|Posted by christygis on May 2, 2014 at 1:05 AM||comments (1)|
I'm very pleased to have Betty Bolte with me today. She's sharing the Top 5 reasons she loves PNR romance and an excerpt from her latest release. Take it away, Betty!
Top 5 Reasons I Love Paranormal Romance
See if you agree with any of these reasons. May I have a drum roll please? The top five reasons are:
#5. The mix of beings and how they interact function for me in the same way that the Star Trek series/movies often highlight how people on earth treat each other, both good and bad, but in a non-threatening way, by depicting the interactions of humans with non-humans from other places. I hope a message might be shared that will help viewers treat each other better as a result. May be wishful thinking, but there it is.
#4. Something magical happens in paranormals, whether explicitly or implicitly, that speaks to my love of pondering the mysteries in life, the unexplained events and coincidences that weave through our daily happenings. We can’t always know why something occurs. We just have to deal with it and move on. Perhaps understanding will come later.
#3. Ghosts and hauntings have fascinated me since I was a little girl creeping through an abandoned decrepit house near my home, imagining I saw blood on a sofa cushion and heard creaking boards upstairs. Had someone been murdered and now the murderer lived upstairs? My little brain invented a host of scenarios for who it was and why nobody knew he or she stayed in the house. So any romance that includes a spirit intrigues me, though I’m not a fan of horror fiction. Thus I’m thinking the movie Ghost, for example.
2. I find it comforting to picture my deceased parents keeping house together somewhere, watching over me. After my dad died a few years ago, I felt his presence for several weeks in my house. A couple of times some of his items, which we’d brought home from the assisted living facility to sort through, would mysteriously move/hide/reappear. What do you call a blend of emotions between comfort and are you watching me in the shower?
#1. Imagining the combinations of species loving each other stretches me as a human being to be willing to accept, or at least tolerate, all people. We can’t love everyone but we can try to understand their perspective and resulting needs and desires. Hmm, I’m seeing a theme of “understanding” as an underlying motive for reading.
How about you? Why do you love reading paranormal romance?
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. Traces is a contemporary romantic women’s fiction novel set in a haunted plantation home in Tennessee, scheduled for release on April 28, 2014. Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure (2012) is a collection of short historical fiction based on the real-life achievements of 19 American girls in the 19th century, each with a landmark in the United States of America. The first edition won Honorable Mention in the 2003 Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and 2000 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. She’s the author of several nonfiction books and currently marketing a romantic historical fiction trilogy.
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Meredith Reed, a forty-year-old architect turned demolition expert, desperately searches for the means to bury her grief. When she inherits her family’s historic plantation home in Tennessee, she decides to start anew by razing the antebellum house and replacing it with a memorial garden. A plan met with outrage from her family and her grandmother's estate lawyer.
James Maximillian “Max” Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He's been promised a promotion once his proposed legislation to protect all of the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman in all of his forty-six years. If only the talented and attractive Meredith weren’t so aloof toward him and didn’t want to destroy the very property he’s grown to cherish.
Meanwhile, Meredith's estranged sister moves in and refuses to leave. The memories of their childhood spent there causes turmoil between them. And while Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and her future, she learns a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue that may save both her family and the family home from destruction.
Meredith Reed glared at the plantation home she’d inherited from a grandmother she only vaguely recalled and plotted its demise. A pair of ancient live oaks, the inspiration for the Twin Oaks name, guarded either side of the sprawling two-story brick dwelling, providing shade and funneling cool air through the house. Sunlight filtered through the Spanish moss draped on the massive limbs. Meredith raised one hand to shield the glare as she scanned the façade. The architect in her appreciated the symmetry of the Greek Revival style as well as the quality workmanship of the brickwork, but neither aspect added value for the salvage companies.
First, she’d dismantle it one piece at a time, removing anything of value and selling it off quickly to whomever had the money to buy it. She studied the once-elegant antebellum house, its wide front steps missing a brick here and there, its six elaborate Corinthian columns and intricately carved woodwork surrounding the double doors. The property description listed ten bedrooms, four bathrooms dating from the early twentieth century, a gourmet kitchen, two parlors, an upstairs ballroom, and several outbuildings. Despite the building’s grand scale, the house was too small to warrant using dynamite to implode. Damn. But she could visualize a nice, hot fire licking up the exterior. Yes, a fire would serve the purpose of bringing it down.
The estate lawyer, Max Chandler, who had driven her out to the four-hundred-acre property, had barely spoken during the entire trip except to relay pertinent details of the surprise inheritance, including the fact she had also inherited her grandmother’s sizable and diversified investment account. She’d have preferred to drive her own car, especially since he drove one of those redneck pickup trucks. Sitting in any vehicle, let alone with an attractive man, set her teeth on edge. Worrying about what might happen tensed every muscle in her body. He also didn’t need to know how edgy being with him made her, as if her skin burned the closer he drew. But he’d insisted until she ungraciously relented. She picked her fights, and that one wasn’t worth the effort. The rolling Tennessee countryside had flowed past the window, immense fields dotted with horses and cows. Green shoots poked through the tilled earth in rows, reaching for the early spring sunshine. She’d noticed her surroundings automatically, but none of the hauntingly familiar sights held her interest. Once she no longer sat in the unfamiliar truck, her tense muscles eased, and she drew a deep breath as she studied the building.
Why on Earth had her grandmother, whom she hadn't seen in nearly thirty years, chosen her to receive the grandiose house that stood for everything she would never have? The family she could never have? Pain combined with a deep-seated longing blossomed in her chest. Three front steps led up to a brick porch with its immense white columns announcing to passersby that the building was more than a house. Unlike the small, boxy ranchers and nondescript houses they’d passed on the drive to the plantation, this structure cried out for a large family. Her parents had often carried her and her sister Paulette from Memphis to visit Grandma when she was a young child. Back when love and laughter echoed through the many rooms. The huge yard, graced with several shade trees—the site of barbecues and softball games, with the extended family arguing over who potentially cheated or whooping with glee when a good shot was made—now stood silent, accusing her of neglect and indifference.
So be it. She stiffened her spine. She would not wallow in self-pity nor give in to the temptation to hug her arms around her waist and cry. She squinted at the glare from the windows nestled into the brick walls, noting the ivy climbing up one front corner. Willy would want her to move on, build a new life, but she couldn’t. Not yet. Even after five years, the grief and anger stewed in her brain, sizzled in her veins, and throbbed in her heart. But soon Twin Oaks would help her define the path to alleviate the pain. She’d finally struck on a course of action that would assuage her turmoil, thanks to the surprising inheritance. She’d bury her grief through the catharsis of a fresh beginning by returning the once-beautiful but now decaying plantation to nature. Let the land heal her, as her grandmother had long ago told Meredith their Irish ancestors believed, though perhaps not in the way she meant.
“Shall we go inside?” Max leaned his tall frame against the hood of the green F-150 pickup, arms folded, his curiosity evident in his expression.
The color of his eyes as he waited for her response reminded her of the crystal blue of glacier ice, and that thought evoked the bittersweet memory of her and Willy on their honeymoon trip to Alaska. The glorious clear sky that day had created a perfect backdrop to the pod of whales they watched blowing a mixture of air and water. She heard again the cry of eagles as they soared majestically above the surrounding mountains. The trip of her life with the love of her life. Back when they had their entire lives stretching before them, full of promise and hope.
Her phone buzzed in her pocket, breaking the spell of Max’s intent gaze. She fished the contraption out and glanced at the screen before answering. “Buddy, what’ve you got for me?”
“One close to home for you. Salisbury, Maryland.” Her boss’s brusque, businesslike voice helped her focus, steady her breathing. “An old chicken processing plant needs to be refurbished. Two months enough time for you to finish your mysterious personal errand and then go assess the scope and cost?”
Scanning the front of the house, she automatically categorized which pieces of the architecture were salvageable. One shutter clung precariously to an upper window frame. Ultimately, what could be saved didn’t matter as much as how quickly she could do her job and subsume the grief into the ground. The chickens would have to wait, but soon she’d return to work. Hopefully, the inside decor didn’t include any faux painting. Otherwise, much of the woodwork would prove worthless. With any luck, the fireplaces would be real marble. She’d have to contact a local appraiser to determine the true value of the items worth recovering from a historical perspective. Then salvage anything else for scrap that would help offset the cost of either the heavy equipment needed to take it apart or for hiring the guardian firemen to conduct a controlled burn.
