Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Buy link: The Wayback Home
I'm lucky to be paired with Marguerite Arotin and Amber Leigh Williams These two ladies are not only wonderful authors, but my friends. :-)
Delighting Miss Daisy - Abbey MacInnis
Smooth-talking Sam Howard comes to Wayback to advertise, while bakery entrepreneur Daisy Porter vows to throw both him and his beer flyers out of town. Can Sam help Daisy regain her confidence and break through the barriers that guard her heart?
Return of the Prodigal Daughter – Marguerite Arotin
Tragedy brings supermodel Sherrie Porter home to Wayback, but she wants to avoid her ex, Jake Serranno. Jake thought he did the right thing by leaving Sherrie in California, but neither can deny the old flames. Can they rekindle old passions or will pride keep them apart?
Blackest Heart - Amber Leigh Williams:
Actress Stella Ridge comes home to Texas to heal. The last place she expects to find solace is in the arms of Wayback's silent cowboy, Judd Black.
Hope you enjoy these three stories of characters who come home and find love in Wayback Texas.
Can you believe the month has flown by already? And here in New Jersey, it’s already getting chilly. Not cold really, but the breezes are definitely cool as they whistle up my skirt. And after days like today, I think I’ll start wearing tights instead of stockings. I get so cold that I wish sometimes I could wear fur, just like the werewolves do. (wear wolf? No, that was lame, never mind)
That was a limping segue, but here’s the point. Just yesterday, the updated version of Family Harmony came out and I’m so pleased with it. It’s quite a bit longer than the original, with more insight and interaction to the main characters as well as close family members. I know it’s a lot colder on Montgomery Mountain, but it’s so much fun there…
This book actually takes place in a lot of cities, with only a hint of Montgomery Mountain, but the feeling of home is the biggest draw for me with this particular family. My own family is pretty small, so I wrote a bigger one. I hope you enjoy the changes.
What a cool cover, huh? A. Bratt may or may not live up to her name, but her talent is limitless.
Book 2: The Montgomery
Lakon Montgomery tried to avoid Mya Brooks, the beautiful Englishwoman who had the voice of an angel, but he can't resist her. She was destined to be his mate and he is powerless to stop himself. Just when he's getting closer to Mya, his brother and his own primal instincts scare her away. What will Lakon have to do to get her back? Will her family, and his, keep them apart forever? With Mya out of reach, how will Lakon protect Mya from the evil that stalks her?
Here’s an excerpt:
Leaning back into the plush theater chair and closing her eyes, Mya lost herself in the soothing sound of her brother’s music. The stadium was empty and rich melody filled the air. There was nothing quite like the full, fluid sound of the saxophone to carry her away.
Nobody could move her quite like her brother when he played. She felt her heart gallop as the sound swelled and then drifted smoothly down, calming her as it eased her through to the end. Tears in her eyes, she sniffled, chuckling at herself.
“What is it, pet?” Myles asked, lowering his instrument and looking at her quizzically.
“’s nothing, My,” she assured him, though he didn’t appear convinced when she scrubbed at an errant tear. “No, really, it’s just when you play from your heart like that, it always gets me.”
A faint pink tint highlighted Myles’ cheeks. “What a lovely thing to say, beautiful sister. So, did you just come to compliment me, or was there something else?”
He knew her so well. “Yeah, I did want to talk.” She glanced sideways at him as he settled in the chair next to hers. As stadium seating went, this was nicer than most of her recollection.
“At your service, pet.”
Squirming self consciously, she took a deep breath. “It’s Mr. Montgomery. He makes me uncomfortable,” she blurted.
Her brother tensed beside her. “In what way?” he asked carefully, his voice tight.
“Uh, well…” Mya struggled to find just the right words. She knew she’d made Myles think that their boss had done something inappropriate and that wasn’t so. “I’m sorry, My, I didn’t mean he’d done anything wrong. It’s just…I kind of like him but I sort of feel squirmy around him. Sweaty and a bit dreadful, you know? And then…well, he is a mite gruff, isn’t he?”
Staring straight ahead, Myles appeared to be thinking deeply.
They were close enough she knew he’d understand what she was trying to convey.
“You have a crush on Himself then, do you?”
“Do I?” she murmured softly.
“All signs indicate that, yeah,” he confirmed.
“You sound like one of those eight ball toys!”
“Wisdom is wisdom, pet, even if it’s written in cheap plastic.”
She elbowed him sharply, though not too sharply, which led to him pulling her hair. A brief, muted scuffle ensued ending in him lifting the arm between their seats so that she could lean against him.
Sighing heavily, she continued her conversation. “Well what am I going to do about it, Myles? I don’t know how to have a real relationship with a guy, or even if I want to.” She paused. “And then, he’s scary, like I said. I’m nervous and jumpy around him. I don’t know how not to be. Except, I do want to be around him. I can’t seem to help it. What do I do?” There was a distinct whine to her voice, she couldn’t deny that. But the entire situation was so frustrating.
Myles sighed gustily, his warm breath teasing her hair. “I’m not saying I’m chuffed about it, Mya, but it’s quite all right to have a crush on ‘im. He’s a sexy beast, innit’e?”
Mya snickered and then snorted. “Somehow, that’s actually spot on, big brother.” After a calming second or two, she went on. “He does put one in mind of a ravening beast, doesn’t he? Or a sexy predator. Makes you want to pet him, even when you know he’s gonna bite you.”
“Or eat you up, hmm?” Myles teased knowingly. “You’re a big girl, luv. I’m always there for you, any way you let me, but you have to work some things out for yourself.” Pulling back, he cast a sly glance. “You’re a bit of a saucy minx yourself. I think you can handle the brute.”
