Category: guest blog post


This is the last week you’ll hear me talk about my birthday till next summer. I got a gorgeous box of chocolates from someone I work with the other day–these chocolates are so beautiful, it’s a sin to eat them, but I will, eventually.

My cheesecake will be here this week, but because my birthday falls on the busiest day of the week for the day-job, we’ll have birthday dinner and cake on the weekend next week. I’m still pondering dinner, but the cake was already decided on.

Today’s post really is about gratitude, not birthdays, though. I always try to find things to be thankful for, even on the hard days. Today I am grateful for a couple of things:

  1. My next door neighbor. She is an older woman who lives alone, though occasionally her son will stay with her for a few days. I sometimes take her dinner, but usually we visit in the yard. I worry about her right now, with this wretched virus still on the loose, and don’t see her as often–because of this virus, I’m trying to have as little physical contact with the rest of the world as possible, and her adult kids mostly are doing the same to avoid carrying any germs to her. I happened to be hauling trash out this afternoon, though, and she was working in her garden. It was 99 degrees here at that point, so it was hot, and she was in full sun. Just walking out the door into our carport, the heat and humidity just about took my breath away. But we got to chatting anyway, and I was reminded how nice it is to have a good neighbor. She welcomed us when we moved here almost twenty years ago, when her kids still lived at home, and mine were in grade school. We talk gardens, and flowers, and anything else under the sun, and it’s nice to be able to do that, even if we have to keep our distance right now.
  2. My garden. I have eight or nine tomato plants just going to town right now. The yellow cherry tomato plant looks like it’s done, and one of the Roma tomatoes looks like it might be giving up the ghost after just a few tomatoes, but the others are just kicking into high gear. (I swear my grape tomato must have a couple hundred tomatoes on it, and I’ll have to start freezing tomatoes much sooner than usual to keep up.) My herbs are big and sprawling, and some are blooming so the honey bees are all over them right now. And my hibiscus is absolutely loving the hot weather. It’s got a couple dozen flowers blooming and tons of buds all over it. It makes me happy when that starts to bloom every summer. The flowers are big and pretty. What’s not to like?

 

Before I go figure out some supper, I have a little story snippet for you, from Light the Way Home.

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Lucie should’ve known nap-time would be an issue.

Hayden frowned at her from the foot of the steps, hands fisted at his hips. “I’m not tired.”

She tamped down a smile at that bald-faced lie. “I promised your dad we’d do nap-time, and I don’t break promises, buddy.”

The little boy’s expression shifted to something different, more cunning. “You said you take naps.”

She smiled this time. “I do.”

“Then you gotta take one, too. Wif me.”

Gotcha. “Well, first I have to clean up our lunch mess.”

His frown returned. “You hafta nap, too.”

“Are you going to help me clean up in the kitchen?”

“’Kay.” He trotted toward her again, startling her.

He was good. She restrained a sigh and followed him into the kitchen. The clean-up wouldn’t take long really. She might actually have to take a nap, or at least lie down with him. Wouldn’t be the first time–just the first time in a couple of years–she’d been outsmarted by a pre-schooler.

Hayden actually did try to help, putting his plate and cup in the dishwasher, and his napkin in the trash, plus a bunch of crumbs on the floor. Lucie ruffled his hair. “Thanks, buddy. Now it’s time.”

He didn’t argue, just led the way upstairs, but he came to a stop in the doorway to his room. “I don’t think you’ll fit in my bed, Lucie.”

“I don’t either, buddy. But I can sleep on the sofa.”

He narrowed his blue eyes. “But then I can’t see if you’re nappin’. You hafta nap up here. I’ll get you one of Daddy’s pillows.” He ran across the hall before she could stop him, then reappeared, dragging a pillow with him. “Here. You can sleep beside my bed.” He swung the pillow toward her.

Lucie caught it. “Okay.” There was no point arguing. If she lay down next to his bed until he fell asleep, no big deal.

Hayden climbed up onto his bed and wrestled the blankets for a moment until he could slide between them. “Right there,” he said, pointing at the floor beside his bed.

She put the pillow down, then tucked his blankets around him. “Okay. Close your eyes.”

“When you do.”

She smiled. “All right.” She lowered herself to the floor, winking when he leaned over to watch, then stretched out. “All right, I’m going to close my eyes. One, two, three.” She shut her eyes, listening to him flop down and sigh. “Are your eyes closed?”

“Yep. Have a good nap, Lucie.”

“You, too, Hayden.”

For a few minutes, she listened to him fidget. Then it got quiet. She smiled again.

“Lucie?”

She winced. “Yeah, buddy?” She kept her tone low.

“I’m glad you moved here. Micah is too.” He sounded drowsy.

“Who’s Micah?” She should’ve let that go instead of keeping him talking.

“The lightkeeper.”

“Oh.” That explained that. “Okay, sleepy time,” she whispered.

“’Kay,” he whispered back.

