To all the people I’ve deceived, which is everyone who thinks I’m nice. On the outside, sure, but on the inside I’m a roiling, seething mess of fury and curses, thirsting for vengeance and sour gummy bears. I’m lying again, except about the curses. I’m generally laid back with a totally cool vibe. Fuck, more lies. We should move on – this greeting is getting far too long to qualify as a salutation.
My point (just when you were beginning to think I didn’t have one) is that Duplicity (Running with the Devil Book 11) is on the digital bookshelf (yahoooooo!), with the paperback to follow. Once the proof of Duplicity arrives in the mail and I give it the thumps up, it too will be available on Amazon.
Speaking of papyrus, did you know, the ‘thumbs up’ expression originated in Roman amphitheaters and the gestures were opposite of today’s? So, back then if I gave the thumb’s up, the lion ate you. If I gave the thumbs down, you ate the lion. These days neither happens unless you’ve pissed off a lion and its pride gives the thumbs up. Moral of this lengthy aside is don’t piss off lions.
If I wasn’t so lazy doing other things like writing and drinking lattes (yes, you heard me, lattes from my new latte-making machine, which I had to order because my Starbucks is closed), I would have all my books in paperback. There are just a few remaining, and once done, I’m going to have them reproofed and reposted.
The proofing won’t be done by me, because my proof reader extraordinaire tells me I can’t proof my own books, which is a lie because I have proof of my proofing, but it’s bad proof because my proofing sucks – and not in that good way.
That was a long-winded start to my amazing blog, which, at the moment, lacks a bit of focus.
I just finished up the last of my four fabulous interviews with my favourite authors (lot of Fs, my favourite letter), DeeDee Prince, Annabel Joseph, Nikita Slater, and Bijou Hunter), all of whom I am now on a first name basis, except maybe Nik. She’s a bit deceptive about her true feelings towards me – she loves me, I know she does, though she avoids the topic (and me) when I want to cuddle with her.
There may be more interviews in the future, because I have more favourite authors, but as you know, I’m shy in that ‘I love you, I stalk you, I might even kidnap you’ way, and my fear of rejection prevents me from approaching head on. Another lie, the only thing I fear rejection from is ice cream and so far, it has never let me down. In fact, I trust it without reservation.
As you may have heard, the only two things in life you can count on are ice cream and red wine. But I’ve learned how wrong I am about wine. It lies, offers promises of increased intelligence, happiness, and beauty, but really is just a mean, bitter sack of grapes, who after two bottles, impairs my vision, makes me trip over my feet, sway from side to side, and gives me headaches, sometimes of epic proportions.
So while I’ll never break up with Red Wine, the only thing in life I can count on is ice cream.
Enough about whatever I’m talking about (even I’m not sure anymore). Let’s discuss the man of the hour, Mr. Jackman (aka Dimitri L’vovich Mikalev, Rusya Savisin’s nemesis, and also, cousin, and Brook Lafferty’s love interest in Duplicity)!
I love this man, I want this man, I was thinking about buying a 3-D printer (but the good ones are beyond my paltry budget) and making this man. It took much patience to hold off writing his story until Book 11, but at the same time, as long as I held off, he was still attainable.
Don’t get me wrong, I also love Rusya Savisin, and my loyalties are torn, but if I had to choose, Jackman would be my guy. Why you ask? Well, maybe the Jackman camp didn’t, but I know for sure the Rusya Savisin camp asked.
For starters, I’m terrible at small talk, and so is Rusya Savisin, so we’d never talk. I know what you’re thinking. So the fuck what – there are other things that we could be doing, and that’s true, but he’s dangerous in a way that would make me fear him like Esma never did. He needed a woman that would swing at his fast balls (I just made that up – it’s a baseball analogy, but it kind of sounds dirty, doesn’t it?).
Jackman, on the other hand, is my opposite in some ways, because although I can get bossy and bitchy and even demanding, I often get shy around men (except for Mr. Quinn because we’ve been married long enough that he thinks it’s okay to burp loudly while I’m on the phone).
I’m okay with some men like BiL (generic name for all 11 of my brothers-in-law), former colleagues, etc, but men like Rusya and Jackman would keep me tongue-tied for months.
The difference between the two handsome devils, is that Rusya doesn’t have the ability to bridge my discomfort because he is the tall, dark, silent type. Jackman is tall and dark, but he rarely hesitates to speak his mind.
