Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Things You May Not Know About Mia Downing...

Today I'm doing something we've been doing on Facebook--posting things people may not know about you. Of course, someone knows some of this stuff. I don't have enough skeletons in my closet to surprise the world. But I do have a few neat things you may not know. I'm going to do five writing things and five personal things.

1) I don't write scenes in order. I write the beginning, then the ending, then fill in the middle. Scenes are all out of order and come when the muse strikes.

2) I wrote my first story in 4th grade when I wrote the sequel to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I didn't like how the book ended and I wanted more, so I filled a spiral notebook with a really neat story.

3) I didn't always write erotic romance. My first penned romances were historicals and they were quite unsexy. I also have a few unsexy contemporaries in boxes under my bed.

4) I have my fingers in many areas of the publishing world. I was a technical writer and an editor before I published my first fiction novel.

5) I let my editor, Diana Carlile, have #5 because I got stuck. She said you'd find it interesting that I do write to a playlist (certain songs for certain characters) and I like to torture my characters. I think she means with conflict, though there are a few heroes I've written I'd love to tie to my bedpost and torture with kisses... Anyway. That's two things, but she's the boss so she gets to say whatever she likes.

Personal things:
1) I have SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) which is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. I have been diagnosed since 1997 and have both skin and major organ involvement. To read more, visit The Lupus Foundation of America.

2) I am scared of heights. I hate the glass elevator in the mall and my kids laugh when I hide in the corner with my face stuffed toward the metal side.

3) I worked in a restaurant as a line chef for 2 years. My family won't eat any of the recipes I can make.

4) I am not a big fan of movies. I go to one or two a year. That means I have to work harder scoping out the hot male actors.

5) Neither my husband or I wear a wedding ring (I do have a beautiful ring, though.) A ring is a safety hazard in both of our day jobs. Both of us know people in our professions who have lost their ring finger in an accident.  :-O I wear mine for special occasions and when we go out.

What about you? Is there anything you want to share? :-) Don't be shy!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monica Epstein and May I Have Permission? To Use Song Lyrics, That Is...#TWRP #romance

Today we have The Wild Rose Press author Monica Epstein, discussing song lyrics and their copyright, and her new release, Where There Is Will. This was a really neat post, so I hope you enjoy! 


May I Have Permission? To Use Song Lyrics, That Is
By Monica Epstein

WHERE THERE IS WILL began as a short story about a middle-aged woman trying to boost her self-esteem by betting a young man that she could find twenty songs on her MP3 player that he liked. (Desperate, I know. I think she and I were going through a midlife crisis at the same time.) Much of the story involved discussion of contemporary artists and specific songs, with only a smattering of details that suggested what led to the demise of the heroine’s self-esteem in the first place.

As the tale evolved into something much bigger than a short story, music remained an underlying theme. In fact, the original manuscript (then titled MUSIC SHOWDOWN) had the hero, Will, and the heroine, Michelle, exchanging an MP3 player back and forth, each sharing songs, specific lyrics included, that bore significant messages to the other or to their relationship, which was growing from friendship to love. 

So what would it take to gain permission to use song lyrics?

The more I researched, the more I learned it wasn’t feasible to quote a multitude of songs. But there was one song I didn’t want to let go. I went as far as applying for copyright permission, figuring that any publisher taking a chance on a brand new author (me) wasn’t going to foot the bill for copyright permission. The application included questions like, “How many copies of the book does your publisher plan to print?”

Publisher? What publisher?

I made up a number.

I also had to include a book synopsis and the context in which the lyrics were used. That is, I had to submit not only the text that used the lyrics, but also the page before and the page after the lyrics. I suppose this ensured that I wasn’t writing anything nasty about the song or I wasn’t misrepresenting the song in any way, such as claiming a character wrote it.

A few weeks later—much sooner than I expected—I got their response. For $75 (not an unreasonable cost), I could run a total of 500 copies, both print and e-book combined. Before even considering if I would settle for so few books, I read the deal breaker: “ebook permissions granted provided that the document is password protected and available digital rights management software be embedded to prevent pages from being copied, pasted, and/or printed.”  That requirement was too limiting.

This story has a happy ending, however. My final rewrite, the one I did based on the suggestions of my Wild Rose Press editor, took the story in a new direction—one that made the song lyrics obsolete.

The lyrics might not be in the book, but they’re still on my iPod. :-) 

WHERE THERE IS WILL by Monica Epstein
Genre: Women’s fiction/Romance
Word count: 88,000
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication dates: World-wide release April 11, 2014 (Currently available for Kindle)

Blurb for Where There Is Will...
When she moves to London following her divorce, Michelle Loeser has no interest in looking for love. She needs to focus on surviving without her ex’s six-figure income, coping with a severe fear of heights, and rebuilding her confidence. And if she keeps her promise to her best friend, she’ll pursue her passion for writing too.

Will Sheridan found his passion early in life. At age eleven, he was cast in the starring role in a film series. Now, at the age of 25, he’s a celebrity at a crossroads in his career. He has no time for women who don’t understand his priorities.

When Will offers to help Michelle acclimate to the unfamiliar city in exchange for cooking lessons, she figures what’s the harm? But jealous fans and coworkers, eager paparazzi, and a distrustful mother see it differently.