This time when it got quiet, it stayed that way. She relaxed, listening to his even breathing. She needed to finish lunch clean-up. And maybe think about supper. She wondered what was in Nate’s fridge and freezer. Maybe after nap-time, she’d take Hayden over to raid her fridge–she probably had something in it that would need to be used up soon. She couldn’t remember right now what she’d picked up at the store.

She jerked awake, then blinked up at the small face hovering above her.

“You really took a nap.”

Lucie took a slow breath. “I told you I take naps.” She just hadn’t meant to do it today.

Hayden smiled, still hanging over the side of the bed. “I din’t believe you took naps.”

She reached up to tweak his nose, making him giggle. “Now you know I don’t lie.” She pushed upright. “Okay, buddy. Time to think about what you’re having for supper.” As she got to her feet, he scrambled out of bed.

“It’s not suppertime yet.” He caught her hand.

“I know, but if I figure it out now, you’ll be able to eat on time.” She bent to scoop up the pillow from the floor. “Can you put this back for me? I want to wash my hands.”

“’Kay.” He took the pillow and hurried across the hall while she went into the bathroom next door.

Her shoulder-length hair was a mess from her unplanned nap, so she did her best to finger-comb it into order again, then headed downstairs with Hayden, who plopped onto the sofa with a book while she continued into the kitchen.

No meat in the fridge, she discovered, so she opened the freezer. Plenty there, but now that she stood in front of Nate’s food, she remembered the chicken in her fridge. No defrosting necessary. Plus veggies in the crisper. She could roast them all together and have dinner in one pan. Less clean-up later.

“Hey, buddy!” She turned away from the fridge and came up short when she found Hayden a foot away, a book in one hand. “Oh, there you are. We need to run over to my place to get some things for supper. Let’s get your jacket.”

“What’re we havin’?” He followed her into the mud room and dropped his book on the bench inside the door.

“I’m going to roast a chicken and some veggies to go with it. Are you a good baker?” She helped him into the jacket, then tugged her sweater on.

“I help Grandma bake cookies.”

She made sure the back door was unlocked before she shut it behind them. “Well, that’s excellent. I was thinking maybe we could bake a cake for dessert.”

“I like cake.”

She laughed. “I bet you do. Come on, let’s do this.”

In under ten minutes, they were back at Nate’s. Hayden pulled up a step stool to the sink, and she let him ‘scrub’ potatoes and carrots with the vegetable brush while she prepped the chicken.

“What can I do next?” he asked when she handed him a towel and took over the veggies.

“Hm, let me think about that. After your fingers are dry, why don’t you get your book from the mud room until I get this into the oven? It’ll only be a couple minutes, and then we can mix up the cake.”

“Okay!” He swiped at his hands with the dish towel, then threw it at the counter before he ran to the next room.

Shaking her head, Lucie quickly finished cleaning the potatoes and carrots, then added them to the roasting pan, sprinkled some salt and pepper over everything and drizzled a little oil before she covered it and put it into the oven. When she turned around, Hayden was seated at the table, but instead of looking at his book, he watched her. She smiled. “Do you like icing on your cake?”

“Oh, yeah!” He nodded solemnly. “Chocolate is the best.”

“You think so?” She congratulated herself for thinking to grab the cocoa powder while they’d been at the other house. “Well, we might be able to do something about that.” She winked at him when his eyes rounded.

He helped with the cake, too, dumping cupfuls of ingredients into the bowl for her, though she had to admit it wasn’t as big a mess as it could have been. Teddy had been a much messier kitchen assistant. Lucie slid the cake pan into the second oven less than fifteen minutes later.

“Okay, now we mix up some icing, and clean up our mess, and we can actually read some of that book before the cake is ready to come out. What do you say?”

Hayden rushed at her and wrapped his arms around her legs. “Thank you, Lucie!”

She bent and gave him a hug. “You’re welcome.” Her chest squeezed a little, too, but she ignored it. “Thanks for being such a good helper. Okay,” she said as she straightened, “let’s make our icing, and then clean the table so we can read.”

She needed more than a nap, she mused. She needed a good night’s sleep to make up for last night. She was being too sentimental. A full night’s sleep, and she’d be as good as new.

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I have a guest blog post scheduled this Thursday, July 30, at Delilah Devlin’s blog, so I hope you will pop over and check that out, too. There might be a prize.

And maybe pop by my Facebook page on my birthday. I’m thinking about virtual cake (no calories!) and cocktails in the evening. Maybe a couple of party games, too. See you there!

 

Hello, everyone! I am happy to say we have a returning guest this week, with a quick interview and a hot excerpt of her shiny new release, The Viscount’s Pet. Welcome back, Kryssie Fortune!

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Quick Fire Quiz:

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Definitely energize. I get bad tempered if I don’t do something to inch my writing forward every day.

 Ballpoint or fountain pen?

Ball point. I write in a notebook, type up, then read it through before moving on to the next chapter.

What time of the day is best for you as a writer? 

Anywhere, anytime. If I have a free moment I put pen to paper. A lot of my early writing was done on the bus on the way and from work.

Who are three of your favorite authors?