The narrowing of her eyes was enough to send him shimmying out from under her comfortable embrace. Mya was right behind him, shrieking and sputtering as she chased him up the stairs to the stage.
It felt good to be so carefree and childish with her brother. It was more than a little reassuring to know that he supported her in this uncertain foray into possible romance. While he hadn’t put it in quite those terms, Myles’ meaning had been pretty clear to her. You’re old enough to have a libido and to use it. Make a decision and follow it through.
Assuming the interest went both ways and she could overcome her fears and insecurities, maybe she would see this through. It was just possible that Lakon Montgomery was more than she could handle, but she didn’t really want anyone else.
And that is the whole bit for now. I do hope you like what I've done with it and I hope you check out the next installment, which is A Family Portrait, coming out late October or possibly in November at Midnight Showcase: http://www.midnightshowcase.com/ --be sure and drop by and see my other books there, as well as all of the other talented authors.
Take care. See you next month!
Monday, September 28, 2009
My stories are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. As a true romantic, my women bring more than lust to their men’s lives.
The following is from my latest release with Amber Quill Press - Amber Heat. It has been edited down to G. You can read the full excerpt on my website. Hope you enjoy it!
Being Maid of Honor in Finland over Midsummer’s Eve is supposed to be fun, but for jingle writer Kate Adams it’s a nightmare. Things go from bad to worse when her high-priced rental car dies on an endless ribbon of bone-dry country road. Help arrives in the form of a delicious-looking, blue-collar local who just might make it all worthwhile.
Rurik Jaacko knows better than to stop for the princess perched on the hood of a Mercedes. Hot women and expensive cars are trouble, but he’s a sucker for any damsel in distress. The last thing he expects is to play bellhop to the sensual American, and love every sizzling moment.
A rustic pig farm and a friend who isn’t combine with deception to create the backdrop for earthy passion and international fraud...
...Rurik watched her breasts harden and peak through the thin knit shirt and wondered if was their heated exchange that excited her, or the fact he had taken control.
Women want to be dominated.
“There are times a man must take a stand with an unruly woman.” He caught her wrist and tugged her closer.
“You wouldn’t dare!”
Color drained from her cheeks, but was that a sparkle in her eyes?
He stopped for a moment and thought about the consequences of his action. Either it would be a beautiful success or Kate would pack her bags right after she rang the police.
“Yes, today I would.” He dropped onto a birch stump and, with a quick yank, upended her over his knees. Her perfect rear end across his lap was too tempting to stop.
“You’d better stop before it’s too late, buddy.” She turned her head and shot him a glare that could melt steel.
“It already is.” His palm came down with a resounding smack.
“Ouch.” She kicked her legs and wrestled beneath him.
He laid an arm over her shoulders to keep her in place, praying he had made the right decision.
“Rurik, you are so going to pay for this,” she wailed, startling the birds from the trees.
And he knew he would, right after he laid another open-palm swat on her firm butt.
She yelped at the contact, and he loved it. He may have been wrong about her being a spoiled, over-privileged woman, but a good spanking seemed in order to assert his authority. But then again, he had better run like hell when he finally let her up because she was going to murder him.
His hand came down again, not quite as hard, and lingered on her sexy rear, petting away the sting. He ran his fingers along the curve of her cheeks hidden under the tight denim shorts, wondering what his handprint would look like on her milky flesh. A stirring below his belt pressed against his fly, forcing him to shift unsuccessfully under her weight.
She wiggled against him, enhancing his torture, and he could not stifle the groan.
“Are you through beating me into submission?” Her words came out breathlessly, reminding him of how her lips had purred against him the night before.
“No. I do not think so.” His hand smacked solid on her, pleased with her shriek.
He grazed a finger under the ragged edge of her shorts, inching up the inside of her thigh, seeking the heat beneath her damp thong. He hooked the lacey strap and tugged, drawing it tight against her, released it and yanked up again. Her soft gasp carried to him on a gentle breeze.
The scent of her arousal drifted up, encouraging him to please her. He glided closer to her folds, teasing along the way with light pinches to her flesh.
“I think you like this, Kate.” He knew he did.
A whimper rose up like a caress, her hair tumbling free as she nodded.
He pulled out, then slid back in with two fingers, pressing firmer against her wall.
“Should I continue your torture or”— he continued massaging up and down, until she bucked against him. —“take you into the house and have you fast and hard?”
A soft gurgle washed her words away and...
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell
TEDDI TURNS ON 2009 EPPIE Finalist - Erotica www.aspenmountainpress.com
CZECH MATE http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/CzechMate.html
Saturday, September 26, 2009
As a princess of the Satyr confederation, Minerva has been coddled, spoiled and revered, as well as taught and trained just how to serve her Satyr. Beautiful, sexy and a prize in herself, she's anxious to meet the man that will become her lover, master, and reason for living.
Esben Chambers, a half demon, half something else orphan lives on earth with few cares or ties. His family partially unknown, he's embraced his Strigo, or time demon, heritage, though some of his powers are well out of the scope of the lords of time.
When an Imp shows up at his estate and claims he's the only living Satyr prince to clan Tempest, Ben realizes there might be something to figuring out just who his father's people were, and agrees to go to New York for a Convergence Summit. He's counting on figuring out why he was left alone in the world.
What he doesn't count on is the enchanting woman he sees in a floor show, the woman that makes his blood burn to possess her.
