Wow. Such romance. Many demon.

I haven’t posted in a while; sorry! I’ve been super busy getting everything ready for Devil’s Gamble! Remember way back when I told you guys I was working on a book about a half-demon boy and his churchgoing boyfriend? Well, it’s ready!


Look at the cover, you guys. LOOK AT IT. The artwork is by Mikao, who was lovely to work with and you should all love her.

This one’s coming out July 22, but it’s available for pre-order right now! I’m so excited about this one.

Caleb is a cambion, meaning his father is a demon. Caleb is tired of hearing about his special destiny, and he’s tired of hearing about what’s expected of him when it comes to taking over the family business, which mostly involves making deals for mortal souls. He’s a broody loner who tends to deal with stress with self-destructive behavior like blackout drinking and anonymous sex–a strategy that suddenly becomes unavailable to him when his demon guardian drags him from the city to a tiny little town in central Alabama.

Enter Isaac, the cheerful Southern Baptist who, at the suggestion of the unwelcome angel looking over Caleb’s shoulder, is determined to show the boy that there’s good to be found in everyone. But what is a sweet All-American boy to do when he finds himself having stirrings of more-than-friendly feelings for the boy he’s supposed to be turning from sin? The ring on his finger reminding him that “True Love Waits” is becoming more of a taunt than a reminder.

Did I mention that the angel only approached him because of a bet with his demon lover, who just so happens to be Caleb’s guardian? The stakes are personal, and Caleb’s choices will determine the winner.

So, how’s about a little excerpt?

The dark-haired boy let his head drop with an empty chuckle. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say.”

“I do,” Isaac promised, and he reached out to pry the bottle from Caleb’s hand and lace their fingers together. “Whatever it is, it’ll feel lighter if you share it.”

Caleb glanced down at their joined hands with a furrowed brow, and then he looked into Isaac’s eyes through the darkness. “You kissed me back.”

Isaac’s voice caught in his throat, and he found himself squeezing Caleb’s hand without thinking. “I…I did.”

“Friends don’t kiss like that.”

“Well I…I—”

“Do you want to kiss me again?”

Isaac started and stopped a few times before any words came out. “I don’t know,” he said at last. “It’s…confusing. It’s a sin.”

“Right,” Caleb sighed. He took another drag from his cigarette and stared back out at the pond, but he didn’t try to pull his hand away from Isaac’s.

“Caleb, can I ask you something?” Isaac spoke up after few beats of silence. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want.”

“I won’t. What is it?”

Isaac hesitated. He wanted to be sure he worded it right. “You…are you only att—you know, attracted to…only to boys?”

Caleb glanced at him out of the corner of his eye while he took a pull of his cigarette. “Yep,” he said as he exhaled.

“How did you…I mean, when did you first know you were…”

“Gay?” Caleb finished for him, and Isaac nodded with heat in his cheeks. “I always knew, I guess. I’ve never been interested in girls.”

“So,” he started, “what…you know, happened? To you.”

“What do you mean, what happened?”

“I just mean, I was just wondering what the…the root was. The reason. I understand if you don’t want to say. I know that a lot of…gay people were, you know…they were abused.”

Caleb stared at him with his lips pressed into a thin line. “Abused.”

“I’m sorry if it’s hard. I just…I want to understand you better.” Isaac dropped his voice, although they were already speaking quietly. “I know you live with your uncle, and I’ve heard that’s sometimes—”

“You’re asking me if my uncle touched me as a kid?” Caleb interrupted. “And if that’s why I’m gay? Are you fucking serious?”

“Caleb, don’t swear,” he said timidly, shrinking back slightly from the other boy.

“What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you think that?”

“That’s just—the Bible says it’s a sin, and in church they told us it’s not natural for a…for a man to be with another man. They say that if you can work through the cause, then you can resist those urges.”

Caleb tugged his hand away with a scoff. “The world isn’t your Bible school, Isaac. Nobody abused me or turned me gay. It’s the way I am. Some people are just born gay. You think straight people are only straight because they dodged the sexual abuse bullet? That’s fucked up.”

