Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Because I've been eating Halloween candy for weeks now and just put up my fairly paltry decorations, I thought I share a little pumpkin magic.

Actually, the truth of the matter is that I'm jealous of these artists because I have absolutely no talent when it comes to turning out a jaw-dropping masterpiece. I'm lucky if I can manage a couple of triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and maybe a one-toothed grin.


I'd probably be missing fingers after attempting this

Not sure what this guy will look like after a few days in the sun.

Even fairies celebrate Halloween


All he needs is a pirate hat

Adorable family

Friday, October 27, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Saving Cassie” by L.A. Remenicky

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, L.A. Remenicky, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance with Paranormal Elements, “Saving Cassie, Fairfield Corners Book 1.”

Everyone has secrets. Sometimes secrets can get you killed.

After ten years in the big city, Cassie Holt is moving back to her hometown to take over the bookstore left to her by her beloved Gram, vowing to live her life alone. To her best friend, Sheriff James Marsten, Cassie seems to be the same girl that left Fairfield Corners to go to college but Cassie has secrets and one of those secrets could get her killed. When one of her secrets becomes a threat to her life, James turns to his new deputy to help him keep Cassie safe.

Deputy Logan Miller has been burned by love and is not looking to get involved with anyone anytime soon. When he is thrown into close quarters with Cassie, the sparks begin to fly and he begins to see through the walls Cassie has built around her heart. As the threat gets closer, can Logan protect Cassie and protect his heart?

First Kiss Excerpt
She had settled in at the office desk to go over plans for the coffee bar she wanted to install when she heard the ringing of the bell over the door. Who could that be at this time of day? Rounding the last bookshelf, she almost ran into the deputy, who grabbed her arms to steady her when she stumbled over a chair while backing away.
“Slow down there, Miss Cassie; don’t want you to re-injure that ankle.”
“My ankle is fine,” she snapped. “No thanks to you,” she muttered before looking up at him, “What can I do for you today?”
“I’m looking for a book on plumbing. Need to replace a pipe and don’t want to call a plumber.”
“I believe those are back in the last row,” she answered as she walked in that direction. “We have some really good, basic, how-to books.” She reached the section and turned around, and he stopped, right there behind her, in her space. “Hey, no tailgating,” she smirked, trying to make light of it.
He chuckled, and blocked the aisle. She dodged to slip around him, but he spread his arms to keep her there. Suddenly, his hands were holding both of her arms, and she couldn’t move.
“What are you doing, deputy?” she demanded, confused and staring him square in the eyes.
His blue eyes held her gaze as he murmured, “Trying to get you out of my head.” Taking her by surprise, he lowered his head and touched his mouth to hers, nipping at her bottom lip. She gasped at the unexpected development, and he took advantage of the opportunity to deepen the kiss, while moving his hands to her back and pulling her closer. Seeming to go on forever, the touch of his lips sent shock waves through her entire body. She could feel how the kiss affected him, and the hard lump of him pressed against her leg.
Somewhere in the back of her brain, the sound of the bell over the door registered, but she couldn’t move; didn’t want to pull away. “Hey Reggie, where are you?” The spell broken by the voice, she  stepped back and out of Logan’s embrace.
“Shit,” she muttered under her breath. “How in hell did I let that happen?” she gazed up at Logan in wonderment. “That is never going to happen again,” she whispered, not wanting James to hear. “Here’s your damn book.” She managed to maneuver her way around Logan and over to the counter.
“Hi, James,” she said brightly, hoping she didn’t look like someone had just kissed her thoroughly. “I was helping Logan find a plumbing book.”
Logan stepped out from behind the bookshelves, looking as calm as always, the rat. “Hey, boss.”
Cassie moved to the register and rang up Logan’s sale. “That’ll be fifteen dollars and eighty-four cents, Logan. Will that be cash or charge?”
He handed her a credit card, and waited for her to swipe it. She returned it to him with the receipt. “Sign here.”
Hoping she didn’t really appear the way she felt, as if her face were on fire. She avoided eye contact with James, and  he studied her face, knowing that something seemed off about her. “What happened, Reggie? Do I need to take Logan out back and beat the crap out of him?”
Logan smirked, “Nothing happened that she didn’t ask for. See you later, darlin’.” He exited the store, whistling, the smug bastard.
“What the hell was that all about? Did he take advantage of you, Reg?”
“God, James, just butt out,” she yelled, trying to process what had taken place and trying to calm down. “I’m fine, nothing happened. Now, are you here for a reason or did you just decide that today was a good day to make my life hell?”
James held up his hands in mock surrender. “I’m sorry, Reg. I stopped by to see if you wanted to go to lunch.”
“No thanks.” She forced a smile at him, thankful that he was still her best friend. “Mel’s bringing me back a burger and onion rings from the drive-in. How about tomorrow instead?”
James again studied her face, not completely satisfied. “You’d tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you, Reg?”
“You know I would,” she said with fingers crossed behind her back. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. “I tell you everything.”
“Okay, just so we’re clear on that. I should get back to work. See you tomorrow.”
Finally. I thought he’d never leave. Cassie locked the front door, flipping the sign to ‘closed’ and returning to her office to finish the paperwork. Only, she couldn’t concentrate, and kept replaying the kiss in her mind.
Bang. Bang. Someone was pounding on the door.
“Now what? Can’t I get any peace and quiet today?” She stomped over to the door. Logan. Again. She unlocked it and let him in, relocking it behind him. “What now? You didn’t humiliate me enough already today?”
“I think we need to talk about what happened Saturday night, and what happened here today.”
“There isn’t anything to talk about. We shared a kiss, big deal. It’s not going to happen again. If that’s all, you can leave now.”
“Don’t think this is over so easy. We’re just getting started, darlin’.” He made his way over to the door and unlocked it.
“What makes you think this isn’t over? Nothing happened and nothing will happen. Now, get out of my store. And don’t call me darlin’.”
He turned on his heel and left. She locked up behind him again, then leaned against the door, frustrated. Great, what am I supposed to do now?