Audra and I are extremely excited to have this book out finally and love that it is with Total E Bound! To celebrate the release, we are giving away a fantastic gift basket! This gift basket contains a t shirt with the awesome cover on it, as well as a tote bag with the cover, a set of playing cards (cover on the top) a signed cover flat, other promo, print book OF READERS CHOICE and a one of a kind set of earrings created for the book release in sterling silver, fire opal, smoky quartz and crystal.
So how do you win? buy the book today, and email us (Stella@stellaandaudra.com) with the answer to this question: What is the name of the first girl in the book? You have until September 29th to get your entry in!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Marshall ROYCE DYSON’S wife disappeared in 1876. Now she’s reappeared, claiming she’s a time traveler from the future. As he seeks the truth, he’s determined to keep Texanna with him, but it’s not destined to be.
Thanks for reading and viewing my book trailer! Please check out my blog, Linda LaRoque's Musings. Each month I have a drawing for an ebook of your choice.
Linda LaRoque ~Western Romance with a Twist in Time~ A Law of Her Own, Desires of the Heart, My Heart Will Find Yours, Flames on the Sky10-9, Forever Faithful, Investment of the Heart, When the Ocotillo Bloom
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
People are always giving you advice in this business. Don't to this; remember to do that. This genre is dead, or that one is going to be hot. Advice can help you. But it can also hurt you, too. A writer must learn to walk that fine line, keeping the distance between being a slave to trends and following the drumbeat of their muse.
In 1995, I finished the rough draft of my manuscript for A Restless Knight. The movie Braveheart was released the same month. I thought, wow, it would possibly help me sell my novel since it was set in Scotland at the time of William Wallace's rising. Unfortunately, Braveheart seemed to spin everyone into a "All Things Scottish" frenzy. Publishers were flooded with the material. Sadly, in the stampede my story was lost. I went ahead and wrote the second novel in the series, In Her Bed, and began working on the other books in the Dragons of Challon™ series. Still, five years later I seemed no closer to selling. That period was the heyday when Historical Romances accounted for nearly 80% of romances sold in paperback. Then Romance began to grow, stretching out into hybrids cross-genres, such as vampire romances, Sci-fi romances, and the new kid on the block--Chick Lit. And suddenly, historicals were seeing their market vanish almost over night.
Due to ill health I was at a very low ebb. It seemed everyone kept telling me to put away the historicals and do something else. I had no less than three NY Bestselling authors say to me that historicals were dead. So, despite my heart telling me to keep on writing them, I listened followed and what I was told. I created the Sisters of Colford Hall ™ series. Contemporary romances of women in the 30’s finding romance better the second time around. I created a series built around seven sisters, Contemporary Romances that seemed ripe for the market. Only, as I was on the verge of selling them, the market for Contemporary romances was slowing. Chick Lit was dying a fast death, and with it, taking interest in all contemporary stories. Erotica hit, and then I was pushed to write in that market. However, this time I listened to my heart, pushed for the sale of both series.
Oddly, the historicals were the first to sell―three weeks before my sisters! Yes, those historicals everyone insisted I should put aside sold. Not only did I sell them, they have done extremely well. A Restless Knight is in its third printing and still selling strongly after three years. The second book, In Her Bed, sold out of first printing in a little over three months, and Kensington rushed to do a second printing. Now, the third in the series, One Snowy Knight, sold out of first printing weeks before it was even shipped, and again, Kensington hurried to do a second printing. Yes, the books I was told wouldn’t sell is selling, and selling well. And not just in the US. My historicals are seeing translations in Brazil, Germany, Japan and Russia. Had I listened to well-meaning advice instead of my heart, my books would be gathering dust instead of royalty checks.
And my sisters? Well, my sisters are doing well, too. So, instead of following trends and advice, I wrote from my heart and have the best of both worlds―Comtemporary and Historicals ― thanks to Kensington Books and Dorchester Love Spell.
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner - Best Single Title Romance 2008
One Snowy Knight (October 2009); Dark Champion (Fall 2010)
A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing (August 2009); To Bell the Vampire (2010)
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
by Janet Quinn
Wanted: True Love, a fantasy romance, came out this week from Whiskey Creek Press. http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com I always get excited when a new book comes out. This is a fun book. Bree-Anna, a witch coming up on her 200th birthday, must find true love to break a spell that Gerard, a warlock, put on her when she was seventeen. She has given up hope until she meets Quinton, but she does not know if there is time for Quinton to truly fall in love with her.
Getting a book together is always a great deal of work even after if it is written. The edits and galley were done in plenty of time for this book, but the cover did not appear. The book was due out on September 15 and last weekend I still did not have a cover. Needless to say, I was having a panic attack over the weekend. A book must have a cover. It just isn’t complete without one.
Finally, Monday night, the 14th, about 9 p.m., I got a copy of the cover. It looked good, then I realized the title was wrong. It just said True Love, which would not match the inside of the book or make sense. I sent it back. Now I was really in a panic. The cover was needed the next day. After I sent it back, I waited. It is amazing how fast something like this can be fixed.
I printed out a copy to take to work and show off. When I looked at it, I realized my name was wrong. Now it was pushing 10 p.m. on the west coast. I sent it back again and waited. I finally got my cover back, all correct, and I could breath again.
Then the book wasn’t released until Friday.
Now I can relax and go back to writing. If I can stay awake long enough. I haven’t been too motivated since I hurt my back.
Monday, September 21, 2009
On the last long weekend I had I used it to escape. I didn’t turn on the TV or even read. Didn’t go near my computer either. I used the time to actually have some me time. I pampered myself with a decadent breakfast and also planned my lunch and dinner. Then I sat and enjoyed my breakfast. After I lounged around my house and listened to music. Sometimes I even got up and danced around my house. I went out and had my hair, nails, and toes pampered. When I got back home I napped, talked to friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while, ate and just lazed around. I did this for three days and it energized me.