Burning down the building in a controlled fashion tugged at her desire to contain the pain, to manage it and flush it once and for all out of her system. Perhaps afterwards she could breathe without the raw hiccup of intense grief snatching at her lungs. Maybe she’d be able to sleep in her half-empty bed without missing her Willy like a severed limb, the ghostly ache never far from her mind.
A flash in an upstairs window drew her attention, and she peered at the pane. A pair of turkey buzzards spiraling high above reflected off the window, wings outstretched so that the tips of their feathers stood out against the sky. She didn’t have long, as her schedule stayed tight because her expertise remained in high demand. She’d figure something out, but her stay in the little rural community of Magnolia Grove, Tennessee, would last no more than a month, maybe two, tops. “Sure. That gives me enough time here to wrap things up. Is it a partial demolition or the entire thing?” She yearned for the satisfaction of a complete demolition, allowing a tiny spark of hope to kindle in her soul that she’d need dynamite to bring it down. The brief joy that thrilled through her when she ripped apart a building never lasted long enough to dissipate the pain in her heart.
“Partial. I’ll e-mail you the details.”
Meredith ended the call and slipped her phone back into her pocket as Max pushed off from his spot near the front of the truck.
“What is it you do again?” Max aimed mirrored sunglasses in her direction.
“Demolition.” She slid her purse strap more securely onto her shoulder. She snatched the manila folder off the hood of the vehicle, a file Max had handed to her at his office. Inside were copies of the legal papers he’d reviewed with her across his massive mahogany desk. “Why?”
“Your grandmother said you were an architect. Demolition is a rather unique profession for a woman, isn’t it?” He let his gaze drift away from her to scan the hundreds of acres of fields and trees and the various outbuildings surrounding the plantation house. A circle of trees nearly hid the old gazebo from view, but they couldn’t stop the surge of memories of afternoons spent with her sister, Paulette, playing under its roof. Glimpses of white painted boards and black wrought-iron trim appeared through the dense branches and limbs sprouting with new growth.
“I like to be different.” Meredith dropped her attention to the folder, severing the thread of the past, and turned a page without reading it. Once she’d built homes and offices, spaces conducive to living and loving, but that was five years ago. Why did Max care what she did? She slanted a questioning glance his way. “Keeps things interesting, ya know?”
“I’d imagine. Listen, I hate to rush this,” Max said, his words clipped, “but I have a client to meet in an hour. Let me show you around.” He indicated for her to lead up the steps.
Bristling at his tone, Meredith pinned him with a stare. “Look, you don’t need to. It’s been a while, true, but I have been here before. I know the layout. We can go.” Then she wouldn’t have to go inside and relive the happy, carefree days of her childhood through the weary eyes of an adult while Max watched.
He shook his head, his dark chocolate hair touched with gray sweeping his collar, watching her. “Things have changed. You may be surprised by what you find inside.” He tapped a hand against one thigh and cocked his head to gaze at her for a long moment. “Either way, you should take stock of what you’ve inherited.”
He didn’t appear much like a lawyer, truth be told. Didn’t lawyers wear prescription glasses and look nerdy? Not that she believed in stereotypes, but all that studying must make their eyes weak. Max was the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps her grandmother had a need for eye candy when she chose him as her estate planner.
He was delicious to contemplate, that’s for sure. Probably a couple inches taller than a cornstalk with a soccer player’s physique, Max could double for a cover model. She appreciated his classic good looks, straight nose, and strong jaw. Dressed in khakis and a deep red polo shirt, he seemed more ready for a round of golf than a client meeting. He represented the unattainable type of man for her. The kind embodying something too smart, too handsome, too much for her taste. Even if she were in the market for a man, which she was not. None of that mattered since she would be staying in the area for a short while. Despite her hard shell of indifference to the opposite sex, she couldn’t help a moment of succumbing to the temptation of drinking her fill of his appearance. But only for an instant. If she let her guard down, her personal destruction would soon follow.
“I don’t want to keep you, is all.” Meredith waved a hand at the vehicle. “I’m a big girl. Take me to my car. I’ll come back on my own.”
“Actually, your grandmother made it clear she wanted me to show you around when you claimed the place,” he replied. “She wanted to be sure you appreciate the extent of the inheritance and had an opportunity to see how much work is needed to put it to rights. So, if you’ll follow me?” He nipped up the steps, obviously expecting her to concede the point.
“And Grandma always gets her way.” With a sigh, Meredith shadowed him through the white double doors into the chilly front hall. She stopped inside the doorway to look around. The sickly smell of mildew hit her senses like a wrecking ball, bringing tears that smarted the corners of her eyes. Crossing the threshold into this house made her feel as though she stepped back in time to another era. “It’s exactly like I remember. Well, except for the smell.”
Max nodded. “Mrs. O’Connell prided herself on ensuring any necessary repairs matched the original decor and architecture. But as time went on, she wasn’t able to keep up with the issues of an old, historic home. A few repairs will be necessary. Your talents, skills, and expertise are why she left Twin Oaks to you instead of your father. You know, so you can ensure the repairs are appropriate to its original grandeur.”
Dark wood floors reached throughout the plantation house. The stairs rose slowly from the left, boasting dark wood treads with white painted fronts, up to a wraparound loft. A cherry table sheltered against the wall beneath the stairs, showcasing a dainty crystal lamp centered on a lace doily. She smiled, spying the small door standing invitingly ajar, leading to what she recalled was a games closet tucked under the stairs. A colorful rug bade guests to cross the space toward the ladies parlor on the right or the double parlor on the left. In days gone by, the gentlemen would have adjourned to the larger retreat after dinner to smoke and drink. Farther down the hall leading from the foyer, light spilled onto the wood floors from the windows in the back rooms. A chill settled on her shoulders. The back room on the right had been her grandmother’s sewing room—her favorite spot in the entire house—and the room in which she’d died, according to Max. Meredith shook off the thought and focused instead on the condition of the house.
She moseyed into the parlor, noting the dusty, cobwebby, overstuffed chairs and dark wood furniture. Faded and peeling, the rose-patterned wallpaper competed with the brocade drapes for attention. Above the rose marble fireplace, she spotted the relief carving of the Irish Claddagh: two hands reaching toward the center where a heart wore a royal crown. Her grandmother loved to tell stories about the Claddagh, representing bonds of love, friendship, and loyalty. She inhaled, smelling dust and cold ashes from the fireplace mingled briefly with a faint yet familiar scent she couldn’t place. She mentally shook her head. No matter.
Scanning the room, Meredith let her gaze touch each piece of antique furniture, each grimy objet d’art, each vase of tired silk flowers. The dismal scene before her contrasted sharply with how everything once shone with loving attention. She hardened her resolve. Emotional reaction must not sway her course. She had made up her mind before she even packed her little suitcase, tucked Grizabella into her cat carrier, and started her car to make the two-day drive through Roseville and back to Magnolia Grove. Back to her past. She couldn’t stay. Tennessee would never be home again. She’d call an auction company to take the furnishings and furniture. Then arrange for the dismantling of the house and outbuildings. What difference did it make if the floors were dusty or the furniture saggy? If cobwebs draped over everything like Spanish moss? Nothing would remain standing when she was finished returning the property to a green field.
Meredith wandered through the rest of the house, Max following silently. Her tour of the upper floors was cursory at best. She avoided the attic entirely, not prepared to open that door to the past. Max’s silence suited her. She didn’t want to talk about her plans with anyone. Others wouldn’t agree with them, for one thing. They didn’t understand the hurt and anger deep inside her. Hell, she didn’t totally understand it. She surveyed the interior, knowing without thinking it through what she’d need to do to put this past firmly behind her once and for all. She glanced at Max when he stopped beside her in the kitchen, his spicy aftershave helping to obscure the odors of the old house.
