Saturday, January 11, 2020

WINTER WRITING By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless #romancegems

Does anyone else seem to need a lot more sleep at this time of the year?  The idea of hibernation has always sounded good to me.  Stuff myself with my favorite foods, have a nice long sleep, then wake up thin and hungry.

The reality of hibernation is not quite as appealing as it sounds.  Lower body temperatures, below 37 degrees F, can disrupt the digestive tract and may cause pain.  Cold temperatures can also suppress the immune system and make us more vulnerable to infections.  Worst of all, some animals coming out of hibernation show signs of sleep deprivation.  WHAT!  That wouldn’t work for me!  The low metabolism and body temperature of torpor can affect brain activity associated with sleep regulation and memory. 

No one knows how this would work with humans, but since my memory is already challenged I guess I’ll stick with my normal routine; early to bed and late to rise.  And hope I don’t have too many of those nights where my brain seems to have overloaded on caffeine (which I avoid after noon for this very reason). There is nothing worse than tossing and turning as everything runs at breakneck speed through my head; past, present and utter nonsense, like a movie trailer gone berserk.

Despite my propensity for lots of sleep I don’t feel much of an urge to go out, so I’m reasonably productive during the daylight hours, which are finally getting longer, thank goodness.

What I’m currently working on: Releasing UNTAMED, my first steamy contemporary romance in a long time.  Book 3 in Secret Seductions. 
Available for preorder here.

Paris heard a shout from the far end of the street. She strolled down to join the onlookers outside a split rail fence, then squeezed forward for a better view of the cowboy who stood inside the corral, where an extremely skittish-looking mare eyed him warily. 
While most eyes were drawn to the horse, Paris’s gaze was riveted on the man and the way all six-plus denim-clad feet of him exuded power and control.  Nut brown leather chaps gloved long, muscular legs and slapped together as he walked toward the horse.  Did any garment better enhance a man’s masculinity, the way they emphasized the exposed denim-V of his crotch?
Not that he required special clothing to emphasize the fact that he was every inch a virile male.  From fathomless dark eyes beneath winged brows, a square jaw peppered with a day’s growth of whiskers, and capable broad shoulders tapering to lean hips, everything about the man proclaimed him pure alpha male.
Paris sighed.  When he removed his leather gloves and tucked them into his back pocket her sigh deepened, for he had fabulous hands, big and strong.  And judging by the way he handled the horse he certainly knew how to use them. 
What would those hands feel like caressing her—sliding slowly up over her hips and waist to cup her breasts, as his dark smoldering eyes gazed into hers with desire?
Her nipples tightened.  He’d slowly unbutton her blouse, drawing out the anticipation one button at a time, finally unveiling her lacy bra.  Beads of perspiration dewed her hair line and her breathing grew shallow. 
When his gaze met hers Paris flushed, unable to look away.  It was almost as if he could read her thoughts, know her desire.  The possibility inflamed her further, making the blood pound in her veins. After a long breathless moment, he turned his attention back to the horse.  Suddenly feeling in need of a cold drink, Paris headed back down Main Street.
The saloon doors swung open on silent hinges and her footsteps rang against the wooden floor as she crossed the room.  She leaned against the gleaming mahogany bar and hooked her foot on the brass railing, examining the gleaming liquor bottles lining the shelves behind the bar.   
“What’ll you have?” asked the burly bartender.
“Just a club soda.”
A deep, masculine voice drawled from the doorway.  “Tearoom’s at the other end of town.” 
Paris slowly turned toward the speaker silhouetted in the doorway.  His face was shadowed beneath a black Stetson, and a faded denim jacket clung to his shoulders.  As he started toward her, brown leather chaps shifted on his hips, emphasizing the triangle of equally faded denim sheathing his masculine attributes. 
Her cowboy.
He advanced with a jangle of spurs and the solid tread of well-worn boot heels. Up close he was even more ruggedly good-looking, and his dark eyes hinted at something untamed about their owner.  Right now, those eyes were freely checking her out.
His gaze moved from her eyes to her lips, then dropped to linger on the shadowy cleavage revealed by the scooped neckline of her costume. 
His X-ray vision breached the exotic lingerie she secretly indulged in and devoured her beneath the clothes. 
“You’re not going to make me drink alone, are you?  You look like a chardonnay kind of girl,” he drawled. 
“Actually, I prefer sauvignon blanc,” she said coolly.
A half-filled wine glass instantly appeared before her next to a tumbler of whiskey.  His eyes locked to hers, the cowboy clinked his whiskey glass against her wineglass and swallowed.  Her gaze followed the long, tanned line of his throat as he drank.  They sure didn’t grow men like this in Seattle.
“What’s your name, Princess?”
Princess?  She rolled her eyes but couldn’t deny his charm. 
“Paris.  Paris Sommer.”
“Mitchell Brand the third.  Folks call me Brand.”  His tone told her he was proud of his name, proud of who he was.  “Well, Paris Sommer, you’re in Forked Creek now.  The normal rules don’t apply.” 