Kresley Cole, Georgette Heyer, and  currently J.S. Scott. The last one changes but I’ve loved the other two for years.  ,

Which book – of all the books you’ve written – do you like the best? 

Always the one I’m working on. I’m proud of Taken as Theirs because it was my first book to hit the top ten on its category. I love regency romance, and I love my latest very hot Regency romance. Georgette Heyer would be turning in her grave.

How do you research your locations?

Internet and visits. A lot of my books are set in Yorkshire, England. That’s my home county. For my Westhorpe Ridge series, I hounded friends in North Carolina to check details. For my current WIP I visited Lindisfarne in Northumberland to scout the island. (Any excuse for a weekend break with my husband.)

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Long Blurb

When her brother tries to force her into a marriage with a detestable baron, Julianna Halstead flees the family estate she has helped manage since the death of her parents. But as she makes her escape late at night, Juliana’s carelessness nearly results in her being trampled by a galloping horse, and the steed’s handsome rider takes it upon himself to correct her right then and there.

Though having her bottom bared and soundly spanked on the side of the road leaves Juliana blushing crimson, the punishment arouses her intensely and her body’s helpless response cannot be hidden. To make matters worse, the gentleman over whose lap she was so firmly chastised turns out to be none other than Viscount Stonehurst, someone she has known since childhood.

When Stonehurst learns of Juliana’s predicament, he decides to make her his bride. She will be no ordinary wife, however. She will be something much more shameful. But even as she is leashed, collared, and put on display in a cage wearing only a tail, then brought out to be used in ways no proper lady should enjoy, will Juliana come to love her new life as the viscount’s pet?

Publisher’s Note: The Viscount’s Pet is a stand-alone novel which shares the Regency-era setting of Wickedly Used and His Innocent Bride. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Excerpt (Hot):

The horse and rider appeared from nowhere.

Julianna sidestepped and dropped her bag. Her ankle twisted beneath her, and she tumbled to the ground. When the horseman tugged hard at the reins, the coal-black stallion reared, its forelegs pawed the air. She screamed and closed her eyes. Curled into a ball, she waited for its ebony hooves to pulverize her.

The rider swore, the horse whickering as it planted its feet in the dirt by her face. Tiny dust clouds rose from the road. She coughed and crablike, she scuttled to the fallen oak at the edge of the copse. The bracken smelled earthy, and the thick foliage cushioned her bruised ribs.

Her heart beat overtime when the horseman dismounted and stalked toward her. Wearing a black greatcoat and muffler, he towered over her. Grabbing her wrist, he hauled her upright.

Even in the evening twilight, his hair shone the same blue-black as a raven’s wing. His features were familiar, but she had no idea why. One glance at his steeply angled eyebrows and she wondered if he was the devil come to claim her.

Her brother would have grabbed her shoulders and shaken her until her head ached. That or hurled vile insults at her. Instead, the dark horseman’s eyes twinkled with good humor. She couldn’t decide if they were midnight blue or ebony black. Their mysterious depths and sloping eyebrows gave him a demonic air.

His high cheekbones were so sharp Michelangelo could have chiseled them from marble. There was a cleft in his square chin that she wanted to stroke. His broad, kissable lips made her want to lick and taste, but they were set in a stern, disapproving frown. If he smiled, his dark charisma would mesmerize any nocturnal creatures. Bats, foxes, and badgers would flock to his side.

His utter masculinity sent shudders along her spine. Devilish and terrifying, he emanated menace and danger. She should be shaking in fear, but he sparked wicked longings in her soul.

Untouched and innocent, she hated how her nipples pearled and damp heat creamed between her legs. She needed his lips pressed against hers and his hands on her body. For a woman who’d sworn never to marry, that scared her more than his fury. If not for his tight grip on her shoulders, she’d have run off into the night.

Her pulse still raced, but she buried her fear beneath a haughty manner. “Unhand me, sir. I’m late as it is.”

Rather than let go of her arm, he tugged her closer. He smelled of citrus fruits and freshly gathered mint. When her gaze meshed with his, lightning bolts sizzled between them. Head bent, he moved toward her. She puckered her lips in anticipation.

Blinking, he straightened abruptly. “I could have killed you, you little fool.”

Disappointment crushed her soul. Her ribs ached from Kit’s assault and her ankle throbbed from her fall. Sniffing back tears, she thought of her mother’s pampered cat and tried to out-stare him. “My apologies, sir. I should have been paying attention, not daydreaming along in the twilight. Since neither of us is hurt, we can go on our own ways.”

“Not until you’ve learned your lesson,” he snapped.

Pulling free from his hold, she rubbed her wrist. Nervous, she retreated toward her portmanteau, ready to grab it and run. Shooting forward, he hoisted her over his shoulder. The undignified position made her ribs throb. His hand splayed over her rear end, caressing and stroking it as he pinned her in place.

Five steps and he’d carried her back to the tree trunk. Once settled on it, he thrust her over his knee. “Naughty little girls who risk their lives deserve a spanking. And I’m just the man to give it to you.”

