Archive for September, 2010

Pre Halloween freak out and excerpt: Treacherous Wishes

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Aha! I found the cover of TREACHEROUS WISHES. It took me a while to locate it. Today I wanted to give you a little snippet you may not have seen before of Treacherous Wishes. An excerpt that is designed to freak you out if you’re someone who likes a thrill or a chill. What can I say? I’m a ghoul. Plus, tomorrow is October 1 and you know I’m geared up for Halloween and the event on this blog! Don’t forget to stop by every day because there will be prizes from some of the authors. 🙂 So, to get you started, here’s a spooky excerpt from TREACHEROUS WISHES (Ellora’s Cave www.ellorascave.com).

* *

A cool breeze drifted over Tammy’s body.

A hum, like something mechanical, buzzed in the background. Air-conditioning? No. More inconsistent than machinery. A human voice?

On the edge of consciousness, she knew she should feel fear. In its place physical discomfort dominated her thoughts.

Her head throbbed, beating in her temples with an annoying pulse. She lay on her right side on something that felt hard as cement. She couldn’t move and weakness left her listless.

Seconds seemed to tick away into minutes as Tammy fought with the fog in her brain and the lethargy. She tried to move yet again and found her arms tied behind her back and her feet bound. Sharp pain arched through her shoulder blades. Her arms cramped and she gasped. In fact, all of her hurt bone deep. Rough material scratched her forehead, cheeks and nose.

How had she gotten here? Where the hell was here? What had happened?

The draft over her retreated and she smelled something rotten like garbage. Nasty. She wiggled her nose like a rabbit.

Sounds invaded Tammy’s hearing, one by one, as if her body’s defense mechanisms didn’t want to overwhelm her. Subtle shifts occurred in her mind, and the confusion frustrated her. Scratching sounds breached the area, then a clanging.

As if a train passed nearby, the almost imperceptible rumble of a train along the tracks.

Then she heard something else.

Someone hummed a tune.

Shaking her head, Tammy opened her eyes. Blinking rapidly, she gazed through narrow slits in the material over her face. Dread glided inside her like a stealthy serpent. Quivering, she tossed her head again trying to remove whatever blocked her vision. No wonder she couldn’t see well. The scratchy canvas sack covering her head barely possessed adequate openings for eyes, ears, and mouth. Beyond the eye slits the area remained cloaked in gloom. She blinked as her gritty eyes stung. Tears popped forward to wash away irritation.

Through the shadows she perceived a dingy ceiling high above. Ropes hung from one section. The ropes swung with just perceptible movement.

Fine trembling passed through her body as she remembered what had happened.

Someone had attacked her.

The stalker.

Afraid to call out, Tammy listened to the sounds around her while her breathing accelerated and her heart turned to a steady trot.

Don’t panic. Must not panic.

Jeannette. What happened to Jeannette? Shot. The attacker must have shot the girl.

Turning her throbbing head to obtain a better view from the mask, she winced when the muscles in her neck protested. Maybe her attacker had hit her over the head. She recalled the pain, though her memory of the actual event clouded with images that seemed unreal. A dull ache spread along her right side, and Tammy dared to move. A moan escaped her.

Seconds later a slit of light appeared in a hole in the ceiling. Light? Morning? Early evening? Too much natural illumination covered the area for night. How long had she lain here, oblivious to the world?

Sweat beaded on her skin and her breath rasped as new anxiety nipped at her like a wild beast. Next would come the claws of lost control that ripped and tore. She trembled, aware she hovered on the cusp between holding together and certain panic.

No! Get a grip! I’ve got to survive and I won’t if fear paralyzes me. Hawthorne will find me. He has to realize I’m gone by now.

She lay tied like a turkey ready for Thanksgiving dinner in some weird scene from a horror movie. Through her stupidity and stubbornness she’d proved Hawthorne right. By engaging Jeannette in a fiery conversation, she’d allowed Jeannette’s feelings to overwhelm her, and she’d picked up the girl’s colors rather than the attacker’s. When his colors had come, it had been far too late to save Jeannette or herself from attack.

Self-recrimination tensed her muscles. She shifted, trying to relieve the pain. She must find a way to get loose. Now she was in this mess she must think her way out of it. Unease nipped at her.

What would Hawthorne do in this situation?

She heard a change in the mechanical humming and then in the voice she’d heard earlier. A shuffling nearby made Tammy hold her breath. Playing dead wouldn’t work. Unconscious? No. Better to face the fear and whoever had kidnapped her.

