Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year - 2013

Another year is closing quickly, and it’s been an amazing one with a lot of successes. I hope it’s been good for all of you, as well. I’ll keep this brief, and will include my newsletter link for anyone who wishes to keep up with that monthly mailing.

The Predators and Editors voting is now open - if you have a moment, I'd really appreciate your vote here. I made it to 4th place last year, let's see if I can improve on that this year. Many, many thanks everyone!!

My latest vampire tale, a wickedly sexy short novella, is slowly making it’s way up the best-seller list with New Dawning Book Fair–this is my fourth title with them, and my fourth best-seller with them! I’m very excited. If you haven’t checked it out–you can get it here:

(Vampire, erotic, ménage, Dom/s)

In modern Toronto, two vampires stalk the night, their hunting a game that is seductive and deadly. In a darkly compelling Goth Club, they find the prey they seek for their pleasures, and the night runs crimson with blood and unquenchable thirsts....

Also, for those who haven’t noticed just yet, Ellora’s Cave has a new website–a beautiful and very functional site. My new link there is HERE

2013 is already promising to be an amazing year, and I have several new novels planned and in the works, including my first venture into YA fiction. Will be releasing more information as things are contracted and in place.

Happy New Year to everyone. Make it a good one! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

New from TINA DONAHUE today!

Losing Control - Book Two in the Appointment with Pleasure series
Releases today!

Erotic Contemporary


When it comes to passion, there are no rules…

She wasn’t supposed to hunger for him. Tim Bellamy was off-limits to Catherine, a high-priced call girl with an uneasy past. Indulging in his raw desire shouldn’t have happened, especially at a District party attended by the nation’s elite. Tim doesn’t know she works for the agency. If he did… That’s not something Catherine wants to confess. Drowning in his strength and heat, aching to see him again, she keeps her secret.

From old wealth, Tim has never met anyone quite like Catherine. Exotic, elegant, earthy, she’s the best of all worlds. Their evenings are sensual delights where voyeurism, bondage and a growing bond satisfy carnal needs and stir something deep within…until he stumbles upon the truth.
Shaken by her lies, Tim needs to prove the depth of Catherine’s lust and yearning once and for all. For him, their erotic adventure has only begun…

More Info HERE


Tina Donahue
“Heat with Heart”

LOSING CONTROL (available today)
COME FILL ME (4 STARS - The Jeep Diva)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012



Mary, welcome!  Thanks for joining us. 

THE SEVENTH VICTIM is your latest suspense novel.  Will you tell us a bit about it?

The story begins as Texas Ranger James Beck returns to duty after three weeks on administrative leave, earned by his refusal to drop his investigation of the politically well-connected suspect he believed killed ten-year-old Misty Gray. He’s soon on the scene of another murder.  This one sets off alarms  when Beck notices the similarities between it and the unsolved case of six women killed in Seattle.  All blonde, the victims were strangled, wore white dresses, and each had a penny in her hand.  The seventh victim

I also introduce Lara Church, who's recently returned to the Austin area, having inherited her grandmother's house, where she'd spent all of her childhood summers.  She had plans to sell it  but hasn't been able to do so.  It's too nice to be back and settled in among comforting memories.  Lara's been on the run for seven years, rarely staying in one place long, never expecting to again have a home, and having  given up hope of regaining memories of the night she escaped death at the hands of  the Seattle Strangler. 
When Beck shows up demanding her help, she refuses.  She's tried desperately to recall that night. Now that she has a chance at a normal life, she's determined not to be dragged back to the hellish world of shrinks and crime scene photos.

Why Austin? 

Austin is the state capitol, a university town and site of the central office of the Texas Rangers, which means my investigators have access to sophisticated forensic science.  It’s home to musicians and artists, so it’s a perfect place for Lara to try to make a go of her photography.  It's rich in history and San Antonio and  the Hill Country, which are very different from Austin, are close.  I also have the freedom to move between them if needed to advance the plot or just to change up the setting a bit if I want.  
Plus, Texas has hundreds and hundreds of lonely open miles with lots of places for a killer to roam.  I also liked contrasting Austin against Seattle, home to detective Mike Raines.  Whereas Seattle is known for cold dreary days so Austin is known for hot, dry sunshine.  Raines underscores the differences between these cities as he searches Austin for a "good" cup of coffee and complains about the dry heat.