Excerpt from Where There Is Will:

Because we had a product release to the American market fast approaching, I stayed late at the office, picked up a bite to eat before boarding the Tube, and headed straight to Caryn’s for mah jongg. I walked into her flat and knew something was wrong immediately by how quiet my friends were. “What’s happened? Or have you been talking about Will and me?”
Penny turned to Amanda, who looked at Caryn.
I settled my gaze on Caryn. “Well?”
“We have, but there’s more to it.” Caryn faced Amanda.
“Will you three stop looking at each other and tell me?”
“I’ll tell because I saw it,” Amanda volunteered. “I was watching an entertainment news program while eating dinner.”
Penny snorted. “A gossip show.”
“Call it what you like,” Amanda said, “but the point is you and Will were mentioned.”
I brushed my hair away from my face. “What did they say?”
“They showed a picture of you and Will entering your flat, and one of him leaving it the following morning.”
“How could you tell it was the following morning?”
“The one with both of you was definitely taken at night. It was dark and the street light was on. The one of Will alone looked like it was taken in daylight. And he was dressed the same, so I figured it was the next day.”
I shrugged. “So what? That’s no worse than the towel picture.”
“There’s more,” Penny said.
I dropped into a chair at the table.
Amanda continued. “They mentioned your name, what you do for a living, where you live and work, and that you’re a forty-five-year-old divorced American.”
“I won’t be forty-five until the end of next month,” I corrected, although it wasn’t important. “How do you think they found all this out about me?”
“I imagine it’s public record who rents flats where,” Caryn said. “I can call the management company to see if anyone has inquired about you.”
“Maybe they followed Will and me. We were together last night. They either saw us at the restaurant and followed us to my flat, or they had been following Will all evening—from the studio, to my place, to the restaurant, and back again. Seems like an awful waste of time.”
“Those pictures can be worth a lot of money to them,” Amanda pointed out.
“Do you think someone camped out in front of your flat all night?” Caryn asked.
“That’s a frightening thought,” Penny said. She gave my arm a comforting pat.
“I think you should tell Will,” Amanda suggested. “He should be on the lookout for someone following him.”
“But now someone could be following Michelle too,” Caryn added.
My stomach was as tight as an overstretched rubber band. “Will warned me there would be issues if our relationship was out. He’s always been so careful not to do anything in public that might be construed as personal.”
“Except for running around in a towel,” Amanda mumbled.
My glare caused her to smile. “I was trying to lighten things up a little. And for the record, I’m glad you gave in to your desires. How was it?”
“Amanda,” Penny said, “our friend’s private life was revealed on telly, and you want to know how the sex was?”
“What’s wrong with that?” She turned to me. “Well?”
“It was wonderful, fantastic, better than I dreamed of,” I said offhandedly. “But I’d still like to know how the reporter found out so much about me.”
Caryn put her arm around my shoulder. “It’s unnerving, but I’m sure you’re not in any danger. Isn’t that right, ladies?” She turned to the others for backup.
“That’s right. They’re not out to harm you,” Penny reassured.
Amanda remained quiet, and Caryn gave her the eye.
“I don’t think they intend any physical harm,” Amanda began, “but, undoubtedly, there have been instances where harm has been done by paparazzi.”
“We’re not talking about blood-thirsty paparazzi,” Caryn growled. “Let’s not scare Michelle. Can we play now?”
Penny and Amanda began shuffling the mah jongg tiles. I joined them, but my mind wasn’t on the game. Now I understood why Will liked to keep his girlfriends out of the public eye.
I took the Tube home from Caryn’s like I always did, but this time I was more aware of my surroundings: the Indian woman dressed in a sari, a cute little girl beside her; the man wearing the herringbone ivy cap, reading the newspaper; and the two teenage girls covered in tattoos and piercings, talking too fast for me to determine what language they were speaking.
As I walked the short distance to my building, I kept glancing over my shoulder, feeling like someone was there. By the time I engaged the deadbolt, it felt like someone was playing the bongos in my chest.
Despite sleeping alone in my apartment every night without any concerns, tonight I placed a chair against my front door and kept my phone within easy reach, just in case.

Available now only on Amazon!
World wide release date 4/11/2014

Author Bio:
Monica Epstein writes about topics that appeal to women like
herself—over 40 and nowhere near ready to throw in the towel and call it a life. Her first novel, Where There Is Will, is published by The Wild Rose Press.

A mother of three, Monica lives in a suburb of Washington, D.C. with her husband, their teenage daughter, and a small collection of hats and fascinators. She dreams of being the Queen of England in her next life.

Connect with Monica:


Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Martha O'Sullivan and Chance Encounter of a Lifetime #contemporary #romance

Today we have author Martha O'Sullivan talking about her own chance encounter of a lifetime and her The Chances Trilogy. This Midwestern girl has a sexy excerpt for you as well as some gorgeous covers to have a gander at. Enjoy! 


(Chance) Encounter of a Lifetime by Martha O'Sullivan
My love affair with California began at the tender age of fifteen and continues today, three decades later. So
Available at Amazon
it should come as no surprise that the book of my heart, which somehow turned into a trilogy, is set there.

Maybe it was the indescribable thrill of a Midwestern girl seeing the ocean for the first time (we have a lake in Chicago, but it's not the same). Or the sight of unapologetically bronzed coeds with movie-star teeth driving silver metallic convertibles and playing volleyball in the sand. Perhaps the towering palm trees swaying against the impossibly blue sky? But that was in Southern Cal; my Chances trilogy takes place in Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, hundreds of miles north.

I was an unassuming only child of the 70's, growing up in a place where a short, precious summer turned into a long, cold winter seemingly overnight. What else was I to do but read (thanks, Carolyn Keene)?

In high school, I often opted for the city bus because it stopped in front of the library. Just a branch, mind you, but they had loads of paperback books. And no matter the inventory du jour, I was drawn to the revolving wire rack of romance novels. Harlequin Presents, Danielle Steel and later on, Nora Roberts.

Available at Amazon

The books took me to places all over the world where effortlessly beautiful, wonderfully flawed heroines were swept off their feet by dynamic, irresistible heroes. I preferred the books to the afternoon soaps because I could imagine the characters in my mind’s eye. And if I found the ending disappointing or abrupt, I would simply continue the story in my head.

