Guest Blog Goodness–Naomi Bellina

Please welcome Naomi Bella to the blog!!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
Writing gives me a chance to let my bizarre imagination out to play. Everyday life is, let’s face it, sometimes mind-numbingly boring. So yes, it’s my therapy. Cheaper than a shrink, less side effects than drugs. My themes come from my own life and other people I talk to. We’re all dealing with issues, and it’s great to see that almost always, there’s a way to solve problems and reach our happily ever after.

 Who or what inspired you to write?
Whenever I read a great book I’d go, “Damn, I’d sure like to be able to do that.” After a while, I started saying, “Damn, maybe I could do that.” I took classes, studied, wrote some crappy books and then voila! I had a story worth publishing.

What are your five “desert island” books?
Always a tough question. I’d take a dictionary, to learn new words, an atlas, because I love looking at new places, a sketch book, because I love to draw, the next J.D. Robb book in the series I’m reading, and The Outlander book bundle (I know, that’s cheating, but I’m doing it anyway) because I’ve heard the books are excellent and I’d love to have a reading marathon. I assume I’ll have a nice hammock and frosty beverages to drink while I read, correct? With a pool boy to bring me refills?

What advice would you give a new author?
Here’s my advice to new authors. Don’t sign that stupid contract if your gut says no, don’t write half-baked novellas just to get published. If a publisher accepts your work, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Find what you like to write and is half-way popular with readers, and write a full-length series of at least three books. Don’t believe everything you read about marketing. Don’t stress out so much.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
Do I look like a twenty-year old athletic gymnast? Ha-ha! I’m not, and none of my characters are either, really. But some of the situations I put them in; let’s just say I’d have to start practicing my yoga stretches a whole lot more before I could do some of those things. My honey enjoys it when I use him to figure out a scene, though. Sometimes, I have to see if what I’m writing is anatomically possible. Research; it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Thanks so much for having me here, Terri! I love to share with and hear from readers, so feel free to contact me.

Buy Links for Sins of Long Ago:Cover Sins of Long Ago
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Werewolves and humans don’t mix. Until danger forces an alliance and desire demands satisfaction.

Leading his pack of werewolves keeps Vincent plenty busy, and now with a predator out to harm them, life is more perilous than ever. The last thing he needs is a woman to complicate matters, especially one who sets his body and soul on fire. She’s a human and a witch — totally the wrong woman for him. Even if he could take a mate for his own, he refuses to put her in the danger his life has become. No way can they ever be together. Werewolf-style love is fine anyway. No permanent partner, no bullshit, no heartache.

Genevieve has never known true love. Cursed by an enraged woman long ago, females in her family are doomed to go insane if they fall in love. Life has been fine without a man around– until a hot werewolf drops in and captures her heart. Though they have plenty of obstacles to overcome, Gen knows they can work past them. Tell that to Vincent, as he struggles with old pack rules about love, sex, and consorting with humans.

As Vincent searches for a killer, deals with death among his own, and tries to keep his hands off Gen, she attempts to end her family curse. Together, they must find a way to break free from the sins of long ago.

Lying in bed with a pleasant wine buzz, she was almost asleep when the sounds of Sally and Greg making love pulled her back to consciousness. She smashed the pillow over her head, but it was no use. Passionate moans filled the air, reminding her of what she’d almost had hours before. Gen tossed and turned, twisting the sheets into a knotted mess. Her skin still smelled of wood smoke, even after a shower, and she could swear the faint aroma of Vincent clung to her body too.

The noise finally stopped but, wide awake now, Gen pulled out her phone to read a book, hoping to lull herself back to sleep.

Nope. After twenty minutes of reading, her brain refused to quit. The more she thought about her present situation, the angrier she became. Though it had been brief, the intensity of passion she and Vincent had ignited burned like the embers in the fire. Screw it. Some asshole had spoiled her evening; she’d be damned if she would let him ruin the rest of her night. Her heart and her body demanded satisfaction. She got out of bed, dressed quietly, grabbed her things, and crept down the stairs to call Vincent. He answered on the first ring, and she spoke in a low tone.

“I know this is silly, but…”

“I’ll be at your place in ten minutes.”

“What? Ten minutes? Where are you?”

“I just left Nocturne. I took a sniff around, watched your shop for a while to see if the robber would come back, then went to your apartment to look around. Go to your place. If you get there before me, wait outside in your car, don’t go in.”

“You’re being mighty presumptuous. You don’t even know what I want.”

“I know what you want.” His deep voice sent the same intensely pleasurable shudder through her body his thumb on her cheek had earlier.

“I’ll be there soon.” Two hours. He’d hung around Nocturne for two hours. For her.

She found a piece of paper and started to scribble Sally a note. What could she say? Got horny and left? Thanks for the wine and movie? The kitchen light flicked on, and Gen jumped.

“Hey, Sally, just getting ready to write you a note. I’m going to…”

“I know where you’re going. You’re going to hook up with your hot man.”

“Uh, yeah. How did you know?”

“The way you two looked at each other. I could have fried an egg on your head. Why didn’t you just stay with him tonight?”

“I thought it would be presumptuous to ask and anyway, we don’t know each other all that well. I don’t know how he feels about me.”

“Are you kidding? That wolf has it bad for you. He’d walk across broken glass to get some of your lovin’.”

Gen’s mouth fell open. “You know he’s a werewolf? How do you know that?” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re some kind of magic woman, aren’t you?”

Sally laughed. “Yes, I am kind of magic. I’ve got this weird telepathy thing, where I can read other people. I keep it turned off most of the time, but I did a quick scan of Vincent in your shop. He sent out powerful vibes, and I wanted to make sure he was safe for you. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to violate your privacy.”

“No problem, I guess. What did you pick up from him?”

