Sunday, November 21, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
For elementary school teacher Regan Price, Christmas is a big bah humbug. Alone, all she has to look forward to this holiday is a drink and an empty apartment. Then Cian St. John comes home. The hot-sex-walking brother of her best friend has returned to Boston with a tantalizing proposition that awakens her every fantasy. Now it appears Regan may have more than a pink slip in her Christmas stocking. All she has to do is reach out and claim it…
I'm burning up. I'm burning up. The three words seemed to resonate and grow louder, as if the bar had suddenly transformed into the Grand Canyon. She closed her eyes and wished for the earth to crack open and suck her into its depths. Maintaining her senses in front of this man was proving to be as impossible as ever. Even more so since she'd discovered how he looked when he came. How his face tightened. How the dark fan of lashes lowered over his bright gaze and his full lips firmed into a taut line.
A tremulous breath passed her parted lips as she lifted her lashes and met his penetrating stare. Again she averted her eyes. No doubt her thoughts were reflected in her gaze. Along with the desire curling through her veins like a sprawling vine. For ten years she’d watched and wanted her best friend’s brother… and that’s all she’d done. Cian St. John had been like the rock star on the poster tacked to her bedroom wall—sexy and unattainable. As much as she desired it, Regan acknowledged that having sex with Cian was as likely as Flavor-Flav being voted number one in People's "50 Most Beautiful" issue.
"Carrie didn't mention you were home," she stated. "I thought you were in Milan or Paris or some other exotic city." As a financial consultant for companies in fiscal trouble, demand for Cian's expertise and services carried him all over the world for months at a time.
"Why, Rae. I didn't know you cared." He raised the dark brown beer bottle to his lips and took a long sip, his contemplation of her never wavering. He lowered the bottle, and it dangled between his strong, elegant fingers. "You never call. You never write."
And say what? Hallmark made cards for every occasion, but even they would've been stumped creating a sentimental message for interrupting fellatio.
"Well, this year has been a little busy." She hunched a shoulder, reaching for nonchalance. "You know, becoming engaged, breaking off said engagement, and then dealing with Principal Dearest at work."
Cian arched an eyebrow. "I knew about the engagement, and Carrie filled me in on the breakup, but what's this about your job?"
Rae sighed. "Long story short, my principal is the ex's mother, and she's personally offended that I don't want to marry her rat-bastard son anymore. So for the past six months, she's been making my life hell at school, with one imagined infraction or another. But after tonight, instead of being on the top ten of her 'Shit List,' I just zoomed to number one…thanks to the fourth grade."
"Oh yeah," he agreed with a nod seconds before he let out a bark of laughter. "The remix of 'Jingle Bells.'"
"You were there?"
He nodded. "I met Carrie at the school. My favorite part was when that kid mimed the Batmobile losing its wheel."
Regan slapped her hands to her face and peered at him through spread fingers.
They stared at each other. She wasn't sure who snickered first, but it was like jerking the plug from the dam. Great guffaws of laughter between them. By the time their hilarity died down, Regan clutched her aching stomach, and Cian swiped at his eyes. Damn, it felt good, like an albatross had been hefted from her neck. It had been months since she'd laughed that hard, and it felt…cleansing.
"Thank you." She wheezed. "I needed that."
"You're welcome." His grin softened to a smile. He tilted his head to the side and reached out to cup her nape. She shivered. From the hardening of his jaw and the flare of heat in his eyes, Regan realized he hadn't missed the telltale shudder. "Tell me something, Regan."
"What?" she whispered.
Cian leaned forward until the barest of space separated them. The scent of the beer he'd drunk and that flavor belonging to him alone bathed her lips, and Regan wanted to swipe her tongue across them to taste him. She drew back, alarmed by the power of her hunger. But his hold tightened and refused to allow her the distance.
"Why did you get engaged to Charles when you wanted me?"
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I screamed like a girl, I sure did!