“I guess I’ll stay here until I can make the necessary arrangements.” Meredith refrained from touching the white ceramic counter dotted with green mold. Outside the window, the backyard extended for about five acres before opening up to a large—perhaps two hundred acre?—meadow beyond. A separate two-car garage was tucked at the end of the driveway near the small caretaker’s cottage, out of sight from the front of the property, likely to ensure its curbside appearance remained faithful to that of the nineteenth-century expectations. Primordial oaks and maples, ones she and Paulette used to monkey in, provided shady oases across the expanse. Two giant magnolia trees stood sentinel at the back, where she knew they marked the entrance to the O’Connell family cemetery nearly hidden at the edge of the open area. She leaned slightly to the left. There. The grave stones, some drunken with age, were clearly visible and surrounded by a black wrought-iron fence and gateway. The arch above the gate announced the family name in wide, rounded letters. From here she could discern the weary steps leading up to the ancient gazebo, the gingerbread trim drooping over the entrance to the shadowy interior.
“Good. You’ll have chance to decide what you’ll do with such a lovely property.” He regarded her and appeared to wrestle with what to say next. After a pause he said, “I envy you, Mrs. Reed. I realize it needs a bit of work, but this is a wonderful place. Both peaceful and historic. I wish I could afford such a home as you’ve been given.”
Meredith turned and gaped at him, wondering if he was joking. He wasn’t. “Peaceful? Have you heard crickets in the summer? Or roosters? God, the roosters crowing all day drive me insane.” She wouldn’t listen to him go all sentimental on her. Restoring the property was not her agenda. “Shall we go? I have to take care of a few matters, and I’d like to put the wheels in motion.” Meredith shook off the glower Max gave her at the abrupt change in conversation. She headed for the front door.
Once outside, she sauntered toward the truck, hearing Max close the door and lock it. She didn’t look back as she reached the truck and stepped up and inside. Only then did she permit herself to scrutinize the home—no, the house—she’d inherited. Above the front porch, a set of French doors opened onto a balcony with a black wrought-iron railing. Not even a chair occupied the space. With such an old house, she doubted that the balcony floor could support any weight. She had an image of ladies in hoop skirts and men in Confederate uniforms dancing inside the open French doors in the upstairs ballroom, and shook the daydream from her head. She scanned the rest of the area. Over the decades the expanse between the main house and the separate kitchen behind it had been closed in to form one building where at one time there stood two. Soon, after her plans came to fruition, there would be none.
Max joined her in the vehicle and drove for a time in silence, the only sound the symphonic muzak oozing from the stereo. She felt the weight of his assessment. Even after he returned his attention to the winding road before them, she sensed his appraisal, weighing her words and actions and the silences between them.
“I assume you’ll go through with the application your grandmother had me submit.” Max shot her a glance and then focused on navigating the streets of Roseville. “Right?”
Outside the car’s window, the quaint town square slipped past. Roseville had been established early in the nineteenth century and served as the county seat of government. The stately brick courthouse with its white clock tower stood in the center of the square surrounded by a hodgepodge of antiques stores, diners, boutiques, and a two-screen movie theater. A woman holding the hand of a child skipping along the sidewalk hurried toward the Hideaway. The popular restaurant once housed the old jail. Eating in the former jail cell with her parents had been a highlight once upon a time. Shoving away the sharp stab of nostalgia, she refused to allow the past to influence her future.
“What application?” Did the man have to speak in riddles? Keeping her eyes averted, the young family held her attention as she waited for his answer.
“To have the plantation added to the National Register of Historic Places.” Max turned on his indicator and waited for the light to change.
“That’s what I said.” Was he hard of hearing too?
“It’s already in the system.” He cut her a glance and focused on the traffic. “Why don’t you want it to be listed?”
“I have other plans for the property.” She looked at him, observed the frown pull down between his brows. “It is mine to use or sell as I choose. No strings attached?”
He steered the car onto Market Street. “I’d assumed you’d want to honor your grandmother’s intent and keep the house in the family like so many others in these parts choose to do. Or at least, given your background, appreciate the need to preserve the area’s history for future generations.”
“You know what they say about assuming things.” Meredith tugged on the seat belt strapped between her breasts where it bit into her. She held on to the vinyl strap to relieve the discomfort. “And, to be clear, I never said I was selling.”
“But you don’t want to have official protection for the structures, to keep them as testimony to the history of this area?” Max eased the car into a parking spot in front of the old house that served as his office.
A white sign hung on a matching post beneath a spreading maple tree growing next to the sidewalk. The former residence housed Estate Planning Attorneys, specializing in historic preservation law, with five attorneys listed. She scanned the names until spotting Max’s—James M. Chandler—second from the bottom. Not a ranking member of the firm. Good to know.
“I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll do, but I will over the next week or so.” Electing to keep her own counsel, she opened her door and stepped out into the soft morning air. Max soon followed suit, studying her over the roof of the pickup. The sound of tires on asphalt joined with the thump of music blaring from radios in passing cars. She should say something. “I’ll collect Grizabella from your secretary and head back out to settle in for the duration.”
“You make it sound like you’re preparing for a siege.” Max chuckled and closed his door, and then strode to meet her in front of the vehicle. “I put my card in the folder I gave you earlier. Call me if you need anything.”
“I doubt that will be necessary.” She extended her hand and met his curious gaze, steeling herself from any memories attempting to assert themselves. “I appreciate all you’ve done for my grandmother and for me.”
“My pleasure.” He engulfed her hand with his larger one.
Never had the touch of a hand ignited such a warm buzz against her skin. The sensation brought to mind the practical joke Paulette had played on her not too many years ago. The stupid buzzer handshake had jarred and left her tingling all over. The feeling sparked by Max’s grip topped even that. Did he feel the same jolt of electricity that zinged through her? He peered at her, probing her expression. When his gaze landed on her mouth, she inhaled sharply, lips parting involuntarily. Damn. That did not happen. She would not permit anything to distract her or sway her self-imposed mission. She pressed her lips together and ended the contact between them. She had no time for complications in her life. No interest in another man.
“Um … is the grocery still off the square on College?” She took a step backward, putting distance between them, away from whatever vibes he radiated.
Max smiled, a slow, sensual movement that implied they shared a secret. “Edna’s? Yep, it’s still there.”
She nodded and moseyed up the sidewalk toward the office door, careful to step over the eruption of concrete under pressure from a tree root threatening to trip her. “I’ll get Grizabella, stop at the store for essentials, and then head back to the house.”
Max strode in front of her and opened the door, waiting for her. She slipped past him, avoiding both touching him and looking at him. She smelled cinnamon and apples as she scanned the homey reception area. More of that instrumental music similar to the compositions she’d heard in Max’s truck made her think of happier days with her husband. The antique furniture, flowered wallpaper, and apple pie combined to make the law office feel surreal. If it weren’t for the laptops and printers scattered among the vases of flowers and stacks of files, she’d feel like she were visiting someone’s home. The secretary, Sue Grimwood, approached her with a smile on her maroon-painted lips and two cups of coffee in hand. The woman had welcomed her warmly when she first arrived to meet with Max, sharing that she loved old homes and had three children and a grandson all in the space of minutes. If Meredith was planning to stay, which she wasn’t, Sue could become a good friend.
“No cream with two sugars, and black.” Sue handed Meredith one cup and Max the other, and then tucked her hair behind both ears, making her appear like an eager teenager. “So, ready to move in?”
Meredith shrugged lightly. “For a while anyway. Thanks for remembering.” She lifted the cup in salute and took a sip. Hot and sweet. Perfect.
“Has Griz been any trouble?” Meredith cradled the steaming cup between her hands. The cat carrier sat where she’d left it, but the top door stood open. She looked around, searching for the feline. “Where is she?”
“She’s fine.” Sue gestured with a manicured hand to the elegant settee situated in the bay window, sunlight streaming in to highlight the calico snuggled there. “I took pity on her and let her out.”
“Thanks for keeping her for me.” Meredith took a long gulp of coffee and set the mug on the desk. “I should be going.”
“First,” Max said, “let me give you a copy of that application so you’ll at least know what’s been put into motion. You’ll want one for your records, I’m sure.”
Sue nodded her head rapidly, silky hair escaping from behind her ears to bob frantically about her chin. “You know what Max always says. That beautiful old plantation really ought to be preserved for future generations to enjoy and learn from. You’re fortunate to own such a splendid property.”
“Yes, it is beautiful.” Meredith didn’t have the heart to burst the woman’s bubble of excitement. While nothing would change her mind on this subject, she’d learned how to play the angles until the plans became actions. Max folded his arms, waiting, his expression guarded. She should at least pretend to care. She shrugged. “Fine, but make it quick.”
