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Savaged Devotion by Jennifer Lyon

November 16, 2020 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , ,
Cover title Savaged Devotion and author's name Jennifer Lyon

The stunning conclusion to the Savaged Illusion Trilogy.

book cover featuring a couple and a musician holding a guitar

She fell in love with a rock star and lost everything…

Liza Cade won’t be safe until the disgraced former rock star who tormented her for a decade is captured or dead. All of her dreams died the night Gene Hayes swore to kill her, exposing her husband’s desperate lie and resulting in the loss of their baby. Liza is heartbroken and leaves, but can she walk away from her marriage and the powerful love of Justice? 

He loves her too much to let her go…

Rock star Justice Cade learned the hard way love is more important than fame, and he’s determined to win back his wife. But just as he convinces her to give him a year to prove his love, he’s forced to go on an extended international tour to use his fame to ruin Gene Hayes. He won’t let physical distance, broken hearts, savaged vows or a vicious enemy come between him and his beloved Beth again. He fights with everything he has to regain her trust, will she forgive him?

They reunite in a savagely devoted love that charms the rock world…and drives her enemy into a murderous rage.

In the stunning conclusion to the Savaged Illusions Trilogy, Liza and Justice’s powerful love triumphs over tragedy. But their happily ever after is threatened by the man who has nothing left…except his vow to destroy Liza.

Savaged Devotion is the 3rd and final book the Savaged Illusions Trilogy. 

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Excerpt from Savaged Devotion

His skin tightened at the confidence brimming in her rendition, and in the way she owned her moment of singing with a kitchen tool in the middle of the night like she was a rock star. She was doing exactly what they’d talked about earlier, standing up to him in a song by Pink and Nate.

Justice couldn’t have held back now if he had a punctured lung, and he poured more passion into the verse. Singing was his way of communicating, of having a voice in the world after being a kid whose parents didn’t want him, and then thrown into juvie as if he’d been human garbage to be tossed in a dumpster. Later, it’d been all he’d had left after losing their daughter and Beth leaving him.

Beth stayed right there with him in the moment, belting out her part and not the least bit cowed by his powerful vocals, nor did she stumble when she couldn’t hit the amazing notes that Pink could. Nope, here in this kitchen alone with him, she sang like she wrote—all in with no censor. When she wound her voice with his in the chorus, his entire body twanged with a wild joy that was damn near orgasmic.

Just as he’d worked so hard to find a path into her secret world of writing, tonight Beth had found her path into his world of singing.
As the song ended, he reached out, taking her spatula and pulling her against him. Tilting her face up, he said, “You trying to steal my limelight, baby?”

She grinned. “I don’t think you or Pink need to worry.”

He laughed. “I’m sure Pink will be relieved, but you’re not bad. You can sing. Not as good as me, of course.”

She rolled her eyes. “Did your fat ego fall off the bed and wake you up?”

Other Titles in the Savaged Illusion Series


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Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon

November 25, 2017 by in category From Our Archives tagged as , ,

Posts from Our Archives | A Slice of Orange


We occasionally run posts from our wayback archives. This post from Jennifer Apodaca (Jennifer Lyon) was first published in May of 2006. We think it’s still a timely topic.


Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon


This is such an interesting question. It leads to some obvious points; do some prolific authors’ books seem like the same book over and over? It can happen. It’s really hard to make every book different, and some similarities will come through in every book. Those are usually part of the author’s “voice” and her style. An M.O. (Modus Operandi) if you will.

One of the most amazing “stretches” for an author that I’ve seen is Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb. Those books are totally different from her Nora Roberts books. The voice is edgier, the plots are grittier, and the suspense is darker. Amazing. Do I think she could have done that in the beginning of her career? Doubtful, although Nora Roberts truly has a “gift” in writing. She may not appeal to everyone, but the woman can tell a story.

So can Stephen King. And he has done some serious growth in his career. Off hand, I’d cite THE GREEN MILE as an example. Stephen King takes risks, and sometimes the reading public doesn’t like the result. But his books are rarely the same thing over and over. I believe he’s grown in his career and he has worked at growing. He tries new things. He doesn’t let fear or reader and publisher expectations keep him in a mold.

I’m not so sure the same could be said for John Grisham or James Patterson. I love some of John Grisham’s early works, but somewhere along the way I just plain old lost interest. That could just be a coincidence. I thought A TIME TO KILL was truly a compelling book. I stopped reading James Patterson when he stopped writing his own books. Enough said there.