Writing such ideas down, however, took another thirty years.

In the interim, I went to college and met my own prince charming. And he took me to San Francisco on our honeymoon.

And, as cliché as it sounds, that’s where I left my heart. Well, part of it anyway. Because eight years and two babies later, he took me to Lake Tahoe for the very first time.

And my frisson with California moved even farther north.

I hope my books will take you there. And you’ll leave a little piece of yours behind too.

More About Chance Encounter...
In Second Chance, star-crossed lovers Brian Rembrandt and Lindsay Foster get a second chance at love. And their wedding beneath the twinkling stars of Lake Tahoe serves as the perfect backdrop for another match made in heaven. But it's more complicated than that...

The last thing Delaney Richards was looking for at college roommate Lindsay Foster's wedding was love. The long hours at the office were finally paying off--she could all but feel the vice-presidency in her bones. And she was counting on this week in San Francisco to seal the deal. But first she had to get through the wedding--Delaney’s first since her own. Almost wedding, that is. You can't have a wedding without a groom.

Renowned ladies’ man Mike Savoy hadn't counted on seeing devastatingly beautiful Delaney Richards again at his best friend's wedding in Tahoe, let alone find himself falling in love with her. Now he has to convince her the feeling is mutual--and unfailing. But the past can be a killer. And the only way Mike can ensure a future with Delaney is to push her away. But when blackmail turns to ransom, Mike is the only one who can save her. To survive, Delaney must trust the heart that once betrayed her.

Chance Encounter Excerpt (sexy):
Mike watched Delaney’s eyes sweep the repetitive-hued room, then the terrace. The double doors were open, allowing the breeze to raise the curtains puddling on the Gainsboro-colored carpeting. Beyond the silhouette of the city was framed in black filigree.

“You wanted a balcony,” he reminded her smugly.

She turned to him in openmouthed wonder, then walked through the living room and outside. Her fingertips brushed the back of the cushions on the wrought iron chairs as she made her way to the railing. “I don’t know what to say.”

He followed her. “Say you’ll stay here with me tonight.”

She studied him in bewilderment, as if the question was absurd. “Of course I’ll stay here with you. I’ll go anywhere with you.”

Because she loved and trusted him, he inwardly amazed. He brought her hands to his lips and kissed them. “I know how hard it is for you to trust someone again. I won’t let you down, I promise.” He hesitated, then decided the time had come. “I love you, Laney.”

He watched her eyes fill and mouth tighten as she bit back the tears. Then she choked, “I love you, too. I love you so much. And I’m so scared.”

Mike let out an overdue breath. “So am I. I’ve never loved anyone before.”

“Neither have I.”

He jolted back a little, nonplussed.

She shook her head from side to side purposefully. “That wasn’t real love. I know that now. That part of me didn’t exist before you.” She fell into him and the tears sprung from her eyes, dotting the collar of his white shirt.

Looking upward, he gave silent thanks. Then he said, “And as if that isn’t enough, my family loved you too.”

He felt her collective sigh. “They did?”

“Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t they?”

“For one thing, I was worried about was being compared to the other women in your life.”

“That’s impossible. There’s no one for them to compare you to. Not that they would anyway. My family isn’t like—”

“I didn’t mean that way,” Delaney demurred.

“Let me finish, please.” Suddenly agitated, he raked a hand through his hair and began to pace on the tiny terrace. “There is no one for them to compare you to because I’ve never introduced them to someone like you before. Occasionally I’ve brought a woman, a date, a friend, to family gatherings, but never the same woman twice. Sometimes we wouldn’t even stay the evening, let alone,” he glanced at his watch and confirmed his suspicions, “until midnight.”

She started to say something, but he thwarted it with his palm. “You’re right. There have been many women in my life, in my bed. Very few have met my family. None of whom I’ve given jewelry, missed when we’re apart for a few hours, thought about constantly, and rearranged my schedule for.” He returned to her. “And most importantly, loved.”

Her eyes were shining, dancing now. “You rearranged your schedule?”

Mike was beside himself. “Out of all that, the schedule was what you got?”

“No. I got the loved part at the end.”

“Laney,” he whispered with jagged breath. “Of course they loved you. I knew they would. What’s not to love?”

She laughed away the words. “Oh, I can think of a few things.”

“I can only think of one.”

Dismay replaced the goodwill in her eyes and her brow crinkled. “You can?”

“Yeah,” he declared evenly. “Loving each other isn’t enough for me.”

He watched the color drain from her face. “It’s not?”

“No.” He raised their joined hands. “I want you to belong to me. I want to belong to you too.”

“I do.” She tripped over the words. “I thought you already did.”

“I mean for good.” He stoked her cheek with the back of his fingers, knowing he’d been sure all along. “I mean forever. Can you see yourself loving me forever?”

She gasped, and with a measured nod managed, “Can you see yourself loving me forever?”

“I know I can. I know I want to. I want to make love to you tonight and every night for the rest of my life. You and only you.”

She seemed to believe him for the first time. “I want that too,” she gushed. “I could never be with another man now. I couldn’t bear for you to touch someone else.”

“I won’t,” he promised, cradling her chin in his hands. “Ever. I’m not asking you tonight. I won’t rush you. I just needed to know if—”

She quieted his lips with her forefinger. “The answer is yes. Whether you ask me tonight or ten thousand nights from now.”

Indescribably happy, Mike tasted her tears, then rested his forehead against hers. “That will have to wait until I can ask you properly. However,” his mouth found hers again and began to feed, “there is something I can ask you tonight.”

She tilted her head back as he showered her throat with kisses. “Hmm. What would that be?”

“I want to taste you. I want you to taste me too.”