Saving Cassie” is available through:

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “The Christmas Wish” by Lucy Naylor Kubash

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Lucy Naylor Kubash, and an excerpt from her Sweet Contemporary Romance short story, “Home for Christmas,” which is part of her The Christmas Wish anthology.

Bonnie and Charlie married after a whirlwind affair, but it all ended when Bonnie left with no explanation. Now she’s back and Charlie wants answers, about what happened to them and why she left, but especially about the three children she has in tow. Can they all really make it home for Christmas?
As an empty nester, Caroline is feeling lonely this Christmas. When she meets the new veterinarian in town, Joshua Kendall, and his two children, she’s more than happy to invite them to her library for a holiday program. Joshua’s children seem to have little interest in celebrating, but Caroline is determined to put smiles on their little faces, and to make Joshua find joy in life again.
Brant and Hope found love the second time around, but now their farm is struggling and it’s taking a toll on their relationship. Hope’s daughter has asked for one thing for Christmas, but Brant is certain it’s something they can’t afford. There is a new baby on the way, and he’s worried about more than just the farm. Will they find a way to rekindle their love and still make the Christmas wish come true?
Certain to get you in the Christmas spirit, here are three heartwarming stories about love and family and finding joy in the Season.

First Kiss Excerpt
            The ranch house that night glowed with more light than it had in a long time. When Charlie came in from doing his chores, the warmth met him at the door. A fire burned cheerfully in the fireplace, Patty, Jim, and Ginger grouped around a blanket-wrapped Dee Dee on the sofa, and the aroma of freshly made buttermilk biscuits drifted from the kitchen.
            “Hi Charlie. Look what I made.” Jim held up the crayon drawing of a horse. “I worked on it all afternoon. Bonnie says you have lots of horses. You s’pose I could see them?”
            Charlie shed his coat and Stetson and went over to the three children. They looked so natural sitting there on the old sofa. He crouched down before them. Ginger licked his hands, and he petted the little dog.
            “Maybe tomorrow. I’ll give you a tour of the ranch. How does that sound?”
            Jim’s eyes sparkled. “Neat! You can keep this, if you think it’s any good.”
            Charlie took the drawing.
            “Thanks, partner.” He tousled the boy’s hair. “It’s not half bad.
            “What about me? Do I get to see the horses, too?” Dee Dee’s face still looked peaked, but her cheek felt cool to Charlie’s touch.
            “Soon as we get you well, darlin’. I’ll take you all for the grand tour.”
             Patty glanced up from the paper snowflakes she’d cut out.
            “These are for your Christmas tree. It looks kind of…empty.” She paused a moment. “Bonnie says we have to leave tomorrow to make it to Aunt Liddy’s.”
            “But I like it here,” Dee Dee protested.
            “And I wanna see the horses,” Jim added.
            Charlie studied the three young faces. They’d been through a lot. They deserved some stability in their lives, and Bonnie sure as hell wasn’t giving it to them by traipsing back and forth across the state.
            “You’ll see the horses,” he promised.
            He found Bonnie taking dinner from the oven. She was leaning down and her hair fell like a satin curtain. Desire ripped through Charlie like the grip of a grizzly. He had to close his eyes and catch his breath before speaking.