Seconds passed in agonizing increments and her stomach knotted with apprehension. Seeing the man who’d taken her from the alley would serve to relieve her in one way. At last she’d know the enemy who had killed her sister.

A board nearby creaked. Footsteps came in her direction, echoed in the cavernous interior. Fright skittered like ants through her veins.

***

Hope you enjoyed the chill!!!

Love From The Ashes Available Now & Other Snooze

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Do you like historical romance set in a different time period than Regency or Victorian? I know I love a good historical no matter what, but I also enjoy stories in other time periods. Several years ago I wrote a story set in 1906 and had a fabulous time writing it. My love for “different” definitely shows in my writing, especially when it comes to historical romance. I’m happy to announce LOVE FROM THE ASHES is finally up for sale at Smashwords www.smashwords.com. If you type my name in the search engine on their page my book will pop up. I’m so happy this book is out again. LOVE FROM THE ASHES won the 2001 EPPIE Award for Best Historical Romance. It’s a true book of my heart. Set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this story features an Irish hero and rich American heroine. They are definitely from different sides of the railroad track. One of the things I loved about writing this story was research. I’m an earthquake buff, and I did learn a tremendous amount about earthquakes while researching details for this book. Everything about this time in history, including the event itself, fascinated me.

I hope if you haven’t read LOVE FROM THE ASHES before you’ll stop by Smashwords and purchase a copy. You can get a Kindle copy there, but you can also get other formats. LOVE FROM THE ASHES will also be available probably this week directly from Amazon for Kindle. I’ll let you know as soon as that happens. Originally I thought I’d just keep mum until it also went up on Amazon, then I changed my mind and said what the hey! Tell you all now.  For a blurb and excerpt please pop over to the LOVE FROM THE ASHES book page on this website.

Other things in the works…please stop by Fallen Angels and read an interview with my good buddy Selena Robins at

Until later, have a great day!

A Man Who Would Die For You

Saturday, September 25th, 2010


Romance writers have a secret.

We know what makes a hero “to die for.”

As romance writers, we construct men that women will fall in love with.  At least, that’s the goal.  Most writers realize without a fantastic hero, you don’t have a great book.

How often have you read a book and found yourself falling for the hero? Rarely? Occasionally?  Frequently?  When you do find that irresistible hero, you’ll know it.  These are the men whose names you recall months after you’ve put the novel on your keeper shelf.  These are the guys you want to read about again and again.

Let’s face it.  I want to create characters that leap from the page and straight into the heart of the reader. Therefore, the ultimate goal is irresistible always.  Most people don’t realize that it takes a lot of sweat to produce a hero of high quality.  They think tall, dark, and handsome should fulfill the requirements.  While tall, dark, and handsome make for nice hero qualities, what does a writer do to create a special person that resonates with a majority of readers?

When a writer designs a hero they won’t please everyone.  Not all readers find the same looks attractive.  So physical attributes aside for the moment…I try to create a hero with elements most readers will find appealing.  Undesirable traits are sometimes acceptable if there’s a good reason for the hero to have them, especially if he works through those personality flaws by the end of the book.

Where do I find these characteristics to design my hero?  Well, what would you do if you were designing a new hero?

First, think back to old boyfriends.

Maybe.

Well, okay, maybe not.

Ahem.  Let’s try this again.  Think about the things that attract you to a man.  Make a list.  If you’re a writer, do some of those “ingredients” fit in the hero you’re creating right now?  Not coming up with enough ideas? Watch some of your favorite movies and if they include great heroes, seriously study those men to see what makes them wonderful. Make another list.

Below I’ve listed some of the facets I try and use when I create what I hope will be a great hero.  Granted, this is my opinion, but after analyzing those heroes I have enjoyed reading, watching on the big screen, and writing, I concluded there are some factors my heroes cannot live without.

Face it.  A great bod becomes boring if the man doesn’t have personality oozing from his pores.  Give me a hero who has:

**A sense of humor.  Readers may not see that sense of humor right away, particularly if I’m creating a dark and dangerous hero.  At some point in my books you will almost always see his humor.  Dry wit.  Out loud funny.