Taking a moment to escape from the regular grind made me ready to dive back. It was fun.
So what do you do to escape?
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/McKennaJeffriesList
Free Reads Site: http:/ /www.satinnotes.com/
Conquering Jazz - What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend?
Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules.Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion
His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings.
His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.
Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Don't Dare the Reaper - Buy Now!
Phaze Books, $2, Paranormal, Menage MMF
Something spooky is going on in Dareville. En route to a sexy Halloween soiree, Cal and Sue Briscoe are involved in a car accident and die...or do they? Stranded between layers of the veil, they cling to each other with the hope that whatever happens, they will stay together. As the Grim Reaper - a handsome fellow introducing himself as Gil - tries to discern their fate, the Briscoes take advantage of the moment out of time to celebrate what could be their last chance for love...or the beginning of a new life.
She knew that voice—though it sounded distant and full of static. Probably a faraway temptation to rejoin the waking world, but she wanted none of it. Just a few more minutes of sleep, she decided. She had no pressing appointments at her photography studio. The people of Dareville could wait for their portraiture.
“Sue, baby, come on.”
No. Behind her eyelids came into focus a clear image of ice, stretching for miles before her. Her skates laced and tied, she took to the endless rink with all the poise of an Olympic champion, twirling and gliding with ease. Figure eights, figure sixty-nines—no number proved too difficult to etch on the hardened surface. She contemplated starting pi as well, right after a double axel.
The landing she flubbed, and Sue landed face down on the ice. The dry cool of the surface numbed her skin and left a lasting impression as that insistent voice guided her back to consciousness.
“Sue!” Cal shook her now, and she finally opened her eyes to discover they weren’t in their bed at home, but lying on a dark floor.
The entire room was pitch black, in fact. Yet, there had to be some light source since she could clearly see her worried husband.
She looked down at herself, then at Cal. Neither wore a stitch of clothing, yet it seemed natural in this situation. She experienced neither a chill nor embarrassment.
“Thank God,” he said, and drew her close.
“Where are we?”
“Hell if I know, are you okay?”
“I-I think so.” Nothing hurt. She tried her legs and stood without any problems, as did Cal. She studied their surroundings, or rather lack thereof. “Nice place.”
“Could use a window or two, but sure,” Cal said.
Sue smiled, happy to know her husband’s sense of sarcasm hadn’t suffered whatever had befallen them.
What had happened, exactly? She closed her eyes to recap the events of the day, but recalled nothing unusual. They’d made love that morning, then an early run and breakfast. Grocery shopping at Jake’s and lunch with their friend Kate at the Dareville Inn. Tiny Jack O’ Lanterns lined the lattice work of the small hotel—there was to be a Halloween party for the kids there…
Halloween party. Brady and Ellie. They were on the way to the Garristons’ house when they were hit.
“We crashed,” she said out loud. “The car.”
“Yeah, but where is it?” Cal loosened his hold and stepped away. Each footfall echoed an odd sound, as though they stood in a large, empty soundstage.
“We couldn’t have been thrown, we’d be all bloody and cut,” he added. He looked about to say more, but his face paled. Sue realized he shared her very thoughts.
Perhaps, they hadn’t been ejected from the car because they were still in it—their corporeal selves, anyway.
“We’re dead, Cal?”
He shook his head, bewildered. “I don’t know, babe. I don’t know. Come here.”
She gladly eased into his embrace and pressed against him, then gasped when she confirmed her worst fear. “I can’t hear your heart beating.” She trembled in his arms, trying to sob but tears didn’t come. Cal kissed the top of her head, but beyond that she detected no other movement. His breath didn’t caress her skin. His pulse didn’t race. He, like her, just was.
At least her sense of touch remained intact, and she assumed the same for Cal. That provided some comfort in this uncertainty. She savored the scratch of a light tuft of chest hair against her cheek, and how his hand smoothed over the swell of her backside. Any other time, this would arouse her, and she felt sad. Had they lost the ability to truly enjoy intimacy in this place?
“This is too weird. Cal, you don’t think this is Hell, do you?” Despite seeming to have no major working organs, Sue managed to sense a chill shiver down her spine after all. She thought of everything she and Cal had done, the earthly pleasures enjoyed since they fell in love, and wondered how much of it counted against them in their final judgment.
He didn’t answer right away, and part of her hoped for a joke to lift her spirits. Finally, he looked up and said, “This can’t be Hell.”
“How are you so sure?”
“If it were, I’d be the only one here.”
He looked down at her. In this state—death, near-death, whatever—his eyes maintained their lively hazel color, and she saw the desire flickering within them. Cuffing the back of his neck, she pulled him down for a long, slow kiss, relieved to know not everything ended in death.
Copyright Leigh Ellwood 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Logan Knight is staying with his grandfather while recuperating from an accident that killed his two best friends. He needs time to heal his body and his heart from the tragedy. Libby Turner is on a hell bent mission to keep her grandmother out of an assisted living facility, even if it means masquerading as a seventy-year-old woman.
From the moment the two meet sparks fly, and they can't keep their hands off each other. The only problem is, neither is looking for a relationship, so they come up with an outrageous solution. Can they stick to their plan of keeping their relationship strictly sexual, or do they give in to the overwhelming love that threatens to claim their hearts?
