Counting down…

No…not to the New Year.

Beautiful Scars

 

Beautiful Scars releases soon, and I’m counting down to that…Two weeks!

I’ll be posting random snippets and giving away random prizes.  How to win? Just enter via the widget, and make sure you check back. ;)

Two seconds later, he was reaching for her.

Stunned, she couldn’t think. As his lips covered hers, she just couldn’t think.

Marc was kissing her.

Damn it.

Marc was kissing her—

Had she drank more wine than she’d thought?

“Open your mouth,” he snarled against her lips, a harsh, urgent command in his voice. “Give me your mouth.”

Dazed, she did just that, opened for him.

His arms came around her as his tongue stroked across the bottom of her lip, slowly, seductively…teasingly. Oh, hell. She was in trouble. Big, big trouble…

And she didn’t plan on doing anything to stop it, either. Not when he broke his mouth away to brush a line of stinging, hot kisses down her neck to her shoulder. Not when he stroked a hand up her thigh, the other cupping the back of her head.

Alarm, though, started to sound when he toyed with the fastening of her dress—alarm that would give way to terror if she let it.

Refusing to let that happen, she wiggled around until she was straddling his lap, her arms looped around his shoulders. Through the bodice of her dress, she felt the warmth of his breath, and when he pressed his mouth to her breastbone, she figured she needed to call a stop to this here and now. He didn’t know and she just couldn’t…

“Chaili…fuck, what have you got on under this skirt?”

Read more

Or if you want…you could just preorder…

Samhain | Amazon | BN | iBookstore

And now…for the contest…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Next Big Blog Hop…

Carly Phillips made me do it.  If I tagged you, blame her.

THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP!

I answer some questions, tag some authors, you can find out about my stuff and maybe some other authors…sound good?  Okay?  Okay!
1. What the working title of your book?

Best Left Buried

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Well…I can’t tell you that.  It’s another small town idea…about secrets, death, murder.  You know.  Fun stuff.

3. What is the genre of the book?

Romantic suspense

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For the hero?  Paul Walker.  The heroine…ah, that’s harder.  Maybe Teresa Palmer…she’s a little younger than I really see the heroine, but the features are right.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Girl moves into small town to get away from the wreck of her life, finds her new home to be a complete wreck and then things turn out to be an even bigger wreck when they are renovating find something nobody is prepared tucked away inside the house…and it doesn’t help that guy in charge of helping her fix up the house is completely sexy, completely to die for…and a former preacher who just makes her think very, very dirty thoughts.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

It’s coming out from my new publisher St. Martin’s.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still working on it…I don’t do drafts.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Ummm…I dunno.  My last romantic suspense was compared to Lisa Jackson and Linda Howard.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’m not telling…that would involve spoilers…

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It involves lots and lots of secrets.  Secrets upon secrets and nothing is as it seems.

NOW!  I tag people!

Hmmm…I’m tagging…Charlene Teglia and that’s it… I tried a bunch of others, but things are crazy busy with the holidays and deadlines, and it just wasn’t working out.  It’s supposed to be five, but oh well. If anybody else that wants to do it? Awesome!  It’s late, people are crazy busy with the holidays and I’m worn out. ;)

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Saturday Snippets… beginnings!

Hmmm…

I think I’ll do this.

This one started it for me.

My first published book.

snippet

Lauren glanced up at the sound of a door slamming. Her heart danced wildly for just a moment as she watched the lean hipped, lanky man head her way. At the same time, a weight she carried on her shoulders seemed to grow just a little bit heavier.

He would never love her.

The first time she saw him had been from a hundred feet away and her heart had simply flipped over within her chest. Lauren had been struck by love at first sight, though she had barely been able to make out his face. His face hadn’t mattered, because her heart recognized him.

A week later she actually met him, face to face, when Dale strolled up her walk and knocked on her door, flashing that grin at her before holding out his hand and introducing himself. He flirted casually off and on for several months, raising her hopes, only to have those hopes die a slow withering death when it finally dawned on her that Dale flirted with any and every female he met.

The thing was, Dale Stoner loved women, and women seemed to love him right back. He danced around the line that led to seriousness, but any time one woman got too close, he two-stepped back, quick and pretty as you please.

But, lucky her, good ol’ Lauren was his buddy. His best friend.

Yippee.

She didn’t want to be his best friend. Well, not just his best friend. She wanted him. Ached. Hungered. Wanted to eat him down in three big greedy bites.

“Stop it,” she ordered under her breath. “This isn’t helping you any.”

Five years after losing her heart to him, just watching him amble in her direction, her heart still did the same little dance.

More than six feet of mouthwatering, throat drying, smooth talking male made up Dale Stoner. He had the long, lean, muscled build of a runner, broad shoulders, narrow of waist and hip, and the loose-hipped gait of a cowboy. Dimples creased his face each time he flashed his endearingly sweet grin, burnished gold hair fell over his forehead, tempting women to brush it out of that impossibly handsome face.