Max motioned for her to follow him and then strode to his office. Pacing behind him, she estimated the weeks needed to make the necessary arrangements and have the right people do the right things to carry out her plans. Given the very real possibility of resistance from local historians and probably her own family, she’d have to allow extra time. She hated to draw this process out any longer than required, but she’d learned long ago to be realistic when setting the timeline for a demolition. Her reputation rested on her ability to carry through with the detailed plans. Once she’d set the schedule for a project, she had never missed her deadline.
“I expect we’ll hear one way or the other in a few weeks,” Max said.
She stopped beside him. His desk, an expanse of highly polished wood, reflected not only the late morning sunshine but the apparent extreme orderliness of Max’s mind. Or perhaps Sue’s. The inbox matched the desk and contained a pile of folders, stacked with military precision. Not the haphazard mishmash of Meredith’s desk at home, but with the corners aligned and the tabs all pointing in the same direction. Pens and pencils stood at attention in separate wood cups, likely, Meredith thought with a grin, to prevent them from mingling after hours and procreating. Mixing the two just wasn’t done in polite society.
“Working with the National Register is never easy.” She fingered a gold-tipped pen, angling it against the flow of the others in the cup to see if Max would notice. She hid a conspiratorial grin at her little rebellious act. “I’ve managed to avoid working with them any more than absolutely necessary.”
“We have plenty of time, though. Right?” Max glanced at her and then back to the folder on the desk. One manicured finger, the nail clean and blunt-tipped, toyed with the edge of the manila stock, capturing Meredith’s gaze.
Willy’s hands sprang into her mind, his long fingers and wide palms calloused and capable. How many times had those fingers clasped her own, squeezing gently to share a joke or convey his feelings? She’d watched Willy work magic with those hands, creating a work of art from bushes and flowers and rocks. They’d joined forces once they married, she designing the homes, the developments, and other buildings, and he designing the artistic landscapes to enhance the overall appearance. Walking through his gardens was like exploring a fairy world, complete with blossoms and lighting and winding paths. Willy’s designs had won multiple awards over the past decade, and she’d been proud to be his wife.
They’d built a good life together, filled with love and promise. Their love had brought a deep abiding happiness into her world. Until the attack stole everything from her.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1j7WOwq
|Posted by christygis on April 23, 2014 at 1:00 AM||comments (4)|
Haley Whitehall is visiting today and bringing a snippet of Midnight Kiss. As a lover of historical romance, I'm always excited when she visits. (Check out my Robin Danner page for her last guest spot.) Today Haley is talking widowers and giving us a special sneak peek of her latest work. Enjoy!
A Determined Widower
Recently I had a blog comment that my new historical romance release Midnight Kiss sounded like a good read. She liked steamy widower stories. I’ve come across many romances with a young widow woman. In fact, I wrote one myself, Midnight Caller, the first book in the Moonlight Romance series. I agreed that I liked to read widower romances too. That got me thinking was it a trope?
I searched http://tvtropes.org/ and found very little about widowers. It was rather disappointing. However, I believe the determined widow trope could easily be tweaked to accommodate a widower. What do you think?
Due to more life experience, the Determined Widow Widower is usually . She He might even tell The Heroine that she he doesn’t need his her help, even though she he often has children dependent on her him and therefore also in danger need of a woman’s care.
Yes, that just about sums up Matt Seever’s predicament in Midnight Kiss. All of that is true except for the part about telling the heroine he didn’t need her. He needs her from day one and he knows it. He needs the heroine to help him care for his two mulatto children and to help set his life back in order after the death of his wife.
Unjustly accused of stealing, nanny April
Windmire is turned out on the streets without pay. With no place to go and no
friends, she stows away on a Mississippi River steamboat. Her hopes to hide
through the journey to St. Louis are dashed when a handsome white officer finds
her. But instead of turning her in, he takes her to his private quarters where
she fights her growing attraction to a man she cannot have.
Matt Seever’s wife died four year ago, leaving him alone with two small mulatto children. But his job as an officer on the Queen Bee isn’t family friendly. He knows he needs a new wife, but no southern white woman will marry him. When April lands in his lap, his prayers are answered. Or are they? April’s not the trusting type and racial prejudice runs deep in post-Civil War Missouri. Just when Matt convinces April he loves her, his new family becomes a target and there’s no backing down from this fight.
Together, April and Matt must brave heinous race prejudice crimes to find an enduring love.
Matt barely held back tears seeing the children sleeping on either side of April. In the dim light April reminded him of Caroline in so many ways. She had the same molasses colored skin, the same sleepy smile.
He rubbed the back of his neck. April was not Caroline. She could not replace his beloved. Still, the children looked perfect nestled in her arms. Like they belonged there. Would he be able to convince her she made his family whole again? Could make him whole again?
He gently shook April’s shoulder and her eyes parted, still glazed with sleep.
“We took a nap.”
“I see that. I finished my work. We can go home.”
He picked up Hannah and the little girl hugged his neck. “Papa, is Miss April going to live with us?”
“Yes.” He smiled at April. “I see you left an impression on them.”
As quickly as you left an impression on me.
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.
Where to find Haley Whitehall:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/
Midnight Caller –Moonlight Romance Book 1
Midnight Heat – Moonlight Romance Book 2
Soldier in Her Lap
Love, Valentine Style
|Posted by christygis on April 13, 2014 at 1:05 AM||comments (2)|
A big welcome to Diane Saxon, who was kind enough to drop by with an excerpt of her latest release. I'm glad she was able to come for a visit and check out that lovely cover!
Thank you for inviting me to visit to celebrate the release of my new book, Flynn’s Kiss.
Flynn is a bad boy, with a damaged soul – I think Liberty might be just the thing he needs.
Severely scarred during a disastrous mission, ex special forces Flynn Swann is home after three years of avoidance. By his own admission, he’s no good with women and the last thing he expects or wants is the attention of a curvy little brunette, who’s just passing through.
With apparently no fear or revulsion of his scarred face, the boisterous woman bounds into his life and destroys all hope of a quiet visit. It is obvious to literally everyone that she wants him—all of him.
Worse still, despite her atrocious taste in fashion and Stetsons, she appears to have won the hearts of the entire town.
Scientist Liberty Sophia Glennon is on a mission to find a man before she has to return to the loneliness of the New Zealand outback where she has already spent eighteen lonely months doing research.
A ticking hormone bomb, Liberty feels time is running away with her. Outwardly she is a bouncing ball of over-confidence, but inside she is still a frightened little girl with horrific memories of her childhood and a desperate need to be liked.
Completely unfazed by his external scars, her seduction of Flynn is not so difficult, but follow-through proves painful as Liberty realizes Flynn’s wounds run further than just skin deep.
With apparently nothing in common but their passionate attraction, how will these two damaged souls deal with each other’s fear of rejection?
From the darkened protection of the corner of the room, Flynn watched the curvy little brunette with the bubbly hair bounce around, microphone in hand, wailing her heart out with obvious enjoyment. The sight of her large rounded breasts as they jiggled merrily along with the tune heated his stomach and threatened to move lower. She’d flicked several glances in his direction, and each time she did, he sank farther into the protective shadows by the wall, conscious she couldn’t see the left side of his face too clearly in the blue-hued lighting. Cute and friendly she might seem, but he knew from experience she would change her tune once she got a load of his scars. Women always did.
At the age of eighteen he’d considered himself a lady-killer—as most guys did—but he had been full of himself, knowing he was a good-looking son of a bitch. Never had a single problem or gave a second thought. If he wanted, he took, with great enjoyment and relish. With his unusually pale blue, bold eyes, dark brown hair, and chiseled features, he’d caught the attention of women of all ages. The fact he’d been brought up riding rodeo and working a ranch since he was born just added into the long, lean tone of his body. What nature hadn’t given him naturally, hard work and a tough upbringing had molded to perfection. When he’d joined the Special Forces, he’d honed it beyond perfection. He wasn’t overly tall, just under six feet, but his entire physique gave him presence. As a young man, he’d known it and reveled in it. Ego had driven him hard.
A golden boy, given the gift of a beautiful face, a bright mind, and a naturally lean body. He’d been destined to marry the glamour girl, crowned king and queen of the prom…everyone in town believed he had a long and happy marriage ahead of him with Rachel. Personally, he’d had a few qualms about the woman’s intelligence, but at the time and with the shallowness of youth, he had wallowed in her perfect beauty and the envy of the other boys. Celebrations had been wild at their engagement party before he went off to training camp. Faithful, he had returned to her time and again after each assignment. He’d had ambition, and she’d had plans. The pair were well-suited.