There are many factors that can come into play here, branding, putting out several books a year, publishers demanding similar books, the author’s comfort zone, reader expectations…they affect how we write. I’ve known very good authors who had to fight, and fight hard, to expand and grow in their work.

We don’t have a lot of control over all the factors that come into play, but we can control our comfort zone. To grow, we have to push the barriers on what we “know” we can do. For instance, my mystery series has certain built-in parameters. Although I strove to find ways to challenge my writing and keep my characters fresh, by the fifth book, I knew I was pretty much in my comfort zone. To stretch a little I wrote a novella in third person (my mystery series is in first person). Then I wrote an entire book in third person (THE SEX ON THE BEACH BOOK CLUB) with much looser parameters. Trying new things is the only way I know to really flex and strain the writing muscle to see how much it can handle.

Growth does not happen in a vacuum. It’s impossible. We must feed the writing muscle to grow it. Get out from behind the computer and live a little. We need friends who support our dreams, hold our hand when the writing gets tough and slap us around when we doubt our ability.

While I don’t think volume absolutely equals growth, I do think we have to keep writing to grow. It might be uneven progress, sometimes we’ll have to compromise to meet a deadline (this is a business no matter how much we might like to romanticize it!), and sometimes outside forces will prevent us from stretching as much as we’d like. But I think every book gives us the opportunity to grow in some way. The trick is to be willing to take the risk, invest the time and effort, and believe in ourselves.

What about you? What authors do you think have really grown? And which ones write the same book over and over?

Jennifer Apodaca
THRILLED TO DEATH hardback now
BATTERIES REQUIRED in paperback now


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Pick Six Interview with Author Jennifer Lyon

June 26, 2017 by in category Pick Six Author Interviews, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Pick Six Author Interviews are occasional features on A Slice of Orange. We send a bunch of questions to the author who then picks just six of the questions to answer.  This month we are featuring a Pick Six Author Interview with best selling and multi-published author Jennifer Lyon.

Jennifer Lyon | Pick Six Interview | A slice of OrangeJennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than twenty books and novellas, won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

Jen loves connecting with fans. Visit her website at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com follow her on Facebook and sign up for her newsletter.

One: Do you have any writing rituals? Schedule?

Is coffee a ritual? I like to write with a cup of coffee. I don’t have a lot of other rituals, but I do like to write at my desktop computer in my office. I also have a laptop that I can use when necessary. For me, when a book is going well, I can write anywhere.

Two: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

I’m neither. I’ve found that word or page counts don’t work for me. I become artificially focused on the numbers, instead of the story. I’ve learned that the first 100 to 200 pages of my book will be painful, slow and awkward. If I can just get through it, no matter how long it takes, then the second half usually goes much faster. For me, my trick is to show up at the computer and try. Some days are good, and some days are not. But what counts is that I keep showing up, and somehow, I’ve managed to write 25 books that way.

Three: What are you dying to try next?

I really want to write more Wing Slayer Hunter books (my paranormal series), and I want to tell the stories of the four other members of the Savaged Illusions band. Someday I’d love to try my hand at a really intense thriller too. I always have more books I want to write, it’s the time to do it all that’s in short supply.

Four: What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?

I’m currently working on SAVAGED DEVOTION, the final book in the Savaged Illusions Trilogy. Justice and Liza finally get their happily ever after in this book! Writing this trilogy has been an epic rollercoaster ride for me, and I hope readers will love it as much as I do. It’s a rock star romance about the price of fame vs the power of love. SAVAGED DREAMS is book one, SAVAGED VOWS is book 2, and SAVAGED DEVOTION is book three.

Five: What’s the best thing about being an author?

I get to live realities I never would in real life. I’ve solved murders when I was writing mysteries, been a witch, fought demons and made an ancient dragon fall in love with me in my paranormal series, and now I’m living the life of a  rock star, and he’s falling in love with me too, LOL!

Being an author is a journey into a new and exciting world with every book I write, and ever better, I get to meet incredible characters who overcome huge obstacles to win against evil and find real love. The down side is that coming up with ideas is easy, but writing them into a compelling and emotional book is hard work that keeps me awake nights worrying and trying to find the best way to tell the story. Deadlines are brutal, and juggling writing and promotion is exhausting. But as hard as it is, I loved it and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Six: Do you listen to music when you write?