Originally, I titled Duplicity, Mr. Master – it was always Mr. Master in my head, but then fucking Brook Lafferty walked into his life and I knew that Mr. Master wouldn’t work, because this story was as much about Brook as it was about Jackman.
I had also planned to pair Jackman with Emmaline Hawthorne (of Fallen Angel fame), but Robert Creed had his sights set on that girl and there was nothing I could do about it. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Brook came along, all reckless and difficult and I realized this was the right woman to take Jackman on.
Having said all that, I love all my men and while I’m sad that Duplicity is Book 11 of the RWD series, which means that Book 12 (working title is House of Shadows, but I think it will change before publication) is the last of the series. BUT… I have been waiting to write book 12 since I wrote The Darkest Hour (Book 1). I had a haphazard plan when I started the series and it didn’t always play out as expected, but it was always headed towards Book 12, which, dear readers, is going to be explosive (or a dud and everyone will go ‘meh’)!
Big News Announcement now!
Not to brag (okay, maybe a little bragging), I caught Mr. Jackman while he was on a covert trip to Moscow and he agreed drop by my room at the Lotte Hotel for an interview. I was so fucking excited I nearly peed myself. Fortunately, I was in the shower when he called (my phone is shower proof) and well, you know….
The Lotte Hotel has appeared in my books a couple of times – it is a real hotel in the heart of Moscow and has some awesome suites. When I’m writing, unless the hotel/motel room is a standard room, I always find a real hotel and try to stick close to the description of both the hotel and the suite. Anyway, I’ve digressed yet again. Where was I?
Oh yeah, peeing in the shower.
I used a false name like Brook did as it seemed to work for her. Unfortunately, Mr. Jackman saw right through me, mostly because I was wearing a sheer raincoat when I answered the door.
He narrowed his eyes and refused to look beyond my nose, which I’ve often been told is absolute perfection, so I understood the attraction. But then, he pointed his finger towards the bedroom and told me to put on appropriate interview attire.
I’m an obedient girl and so I changed into my French maid outfit, then joined him on the sofa in the living room. He was drinking the scotch I bought for him. It wasn’t his usual brand, because I am a poor writer who had to pawn Mr. Quinn to get the money to go to Moscow and rent the hotel room.
Surprisingly, Mr. Quinn is worth more than I thought – it’s possible I underestimate the value of a long, loud burp.
I opened a bottle of cheap red wine and emptied it into a giant wine glass (I have an emergency travel kit with a corkscrew, the giant wineglass, a thimble, and some moldy cheese) and sat next to Mr. Jackman, alluding that I might have a hearing problem and needed to be within snuggling range.
He didn’t seem to mind, although he questioned my French maid outfit, which I assured him was what journalists these days were wearing (which is a lie, because I’m not a journalist although we have a lot in common, because I write fiction and oftentimes, so do they).
We tapped our glasses and took a drink. I tried to snake my arm through his, like they do at weddings, but Mr. Jackman got all grumbly about me being too close to his scotch. Rejected, I drowned my sorrows (and also, a small black fly that had been buzzing around the room) in alcohol.
I put on a brave face after swallowing the fly and wondered if I now needed to swallow a spider. But Mr. Jackman was getting impatient, and so I started the interview.
Interview with Mr. Jackman
Me (which stands for Jasmin Quinn for those of you who are still uncertain why you’re reading this blog): Mr. Jackman, thank for joining me in this hotel room where we could do absolutely anything we wanted and no one would ever know. May I call you Jackman or do you prefer Dimi?
Mr. J: You may call me Mr. Jackman or Master Jackman or Mr. Master.
Me (swallowing and getting wiggly): How about Mr. J?
Mr. J (narrowing his eyes): Did you think this was a negotiation, girl?
Me (not sure what the right answer is, I hedge): Possibly.
He sighs heavily as he drains his scotch. We’re off to a rocky start, but I’m not some two-bit hack who doesn’t know how to deal with aggressive men (all of it lies—I am a two-bit hack).
Me: Mr. Jackman, I understand that while you run a business that on the surface seems legitimate and even, dare I say, philanthropic, you’re really a criminal with a body count higher than Cheech and Chong, and your sole purpose in life is to piss off your cousin, Rusya Savisin.
Mr. J (fiercely scowling): Was there a question in there.
Me: Yes. Is it all true?