Is it common for a victim of a violent crime to have memory lapses, confusion, or even amnesia about the event the way Lara does?

Memory lapses can happen in the case of a concussion.  While I was working on the details of THE SEVENTH VICTIM and trying to figure out how Lara could have lost her memory, I  met a young lacrosse player who talked about a head injury he’d suffered.  He said he couldn’t remember the three days before the injury.  Memory loss and concussion do occur.  Once I was sure of that, this critical plot point fell into place.

Why does Lara use such an old fashioned camera? Is it something contemporary artists use today? 

You still see modern artists using this method of photography. It was most common during the Civil War.  It’s very hands-on and requires a great deal of attention and introspection.  Lara uses a bellows camera, with glass negatives that must be prepared one at a time.  It’s called wet plate photography. It takes a skilled hand to prepare the negatives with silver nitrate and it takes lots of patience to take the images.  I think the images are beautifully moody and rich.

In THE SEVENTH VICTIM, the police had never found the Seattle Strangler, even though it was seven years later.  Are there a lot of open cases with suspected serial killers that have never been solved?
I think there are quite a few open murder cases out there.  The Seattle Strangler killed women who worked the streets, who are at a very high risk for violence.  Their cases often aren’t high profile and don’t always get the attention of very overworked detectives.

What makes a killer a serial killer?
I don’t think anyone really has the answer to that.   Some are driven by evil whereas others see themselves on a righteous mission.  It’s something I think about a lot when I craft killers.

How hard is it to introduce a romantic relationship amid the violence?
The relationship for me starts the moment the hero and heroine first see each other.  Its not love at first sight but there is a tension between the characters that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the book.  And as the plot deepens and the romance grows, I like it best when the romance and the mystery are at cross-purposes.  Each adds conflict to the other.   As the killer grows more violent and the love between the hero and heroine grows, the danger jumps, as do the stakes.
What I love about romantic suspense is that solving the suspense gives the reader a sense of justice whereas the romance leaves the reader with hope that in the end good wins over evil.

What do you need to know when you begin a new suspense novel?

I always start with motivation.  The killer’s motivation is the most important to me because he is the driver of the story.  If not for him, the hero and heroine might not ever meet.  Why does the killer do what he does?  It colors so much of the story.  And then I turn to the hero and heroine.  Once I know their strengths and weaknesses then I can turn the killer loose.

Your recent novels have been set in your home state of Virginia--in fact six of them, three in Richmond and three in Alexandria.  Are you just tired of your home state?

LOL.  No.  I love Virginia but I’ve turned six different serial killers lose in the commonwealth and it’s time to give the good folks of Virginia a break.  Plus, setting is a character in my mind.  Setting literally sets the stage and drives so many elements of the book.  It was time for a new setting to change things up a bit.

You've been getting very strong reviews for your novels over the past several years.  Does this go to your head? How does it affect the way you write or your intuition about what readers would like to see?

The reviews have been great compliments and I appreciate them all, but I don’t dwell on them.   In fact, I only worry about the story that’s in front of me right now.  I’m always trying to raise the bar and find new ways to surprise my reader.

What's next? 

NO ESCAPE comes out in November 2013 and I put the Rangers to work again in that one, as I do in a  third Texas based romantic suspense, which is finished but doesn't have a title yet.  I'm working on a new book right now--a romantic suspense--and loving every minute of it.

Zebra Books/Mass Market Original/Fiction
February 2013/On Sale 1-29-13/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)/978-1-4201-2505-4,Ebook 978-1-4201-3906-6

* * * On December 31st a random winner will be chosen from all the comments on the posts for Mary's new title, and that winner will receive a paperback copy of THE SEVENTH VICTIM (US and Canada only) * * * 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

GUEST: Lori King

Welcome to the sixth stop in Lori King’s Book Tour for Reflections of the Wolf (The Gray Pack 2). I’m pleased to have Lori visiting me today to tell us more about her latest.

The second book in The Gray Pack series…

After being rescued from a crazy werewolf with murderous intent, Tina Jameson has a scorching night with Liam Gray, local firefighter and Beta Wolf of the Gray Pack. When he announces that she is predestined to be his mate, she is fast to push him away.