Buy links

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Where to find Kryssie online:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

 

From time to time, we get to visit with a guest author, and today is one of those fun days! I have an interview with Alice Renaud, whose new story “The Sweetest Magic of All” is out now in the anthology Mystic Desire. (Isn’t that cover gorgeous?)

Let’s get right to our interview.

What is your best reading memory?

It’s a bit of a cliché for someone who write fantasy, I know, but I have to answer, discovering Tolkien’s books. First “The Hobbit,” then “The Lord of the Rings.” The Hobbit transported me to another world, full of adventure, poetry, and dragons. Oh, the mysterious door in the mountain, that can only be seen at a special time, by moonlight, when the thrush knocks… I was there, with the dwarves and the hobbit, holding my breath as the light fell on the keyhole!

What is the first book you ever wrote?

“The Salty Kingdom,” an epic fantasy with a wizard called Ariel and a mysterious land that the sea covers entirely once every thousand years. It never got published… but Ariel pops up again in the book I’m writing now, “Mermaids Marry in Green,” the third in my “Sea of Love” series. Ariel is relocated to London, younger, and a lot hotter! He is also mentioned in my story “The Sweetest Magic of All,” he is the hero’s brother.

What is your favorite thing about your current heroine?

Sapphire Seaborne, the heroine of my short story “The Sweetest Magic of All,” is a good girl, who discovers her naughty side at the same time as her magical powers. I like repressed heroines who throw off their shackles and grab life with both hands. It helps if there’s a sexy warlock to grab as well.

What does your travel bucket list look like?

I’d like to visit Jerusalem, watch whales, and go to Glastonbury, England’s biggest music festival. I haven’t given up hope to do all those things one day.

Also: don’t miss our great Halloween “Mystic Desire” book party on 31 October! There will be games, a chance to chat with the BVS authors who contributed to the anthology “Mystic Desire,” and many great prizes to be won!

Buy Links

Amazon

Books2Read

Blurb

Mystic Desire is a collection of brand new supernatural romance stories by award-winning BVS authors!

The Sweetest Magic of All by Alice Renaud:

When a sexy apprentice witch and a hot warlock go back in time to locate a magical amulet, they find more than they bargained for. It’s May Eve, the most magical night of the year, and normal rules don’t apply…

An Awareness of Evil – Dee S. Knight

Only two things stand between evil and a small girl: the visions of Amanda McMasters and Detective Brendan Gilchrist. Neither can afford to be wrong.

Bewitching the Wolf – Zia Westfield

The Witch, Alice Humphreys has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience the fantasy vacation of their dreams!  Brodie MacEwan has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expected to discover his soul mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? Alice knows that there is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t!

Calling All Angels – Lora Logan

Elijah Baker, an immortal tasked with fighting against demons that exist on earth, finds peace when he meets his new neighbor, Celeste. But when he realizes that their love comes with a cost, he is faced with choosing between his calling and a chance at true love.

Dream Catcher – Callie Carmen

Long ago, a medicine man had made a matched set of dream catchers as a wedding gift to protect the Chief’s daughter and her warrior husband. He had called upon the benevolent spirits to keep the two soul mates safe and in a loving, healthy marriage. It was foretold that if the two dream catchers were ever divided the new owners would be drawn together as soul mates. Was that possible?

Life Saving – Anne Krist

Saving lives isn’t just for adults. Sometimes the innocent magic of a child can do the job better.

Love from the Mist – Patricia Elliott

When Jace Warden learns that his brother plans to announce his engagement at a family get together, he flees to the other side of the world to escape the joyous celebration.

Or at least attempts to…  His plane never makes it, and he winds up trapped on an island. Little does he realize, he’s not alone; there’s a mischievous little entity milling about, and she wants to play.

Love Knows No Apocalypse – Patricia Elliott

Getting stranded in the middle of a storm was not Samantha Wheeler’s idea of an ideal situation, especially in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. But fighting zombies was the easy part; her heart, though, was a whole other matter. Thanks to a man named Steve Jones.

When they find themselves in danger, she has to decide what’s more important – dying for someone she loves or surviving.

Love that Binds – Carol Schoenig

On the outskirts of a small town where nothing grows, a young girl, Ianthee, is being bullied and accused of being a witch. Young Caleb, inexplicably drawn to Ianthee, comes to her rescue. Before they can explore their feelings, Caleb and his family disappear. What happened to him, and what part does a long-ago legend play in their lives?

Love’s Ghost – R.M. Olivia

“Sorry, babe. I know it hurts to hear.” John frowned.  I’ll make this brief. I spoke to the man in charge and he is giving me one last chance.”

“Come again?”

“I’m allowed to make love to my wife one last time before I have to cross over. So, are you ready for your husband? Are you ready for me, Ingrid?” He lifted my chin up and ran his thumb along my lips.  I felt a chill go down my spine. How could this be real? How could this be happening?