Mr. J (leaning towards me with a stern expression): Yes, it’s all true. But you won’t tell anyone, will you, Jasmin?
Me (licking the fly-infused wine off my lips): Umm. I might have mentioned it in the unauthorized biography I wrote of you.
Mr. J (surprised and unhappy): You wrote a biography of me?
Me (nodding seriously): I’m afraid I did.
Mr. J: Who the fuck authorized you to do that?
Me (wondering if Mr. J really is as smart as I portrayed him in the book): It’s unauthorized, which means no one authorized it.
Mr. J: Are you telling me you wrote a book about me without authorization?
Me (starting to really doubt my ability as a writer): That’s what I’m telling you.
I sense that things are about to get ugly.
Mr. J: Who the fuck do you think you are, Jasmin Quinn?
Me (shoring myself up. Sure I’m broke, weak, and shy and Mr. Jackman is a rich, murderous, sexy motherfucker, but this is my interview and he’s fucking it up): I’m Jasmin Quinn (yep, I’m all about the repetitive emphasis). And just so we’re clear, I made you. (I do the whole stabbing the index finger first at me, then at him, to emphasize who made who – or is that whom?) You would be nothing without me. Do you hear me, Mr. Master (that was a slip of the tongue, but once it was out there, I couldn’t take it back)?
Mr J (not yet willing to back down): You have a smart mouth for a maid. What the fuck did you tell the world about me?
Me (deciding to try to mollify him): I told your side of the story. Your cousin, Rusya, didn’t describe you in a favourable light in his unauthorized biography, so I thought it only fair that you get a chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of my readers.
Mr. J (appearing mollified as he pours a couple of fingers of scotch): Then, I guess I should thank you.
Me: Yes Sir, you should. I also had some influence on Brook meeting you.
Mr. J (softening – just his face, the rest of him stayed rock hard, including his… uhm… you know… his joystick): I guess you’re not as bad as the rumours I’ve heard.
Me (outraged): What rumours have you heard about me?
Mr J (shrugging dismissively): Unlike the Blue Jays Baseball Team, I’m a closed book.
Me (feeling validated): Aw, that’s so nice that they’re still talking about me.
Mr. J: My sense is that they miss you.
Me: I miss them too.
I think briefly about dropping by for a quickie visit on my way back to BC, but then remember Mr. Quinn is waiting for me to retrieve him from the pawn shop.
Me (changing the subject): How’s Brook?
Mr. J (smirking like he has a secret): Pregnant
Me: How can she pregnant already? The book was just released and last thing I heard was—.
Mr. J: Stop. No spoilers! And how the fuck do you know anything about anything?
Me (getting frustrated with this hunk of man): Sources, Mr. J, and I won’t reveal them, even under the threat of… uhm… spanking.
Mr. J: Trust me Jasmin, you don’t want me to spank you.
Me (licking my lips and trying to catch his eyes with my gaze): But I do, Mr. J. I really do.
Mr. J (staring at my nose): I promised Brook I would stop spanking women.
Me (disappointed and pissed off at Brook, who always ruins the fun): You didn’t answer my question.
Mr. J: What was the question?
Me: How can Brook already be pregnant?
Mr. J (grinning smugly): I guess I have supersonic sperm.
Me (also grinning smugly, but with eyes narrowed as I go for the jugular): Kind of like your cousin’s fast balls? Runs in the family, does it?
Mr. J (apoplectic): I have nothing in common with my fucking cousin, including fast balls. That implies premature ejaculation, which I believe he practices.
Me (calming him by stroking his… uh… shoulder): I don’t think one practices premature ejaculation. I’m sure it just happens. And let me assure you, Rusya is not a premature ejaculator.
Mr. J (calmer now, thanks to my stroking): How do you know this, girl?
Me: Girl talk, Mr. J. Esma told Astrid, who told Kelsie, who spilt the beans to Olivia, who mentioned it in passing when I ran into her in the line-up at Costco (though I can’t say where, because she and Hugo are hiding from Jack Creed, who wants to call in the favour Hugo owes him).
Mr. J (losing interest in the girl talk): Do you have any other questions?
Me: A couple more. You know that snowmen-without-the-head bun that Brook ate?
Mr. J: Russian Mennonite zwieback. It’s quite delicious.
Me: I know. I’ve made it before.