It didn’t matter. It all changed with the slash of a knife. His looks were destroyed, his mind rebelled, and the glamour girl ran screaming for the hills. He’d had the same reaction from women ever since.
He tipped the bottle of beer up to his mouth and stared down the length of it at the pretty brunette. Her breasts were interesting—got a nice little heat going in the pit of his belly—but his preference was her pert little ass as she swayed in perfect rhythm to the song she was murdering. She caught his eye again, gave a broad smile and a twitch of her eyebrows. A definite invitation.
He drew farther into the shadows.
About the Author
Diane Saxon lives in the Shropshire countryside with her tall, dark, handsome husband, two gorgeous daughters, a Dalmatian, one-eyed kitten, ginger cat, and four chickens.
After working for years in a demanding job, on-call and travelling great distances, Diane gave it all up when her husband said “follow that dream.”
Having been hidden all too long, her characters have burst forth demanding plot lines of their own and she’s found the more she lets them, the more they’re inclined to run wild.
Flynn’s Kiss Buy Links
Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Taliesin Publishing | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Kobo | Smashwords
Where to Find Diane Saxon
Author Website | Author Blog | Author Facebook Page | Author Twitter | Author Goodreads Profile | Author Amazon Profile Page
Previous Books: Loving Lydia -Atlantic Divide Book 1
Bad Girl Bill – Atlantic Divide Book 2
Finding Zoe - Atlantic Divide Book 3
Flight of Her Life
|Posted by christygis on April 10, 2014 at 1:30 AM||comments (2)|
So pleased to welcome Eva Lafoy to my blog today. And...wow...check out her cover and hot excerpt! Take it away, Eva!
My latest release is a MM military erotica. It involves a gay-reluctant 2nd Lieutenant who hasn’t come out the closet yet and the former Sergeant who is willing to lend him a helping hand!
In the story, the Lt. is sent to the former Sergeant’s mechanic’s shop for a “valve adjustment.” Well there are valves and then there are valves!
It doesn’t take the Lt. very long to warm to the love making once they get started, but unfortunately, this little tryst leaves the Lt. with some pretty hefty life decisions to make. And he has to make them on his own. The story picks up eight months later, and both men have made their own decisions about what they really want.
This is a short, explicit read and I guarantee you’ll never think of a mechanic’s shop the same way again!
Breaching the Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant Mark Oates has a lot to learn, both about the U.S. Army and about himself. When a senior officer confronts Oates about his latent homosexual tendencies, he’s backed into a corner and only one man can help him out. Trouble is, can he trust him not to ruin his career plans?
Gunnar Evans was dishonorably discharged from the Army during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for his openly gay sexuality. He fought the system and lost, but continues to help the young officers sent to his door discover their hidden desires. When gorgeous hunk Lt. Oates arrives, he knows he must breach the lieutenant’s defenses in order to show him the pleasure he deserves. But once he gains access, he may never want to let him go.
Includes: Gay first time reluctant, risky sex
In the following excerpt, 2nd Lt. Oates and former Sergeant Evans get touchy-feely, and Oates starts to realize how bad he wants this….
Evans spun, bringing him up short. So short, they stood mere inches apart. The former sergeant slowly picked up his hand. “Are you sure?” He laid the palm of Oates’ hand on his hard right pec and flexed his chest.
The well-worked muscle hardened under his palm, and Oates went lightheaded. Jesus. The man’s skin was hotter than hell, and that nipple ring… Mark’s breathing went ragged as his fingers swept over it.
“That’s right. Feel what it’s like to touch a man, Oates. Just this once.” Mouth hovering closer, his breath puffed against Oates’ face. “It’s just you and me here, Oates. Nobody around to see what we do.” He pressed their lips together.
Oates whimpered. The slow, sensual kiss singed, burned, and blazed a brand new desire through him, hitting his balls so hard they almost cracked in two. Fuck. Evans’ salty lips were a few degrees short of heaven. The notion that salvation lay in Evans’ pants brought back his anxiety. He started to back away and found himself pulled back by two strong arms.
“Stay right there. Feel what it’s like to hold a man, Oates.”
He groaned, but obeyed the command in Evans’ growl. Wrapping his arms around Evans, he let himself feel what he’d always longed to experience. He’d been hugged by buddies before. This wasn’t the same. This embrace was potent, and the smell of sweat and man, and the warm muscles under his hands made his balls juice, unloading precum in his pants. Suddenly he couldn’t reach enough of Evans to stem the fierceness of his need. He dug his fingers into Evans’ back and groaned, shuddering. Oh god, that’s good. So fucking good.
Down below, the stiffness in Evans’ crotch notched against his own. Evans grasped Oates’ ass and ground their groins together. The sergeant’s hardness hit him and dual waves of pleasure and panic stuttered his breath. If this went any further his behavior would surely cross the line from experimentation to gay. And once he crossed it, could he ever go back?
This is a *hot* read and part of my upcoming Bear series. Hope you like it!
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J8464F4
Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/423152
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-breachingthelieutenant-1462493-351.html
Author Bio and Contact:
Eva Lefoy writes and reads all kinds of romance, and is a certified Trekkie. She’s also terribly addicted to chocolate, tea, and hiking. One of these days, she’ll figure out the meaning of life, quit her job, and go travel the galaxy. Until then, she’s writing down all her dirty thoughts for the sake of future explorers.
|Posted by christygis on April 8, 2014 at 1:05 AM||comments (5)|
Rosanna Leo is once again visiting me with another of her HOT paranormal romances. I’ve read her Gemini Island Shifters and the series is one not-to-be-missed. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
Thanks so much to Christy for hosting me today as I continue my blog tour for Predator’s Claim, Gemini Island Shifters 4.
Cliffhangers. We all have a love/hate relationship with them, don’t we? However, they can be an awesome tool for a writer. I’ve never employed them, wanting to resolve all my stories and leave the reader in no doubt as to the validity of the romance.
Predator’s Claim is no different. Despite the trials my characters Bart and Charlotte endure, they do get their “happily ever after.” However, this time around, I was inspired to end the story with a question of sorts, one that will greatly impact the future of these characters. Does it leave the readers guessing? A little bit. In a bad way? No way!
Sometimes little cliffhangers can be a good thing. They make us dream about how life will proceed for these characters. They make us hope for more to their story. And I guarantee you will see more of Bart and Charlotte and their wolf pack. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’ll “hound” me until I give it to you.
Predator’s Claim Blurb Excerpt – Gemini Island Shifters 4
For years, wolf shifter Bart Cairo has harbored
secret feelings for his co-worker, Charlotte Moffatt. Even though he thinks
he’s been discreet with his affections, everyone at Gemini Island’s
Ursa Fishing Lodge knows he and Charlotte, a fellow wolf shifter, are meant to
be mates. Everyone but Charlotte.
Charlotte couldn’t be less interested in mating. A free spirit, she wants nothing more than to succeed at her new career in the big city and leave small-town Gemini Island behind. However, she can’t deny Bart stirs up unwanted emotions inside her. Emotions she swore she’d never feel again.
The occasion of Bart’s family reunion compels him to assume new responsibilities, and to consider a role he never envisioned for himself. Family tensions rise to the surface as a new Alpha is proclaimed in his pack. And when old grudges escalate, Bart must stake his claim.
Charlotte resists as he stakes a claim on her as well. But when he begins to employ sexual tactics of temptation, she wonders if the only solution is submission to the enticing wolf man. Can she trust her heart again? And can they find their happy ending before an enemy cuts their story short?
He pushed aside one of the suitcases in his way and backed her up against the sitting room wall. He put his hands on either side of her head, closing her in, and leaned toward her. Soaking up the scent of her talc-scented skin and her womanly heat, he inhaled deeply, knowing she was hot for him. “Did our kiss mean nothing to you?”
She blinked. As she stared at him, tears threatened, pooling at the corners of her eyes, but she banished them with another punishing series of blinks. “Nothing.”
Oh, she was good, but he was better. No kidding a kidder, after all. He wet his lips and pinned his gaze on hers, which were now trembling ever so slightly. “You’re fooling yourself.”