“He’s wildly crazy about you. He might not even know it yet, but he is. Then I saw his wolf side, trying to get out. He’s got control, but the animal is there, right beneath the surface.”

Gen shifted her feet around. Crap. Did she just get Vincent in trouble? “You can’t tell anyone, about him. Promise you won’t.”


Guest Blog Goodness–Audrey Jane Andrews

Please welcome Audrey to the blog!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy.
How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?

Oh, therapy for sure!

I think writers are a very internal and reflective group of people. Our brains process differently, and unless you spend much of your time around other who let you talk about your thoughts incessantly,  it can get very lonely in there. A computer and a good storyline has saved me probably thousands of dollars in therapy costs – not because I am on the brink of insanity, but because I think we ALL like our creative sides to be heard. My computer listens to everything I have to say, and even corrects my spelling in a very non-judgmental way.

My writing weaves between life expression and vision. When I’m done outlining my major plot points of the story, which are typically the ‘vision’, I go back and fill in my life experiences as character development and subplots. I feel that it keeps a sense of realism to the storyline.

Who or what inspired you to write?

I began writing at such a young age (9-10 years old), that it is hard for me to think of what inspired me. I also thought story telling was something that everyone did naturally, until my high school creative writing teacher took me aside and told me he thought I was a gifted writer. I laughed and asked him if he said that to everyone, because again, I thought everyone had the knack for this stuff. He shook his head. That teacher’s name was Hamilton (Ham) Nelson and he looked like a stoned version of Albert Einstein.

The author who inspired me to write well was Sylvia Plath. Now we all know there is nothing very sexy or romantic about Plath’s only novel, The Bell Jar. Her book is depressing and a bit slow at times, but it sits on my desk through every book as a guide to vivid and scenic writing. She taught me to use all five senses when building a scene, not only what a character sees and feels. Her poetry is brilliant as well, and when I find myself stuck in writer’s block, I snap out of it with the help of her poems.

What are your five “desert island” books?

  1. The Dictionary – It seems like a longer and more interesting read than War and Peace. Anyone who has read Falling Forward will now see that this sad hobby of the protagonist was inspired by a true story.
  2. The complete library of Calvin and Hobbes – Okay, not a literary masterpiece. But if I’m going to be on a desert island, I’d rather have adventures with a stuffed tiger made out of bamboo shoots than converse with a volleyball named Wilson.
  3. Nineteenth Century European Art (3rd edition) – One of the things on my bucket list is to learn to recognize famous paintings and painters. Not only can I do that while trapped on an island, looking at the paintings will keep me connected to the beauty of art. A lot of good can be done to the soul when left alone.
  4. The Harry Potter Series. – I may be cheating with a series, but they DO sell these as a set, so that makes it okay, right? I am not a Harry Potter fan. The movies were entertaining, but I’m a 42-year-old woman – Wizards and Warlocks don’t really do it for me anymore. BUT, I do admire J.K. Rowling and everything she has done with her life. Plus dressing up like a wizard and shouting Patronus spells may keep the natives away.
  5. The complete poems of Robert Frost – Much like the art book, I’m going to need a book that dishes me beautiful words and poems on a daily basis. When everything is bleak, a good book or poem can quickly take you to where you want to be.

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?

I’ll always appreciate a good, honest review from a professional standpoint. Reviews help a fledgling author like me feel competent and confident in a saturated book market. But what really stands out above the rest is word-of-mouth. If you liked or loved my book, tell your friends! In my opinion, that is the best and most flattering way to show gratitude. I also like when my readers to email me or PM me via Twitter or Facebook and tell me who their favorite character was. In my new book, Falling Forward, the character Kate seems to be the front runner, which is understandable seeing she’s the protagonist. But a few readers have surprised me with secondary characters! For the record, my favorite character in Falling Forward is a secondary character!

I am always open to conversation with my readers.

What advice would you give a new author?

Never throw away any of your work!  Keep it! Even if you have to print it out and stack it in a closet. You may come across a scene in a later writing where you need specific dialogue or a certain place and you’ve already written about it. I have kept every scrap of poetry I’ve written, every screenplay, every short story, and journal for this reason! Keep it! Keep it! Keep it!

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂

I like to call it ‘research’. ; )

My first book, Orion’s Belt, was a very sexual book. It makes Falling Forward, which has sex scenes too, look like a Sex-Ed pamphlet. My husband – my poor husband – got the brunt of the research of Orion’s Belt. I thought I was going to send him to the hospital. He took it like a trooper though, but could never get used to me writing notes afterward.

Twitter: 1AudreyJAndrews
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Blurb: East Coast vs West Coast

Kate Kleider has it all: Looks, brains and a rising career. The one thing she’s missing is a date to her favorite ex-boyfriend’s wedding. To make matters worse, she’s just moved from the conservative Northeast to Southern California, and is overwhelmed by the beach, bikini sand bonfires around her.

During a company fundraiser, she cannot rip her stare from hunky surf shop owner Jamison Rigby. After a disastrous first meeting fueled by her own inadequacies, Kate swallows her pride and asks him out to dinner. Lucky for her, he says yes. Surprisingly, they hit it off, and one dinner leads to the next, which leads to him agreeing to go to the wedding with her. Before too long, they are in bed together. There is no denying that he is a good influence – she’s calmer and less uptight – but her own baggage coupled with a mysterious feeling that he’s holding back keeps her from making any serious commitment.

However, someone else has their eye on Kate. Wealthy businessman Nicholas Payne hires her company to represent his new West Coast marketing campaign. Like Kate, he’s an East Coaster, shares a love of bird watching and is very successful. The attraction is mutual, although she has to keep him at arm’s length since he is her client. When Payne offers her a job at his company, Kate is alive with the idea of moving back East and maybe dating someone more like her.

