Asphodel Book Birthday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So I'm super duper excited that Asphodel releases today! Yay!

You can buy you eBook copy at either Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords and the paperback will be available for pre-order starting Thurs. :)

I also have some more good news!

My lovely client Kelly Hashway's book, Touch of Death sold in a two book deal to Spencer Hill Press for publication in Jan 2013. Yay!

I have got two more deals to announce, but have to wait a little while longer before I announce them. *sighs*

That's all for now, I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Hopefully there's more awesomeness to come in 2012!

<3 Lauren

Asphodel Chapter One! And New Novel Announcement!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hello readers!!!!

I know it's been a while, but I have been a busy little bee.

With the release of Asphodel in 14 days (eeep!) and agenting I've been absent from the blog-o-sphere for a couple weeks and for that I apologize.

Also, I've been working furiously on a new novel which will come out in eBook a week after Asphodel. :)

Remember how I said I was going to write a zombie romance with no dialogue....Well I've decided to split it up into two books and the first one, Infect Me (Pandemic 1) will come out Dec 27, 2011... But yes.... this one does have dialogue... The second book Love Without Words will not. So that should be interesting. :)

Today I' have a special treat for you. Along with the first chapter of Asphodel, I'll be releasing a snippet of Infect Me. And if you want to you can add infect me on goodreads here.

Soooo i'm super excited to share these with you! So let's start it out with Asphodel, shall we?

Asphodel~ Chapter One ~ Hades

Sirens howled in the distance followed by honking car horns and tires peeling out. Hades propped himself up against a building and watched with a blank expression as an ambulance hurled around the street corner, it’s white and red lights turning in a circular motion.

A man lied in the middle of the street. His limbs were twisted and broken and blood oozed from every opening on the man’s face. His chest rose up lightly and even though he was feet away, Hades heard the man’s raspy, wheezing breaths. The Commander of the Dead felt the man’s life slipping away. With every weak breath that escaped the man’s lungs, he crept closer and closer to Hades’s grasp.

The man was hit by a bus. It was tragic, really. Hades had seen it happen, yet he did nothing to prevent it. That was the way the world worked. Mortals were born and died everyday. It was not his place to interfere, even though he could if he really wanted to.

Police blocked off the scene of the accident with bright orange cones and yellow caution tape and a crowd of onlookers had formed to watch as the paramedics placed the unknown man on a guerney. Women cried out and a few of them were being comforted by their male partners. Hades closed his eyes and began to feel bits and pieces of the man’s life flash before his eyes. This occurred everytime a soul was about to cross into his realm. This gave the God of the Dead the ability to administer proper judgement and proper placement once the souls of the departed reached him.

Using his invisibility cloak, Hades faded into the chaos of the crowd and hovered over the dying man. He reached out, prepared to latch onto the man’s wrist and pull him under when he’d heard a wild shriek in the crowd. “Jake! Jake!” Hades straightened up and looked over his shoulder as a woman sprinted through the crowd of onlookers, pushing and shoving the ones in her way. Her strands of chestnut hair slapped against her cheeks, her ivory cheeks were flushed and her eyes were rimmed in red. She howled out another painful shriek. “Jake! No! No!”

Hades stepped back as the woman reached the guerney and hurled her body over the dying man’s. Agony flashed in the woman’s hazel eyes as she ran her trembling fingers over the man’s mangled face. She sobbed, her voice strangled as the paramedics and police officers tried to pull her off the man. “No! No!” She fought them off, her arms flailing, her legs jetting out as she tried to kick the cops and paramedics. “Don’t die on me, Jake! Don’t die on me! I love…I love you!”

“Ma’am, we have to get him to a hospital!” a paramedic cried. “He needs medical attention!”

After a few more strenuous attempts the cops were able to pry the woman off of the man, they escorted her to the ambulance and helped her into the back. And she sat there, sobbing into her palms while the paramedics loaded the body. Once the guerney was secure, the woman laced her fingers through the man’s, lifted his hand to her mouth and kissed the man’s fingertips.

Hades waited until the paramedics closed the ambulance door before appearing inside. He watched the woman, a fierce loving look in her eyes as she brushed her thumb against the man’s limp hand. Her emotion struck Hades in a way he hadn’t been struck in centuries. He felt for her. Normally when he witnessed death he remained indifferent and just accepted what had occurred, but for some reason he couldn’t understand this situation seemed different.