Suddenly she finds herself in a whirlwind of conflicting emotions and rioting desires. Having been a victim of a senseless act of violence in her past, Tina has given up on a forever kind of love, even if that man turns her on like no one else has.

Liam didn’t think he wanted a mate, but his wolf wants Tina in his bed and his life for good. In order to have her he must let go of the guilt he has from his daughter’s death and then help Tina to let go of her own tragic past. Can one night determine their destiny, or will fear drive them apart?

 Adult Excerpt:

She didn’t protest when he carried her into the house and directly into a bedroom. She wasn’t really sure her brain would have worked if she wanted to argue. Press so tightly to him and licking her way down his jaw and neck, she couldn’t see much of the room, but she knew it had to be his. It smelled like him, like the woods after it rains. God, he smelled good. He tasted even better.
Easing her down his body until she had her feet under her, he kept his arms around her and his hands fondling her ass. She sighed with relief when he whipped her shirt off over her head and his mouth closed over her lace-covered nipple.
“Oh, Lord have mercy!” she cried as he pulled the bra cup down and sucked her swollen nipple deeper into his mouth. His hands went to the clasp at her back, and she felt the lace drop from her body. A small voice in her head told her to stop him, but her body reacted intuitively to him. She pushed her own small hands up under his tight T-shirt, finally getting her first feel of his hard torso. His nearly hairless chest was hot to the touch, and she followed the smattering of hair down his pecks all the way to the button of his jeans. “Mmm…that’s delicious.” She moaned to him as she ran her hands back up over his washboard abs.
His soft growl of pleasure urged her on, and she pushed his shirt up and off of him. She bent to lick his flat brown nipple before brushing her naked breasts across his skin, moaning at the contact. Her nipples puckered even tighter at the sensuous caress. Her hands explored every inch of his chest, shoulders, and thick arms, pausing to trace the colorful tattoo on his shoulder. She couldn’t believe how sexy that ink was adorning his golden skin. She rubbed her thighs tightly together, attempting to force much needed friction against her throbbing clit. His fingers went to the top of her sweatpants and pushed their way underneath to the top of her slit before delving into her moisture. She gasped and gripped his shoulders tightly as her knees buckled.
“Damn, you’re so wet for me. Let’s get these clothes off so that I can see you, sweetheart,” he said tightly as he pushed her pants and panties off of her slim body. He took a step back from her to gape at her nude form. “You are so beautiful.”
She flushed and let her gaze drop to the bulge behind his zipper. “You’re still dressed…” she said, and he hurriedly jerked his own jeans off. He stood proudly and let her eye take in his perfect form. Her eyes drifted from his golden chest along his curved groin muscles that pointed downward. Damn, those muscles were sexy. She reached out and ran her finger tips over them letting her nails scrape across his skin. He shuddered and growled, his eyes snapping with heat. She licked her lips as she stared at the thick cock that jutted from his groin. He was massive. A ripple of apprehension went through her, and she jerked her eyes up to his.
“Oh my God,” she whispered warily.
“Thank you, I will take that as a compliment. It will fit. Trust me.” He grinned arrogantly and reached for her.
“There’s only one real way to test that isn’t there,” she teased, and reached her hand out to cup his thick cock in her palm. Even the softness of the skin, and the weight of it in her grip made her hot, hot satin over steel and just sticky enough to be exciting. Easing her body to the floor until she knelt in front of him with his hard shaft in her hand, she stuck her tongue out to lick the moisture from the head, drawing a desperate gasp from him.
“Fuck.” He groaned as she took him into her mouth. She hadn’t given a blow job in years, and it felt slightly awkward and uncomfortable at first. She backed off so that just the head was between her lips and used her tongue to stroke the sensitive spot underneath.
Liam’s hand gripped her scalp involuntarily, and she mewled her pleasure at his forcefulness. Before she could attempt to suck him down her throat again, he gave her short hair a little tug and pulled her upward until she was standing.
“If you don’t stop now, you’ll be swallowing,” he said in a husky voice that made her shiver. After brushing his lips over hers softly, he tumbled her backward onto the bed behind her.
She giggled when he pulled her foot to his mouth and kissed along the arch and upward over her ankle.
“No giggling in my bed, Sweet Tina. That’s bad for my ego. It might make me think you are laughing at me. If you’re laughing at me, then I’m not doing my job,” he said into her thigh as his mouth drifted closer and closer to her center. The rasp of short whiskers across the soft skin of her inner thigh sent flames across her skin, and she exhaled sharply.
“I’m definitely not laughing at you. You make me feel so sexy,” she said, arching toward him. She thrust her hips upward, trying to get his mouth where she wanted it. His responding chuckle vibrated against her pussy lips.
“You are sexy, Sweet Tina. More than I ever could have dreamed. Let me taste you.” With that, he placed a hot kiss on her pussy.
Using his fingers to hold her open, he flattened his tongue and licked her clit, applying just enough pressure to draw a loud gasp from her throat. Then he proceeded to let his mouth dance delicately over her softness. Touching and retreating from her swollen clit, he teased her to the edge of orgasm.