The ball seems in Kate’s court until her past reared its ugly head causing Kate to rethink the direction of her life. Will she stay in California with a man who is her complete opposite? Or will she return to the Northeast, and back to a life she is used to?


Oh no.

Among the bills and junk mail I spied a glossy tan envelope with a blue anchor watermark. It had to be chock-full of bad news. I should’ve waited to open it because I was running late, but my fingers didn’t agree with my logic. Seven stories down in my apartment building parking lot, my boss, Glenn, was sure to be honking his horn and cursing my name. Instead of taking the time to pull my hair back into its usual braid, I slid my fingers under the flap of the envelope. The dreadful contents scattered on the counter and I picked out the frilliest insert and began reading:

Together with their families
Margot Bernadette Rousset
Brian Alan Vandercook
Invite you to share in their joy
As they are united in marriage
Saturday, September 20, 2014
The Argonaut Hotel
San Francisco, California

My ex-boyfriend was getting married to her. For three years, I’d told my therapist that I was completely over him and wished him all the happiness in the world. Yet, seeing the damn pretty stationery made me want to gouge my eyes out. I tossed it next to the sink and hid it under my American Birder magazine.

Downstairs, Glenn was having a fit. As I approached his car, I could see him cleaning his glasses and yelling at his boyfriend, Warren. He always cleans his glasses when he’s angry, and when he’s livid, he runs his hands through his perfectly straight, Japanese hair. He tapped his watch as he saw me approach.

“Sorry I’m late.” I tossed my duffle bag in the backseat and followed in behind it. “I got some bad news.”

“You mean there is worse news than showing up late to a charity event where we’re one of the sponsors?” Glenn snapped. “It had better involve death.”

“Worse than death.” I strapped myself into the seatbelt. “My ex-boyfriend Brian is getting married.”

Glenn looked as if a million hateful words were about to spill out of his mouth, but then he turned forward and put his car into drive. He had every right to snap at me for being late. Since his promotion and our company’s expansion from Pittsburgh to Newport Beach, California three months ago, he had been under the gun by corporate to perform. He’d invited five of us from Pittsburgh to come with him—his original team of marketing and advertising experts—but only two of us agreed to relocate.

His expression softened as he drove.

“I’m sorry, Kate. I know you really like him.” He knew I had a hard time with relationships. “When’s the wedding?”

“September twentieth. In San Francisco.”

“Are you going?”

“Of course. He’s the closest thing to love I’ve ever felt.”

Warren’s head snapped around. “Wait a minute…is this the Brian? Your college sweetheart?”

I nodded, and for the first time in years I felt tears well up inside me. I closed my eyes to stifle them and leaned back in the seat. When I lived in Pittsburgh, Brian and I texted a couple times a month. He only mentioned he was thinking of proposing to her once, and that was more than two years ago. When I moved to California, his texts consisted of asking for my new address and telling me his application with the District Attorney’s Office looked promising. With no more talk of an engagement, I’d hoped he had given up on the whole thing.

But why would he give up? Margot is beautiful, successful, and independent. Even her name screamed elegance: Margot Bernadette Rousett. She is perfect for him. And worse—he is perfect for her.

Glenn’s eyes met mine in the mirror. “You know, the sun of California has a way of burning the cynicism out of bright, beautiful twenty-eight-year-olds. A new Kate may rise from the ashes.”

I smiled out of politeness before staring out the window. A new Kate. I already thought I was the new Kate. We pulled into a beachside parking lot full of people wearing gym clothes and stretching. Glenn thought it would be a great idea for our company to get its name out there by becoming a sponsor for a charity run. He pulled up next to a large canopy tent with our corporate logo, Carrier & Rogers Marketing. Then he waved at a stunning young brunette with enormous breasts that spilled over the top of her tight, pink V-neck shirt.

“Kate, that’s Brenda, the administrative assistant from Dr. Buckley’s office.” He turned and faced me. “We’re sharing a tent with them. Grab the crates from the trunk and see if she needs any help getting these people signed in.”

I grimaced at Glenn.

“I don’t think there’s room under the tent,” I said snidely. Glenn looked confused until I cupped my breasts together and propped them up under my chin to simulate hers. He rolled his eyes.

“Kate, Dr. Buckley is a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation. You’re going to see a lot of those today.”

A lot indeed. After helping Brenda and her ample bosom stock the tent with boxes of T-shirts and runners’ numbers, I noticed everyone in line was very well endowed. The only ones who weren’t were men, but they filled up their eyes with all the cleavage. Just when I thought I’d seen the largest pair of breasts, a new pair would eclipse the last. It was freakish.


Guest Blog Goodness–KT Black

Please welcome KT Black to the blog!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision? For me, writing is a little bit of both. My imagination is always turned on. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about what I could be writing. I love it. It’s the one thing that’s always made me happy.

I also like the fact that writing gives me a voice I don’t often have in real life. I can say things that I don’t generally have the nerve to utter outside of a story. I know that’s why I have so much fun writing my antagonists.

Who or what inspired you to write? I’ve always loved stories, especially making them up. It wasn’t until I read the book Rebecca that I became determined to become a writer. The make believe world is so much more interesting than the real world.

What are your five “desert island” books? Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (mystery/thriller/romance), Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic (witchy metaphysical), Janet Evanovich’s Four to Score (for sexy laughs), Stephen Donaldson’s Mirror of Her Dreams (science fiction/fantasy), and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (because I’ll always be a kid at heart).

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?  I think the best way is to tell you what they thought of the story I’ve written. It’s hard to receive criticism, but I think it’s worse not to hear anything at all. Good or bad, I believe all writers want to know what others think about their work.

 What advice would you give a new author? Don’t give up. If writing is your passion, don’t let fear or other people talk you out of doing it. Rejection sucks, but when someone finally tells you yes, it makes it all worth it.