Mr. J: Have you? (looks at my nose again) Are you Russian?
Me: Mr. Quinn is Russian.
Mr. J (sounding a little jealous, not of Mr. Quinn being Russian, just generally of Mr. Quinn, though it’s possible I’m wishful thinking): And where is this Mr. Quinn?
Me: I pawned him.
He narrows his eyes at me like he can’t understand what I’m about.
Me: It’s a cultural thing; it’s perfectly okay in Canada to pawn your husband if you need travel money.
Mr. J: Will you get him back?
Me: I hope so. I’ve invested a lot of time in him and I’d like not to have start over with a new man. Unless of course… well, I guess you’re not available anymore, are you?
Mr. J: No. Besides Brook will kick your ass if you try to sexually harass me.
Me: Is it sexual harassment if I throw myself at you like a power ranger on Rita Repulsa?
Mr. J: Don’t use that fucking mumbo-jumbo girl-power shit on me.
He raises from the sofa and heads for the door as I tag after him. I beg for a kiss, but he refuses, citing his devotion to Brook, who I now wish never existed.
As he strides down the hall, a hotel attendant mistakes my French maid outfit as one of the hotel’s uniforms and puts me to work. I don’t complain and, in the end, earn enough money to buy Mr. Quinn back from the pawnshop.
He’s traumatized by his experience, but his burps are quieter now.
***END OF INTERVIEW***
Barring any unfortunate and unanticipated events in my life (like getting stuck in an elevator for several days), Unleashed will be unleashed (see what I did there?) on June 26. I’m so excited by this book, because it’s my first full-length standalone book, and also, because I loved writing it. I’m thinking that I may turn it into a three-book series but of course, each series will introduce a different couple, with happy ever after’s and all that good stuff.
But I’m still deciding, mostly because I have so many books in progress and I want to write them all, but I also want to read all the good books other authors write and I’m not sure how many years I have left in the rest of my life, but I’m pretty sure I can’t do everything (I also want to learn to speak Spanish, which is coming along really well). Como lo estoy hacienda (Otro engaño. Estoy usando el traductor de Google). But I’m not lying about wanting to learn.
Somewhere in that last paragraph is my segue into telling you about Nikita’s and Bijou’s new books, both released in May. If you haven’t read them yet, I recommend both (I read them and loved them, which is why I can recommend them).
Enough about other writers. Let’s get back to me.
At the end of August, I’ll be releasing another Shifter’s of Darkness Falls book! Book 4 already, which is hard to believe! I love my life right now, doing my favourite thing (writing if you haven’t already guessed). It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but never thought it was going to happen. Yet here I am, doing it.
Back to Savage Hearts, Book 4 of Shifters of Darkness Falls. This is Cherime’s and Ren’s story and I’m so freaking excited about the pairing.
Did you know Ren is 6’6” tall? He’s completely uncivilized, unlike my shifter men in the first three books, who are led by their instincts, but are at least house-trained. Ren is a mountain man, Alpha shifter, and has little tolerance for mouthy babes. Enter Cherime, who doesn’t know how to shut up or play nice. Doesn’t matter though, she’s one hot shifter princess who thinks she can take on Ren and win.
Will Ren fall for Cherime? Will he tie her up and gag her? Will he drag her to his mountain home and make her pregnant? Hang in there until August, when the shift hits the fan (even I’m groaning, but also giggling – I swear I haven’t been drinking).
Finally, to round out my year, Book 12 of Running with the Devil will be released in November. I’m sad and thrilled at the same time. More to come on this book in future blogs.
It’s time to call it a blog and move on to the more important stuff, like opening my release day bottle of wine and celebrating.
Cheers to you all,
PS. In case you were wondering, I’m not avoiding the topic of COVID-19 in our lives. I’m doing the best I can to embrace the changes necessary to cope with the new now. It’s better than reading the constant barrage of contradictory information in the media and getting worked into knots over things I can’t control.
In my little piece of the world, Mr. Quinn and I do what we can to be part of the solution, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing when we’re out, isolating unless we need to go out, staying in touch with family and friends over social media, and eating too much.
I thank the health care professionals, the service industry, the Canadian federal and provincial governments, and everyone else who recognizes that we live in a shared world and our actions are the deciding factor in how our future will look. Thank you to us for doing our part to make our world the best place to be.
Except the baseball players. I don’t thank them because they’ve left me high and dry.