            “Patty says you’re leaving tomorrow.”
            “The mechanic in Red Springs called and said the van is done and I can pick it up in the morning.”
            “What about Dee Dee?”
            “She’ll be okay. I’ll take her to the doctor when we get to Aunt Liddy’s.”
            When he came up behind her, Bonnie chewed her bottom lip. Standing this close to Charlie was having an earthquake effect on her. She remembered what it was like to have him hold her, kiss her. Her legs were turning to jelly and she had to get away. Only she couldn’t seem to move in any direction except toward Charlie. Like a magnet he drew her to him. His big hands were gentle on her shoulders, and then her face was pressed to his broad chest. She felt his calloused fingers slipping through her hair and heard him murmur, Bonnie.
            She lifted her face to him, and the kiss that followed was a long, slow rekindling of a fire left too long to smolder. They both trembled.
            “I’ve missed you…so damn bad.” Charlie’s voice was raw with emotion.
            Bonnie clutched the front of his shirt, feeling his warmth through the soft wool.
            “You don’t have to leave.” He waited for her reply.
            Tears filled Bonnie’s eyes. How she wished she could stay! But would it be any better this time? She feared not. Between her and Charlie there had been only this. Wonderful as it was, it wasn’t enough to sustain a marriage, and now she had the kids to think of.
            “Supper’s ready.” She wiped away the tears and stepped out of Charlie’s arms.
            He didn’t argue. If Bonnie didn’t want him anymore, he wasn’t going to beg. A man had to have his pride.
            But pride didn’t keep him warm that night, and it didn’t fill the lonely hours after Bonnie and the kids were gone. On Christmas Eve, Charlie stood before the tree decorated with Patty’s snowflakes. He thought about the three kids who had come into his life so unexpectedly. Letting them go had been painful, almost as painful as losing Bonnie again.
            Too late now. They were gone, and he had no idea where to find them. He wouldn’t know where to begin to look for Aunt Liddy.
            Charlie touched one of the paper snowflakes, and a peculiar tightness gripped his throat. Then he noticed the writing on the snowflake. He pulled the ornament from the tree and looked closer. It was an address. Checking, he found the same thing written on all of them. With a smile, Charlie tucked the snowflake in his pocket. Jamming on his hat, he tugged on his coat as he went out the door. Before long he was driving down the highway to Gillette.

“The Christmas Wish” is available through:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Meet The Characters – An interview with Jared Pierce from, “Forbidden Distraction” by Siera London

Book Blurb
Sex therapist, Dr. Vivianne Sloan needs a sexual analysis of her own. She can’t relax under a man’s touch, except for that one weekend with Jared. He’s the only man that has ever lit her fire, but he’s strictly off limits.

Obstetrician Gynecologist, Jared Pierce, knows Vivianne is the one temptation he can’t live without. A man of patience, he’s been waiting for her to accept that there’s no escape from the feelings building between them.  He wants to teach her everything he knows about the art of lovemaking, but he’s her boss and the woman plays by the rules.

When Vivianne decides to leave the practice and him behind, Jared is driven to give the repressed beauty a dose of passion so potent she’s incapable of ignoring the attraction between them. What happens when these two forbidden lovers decide to break the rules?