Sex appeal in spades, there was no doubt he had that. Lauren could feel her body go on alert whenever he was within ten feet of her. Heart racing, mouth dry, nipples erect, her groin tight and wet. Dale was a walking wet dream, one she saw almost every damn day.

But the most mesmerizing feature about Dale was his eyes, the kind of eyes that could put you in a trance. Thickly lashed, heavy lidded eyes, with pale sky blue irises ringed by deep indigo. They could flash hot with need, burn with anger, or freeze with disdain. Every emotion was reflected in those eyes. When he turned them on Lauren, they held nothing but the deepest affection.

Though Lauren had lost count of the different women he had dated, she was well aware that a number of those women spent a night or two wrapped in his arms atop the huge custom-built king-size bed that sprawled underneath a skylight. They’d leave with a slightly dazed smile on their face the next morning, and in a few days, a new face would appear.

He was arrogant, cocky, funny, and at the oddest times, as sweet as any man could possibly be. When Lauren sprained her ankle earlier in the spring, Dale got up early every single Saturday for nearly a month to take care of her precious garden and cut the grass.

When she had the flu over the winter, he hand delivered some of his prize winning chicken soup, a recipe passed on to him from his mother. He had a fear of anything contagious, which stemmed from a serious distrust of doctors. But he braved the flu, just to take care of her.

Lauren sighed, watching him close the distance between them. She had fallen in love with him the moment she first laid eyes on him, maybe even before that. She had known, deep inside, after that one look. That’s him. He’s the one I’ve been waiting for.

But Dale hadn’t been waiting, or even looking, for her.

“G’mornin,” Dale drawled, opening the waist-high picket fence that separated their two yards. His eyes were more heavy lidded than normal, his hair still wet from his shower, and a grin of satisfaction curved his mouth.

Lauren Spencer barely glanced up from her precious roses as she asked, “Did you have a good time last night?”

“Ohhh, yeah,” Dale murmured. “She’s…amazing.” The little actress he had spent the night with had picked up some unusual talents. That woman could do things with her mouth…

She rolled her eyes and muttered, “Oh, please.” Rising, Lauren dusted her grimy hands off on a towel she had tucked into her back pocket. “I have a feeling you aren’t talking about how well she acts with her theater group.”

Dale grinned wickedly. “Not exactly. I was referring—”

Cutting him off with a narrowed stare, Lauren said, “Spare me the details.”

“And let me guess, you spent the night at home, alone. Again.”

“No. I had a roaring orgy with five different men.”

“Impossible. You don’t know five different men.”

“Sure I do. I just don’t know any whom I would welcome in my life, or my home. Much less into my bed.”

Sighing, Dale followed her through the mudroom into the kitchen. “If you aren’t careful, you are going to grow old alone, Lauren. What are you looking for? Why are you so picky?”

Because the man I love doesn’t love me. Because the man I love is in love with another woman, a woman he can’t have.

Read more (about this book)

or read more from the others on beginning!

Lissa Matthews
Rhian Cahill
Leah Braemel
Myla Jackson
Caris Roane
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
Lauren Dane
Felicity Heaton

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Friday Flashbacks…Touch of Gypsy Fire

Touch of Gypsy Fire

 

“Elf.”

“Look there, see the ears? Oh, my stars, see her eyes?”

The voices blended into the background as she took a step closer, one hand straying to her neck, stroking the amulet there.

The mortal shook his head, smiling slightly as he retreated back to his table in the corner.

The guard’s eyes, like everyone else’s, were riveted on the delicate point of her ears. The luminescent sheen of her eyes intensified and the air around her almost seemed to shimmer. Smiling at him, she asked, “Shall I continue to mind my own business?”

“Perhaps…perhaps it was my own…my own fault, milady,” the guard stuttered, fear making his mouth suddenly dry. “An’ he is jes’ a kid, after all. No harm done.”

“None at all.” An agreeable smile lit Tyriel’s face and the tension that had filled her drained out as the guard backed down, dropping into his seat, studiously avoiding her gaze.

It didn’t surprise her, as far south as she was. The folk in Zhalia were notoriously superstitious; elves were ranked on the same level as saints and angels and demons. To be feared, respected, or worshipped, depending who you asked and when.

Though one might think unkindly thoughts of the fae, few spoke them aloud for fear that the fae people would hear and drag them off to the cities in the hills to slave away in the elvish mines.

Though her chest ached from resisting the bully’s shove, she didn’t reach up to rub it, knowing better than to show any sign of weakness or reaction.

A low amused voice said, “That’s a rather…interesting act you have there. What was that, mass hypnosis?”