I just want to take this time to let you know that I'm in the process of getting my October newsletter ready. If you haven't joined my monthly newsletter yet I hope you'll give it some thought. It's filled with never before posted excerpts of my books, birthday announcements (if you added yours), monthly blog winner, guest authors that have posted during the month, upcoming events, and much more.
Christmas is right around the corner and some lucky reader (1) will be the recipient of a $25.00 egift certificate to Bath and Body. This contest prize will only be offered to readers who have joined my newsletter. There will be other goodies given away, too!
The link to join my newsletter is located on my blog where it says join my yahoo group. Hope to see you there!
Romance with an Attitude Blog
Friday, September 18, 2009
First up is a bit from USA Today Bestseller Jennifer Ashley's novella The Longest Night:
Mary rolled her eyes and slid her hand from his. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that you behave like a man.”
“I am a man. Or half-man.” Valentin paused. “Is the fact that I am logosh what deterred you?”
She gave him an indignant look. “You think I hesitated because you are logosh?”
“You did not believe in logosh when I first came to Scotland. You believed in no magic at all. Nvengaria is a heavily magical place.”
Mary laughed a little. “After what happened at my brother’s castle I believe in magic, thank you very much.”
Valentin’s heart beat rapidly, and his hands sweated inside his gloves. “Then may we begin again? I am whole and well, now, and can be a fine lover to you.”
Her dark eyes widened. “Lover?”
“You are a beautiful woman, and I wish to offer you the pleasures of my bed.”
“Valentin.” Mary leaned forward, the soft round of her bosom swelling against the table’s edge. “You really must reread your book on English customs. A gentleman doesn’t say such things to a lady in a room full of people. Not at all, in fact. Not if she’s a lady.”
“The people in this room are playing cards and not listening. The ambassador has their attention, not I.”
“Do not believe it. I have already overheard several bold ladies of the ton speculating on what you look like out of your clothes.”
Valentin smiled, thinking of how he’d stood with Mary outdoors on a cold Scottish night. “And did you tell them?”
Mary flushed. “No. Good heavens, Valentin. What am I to do with you?”
Valentin stood. Before Mary could protest, he took her hand and pulled her with him to another door. Opening it, he slipped through, tugged her after him, closed the door, and pinned her against it.
“You will do this with me,” he said, and kissed her.
Now we leave the elegant dining room and head for an earl's stable in Emily Bryan's My Lady Below Stairs:
Ian Michael planted a kiss on Jane’s knuckles and then pressed her hand against his chest so she could feel the great muscle of his heart pounding beneath her palm. Eyes closed, he leaned down and touched her forehead with his. Need hummed between them. “Sounds like more than a stolen kiss or two. Sounds like verra much more.”
For a few heartbeats, Jane thought of Ian’s little room at the far end of the horse stalls. Of his stringbed. Of what might happen if she let him lead her there. Her insides melted like a wax candle, but with effort, she pinched off the flame. Being an earl’s bastard was bad enough. Being a scullery maid’s bastard didn’t bear contemplating. She wouldn’t hang that label on an innocent child.
Jane stepped out of the circle of Ian’s arms. “Don’t you realize it’s the sack for both of us if we’re found out?”
“And I’m thinking that wouldn’t be all bad.” Ian tugged her close again. He was so warm, it was like a snugging up to a roaring fire. Jane went willingly.
“Jane! Where are you? I say! Janie, come quick!”
“That’s Agnes. What’s she doing out in this cold? I must go.” Jane pulled away.
“Stay, love. If we’re caught together, we’ll—”
He swept her up for a last kiss, an urgent play of lips, teeth and tongue. The now-familiar ache down there made visions of Ian’s string bed swim in her head.
Jane swayed unsteadily when he released her. “If I can,” she said breathlessly, “I’ll come again.”
“Aye, lass, I’d make sure of that if you’d let me,” he murmured as she ran off.
And lastly, we join William and Patience for that all important first kiss in Alissa Johnson's Traditions:
William wasn’t really paying attention to what came out of his mouth. It was her mouth that suddenly held his interest. That wide mouth now damp with water and juice from the apple. It was an unholy temptation. She was an unholy temptation. He couldn’t look away as she chewed, swallowed, and reached up to wipe away a small drop of apple juice from the corner of her lips.
Without thought, he stepped forward and took the apple from her hand. He caught the flash of nerves and excitement in her eyes. Fearing the nerves might get the better of her, he tossed the apple aside, closed the remaining distance between them, and pulled her into his arms.
She made a small feminine sound he sincerely hoped was surprise and not protest, and then he bent his head and took his first taste of Patience Byerly. He meant to keep the kiss sweet and light, a gentle meeting of lips. A woman’s first kiss should be gentle and sweet, shouldn’t it? And that it was her first kiss, there could be no doubt. She was the very picture of innocence.
Her face tilted straight up, her eyes squeezed tight, and her lips firmly clamped together. She looked nearly as naive as she did charming.
She didn’t taste like either. She tasted like sin.
He should have expected it. Hadn’t the majority of his decidedly sinful fantasies over the last week been centered on that incredible mouth?
But even as he berated himself for being unprepared, he realized that the reality of kissing Patience Byerly was far more vivid than anything his imagination could have created. Nothing could have prepared him for his body’s reaction to her taste—the wave of heat, the sharp stab of desire. He wanted more. He wanted everything. And absolutely nothing that could be reasonably described as sweet and light.
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All of our characters will be attending Lord and Lady Hartwell's glittering Christmas ball (even though not all of them have invitations!) and YOU are invited too!