Today we’re talking to Jared Pierce, from “Forbidden Distraction: Book 1 in the Forbidden Series” a Contemporary Romance by Siera London. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the medical director at Shell Cove Women’s Health Center. I’ve always known I’d be a doctor, maybe not an OB/GYN, but medical school was a foregone conclusion. I love what I do. Caring for women and babies is the best of both worlds. The challenge of a leadership position is an added bonus. The travel schedule is brutal and my mom complains she doesn’t see me enough. She’s the best woman I know; she’d love Vivianne.

What is your best memory?
The day I met Vivianne Sloan, a young, doctoral student attending her first medical conference. Her smile was radiant, and her conversation refreshing. I felt like a king meeting his queen for the first time. Vivi is smart, sexy, and she can hold her own in a room filled with self-important men. She’s the beauty to my beast.

How old are you? 
37. You can lose the condemning glare. I’m not too old for her.

What do you want most out of life?
Commitment and a family. I hope to have a few kids before I’m too old to appreciate junior varsity basketball, Sunday night homework, and my daughter’s prom.

Which memory would you most like to forget?
After our weekend together, Vivianne vanished on me. It took me weeks to find her. The hunt was intentional on her part. Not the best start to the world wind affair I envisioned for us.

 Who has the power to hurt you and why?
Once upon a time, my father was the center of my world. I wanted to be just like him until I learned of his infidelity. I never wanted to be that vulnerable to another person until…I try not to think about how vulnerable I am to a slip of a woman.  

 What’s your biggest fear?
My father assumed all the women he had affairs with meant he was irresistible. I saw the truth of the matter. Besides my mother, none of those women cared about him enough to stick around for a lifetime. Vivi wants forever, she has to…I’ll show her what it will be like for us.

What’s your favorite song?
You by Sean Young. That line, the bluest sky don’t seem so blue, gets me every time. That’s off the record, right?

What’s your favorite book?
Does the Karma Sutra count? 

Name three things that tick you off.
Being the last to know, deception, and losing…at anything. So you know what Vivianne is trying to do pisses me off.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities what would you do?
 I’d use every second to teach Dr. Vivianne Sloan that NOTHING is forbidden between us.

“Forbidden Distraction” as part of the Sultry Nights Romance Collection is available for pre-order through:

PRONOUN (all currently available buy links)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I Know Where the Comma Goes—Usually

Like all schoolchildren of my generation, teachers drilled us on spelling, punctuation, and rules of grammar. We diagrammed sentences to identify subjects and predicates and how different parts of a sentence fit together. We memorized which words were nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and so on.
We learned that commas separated words or short phrases in a list and that a semi colon separated different thoughts within the same sentence. Periods end complete sentences. The Oxford comma was king, conjugating English verbs is a pain in the backside, and ‘except for’ is the bane of every student’s existence who studies the English language. Basically we engaged in multiple forms of mental cruelty.
Do I remember everything I learned so long ago? No, but I do keep several grammar books handy and have quite a few sites on the internet bookmarked for handy reference. If someone asked me to write a parenthetical phrase, I’d have to look it up. (It’s a phrase or expression that is inserted within the main subject matter of the sentence and can be removed without losing the meaning of the sentence. For example: The grass, which looked really dry, covered the hillside.)
Some of the things I always have to look up:
·         Sit versus Sat and its cousins Lay versus Lie
·         Who versus That, and the equally annoying, That versus Which
·         Breath versus Breathe
·         Ensure versus Insure
·         Appraised versus Apprised
·         Is it ‘all right or alright’?
·         Is it ‘beside or besides’?
·         Farther versus Further
·         The list is much longer, but you get the idea.
That being said, as a fiction writer do I always follow the rules? Not on your life. Inserting a semi colon into a sentence is taboo. My workaround? I either use a long dash to separate the different ideas or create two short sentences. Commas should separate the parenthetical phrase mentioned above, but sometimes I replace those commas with a long dash—just because I like the effect it creates. The reader pays more attention to that phrase.
Effect is probably the biggest reason for breaking the rules. Sometimes “He did not.” perfectly portrays what I want the reader to feel. On other occasions “He. Did. Not.” creates the sense of outrage I want the reader to experience.
The same applies to those pesky commas between words that describe the noun. I know I’m supposed to use a comma, but I usually don’t want to create that pause between words. One of the reasons I neglect to follow this rule on a consistent basis is the use of the ‘speak’ app in the Microsoft word program when I’m editing. Listening to that monotone voice read back my work and pausing at each comma, drives me nuts.
The comma has got to go. There are times when I want it to be “The big, red barn,” but more often; it’s just a “big red barn.” No special emphasis on big. The barn is simply big and red. Intellectually, I know readers probably don’t pause at the comma when reading that sentence, but I just can’t help myself—delete.
These are some of my grammar challenges. What grammar brick walls do you run into? (Thankfully the rule about never ending a sentence with a preposition has gone bye-bye. Otherwise the sentence would be, “What are grammar brick walls into which you run?”)