You know, I can't ever imagine the feeling of receiving the cover art for a new book could become old. Just like receiving The Call--or in my case, The Email, could ever be old hat. It's just so exciting to see if the image that will grace the cover of your book--or digital file, in my case--matches up with the picture in your head. For my second release, Love and Protect...home run. Touch down. Right on the nose. Heck yeah!! LOL!
I'm so excited! I opened that file and was instantly blown away by how the cover artist captured Sean and Erin! And it's a scene taken directly from the book! You can't get much better than that! *sigh* I'm happy...*loopy smile*
Check out the book trailer, blurb and excerpt for Love and Protect! Enjoy!
Tormented by nightmares of her last failed assignment, ex-undercover agent, Erin Montgomery, has spent a year off grid--until a late night phone call from her ex-partner draws her back into the world she vowed never to return to. Within a week she's restored to active duty posing as the sex-kitten lover to Sean Ledger, lead guitarist of rock band, Odyssey, to track a stalker.
When an obsessed fan's behavior careens into terrifying, Sean Ledger agrees to allow Erin to join him on tour and investigate possible suspects on his crew. As a man who prizes control, having this woman of strength and restraint willingly submit her pleasure to him is a lure he cannot—will not—fight. Unaware of the history he shares with the agent, Sean is pulled to Erin, and hungers to unlock the heat that simmers beneath cold discipline. Yet as their battle of desire and wills wages, neither can forget the fanatical love of Sean’s stalker who is coming to claim what's hers...
The music drew her into the room like a helpless child following the pied piper. The pure melody of the guitar was at once aggressive and sensual. And so beautiful. Simply…beautiful.
Erin took in a deep breath, her eyes closing. Not until several moments after she’d released it did she identify the elusive feeling that had settled over her. Peace. That ever present beast that possessed a tenacious grip on her psyche retracted its claws, leaving heavenly quiet in its wake. Only her music—the soothing, pure sounds of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven—had ever calmed her savage beast. Never something like U2’s With or Without You. Musical snob, yes, but even she knew the classic rock song. Her lashes lifted, fluttering open. She skimmed up the black sleeved arm to the shoulder hunched over the body of the instrument. The column of a lightly tanned throat and strong, shadowed jaw followed. Dark strands of hair swayed against a lean cheek as the guitarist nodded in time to the music.
Her hands curled into tight fists at her thigh. Even though she’d seen images of him over the years, her mind persisted in picturing him as she’d last seen him. An angry, handcuffed seventeen-year-old youth being hauled out the front door of their foster home. Now the man who the media branded the “brooding, sexy member” of Odyssey warred with that fifteen year image. She hadn’t been prepared to see him again. Hadn’t been prepared for the impact of the man…
The pictures hadn’t done justice to the sexy mouth with its full bottom lip or the high cheekbones hinting at an exotic Asian ancestor. They hadn’t captured the rich thickness of the dark hair drawn away from his face by a black rubber band or the thick, black fan of lashes resting on those sharp warrior bones.
Erin couldn’t control the shiver that shuddered down her spine. As a child he had been her protector—and she’d loved him as a big brother, the only security and safety in a world thrown into chaos. But now, staring at the long, slim fingers strumming the guitar strings, coaxing the lovely sound from the instrument, it wasn’t affection that hummed through her veins or vibrated over her skin. Lust. Want. She swallowed. Would those long fingers play across skin as they did the strings of the guitar, eliciting devastating pleasure? Would they be as clever…as knowing?
His head lifted, drawing her attention. Black, ridiculously long lashes parted, revealing a storm gray gaze, blurred and unfocused. As she stared, the haze dissipated and his eyes sharpened on her face. The melody never changed, his skilled fingers never faltered. Neither did his intense scrutiny. She imagined she could feel the bold touch of his eyes across her brow, down the slope of her nose, over her mouth. Before she could stop herself, Erin moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue and watched his eyes narrow on the nervous gesture. His gaze flicked back to her eyes and he watched her with narrow-eyed speculation. For a panicked moment she feared he recognized her. The urge to finger her cheek almost overpowered her. Gritting her teeth, she fisted that same hand to keep it down to her side. The scar is gone, she reminded herself, so calm down.