Please leave a comment or question and two of you will win your choice from the backlist of Emily Bryan or Alissa Johnson. And be sure to rejoin us again on Monday when the 12 Days of A CHRISTMAS BALL Blog Tour heads for FreshFiction!
Have a great weekend and be sure to KISS SOMEBODY!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The BA household has an unrepentant obsession with TV. Yeah, yeah, in this day and age it's not PC to admit that you love it, but I so do.
Julia Talbot and I love the Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen stuff. We crave So You Think You Can Dance. We're mainlining Lie to Me on DVD so we can catch up before season two starts.
We have a *calendar*, y'all. It's crazy.
So, what does it take to be must see TV in the Tortuga/Talbot household? Here's the top ten.
1. Hot guys. What? With what I write, that's a given. The dance shows have same sex ballroom, for Heaven's sake. Two hot guys for the price of one. Gordon Ramsay? Hot. Sure, he's kind of a jerk, but that's part of the hotness factor.
2. Clever writing. Criminal Minds. Lie to Me. Maybe it's because I love to write a little adventure, a little paranormal mystery, but clever writing will make me have little sparkle bubbles over my head. I might even get jazz hands. ;-)
3. Real competition. I admit, y'all. I don't get these shows with the dating, or with the voting someone off the island. Folks who know me say I'm a wee bit competitive. (glares at people who are laughing hysterically) So, give me Top Chef or Project Runway. Something where the results of a challenge are tangible, and can be judged, even if it's subjective.
4. A tiny bit of darkness and humor. From Buffy to CSI, I love shows with a little gallows humor. If you can crack a joke while you stake a vamp or study a body, you're the guy or gal for me.
5. Dancing. I admit it. I love the flashy costumes. I love the fake smiles. I love the way bodies move. I adore music. Dance shows rock.
6. Suspense. I like it when I can't figure out whodunit right away. I like the boo factor, too, when things pop out from behind the door. Heck, I just like to be surprised.
7. A smart main character. Gideon from season one of Criminal Minds. Castle in Castle. I used to watch Bones before they dumbed everyone down.
8. A good soundtrack. Good music can make up for a lot. Heck, I'll even watch CSI Miami for the music.
9. Cowboys. You guessed it. I'll watch rodeo, bullriding, team roping, old re-runs of Dallas. I love cowboys. Look at my catalog of published books, you'll see it's true.
10. Closed captioning. It sounds silly, but both Julia and I are hard of hearing, so it's nice to be able to supplement our listening skills with one of the things we do best. Reading.
So what makes must see TV in your household? Enquiring minds want to know!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In the eighties, one very popular commercial depicted a housewife in dire straights. The baby, the dog, the job, and other daily distractions left her spinning (literally). Distressed, the woman holds her hands up and says, “Calgon, Take me away.”
The clip then moves the audience to a beautiful bathroom, complete with massive columns and a sunken, oversized tub. There, we find our stressed-out actress bathing in the lap of luxury. The ad campaigns were so effective, a website is now dedicated to the Calgon slogan: (www.takemeaway.com).
Lately, I feel like the woman in the 1980 Calgon commercial. Readers hanging out on my Yahoo loop know we have an open-door policy for our children and their friends. Well, the group has grown, and the children are older. Most of them now have their own cars. When they lay out of school, they stop by to tell me. When they’re home sick, they come here for soup and attention. When class is over, they head our way. Weekends are buzzing with activity and I never know who I’ll find on my sofa or piled up in the floor.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my children’s friends and many of them are like family. However, I’m trying to adjust and find more time for writing and admit, I’m failing at time management.
Between edits and writing under several names, cooking up various meals, and keeping up with several sport schedules while entertaining round-the-clock drop-in guests, my life is chaotic. My house is a zoo. Since I have several outstanding contracts I need to fulfill now, I thought about heading to the beach and renting a little efficiency on the water. You know, write non-stop around the clock.
Everything was a go too. The perfect place picked out, I wanted to leave tomorrow. Then, plans suddenly changed. The sports schedule showcased a few games I’d miss, two of which I’m assigned to concessions. My son and his friend let me know they’d drive down for the weekend to keep me company since the weather in South Carolina is still perfect for surfing and skin boarding. Then, two teenagers (and close family friends) who recently graduated from high school informed they could ‘miss’ an entire week of college classes and go with me.
My husband pointed out the obvious. There really wasn’t any need to drive five hours to serenity when my everyday distractions planned to follow right behind me.
So the trip is cancelled. The deadlines loom and the work continues to pile up. I think I should call the advertising agency for Calgon, see if they’re interested in a real-life clip of my life. I’d welcome them into my home for one trip to the paradise they’ve often created in their commercials. Then, I too, could shout: Calgon! Take me far, far away….with my laptop!
Let me hear from you. How do you juggle writing, work, and children? Do you write on a schedule and if so, are you able to stick to it day in and day out?
Love and hugs,
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I've been following all the drama over the VMA Awards. Taylor Swift won an award Kanye West thought Beyoncé deserved so he got up on stage and ranted about it.
It made me really, really appreciate the romance community. There are always books that I think deserve to win RITA's and EPIC awards but when they don't win, I don't get Kanye West-style upset. Why? For one, I don't think I've ever been that irate about anything. Life is too short to spend it fuming, isn't it? But mostly because on average, romance writers publish one to two books a year for years. If my fave author doesn't win this year, she might win next year or the year after that or…
And when she does finally win the award, readers will read her backlist and discover the book I loved so much. Which is why I wanted the book to win the award in the first place. So everyone will get the same enjoyment I did from reading the book.