That seemed to surprise, then intrigue her. She righted her head and found his gaze with wide eyes. “You can do anything you want to me.” Her tone was dark and full of challenge. “I’m yours, remember?”

He could do nothing but mumble her name, willing his moral compass to hold steady.

Her ensuing words made that nearly impossible. “You’ll be the first man to touch me that way. Now I wish you were the only man to touch me at all.”

Mike swallowed the shock and wondered if she could feel him hardening behind the zipper. “As long as I’m the last.”

She responded by silently backing up into the bedroom and reaching behind her. A second later the dress fell to the floor. “I’ve been waiting all night to show you what’s under my dress.”

He supposed the foghorns still boomed from the bridge, the seals continued to bark on the pier, the cars buzzed along on the street below. But Mike’s mind discounted all that. In his head, his hands were already running down Delaney’s tawny shoulders. They lingered at the curve of her breasts before pausing on her svelte waist and then resting on her willowy hips.

And his cock wasn’t far behind.

He shut the French doors behind him and loosened his collar. “I’ve been waiting all night to see what’s under your dress.”

“I told you,” she tantalized. “Didn’t you believe me?”

He cast aside his suit coat. “Oh, I believed you. That’s why I’ve been waiting all night.”

By mid-stride, he felt himself being yanked under her spell. By the time he reached her, his hands felt claw-like against the buttons of his shirt. Hers, on the other hand, were as agile as a cat’s. “You seemed oddly patient.” She wended her slender fingers down the shirt, holding him with a wolfish smile all the while. “I was beginning to wonder.”

“You’ll never have to wonder about that.” Tipping point reached and passed, he grabbed her wrists. “If I’d had my way, I would’ve taken you in the elevator.” He ripped the shirt off before she could finish, busting the two bottom buttons in the process. He made quick work of his pants, then lassoed her waist. Seizing her mouth, he straddled her to his middle. Her delta felt as hot and wet as her mouth tasted.

And he couldn’t wait to prove it.

He carried her to the bed and laid her down. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw his burgeoning erection. Wholehearted superlatives echoed on her lips as she extended her arms, inviting his wielding body to hers.

Suddenly Mike didn’t know what to do with his eyes, his hands, his mouth. He was still trying to collect himself when Delaney entreated in a concerned whisper. “Mike, come to me.”

“Not until you cum first,” he decided out loud. Kneeling, he pried her creamy legs apart and pressed his ravenous mouth to her triangle. He burrowed his face into her buttery pleats and began to lick. Long, lazy strokes at first, then short, quick ones. Rabid now, he couldn’t get enough of her sweet poison.

And the feeling was clearly mutual.

Her head shot up like a piston as he began devouring her. The rest of her fell back on the bed, allowing him access to all her folds. Her fingers curled the bed sheets as his tongue explored her every crease and crevice of her fleshy core.

With excruciating precision.

He felt her begin to unravel even before his name was audible. Stitch by stich he took her higher until, her spindle barren, she broke free. Her flailing hands froze in his hair as she surrendered to his unspoken pleas. Drenching him and quaking, she purred and peaked, nearly taking him with him.

Kissing his way, Mike rested his head on her stomach. Her pulse was quickening in her abdomen and the shallow breaths in her chest were strangulated. She was still reeling in the orgasm, he self-congratulated. And he was still wallowing in giving it to her.

Her eyes fluttered open. “That was amazing.” Her voice was blissfully exhausted. “I loved it.”

He crawled up to her. “I loved tasting every inch of you,” he told her around a gallant kiss.

Returning the sentiment, she eased him aside and started shimmying down the king-size bed. “Now let me return the favor.”

“Laney.” He caught her arm. “I won’t last long.”

“Good.” She left him with a naughty nod. His cock was leaking readiness and she used it to bring him to her. She gripped him at the base of his throbbing shaft and took all of him in her mouth. Then she began to suck.

Her prepossessing mouth was like a finely-tuned machine. Her cheeks hollowed out, her lips clenched, her fingers joggled.

And Mike’s body went slack for the want.

His groans filled the air as she engorged him. He felt his midsection jolt forward, his neck snap back, his eyes roll in his head. It was a titillation like he’d never known. And it was the only thing that could rival being inside her.

And still she sucked.

He could feel the pressure intensifying, the meter pounding, the flow building. He was already hard enough to make love to her. It was now or never.

After a brief internal debate, he tapped her head.

She slithered up to him with a contented smile and fiery eyes.

He positioned her on her side next to him and entered her from behind. Their low growls merged into a hedonic moan as the tip of him met her saturated cavern. Pressing his palms against her breasts, Mike bent his knees and pushed against her. She encircled his neck with her arms and they fell into an instinctual, mellifluous rhythm. Back and forth they swayed, her head tucked into the groove of his shoulder and the small of her back grinding against his stomach. He heard her baiting breaths against his cheek, her burning appeals in his ear. And just as he felt the judder of her orgasm, he drained himself into her.

Chance Encounter and the Chances Trilogy are available at: Martha's Website

Also Available At...

More About Martha O'Sullivan 
Martha O'Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. So much so that she would continue the story in her head long after the last chapter was read. Writing her own novels is the realization of a lifelong dream for this stay-at-home mom. Martha writes contemporary and erotic romances with traditional couples and happy endings. She is the author of the Chances trilogy available now from Red Sage Publishing. Her current work-in-progress in a sweet and sexy Christmas novel set in Florida. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Tampa with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Martha on the Web!

Follow her on Twitter! 

Red Sage's Author's Page

Martha's Website


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Warm Up With A Spicy Hot Excerpt From Spy Games: Trained For Seduction #eroticromance #TWRP

Goodness gracious, it's cold. I went out tonight and the car said it was 24 degrees (it lied) but I had a short celebration before it righted itself and proclaimed it 10 degrees, which is--sadly--the warmest it's been all week. I'd go get you some cocoa to warm you up but seeing this is a blog...well, it's not going to work. However, I can offer you a hot excerpt from one of my books to get your blood rushing and your heart racing again.