She shoved the flash of anxiety down. Besides, why would he recognize her? Sean was familiar with Elise Grayson, a disfigured, weak, vulnerable child. Before him stood Erin Montgomery, a smooth-cheeked ex-DEA agent.
She wanted to look away. Her mind screamed, evade! Evade, dammit! But her body refused to obey. For the first time she experienced being the hunted instead of the hunter. Something dark and sexual entered his stare. A primal part of her she hadn’t known existed responded with a sudden pulsing between her thighs. Blood rushed to the folds of her sex and she fought the urge to squeeze her thighs together to alleviate the ache. Her nipples tightened against the lace of her bra. She willed her hands to remain at her side. Sent a mental order not to palm the sensitive mounds and won the battle…barely.
Erin inhaled a deep breath, the exhalation slow and deliberate. Though it cost her, she schooled her features into maintaining a mask of indifference.
If anybody understood how important domination was Sean Ledger would. She’d researched the guitarist past the magazines and fan sites. She’d read the blogs that revealed what the polite celebrity rags didn’t. Sean had a reputation.
Rumors abounded of a hedonist who knew a woman’s desires better than the woman herself did. Women gossiped about an intense sexuality that pushed his partners to explore and press beyond their boundaries. Erin suppressed a flinch. The thought of someone possessing such complete power over her body horrified her.
As if able to peer into her mind and read her thoughts, Sean’s gaze darkened, the promises—or threats—of just how he could make her lose absolute control shadowing his eyes.
A heartbeat of silence passed between them.
The chocolate timbre of his voice glided over her skin and transported her to shadowed rooms, candles and writhing bodies. Oh. Shit. And she was in waist deep.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with Lanna Kaye--okay, so I sat at my computer and she at hers...semantics!--an as-of-yet-unpublished-author. Between eating the hell out of my pantry (hearing her talk about Cajun food had me killing some Chex Mix), laughing at her wit and drooling over her heroes, I had a great time! Join me in welcoming Lanna Kaye and her Djinn Seelers!
Naima Simone: Hi, Lanna! I figured I’d start out all nice and polite like Paula Zahn before going all Geraldo Rivera on you. Sooo, tell us a little about yourself. Your name. Short bio. How long you’ve been writing. What do you write. Where do you have the bones hidden…you know that kind of stuff.
Lanna Kaye: Hi Naima! Thanks so much for starting on this new venture of putting us un-pubs in the limelight. And can I tell you the honor I feel that you’ve chosen ME as your first lab rat—um, I mean writer! Yes, writer. Alright, for the Paula Zahn answers:
My name is Lanna Kaye and I’m Cajun to the core. By that, I mean I know a thing or two about cooking (that’s a polite way of saying I’m an awesome cook), love crawfish and gumbo, and am close to my extended family four times removed. As a responsible Cajun, though, I have to put out there that no, we Cajuns do not have pet alligators nor do we ride a pirogue to school, work, etc. We have lovely tongue-twister names like Thibodeaux, Guidry, Hebert, and so on, and people with hearts bigger than our neighboring state of Texas.
I’ve been writing for about seven years now, but only in the past 5 or 6 months have I been seriously marketing myself. I would never lie and say I started writing stories before I was old enough to even hold a pencil but I have been devouring full-length novels since I was around nine or so. My first faves were Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, The Babysitters Club, and the like. We lived out in the middle of nowhere so when the Bookmobile came our way my sisters and I were more ecstatic than if the ice cream truck had pulled onto our road. If I close my eyes, I can still picture the layout of that truck and smell that addicting smell book lovers worldwide know. Ahh….