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Elise Bennette doesn’t do relationships … even though her sexy-as-hell new assistant has her consumed by erotic daydreams. But things aren’t what they appear to be, and her dream life and real life are beginning to blur. Will her fantasies eventually become real or will a secret shatter the illusion?


A half hour later, her coffee cup empty, Elise sat in her office staring off into space. Why did her thoughts manage to work their way back to Dylan Holt? The thing that bothered her the most about the man wasn’t that she disliked him, like everyone thought. What bothered her was how much she liked him.

Since Dylan started working for her, the energy in the office had altered. She felt something changing inside as well. Something that frightened her. Richard was the last person to make her feel like this. No, she shook her head. This was different, something much more intense. At the office, driving in traffic, in her home, sexy daydreams about her and Dylan consumed her thoughts. It felt like she was going through puberty again.

Pushing her folders aside, Elise leaned back in her chair and allowed her mind to wander.

* * * *

It was late. The building was vacant except for her and Dylan. Focused on computer work, she didn’t see or hear when Dylan entered her office. It’s only when she felt a pair of hands resting on top of her shoulders that she knew something had changed.

“What are you doing?” Elise protested, attempting to stand but remained seated, held in place by two strong hands.

“You work too hard.” Dylan’s voice was low, husky. “You need to learn how to relax.”


When those hands began to knead her shoulders and neck, Elise stopped talking. Her eyes drooped, threatening to close as her body responded to Dylan’s touch.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

“Too b-busy.” As her muscles began to relax, that wasn’t all she felt. Arousal. She shifted in her seat when the throbbing between her legs become more pronounced, discovering how wet she was becoming. No, she needed to stop this now. “This isn’t—”

“Appropriate? No, maybe not, but necessary.”

“Mr. Holt.” The objection was weak. Elise knew it.

“I told you to call me Dylan. But, it does kind of turn me on to hear you say, Mr. Holt.” His tone was suggestive, full of naughty implications.

Elise shivered, a jolt of pleasure settled low in her belly, and her nipples tightened, responding to his touch.

“I know you like me, as much as you pretend to only tolerate me. Why won’t you admit it, Elise?”


“Don’t what? Don’t stop?” Dylan’s hands drifted downward. As he slipped inside the top of Elise’s blouse, he skimmed his fingertips across the top of plump flesh not covered by her bra. “I see how you look at me. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

Guest Blog Goodness–Anneka Ever

Please welcome Anneka Ever to the blog!

What are your five “desert island” books?

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve read it more than 50 times and I still cry when it ends.
  2. The Stand by Stephen King. I consider it his magnum opus.
  3. One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash. His other works have garnered more attention, including Serena (made into a movie). This one, however, remains my favorite. The story is powerful and the language is lovely.
  4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Still one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read.
  5. Anything by Ray Bradbury.

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work? Encourage someone else to read it!

What is the most unique way someone has shared their appreciation for your work? A high school student told me she did a book report on my first novel (written under a different name) that included a class presentation with visual aids.

What advice would you give a new author? Some people will love your work, others will hate it, and both will be vocal about it. Be gracious to the lovers and ignore the haters.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂 I never kiss and tell. However, I will say that my husband promised in his wedding vows that “it will never be dull.” 😉


Anneka Ever, a romance writer, is the author of Riverswept. Her contemporary love stories are set in the mountains and small towns of Virginia. Her strong heroes and independent heroines explore their passion against the beautiful backdrop of rivers, meadows, and forests.

An award-winning poet and short story writer (under a different name), Anneka brings a fresh perspective to stories of dating and relationships.

You can find more information about her work at www.annekaever.com.

Riverswept will be released the first week of May 2015.  Public relations professional Molly Duncan represents a coal-mining company responsible for one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. Eager to get ahead at work, she will do almost anything to make her client look good. What she doesn’t count on is Finnley Moran.

Finn aims to shut down the company. Owner of an ecotourism business in rural Virginia, he makes his living showcasing the beauty of the Burns River and the endangered species that live in it.

Pitted against Finn and his group of protesters, she begins to see the issue from his point of view. She also begins to have feelings for him. Her desire for him threatens to drown her ambition.

When the two adversaries come together, they are swept away in a flood of passion.



She couldn’t resist dropping by his house. The garage door was closed. No cars were parked in front of the house. Looking over her shoulder, Molly didn’t see anyone watching, so she crept into his yard and up the steps of his porch. She peeked into the windows. The house seemed empty. He must still be on that kayak excursion.

Feeling like a stalker, she bounded down the steps and headed into downtown Burns. She would stroll through town toward the river and back around to her cottage. She took her time, worried that the lightheadedness would return.

By the time she reached the water’s edge, dusk blanketed it, softening its surface. Molly squinted at the river. The only illumination was that of fireflies peppering the air with unholy green light. Moving near the launch site, she caught sight of something pale. It was Finn’s white T-shirt glimmering as he put away equipment in the MoRE shed. Molly made her way to him.

He stood stretching and slapping away mosquitoes. When he saw her, he hefted a coil of rope under his arm and tossed it into the shed. He shut the door, locked it, and turned to greet her. “Hey, I was getting ready to call y—”

She interrupted him with a deep kiss. A pleasant, throbbing ache had set up inside her. He could make it go away. She ran her hands up beneath his ponytail and freed it from its band. She let the silky gold strands stream through her fingers like a pirate gloating over handfuls of doubloons. Smiling, she held his face between her hands and kissed him hard.

“Here,” she said. “Now.”

“Whatever you say,” he murmured. Pressing himself against her, he ran his tongue along her earlobe. A mantle of dew covered their shoulders as Finn led her away from the shed to the river. Beneath the branches of an old pine tree, he laid her down on a bed of fragrant needles.

Media Monday–Penny Dreadful

Penny DreadfulI watched Penny Dreadful last evening (free weekend on Showtime). Not sure what I think of it.