**Animal magnetism.  Pheromones anyone?  Come on, admit it.  You know who these guys are.  Some of them are portrayed in hazardous occupations.  Cops, firefighters, special agents, soldiers…you get the idea.  Heroines meet these men and their libido hits the stratosphere.  The heroine will have a reaction to the hero at a primal level.  This works well when the heroine is a little knocked over by the realization she’s having this down and dirty reaction to a man and can’t seem to stop it.  She doesn’t have to show her attraction on the outside, but inside she’s raging with needs and wants. A good example of such a primordial reaction is, “I want to have his baby.” A gut level, back-to-the-cave reaction from the heroine that shocks her down to her shoes is a good way to show her response.  Again, alpha males may project animal magnetism on the surface, but even that gentle guy next door has to have it somewhere in his make up.

**Honor.  A man with honor who is willing to die for what he believes in and/or to die for the woman he loves is the ultimate hero. Women drool.

**Mystery.  This trait works well for the alpha type, but can work well for beta personalities.  I allow the reader to discover a trickle at a time some of the things that make this man tick. I want the reader to read and read and read to discover just what the mystery is behind his smile or his frown.

**Tenderness.  A hero who can climb any mountain and still show tenderness will hook the heroine every time and guarantee readers will love him. This is one reason why a big, brawny man gently holding a baby in his arms turns women to mush.

**Wounded, but never a wimp.  The hero can be the brooding type, but readers have to feel he will pull himself from his slump.  The heroine may assist him, but ultimately he’s a man who takes responsibility for his own actions.  In the end, he makes the decision to transform himself.

**Strength of mind equal to strength of brawn.  Big muscles without brains are an obvious no-no. Academic and hunky is a major turn on for most readers.

**Deep down, in a major, most primitive way, this hero considers the woman he’s attracted to “his.”  Yes, I know that sounds over the top.  But it’s as much a biological thing as a mental thing.  It doesn’t equate to a radical or dangerous possessiveness.  It compares to his desire to love and protect her.  Speaking of protection…

**Willing to do anything to keep the heroine safe.  Many men worth their salt will guard their women with their lives.  This characteristic seems to be hardwired into a large majority of the males on the planet.  Many a heroine has turned to mush when a hero says he would die for her.  This doesn’t mean he picks fights or acts rashly.  It means he won’t allow a bozo to lay a hand on his woman.

I’ve listed only a few hero traits guaranteed to snag readers.  I know there are many more.  Are there other hero traits I haven’t listed that you admire?

Hot For SWAT: Within His Sight

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Admit it ladies. Many of you who enjoy books with alpha heroes love SWAT guys. So today I’m giving you a sneak peek into WITHIN HIS EMBRACE, the first book in my Heart of Justice SWAT series at Liquid Silver Books www.liquidsilverbooks.com. (Warning. Hot excerpt.)

***

Women respond to a man’s testosterone without any thought…

Tainted by bad memories of past betrayal, Mary Wickes knows getting involved with SWAT team member Dace “Hard Man” Banovic would be a big mistake. Yet working with him for six months at the sheriff’s department has proven that her hormones don’t care what she thinks–only what she wants.

Men respond to a woman’s softness without any thought…

Dace is puzzled by Mary’s avoidance tactics, and although he’s tried to ignore the powerful attraction he feels for her, he can’t help wanting to learn everything about the woman he’s desired for months.

When danger comes, sometimes it takes a special man and woman to see it through to the end…

When a hostage situation forces them to confront their fears, Mary and Dace must find the courage to face the feelings they’ve tried so hard to deny.

**

Women are preprogrammed to respond to the alpha male in a sexual manner. They can’t resist testosterone.

Mary Wickes watched the TV psychologist mouthing the words on the flat screen mounted overhead on the distant wall. Thank goodness for closed-captioning.

Noise in the bar had escalated in the last few minutes as the Friday after-work crowd entered, dusted with a skiff of snow and ready to brave what the newscast predicted would be a kick-ass storm. Might as well celebrate the coming blizzard with a shot of whiskey or a glass of wine.

“Women also look for protection from an alpha male and respond to him like they would in the cave thousands of years ago,” the captioning said on the screen. “Women are slaves to their biology.”

“Bull,” Mary said out loud, then glanced around in hope no one heard her talking to the television.

Nope. People laughed, talked over the loud music.

“Women can’t resist when a man’s chemistry matches up with hers,” the woman said. “It’s like magic. The draw is almost impossible to ignore.”

Mary snorted in disagreement. “Right.”