“I’m not,” she said on a gulp. “I’m not…”
“Oh yes, you are,” he warned, his voice low and deep. “But that’s gonna stop here and now, Charles.” He moved his face closer to hers, bent his head, and dragged his tongue up the length of her neck. When she gasped, he felt her hold her breath and moved his tongue as slowly as possible. He ground his hips against her, and his cock thumped violently against her belly.
She slammed her hands against the wall behind her, clearly trying to get purchase on anything but him. Even still, her hips rolled against his in obvious invitation. “I want you to stop,” she cried. Her chest jerked as the plaint escaped her, and her tears finally tumbled down her cheeks.
He moved away, just millimeters so she could breathe. Cupping her face, he stared her right in the eyes. “Say it again, and maybe I’ll believe you this time.”
“I want you to…” she squeaked.
“What was that? I can’t quite hear you, princess.”
Her lips wobbled and her eyes crinkled in what could only be agony of the worst kind. “I want…Oh God! I want you.”
He let out the breath he’d been holding and shots of heat radiated through him.
He took her mouth in a savage kiss, meant to illustrate his dominance over her. He nipped at her lips, none too gently, and felt them swell under his touch. Good. That’s how he wanted her. Plump and overcome and ready for him. Always.
As he drove his tongue into her mouth, tangling it with hers, he heard her groan. Ecstasy made his cock riot in his pants, and he would have done anything in that moment to strip her of her clothes and plunge into her sweet moisture. His Charlotte. His woman. He’d make her his in every sense of the word, and soon.
Predator’s Claim is available at www.lsbooks.com , ARE, Amazon, Kobo and other e-outlets.
|Posted by christygis on April 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
Check out my super hot cover for In Too Deep, a shifter romance that will leave you breathless. In the mood for an excerpt? You're in luck!
He’ll risk everything for the love of one human.
Agreeing to be her good friend’s bridesmaid, Emma Anderson jets off to Tybee Island for the wedding. Her dress is perfect and her shoes are adorable, but her friend’s elegant beachside home hides an ancient secret…one that threatens to expose a secret society of werewolves.
Drake Randolph has watched his sister’s friend grow into a ravishing woman, but he’s always kept his distance. As the heir to the Randolph fortune and the alpha of the Secret Society of Savannah Lycanthropes, Drake cannot afford to draw the innocent little brunette into the dangerous lycan world.
Passion between them soon blazes hotter than the Georgia summer. But when the wrong woman is kidnapped to prevent the wedding of a lycan to a mortal, Drake must risk everything to save Emma from the ones who will see the downfall of all he holds dear.
The house seemed overly quiet as she entered from the side door. The heels of her sandals clicked on the tiled floor on the way toward the stairs. Grasping the banister rail, she headed to the second floor. She met Drake near the top.
Her tongue literally stuck to the roof of her mouth. Alyssa’s brother in clothes was a thing of beauty. Drake in nothing but swim trunks ventured into masterpiece territory. Sculpted biceps and sleek chest muscles were just the start.
Her gaze dropped. Come on. A freaking eight pack? He even possessed the tiny vein that ran down his lean belly and disappeared beneath the waistband of his low-slung swim trunks. Any lower and they wouldn’t be legal.
He didn’t say anything. His light blue gaze raked over her in a casually assessing way. She curled the tips of her pink painted toes in an effort not to fidget. What was this hold he had over her? It didn’t make sense. They’d barely had a conversation. He never stayed in her presence for more than a few minutes. Out of all the Randolphs, he was the only one she didn’t get along with in an easy manner. Hard to act natural when every pore in her body cried out for him.
“Good morning,” she stammered out.
His beautiful pouty lips curved into what almost resembled a smile. “I thought you were at the pool.”
How would he know that? She motioned down the hall toward her room. “Came up for my swimsuit.”
He focused on her face, as if he could see inside her thoughts. “Do you need anything? Sunscreen?”
“No, just my suit.” The less-than-golden state of her skin didn’t need to be pointed out. She’d packed a bottle of sunscreen accordingly. “Thank you though.”
He took a step closer, bringing his body within touching distance. “I wouldn’t want you to burn.”
Burn? Oh yeah. She was so doing that, but probably not in the way he meant. “I won’t.” Not with the SPF-50 lotion she planned to slather onto her skin.
|Posted by christygis on March 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM||comments (0)|
Today new LSB author, Houston Havens, dropped by. Check out the hot excerpt she has in store for us!
*Holds up finger to lips* Ssssh.
A word whispered from most mouths. Like polygamy or polyandry. And why are these words whispered? Because monogamy is the “normal” form of sexual relationships. So, what happens when monogamy is no longer the accepted form? How does a woman who was raise believing in monogamy find her way around in a polyandrous society? Let’s see how the heroine in Sinful Surrender grapples with it…
The rest of the day passed in silence. As the wind subsided, they found refuge for the night by a stream. Chandra and Logan made camp while Arlo kept Fay company with small talk. Fay glanced around. “Where’d everybody go?”
“I heard Logan mutter something about bathing, and Chandra, I think, went off to keep watch. Is everything all right between you and Logan?” Arlo gave her hand a soft squeeze. “You seem withdrawn tonight.”
“No, I’m fine. I’ve just got a little pain.”
He dug in his pocket before holding out a handful of pills. “You can have one of my painkillers. I don’t use this stuff much. I’d rather suck it up and suffer.”
“I think I hurt Logan today.”
He frowned. “How?”
“I said something not so nice, but he kept saying I was jealous of the melon-breasted tart who came offering herself up for his breakfast this morning.”
He smirked. “And were you?”
She tossed her shoulders back in defense. “Of course not!” Her shoulders slumped forward in confession. “Well, maybe a little, but it’s not because I like him … well, maybe I do but not like I like you.”
He smiled and her insides weakened. “Why do you struggle with saying you love me, let alone loving more than one man?”
“You do.” He pushed himself up to sit straighter and grimaced. “You went from liking me to loving me and back to thinking you just liked me when you realized you loved Drakker. Then you accepted you could love Drakker and me and loved me again. Now you’re trying to deny Logan the affection you feel for him because you already love Drakker and me.”
“Arlo, I—” She tossed her hands up in frustration. “Love and feelings just aren’t something I’m used to expressing. The world I come from … it’s a place that stifles such talk, such emotions.”
“I understand, but I think you’re letting your feelings for me and my brother affect your feelings for Logan.” He patted her leg. “As a woman in this world, you don’t have to make a commitment to loving one man. You can love all the men you’re lawfully married to. The depth of love you feel for one, shouldn’t affect what deep and abiding love you feel for the other brothers. What I mean is … you don’t have to love me less because you’ve discovered love with my brothers.”
“I don’t … well, I-I…”
“Don’t think you’re going to love each of us in the same way. You’ll love us in different degrees. Some days you’ll love Drakker more and on other days you’ll love us all the same. Then on another day, you’ll love me the most, only to think the same thing later in the day when you’re in Logan’s arms for the night.”
“I get the love thing, Arlo. What I don’t get is how do you make a three-way marriage work if the woman doesn’t like … love … all the brothers?”
“Are you telling me you don’t like Logan—at all?”
“Hey.” Logan walked up and took a seat beside them. “I won the toss. Chandra’s taking first watch up on the hill while the rest of us get some shut-eye. Are you two ready for some sleep?”
“Fay was just asking me how our society makes a marriage work should the woman not like all the brothers.”
“Really.” Logan’s brow raised in question at her. “I assume you mean me.”
“I didn’t say that.” Fay frowned at Arlo. “I just wanted to know how it worked.”
Logan’s silence made her fidget. He ended her suffering when he said, “I’d suggest to the brother outside of her affections to work harder at pleasing the woman he cares about, if he wants to win her heart.” He glanced at Arlo. “I’d suggest his brothers help him out. Perhaps, the brother on the outs and the woman got off on the wrong foot. Maybe neither of them knows how to step around that first awkward meeting to actually see each other for who they really are.”
“Just what I was thinking, bro.” Arlo smiled at Fay. “Tsi ge yu i—I mean, love, I’d like to introduce you to my brother Logan.”
“This is silly—” She felt her stomach flutter as Logan interrupted her with a kiss. She drew her hands up to push him away, but stopped in midair when his lips, so warm and soft, pressed against hers again with such tenderness. His mouth moved in a slow seductive kiss that said he truly wanted her.