Spy Games: Trained for Seduction takes place in the summer, and ends in early fall. I'm not a summer person, but at this point, I'd do about anything to be warm again. This excerpt is one of my favorites because it's just kinky hot fun. Don't get me wrong--this book has plenty of sex that's tender and sweet, or dark and dangerous. I love using a sex scene to develop characters, show their flaws, show their growth (and not just the dirty kind of growth...he he he!) And this one actually does start to show a shift in Chase's character, but it's hard to see that out of context.

Dominance is a big part of Chase's world. When he's stressed, he needs to control situations and people and eventually it filters down to the sex. He flirts with dominance over Kate, telling himself it's part of his job to prepare her to be a better spy. But down deep, he knows trouble is brewing. This sex scene is the first where he truly begins to show his dominant side.

So...ready for a excerpt better than a shot of whiskey on a cold winter's night? Here you go!



Spicy hot excerpt from Spy Games: Trained for Seduction

“I need entertainment,” Chase said as he began running on the treadmill late that Friday evening.

Kate shifted in her chair. She’d already run fifteen miles, so he graciously allowed her to sit this one out. She loved watching him run, though. His long legs flexed gracefully, each step fluid. She wished he’d run without a shirt, as she loved that best, his abs rippled and hard, his shoulder and chest muscles sculpted.

“I’ll put in a movie,” she offered, though she’d rather just sit and watch him pound out his miles, his skin a little damp already, glistening like when he fucked her hard.

“Boring.” He fixed his suddenly predatory gaze on her, his deep brown eyes glittering with purpose. “I want you to masturbate for me.”

“I’m not doing that,” Kate snapped, but her breathing increased as she shifted in the chair. Shocks of pleasure radiated from her core at the mere thought of him watching. Yes, she’d fingered herself for him before, but he’d been deep inside her. She wasn’t… solo.

“Take the chair over there.” Chase pointed a little way from the treadmill. “If you want to go get your vibrator or something fun, go ahead.”

“I’m not doing that.” Embarrassment flooded her cheeks, heating them.

“Then I won’t fuck you later.”

“Maybe I don’t want you to.”

He frowned at her challenge, his lips firm in disapproval. “I think you do. If I came over there and shoved my hand down your pants, you’d be wet already, wouldn’t you.”

Damn him, yes, her fingers itched to sink into her shorts and take care of the need he’d started with his naughty suggestion. But then he’d get what he wanted, wouldn’t he?

“Are you wet for me, Kate?”

She licked her bottom lip, unable to speak.

He shook his head. “Don’t make me get off this treadmill to prove my point. You’ll be very sorry. Very.”

The boss voice always made her wetter. Her need to please him made her hotter. She closed her eyes and whispered, “Yes.”

“Yes, what?”

 “Yes, I’m wet.” She bit back a moan and more juices flowed, her panties drenched, the moisture flowing down to the crack of her ass.

“Show me.”

Blurb for Spy Games: Trained for Seduction (Book 1 Spy Games Series) 
**RomCon Reader's Crown finalist 2013!


Emma Walters didn't choose to be a spy, but when her crazy father was caught selling bombs to the wrong people, she was given a choice--become a spy or rot in jail. Her exciting new life as agent Kate Wells becomes more so when she discovers her new boss is the agent--undercover and investigating her father at the time--who took her to third base. Emma is already half in love with the dark and dangerous Chase Sanders. Kate wants nothing more than for him to finish what he started, but he's the devil incarnate. And one doesn't make deals or fall in love with the devil.

If someone had told Chase he'd fall in love with a certain virgin when he was on his last mission, he would have shot them dead, sniper style. She was nothing more than collateral damage, damn it. But watching the sexy new spy morph into a bombshell killing machine is too much to bear. So when the powers that be command him to train her in the art of seduction for her first--and possibly last--mission, he's scared witless. Making love to Kate means preparing her for sex with another man. Somehow, Chase has to find a way to get Kate in--and out--of her mission without dying. And without falling in love.

Contains: Explicit and graphic sex, light bondage, light BDSM, anal sex, sex toys, m/f/m, a hot, dominating spy boss and a spunky, bomb-making heroine.

Approx: 354 pages

Available in e-book or print

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jana Richards And Always A Bridesmaid #contemporaryromance #newrelease

Today we have Jana Richards in the hot seat, discussing her latest release, Always A Bridesmaid. I love the concept of this story. I'm a sucker for the ugly duckling, and I'm interested to see how Dani learns to see her own beauty! Have a gander (no pun intended) at the blurb and excerpt, and enjoy! 


Quick round for Jana Richards...

Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice? Coffee in the mornings, wine in the evenings
Favorite Movie: Jerry Maguire
Favorite Color: blue
Favorite book/author: Today it’s “Smooth Talking Stranger” by Lisa Klepyas. Might be different tomorrow. I’m very fickle.
How do you feel about bacon? Love it. Doesn’t everybody?

The REAL questions… 

*Tell us a little about yourself.

A perfect size 2, I’m a five foot eleven international supermodel with glorious flowing blonde curls and delectable blue eyes. In my spare time I write best-selling, award-winning romance novels, and save the whales. And I’m 25.

Oh, wait. That’s my fantasy life. Sorry.

My real life is a little more boring. I work as a bookkeeper/admin assistant part-time and devote the rest of my working time to writing. I have two grown daughters and I’ve been married to the same man for 35 wonderful years. I guess that makes me…not 25. Where does the time go?