She shifted in her tiny booth. This pseudo psychologist claimed women had no control over their minds, their bodies. What complete and utter tripe.

“There’s a biological imperative why women find men with broad shoulders, significant height, and an … ahem … obvious sexual prowess a turn on. He’s a good provider, a protector, and he’ll give her strong children. Like it or not, the primitive brain responds that way.”

Mary grimaced. Yeah. Sure. Her hormones responded over and over to the wrong man, damn it. Admitting it didn’t come easy, and she refused to start. Who wanted reality when Thanksgiving came in three weeks, and she could hide from the rest of the world and enjoy peace and quiet? She could, on the whole, forget hustle and bustle and pretend the world outside didn’t exist, as she had for a few moments drinking her glass of red wine and enjoying dinner. Louis’s Bar was a far cry from a pub atmosphere. This place … well, it didn’t fit Gold Rush, Colorado’s small city ambiance. Young studs and studettes gravitated to this place as an alternative to sedate meals at home or in a local diner. For that much, she felt grateful. This place bustled with an energy in which she needed to lose herself entirely.

“Men respond to women they see as good breeders,” the television psychologist said. “Hence, the reason why blondes have more fun.”

Her mouth dropped open, and the last curly fry, which she’d anticipated with such relish, didn’t sound so delicious anymore. Blonde hair is indication of being a good breeder? More ridiculous folderol, as her maternal grandmother would have said.

Mary gazed at her hamburger. She’d eaten her enormous burger and fries with complete, guilt-free relish. She’d craved iron all day, well aware her “eat it before it gets away mentality” was motivated by exhaustion and working overtime for a week. It explained her snarky reaction to the television psychologist, her ’tude about work, and her bone-aching desire to head home and rewrite her resume. It also explained her compelling desire to toss one certain man right on his gorgeous ass and tell him to find a life that didn’t include annoying her with his sexual vibes. Prowess. Whatever the heck the psychologist on television had said.

She shoved aside her plate, satiated with red meat, and sipped her wine. Nothing like an alcohol jolt to substitute for bravery. She needed courage if she hoped to look for a new job soon. Spending part of her weekend designing a spiffy new resume didn’t qualify as enjoying herself. Still, she must do it. Had to leave Gold Rush before his testosterone proved Amanda Prather absolutely right.

And my willpower in the toilet.

Once out of Gold Rush, she could design a new life unhindered by male complications. She could forget that this certain man had turned all her well-honed defenses on their ear.

Her luck didn’t last.

In walked her living, breathing definition of sex on a stick. The bane of her existence. The reason she needed to run and run fast.

Dace “Hard Man” Banovic.

She almost groaned. She didn’t want to notice him, but she did anyway. Dace didn’t swagger, but danger defined his walk, and confidence radiated from him. His muscular, rock-hard form held all these qualities, and he didn’t have to say a word. Tall, dark, and handsome described him superficially. No, he was all of those things and none of them, a dichotomy of textures and uniqueness she’d find difficult to describe to anyone who asked. As he came closer, she drank in over six feet of broad-shouldered masculinity. His pitch-dark hair had started to thin at the temples, and this probably motivated him to keep it military short. This took nothing away from the striking symmetry of his nose and penetrating grey eyes. A scar, just noticeable above his right eyebrow, added a tough man look women seemed to find fascinating. As he headed toward Mary, she knew he’d seen her. She couldn’t run from the law.

SWAT had come to take her away.

As he walked by tables, women looked up and admired, tossing glances at him and smiling. Of course they’d notice him. After all, he defines all those things the television psychologists harped about, doesn’t he? Still, a woman should be able to restrict her responses, control her physical urges, by God.

Finally, Dace stood at her table and glared. He bristled with energy in his long-sleeved SWAT uniform minus all the heavy-duty combat-like gear. But his gaze pinpointed on her, and she glared back. As she opened her mouth to make a smart comment, he slipped into the opposite seat. What reason would he have for glaring as if she’d committed murder?

She brought the merlot to her lips and took a leisurely sip. “What brings you here?”

“Coreen said you’re leaving Gold Rush.”

“You should never believe anything she says.”

His nose wrinkled, which didn’t flatter its aristocratic length one bit. “Coreen is a good dispatcher.”

Mary’s teeth ached, thinking about the woman. “She can also be a bitch. She’s gorgeous, twenty-five, and thinks you’re seriously hot. Which you’re not … of course.”