The first book in The Gray Pack series, Fire of the Wolf: is available now, and the third book, Legacy of the Wolf, will release January 8, 2013!
My website where buyers can learn more about me:
Or Twitter @LoriKingBooks


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mary Burton's THE SEVENTH VICTIM (Paperback Giveaway)

Today it is my pleasure to host a look at Best-selling author MARY BURTON's newest release, THE SEVENTH VICTIM. As well as sharing an excerpt, Mary's also sharing some of her wonderful recipes for you to enjoy over the Holidays!

We'll also be doing a giveaway for a paperback of Mary's novel, so do leave a comment and your email address for us to contact you!!

Now, a peek at the novel:


                 He pushed his cup away from him.  “I’m not sure how much more Texas coffee I can stomach.”
                 “I made this latest batch.  It will be good.”
                 “Good coffee in Texas?  I don’t think so.”
                 She cocked a brow.  “Be right back.”
                 Before he could answer, Danni vanished behind the counter.  She grabbed a new cup and carefully poured coffee into a mug.  She moved toward him with quick, purposeful steps and then set the mug in front of him.  “That’s good coffee.”
                 “I can’t write legibly, and I can’t cook a lick, but I can make coffee.”
                 He took a sip and found he was pleasantly surprised.  “Good.”
                 “Puhleez.  It’s the best.”
                 “I’m from Seattle.  We are ground zero for coffee.”
                 “As long as I’m on duty the coffee will be good.”  She took the half-full cup and set it on her tray.  “Enjoy.”
                 “Thanks, Danni.”  As she turned he said, “Hey, didn’t that girl that was killed work here?”
                 Danni’s eyes grew suspicious.  “Yeah.  You a reporter?”
                 Raines shook his head.  “God, no.”
                 “Do I look like a cop?”
                 Danni arched a brow.  “Yeah.”
                 “Nice to see I haven’t lost that.”  At her confusion he added, “I used to be a cop.  Long time ago.  I guess the case caught my eye.  Hard not to ask questions.  Sorry.”
                 His honesty appeared to disarm her.  “No harm.  And for the record, I didn’t like what they said about her in the news today.”
                 “Straightforward enough.”
                 “I guess I just didn’t like the way they boiled her life down to bare facts.  She was so much more than that.”  Anger hardened her face, but there was no hint of tears.  “Her uncle is flying in tomorrow to claim her.”
                 “I feel for them.  I wouldn’t wish losing a child on my worst enemy.”
                 “Yeah, well.”
                 “What can you tell me about her, so I’ll remember more than the basic newscast?”
                 Danni’s voice grew softer.  “She was kind of corny.  Liked pink and singing Lady Gaga in the kitchen.  She was moving to New York.  I was kinda jealous of her.”
“You’ve got nothing to be jealous of, Danni.  You strike me as a sharp kid.”
She snorted a laugh.
“Was there anybody who might have wanted to hurt her?”
“Mack and I were talking about it, and none of us can think of anyone.  Like we told the Rangers, we’re all thinking it was some random guy.”  A customer at another table caught her attention.  “I’ve got to go.”
He watched as she moved toward another table and began to gather up plates.  Danni was a tough nut and no wilting flower.  Just like his daughter.
He could almost hear his wife now.  “That girl of ours is going to be a general one day.”
He sipped his coffee, thought of his wife, Susan, and how much he missed her, their daughter, and home.  Pushing aside a pang of guilt, he redirected his gaze to the patrons.
Within seconds he spotted a slight blond woman enter the café. She wore jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals and had a backpack slung over her shoulder.  She was as slight as a teenager, but she moved with a confidence that only came with maturity.
Lara Church.
Beck had been right.  She wasn’t the meek girl who’d fled Seattle seven years ago.  As a man approached her, Raines noted slight stiffening in her back as she extended her hand.  Her handshake was firm and her gaze direct.
She laughed as the graying gentleman in his fifties spoke.  After what looked to be a question, she pulled out a notebook and made a note.  They chatted another half minute and then she made her way to the diner register, where she ordered a coffee.  Just as quickly as she came, she was gone.
Lara Church, the Seattle Strangler’s last victim, had managed to rebuild her life.      