The Anniversary – Richard Savage

A cruel twist of fate wrenched Evelyn and Peter apart on their wedding anniversary. Evelyn’s life descends into darkness.  James enters her life giving her a chance of happiness. Evelyn discovers a piece of jewelry, that has the power to grant her time with Peter on their anniversary. She adores James, but needs Peter.  Can she ever really let Peter go, while there’s still a chance they can be together?

The Mortal Vampire – Suzanne Smith

Remy enjoys life as a vampire, never giving a thought to sucking every last drop of tasty blood out of his unfortunate victims and leaving them door nail dead. But his cold and carefree existence changes the day he crosses paths with the beautiful and mysterious mortal Angela.

Through the Veil – Jan Selbourne

A beautiful March day in 1875 ends in tragedy when the wagon carrying Helen and Marcus plunges down the mountainside. Generations pass before Rachel Finlay finds an old sepia photo of a man and woman. She knows them but she’s never met them and now, for the peace of mind she desperately craves, she goes back to where it began. In time, through the veil, knowing she may never return.

Unconditional Lust – Breanna Hayes

The massive, hideous merrow leader, Muruch, craves the taste of human flesh. Confined to the ocean, he feeds his horde with sailors from ships pulled into the maw of the Bermuda Triangle. When US Army Captain, Nurys Shaye, puts her life on the line to save him after being captured, his hunger for human flesh is shadowed by the desire for her body and her love. Will she be able to see past his appearance and trust him to break down her walls and teach her to feel?

 

Bio

Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is on pre order now. Alice has also written a short story, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” included in the BVS “Mystic Desire” anthology, on pre order now.

Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

Social Media Links:

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Goodreads

Bookbub

Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m home from the conference, the laundry is done, and I’ve even put away most of the things I carted home with me from New York, and now I have to go back to the day-job tomorrow even though I’d like to stay home and write some more. But we’re not there yet.

The conference was busy, jammed with people as you would expect when a writing conference is in NYC, the traditional home of publishing. Lots of great authors there, presenting workshops and signing books. I didn’t intend to bring a ton of books home, but somehow, my suitcase was packed as full as I could get it, and I still had more stuffed into a tote bag. It was quite a workout heaving my suitcase into the overhead on the train, and then wrestling it back down again when we reached my stop without giving myself (or my seat-mate) a concussion. I didn’t even bring all of the books home that I acquired–I sent a couple home with my roommate for her daughters. And I really was judicious when I went to the booksignings about how many authors I asked to sign books. Maybe they just multiplied once I got them back to our room.

We had a great view of Times Square from our room–if you wanted to be there to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve but didn’t want to be jammed into the streets with thousands of other people, you could see it from that room. Two women from my monthly writing group were also at the conference, and we had some really good meals while we were in the city. The first night I was there, I ate at a diner my husband and I stumbled on during our last visit, and while I was having supper, a group of NYC’s finest also came in for dinner. My writing group friends were disappointed that they missed it and wanted to make sure get to see it. One of them went back with me another night, and we were treated to the same nice view of the ‘Hot Cops’ as we called them. Our other friend was disappointed she missed that, but on our last night, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant nearby and she got her own view of some of NYC’s ‘Hot Cops’.

I went to a fair number of workshops on indie publishing, and marketing/branding while I was at the conference, so I actually started playing around with some new headers for my social media pages. I could use some opinions on what I have so far, so I have a poll on my Facebook page, and created a separate poll here. I’d love if you took a look at these and let me know which one you prefer.

Before I have to start really thinking about work in the morning, I have a little story snippet from my first shifter manuscript to share with you while I get in a little more writing time.

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Tessa could not stop smiling after she hung up the phone. Amy had whooped when she shared the news. Her second stop was to see the tiger.

He sat when she came into the room, his golden gaze alert.

“Hi, buddy.” She dropped to the floor in the middle of the room, almost bouncing. “I found you a wonderful new home. They’re going to come and get you next week. You’re going to love it. They’ll build you a huge new enclosure. You’ll have more tiger friends. Maybe even a girlfriend.” Tessa grinned.

The cat tipped his head, watching her.

She stayed there until her boss arrived, and then she shared the news with him, too.

Joe arrived in the middle of it, and she excused herself to gather her things.

“Your place tonight?” he asked as they headed for the door.

“Um, not right now,” she said, feeling heat rush to her face. “I need to get some books from the library.” She had left the books there last night–she’d been a little distracted by another tiger. But she really wanted to share her good news with him.

Joe waited till she’d gone inside before he backed the jeep up and left again.

She went in, a little disappointed not to find him waiting in the library, or in any of the other rooms on the ground floor. Hands sweating, she headed up the steps.

Tessa swallowed hard, screwing up her nerve when she got to the door. After a few more seconds, she let out a shaky breath and knocked. Once.

Nothing.

She shut her eyes and knocked again, harder.

Still nothing.

After a couple seconds, she decided to bolt. As she turned away, a whisper of sound alerted her to someone on the stairs, and she flushed, pulse racing. Great, now someone else would know she’d gone to Harley’s suite.

Except it was Harley who rounded the corner. He paused for half a second when he saw her, then a hint of a smile touched his lips. “Hello, Tessa.”