“Now who is being the bitch?” The amusement in his eyes belied his words.

God, she hated it when he smiled, because two small dimples appeared in his cheeks and all that kick-ass-and-take-names attitude morphed into a devastating combo she never could ignore. How could one man contain that much testosterone and that much charm in one package? It isn’t fair.

“She shouldn’t have told you,” she said in defense.

“Then I guess you should have known better than to let her in on your plans.”

“I didn’t. I think Hetty George in personnel spilled the beans.” She reached into her purse and placed money on the table for her wine and dinner.

Dace grimaced as a new song blared over the speakers. “Damn it, how do you hear above this shit?”

She smirked and touched her right ear. “What? I can’t hear you?”

“I said—damn it, never mind.”

Before she could take the last gulp of her wine, he stood. “Come with me.”

“Why?”

“Because we need to talk.”

Contest Winners Where Are You?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Hey all, I’ve had this really bizarre thing going on lately. People who win my contests don’t want to claim their prizes. Very strange. The last two months I’ve picked winners and emailed them and nada. No answer. Very bizarre. August I picked yet another winner when the first one didn’t answer and that person still hasn’t answered. So I thought I’d announce her name here and now. Phyllis Hecker, you are the winner of August’s contest of either a pretty crystal bracelet or a trade paperback. So girl come on down!!! Email me at danovelist@cox.net.

Thank you.

Chill Me Thrill Me Month Starts October 1

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Hey everyone! Are you ready for October 1? That’s when the Chill Me Thrill Me Month starts on this blog. I wanted to give you a heads up on the authors that are visiting with us in October. Here goes:

Me, of course.

Elizabeth Naughton

Cynthia Eden

Donica Covey

Jodi Redford

Flo Fitzpatrick

Debra Glass

Zoe Archer

Shelley Munroe

Taige Crenshaw

Marie Harte

Lillian Stewart Carl

Nina Pierce

Cari Quinn

Marianna Jameson

Pam Champagne

Francesca Hawley

Amanda Vyne

Lise Fuller

Paige Tyler

N.J. Walters

Rebecca York

Terri Schaefer

Adele Dubois

Naima Simone

Christine Price

I’ll be blogging on October 1, October 10, 24, and 31. October 17 is a free day with no blogs. 🙂

Prizes will include trade paperbacks and ARC’s so make sure you stop by every day to see what is up!

I’ll let you know if we add any additional authors to the blog. 🙂

Guest Author: Zoe Archer & Warrior

Friday, September 17th, 2010

TGIF everyone! Today I’m proud to have awesome, extraordinary author Zoe Archer on my blog. Two weeks ago I discovered Zoe’s book WARRIOR (book 1 The Blades of the Rose series) on another blog. Just the cover alone caught my interest because it is sooooo different and catches the eye. Let me tell you, I am all about different these days. As soon as I read the excerpt, I knew that WARRIOR was extraordinary  and full of everything that I love. Adventure, hot romance, suspense, danger, action! What more is there? I haven’t finished reading WARRIOR, but I’m almost done and I’m loving every minute of it. You have to get it! Stop by here every month through December because Zoe is giving us an excerpt and a chance to win a book from the series each time she visits. Today one random commenter  will win a copy of WARRIOR. Here’s an excerpt to tantalize you.

**

Thalia leapt to her feet but kept her rifle close.  She shielded her eyes from the sun as a figure of a man appeared at the top of the valley, the light behind him turning him into a golden-ringed titan.

“Nice shot,” he said with a familiar gruff voice as he made his way quickly down the side of the hill.  “But I could’ve taken him with my revolver had he made it over the ridge.”

Thalia lowered her rifle and tried not to sigh with relief.

“You are an extremely stubborn man, Captain,” she said.

He came down into the valley with long-legged strides, forming from a shape of light into a very real man.  A man who was almost smiling as he approached her and she almost smiled back.

“In your case,” he answered, “that’s a very good thing.”

She wanted to say something clever and stoic, something a battle-hardened veteran might pronounce while calmly lighting a celebratory cheroot, but that was precisely the moment her mind and body both realized that she had just shot a man.  Killed him.  Not an animal, but a human.  Her legs gave out from under her as her vision dimmed.  She was a murderer.  Nausea clutched her stomach.