I adored the characters themselves, especially Eva Green, Timothy Dalton & Josh Hartnett, but it almost seemed like it went too fast, if that makes sense. I always felt like I was scrambling to catch up. Maybe that’s part of the Gothic draw?


The concept itself is really fun, and I love the fact that Dr. Frankenstein is a main character, as is Dorian Gray.

Anyway, I’ll grab the first season off of Netflix and see if I enjoy it any better the second time around.

Did anyone catch the season premier?  I’m interested to see where it went 🙂

Guest Blog Goodness–Tess Delacour

Please help me welcome Tess Delacour to the blog!!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating; while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
Writing is therapy for me.  It’s a healthy way to release emotion.   We all have to self-censor.  You can’t run around spewing every thought that floats through your head, but you can write it down.  Some of it makes it into the books and some gets discarded, but it all gets set free.

There is a bit of me in every one of my characters, good and bad.  It’s kind of like a Horcrux.  Pieces and parts of a writer live on in their books long after they are gone, keeping them alive.  That’s how I look at it.

Who or what inspired you to write?
Pride and Prejudice was the first romance novel I ever read.  The book was assigned in a high school English class and I was immediately hooked on Jane Austen.  It was the first time I became obsessed with a book.  I reread it over and over, and sought out all the movies and mini-series available.  I had been writing poems and short stories all along, but that book changed the direction of my writing.  I wanted to create worlds, to draw readers in and make them feel connected to a cast of wonderful characters.  Jane did that for me.  All her books make me want to jump inside the pages and be a part of the story, and that’s the impact I want to have on my audience.  Reading Austen drew me to other romance authors and I’ve been on this path ever since.  Other strong influences are Daphne DuMaurier and the Bronte sisters.  There are many wonderful modern authors who have inspired me as well.  In particular, Jill Shalvis, Erin McCarthy and Christy Craig have had an impact.  I love a good, sexy, funny story, and these ladies do it well.

What are your five “desert island” books?
SAS Survival Guide by John Wiseman — I am a practical girl at heart.  If I’m dehydrated, starved and half-dead, reading five page-turners isn’t really happening.  I’ll go for one practical book to keep me alive and four fantastic reads to make living worthwhile.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — Of course, by now you know I have a Jane problem and this book would need to be on the island.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – This is a book I can read over and over again, and get something new every time.  The complex characters and historical detail keep me coming back.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Okay, okay, I know this is cheating but it’s my island and in my defense it is a single book.  Will’s plays would keep me happy for the rest of my days on an island.  Of course, my favs are the HEAs Much Ado About Nothing and Taming of the Shrew, but I am sure I would find the time to read the tragedies as well.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman – This book has everything!  And isn’t a gorgeous pirate what every woman stranded on a desert island needs?

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?
The best way a reader can express gratitude is to leave an honest review of my book.  Reviews are what lead new readers to a work and they are invaluable.  It’s like tipping your waitress at a restaurant.  The reviews are tips for an author.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
Many of my intimate scenes are drawn from reality or things I would like to experience.  As women I think sometimes we have trouble voicing our fantasies to our lovers.  My husband had never read a romance novel until my books.  I asked him if he was going to be embarrassed for people to read them due to the spicy content and he said, “Nope.  They’ll just be jealous.”  By the way, if you can get your significant other to read a romance novel you will be amazed at the results.  Try it.  😉

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The moment Detective Daniel Murphy waltzes into The Dubliner Irish Pub, he knows it is going to be a good night. Music, beer, and sex are the three best reasons for living in his opinion. The first two were satisfied upon entry and the third looks promising if the singer on the stage is cooperative. Little does he know that the woman he’s about to meet, the very one he’s been admiring, will change his life forever. She’s picked up a nasty stalker and Dan is the cop assigned to her case. Lucky him.

Assistant District Attorney Kate Shaw’s first encounter with Detective Murphy consists of him ogling her backside and bossing her around. Not a stellar start. She’s carrying a boatload of childhood baggage from a youth spent in foster care and believes she is unable to make an emotional connection with the opposite sex. Men are more trouble than they’re worth and life with her music, work, and cat are plenty to satisfy.

They attempt to work together to nail Kate’s stalker but the bad guy has other ideas. Can Dan protect Kate from the threat and convince her they are for keeps? He’s a man who gets what he wants. In this case that’s the bad guy as well as the girl.

Chapter 1

Detective Daniel Murphy walked from his car to The Dubliner Irish Pub, the sounds of a band spilled out the doors of the brick building. He loved that sound, it reminded him of his dad, and Guinness. One of his favorite reasons for living was music. Well, music and beer and…sex. Not necessarily in that order. He stepped into the pub and cast a wide net with his eyes. It was a cop thing. Taking in every person in the place, scanning the area, checking for potential problems. Habit.

He was surprised to see his younger brother Ryan at a table in the back corner with a bunch of friends he recognized from the DA’s office. His brother was an Assistant District Attorney and this pub was near the courthouse, apparently an ADA hangout. He made his way over to their table. “Hey Ryan, how’s it going?”

“It goes well, what are you doing here all by your lonesome?” Ryan asked.

“I’m working a case, and meeting someone here for an interview.”

“Well Danny, set your big ass down and take a load off until your interview shows up.”

Just then the band started again with “Hard Times,” one of his favorite songs. He looked up and gazed at the small, elevated stage and then he heard her voice. His eyes landed on the singer, and holy hell he couldn’t look away. She was gorgeous. Average height around five-feet-four inches, but nothing else about her was average. She was wearing a blue, long sleeved T-shirt, black jeans, and low-heeled black leather boots. The simple clothes could not hide her abundant curves. She had an amazing rack and a butt to match, his favorite combination. Voluptuous. Blonde, shoulder length hair framed a heart shaped face. Piercing blue eyes lit with pleasure as she belted out the tune. She was playing an acoustic guitar that looked to be a Gibson. Nice. A husky, deep voice poured from her body. Her voice reminded him of the late Eva Cassidy. It was unsettling hearing such a big voice from such a small frame. He closed his eyes and let the music flow over him.