Friday, October 20, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Love Unleashed” by Marcia James

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Marcia James, and an excerpt from her Steamy Contemporary Romance novella, “Love Unleashed.”

His best laid plans...

DJ “Rabid Ron” Hart has a grand scheme to win back the woman he loves. It involves an animal adoption fair, a goofy hairless dog named Charlie and an offer she can’t refuse.

Her hidden desires...

Cara Wilson has fantasies she’s never admitted, and her ex-boyfriend still features in her erotic dreams. If only he didn’t keep his bad-boy urges so tightly leashed.

Tonight they’ll learn that winning sometimes takes losing control.

First Kiss Excerpt

Ron bit back a groan. He struggled for control as she pressed him back against the wall, using her body to massage his. Was this her payback? Was Cara going to take him to the edge of release and then walk out?
He reversed their positions, carefully trapping her between his body and the wall. Her breath hitched, then quickened. God almighty. If she was teasing him, it was clearly pushing her buttons as well as his. Her fingers ran over his shirt, stroking, then sliding down his abs toward his pants. Groaning, he caught her wrists and pressed them to the wall beside her shoulders. If he didn't stop those talented fingers, he'd never maintain the upper hand.
Her eyes were dark with longing, and her skin pinkened with excitement. His body arched toward hers, needing to be with her more than he needed air.
“Cara.” His voice was so ragged he barely recognized it. “I’ll give you one more chance to leave. When I let go of your hands, if you don’t walk out of here, I swear I’ll take you right here.”
She gasped, her beautiful eyes widening, and her pulse fluttered under his fingers. But the last thing she looked was scared. Finding the strength somewhere, he slowly straightened until their bodies were no longer touching. Then he dropped her hands.
Instead of running away, she stood on tiptoe, slid her arms around his neck, and brought his mouth to hers. After months of longing for her, the contact was shocking, as if he'd touched one of his radio station’s poorly grounded speakers with his tongue. And, God help him, he wanted more.
Taking over the kiss, he deepened it, exploring and relishing with every sweep of his tongue. Cara tasted so good, so right, and he knew no matter how much he'd tried, he’d never stopped loving her. Ron pulled away, gratified when she made a noise of protest.
Wet from his mouth, her lips were slightly swollen, and she ran her tongue across them as if savoring his flavor. Her eyes opened slowly, and the look she gave him was dazed.
“You were warned.” He was going to drive her as wild as she made him. He loved this woman, loved her forever, and he was never letting her walk away from him again.

“Sultry Nights” Blurb:
Love, passion, romance and desire… No matter what your preference, this set of 22 hot and sexy reads has just what you need, including surprise love affairs, bad boys we can’t resist, and couples that were meant to be. Sultry Nights—which includes Marcia James’s novella, “Love Unleashed”—is sure to please!

“Sultry Nights” Romance Collection is available for Pre-Order for $0.99 through:

PRONOUN (all current purchase links)

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Baby, That’s the Spirit!” by Robin Michaela

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Robin Michaela, and an excerpt from her Paranormal Romance novel, “Baby, That’s the Spirit!”