But then she felt something warm and solid beside her, around her, as she was lowered gently to the ground.  “All right.  Everything’s right lovely,” the captain murmured, his arms cradling her as he eased her onto the grass.  She let him hold her as she tried to find some air but couldn’t find enough anywhere in the world to fill her lungs, let alone take a simple breath.  The world retreated.  She felt the rifle slip from her fingers and it was only the quick reflexes of Batu that kept it from clattering to the ground.

“Now, just be calm, lass,” the captain said, quiet and steady.  “Have a look at me and be calm.”  With one large, callused hand cupped around her head, he turned her to face him.  His hat was off, and, through the mists that gathered inside her head, she could see him, as close as he had been the other day, no, closer.  She could see the hard planes of his face that seemed, at that moment, just a little softer, the bump on the bridge of his nose that revealed at least one break, the contrast with his beautifully-formed mouth, and the small lines that fanned out from the corners of his amber eyes.  His eyes, she realized, were not nearly as cold as she had first thought them, and full of living energy, almost animalistic in its intensity.  It was that immediate connection to life that started to bring her back from wherever she had been drifting.
The Blades of the Rose
Warrior – September 2010
Scoundrel – October 2010
Rebel – November 2010
Stranger – December 2010
*****
The Undying Heart – Now Available in Half Past Dead

www.zoearcherbooks.com

Excerpt: The Dare

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Hello everyone. As I was thinking of what excerpt to post for you, it occurred to me I haven’t posted an excerpt of The Dare in like…forever. The Dare is the first book I wrote with the idea of erotic romance in mind. I submitted it to Ellora’s Cave and the rest is history. The Dare was a departure for me. I loved writing romantic suspense, and I’ve always written very sexy, sensual romance. This romance was edgier when it came to the sex. More no holds barred and with the window as wide open as I could get it. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this excerpt. Warning: Erotic content ahead.

**

Mousy and just plain boring…
Tired of self-denial and being cloistered by her father’s over protectiveness, wealthy painter Isabella takes a vacation alone.
Tough and way too cocky…
Police officer Luca Angello is self-confident, powerfully sexual, and on the trail of a serial killer.
Isabella thinks Luca is shallow and only out for a good time. Luca thinks Isabella needs some loosening up.
Fear brings them together…
When danger throws her into his arms, she discovers that he can reach her depths in ways she never could have imagined.

**

Police Say Serial Killer Stalking Women in Piper’s Grove.

Isabella Markham read the headline in the paper and swallowed hard.  A cold shudder ran up her spine and made the hair on her arms prickle.  By old habit she pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose.

For one unnerving moment she wondered if she couldn’t venture anywhere without the specter of fear haunting her night and day.  “Great.  Just great.  I go on vacation and look what happens.”

She’d been here, cloistered in this condo, for two weeks.  In that time she’d read about murder and mayhem in a town that never saw atrocities committed like this in its hundred year history.

She reached for her coffee and almost knocked over the fat green mug.  Her hand trembled as she gripped the ceramic cup and brought it to her lips for a healthy swallow.  She read more of the disturbing article.

Police are baffled by the sudden and devastating series of murders that began two weeks ago in Piper’s Grove.  Three women have been brutally murdered, and now the townspeople are starting to question whether the police can protect them.  Many young women have left this quiet town in the last two weeks and headed for Denver, saying they actually feel safer in the big city than in this normally secure hamlet.

Bella shivered.

All you need is a good jolt of caffeine.  Everything will be all right.

She laid the paper on the breakfast bar and tried not to let old memories explode in her brain.  Thinking about the murders and what happened at her father’s estate in recent months would ruin her vacation and peace of mind.  She’d escaped to Piper’s Grove, Colorado, thinking it must be safer than Denver.  She would stay the entire month in the rented vacation condo or be out the money.  All she needed to do was be cautious, and she could still enjoy her time here.

Adjusting her glasses again, she inhaled deeply.  Nothing more to worry about. That is that.  She refused to second guess herself.

After another sip of coffee she felt better.  Today she’d take advantage of the warmer temperatures predicted and soak in some rays.  She shifted on the bar stool and glanced out the kitchen window into her next door neighbor’s window.

What she saw there made her mouth drop open and her eyes widen. “Boy howdy.  I don’t believe this.”

She didn’t often shuffle, half asleep, into her kitchen in the morning and see a gorgeous naked man through the window.  She praised whatever gods or goddesses made her neighbor either uninhibited, an exhibitionist, or incredibly unselfconscious about his body.