Of course, awards are wonderful. I've entered Invisible in the EPIC awards and if it finals, I'll likely cry. Maybe do a Sally Field 'You like me, you really like me!' speech to anyone who'd listen (i.e. my hubby and my on-their-last-roots plants).
But if Invisible doesn't final, well, I have Flawless coming out in February. My fab pre-editor Mandy loves that story just as much as, if not more than, Invisible. So I try again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. No big whoop. I plan to write books for a few more decades and I hope that each book will be better than the previous one.
Meanwhile, I get mini awards weekly. These mini awards are emails from readers. Each one is a reason to celebrate. They encourage me. They drive me to finish that next novel (Gregory's story – yes, the smooth talking lawyer from Breach Of Trust). They make me dance around the room, printed out email in hand, singing the Sharon (or Holly or Becky or…) likes the story song (always a favorite in our house).
There's no reason for hating in romance. We're all about love and hope. And that the best is still to come.
Every month, Kimber Chin gives away her favorite romance eBook read the month before. To enter, visit http://businessromance.com/
Monday, September 14, 2009
I also love reading in bed. I have a great heap of books beside my bed, which my husband complains about, next to a bookcase with books stacked two deep (and that's only one of the bookcases in the bedroom).
I often fall asleep with a book in my hand and the light on. It's part of my routine every night. Recently I've read this book, Girl from Mars by Julie Cohen, which has a geeky heroine who draws comics for a living--sweet, funny, unexpected.
I frequently read in the bath--as you can imagine I will not own an e-book reader until a waterproof model is on the market, and I rarely read a hardback in the bath--only paperbacks which fare better in the water. I still own a copy of one of my favorite books, Wives and Daughters by Mrs. Gaskell, that my own daughter attempted to flush down the toilet when she was two. I rescued, rinsed, and have read it many times over the past twenty-odd years.
What's your favorite place to read? And what are you reading now?
Janet Mullany publishes Regency chicklit with Little Black Dress, UK, and you can buy her latest, A Most Lamentable Comedy with free shipping from bookdepository.com (which also has Julie Cohen's book). Find out more at www.janetmullany.com and at Twitter.
Check this out, because the lyrics include e-books. Also for news of a million dollar reward being offered!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The flash of shiny metal caught his attention just in time to move as the bullet whizzed past his head. “Hey! Inside! I’m Captain Clay Banyon of the US Army, put the damn gun away!” He took a deep breath to control his temper. “The Indians are gone, you can come out now.”
Ali’s only problem was she didn’t want to come out or even be here! Just seeing anything beyond the stagecoach might be more than her mind could handle.
When Ali gave in and played her god-daughter’s game pretending they live in the old west, using a garage sale—crystal ball, little did she know—magic would change their lives forever.
She possessed a name, a profession and she felt ridiculously grateful to the power that brought them to this…Magic Time.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Jinger Heaston is the cover artist and has designed most of my previous cover art. I am continually in awe of Jinger’s creativity and the different works of art she comes up with as the cover artist for Siren-BookStrand.
This time, I got to work with Jinger personally on the final version. Not only is Jinger professional and willing to listen, she’s fun.
Yep, I’m sorta picky, because like a lot of readers, it’s just damn annoying and a downer when the cover art does not reflect the actual story. One of my *not* faves was the heroine who was a svelte brunette, but portrayed as a voluptuous blonde on the cover. Or, the hero’s long flowing locks shown as raven black when he was actually a dark blonde with close-cropped hair. Yep, that harkens back to the days of my beloved bodice rippers.
Way back in the days of dreaming about being an author, I determined my covers would tell the truth about the story. Of course, I had no idea how the publishing business actually worked.
That’s one reason I’m so grateful for small print/ebook publishing. Because, as the author, I have artistic input on the cover, more so, than with the Big Guy publishers.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore a lot of the cover art from the NY publishers. Heck, I smile and mentally swoon over any and all cover art that floats my boat no matter where it’s from or who has designed it.
So, now, the question becomes, how does my cover art represent STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME?
The hero, Trail... well, there he is on the cover. He looks Apache, even though he’s from an equine shifter world. His race shares the same ancient ancestors.
The heroine, Seneca... there she is, the woman Trail stud lusts for, but has never approached because she’s not a one-night stand and that’s all he can give her. His race is not allowed to mate permanently with humans.
The fiery stallion... Trail is on a mission to halt the raging forest fires that threaten the portal between his world and Earth. Not only can he shapeshift into a stallion, he can also phase into a flaming state that devours any furious blaze.
You can imagine Seneca’s mind-jarring shock when she first sees Trail as a stallion of flame, even though he’s rescuing her from the bad space-alien guys, at the time. Yep, the suspenseful plot is paranormal and complex.
Trail and Seneca’s love story is a contemporary that takes place in southeastern Arizona, where there are caves, mountains and a national forest. This setting is crucial to the plot for several reasons. Trail’s portal is located inside a cave. Seneca has discovered a pair of ancient amulets inside another cave, hidden deep in the lower elevations of a mountainous area. And the assortment of bad guys are using the forest for their own nefarious purposes.
Even though, I can’t give you an official release date, yet, if this is your kind of romance reading, I hope you’ll be on the lookout for my STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME.
HAVE A WONDERFUL END OF SUMMER
~ MAY ALL YOUR READING DREAMS COME TRUE ~
~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~
Author of ~
All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Her Insatiable Dark Heroes
Stallion of Ash and Flame ~ coming from Siren-BookStrand
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
No matter if it is a sci fi, paranormal, contemporary or any genre in between making your characters believable is what I look for in a book and in my own writing. They could for example do many wondrous things with a wave of their finger but make sure that at their core they are real. I’ve had a discussion with a few friends of mine concerning paranormal, sci fi and other genres which feature characters that may not be human. Simply put “they are human with extras” which in my opinion means they feel the same emotionally as any human does. They are looking for love as we do. They cry as we do when needed and all that. They are real.