When free-spirited clairvoyant, Amethyst Raines, comes to Sweetness to tell fortunes at the fall festival, she crosses circuits with hunky electrical contractor, Adam Burkett. While she’s drawn to him, she has no intention of getting involved with the sexy single dad. The problem is, she has a message for him from beyond the grave…and, she’d deliver it, if she could just get the infuriating man to believe she can speak with the dead.
Cynical skeptic, Adam, is tired of deceitful women. All he wants to do is finish out his job contract and settle his beloved grandmother’s estate before saying good-bye to Sweetness forever. And, he’s definitely not going to be tempted by a woman who claims she can talk to spirits. But when his little girl goes missing, Adam will do anything to find her, including putting his faith in the seductive medium he can’t seem to resist.
She’s trying to solve a century-old secret; he’s trying to find his daughter. If they can work together, their relationship just might stand a ghost of a chance.

First Kiss Excerpt
Hell, if she affected him this much after two days, it would be stupid to spend any more time with her. He was selling Nana Millie’s property and going west. Amethyst was heading to Florida for another fair in less than a month. Nothing could come from his attraction to her. If he had the sense God gave a flea, he would just get through the maze, make it an early evening, and put her out of his mind for good.
He'd have given that particular idea a good shot, too, except she grabbed his hand. “C’mon, let’s see if we can beat them to the finish,” she said, pointing to Beau and Jenna who were already turning the corner at the end of the first row of the maze.
At her touch, that weird tingling sensation snaked through his fingertips again before shooting straight up his arm and ricocheting straight down to his groin.
Her eyes went wide and her lips formed a surprised circle. Which made Adam start thinking about what her mouth would taste like if he kissed her. Or how sexy she'd sound if they indulged in any of the other activities that had been running through his mind since he’d met up with her at Beau and Jenna's place before dinner.
When she’d opened the door of her pink, purple, and blue-striped – what did she call it? A tiny house? – he’d nearly drowned in a wave of pure lust. Her low-cut purple tunic was belted at her waist. The neckline skimmed the mounds of her breasts and her amethyst necklace nestled between the tantalizing globes, making his fingers itch to touch them. The bottom of her blouse ended just above the curve of her tight ass, accentuating her enticing buttocks. And her long, shapely legs were encased in black leggings that hugged every inch of supple muscle she’d built up through years of yoga and running.
If Beau and Jenna hadn't been standing there with him, they’d never have made it to the restaurant.
Amethyst shook him out of his erotic fantasies when she tightened her grip on his hand and leaned into him. Her flowery fragrance caressed his nostrils as she draped a slim arm around his neck. “Or, on the other hand, we could forget all about beating them and go get lost in the dark for a while.” Her voice sounded husky.
A half-moon was rising. It cast a soft glow over the dried corn stalks -- barely enough to see the path between the shadows. Even so, he clearly saw her drop her gaze to his mouth and slowly lick her lower lip.
He cleared his throat. "Getting lost sounds pretty tempting.” Hell, what was he talking about? It was extremely tempting.
“Then let’s go see how much fun corn mazes can be.” She briefly touched her soft lips to his before towing Adam behind her in the opposite direction her cousin had taken.
A few turns, one scarecrow, and three ghosts later, she stopped so suddenly he nearly ran into her. By the time he realized what was happening, she’d whirled around, slipped her arms around his neck, and pressed herself fully against his rising erection.
Heat exploded through his body. He wrapped her in his arms to pull her even closer.
She moaned and relaxed against him. Adam cupped her head with one hand and slanted his mouth across hers. He nudged her lips with his tongue, urging her to open for him. When she complied with a small sigh, the sound made his shaft jerk.
She moaned when she felt him twitch.
Their kiss heated even more when her tongue slipped in to explore his mouth. She slid her arms down his shoulders, curled her fingers into the fabric of his shirt, and rocked her pelvis against him. Her tongue stroked along his and he drew deeply on it as he tunneled his fingers into her short hair.
They broke apart when they heard the laughter and shrieks of an approaching group of kids. He noticed she was panting. She dropped her head to rest against his chest as if the kiss had made her too weak to hold it up. His male pride kicked in at that, although he was panting pretty hard himself.
The kids rounded the corner, carrying flashlights. Golden beams bounced off Adam and Amethyst, the ground, and the withered corn stalks like a demented strobe light that made everything appear to be moving.
She let go of his shirt and drew a shaky hand across her mouth, then held his gaze as the group tramped toward them, their feet making crunching noises in the dried shucks littering the path. Her eyes seemed softer in the reflection of pale moonlight and Adam felt like he was falling into their depths.
The spell was broken when one of the kids bumped into her in his haste to get through the maze. The boy mumbled an apology, but her eyes had changed by the time she raised her gaze from him back to Adam’s.
She gave a long sigh. "We should probably get going."
Adam took it as a good sign. Apparently, she wasn’t any happier about the interruption than he was.