How could she be expected to maintain disinterest when the man paraded in full view with nothing more on his body than a smile?  No man had a right to be so damned beautiful.  No.  Beautiful sounded too girly-girl for him.  This guy didn’t approach feminine in any way, shape, or form.

Hottie.  Hunk.

Edible.  Tasty.

Whatever she called him, she could stare at him all day and never have difficulty explaining what made her want to spend the next twenty-four hours staring at him.  Or maybe licking him from one end to the other.

The man simply turned her on.

He looked just out of bed, tousled and maybe thoroughly satisfied by a night of hard sex.

Her face flamed.

Now your imagination is running away with you.

As he moved, she drank in details.  His rich, wavy ebony hair tumbled around his shoulders in disarray.  Small, white streaks of hair touched his temples.  Unusual, but the white hair gave him an added mysterious lure.  She imagined how it might feel to slide her fingers into those thick strands and tug him down for two hungry kisses.

Hah!  Who says she’d stop at two?

His nose looked strong, almost hawkish from this angle.  From this distance she couldn’t see as many fine points about his incredible face as she would like.

Yesterday she’d caught a glimpse of him in a muscle shirt and a pair of ragged denim shorts.  His butt, tight and perfect, had snagged her gaze and refused to let go.

She’d pulled into the driveway as he’d leaned over to pick up his paper.  He hadn’t looked at her or waved in greeting, so for all she knew he could be an unsociable bastard.  A white picket fence surrounding his front yard and hers didn’t keep him from seeing her front yard or vice versa.  As he’d walked back to his house, his incredible body had caught her attention and held it.  The way he’d moved suggested primal male animal, and a dangerous man with an agenda.

Wrenching herself back to the present, she zeroed in on his form again.  Her neighbor opened his fridge and reached inside.  Muscles in his naked back rippled and bunched along his wide shoulders.  She imagined running her fingers over smooth skin and hard sinew.  When he grasped a bottle of water and twisted off the top, she watched his biceps and forearms move.  He tipped the water to his lips and took a long drink.

Her gaze slid down, down, down.  Until she reached the naked proof this man had one world class ass.  His butt cheeks looked solid and oh-so-squeezable.  She flexed her fingers like she might be squeezing Charmin.

When he turned slightly towards Bella, her breath caught in anticipation and her gaze coasted down his physique.  She could tell he had a powerful chest and that at least a sprinkling of hair covered his pectorals and down over a ridged, flat stomach.  Below that…

“Whoa.”

 

Cover Love: For A Roman’s Heart

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Over the years I’ve had some awesome, awesome covers. This year I got a kick butt cover for Dark, Deadly Love that just blew me away! This last week I received a cover for For A Roman’s heart that is so stunning I gasped. It is everything I could have wished for. As soon as this cover is up on the Samhain Publishing website I can share it with you. What makes this cover so extraordinary? Well, the obvious talent of the artist for one. Second, it is my book. It’s eye-catching in a way I have never seen before. I’d almost say it is the BEST cover I’ve every received in terms of describing my story in lush, beautiful, romantic detail. Ah…sometimes things come together just the way they should. I can’t wait to show you this cover! Stay tuned to this website, as well as my Twitter and Facebook sites.

Caffeine Ramblings & Daryk Craving

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Good morning everyone. Or good afternoon or evening depending on where and when you’re reading this. I feel like zombieness is in order. I know that’s not a word. But it’s what my brain feels like right now after a marathon writing session last night. I started at 8:30pm and didn’t end until about midnight. I hadn’t intended to write that much, and in the analysis I didn’t write that much. What I did write, though, felt really good. When a writer gets in flow it’s almost like a high. A sweet, sweet high. At least it is for me.  I was inspired to work on Daryk Craving, the novella I mentioned that deals with secondary characters you’ll first see in Daryk Rogue. So…I got up at about 5:00 am this morning and caffeine is the only thing that is keeping me from going into a coma.

What’s the photo above about? There’s a castle/compound/structure in Daryk Hunter, the first book in the Daryk World Trilogy. Then you see another sort of structure that is a small castle in Daryk Rogue and belongs to one of those secondary characters I was referring to earlier. I see the castle above as a bit of inspiration for the wildness that surrounds the structure. So tell me…do you like short stories or novellas thrown into a series or trilogy if they help you complete, in your mind, some things that aren’t wrapped up in the other full length novels?

Well, I am off to consume more caffeine, possibly do more writing. See you later.