©Mary Burton

Mary Burton
Zebra Books/Mass Market Original/Fiction
February 2013/On Sale 1-29-13/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)

The tradition continues!  Baker extraordinaire and bestselling author Mary Burton is once again sharing her favorite holiday recipes. This treat honors the protagonist of her next novel, THE SEVENTH VICTIM, with a recipe both delicious and memorable. 

Lara’s Church Lady Maple Cookies

1/2 pound (two sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Cream together butter and brown sugar.
Add the egg and mix well.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla.  
In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt and baking soda.
Slowly blend dry ingredients into butter- sugar mixture.
Spoon cookies onto a greased baking sheet, leaving room between them because they will spread.
Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Sit back and enjoy!

It’s true.  I’ve forgotten how many people I’ve killed already but the number keeps rising—least in my novels.  I’m delighted to say that no one has yet expired as a result of my passion for baking.

This one’s a family favorite that the kids expect to see multiple times during the holiday season.
I hope your family and friends enjoy Lara’s Church Lady Maple Cookies as much as mine do.
Dressed In White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-3/4 cups flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
Confectioner's sugar

Cream together butter and sugar.  
Blend in coconut extract and egg.  
In a separate bowl mix baking powder, baking soda and flour.  
Mix dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture.
Add white chocolate chips and coconut.
Spoon onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  
Dust with Confectioner's sugar.

The romance between coconut and chocolate has made this recipe one that’s asked for time and again by my family and by those on my always growing holiday cookie list.  Even a few friends who say they don’t like coconut have a soft spot for these.

I always set a few dozen aside so we still have some left to enjoy as we ring in the New Year.  We pour the eggnog and champagne, sprinkle (probably too much) Confectioner’s sugar over them, and try to imagine what the next year will hold. 

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

Mary Burton
Zebra Books/Mass Market Original/Fiction
February 2013/On Sale 1-29-13/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vampires - The Eternal Fascination

Regardless of the passage of time, the intrigue of vampire heroes never seems to diminish. There is truly an eternal attraction to these creatures of the night. I’ve often wondered myself what the allure and mystique really is. I’ve written many stories and novels with vampire heroes, yet I rarely read them. (That has changed recently to a small degree because I’ve read all of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books, and enjoyed them, but the ones I feel are really wonderful are Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series!)

Having said that, I still find the passion for vampires one that has many sides to it, and all of them are intriguing for various reasons. In the new genre romances, I think we’ve seen a surge of “redemption” stories, whereby the objective is to “restore” the vampire to his humanity, if not his human/mortal state. While the romance of this is appealing on some levels, I much prefer a vampire who is comfortable in his own skin, so to speak. I’m not interested in “curing” the vampire of his curse, so often times those stories are a total disappointment to me.

I also don’t think there is a lot of noble sacrifice in the true vampire. This creature is by very virtue of its existence a mythical power, bound by nothing as mundane as constraints of morality. The traditional vampire is a killer, beyond the reach of mortal law. If your vampire has not streak of cruelty, or indifference to human worries, he loses a great deal of his power and appeal, I think. We look to this mythical being for escapism in reading and film, and while everyone has their vision of a perfect vampire, I believe for myself, that the good-guy vampires are often weaker than the counter-parts they invariably fight.

The sexual aspect of the vampire allure is another of those areas where a lot of personal preference comes into play. Realistically, if you can even use that word in this context, a vampire is not capable of the sex act. However, if you are writing vampire/paranormal romance, you don’t have much of a book if you hero can’t make love to your heroine, so once again, we have that perception thing happening. And once again, just how “dark” is this hero? If you create an ancient vampire, presumably he’s had hundreds of lovers, so the author is challenged to create a heroine who is strongly defined and unique enough to capture the attention and dormant heart of this incredible being. Therein lies the problem of many romances–the heroines are too often irritating, or weak, and you wonder why anyone would want to cherish them forever, especially a man who’s known so many others? All in all, it’s a fine line, and I’m not convinced anyone’s done it real justice even now.