Turning to study the hooded stranger in the corner, Tyriel cocked her head. “Nothing so extravagant.” Moving closer, she bent over the table and gave a conspiratorial wink and said, “We elves eat babies at breakfast, didn’t you know? They know better than to anger us.”

“Hmm. How odd. All the elves I’ve ever known were vegetarians,” the man said in a low voice, careful to keep anybody else from overhearing as he reached up and shoved his hood back.

Oh, my, Tyriel thought with interest as she studied the pale face revealed. A face that could have been carved from alabaster stared back at her, with wide eyes of deep blue. My, my, my.

The slight arch of her brow was the only sign that she was the slightest bit impressed by that little known fact. And nothing revealed that her tongue was about ready to hang out of her mouth. “Are you going to give me away? Let them know how meek and cowardly we really are?”

“I didn’t say a thing about meek or cowardly.” Gesturing to the seat at his side, he said, “I am curious exactly how you managed that, though. I’ve never seen a guard from this towne back down from anything short of a fair fight.”

“It wouldn’t have been fair. I was busting men like him when I was barely old enough to pick up a sword.”

“Hardly what I meant.”

Recognizing the persistence, Tyriel shrugged. “It’s not a secret or anything. The folk in this part of the country are notoriously superstitious. They still believe that we lurk around in the shadow world, waiting for people to displease us so we can haul them away to harvest our mines for us.”

“I doubt you’d let somebody who wasn’t elvish into your mines,” the swordsman said, beckoning for another ale. “Can I buy you one?”

“I’ll pass.” She shuddered in remembrance of the one taste she had taken as she studied him. And he was quite a treat to the eyes…a fine one, indeed. That mouth…it was giving her some naughty ideas that had her belly getting tight as she shifted on the hard bench. “You seem to know quite a bit about the kin,” Tyriel mused, declining the offered mug from the serving girl. “How is that?”

He flashed her a grin. “I get around.”

“Hmmm. In your travels, have you heard of glamour?” she asked, her voice dropping to just above a whisper. With a conspiratorial wink, she said, “It’s a neat little trick that makes people think they are seeing something that isn’t there. Or more than what they already see.”

“So your eyes weren’t really glowing in the dark?”

“What do you think?”

More

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A saturday Snippet… late…

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We went out of town and in the rush, I forgot to post this.  Oops… sorry!

It’s about endings…

from WRECKED

WRECKED

“Anything to say, Zach?” she whispered, looking up into his eyes.

His lashes flickered and for a second, she thought he was going to make this easy, but all he did was reach up and cup her cheek. “I’m not really sure what you’re talking about, Abby.” He stroked his thumb over her lower lip.

She sighed, swaying closer so she could rest her head against his chest.

Okay, then.

It’s somebody who’s loved you your entire life . . 

the other snippeters!

Lissa Matthews
Rhian Cahill
Myla Jackson
Caris Roane
McKenna Jeffries
Taige Crenshaw
HelenKay Dimon
Delilah Devlin
Eliza Gayle
Lauren Dane
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels

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26 Acts

26acts

 

I’ve been in a rut all week.  The tragedy in Newtown hit me really hard…I think it’s done the same to a lot of people, especially parents.  We look at those little faces and see our own.

I see baby bratlet echoed in all of them and I hurt.  She’s only six…I made the difficult choice to discuss it with her, and all of the kids, but I especially wanted to talk it over with her, because I’d rather her hear about it from me, than somebody at school.  When I told her, she said…

Nobody better ever try that at my school.  Not on my watch.

And I choked up.  Like she could protect herself, and those around her, through the power of her will alone.  It makes me think of the brave little boy who said,

“I know karate, so it’s OK. I’ll lead the way out.

Read more @ NYD

A six year old child is a fragile, wonderful, brave soul…one so wonderful, and beautiful.  I still can’t comprehend how this happened.

Instead of my Friday Flashback, I want to spread the word about something that was inspired by Ann Curry.  There’s a page on facebook… http://www.facebook.com/26acts.

It was inspired by this comment made by Ann Curry.

26sctsorigin

 

You can read more about it here

This is something I’ve been doing in bits and pieces all week, but I’ve commited myself to seeing it through the 26 acts, and probably beyond, specifically with those lost souls from Newtown in mind.

I’ve always been a big believer in helping out, in giving back.  I don’t really see it as charity so much as in just doing something.  People are more connected to each other than we think and when we do something to help another, it makes the world better all around.

Right now, the world is in a very dark place and if one act…or 26 acts…can help somebody out, I’m all for it.

And it’s a lovely tribute to those 20 children and the six adults who gave up their lives trying to protect them.

I don’t want to list most of the things I’ve done… I keep most of those things to myself.  Some are bigger than others, some are just little things.