Yes they may have the power to control things around them or fight to the bitter end. But that one moment when they show their real side that emotional moment will get me every time. My favorite emotional moments in books is when an author can bring me to tears. And I’ll admit that I enjoy writing scenes in my novels that I know will make a reader cry. It can be tears of joy or going for the emotional jugular. Grabbing you in that place where that deep well of emotion is and touching a cord in you that makes the eyes burn, the breath hic up then the tears fall. Yeah I know I’m strange but it is real.
Share some scenes or books that came across as real to you or brought some sort of emotion that caught you and you remember.
…increasing the sizzle factor
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Free Reads Site: http:/ /www.satinnotes.com/
Silk and Shadows - Can a warrior elf find a naughty partner to ease his loneliness and fulfill his needs.
Buy here at Total-E-Bound.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I love reading reunion romances--the hero and heroine had a romantic connection when they were young, one of them did something stupid, and they come together years later, older and wiser.
WRITING reunion romances is a whole different ball game. Yes, you have the instant connection built in there. Yes, you can get to intimacy that much quicker. BUT you have to have a strong enough reason for these two people who loved each other to walk away from each other, but it can’t be so strong that they can’t find their way back together.
I think one of the considerations has to be how long the hero and heroine were together. I think the longer they were together, the harder it is to break them up. Also, if they have kids (that they both know about), it would have to be a doozy of a reason to break them up. Also, you couldn’t let a lot of time pass before they saw each other again, because a hero would want to see his kids.
In the very first romance I wrote, the hero and heroine were cops. They broke up when he was accepted into the FBI, and he left her and their four kids. Um. I think I know why this one didn’t sell.
In a later version of the novel, I took away their kids and they split up because they lost a child. Heavy. And realistic. I do want to go back to that one, though.
In Beneath the Surface, my September release from Samhain Publishing, I went through several reasons to break up Mallory and Adrian. It wasn’t easy. She’d loved him since he’d joined her parents’ archaeological dig when they were both in college. They were wild for each other and married young. Adrian was very dedicated to his job, and Mallory, who’d been raised by nomadic archaeologist parents, was ready for a home. That had to be a consideration. But was it bad enough to split them apart?
I toyed with the idea of her having a miscarriage when he was on a dig, and not telling him, but that didn’t make either of them very heroic.
I toyed with the Big Misunderstanding, but could that drive these two passionate, smart people apart?
So I ended up giving them both a reason to leave, his guilt, her resentment and frustration, and I gave them some time apart before they confronted each other. She’d walked away from every aspect of the life they’d shared, and he dove in head-first, determined to prove himself to her.
See if this is something you’d like to read:
In retrospect, perhaps archaeologist Mallory Reeves shouldn’t have delivered the divorce papers to her estranged husband mere weeks before her marriage to another man. She knew seeing Adrian again would stir up memories, but she didn’t expect so many of them to be good, not after the mess they both made three years ago.
She also didn’t expect to want to stay at the dig site on the Yucatan Peninsula. But the lure of the ancient ship and, yes, her sexy ex provide more of a draw than the white picket fence she thought she wanted.
Marine archaeologist Adrian Reeves has good reason to trust no one. His former partner—and former best friend—made off with his last archaeological find. And his wife left him, frustrated by his obsession for professional revenge.
Now both Mallory and his nemesis have returned, and it can’t be an accident that they’ve turned up in the middle of the most important excavation of his career. Seeing her again unearths old pain—and rekindles never-forgotten desire. Now he has to decide if he can trust Mallory again. More importantly, if he can trust himself with her.
Available at Samhain Publishing.
What are your favorite romance themes? What’s your favorite reunion romance?
Monday, September 7, 2009
Strolling through Naples, Italy works up the appetite and on a recent trip there, doing research for my book, The Wine Seekers, we found ourselves heading to a trattoria at precisely the time the church bells rang in the noon hour. Italians, like most Europeans, take their food and meal times seriously, leaving work, life, problems, and cares to disappear. As they sit down to well set-tables, the finer elements of life descend, bringing about an instant tranquility. We had no problem putting our American ways aside and adopting their way of life.
After looking over a menu, we had a conversation with our very knowledgeable guide about what a family of modest means would have eaten back in 1900, the time period in which The Wine Seekers takes place. By far, the biggest vote was for pizza. The dish was known as the food of the poor because of its simplicity and readily available ingredients.Neapolitans dubbed their Margherita after their queen who once took the time to visit their beautiful city. The pie is always wood-fired and during the time period of The Wine Seekers, there wasn’t much variation on how one made this type of pizza. Wheat flour, yeast, water, marine salt, extra virgin olive oil, fresh cherry tomatoes and of course, the watery buffalo di mozzarella, always made fresh that morning. And today, Pizza Margherita is still made with the same old-fashioned care. In fact as of 2004 the ingredients are regulated. One cannot advertise a pizza margherita without using the finest and freshest of the above-mentioned items. Chefs have to use certain flours and special yeast or else it just isn’t margherita.
We shared this delicious pizza while sitting at an outside café overlooking the Bay of Naples. The day was glorious with bright sun and a cloudless sky. While sipping Chianti Classico, we spent a long leisurely two hours getting to know a bit more about Naples from our native guide.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
There are some holidays that should be observed the way they were meant to be.