Usually the only time I listen to music while writing is to get amped up for a fight scene. Hard rock helps me get into that adrenaline fueled state I need to write the action scene. Otherwise, I like quiet. When the writing is going well, I “hear” the voices of the characters in my head. If it’s going really well, then I can’t type fast enough to keep up. When it’s not going well, I resort to wine over music 😊

On the flip side, I sometimes bake to stir my creativity, and then I have music going full blast in my kitchen. Music has a way of bringing out our emotional truths, and that in turn, helps me get to my character’s emotional truths, which many times will solve my writer’s block.

Bonus: If a spaceship landed in your backyard and the aliens on board offered to take you for a ride, would you go? Why or why not?

No, first off I don’t know if they have coffee. I mean…shudder. And secondly, I’d miss my family too much. However, if they had French bulldog puppies, they could probably lure me into their spacecraft.

Thank you, Jen for taking time to answer our questions. We think you should get that French bulldog puppy for answering a bonus question. 



eBook: $3.99
Series: Savaged Illusions Series, Book 1
Genre: Romance
Tag: 2017

How much will she risk for love? How far will he go for fame?

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Writing Fight/Action Scenes

May 30, 2011 by in category Lyon's Lair tagged as , , , ,

by Jennifer Lyon 
I never thought I’d be forced to do this, but here it is…
I might actually have to thank my brothers. All these years, I have credited my parents and my sister for giving me my love of reading that led to writing. But more and more, reviewers are bringing up the fight and actions scenes in my books. I have a writer friend who sends me her fight scenes to critique…and you get the point.
So how is it I can write fight and actions scenes when I have not taken a single martial arts class in my life?
Because the first years of my life were practically on the job training. One of my earliest memories is seeing my older brother do a flying jump, snapping a kick in mid air, and break a board held by my other brother. I can still hear the crack that board made.
A few years later, one of my brothers went on to become a black belt, and he co-owned a karate studio with a friend. I remember being in the studio one day, I was about eight or nine years old, and watching him and the friend spar. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I remember the long wall of mirrors and the blue mat, the pungent smell of sweat and male, the sounds of flesh hitting flesh, the shouts and grunts, and how fast it all moved.
And most amazing of all, the expression in their eyes when they saw a weakness in their opponent then planned and executed a strike—all at lightning speed!
It’s all vivid and tactile in my memory.
And that’s exactly how a fight scene, or any action scene, should read in a book. It must be vivid and present…not distant and vague. The reader wants to see and feel with the point of view character. Here are some of my tips:
Establish point of view and stay there. This character is going to show your reader everything. It will anchor your reader into the scene and help them “see” everything that’s happening. And the same time, it should be revealing more about your character too. This is an example from NIGHT MAGIC:
Phoenix sprinted around the side of the building, followed the blood trail of the witch to a ladder on the side of the church and started climbing.
It was an A-line roof two stories up. Damn, he wasn’t a fan of heights. Why couldn’t people do their business on the ground? Hell. He grabbed the edge of the roof and silently hauled himself up to the wickedly slanted top. The tiles were slick, and he had to lay flat on the slope to keep from sliding off. He looked around while digging his fingers into the raised edges of the tiles.
In this snippet, first tension is building because there’s going to be a fight on an A line roof—someone is going to fall off, it’s only logical. But as we’re in Phoenix’s head, we’re learning about his fear of heights. And notice that while he mentally gripes, his fear doesn’t stop him.
Never use passive writing in a fight scene (and I can think of a time when I broke my own rule!). Passive writing of Phoenix keeping a woman protected behind his back while fighting his attackers: “In an instant, the rogue was on the ground.”
Yawn. A more active version:
He didn’t want to move and expose the woman. He ripped off his chain, snapped it around the knife hand, and jerked. The rogue fell to the ground, and Phoenix flipped his knife to stab the blade through the rogue’s back—
Choreograph the scene. Draw out the setting and all your characters on paper. It helps you build a visual in your head and then you know where everybody in the scenes is. And more importantly, what they are doing. You must keep track of everyone through your point of view character’s eye. That way you don’t start out with five people in a fight and two just fade away never to be seeing or heard from again. Drawing it out really helps—even with my stick figure drawings!
Action/fight scenes must be building your plot, otherwise they are just filler. Readers recognize filler. Make your action scenes work for you. Gratuitous fight scenes are as boring as gratuitous sex scenes.
Fast paced writing. This is the place for shorter sentences and carefully chosen description. In this example Phoenix spots the rogues and a woman, and goes after them into an alley. This is the entire description of the alley:
The cool air was blighted by the combined stench of rotting food, copper, and urine. Scanning the narrow street lined with weak light that spilled from the street-lights and buildings, he looked left and spotted the tops of the rogues’ heads on the other side of the blue Dumpster.
Just enough to set the scene, give the reader of visual. And notice we get the visual as Phoenix is looking for his prey. Fight scenes should be tight, clean writing using only the words you need.
And that’s all I can think of at the moment. Except to say thank you to my brothers!
Okay now for a little promo: Romantic Times gives SINFUL MAGIC, out May 31st, a 4 ½ HOT and said:
The power of undying love truly shines through here, adding plenty of emotion to an otherwise dark and action-packed adventure. Another Lyon triumph!
SINFUL MAGIC hits the shelves on May 31st, I hope you’ll pick up a copy!
Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch-powers didn’t materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. NIGHT MAGIC and SINFUL MAGIC are the third and fourth books in an enchanting, passionate and supernatural series. 

