Ash & Rae have gotten a makeover

Writing a book is a very intense process. You pull words and emotions out of yourself that maybe weren’t there before. You inhabit your characters’ souls, and delve into their biggest fears and desires. As if that wasn’t hard enough, once you’re done you have to pick a cover and a short blurb that encapsulates your story and makes people want to buy it*. And here’s an ugly truth most people won’t tell you: sometimes this part is much, much harder than actually writing the book. In fact, I think it’s the part I am least successful at.

Case in point: the book previously known as ASHES TO ASHES.

You may have seen me do a huge push for it this summer. I had a number of book bloggers sign up to review it — and they loved it — but none of those reviews helped with sales. In fact, Ash and Rae have been nearly dead in the water since then … and that hurt.

I begrudgingly acknowledged it was time to do some soul searching and additional market research. What that research told me was that the title didn’t help people understand what the story was about. ASHES TO ASHES said nothing about the words within. In my head, this is the story of a woman burning everything to the ground and then rising above to find love. Appropriately, with a man named Ash. I thought the title was clever. Buyers? Not so much.

In fact, I ran a focus group last month and almost unanimously no one realized it was a bodyguard romance. People told me they loved Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner’s The Bodyguard and if they’d known this had a bit of the same feel, they would have gobbled it up immediately. They also told me that it needed to be in Kindle Unlimited, because that’s how they test the waters for an author they’re not familiar with.

Taking all of this into consideration, I set out to give Ash and Rae and makeover. And I think what I’ve come up with hits the nail on the proverbial head. Hopefully you agree and will love this story as much as I do.

A Bodyguard Romance


He was the mistake I never forgot. Now my life depends on him.

When an obsessed fan takes things too far, my team calls in the big guns for my protection. There’s just one catch: the bodyguard assigned to protect me is the one man from my dark past that I never forgot. Now we’re on the run and all I want is to forget about the danger I’m in. To lose myself in Ash’s strong, capable arms. 

I told myself it was only sex, but I’ve done the unthinkable and fallen in love with a man I can’t have. I should walk away before it’s too late, but I’m hooked. And now it's not just my life that needs protecting—it’s also my heart. 

* While the I love the process of writing, this is also a business for me, and in order for it to stay one, I need people to pay me for my words. Art and commerce have long been linked, so I don’t think it’s speaking out of turn to talk about this side of the industry. Yes, a lot of us write for the love of it. But we also enjoy getting paid too.

Fall in love with The Baker's Beauty

The Baker’s Beauty released on Wednesday, October 24, and Jamaila and I are so proud to introduce you to Sean Amory and Jessica Casillas-Moore. He’s a little bit broken after a tragic moment from his past (okay, a lot broken), while she’s struggling to carve out a future for herself amidst a changing career landscape and a loud, overbearing family.*

We hope you’ll download The Baker’s Beauty and that this story of love, loss, and redemption will warm your heart.

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* While I usually write the heroes and Jamaila tackles the heroines, we flipped the script on this one. Given that Jess is half Mexican it made sense for me to take on her story as I grew up in a mixed family (my white father married a Mexican American woman and I lived with them from the time I was nine until I left home for college). A lot of what you see with Jess’s family is inspired by my own experiences with such a large, vocal brood.

Fun fact: I’d fully forgotten what a dustpan was called until I was telling my then-boyfriend-now-husband to bring me the palita and he had no idea what I was talking about. See also: flip-flops were chanclas and you did not want grandma to beat you with one, and when a girl wears short shorts and you can see her ass cheeks, said grandma would complain about her nalgas hanging out.