, when a brash young woman popped up in my dreams and announced herself as Teddy Nowak, I never imagined a year and a half later that I’d have a three-book series. But Teddy’s story was too big to contain. Her world is a rich, dangerous, wondrous place and it took me some time (and pages) to explore. Have you discovered Teddy and her boys yet? No?

Start here.

But even finishing Teddy’s story with Quaternion left a huge open question. I couldn’t resolve it without another book.

But that’s another post.

Book Review – The Governess and the Orc

I know I say this about each Orc Sworn book – I KNOW I do – but this one really is my new favorite.

I adored these characters. Geva really spoke to me, both in aspiration and desperation. It was the promise made to so many young women of my generation: work hard in school, get a good education, and you’ll be rewarded with a challenging, rewarding career. Only we weren’t. We hit the glass ceiling. We were resented by our peers. We got passed over for roles that absolutely should have been ours. I knew *exactly* what frustrations and fears drove Geva because I have absolutely been there. I though Gwen from Midwife and the Orc was my spirit animal but no, not after I met Geva.

Rath initially seems so, so wrong for our erstwhile governess. He’s a rogue. A thief! He destroys her career and puts her life in serious danger without so much as an apology. But as the story twists and turns (and there are LOT of twists and turns – I love all the Ash-Kai scheming!), it became clear that Rath was exactly what Geva needed. Good girls love a rogue, don’t they? And Rath’s roguishness had some surprisingly sympathetic roots. I complain sometimes in reviews about couples who don’t earn their HEAs. Rath and Geva *really* earned theirs.

I also loved seeing series characters again. The denizens of Orc Mountains feel like friends at this point and it’s always wonderful to visit with them. The story arc with Kesst is one of my favourites and it plays out beautifully here. Eft has a line that absolutely stopped me in my tracks – I won’t say what it was because of spoilers, but you’ll know when you get there – and you’ll know what it means if you’ve read Sins of the Orc. My heart melted. There is no better mate for our cynical, sharp-tongued Infirmarian. 

I can’t review an Orc Sworn book without talking about the amazing world building in this series. This author has developed a world that’s viscerally real – I can touch, taste, hear and smell it in every scene. I’ve always liked the contrasts between the “outside” world of men and the “inside” world of Orc Mountain. It works particularly well here as a metaphor for the mindsets and relationships between the characters. Rath’s “trove” is a particularly deft touch; when the author used the detail of where Geva’s book is to off-set what seemed like Orcish callousness and cruelty, it brought tears to my eyes.
As with the rest of this series, there’s plenty of steam in this book, but I absolutely adored the role reversal in this one. It was so satisfying.

This is a book I will read many, many times and highly recommend.

Ready for a deep dive?

Join my Patreon

I’ve been looking for a better channel to get content to readers, particularly international readers (cough, Vella, cough) and super-fans. Patreon, with its flexible tiers to suit every budget, seems like a good fit.

Tier 1 patrons – toss me a tip and I’ll tip my hat! You’ll get updates and previews of my coming projects.

Tier 2 patrons – join the Silver Star and get weekly WIP updates, chapter read-a-longs from my backlist, advance copies of all short stories and novellas, plus monthly character profiles and deleted scenes.

Tier 3 patrons – join Blunts and get on the membership committee! All the fun of Tier 1 and Tier 2 plus early access to each book, chapter by chapter, and a digital copy of each book on release.

Tier 4 patrons – be one of my angels! With input into my writing process like character names and story order, a signed paperback with each book release, and an exclusive monthly short story, these patrons will be watching over me.

Tier 5 patrons – sit on my shoulder and be my guardian angel! This tier is exclusive and limited to 10 patrons who will have access to my entire backlist, advance copies of all releases, a signed paperback every months, access to a chat room with direct access to me, a subscription box on each release, and commissioned art work.

Check out my new Patreon here.

Quaternion is live …

There is no fate but what you make … but what if Fate is out to get you?