Isaac stammered for a moment. “I didn’t mean—that’s just what they told us, and I guess I never—” He stopped and took a short breath. “Shoot, Caleb, I—I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to come off like that. I guess…I guess I don’t know very much about this stuff.”

“I guess you don’t.” Caleb put his cigarette butt out in the dirt and scowled down at his crossed legs for a moment before looking back at Isaac. “Why did you kiss me back?”

“I…” Isaac paused to fidget in his lap, feeling the flush in his face and neck. He had to steel himself before the words would come. “Ever since you kissed me that day in my room, I’ve…thought about you. I think about you a lot.” Caleb seemed to soften slightly, but Isaac couldn’t quite meet his eyes. “I think about…if you tried again, what I would do.”

Caleb inched closer to him, leaning down to try to catch his eyes. “I guess you know the answer to that. And if I tried again now?”

Isaac’s fingers tightened on themselves. “I—I don’t know.”

These two are so cute, I can’t stand it. They’re a perfect pair of little cinnamon buns. I hope you’ll check them out, and I hope you love them like I do!

So, on the topic of including more varied magic…

…I went ahead and wrote a book that is straight up almost 100% Irish lore. I know, I know–Tess, you don’t get to lecture everyone else about only using Harry Potter magic and then turn around and write a story about an Irish fairy.

But I did. And you know what? I set out to write this romance novel, Those Words I Dread, thinking, “Oh, man, this will be such a vacation–it’s a romance novel, so who cares if I make it up as I go and play fast and loose with the lore? The magic isn’t the point of the story!”

Guess who still spent an entire afternoon reading about the genealogy of the High Kings of Ireland?

I have research issues.

Anyway, the point here is to talk to you about Those Words I Dread. Yes, it’s a romance novel, and that is normally way outside of my wheelhouse, but even I can’t resist a story about a bitter and jaded fairy and his misanthropic loner love interest. So, meet Trent and Ciaran. I’m a sucker for an asshole in glasses, which Trent pulls off effortlessly, and a snarky fairy with a thick brogue just speaks to something inside of me. Especially when  I succumb to my strange need to seek out models and/or actors as placeholders in my head, and I return from the depths of a dozen awkwardly-phrased Google image searches with these two:








Oh my. Did I mention that Ciaran isn’t your typical fairy? He’s a gean cánach, with poisonous skin that makes any woman who experiences his (*ahem*) love literally pine away and die for want of him as soon as she no longer has his attention.

I can buy that. I mean, look at those cheekbones. Luckily for Trent, it doesn’t work on men.

These two bicker like teenagers and really couldn’t be more opposite–Trent is tidy, meticulous, and focused, while Ciaran leaves dirty clothes on the floor, doesn’t clean up his candy wrappers, and cares very little about just about everything. They’re a little bit like The Odd Couple, if Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon ended up kissing. (Sorry for the mental image. Or maybe you’re into that. No judgment.) Trent isn’t interested in a relationship in the slightest, and Ciaran’s been burned too many times to look for anything beyond a one-night stand. Unfortunately for both of them, fate–operating through the actions of a very determined hunter–has forced them together.

Speaking of that hunter. Julien Fournier has a family legacy to uphold, and right now, that means keeping women of the world safe from Ciaran’s sex-toxin. Hunting monsters is a lonely business, but Julien has found a capable and eager helper in his next-door neighbor, Noah. I have mentioned I have a thing for looking up models, right?

Julien 1Noah 1







Noah is a witch, and that fact makes Julien more than a little wary, what with it being literally his life’s calling to hunt down dangerous magical things. Still, Noah is a bit of a nerd when it comes to monster lore, so Julien has relied on his expertise in previous cases, and the two of them get along quite well despite their differences.

This, sadly, has led to poor Noah falling head-over-heels for the stoic hunter, who is completely oblivious and seems to be irredeemably straight anyway. But that’s just perfect, because Noah has a history of picking guys who are 100% wrong for him. He’s determined to help Julien out, even if he never plucks up the courage to tell him the truth.

Those Words I Dread is a book about mutual hatred, inner turmoil, and people who are either in just the right place at the right time–or the wrong one, depending on who you ask and how annoying Ciaran has been that day. These boys have all become dear to my heart, and I hope they’ll become dear to yours.