But just some random things… the wind was horrid the other day and it had blown somebody’s recycling bin out of their yard and it was about to take off to who only knows where.  I was leaving to take the bratlet to the orthodontist and I pulled my car over, got the bin and secured it so the owner could get it before the wind could.  It cost nothing.

I spent a few months searching for the perfect red coat last year.  While I was in the ortho’s office, they were collecting coats for a homeless shelter.  I put my coat in the bin.

Those were small things… you can something as big, or as small, as you want…clean the snow from a neighbor’s car.  Buy a toy, even a $5 one for Toys for Tots or a local homeless shelter.  Got used books?  Take them to a local homeless shelter, a hospital or nursing home.  They need them.  Got kids?  Buy a box of donuts for their teachers or the front office staff.

Darkness hit us so hard last week, but we can choose whether or not to let drown in the darkness, or find a way to let love and light come through.

Nothing will ever undo that awful tragedy, but using kindness to honor those children, the teachers is one way to break through some of the darkness.

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Dear Instagram…it’s not me, it’s you

I deleted my account, and all 750+ pics.

Apparently Instagram is changing their TOS to where they can sell my pics, without paying me or notifying me or anything else.

So, all the pics are gone.

Might start using Flickr…also checking out something called streamzoo.  I love taking pics on my phone, so I want something.

I can understand their need to make $$, really. So…hey, ads in the app? Fine.  Make a pro version that is ad free and costs $$? Cool!  I’d buy it, especially if they added more features.

But selling my pics? Oh, hell, no.

If you have an instagram account, I think the new changes go into effect 1.16.2013.

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Have you been reading the hot stuff for a while?

So over the past year, erotic romance and hotter romances have like…exploded.  I reckon we can thank 50 Shades of Grey for that-I’ve had sooooo many people who aren’t romance readers talking to me like… Wow!  have you read this… people actually write about this stuff…

Um.  Yeah.  People do.  LOL.

Those of us who have been reading hot romances for a while know there’s really nothing new in it.  We’ve been reading the hot stuff, loving the hot stuff for a long, long while.  Bring it on!  We loves it!

But it’s taking on a life of its own and more and more people people are looking at romance and the hotter books in a different light.

I’m working on a thing that I’m doing in the spring-it’s a workshop and I’ve asked some of these Qs on twitter, my facebook page, but wanted to toss them out here, too.

I dunno about you all, but I’ve been reading erotic romance for QUITE a while.  Since at least 2002, probably more like 2001 or earlier.

Some of the books that got me started were the Secrets anthologies by Red Sage… Angela Knight!!! Led me to Ellora’s Cave, which is how I got started…writing erotic romance.

So…for those of you like erotic romance and have been reading it a while, how did you get started?

Pretty please… this is for something very specific, and I *am* very specifically looking for pubs or authors from at least a few years ago…before 50 Shades. I know a lot of people love it, but I’m looking for how the genre has started, how it’s evolving and that’s kind of the current thing, but it definitely wasn’t the beginning. :)

Thank you for the feedback!

Kindle
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It’s a sad sort of weekend…

The news about what happened in Connecticut is probably riding hard on the minds of many this weekend.

I found myself logging into facebook last night and a lot of the ‘funny’ posts that normally have me giggling just had me sighing and I ended up logging back out without doing much more than a quick post on my page.

I can’t do much funny right now.

Friday, I had to fight now to sign my kids out of school, feed them nothing but cake and ice cream… I said on twitter if they’d asked for a pony, I would have bought it for them. I like to think I could have said No, but I just don’t know.  I called their sitter and told her to take the day off, picked them up from school at their regular time.  I got next to no work done… we made Christmas cookies.  We went ice skating.  We went out to eat.

watching baby bratlet draw

My daughter was drawing this and I can only thank God I have her, have all my kids…even as I hurt for the parents who lost this.  There are no words.

Saturday morning, I took them out for breakfast, then we went shopping and I took them all to a local Christmas thing called Kalightoscope…

santa at kalightoscope

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One of the things they had there was a ‘draw on the wall’ and somebody had written this…

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How do you find peace or comfort? I didn’t lose a child, but I can’t find peace or comfort…I can’t imagine what they are going through. I’ve lost a child, but never like this. This is my worst nightmare.

So many are saying I don’t understand… how can somebody…

But we’re not supposed to understand this…are we?  This is a monstrosity that should never happen, and if we ever understand it, I think we’re that much closer to…apathy.  To it not hurting.  And that’s another tragedy.

We’re not supposed to understand.  It’s supposed to hurt…all of us.  Maybe it will hurt all of us enough that we can finally find a way to do something to prevent this can of mass attack on children from ever happening again.

That’s my Christmas wish…for now, forever.  And not just for Christmas, but for always.

I don’t want to ever see this again.

And God bless those kids…love and comfort to their families, to all who lost somebody on Friday.

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