When I’m not glued to my writing chair or at my day job, I try to keep from turning into a blimp with regular yoga and Pilates classes and trips to the gym. I like reading (naturally), going to movies and concerts and hanging out with family and friends.

What’s under your bed?
Good grief, I haven’t looked under there in ages. (runs next door to check) As far as I can tell, there’s nothing but dust and enough dog hair to knit a completely new dog.

What comes first, plot or characters?  
Usually plot. For instance, for “Always a Bridesmaid” I wanted to examine how a girl who has always considered herself an ugly duckling finally learns to see herself as a beautiful swan. Then I create characters who support the question or idea I want to talk about.

Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
I’m mostly a plotter, but I will wing it on occasion. As I said in the last question, I start with an idea or premise or ‘what if?’ question. Then I think about my characters. What kind of people would work in this story? What sort of background would they have? What are their goals - what do they want, and how are they going to get it? From there I make myself a synopsis of sorts, and tell myself the story before I start the actual writing. I like having a roadmap I can follow while I’m writing; it keeps me from staring in panic at the blinking cursor. But it doesn’t mean I can’t take a side trip on my journey if something catches my fancy. If a better idea, a better plot twist, a better backstory for my character occurs to me as I’m writing, I’ll go with it.

Oddest thing on your desk?
I have a bowl of rocks on my desk. I’ve collected them from different places I’ve been. For example, I’ve got some rocks from a beach in Nova Scotia, some pieces of granite from a beach in Manitoba (Victoria Beach, for those of you who know Manitoba), and a rock that comes from the retreat house near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where my writing group, the Saskatchewan Romance Writers, has an annual fall retreat.

What’s your favorite thing about the genre you write in?
I write in a few different romance genres – contemporary romance, historical romance set in World War Two, romantic suspense, and romance with paranormal elements such as angels or psychics. Lately, I’ve been in a contemporary state of mind, so I’ll say the best thing about this genre is being able to talk about the real world as I know it. It’s exciting to make up worlds inhabited by angels or people who can ‘see’ things that others can’t, and I love history, especially WW2 history. I also love the excitement of romantic suspense. But there’s a special challenge in creating believable contemporary characters who face the same kinds of problems with money, jobs, friends, family and lovers that the rest of us face. The characters have to grab readers on the strength of their personalities alone, without the benefit of a shoot-‘em-up suspense plot, an imaginative fantasy plot, or an interesting era in history. A contemporary romance doesn’t have anything to fall back on, other than strong characters and a great story.  

What is the hardest thing about being an author?
Switching from the shy, introverted writer to the outgoing promoter and marketer of my books, as I’m required to do in order to get my work out there. Honestly, I’ve got more of the shy, introverted writer in me.

What’s the easiest thing about being an author?
Being able to write in my pajamas till noon.

What do you wish someone had asked you for an interview question?

I wish someone would ask me what I’d like to write if I could write something outside of my normal genre. I’d love to write a mystery series, perhaps a mystery set during World War Two. Or because I love history, maybe my sleuth would be a medieval knight or a Victorian dandy. So many books to write, so little time.

Tell us about your latest release!
I’m very excited about “Always a Bridesmaid” because it’s the third and final book in my Left at the Altar series, and this is also my first series. I wanted to write a series of books, each starting with someone being jilted at the altar. I wanted to explore first, how painful and humiliating that would be, and second, how someone would come back from an experience like that and learn to trust and love again.

I’d always intended these books to be a series, but it took me forever to finish. “Her Best Man” was published in 2007 but the second book in the series, “There Goes the Groom” wasn’t published until May 2013. I got a little sidetracked in-between! But I’m thrilled this trio of stories about facing humiliation and coming out the other side whole and happy and ready to love, is finally seeing the light of day.

Blurb for Always a Bridesmaid...
Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She's the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.

When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They play their roles a little too well, and make believe turns into reality. But their relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach's trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means that Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever. 

Excerpt from Always a Bridesmaid...
The door swung open, and for a moment Dani could only stare. Zach Morrison stood holding the door and looking even more handsome then he had a year ago. She’d learned from Fiona that he’d be here, that they’d be paired together in the wedding party. But even though he’d had a starring role in her fantasies for the last year, she hadn’t expected her insides to go all mushy at the sight of him.

Finally, she remembered her manners and held out her hand. “It’s nice to see you again, Zach.”

He took her hand and held it tightly. “It’s nice to see you, too. In fact, I’m really glad you’re here.”

Her mouth went instantly dry. “You are?”

“Yeah.” He squeezed her fingers, the look on his face intense. “I know we don’t know each other well, but I have a favor I need to ask you. A really big favor.”

“Okay.” She couldn’t imagine what kind of favor he’d want from her. “Why don’t I come inside and you can tell me about it.”

He looked furtively over his shoulder. “I haven’t forgotten your kindness when I saw you last. My mother told me how considerate you were to her and Camp as well. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. But I really didn’t do anything.” Her heart pounded so hard she was sure he could hear it.

“It meant a lot to me. Listen, there’s not much time. I wanted to ask you–”

“Zach! Who’s at the door?”

Dani started. She knew that voice. Chantal.

Zach visibly shuddered at the demanding tone in his ex-fiancé’s voice. His blue eyes implored her.

“Please, play along with me. I’ll make it worth your while.”


“Daniella, help me, please!” he whispered.

How could she say no to a handsome man asking for her help?

“Okay, but–”

Before she could articulate a question, he pulled her into his arms, his mouth descending on hers. Dani was too shocked to object. For a full ten seconds she remained rigid and unyielding. Then she relaxed slightly, sighing at the sweet sensation of his lips touching hers. Her hands seemed to move on their own accord, first exploring his muscular chest, then winding around his neck. Her body trembled as it molded itself against his.

“Dani? Is that you?”