Ultimately, I think vampires are seductive and alluring, but I also think amid that “glamour” there must be an edge of cruelty and power that is restrained and once in awhile brought out to reveal the nature of the beast. It is in those moments, we see the truth of the “curse” of this nocturnal existence. To rob a reader/viewer of the darker aspects is to short-change the entire mythos. The appeal is timeless, and everyone loves these creatures for different reasons, so I think it will go on enduring if writers continue to craft stories that capture the essence of the vampire appeal in some way. I’ve written books myself that experiment with the vision I have, and while not perfect in any way, I do hope they entertain readers.

Genres: Erotic/vampire/ménage/BDSM


When work brings Deluna Jordan face to face with a man who knows her better than she knows herself, she soon discovers he shares everything with his boss, including lovers…and a thirst for blood…and she is about to become the lucky recipient of all their desires…


"So, what is it this woman does again?" Rahve asked with little real interest, but considerable amusement. Cord had been distracted for a week or more, since Rahve had sent him to the Grayson show. Cord glared at him and he laughed at the irritation in the other man's expression. Rahve shrugged and turned his attention back to the figures in front of him.

"We need to come up with something truly spectacular for the new line," Rahve murmured as he rapidly read the accounting figures, his agile brain processing numbers as quickly as the machine in front of him.

"Are you worried?"

Rahve's smile was sardonic. "Are you?"

"I want to design something for Deluna's next show."

Rahve sat back in his chair and eyed the younger man. "Tell me about her."
It wasn't a request and they both knew it.

"Why don't you come with me and you can judge for yourself?" Challenge hung between them for a few minutes, then Rahve shrugged and rose from his seat. Cord was startled for about a heartbeat of time. He stood and grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair. "Have dinner with us."

Rahve's smile was contemptuous. "She doesn't know what you are, does she?"

"She knows everything she needs to know."

Scornful laughter lit Rahve's predatory eyes. "I haven't met a human yet who is that accepting of us, so I'll assume she doesn't know it's her blood you're lusting after more than her cunt."

"Stay away from her," Cord warned, "I'll tell her when I want her to know."

"You invited me to dinner," Rahve reminded him, laughter in his tone, "so let's go."

"I've changed my mind."

Rahve ignored his remark.

"What are you going to do if she falls for me?" Rahve asked as they headed for the parking garage under the Falcon's Flight office building.

"Kill your ass," Cord quipped. It was an old game, one he hated. Over the years, he'd lost more than one woman to Rahve's charm and power.

"Address?" Rahve asked when he'd stopped laughing.

Cord gave it to him and while he watched Rahve walk to his Ferrari, he wondered if Deluna would fall for him. Falcon had a remarkable effect on women, and she wasn't likely to be any more immune than most others. Rahve was an impressive male, six foot three, dark blond hair that was cut neat and stylish. He was built like a Roman statue, and he had more money than god…yeah, women loved him. For all kinds of reasons. A shadow whispered across his soul, an almost tangible harbinger of foreboding that made his teeth grind. Cord didn't like the vulnerability of fear, and he hated it even more when it was born in jealousy. Deluna hadn't even met Rahve and he was already worrying about her reaction to his boss....

Genres: Erotic/vampire/ménage/BDSM

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hot Winter Nights

This is probably the favourite time of the year for many people, while others dread it for various reasons. But, one thing remains clear, Christmas is a huge part of most childhoods, and we bring all of our memories and joys with us into our adult years. I’ve always had mixed feelings about the holidays, loving some aspects of it intensely, while other parts forever left me feeling out in the cold.

So, I decided one of the fun ways to make the holiday a bit more interesting was to begin my own personal holiday tradition–and I’ve been doing this for several years now, just for myself. I write a Holiday fantasy. Most years I don’t publish it, even on my blog, but maybe this year it’s time to share?