The sexy rumble in his greeting made her catch her breath, and she struggled to suck in a little air before she cleared her throat. “Hi,” she managed, suddenly aware they were alone up here. Her brain flashed intimate images from last night, last weekend, and heat flashed through her.

“I didn’t expect to see you this evening.” He came to a stop about a foot away. Just near enough that the warm scent of him enveloped her, teasing her senses. “I thought you’d be working late again.”

She found her gaze caught on his mouth, and she forced it back up to his, trying very hard not to think of all the ways he’d used his mouth on her. Failing.

As if he knew what was going on in her head, Harley smiled a little more. “Tessa?”

She gave herself a mental shake, warmth expanding from her middle. “I found a home for the tiger this afternoon. A reserve that specializes in cats.”

“That’s great.” He tipped his head to one side, his golden gaze sliding over her face until she blushed again. “And you came looking for me,” he murmured, his eyes darkening.

She opened her mouth to speak, but had no idea what she’d meant to say. Her system seemed to be on Harley-overload–she was much too aware of him, the quiet sound of his breathing, the remembered feel of his hard fingers on her skin.

Her heartbeat sounded much too loud and fast in her ears.

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Before I forget, I have a guest blog post going live at Delilah Devlin’s blog on Friday, Aug. 2, and there is a giveaway, so maybe you want to pop over there and give it a look.

Now I’m going to write and pretend I get to stay home to do it every day. What are you doing this hot summer week?

 

 

It’s been a while since I got to share space with another author, and I’m excited that the one to break that drought is Alice Orr, who has a new book in her ‘Riverton Road’ series releasing this week!  At my very first writers’ conference a long, long time ago, Alice was one of the speakers, in her former life as a literary agent.  Now I get to host her here with her own romance novel, so I’m excited.   Welcome, Alice!

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A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5

Mike & Amanda’s Story

by Alice Orr #Romance #Suspense #MFRWauthor #IndieAuthor

 

I’m not used to readers reacting ambivalently toward my female characters, much less getting upset with them, but this is precisely what might happen with Willow Fowler. She’s an old friend of my heroine, Amanda Miller, whom I suspect most people will like, maybe even a lot. Willow, on the other hand, is a restless soul. That restlessness gets her into serious trouble sometimes, and she is about to drag Amanda into serious trouble as well.

 

I might have my doubts about Willow too if she weren’t, now that I think about it, a little like me. She’s headstrong and sometimes impulsive. She knows what she wants out of life and what she does not want. She goes after what she wants, occasionally without as much forethought as would be wise. I’ve been known to do that myself.

 

But, the problem here is this. What kind of mess can Willow get our Amanda into, and how will she find her way out of the mess while saving Willow also? Or, is any of that even possible?

 

 

Excerpt:

Amanda had survived her unexpected encounter with Mike Schaeffer. She’d been cool and impersonal. She hadn’t allowed herself a blink of an eye when the rasp in his voice made her want to touch the tanned skin of his throat where she might feel the sound. Part of her was still infatuated with him, but she hadn’t let a single sign of that betray her and she never would. She was repeating this resolve to herself and fitting her keycard into the slot in her hotel room door when Willow Fowler was suddenly there also.

“Get inside. Quickly!” she said.

Before Amanda could fully comprehend her surprise, Willow’s delicate fingers with their perfectly shaped nails were flat against the door, shoving it ajar. She slipped through the opening as urgently as she’d spoken into Amanda’s ear a moment ago. She followed inside and watched her old friend hurry to the window, yank the draperies closed, then peek between the folds.

“Please, shut the door,” she said, sounding even more anxious than she’d been in the hallway.

Amanda dropped her luggage and slammed the door’s lock guard shut as if her friend’s anxiety might be contagious. She’d seen Willow’s eyes just now, and something in their lustrous brown depths had leapt across the room. Amanda found herself suddenly apprehensive and not liking the feeling.

“What’s going on here, Willow?”

“I’m in the most desperate trouble, Amanda. You have to believe me.”

“I believe you. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

“And I cannot thank you enough for coming.”

Willow darted to Amanda’s side to grasp her hand.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to tear yourself away from your responsibilities,” Willow said. “I know how busy you must be.”

“I needed a break,” Amanda answered. “Besides, I haven’t forgotten how you helped me all those years ago when I needed you.”

“Be that as it may, I do not recall anyone ever doing anything this kind for me. Not ever.”

Amanda smiled. Willow had always used phrases like, “Be that as it may.” Even when they were girls together, she’d sometimes talked like an old spinster lady with tatted doilies pinned to her furniture. At the same time, Willow was anything but spinsterish in most ways. She was irrepressible. Amanda’d had her own high energy in those days too, driven by her determination to get out of the North Country and never return.