Ryan started chuckling. “The drool does not become you.” The other guys at the table snickered. “Dream on Danny, she’s out of your league.”

“You have no idea what’s in my league. Do you know her?”

“Yeah, that’s Kate Shaw. She’s an ADA in the child abuse section, hard as nails and a real ball breaker, great lawyer though.”

“Aww, shit. That’s my interview.”

Dan scrubbed his hand over his five o’clock shadow. “She said to meet her here. I didn’t know she was performing.”

Ryan was still laughing at his big brother. “The band is Guilty As Charged. They’re a bunch of lawyers who perform here a couple times a month.”

“I’ve heard of them, but have never seen them play. They’re pretty good.” They had finished “Hard Times” and the woman was singing a Norah Jones song now. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

Okay, time to put on his cop face and behave like the professional he was. No mixing business and pleasure. Being a grown up sucked.

It was approaching ten o’clock and that was the time she had told him to meet her.

As the song ended the band announced they were taking a break and would return shortly. She had given him a description of herself so he could find her when he arrived. A description that only included the basics of hair color, height, and what she’d be wearing, but that was sorely lacking in the luscious details department. Crap, get it together, Dan. Professional. Serious. Detective.

He approached the stage as she was bending over to pick up a water bottle. Jaysus, that was a fine ass. She caught him ogling her assets out of the corner of her eye, stood, and turned to face him. Busted. Setting her guitar on its stand she gave him the evil eye.

“Can I help you with something?” she said in a deadpan voice.


Auto-Watch Movies

Everyone has a list of movies that they’ll stop and watch when they’re aimlessly flipping through the channels, even if they’ve seen them a million times.  Without further ado, here are mine:

  •  Romancing the Stone
  • Independence Day
  • The Fifth Element
  • National Treasure
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • RED
  • Tremors
  • Practical Magic
  • ANY of the Bourne movies
  • ANY of the Oceans movies

So what are some of yours????

Guest Blog Goodness–Jessica Cale

Please welcome Jessica  Cale to the blog!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
It’s a little bit of both. It’s incredibly calming to disappear into a world of my own and as long as nothing reminds me of where I am (phone calls, neighbors, etc), I can stay there for hours without realizing it. It’s achieving something that’s invigorating. If I can finish one good scene, I feel great. Certain parts of my books are definitely drawn from personal experience, but the themes are more reflective of my vision and who I am. For example, I feel very strongly about equal rights across the board, so I try to write varied and interesting characters from all walks of life, while trying to keep things as historically accurate as possible. It’s my little attempt to correct history by representing the marginalized. It’s satisfying!

Who or what inspired you to write?
I don’t think I had a choice. There’s a picture of me sitting in front of a typewriter before I could walk. My grandmother wrote romance novels and children’s stories, and she was always writing or reading something when I went to her house. She gave me a typewriter when I was twelve, and I probably started writing creatively then. That typewriter (and the horror stories I wrote on it) got me through high school! I’ve always had stories in my head, and it made more sense to write them down than to let them drive me nuts.

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?
I would love it if readers would review my books on Goodreads, Amazon, or any other site, because reviews are wonderfully helpful to authors. Recommend it to your friends if you enjoyed it. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Tsu, or even just through my website. I would love to hear from you. I’m really nice!

What advice would you give a new author?
Don’t give up! Keep writing! Writing is a process and it can take a long time, but don’t let that scare you. Anything you write can be edited later if you don’t like it, and just because one person passes on it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Writing, like all art, is subjective, and somebody will enjoy your work. Keep working on it until you think it’s perfect, and then submit it until you find the right publisher or agent. I was very lucky to find my publisher as quickly as I did, and I’m thrilled to be with Liquid Silver. Submit to them and join the family! 😉

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
Well, we never tried to break somebody out of prison…

From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

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A key popped into the lock and the door opened with a creak. A turnkey stood guard in the narrow entrance, as if he was afraid Mark would escape.

Mark almost laughed. They’d put him in the heavy shackles they reserved for those who had escaped and been recaptured. It was Harry who was the escape artist, but Mark wouldn’t correct them. It was good that they thought he was a threat.

He was.

The turnkey carried a lantern bright enough for Mark to see his shining eyes and a shit-eating grin. “Someone likes you,” he said.

Mark rolled his eyes. “You tell Tilly that there’s not enough bread in Christendom—”

He trailed off as he saw a slender white hand emerge from the shadows of the hall to drop a coin into the turnkey’s palm. “For his shackles,” said a girl’s voice in a coarse accent he didn’t recognize.

“You want them on or off?”

“Off!” she snapped.

Mark raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got the wrong cell, mate. I’m not expecting anyone.”

The turnkey leered. “Can I keep her, then?”

“Can you hell!” the girl protested. “I was sent for Mister Mark Virtue only. Bought and paid for. Hands off!”

The girl stepped into the light. The thin cloak she wore over it was for warmth more than modesty; a man would have to be blind not to see the body beneath it. Her lush curves were cinched into a scandalously low-cut dress the color of burnished gold, her flawless skin glowing in the warm light of the lantern. A yard or so of shining auburn hair spilled out of the hood that shadowed her face. Even had she kept it covered, he would have known her from the way his blood sang in her presence.

She glanced up at him from beneath the hood and he saw it.

The glint of steel in her eyes.

“This is only a shilling,” said the turnkey. “That’ll get you the hands or the feet. Not both.”

She arched an eyebrow at Mark. “Which is it? Hands or feet?”


Mark didn’t take his eyes off of her as the turnkey bent to unlock the shackles around his ankles.