Chantal’s voice doused the pleasant awareness. She stepped back with a jolt, shocked that she’d been so intimate with someone she hardly knew. She cringed. And in front of an audience, too.

Zach put his arm around her waist, pulling her against him and kissing her cheek. “Just follow my lead. Please,” he whispered urgently in her ear. Dani looked up into his eyes and saw his desperation. Without thinking, she gave an imperceptible nod. He grinned and turned to face Chantal.

“I was just saying hello to Daniella.”

Chantal looked her up and down. “Since when do you say hello to Dani by sticking your tongue down her throat?”

Where to find Always a Bridesmaid...

More about Jana Richards...
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Interview with Emily A. Lawrence Discussing The Guardian of My Soul #NewAdult

Today we have New Adult author Emily A. Lawrence with an interview and discussing her latest release from Beau Coup Publishing, The Guardian of My Soul (book #1 Soul's Desire). This Transylvanian author has cool things on her desk and has a great excerpt to share with you. I think you'll be happy with the visit! 



Interview questions for Emily A. Lawrence…

Quick round:
Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice? I prefer hot chocolate.

Favorite Movie: Inception – Leonardo DiCaprio

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite book/author: There are many authors I like, but my top three favorite ones are Stephenie Meyer, E. L. James, and Suzanne Collins.

How do you feel about bacon?
Bacon? I like it, but when it comes to meat, I prefer chicken.

The REAL questions… 
*Tell us a little about yourself. 
I live in Transylvania with my family, hence my love for vampires and paranormal books. I’m extremely passionate about fiction and have been writing stories, mostly fan fiction, for years now, but only began thinking seriously about publishing approximately a year ago. Having my family's support and encouraged by friends, numerous fan fiction followers, and fellow authors, I pursued my dream of becoming a published author.

For me writing is more than a hobby. I love writing because I can escape into the worlds I create and lose myself in my characters and stories. When I write I’m in a totally different place and I get to control what happens. To me it is a wonderful way to escape everyday life and leave my worries behind.

I find inspiration for my stories everywhere around me. It can be songs, movies, a line in a book, a chat with a friend, a walk in the park with my dog. I think of stories all the time and try to come up with unexpected twists and turns that would surprise readers.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures, new sceneries, food and meeting new people, or simply reading a good book.

What’s under your bed?
The drawers under my bed are stuffed with books I had to read in high school or throughout college. Surprised much?

What comes first, plot or characters?
Characters always come first. After I get an idea about what I want the characters to be like, then I think about the story and how I could bring those two together. So first I try to develop the characters and their backgrounds, then work on the story.

Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
I never sit down and plot. I don’t have an outline when I start a new story. I have an idea on how I want it to begin, certain events that should take place, and a vague ending, but I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m never sure what a writing day is going to be like. I get ideas as I write. Sometimes I have several options on how to continue and when that happens, I usually take a breather and detach myself from it for a while, thinking about how the story could develop depending on the path I choose. That said, I am definitely a pantser.

Oddest thing on your desk?
Peacock feathers in a vase. I just love peacocks. I also have a ceramic Mayan calendar. I’ve always been fascinated by these things, and History and Discovery are two of my favorite TV channels.

What’s your most interesting writing quirk?
I usually go back and read the last few paragraphs I wrote the other day to help me get back into the story. Also, at the end of a writing day, I often leave notes in the manuscript on events I want to write the next day. Lately I’ve been carrying around a notebook where I put down ideas when I’m not able to write. Sometimes whole conversations pop up into my head and I need to get them down while they’re fresh in my mind, or else they won’t come out as good as the first time. In addition, when I write I need absolute silence. No music, no TV and no phone to distract me.

What’s your favorite thing about the genre you write in?
I write contemporary romance intended for mature audiences. I am a romantic at heart and I’ve always enjoyed reading a good romantic story. Now I get to write my own. But I’m also interested in paranormal romance. You see, I was born and live in Transylvania. Here we grew up with the legends and myths about supernatural creatures and I’ve always found them intriguing. I am thinking of writing something in this genre too some time in the future.

What is the hardest thing about being an author?
Finding the time to write because I also have a day job, creating interesting stories and characters that people would enjoy reading about, and reaching out to people...getting myself and my stories out there in the hands of as many readers as possible.

What’s the easiest thing about being an author?
I love writing, but there’s nothing easy in this business. Writing the book is just the first step and that takes hours and hours of sitting in front of the computer, trying to be creative and thinking about solutions, dealing with writer’s block, the editing process, and then marketing and promotion, which are probably even harder than writing the book and very time consuming.

Tell us about your latest release!
I have three books out with Secret Cravings Publishing, but for the past year I’ve been working with Sable Hunter, whom I consider to be like a mentor and a great inspiration. I now edit and write exclusively for Beau Coup Publishing and I am more than excited to be a member of Sable’s team.

My latest release is “The Guardian Of My Soul”, a New Adult romance which is the first book in the Soul’s Desire Series. It tells the story of Kristen and her bodyguard, Alec, two people who struggle with one another, as well as with their own fears and insecurities.

Some have said “The Guardian of my Soul” is “The Bodyguard” meets “Taming of the Shrew”, a compelling look at two people who find they have more in common than they ever dreamed.

Kristen Mancuso, daughter of a renowned fashion designer has everything her
heart desires, and yet she’s still unhappy. After her father’s death, her mother’s overprotectiveness has prevented Kristen from choosing her own path in life, and she often feels as if she's a prisoner in her own home. Kristen thought her twenty-first birthday would magically bring her the freedom she craved. She was wrong.

When her mother hires Alec Warner to be her personal bodyguard, Kristen rebels against it, unaware of the true reasons why he’s needed and the very real danger threatening her safety. Having someone shadow her every move is the last thing she wants. Alec is handsome, intimidating and determined to stand between Kristen and anyone who would harm her.