“Baby, That’s the Spirit!” is available through:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Meet the Characters - An Interview with Kristen Jensen from “The Thin Person Inside” by Rochelle Weber

Today we’re talking to Kristen Jensen, from “The Thin Person Inside,” a Contemporary Romance by Rochelle Weber. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about YOU?
I guess the reason people would want to interview me is because of the unique way I met Sean Wesley. His manager pulled strings to get him into treatment at the Danville, Illinois, VA because he was having trouble staying clean after he ODed during a recording session. I was there to address my food addiction. I weighed three-hundred pounds when we met. Who’d ever expect a rock star like Sean to fall for someone that fat?

Sean’s tall, and drop-dead handsome with black hair and incredible blue eyes. He’s one of the lead singers of The Haystack, and I was in love with his music long before I met him. He’s kind, and intelligent, and incredibly brave. Can you imagine a pianist making a comeback after losing a hand?

What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?
Having been morbidly obese most of my adult life was a pretty big one, pun not intended.

Do you expect your hero to help or is he the problem?
Sean and I support each other. We have different addictions, so we’re not binge buddies.  Although, he says he was a fat kid and he has to watch his food, so I guess I’m a good influence on him.

Where do you live?
My apartment’s in Rantoul, Illinois. It’s about 125 miles south of Chicago, ten miles north of Champaign, and forty-five miles northeast of Danville. I was raised in Chicago, but rents are less down here and I’m close to my daughters.

During what time period does your story take place?
You would call our romance a contemporary one.

How are you coping with the conflict in your life?
Aside from having had a heart attack recently, I’m doing okay. I’ve lost about a hundred pounds so far and I’m still losing. I work out along with Sean when he does his physical therapy, and I’m healthier than I’ve been in over twenty years. My kids aren’t embarrassed to be seen with me anymore.

Those’re all the questions we have for you. Thank you for speaking to us.
You’re welcome.  I really think Sean is much more interesting than I am. After all—he’s the rock star.

The Thin Person Inside” is available through:

Friday, October 13, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Julia’s Star” by Bonnie Phelps

Today on First Kiss Friday I’m featuring an excerpt from my Contemporary Romance novel, “Julia’s Star.” It’s part of the Sultry Nights Romance Collection box set—featuring 22 amazing authors.

You chug along life’s highway, minding your own business, and all of a sudden - wham - something smacks you upside the head. For smart and sassy widow, Julia Marlowe, it was something as simple as a flat tire that landed her squarely in the path of action hero, Jason MacKenzie, who slams into her life with the force of an 18-wheeler.   

She doesn’t want to like the guy. The lifestyle he represents stands contrary to everything she believes in. He has that Hollywood ‘love-them-and-leave-them’ attitude written all over him – but despite her best intentions, he has a way of getting under her skin. Besides, her kids like him and so far he hasn’t flinched at tarantulas, errant goats, space aliens and the chaos an active household creates. 

Then again, there is the little matter of his ex-wife, Barbara, who clings to Jason like plastic wrap on steroids. Further complicating the situation is the 200 mile distance between the places they call home. She has no desire to live in his world but can he possibly live the country life after the bright lights of the big city? Can she trust a man who only has to smile to make millions of women’s hearts go pitter-pat to give her the happily ever after ending she seeks? 