Maybe because he knew what it was like to love someone and watch them slip through grasp eternally. He’d been after his love for at least five thousand years. Chasing her from state to state, city to city, and from continent to continent. He’d suffered in pain every time he lost her. And he’d lost her a lot.

Standing there in the ambulance, persuaded by his own feelings Hades did something he rarely ever did. He leaned over the dying man’s mouth, sucked in a deep breath, and breathed life back into him. The man’s eyes flew open and he coughed out, gasping for air. The woman’s eyes bulged out and she cried tears of joy as she kissed every bruise on the man’s face.

A soft smile crawled across Hades’s lips as he vanished from the ambulance and returned to his realm. He sat down, rigidly still on his throne and gazed out into the black abyss of nothingness known as the underworld. The realm in which he was the tyrannical ruler of. He peered over his should to his right, then to his left. The quiet engulfed him until all he heard were his own thoughts.

At times he cursed Zeus for damning him to a realm of nothingness, death, and despair, but then again there were times where he’d also praised Zeus. Hades had never been like the other God’s and Goddesses that previously dwelled on Mount Olympus. The wicked and despicable things he was capable of would haunt them to the core. He was sure of it.

Through the centuries, the tasks of running his realm had become tedious and repetative to Hades. The task of damning the souls that had crossed the river Styx into his domain was becoming tiresome for the deceitful king. Of course he still had Cerberus, his dog, man’s best friend. Cerberus had proven to be extremely loyal. At times the three headed beast’s howling and barking would annoy Hades to the point, where he considered cutting off all three of Cerberus’s heads. But that was only a mere thought.

The gentle giant of guardian hobbled into the throne room, all three tounges hanging out. The dog whimpered and let out a soothing yelp as Hades gently stroked the dog’s middle head. “Good boy.”

The God of the Dead’s attention averted to the grandfather clock in the corner of the room and Cerberus’s spine stiffened as Hades rose up from his throne. “Stay,” he commanded the three headed dog whom Hades called his only loyal companion over the last five thousand years. Cerberus howled and lied down on the floor, lowering all three of his heads in a gesture of obiedience.

Hades lips turned up into a wry smile as he walked out of his throne room. Perhaps his kindness today was a sign. Perhaps he was close to getting her. The one and only person he’d ever loved. The Goddess he’d been chasing for the last five thousand years.


It was fifteen minutes to midnight and Hades, God of death and destruction, paced along the banks of the river Styx with his hands balled into fists at his sides. Charon was late with today’s shipment of souls and that left Hades feeling uneasy. Hades didn’t like uncertainty. He ran a tight schedule in the realm of the dead and when the impervious schedule was interrupted, well, he knew Charon would be wise to stay away from him for the rest of the day.

He stopped mid-pace, kicking grey sand and focused on the fog, rising from the brownish, green murky waters of the Styx. There was an internal clock in his brain, ticking and as Hades closed his eyes he envisioned the hands of the clock moving as the minutes dwindled by. Filled with worry and impatience, Hades tapped his foot, folding his arms and drummed his fingers against his elbow. Anxiousness unfurled beneath his skin like a flesh-eating parasite. “The one day that I need him to be on time and he’s late,” Hades growled as he began pacing again.

Sand crunched as the rubber soles of his boots smashed it down and the noise richocheted off the walls of the cavern—the opening—the crossing where the land of the living met with the land of the dead. The slick brown stone walls glistened with sludge, a slmiy residue from the Styx’s choppy waters. Hades’s eyes centered on that sludge as he thought about all the punishment’s he’d have in store for Charon if he took any longer. But, before he came up with one, the soft plunking of wooden oars throbbed in his ears. Then the plunking intensified turning into slapping. Charon was close.

Hades stood on the edge of the dock as the old, feeble ferryman parked his ship, full of the dearly departed and descended down the rope ladder. Charon stood before his master clutching the brim of his hat, his fingers trembling. “I’m sorry master. So sorry.” Charon lowered his head and few wisps of white hair stood up while the lighting bounced off the bald parts.

“What was the hold-up?” Hades asked, gruffly.

Charon kept his head low, talking at his feet.“We had an indecisive soul, sire.”

An indecisive soul was the soul of a mortal who was stuck in the between, not quite in the land of the living, but still not able to cross fully into the land of the unliving. Hades scanned the row of occupants on the ferry, infuriated. “Which one was it?” His tone was flat and cold.

Charon lifted his head and nodded at a teenage boy in the back of the ship. “Him.”