In keeping with Nicole’s Blog Hop, this year’s flash fiction is actually an excerpt from a work in progress novel called GOLD RIDGE:

Silence was the first impression to register on her mind when she woke. Deep into the night, the wind had howled and raged as the small cabin shook in the backlash of nature’s wrath. She’d endured storms before, caught in rain and snow, both. Nothing could ever have prepared her for the fury of a blizzard in the Colorado Mountains above Gold Ridge. Sheets of white hell had repeatedly blasted the house, swirled away in a tornado of frosted air, regrouped, then launched again into the next wave of the assault.

The battle raged well into the night, and she had been helpless to do more than contain her terror and hide in the relative oblivion of the bed. It wasn’t until Matthew’s arms had encircled her, and his rough, sweet voice purred reassurances next to her ear that she’d broken, and was able to release the tension and weep away her fright. Exhausted, she’d fallen to sleep afterward.

Hours later, sunlight streamed in through the windows, and peace had settled over the mountain. Matthew was gone from the bed and she knew he’d opened the shutters and built the fire that was slowly spreading warmth through the small cabin house. She listened, but there was nothing to be heard but the soft, serene quiet that was left in the storm’s wake. It was Christmas Eve, she thought with a smile as a flutter of excitement woke inside her. She hoped Matthew would like the gift she had for him.

She rose, pulled on a dressing gown, and went to the window. Her heart lurched wildly, even as her breath caught in her throat at the spectacular vista laid out before her. The glorious sunshine poured over the altered terrain, making it a glittering landscape shaped by white dunes. Like ripples in a pond, each perfect drift was ridged and topped by the cap of a wave. And, like the ocean it resembled, each breaker was of a unique height and the curled tip varying in length and sharpness.

The stark, unrelenting whiteness was painful to the gaze, and tears began to fill her wondering eyes, blurring the landscape, washing it to a hazy blaze of blinding lightness. She’d been in Arizona once, had crossed through the desert-like sands, and been awed by the barrenness, and the underlying power that lurked in the ground itself. She’d felt alone, inconsequential and insignificant. She felt that way now, gazing out at the desert of snow dunes. The radiant beauty and vitality of nature reminded her, sharply, of how petty the plagues of human existent truly were.

Wiping her eyes, she breathed deeply, shivering at the chill tainted purity of the air. Diminished, yet vibrant with energy, as well, she turned away from the window and walked into the main room of the cabin. There was snow inside the door, and she knew Matthew had made his way to the small barn to check on the animals. She began the process of preparing breakfast, her mind still filled with the splendor of the world on the other side of the door.

* * * * *

Hours later, with the midday sun riding the clear blue sky, Jason Walker arrived. He was like a dark ghost against the stark white landscape. Evangeline went into the small bedroom to dress properly, leaving Matthew to discover what had brought his former Deputy into the mountains so soon after the storm.

Evangeline heard Matthew's voice rise in volume, though she couldn’t discern what it was he said. The rancour was easily read and it made her nerves jangle anew. She stared at her hands as though she no longer knew them as her own; her fingers shook so badly she couldn’t do more than frustrate herself trying to connect the hooks on her corset. Her vision turned watery again and she bit her lip to force the tears to subside. She tried to connect another eyelet and hook, tore a cut in one finger, and cursed softlywords she’d heard Matthew mutter under his breath when he was annoyed and didn’t think she was listening to him.

She sucked on her bleeding finger and closed her eyes. A minute later she yelped in alarm when Matthew’s arms wound around her waist and he kissed her shoulder.

“What’s wrong, Evie?”

She turned in his arms and pressed herself tightly against him, hiding her fears as she snuggled closer to his neck.

Matthew felt the tremors she was attempting to conceal, and he drew her head away enough to look directly at her. The misery in her deep green eyes angered him all over again.

“I don’t want to go back into town, I know what they think of us, Matthew. Why in hell did Jace come up here?” Her voice was thick with the unshed tears.

Matthew bent to capture her mouth with his and the kiss was pure, sensuous hunger. Evangeline started to draw back and he pulled her closer, moulded their bodies together as he deepened the caress further. His hands slid over familiar curves, arousing and reassuring in equal measure. When he finally released her, his breathing was slightly strained.

“I love you, Evangeline,” he told her, his voice a low, husky drawl of sensuality.