 Available for preorder here.

I am also editing BARRON’S BRIDE to release in February or March.  (This brother has not gone easily to the altar)
Drafting BENJAMIN’S BRIDE for a later spring release
Final touches to UNDERCOVER for release next month.  (I hope)
Writing a novella, PERCY’S HOPE, about what Sir Percival Bloom has been up to while he’s off stage from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  I can tell you that he meets a special lady called Hope.
And that’s only the beginning of what I have planned for 2020.  Just looking at the amount of work ahead makes me tired.  Perhaps I should go have a nap.

Before you comment below as to whether you tend to sleep more in the winter or not, make sure you enter our Rafflecopter Draw.  We love giving away Amazon gift cards because we are pretty sure most readers will use them to buy books.  Win-win!

My other exciting news is that UNMASKED has made it to round 2 of a cover contest.  Your vote will help out a wonderful new cover artist just starting out.  Nothing to buy.  No emails collected.  One click is all it takes.

See you next month!  Kathleen


  1. I sleep more...and earlier. I fight to stay awake after 7 p.m. even with a medicinal coffee at 3 p.m. But I've long been aware that my sleep pattern is effected by sunshine and the lack.

  2. Wow, I didn't know all those facts about hibernation. Used to think it was a good deal. Guess, I'll just keep those daylight awake hours. Thanks.

  3. I have always liked winter writing, but this winter has been busier than most and I've been less productive. I'm also in the "need more sleep" mode, and I don't like it a bit!

  4. I do tend to take naps in the winter, whereas the rest of the year, I refuse to miss a minute of daylight. I despise winter and have a bad attitude toward it, lol. Your upcoming releases sound fantastic! xo

    1. I'm with you on my dislike of winter! And winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing sound like torture.

  5. I love winter but this winter has been difficult personally. I have always needed a lot of sleep so I can't blame the season. Congratulations on inclusion in the competition. Your upcoming release is intriguing. Best wishes for 2020!

  6. Caroline, please share what you love about winter. You're in the minority here, although we all agree sleep is a good thing.

  7. I hate being cold!!!! I would love to be able to go somewhere warm for a few months in the winter but there are those pesky details like work. It baffles me that as a kid I actually thought it was fun to go out to play in the snow, sleigh ride, ice skate, etc.
    As for napping, all I have to do is sit down and I'm asleep. Except in the wee hours of the morning when I get a burst of energy.

    1. I hate being cold as well! For Christmas, Steel bought me heated booties to wear at my desk (they vibrate too, good for the circulation when you sit all day)and a heated shawl for my shoulders. With the room's heat cranked and my fingerless gloves I can get through the season.

  8. I'm typically a night owl and then a late riser and it usually takes me a while to fall asleep (even if I stay up super late) no matter the season. But I've found that taking care of a very active 6 year old and a want-to-be-snuggled-all-the-time 4 month old is the perfect cure to make me fall asleep in minutes!! And somehow I'm still tired! Go figure!

  9. Kari, I'm tired just thinking about it.

  10. I'm a night owl and an early bird because work. :/ I think I'm just some sort of permanently exhausted pigeon ;)

  11. Extra Vitamin D to help me get through this time of year but I also believe in the natural cycles of the Earth. Winter is meant for cocooning or hibernating. We all must rest before we start the frantic growth cycle in the Spring. And it sounds like you have lots of growth to plan with your writing and characters!

  12. Definitely been a weird few months this year, winter wasn't as cold as the last here .


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