Even so, her father’s relentless need to dominate and her mother’s distracted indifference could deflate Amanda’s enthusiasm. Those were the moments when having Willow for a friend was a special blessing. Amanda would plug into Willow’s exuberance and, before long, feel recharged enough to take on Jake or Millicent or anybody. Maybe Amanda could return some of that gift now. The possibility felt good to her, and right too. What didn’t feel either good or right was seeing Willow’s usual liveliness transformed into a state of near panic.

“What exactly has your husband done to you?” Amanda asked.

Buy A Time of Fear & Loving HERE.

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ALICE ORR is the author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now lives her dream as a full-time writer. She has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and resides with her husband Jonathan in New York City and New Jersey.

Alice’s Website – www.aliceorrbooks.com

Alice’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/aliceorrwriter

Alice’s Twitter Page – https://twitter.com/aliceorrbooks

 

 

I love being able to share new releases with you, and it’s been a while since I got to do that.  Today’s guest author, Lisabet Sarai’s latest release is out this month:

ReleaseBanner

Want to know more?  Read on…

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

 

Did that whet your appetite for more?  Well, I also happen to have a story snippet to share with you…

 

PG Excerpt:

She’s not what I expected. She’s soft and full, not lean and angular like most Californians. None of the gym-toned muscles everyone sports here in the land of sunshine. And she’s young, much younger than someone so filthy rich has any right to be. Her designer watch must have cost more than two months of my professor’s salary. On the other hand, I can hardly complain about her wealth, can I, since my pet project is the beneficiary of her largesse?

Hunkering down in the leather-upholstered back seat of her disgustingly opulent vehicle, I try to calm myself. I’m sweating like a pig, and my muscles are in knots. I gulp down orange juice from the bar I’d ridiculed and focus on my breathing the way Dr. Hopkins has taught me. I force myself not to count the telephone poles whizzing by. I know that will only make it worse.

When I pat my pocket, I can’t help grinning a bit. Two hundred fifty thousand! We can equip a new mobile development lab and hire two trainers for a year. Or take our outreach into junior high schools. Or even expand to some of the Rust Belt cities where the recession has hit particularly hard…

No, this wouldn’t be enough for that. But Dr. Zelinsky—Rachel—had indicated there might be more.

Rachel. Bringing up the search engine on my phone, I type in her name. I should have done this before the meeting, of course, but I was much too nervous. Up until the moment her limousine pulled up in front of my building, I still thought I might back out.

The screen fills with images and links. There’s even a Wikipedia article. I flip through the text, digesting the basics. Born in Brooklyn. An MBA from Harvard and a PhD—in physics!—from MIT. Looking Glass is her third company. She sold the first to IBM and the second to Microsoft.

A real high roller. And MirrorWorld is a huge hit—the main article on the virtual environment runs pages and pages. Since the Looking Glass IPO almost two years ago, the company stock has increased in value by an unbelievable 224%.

She can afford a quarter of a million for charity. For her, that’s petty change.

By the time we arrive back at my complex, I’m pretty much back to normal. At least what counts as normal for me. I nod at the uniformed driver who opens the door for me, trying to pretend I do this every day. The Vietnamese gardener is spreading new mulch on the flower beds in front of my building. Averting my eyes and ignoring his greeting—after all, I can barely understand his English— I hustle up the wooden steps to my second floor condo.

It’s quiet and cool inside. The soft hiss of the air conditioning soothes me. I flip on the stereo, something by Brahms, turn the volume down low, then stretch out on my bed, fully clothed.

The money is mine, free and clear. I’ll ask my sister to deposit it tomorrow. I don’t need to see Rachel Zelinsky again.

I can’t stop thinking about her, though. I recall one of the pictures from the web article, a black and white photo of a skinny teenager with a mop of curls, standing in front of some science fair project. She didn’t have those curves yet. No, but I recognize the expression, that determined set of her mouth and those laser-sharp eyes under the dark eyebrows. She was going to win—there was no question.

 

Theo seems hooked already, doesn’t he?  How about you?

For everyone who now wants to read the rest, here’s where you can find Lisabet’s book The Gazillionaire and the Virgin:

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin-lisbet-sarai/1123327821?ean=2940157884932

All Romance

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegazillionaireandthevirgin-1974313-354.html

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28766414-the-gazillionaire-and-the-virgin

About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

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Happy new release month, Lisabet!

 

Guest-Blogging

I’m getting ready for work, but I wanted to pop in to let you all know I have a guest blog post going live today, hosted by the always-awesome Delilah Devlin.  I’d love if you stopped by and shared your thoughts on the subject.  Oh, and there’s a giveaway!

Happy Monday!

early spring gardens

Drive-By: Guest Blogging

I had no idea this month was going to get so crazy.  I had intentions of getting a giveaway post up here (and still will before the month is over), and so much writing to do!  But tonight is not the night for either.  I’ve just finished the bi-weekly grocery shopping expedition after a super-long work week, and we won’t even get into all of that fun stuff now.