He broke away. “It is a pleasure to meet you, my lovely Fay Avalon.
Christy, thank you for letting me come by and visit with everyone today. I hope you and your readers enjoyed the excerpt!
Blurb for Sinful Surrender
Top psychic spy Fay Avalon saw too much on her latest mind traveling mission and is now on the run from her post-catastrophic dystopian government, searching for the truth and proof. She escapes but is shot down, landing in the arms of the enemy.
In Drakker and Arlo’s world, women are so rare the men have accepted a polyandrous lifestyle. When the brothers stumble upon Fay unconscious in the wreckage of an aircraft, they are immediately attracted to her. Arlo wants to keep her, but Drakker knows they can’t. They must take her to their brother Logan Abán, leader of their people.
Logan struggles with trusting anyone, even himself. When a beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing woman falls into their laps, his denied desires for intimacy challenge his need to trust the spy. He’s frustrated by romantic Arlo’s claims of her innocence. Even when pragmatic and dominating Drakker defends her as well, Logan refuses to trust his gut.
Can one woman satisfy the diverse desires of three men? Will Logan’s fears be realized by betrayal? Is Fay to be sentenced to death as a spy, suffer a fate worse than death by being returned to her government as a traitor, or will she find a new life and love as the wife of three sexy brothers?
Liquid Silver Books- http://www.lsbooks.com/sinful-surrender-p893.php
Houston Havens retired from a successful modeling career and an adventurous jet-set lifestyle to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books. A tenacious Irish lass, she strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to.
Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction. Her novels reflect a mix of the past, present, and future, with sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, western romance, and always love everlasting. An author of six romances, a seven book erotic romance series, and numerous articles in literary magazines, she has two award winning blogs. Stop by for a visit and leave a comment at http://houstonhavens.wordpress.com
|Posted by christygis on March 3, 2014 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
First-off: Thanks so much for having me over! Despite bumping into each other constantly on the interwebs, I don’t think I’ve hung out (blog-wise) with Christy/Robin before.
When I was researching publishers for my first book, I did quite a bit of Google-stalking (i.e. took a close look at other authors’ happy-o-meters). Guess which lovely writer happened to have a new release with Liquid Silver Books around that time? As such, even though Christy/Robin is a multi-talented author with two pen names, I will always associate her with the Princes series.
As a reader, I’m a sucker for princes (and marquis, viscounts, dukes, archdukes, kings, emperors…you get the picture). But as a writer, I like modern conveniences too much to attempt an historical romance. I get mentally stuck on personal hygiene issues, and my mild germophobia hinders the creative process.
But, I discovered early on that there are many present-day equivalents of royalty, and not all of them are billionaire CEOs (I have nothing against these gentlemen—there just seem to be an awful lot running around the streets of New York). For my first true contemporary romance, Delicious Delay, I decided to make my modern prince an Oxford-educated Arab Sheikh, which conveniently gives him a sexy British accent and equally sexy arrogance.
But what really makes Kal an appealing character is how differently he sees the world, culturally and economically. An essential part of any romance is the divide characters must bridge to reach their Happily Ever After, and the journey is only fun if both sides have things to learn. Princes, after all, can be ingénues in many respects, with problems and struggles unique to their circumstance. This gives Michelle, my well-traveled and down to earth heroine, a chance to teach Kal a thing or two.
Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest enough to get you to read the blurb. It’s a quick read!
Stranded in a Middle Eastern airport, Michelle Day finds herself the object of interest for an abrasive, but all-too-sexy stranger—a stranger who tempts her with the forbidden in a land where indecency could get her killed. But how does one say no to such a deliciously, relentless pursuit?
Khalid Al Dehri takes one look at the red-headed spitfire in the business class lounge and knew he’d either been transported to heaven—or hell. Her tart response to his surliness intrigues him beyond all propriety and the longer he spends in her company, the more he can’t deny his forbidden attraction. But will she explore the sensuality between them or will society’s rules keep them apart?
Buy links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Decadent
He grinned. “So I have a proposal.”
She tried to get her breathing under control, without much success. “Why am I sure it’s an indecent one?”
He motioned his head toward the far end of the lounge. Latticed wooden screens gave that particular section more privacy. In an L-shaped room, the tucked-away location prevented a direct line of sight from the dining or reception areas.
He got up and offered her his hand. She hesitated for a long moment before taking it. With faltering footsteps, she followed him. More private or not, limits on how far this could go existed due to them being in an airport lounge. Since her self-control had chosen today to take a vacation, she appreciated the imposed constraint.
He lowered himself onto a plush leather sofa deep inside the cordoned area. With walls on either side and screens strategically angled, the space seemed to have been designed as a spot for people to nap.
On the brink of crossing a dangerous line, she hesitated. “What exactly do you have in mind?”
“I’m just giving you the opportunity to have your way with me,” he offered, his face the picture of innocence.
She hadn’t expected that answer. “I don’t quite follow.”
He kicked one of his legs out and tangled it with hers. She stumbled and instinctively moved her hands forward to brace herself. Her palms flattened over his hard muscled chest when she landed.
She traced the shape of his pectorals. “What do you do all day? Work out?”
He chuckled, the low rumble all male. “I have access to the best personal trainers money can buy. They help keep me honest.”
She shook her head in disbelief as the man preened. “Have you heard of a concept called humility?”
“It’s not one of my virtues,” he admitted. “I’ve never understood the point.”
She sighed. “It’s the polite thing to do.”
He placed his forefinger under her chin and tipped her head up, his expression playful. “So what is a sweet, polite, goody two shoes doing on top of me?”
About the Tara Quan
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. Learn more at www.taraquan.com
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|Posted by christygis on January 24, 2014 at 1:00 AM||comments (1)|
Today I'm excited to showcase Rosanna Leo's latest shifter romance. I've read book 1 and it was fantastic. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next in the series.
Lynx shifter Marci Lennox has worked at the shifter-friendly Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort all her adult life. It’s more a home to her than a job. When her boss goes on vacation, putting her in charge, Marci is thrilled. Finally a chance to prove she has the mettle to run a resort.
Her confidence is shaken when new employee Anton Gaspar appears. One look at the mysterious tiger shifter spells trouble for Marci and for her sex-crazed lynx. Anton is judgmental, condescending, and a little misogynistic. Unfortunately, Marci’s lynx thinks his tiger is more delicious than an oversized bag of Maltesers.
It becomes difficult for Marci to remain neutral near Anton, especially when she learns of his troubling past and unusual family circumstances. However, when dangerous incidents occur on the resort, the lynx woman and tiger man join forces to combat the threat to the lodge and its guests.
Harder still is the quest to combat their explosive feelings for one another. As they explore their mutual passion, they realize the danger at the resort is more insidious than they ever envisioned. Their dreams, their love, and their very lives are at stake.
Immediately, the fragrance hit him, activating his Jacobson’s organ. He swallowed, tasting it on his tongue and at the back of his throat, and wondered if he was mistaken.
No, how could he mistake the unique scent of a female cat in heat? It was too delicious a scent to forget. Sweetness coated his taste buds, winding a delirious path down his throat. As his head swam, he blinked and tried to clear his thoughts of the sexual imagery racing through it.
The scent did not belong to another tiger shifter, but some other type of predatory cat. One whose perfume he hadn’t sampled before. One who must be particular to this region. Cougar? No. Mountain lion? Surely not.
Whatever she was, her scent teased him with its delicious flavor.
Don’t, he warned himself. Wasn’t it enough that he spent the last few years of his existence trying to escape the sick wiles of the grasping women at court? And God only knew how hard he’d worked to maintain a state of abstinence at Pannonhalma, devoting his life to meditation. He’d come here to work, not lose himself in a sweet piece of…
Stop it. This was no time to think of pussy, even though he’d never been more desperate for a taste of creaming woman.
His tiger howled inside him, hungry for that which it had been denied for almost two years.
Still the perfume, more intoxicating than any he’d known, wafted toward him. He wanted to close his eyes and drink it in. The unyielding power of the aroma could make him forget his vows. Granted, he wasn’t really a monk, but he had followed the monastic lifestyle from day one at Pannonhalma. The purity in the monk’s life had been the very thing he’d required to get his life back on track.
So why did he want to find the source of the scent and fuck her until she begged alternately for mercy and for more? Her need seemed strong. Whoever this lady cat was, she must be in dire agony for her scent to be so powerful.