First Kiss Excerpt

Jason tried to look like a repentant child. “I promise I’ll be good.” Innocence took a hard left and zoomed out of sight.
“Right. Why don’t I believe you?”  She held up her hands before he could respond. “Truce? I believe you promised me a tour of your art collection.”
“That I did.” Jason slung an arm across her shoulder and flashed that thousand watt smile.
So this is what an ice cream cone on a hot day feels like. He only needs to aim those pearly whites and sexy dark brown eyes at me, and I melt. She knew she tempted fate by prolonging their contact. She tried to tell herself the paintings were the main attraction, but that argument was as full of holes as Swiss cheese.
Jason led the way back into the foyer. “This is my floral and still-life collection. It’s small because it’s not my favorite form.”
“Your taste is excellent.” She stopped her hand in mid-air, resisting the impulse to run her fingers over the canvas. “The pictures are so soft and sensual. If I touched them, I’d expect to feel the silkiness of the blossoms.”
“Soft and sensual. I’ll keep that in mind.”
She gave him a ‘you’re impossible’ head shake. “I notice you have a few works here by the unknown artist I mentioned earlier. This bowl of fruit is wonderful. It’s like I could pluck that peach out of the painting and take a bite.” She smiled at him, her features glowing as she warmed to her subject. “You still haven’t answered my question. Who did these?”
“You really like them?” His voice sounded like he had something lodged in his throat.
“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.” Julia shook her head to clear it. Curious. How do you put endearing and lethal in the same sentence. He took her breath away. “Let me guess. You don’t want to tell me because you have the artist locked in your basement.” Her hands flew as she talked.
Jason leaned back and grabbed her hands in self-defense. Julia tilted her head to peer into his eyes, trying to gauge his reaction to her bantering. His eyes filled with a light that danced about her like a prairie fire ready to burn out of control. Dangerous yet fascinating. Something she should back away from but couldn’t. Julia knew in that moment she would never forget those marvelous, sensuous eyes. A force too powerful to resist pulled them together—he the magnet, she the iron.
With great care his hands drifted from her wrists to her shoulders. Every nerve in her arms inclined toward his touch as though he were home. Her eyes flickered shut. With a gut-wrenching groan his hands framed her face, fingers tunneled into her hair, and he lowered his head. Lips met. Resistance vanished like a snowflake caught in your palm with only a moment to marvel at the beauty before sensation takes over. Like smooth satin his mouth brushed first her lower, then her upper lip, expertly teasing them apart. The tip of his tongue traced the fullness of her lips before sliding inside her willing mouth. She tasted the mint from the tea they’d shared. Her body contracted in pleasure. Her sigh mingled with his.
Julia’s knees turned to putty, no longer supporting her weight. She inhaled, dragging the musky scent of him deep into her lungs. Her hands crept at a snail’s pace up his masculine chest testing the firmness, learning its planes. The pressure of his hard body against hers, their hearts beating in unison, made her feel like lava flowing to the sea to create something new. What would the hair at his neck feel like? As silky as it looked? Julia’s hands edged higher until her fingers intertwined in his hair. It was. She melted.
While Julia’s hands moved upward, Jason’s traveled along the feminine curve of her sides, gripping her hips, pulling her into him. She could feel his growing desire. Pinprick fires raged along each part of her he touched. Jason devoured her moan of pleasure. Experienced fingers applied undulating pressure like a cat’s paws, inviting her closer, an invitation she readily accepted. His hands slipped from her hips to find a home in the gentle curve of her spine.
Lost in the clouds, that’s what it felt like. Julia impatiently pressed her body closer to his. She trembled in his arms and delighted in his responding shudder. Nothing else existed for her except him.
Jason drew his lips away from her mouth, showering butterfly kisses on her cheeks and across her eyelids. He brought his hands back up to her shoulders, gently putting some distance between them. Julia was surprised and inexplicably disappointed. A protest lodged in her throat.
The corners of her subconscious heard him murmur, his lips brushing her temple, “You’re much too fascinating for my own good. If I’m not careful, you’ll completely destroy my peace of mind.” Jason’s words had scarcely penetrated her foggy mind when he added, “By the way, that mystery artist you’ve been asking about… is me.”

“Julia’s Star” as part of the Sultry Nights set is available through:

PRONOUN (listing of all buy links)