Hades glared at the boy pre-adult boy, whose hazel eyes glistened with tears. Seconds later, Hades disappeared, reappearing in front of the boy. Fear crept up the mortal’s spine and he stiffened, unable to move. Then he started shaking. Hades examined him, hoping to scorch him with his gaze. Rage bubbled inside of the mighty God and Hades boomed, “Aren’t you a man?” The boy lowered his head and Hades blanched as he sniffled. But the boy did not answer.

“Answer me!” Hades screamed, shaking the entire ferry. The other passengers turned, eyeing Hades, fearfully.

“I’m, I’m only fifffteen,” the boy whimpered, stuttering at the same time.

Hades exhaled as the rage inside of him died down. He relaxed his stance slouching over, slightly. Even though, the young boy had taken too much of his time and Hades contemplated sending him to the depths of Tartarus, he knew couldn’t. Not because he wasn’t able to, but because despite his cold demeanor and mischevious ways, He had always been a fair and just God. And the boy didn’t deserve to spend an eternity being tortured endlessly. “Stand up,” He instructed the teen, calmly.

The boy rose from his seat, trying desperately to lock his trembling knees in place. Hades placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder and the young teen blanched, turning away. “Do not fear me,” Hades said boldly. Slowly, the boy turned toward Hades, peaking up at him from the corner of his eye. Then the God of the Dead closed his eyes and recited the same thing he’d recited for the last five-thousand years. “The realm of the dead welcomes you. Go forth and find your home in the Field of Asphodel so that you may live out your eternity in peace.”

Every soul on the ferry vanished. They’d been assigned to their forever. And then Hades vanished, appearing in his throne room. Walls of black and matching black marble tile floors engulfed him and he sat back on the red, velvet cushioned throne. He looked up at a cast-iron clock on the wall. Seven minutes to midnight. In seven minutes, he’d have another opportunity to take her, hopefully his last.

He recalled the first time saw her in the Hall of the Gods, trailing behind Demeter. Her mahogany hair glistened red in the sunlight. Her skin was a creamy peach color. And her eyes were the most stunning shade of Jade-green he’d ever seen.

Hades had been chasing Demeter and her daughter for five-thousand years. And in the past, Demeter was always able to out-smart him. Demeter had always kept her daughter close—too close.

But Hades had a feeling that during this seventeen year span it would be different. He would finally get what he’d always longed for. A queen. Or who he’d always longed for, Persephone.

And now a snippet from Infect Me(Pandemic 1)

“Good morning, beautiful.” Trevor’s voice fills up every part of me. I hear him in my head, in my ears, and in my heart.

I exhale as he clutches on to me tightly. “I’m sure beautiful is way too much of an overstatement.” Even I’m frightened of my own relfection when I stare at it first thing in the morning.

Trevor hovers above me and smells clean like fresh water and dove soap. I roll over, facing him and he tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear before placing a soft kiss on my forehead. My eyelids flutter and I gaze into his melted sapphire blue eyes that are only an inch away from my face. “Did you sleep at all last night?” I ask, concerned.

“Some,” he answers me in a soft voice. I know he’s lying. He’s like a hardass who lies about the pain that accompanies a broken bone. He’s always trying to make things seem less than what they really are. And when he says he got ‘some’ sleep in Trevor code that means he didn’t get any.

“Why don’t you try to go to bed?” I sit up. “I’m going to go shower.”

He folds up his arms and nestles them behind his head. “But it’s so bright out. You know I can’t sleep during the day.”

I stop on his side of the bed and lace my fingers through his. “Just try, for me. Please. I’ll feel better if you do.”

“Fine,” he sighs, defeated. “But only because I hate to see you upset.” I try to pull away from him, but he lets out a soft laugh, yanks on my arm, and playfully clutches my waist before pinning me down on the bed.

His fingers glide up my shirt and wander over my stomach as goosebumps rise all over my skin. He’s half on top of me and my knees go up instinctively as his fingertips dig into my stomach. “Trevor,” I giggle. “That tickles.” He crushes his lips to mine and brushes his tongue over the tip of mine before backing out of the kiss and falling back on the bed. I prop myself up on my elbows and frown. “What was that for?”

“The kissing?”


He raises an eyebrow. “Are you saying that I can’t kiss the love of my life?”

“No.” I crawl toward him and caress my lips against his. “I’m saying that you’re a tease.”

He smiles brightly. “No I’m not.”

I straddle him and slide my hands up his abdomen. “That kiss was very tease-worthy, Trevor George.”

“I wasn’t trying to tease you,” he says sincerely. “I was trying to give myself something good to dream about.”

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

<3 Cheers!