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Bigger Books and Themes

March 25, 2011 by in category Lyon's Lair tagged as , , ,

by Jennifer Lyon

A friend and I were discussing what makes a “bigger” book. There’s no real definition for bigger, but the one thing I can guarantee you is that it’s not word count. Words are a tool to tell a story, they are NOT the story.

So what is “bigger?” I think it comes down to universal themes that resonate with a larger audience.

For instance, in the Harlequin/Silhouette category books, like Desire, Special Edition, Super Romance, etc, the writing is tightly focused on the emotions of falling in love, and therefore, limits the audience. That does NOT make these books any less enjoyable, it just narrows the audience.

But a bigger book has more ‘commercial’ themes. As an example, let’s talk about the movie Ghost. It works the same in books or movies, and my husband and I just watched it over the weekend so it’s fresh in my mind. The movie has been out for something like 20 years, yet it has a timeless quality to it, and I think that’s because of its themes.

The sudden loss of a loved one. Every person has or will experience this.

What happens when we die? Look at all the books, movies, religions and philosophies dedicated to trying to explain it.

Can a dead loved one reach us? Can we reach them? There’s a whole industry of psychics and others making money off “contacting the dead.” The emotional fragility of grieving will make even the strongest of us reach for any flicker of hope.

Letting go of a loved one. There’s many shades to this one. In the movie, it was time for the hero and heroine to let go of each other so the hero could move on. I had a moment like that with my mom at the very end of her life. She was so sick and I remember the moment clearly where I finally closed my eyes and said to my deceased brother; “You can have her now. Anything to stop her pain.” I was ready to let her go and she passed soon after that.

Betrayal by a friend. In the movie, the hero is betrayed by someone he knows and trusts. Who hasn’t at least seen that happen if not experienced it?

These themes touch all of us, helping us to relate to the movie or book on a personal, intimate level. And that helps create a bigger feel to the book.

In my books, I try to find these universal themes. It’s even more important, I think, because I’m writing paranormal. In NIGHT MAGIC, my heroine, Ailish, is handfasted to a demon and has two weeks to either complete the bond and become a demon witch (who is evil), or she dies.

Now I doubt many of us have ever been in that predicament. But the core theme there is something like: Can a good person be betrayed or tricked into becoming evil? That’s a pretty timeless theme, one that religions have explored and argued since the beginning of time. These themes spin off into more:

Betrayal: Ailish trusted her mother, and she betrayed her.

Redemption: Can Ailish atone for a mistake she made when she was 16?

Handicap: Ailish is blind, something that I believe really humanizes her.

Can she face her own death?

How far will the man who loves her go to save her?

I’m using the idea of “themes” here loosely, but these are the universal concepts that we have some familiarity with and therefore connect us to the characters strongly enough to feel like we’re in their skin. We understand their struggles and conflicts.

P.S. NIGHT MAGIC, the third book in my Wing Slayer Hunter Series went on sale March 22nd, and the forth book SINFUL MAGIC will be out May 31st.

Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch-powers didn’t materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. NIGHT MAGIC is the third book in an enchanting, passionate and supernatural series. Jen’s also has a super secret alter ego known as Jennifer Apodaca, the author of the award winning Samantha Shaw Mystery Series. Visit Jen at http://www.jenniferlyonbooks.com/

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