Teddy and her boys are back, Tuesdays and Thursdays on my Patreon.

They’ve faced Klotho once. They’ve barred her from her supply of unborn souls. But you can’t stop Fate … or can you?

First three episodes free! Start here.

Primal Daddy is here …

Max’s Bumble is live and free to read in Kindle Unlimited!

A band of murderous mercenaries.

A Little in danger.

And a Primal Daddy to the rescue.

Max Bateman has been betrayed too many times. After escaping a group of black-hat hackers who have painted his hands with innocent blood, Max finds refuge in New York with his best friend, Logan. He begins to build a new family, and to explore the strange cravings that meeting Logan’s Little, Emily, and her friend Cynnie, stir in him.

Cynthia Kimura is drowning. Crushed by the expectations of her overbearing family, she finds freedom as a Little, and in Max’s primal dominance. But the world is not a safe place for Littles and Cynnie is a Little in great danger.

When the hackers blackmail Max into one last job, can Primal Daddy save the day?

Grab Max’s Bumble here: https://books2read.com/u/baGZk2

And to get everyone primed for Primal Daddy, here’s a free coloring book of Max and Cynnie’s chibis from their app: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/3krjkj4f0r

Hero Daddies

Hero Daddies, a charity anthology to support Unicef Ukraine, is live!

I’m so proud and pleased to be part of this anthology. Here’s a sneak peek at my contribution, “Warrin With An I”:

I take a handkerchief out of my breast pocket and wipe her face with it. “Who made you cry, little girl?”

Her eyes flash up to me and then to T-Sug. I shake my head gently.

“Was it someone on the playground?” I ask, guiding her into a fantasy we’ve played out before.

“Yes, daddy,” she says. “A mean boy pushed me down and called me names.”

He did a lot more than that to her.

“Do you have any boo-boos?” I ask.

She nods and lifts her elbows, showing me injuries that are imaginary now, but weren’t once. She has a lot of white scar-tissue on her elbows. And knees.

I lean forward and press gentle kisses to each elbow. “All better?”

She gives me a shy smile.

“Knees, too?”

She nods. I hold out my hand and when she puts hers in it, guide her hand to my shoulder for balance as I lift her legs, left then right, and kiss each knee. I take longer over these boo-boos, smoothing the old scars with my lips, looking up into her eyes as I do.

Her smile widens, becomes real. Her eyes sheen, but behind the tears, the soft brown brightens.

“Better?”

“Yes, daddy.” She leans forward and points at her forehead. “Boo-boo here.”

I brush a kiss across her forehead, letting my lower lip drag over her soft skin. With our faces so close, she whispers, “He’s going to k1ll you.”

Grab your copy here –> https://books2read.com/u/3JpzLK

Review – The Maid and the Orcs

I started crying at 16% and didn’t stop … in the best way!

I started crying at 16% and didn’t stop …

I love this series. It’s gone to the top of my TBR with each new release. And I think this is the best book yet. For a reader coming to the series fresh, I actually think this one could be read as a standalone. By tell the story from Alma’s point of view, the author has made everything fresh, the reader discovers things as Alma does. But reading the whole series gives SO much more depth to this story. Seeing the respect that the Skai scouts give Drafli. (Sniffle.) Finding out why Drafli stuck to the Skai ways for so long. (Sob.) Learning Drafli’s tragic history and the story behind his scar. (Waaaa!)

Nope, I never stopped crying. This story hit me in ALL the feels.

I’ve said in previous reviews how much I admire the worldbuilding in this series. Discovering who does the laundry in Orc Mountain gave this story so much depth. How they clean the floors? Brilliant. I’d never have thought of that. The author has always done a great job of making me feel that I was right in the story, smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting, and feeling this world right along with the characters. Never more so than this story. Given that the series is written in third person, which is not my preferred POV (but the author makes it work), that is a real feat and a testament to the author’s skill.

I’ve already re-read the book twice. I’m sure I will re-read it again MANY times. Highly recommended!

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