Tonight I’m really just stopping by because tomorrow, I have a fun guest blog post up here for NaNo prep.  How many of you are getting ready to write your fingers off next month for NaNo?  I haven’t done it yet–retail in November is not conducive to increased word count, but this year I think I’m dipping my toe in the pool.  I must have lost my mind, since November at work isn’t any less crazy than October has been so far, but I think it might be the only way I’m going to get close to making my writing goals for the year.  And in case you need a little inspiration, Robyn Bachar has been hosting a whole lot of guest bloggers this month in preparation for NaNo, including mine for tomorrow.  I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.   And let me know if you’re getting ready to write your brains out next month!  I can use some company in the padded cell when we’re finished.

This is just a drive-by posting.  My plans for the week went haywire, so I wasn’t around to share this yesterday:

The lovely Delilah Devlin allowed me to share another guest post at her blog yesterday, and there is a giveaway involved.  To check it out, go see Delilah’s blog.

Now I’m off to try to catch up on the things I missed the past few days while dealing with parental stuff.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

Caged Magic Tour Banner

A long time ago, in almost another life, I used to write book reviews for an online site.  I discovered so many fantastic authors that way, and many of them I still love.  One of those authors I discovered was Jennifer Lyon, with the first book in her ‘Wing Slayer Hunter’ series, Blood Magic.  Witches in hiding, the sexy, dangerous men hunting them, what’s not to like?

When I worked for seven years at Borders, I always had romance readers looking for something new, and if they were looking for paranormal romance, it’s a safe bet that I handed them that book or, if they were some of my regular readers, the latest in the series since I would have already hooked them at the beginning.  Now I am absolutely thrilled to get to share a little bit of the latest book in the series with you.  And make sure you read all the way through to the end, because there is so much awesomeness here, including an excerpt and a giveaway!

CagedMagic Cover

Caged Magic Blurb

Risa Faden is a witch whose ultra-powerful shield magic is slowly breaking her mind. But when her beloved goddaughter is snatched by a demon, she’ll risk anything to rescue the baby—including lying to the handsome, intriguing stranger who has the power to help her keep her sanity, save the child…and steal her heart.

Linc Dillinger is a Wing Slayer Hunter whose sexy, rich, bad-boy charm hides a treacherous betrayal that left him emotionally scarred. As a result he risks his life to protect innocents, but is incapable of love—until he meets a beautiful witch who can save his cursed soul. Risa’s fierce courage and loyalty reaches past his barriers and he begins to believe she has the magic to free his caged heart.

But Risa’s lie explodes into dark danger that forces Linc into a hellish high-stakes gamble: He must either win the witch he loves and her godchild…or endure a loss that will destroy them all.

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Now, how about a little bit of story for all of you?

 

 

The ache he’d just satisfied tingled, heat spreading at the thought of him inside her. He’d been patient, seducing her, showing her she could trust them. Time for her to do her part. They both needed to seal the bond. But she’d never forget this moment with him.

Even when he hated her later for lying.

Anxiety edged in, but Risa held on to his gaze and slid her hand over his stomach. Jeez, the ridges of his muscles entranced her. The man felt as cut as he looked.

Focus. She knew how to do this. Reaching his belt, she—

He caught her hand. “Wait.”

“Why?”

“You feel the bird, right?”

She nodded. The sensation of the creature winging gently around her magic almost protectively resembled being hugged from the inside.

“He’s helping you harness the magic. Let’s see if we can find your girl, now. As long as you feel him, he’ll keep you safe.”

Startled, she stared up into his eyes filled with wings. This man constantly surprised her. “Don’t you want to break your curse?”

“Fuck yes. Even more than that, I want you, want to feel you, to take our pleasure together.”

“Then…” She tried to understand. Kendall was his ace card, the one he could play to make sure she gave him that. “Why wait?”

“Because more than all that, I want you to be free to choose, Risa. Right now, you’ll choose to do this for Kendall. And God, baby, I respect the hell out of that. But it’s not what I want.”

Confusion spiraled. “What do you want?”

His gaze pierced hers. “For you to do this because you want to, not because you have to.”

Hot tears threatened, and her chest ached. Why? Dear God, why did Linc, this man who’d endured being sold by his mother, caged and used in ways that she couldn’t fathom, why did he have to be so kind to her?

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I’m already in love with Linc, how about you?  Ready to track him down and take him home?  Me, too.  And you can find him in all of the following places:

Caged Magic Buy Links

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | GooglePlay | Kobo

 

 

Jennifer Lyon Author Pic

About the Author

Jennifer Lyon, who also writes as Jennifer Apodaca, lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus One Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

There are 3 tour wide giveaways!

Open to US, CAN, UK

(1) grand prize $50.00 electronic gift card (Amazon or B&N)

(2) runner up winners of one $25.00 electronic gift card each (Amazon or B&N)

 

Enter the Giveaway HERE!

 

Follow the Tour

For more interviews and guest posts with Jennifer plus Caged Magic reviews & Spotlights stop by the tour every day!

The complete schedule can be found HERE!

 

I hope if you haven’t read any of the books in this series, you’ll want to give them a try now.  Not only am I really ready for Linc’s story, I feel the need to go back and start from the beginning of the series now.  I haven’t read some of these books in much too long.