“The lantern’s extra,” he said as he stood.

“Don’t need it,” Mark dismissed, rubbing his ankles.

“That’s a shame. She’s a treat! I’ll come get her later then. Wish I had friends like yours, Mark.” He closed the door behind him, and Mark heard the bolt slide into the lock with a heavy click.

He was locked in a cell in near perfect darkness with Jane Ramsey.

“It’s not my birthday.” He smiled.



Guest Blog Goodness–JC Conway

Please welcome JC Conway to the blog!

Most writers I’ve known say that writing is invigorating, while some say that it’s their therapy. How does your writing serve you? Do you express your life through the story or does the theme come from your vision?
I’m not sure there’s a distinction between those two things, but I think my stories reflect my vision more than my life. Not that you won’t see me in the stories. Some people very close to me insist they see me in my stories—often in characters that, on the outside, are about as different from me as night is from day. But, to the extent that observation is true (and it probably is), it’s consistent with my vision, which is that there is a little bit of each of us in each other. Writing actually helps me see that, and as I delve into a character’s motivations and flaws I learn more than I expect about what makes us all so understandably similar, despite dramatic differences in circumstances.

Who or what inspired you to write?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make up stories. When I was too young to express them in writing, they existed in pictures or toys and the tall tales I would add. So I would have to say I was either born with the inspiration, or my parents raised me in such a way, in my earliest formative years, that it was instilled before I knew it.

Inspiration didn’t stop there, of course. There were grade school teachers that saw that spark and kept it alive, each encouraging me in their own way. And there were those real writers that wrote stories that awed me—fantastic places and situations involving children I could relate to doing things I would have never imagined. From the time I could read I have always had a book I was reading—usually on the nightstand. Writers have touched me again and again with their imaginations and descriptive talents, and I have always wanted to do that, too, in whatever way I could, knowing that my voice is different from all others, just like each author that inspired me differed undeniably from each other.

What are your five “desert island” books?
This is always a hard question for me, because I’m not much of a re-reader. In fact, the only stories I can recall reading more than once were A Wrinkle in Time and Lord of the Rings. But I will select a new story over one I know if given a choice. (There are just too many wonderful stories and excellent writers out there.) So my list of five is a mix of re-reads and author picks:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (I still love that one and will read it several more times)
  2. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (It’s the one King book I’ve read that isn’t a type of creepy horror story. I can’t get enough of the way he writes—his voice is amazing. But this is the only story (plot and setting-wise) that fits my taste—a suspenseful story about a girl lost in the woods)
  3. Something by Dickens that I haven’t read (his wry sense of humor gets me every time, and his straightforward approach to prose is just perfect—timeless, really)
  4. Something by Steinbeck that I haven’t read (a little more serious than Dickens, but always hits a note that resonates)
  5. Something by Janet Fitch that I haven’t read (I read White Oleander and Paint it Black—they both had an imagination and authenticity that felt beautiful)

What is the best way a reader can express their gratitude for the experience they had reading your work?

I guess the best thing a reader can do if my work strikes a good chord is to let others know in whatever way works for that reader, whether that be reviews, blogs or word of mouth. Stories are a personal experience. I love the stories I write and I share them hoping others will like them, too. Helping me share is a wonderful way to say thank you.

Have you done all the things in your book with your partner? That’s what I want to know 🙂
Definitely not—at least not in terms of location. One scene, in particular, takes place in the New Mexico desert atop a rock formation. It was romantic, under a starlit sky, and the characters used a ground cloth—so no dirt in the wrong places. But my partner has expressed little (make that “no”) interest in actually trying the great outdoors in such a way. Not that I’m ruling it out, mind you!

Hearts in Ruin is available in print or e-book formats:

You can learn more about J. C. Conway and his work at the following sites:


Andrea had one goal in life, a quiet career as a mainstream archaeologist—nothing more nothing less—and she’s one ancient secret away. When she is teamed with maverick prodigy Daniel Fuchs at his controversial pre-Clovis dig on tribal land, she soon realizes his wild theories may sidetrack her career. Her smartest move is to expose him and that is exactly what she plans to do. Except…he’s hot, sexy, and there is a chance his theories may be right.

As the dig deepens and outside forces mount, Andrea and Daniel find their careers and their shaky relationship on the brink of ruin. Who can she trust? To survive professionally and emotionally, Andrea must decide between what is expected and what she believes, because time is running out and the developers’ bulldozers are poised to level the site.

Delve into the mystery and excitement of an archaeological dig in the New Mexico desert and experience the drive, determination, and passion surrounding the quest to unlock the Paleolithic past in this contemporary, romantic suspense.Hearts In Ruin…no shovel required to join this adventure to discover an ancient truth!

PG-13 excerpt:

As the scene begins, archeologists Daniel and Andrea, who have been at odds about how their dig should be handled (despite an undeniable attraction to each other), are at a formal dinner at Daniel’s former university. Daniel is frustrated at being forced to navigate academic politics this evening instead of actively working in the field.


LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShopLater in the evening, Daniel slipped out to the patio for a reprieve—just a few moments of peace. The wide balcony overlooked the east side of campus with the lights of town beyond, backed by the night shadows of the mesa. He inhaled. Even here, amid streets, buildings, miles of surrounding commercial and residential neighborhoods, the scent of the uncivilized desert predominated. Its stillness soothed him.

“So there you are.”

He turned, startled. Andrea stepped into view, stunning in Pamela’s dress. He’d seen her in it all evening, but not in the moonlight like this.

He struggled for composure. He hadn’t expected anyone to join him here, especially Andrea. She was a hit at the dinner, a fresh young woman, as smart as the stuffy regulars, but piercingly direct and good humored.

“Is everything all right?” he asked.

“Sure.” She stepped toward him. “Except my date ditched me.”