None of his business.
Mentally caging the growling tiger inside him, he shook his head and approached the front desk. He dropped his luggage and cleared his throat at the woman working there. Her head had been down as she read some reports, but she looked up now.
“Welcome to the Ursa…” Her jaw fell open and her sentence hung in the air, unfinished and clearly forgotten.
Well, well. A beautiful little lynx.
Predator’s Refuge is available at http://www.lsbooks.com/predators-refuge-p872.php and all e-outlets.
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author with Liquid Silver Books who lives and breathes paranormal romance. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Night Owl Romance and Two Lips Recommended Reads. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair. www.rosannaleo.blogspot.com
|Posted by christygis on January 22, 2014 at 1:00 AM||comments (4)|
Emilia Macini is here, talking about her upcoming release and all sorts of naughty things. Stick around to see what's been going on with this fantastic erotic author!
1. It’s always a pleasure to have a fellow Love, Lust, and Laptop gal visit. Please tell our readers what’s been going on the world in Emilia Mancini lately?
Thank you so much for having me! I am so excited to be here. I have been so busy! Final edits for Seducing Kate came in just under the wire. The release date was thiiiiis close to being pushed back, but since my editor and I were so dedicated and so determined that we basically didn’t sleep for the last two weeks before the release, we made it.
One thing that I have found to be really exciting is a local artist used Seducing Kate as inspiration for a new song for me to use in the book trailer. It’s a funky, folk/pop tune called Autumn Leaves. It is really different for book trailer music, which I think is exciting. It will stand out.
My later ego, Marci Boudreaux, has a release Forever Yours coming in March, so that is just about to get going. I’m going to try to sleep between now and then!
2. You write as both Emilia and Marci Boudreaux. Is there one you prefer? Why the different pen names?
I love them both. Emilia handles the super hot and sexy stories. Marci writes the super sweet and romantic stories. I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite because they both represent a huge part of what I love to write.
I use pen names for two reasons. The first being it offers a barrier or protection for my real life. If anyone dug deep enough, they could connect the dots between Marci and Emilia and the real me, but they’d have to actually look. The real me is a journalist, so I need that separate because that name is in print as well. If someone looks up a news story I wrote, they don’t need to see The Rebound or Seducing Kate come up in the search.
Secondly, because what Emilia writes is so different from Marci’s books, I wouldn’t want someone to pick up a Marci book and all the sudden they are bombarded with excessively graphic language and scenes. Where Emilia would say, “He grabbed a fistful of her hair as he shoved his cock balls deep into her pussy.” Marci would say, “His fingers slid through her soft hair as he entered her slowly, deeply.”
Haha. Yup. There’s a difference.
3. The Rebound was a hot, sexy, little story that I practically inhaled when I read it the first time. Please share with us your favorite scene. (We all know mine was the “secretary” scene.)
Aww, you’re so sweet. I’m so glad you liked it! I absolutely love that story and not just because it was my first release. It’s a great story. The entire club scene is my favorite, from the time they walk into the club until they sit back fully spent.
As for Mr. Mancini, whenever I mention The Rebound, he says, “Mmm, the ice cream scene.” LOL! Every time!
Seducing Kate is coming soon from Musa. It sounds like a hot MILF story, but I have a hunch it’s so much more than that. Can you share with us a bit about it?
There is more to it than a simple cougar/cub affair. Kate—who has always had terrible taste in men—seems to confuse being submissive in the bedroom to allowing her boyfriends to treat her poorly. As she helps Kyle get a taste of what it’s like to be more aggressive in the bedroom, he shows her that she doesn’t have to tolerate being treated badly to have a guy who doesn’t mind being a little rough in other areas. It’s a great growing process for both of them.
I won’t tell you how it ends, but I’ll tell you that even while reading the last edits and sighing with exhaustion …I still cried at the end. These two characters are so great together.
4. Boxers or briefs? ; )
Boxer briefs. I like a little snug and a hug, but not a clinch, ya know.
5. And while we’re on the subject of MILF’s…is there a DILF in your life?
Oh. I have such a thing for older men. Most of my characters are older. Kyle is one of the few younger characters I’ve ever written. I think the only other one was Eve Thomas in Marci’s The Messenger. Eve had just gotten out of college and was trying to make a name for herself as a journalist. But the others are always middle aged. Marci’s next book…mmmm…there’s a yummy silver fox in that one.
So is there a DILF in my life? Maybe not a real one, but there are so many imaginary ones I can’t keep them straight.
6. If you could have anyone in the world play Kate in your upcoming release, who would it be and why?
Oohhh, good question. I think Gillian Anderson would be an amazing Kate. She has a great subtle sexuality about her that is perfect for Kate. Not sure she does porn though. Ha!!
That, though, begs the question. Who should play Kyle? Hmmm…Suggestions?
7. Quick…share your favorite memory ever!
The last time I saw my grandmother. She blew me a kiss, winked, and told me she’d see me later. She died a few hours later, which makes it sound like a sad favorite memory, but it’s not. I cherish it because she was smiling and acting as she always had. It would have been much worse if the last time I’d seen her she was feeling ill.
8. What’s next for Emilia Mancini?
I’ve started really delving into fetishes. I don’t know why, but all the sudden they interest me. Right now, though, I have to finish this WIP for Marci.
9. And last, but not least, where can readers find out more about you?
I feel like I’m all over the place. I have websites, Facebook, Pinterest accounts, Twitter, and author pages for both Emilia and Marci. No wonder I feel overwhelmed by it all. I should really cut back on all that social media. Emilia’s contacts are:
Pinterest board for Seducing Kate: http://www.pinterest.com/emiliamancini/seducing-kate/
As part of my release celebration I am offering readers a chance to enter to win not only a copy of Seducing Kate, but also a Silk Rope Set which includes wrist and ankle binds and a satin blindfold. (You’ll want these after reading the book, I’m just helping you out.)
Comment below, and on any of the blogs along my tour (listed on www.emiliamancini.wordpress.com) for a chance to win. The winner will be notified February 1st.
Emilia Mancini is the naughtier side to author Marci Boudreaux. Emilia stays hidden in the shadows like a nefarious side kick, slipping out only when the stories Marci wants to share are a little too grown up to be called sweet romance.
Available January 24, 2014 from Musa Publishing.
It was lust at first sight for Kyle when he met his roommate Justin’s mother Kate. Kyle, a college transfer, was too far from home to visit on short school breaks, so Justin took him to Minneapolis where his mother was serving up a family meal for Thanksgiving.
One look left Kyle with a healthy obsession for Kate which grew with each visit. When he landed an internship in Minneapolis, he moved in with Kate for the summer, and got in touch with his voyeuristic side. It wasn’t until one late evening and a few too many glasses of wine that Kyle began to suspect his attraction wasn’t one-sided.
When he dared to push the issue, he found Kate more than willing to succumb to his seduction.
I’d barely spent time with Kate, just a few minutes in the kitchen before John had come strutting in. I had sat across from her at dinner making awkward conversation while Justin and John glared at each other over the spaghetti and garlic bread. It wasn’t like she’d crawled across the floor half naked and begged me to fuck her.
What the hell was it about her? Sure she was beautiful, but I’d dated beautiful women. None of them had pushed me to the point of obsession. I wanted nothing more than to throw Kate down and fuck her until she screamed. Not cried out like she had moments ago, but screamed. And dug her nails in my back. And wrapped her legs so tight around me I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know why. All I knew was my body was borderline insane with lust, and my dick was so hard it hurt.
I turned the cold water on and splashed my face a few times to snap out of the Kate-induced haze. When I was finally able to think about something other than having sex with her, I went back downstairs.
I tried like hell to focus on the game, but my mind kept wandering. No, it wasn’t wandering. It was reliving my trip upstairs, from the groans, to the flash of tit, to the blush on Kate’s cheeks.
I held out for another hour of video games before I couldn’t take the agony of wanting her any longer. I went up to my room and slipped between the cool sheets of the guest bed. I put a sock over my dick and got off to images of my roommate’s mother.
I pictured her pale ass sticking in the air as I gripped her hips and slid into her tight pussy. I imagined my fist tangled in her hair as she sucked my cock. I even fantasized about her standing over me in black heels and a tight business suit as she ordered me to jerk myself harder.
As I came—hard—I wondered how I was ever going to control myself around her.