She nodded, twined her arms around his neck, and caught his lips in another breath-stealing kiss. As their tongues stroked and explored, Evangeline’s hips thrust against him in blatant longing. Matthew’s body answered her desire, and his hands brushed leisurely over her breasts, thumbs circling hardened nipples, his touch teasing them to greater sensitivity.

He eased away a step and they looked intently at each other, vague smiles and shallow breaths a shared reaction to their reawakened passion. Matthew’s eyes swept over her, and stopped on the straining buds that crested the rounded swells of her breasts. He smiled, slipped the straps of her lacy camisole off her shoulders and down her arms until she was bared to his gaze. Evangeline took his hands and placed them over her naked flesh before she kissed him again, long and intimately.

The misery of minutes earlier was forgotten and distant, as Matthew’s touch created the thrilling, euphoric happiness that she’d never known before him. Evangeline started to walk backward to the bed, drawing him along with her as they kissed and caressed in frenzied fervour. She pushed open his shirt and let her hands wander over the well-known contours of his body as her mouth searched his neck with soft, wet kisses.


Matthew knew if he didn’t put a stop to their present play, he=d be making love to her despite the man who waited in the next room. Her fingers glided lower, found the hard ridge of his erection, and stroked feathery brushes of touch over him.


She went still against him and looked into his eyes.

Matthew gulped in a much needed breath, and leaned forward until their foreheads were touching.

“Jason wants us to go back to town, your husband’s not as popular as he thought,” he said, voice rough with denied need.

Evangeline=s face turned scarlet and she backed up in such a hurry that she fell on the bed.

“Jace is still here?” It was gasp of utter shock and disbelief. She was mortified, despite the lack of reason in her reaction.

Matthew looked down at her, his entire body still caught in the throes of desire. She was more naked than covered and her voluptuous curves all the more enticing for the thin garments that clung to her. At that moment, Matthew wanted her more than he=d ever wanted any woman. He leaned over her and his fingers expertly unhooked the partially fastened corset, then he stripped her of the silken undergarments. A second later his clothes dropped to the floor and he was crawling onto the bed.

Evangeline made a single effort to stop him, then clung as he slid into her, quickly and with fierce hunger. Her moan of pleasure muffled in his shoulder, and her hips rose to meet the ardent rhythm of his thrusts as he moved against her. She shuddered long minutes later, her body arching upward as the blaze of passion peaked. Matthew=s low groan of ecstatic release made her shiver again and she held him tightly as he collapsed over her.

“I can’t believe we did this,” she mumbled after several minutes of near-silence gave them back their breath.

Matthew chuckled softly, and lifted his head from her shoulder.

“I don’t think Jace would be too shocked, darlin’.” He grinned.

“No, probably not,” Evangeline whispered.

“I do love you, Evangeline,” he said quietly, his look suddenly sombre.

“I know you do, Matthew,” she nodded dreamily. “And I love you, with every breath I take.”

“Do you want me to send Jace back to town?”

She smiled, then shook her head. “No. He’s right. It’s time to go back and face the town.”

* * * * *

Now that Thanksgiving is past and the temperature outside is dropping I think we owe it to ourselves to turn up the heat and burn off some of those Turkey dinner calories. If you've found yourself on this page, I already know we're of like minds in that we love a steamy tale to singe our fingertips as we turn the pages. Whether we're reading or writing, we can always find some sexy stories to give us a tingle and warm us up in all the right places. So, please join me and my lovely co-hosts (Tammy Dennings Maggy, Amber Lea Easton and May Water) for some Hot Hoppin' on cold winter nights. We will be giving away a grand prize worth over $100 in value, which includes 11 eBooks and $60 in eGift Certificates and you MUST include your email address in your comment to be eligible for this wonderful Grand Prize:

$50 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Bookstrand Bucks
eBook prize package including:
A PDF copy of RETURN TO LOVE, an Historical Western, soon to be released in Audio format, and a set of 7 laminated bookmarks.

Historical Western - sensual romance

Clay Butler is a man who rules the quiet town of Cedar Springs with an iron will, and a code of honor that defines all he is. But the past haunts him, and the loss of a woman who was his second chance at happiness weighs heavily on his over-burdened mind... Little does he know that with the arrival of the next stage, love is returning to his world  hoping for a second chance, and understanding...

If you like the romance of the Old West, I think you'll love Clay Butler and his lady.