“I didn’t think you needed me in there.”

Her eyes glinted. “So, you tired of the crowd?”

He laughed. She could not have nailed it much better. “Let’s just say I’ve already been to enough meetings, dinners, and functions of all kinds with this group to fill a lifetime.”

She stood next to him now at the railing and stared across the campus. “It’s a pretty school.”

He shrugged. “It has its charms.”

A subtle hint of perfume mingled seamlessly with the desert breeze. Amazing. Most of the women inside seemed anxious to disguise or completely cover up the smell and feel of the dry desert environment. But Andrea, who had never lived in the climate or even visited the desert before, chose a fragrance that accepted it and even complimented its arid beauty.

“Not all fake Ivy-League like the U,” she explained.

He smiled. “No. And if you have a thing for adobe and stucco then you can really learn to love it.”

She turned, leaning back against the railing. “The people seem nice,” she ventured. “I don’t really know why you left. Just because they didn’t support the dig? It seems you could’ve worked it out with these folks.”

Daniel could not tear his gaze from her profile and the bare shoulders just touched by soft and inviting golden-brown hair. But he was held by more than that. All of her qualities were admirable. Not only was she fascinatingly attractive, and perhaps even in spite of it, she was brilliant and clear minded, and she loved her work.

“They um…” Daniel’s throat thickened, as if he were trying to talk underwater. There was something about her—something between them that transcended this project, he knew. He’d been avoiding it. He wanted no complications during the dig. But that was only part of the problem. The fact was, he didn’t want to draw her too far into his private quest. He couldn’t do that to her. Not now, not at this critical juncture with her career poised to launch. It was bad enough that she was the project leader, and he hoped she didn’t have to explain that away the rest of her life after he finally published his findings. But why then, if he felt that way, did he recruit her? She was clearly in the running for a post at a good school. This project, once the controversy surfaced, was not a good stepping stone on that path. Did he really think if he kept her role limited that it could minimize the fallout to her career?

It had been different for him. He didn’t work so hard for his opportunities. He had been young when he reached that point. Just eighteen, still a kid. He met Madeline and willingly abandoned most of the career courses Andrea should follow. He was committed to his project. He never saw it as a choice. But how could he lead Andrea down the same path—especially after she worked so hard for so many years to gain a solid foothold in academia?

Andrea’s brow furrowed with contemplation and she turned to him. “I think you should have just stuck to your guns here. They like you more than you know.”

He drew a breath. “Not all of them.”

She lowered her chin. “You’re about as likeable as they get.”

He smiled, and without thinking, touched her hand. She didn’t retreat. The air warmed with electricity. A remnant of his rational mind searched for a response to her statement—a quip, a compliment, a rebuttal…anything. But the futile effort was overshadowed by the sharpening of his senses, an awakening triggered by her presence and warm touch.

“I uh…”

She turned to face him squarely. He touched her arm, feeling the impossible softness of her skin. Her hand touched his stomach and slide to his waist. Her expression shifted. Her eyes surveyed his face. Was she searching for resistance or its opposite? He didn’t know. He wasn’t sure he cared. But he could tell that this closeness was something they’d both thought about before.

The moment grew, nearly eclipsing all else. He knew in his mind and heart that if he didn’t embrace her now, the moment could vanish forever. His heart pounded. He did not weigh options. This was not a matter of choice. It was roaring compulsion. He leaned close. He felt the heat of Andrea’s cheek, her warm breath. Their lips brushed across each other. Daniel savored the soft pass once, twice, then opening slightly more and connecting, pressing, tasting and melding. His chest filled with fire. The world fell away. He reached around her, pulling her close. She nestled in, leaving no gap.

He felt no barrier between them. His lips touched her nose, her cheek, the crook of her neck. He returned to her lips and they tasted each other again. Andrea mewed. It felt right to be lost in her touch and her breath. Their chests heaved together. Their embrace softened. Daniel roamed the curve of her spine. She responded with equal, soft passion. He felt the release of a long, satisfied sigh.

They touched foreheads.

He smiled. She giggled lightly.

A rough, “Ahem,” broke the moment like shattered crystal. They weren’t alone.

Eyes widened, they released their holds and turned.

“I don’t mean to disturb you.”

Daniel regained his bearing. William Lassiter and Morgan Hamilton stood near the patio door holding cocktail tumblers.


Media Monday — True Detective

The hubster and I picked this up after hearing the rave reviews about this short, 8-episode series. Boy, were those rave reviews ever right! Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey hit this one out of the park with their portrayals of Detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle. As a mystery writer, the plotline had me hooked–mix it up with the characters of Marty and Rust and you’ve got a gripping psychological thriller that goes far beyond just the whodunit.

Set across the state of Louisiana, the gist is this–a young woman is found dead, posed, with ritualistic offerings left around and on her body.  The detectives work to solve her murder, and discover not only a deeper, more despicable evil, but secrets about themselves as well.

What was most interesting to me was the way the story unfolded.  After the 3d (or maybe 4th) epiosode, we then flash 17 years into the future, where we meet up with Marty and Rust again.  There has been a similar murder, and they’re brought in to answer questions about what they discovered.  As they’re questioned, the rest of the story unfolds.

Harrelson and McConaughey both do stellar jobs in their “before and after” sessions, with McConaughey’s change in appearance being the most surprising.

The only part about True Detective I didn’t care for was the gratuitous sex scenes.  I am by NO means a prude, but if we’re going to have a pretty vivid sex scene (or set of them), then it needs to further the plot.  Something needs to happen in that encounter that makes it worth showing, and with the exception of one (it was a major plot point, so I won’t go into it), it just didn’t happen.

Other than that small quibble, this was damned close to a perfect 8 hours of viewing pleasure.  We’ll be picking up the DVDs so we can watch it again, and pick up anything we might have missed.