Kristen doesn’t know what to do with Alec. She’s drawn to him, and while he is committed to his job, he refuses to allow her to control him the way she does with other men. Their relationship is volatile and explosive, yet they discover they have more in common than they ever dreamed. Together they face demons from their past and secrets which could tear them apart.

Alec and Kristen fight their attraction for one another, but that’s one battle where losing may very well give them everything their souls desire…

*Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

Meet the leading characters:


I could hear the sound of the galloping horse way before I could see it. I knew it was Alec. No matter what I did or said to him, the man had a stubborn habit of tailing me. He was relentless. In spite of my turmoil, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was as relentless in other areas of his life as well. That focused, determined passion would be irresistible in bed. I quickly wiped my tears off my face, feeling both my cheeks were burning.
He stopped at a considerable distance when he found me and just stared at me, apparently deciding on how to proceed. Alec took his time, approaching me at a slow, cautious pace, as he would approach a small, frightened animal which would dash away at the least provocation.
“I really can’t get five minutes alone?” I grouched, looking at him through speculative eyes.
For a moment he appeared disconcerted and I felt a sad satisfaction.
“It is part of my job description,” he murmured quietly, stopping a few feet away.
I shook my head, tired of hearing the same old explanation over and over again. “Is kissing me a part of your job description too?” I demanded.
“You kissed me back,” he retorted in a calmly manner. Alec never gave anything away, none of what he was feeling. It infuriated me.
“It will never happen again. I don’t want you to touch me.” I managed.
“Oh, really? I could make you beg me to touch you,” he said simply. The smug grin he wore, displaying his perfect white teeth, was the epitome of defiance to me. In a matter of seconds he changed from calm and reasonable to imposing and defiant, faster than a chameleon could change the color of its skin. But instead of anger I could feel excitement sparking through my veins like wild fire.
I jumped to my feet and I halfway expected him to step back, but he stood his ground. “Why did you do it? What are you trying to achieve? Is this some kind of game to you?” I drew back my fist as if to strike out at him, but he caught it easily. His hands wrapped around my wrists, holding me securely. “Let go!” I cried.
“Be still,” he commanded. His voice was dark velvet, raspy with magic and sex. I stared into his eyes. I didn’t understand the sensations rioting through me. It was frightening. Alec’s jaw clenched. He made a noise—a growl—and suddenly his mouth crushed down on mine and plundered, taking me completely off guard. The kiss warmed me, his tongue tasting until I was panting, furious at myself for wanting more. I writhed against him trying to escape, but he was too strong and demanding. My struggles resulted in my breasts scrubbing across his hard chest, making my nipples feel swollen and heavy, betraying me. I stilled and he finally allowed me to breathe, but I was trapped in his arms.
Alec was breathing harshly, his eyes clashed with mine, then moved down to kiss my swollen lips one more time. I couldn’t handle it, so I jerked my face away. “I want more,” he groaned, releasing my right wrist. With gentle but firm movements he twisted my hair around his hand until I had no choice but to look at him. There was a heat in his eyes which belied the mildness and candor of his countenance. He had no right to appear so in control when my flesh was tight and achy and I needed...
Damn him! Mr. Confusing has done it again.
“Say you never want it to happen again,” he whispered a few inches away from my face, his eyes daring me.
“I...I never want it to happen again,” I replied in a peremptory whisper, ignoring the pulse of need pounding between my thighs.
“Liar...” He freed me from his grip and returned to his horse. He mounted him and then waited expectantly for me to follow him.
I was not sure why I did it, but I fulfilled his silent wish and got up on my horse, joining him. My mind, my emotions and my heart were in total disarray.
The horses quickened their pace, broke into a trot and then went into a canter side by side.
There were so many unanswered questions swirling inside my brain, but I was afraid to address them to him, afraid of what he might tell me, of what I might discover.
Images of our passionate embrace danced in front of my eyes. I shook my head, but the feeling wouldn’t go away. No matter how much I fought not to allow him to tempt me, I found it impossible to resist him. The more I tried, the more intense the longing grew, startling me. Fear twisted in my gut as I realized I was slowly but surely losing control over my own will. I forbade myself to scream in frustration or show any sign of weakness.
We reached the stables and let John take care of the horses before we started for the house.
“Kristen...” Alec addressed me by my name for the first time, a question and an apology in his tone.
A fine tremor rocked me and a tingle sprang to life in my breasts, stopping me in my tracks. I had never dreamed the sound of one man’s voice speaking my name could invoke such longing within me.
His hand gently locked around my arm and spun me around to face him. “Look...I’m sorry if I upset you today. I really am. I couldn’t—”
“Don’t. Alec...please don’t tease me. What happened today was wrong. I never should have kissed you. We don’t know each all. You don’t even respect me or what I say to you. I don’t know what Mother would say. A bodyguard daring to kiss her daughter...” I blinked, trying to picture her reaction.
“I’m not afraid of her or anybody else,” he said dryly.
“Perhaps you should be.”
“I’m not. I’m my own man. But it looks like you’re afraid of her. You wouldn’t even breathe if she told you not to.”
“That’s not true.” I frowned.
“Then why do you care so much about what she may have to say in regard to us?”
“There is no ‘us’, Alec! Whatever this is, it never happened. For your sake and mine, just drop it before it ends badly.”
“ in you falling in love with the son of a mere bodyguard?”
I trembled. “I’ll never fall in love. Not with you, nor with any other man. So forget it!”
“Never say never, sweetheart.” He took one last long look at me before strolling away. I felt like I’d been run over by a steamroller.

Buy links for The Guardian of My Soul:


Barnes & Noble:


 Connect with Emily A. Lawrence on the Web!


Thanks for stopping by!