My first novel (and I would never let that out of my computer in the state it’s in—can we say ‘rewrite’??) was a contemporary romance, but after I fell in love with A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux, paranormal writing snapped me up faster than one of the aforementioned alligators can catch a neutra rat. Add to that my discovery of Karen Marie Moning and my imagination exploded into the paranormal realm. So with all that said, my current work is a paranormal romance series.
(Now if I could only shove all these bones around to give you more info…!)
I’m a wife. A mom. A non-stop doer of any task that pops up and presents itself to be tackled. I’m a closet over-achiever.
NS: I loved the Babysitter’s Club! Man, that brings back memories! Okay, I’m back from down Memory Lane. LOL! Like many authors, you’re a full-time wife, mother and employee…where do you carve out the time to write? Are you disciplined and set aside a certain amount of time to write or do you just take advantage of the time you find available? By the way, don’t mind this box of rotten tomatoes I have next to me if you dare to say disciplined…
LK: Well, yes, I am all those things! When I was finishing The Onyx Seeler, I was at another full-time job and was pregnant with my now two-year-old and that made it tough to find time for writing. I’ve often joked that with four kids, ages nine and under (and all their extra-curricular activities), singing at church, working, being the campus mom at my kids’ school (I couldn’t settle for being a room mom, but apparently had to take on the whole school), I have more than a plateful…I have a buffet!
(Please refer to the over-achiever comment earlier. J)
I might be adept at dodging those tomatoes, so bring ‘em on! Strange, but I do better with a full ‘To Do’ list. Which I’ve had to use to get some writing time in. Usually it’s after the kids go to bed and I can spare a couple of hours to type away.
NS: What keeps you writing? What keeps you motivated and running after getting published?
LK: What a great question. I’ve never specifically thought of the why, but an immediate answer comes to me—I love my characters. Really love them. I love taking traits, both positive and negative, from my ideal person, from real people and from myself. Too, when I have readers who experience the same reactions I do with a particularly emotional scene, it makes me want to share it with as many people as I can. Spread the wealth, so to speak! I love a happily ever after, especially if the road to that storybook moment was pitted with misery and self-sacrifice. The bigger the heartbreak, the more you cheer, cry and get giddy when they get their happiness in the end.
NS: Now you know I have to ask the hard-nose questions because I’m no panty-waist interviewer…Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing or Gerard Butler’s Leonidas?
LK: I wouldn’t expect anything different from you, Naima. *grin* I’m going to one million percent say anything with Gerard Butler in it. Seriously. That man is delish.
NS: Zsadist or Acheron?
LK: Oooh….toughie. Do I go for the tortured—no, never mind. I don’t have to really think about it after all. Zsadist. Definitely. It’s that almost little boy bravado that did it for me with him. So sure that he doesn’t have to have anyone, but yet, he is finally in awe that someone deems him worthy to love. And that love note at the end of his book??!! Sheesh! J.R. Ward is an emotional maestro!!!
NS: Stilettos or wedges?
LK: Stilettos!!!!! All 150 pair of the ones I own are testament to this answer. I’m pretty sure I’ve never owned a pair of wedges.
NS: Who is your favorite author?
LK: Man, this is a bigger toughie than the Zsadist question. Can’t I have two? Please? Okay, thanks. My first is Karen Marie Moning simply because she’s a genius. Her characters leap off the pages. I’ve never read a deeper POV than hers. The emotion she puts out makes me think I’m reading someone’s journal, it’s so real!
Second would be J.R. Ward and that’s because of her unique style and the pure sexual tension. I get anxious just reading her books, for crying out loud! And by anxious I totally mean titillated.
NS: Who is your favorite e-published author? And don’t say me, *rolling eyes* it could just get really embarrassing for both of us…*ahem*
LK: Dang, thanks for bursting my bubble, Naima. NOW who am I going to choose?? Shoot. Okay, well, if I have to pick someone else, I’d have to say by default, it would be Lora Leigh’s e-published works. Namely her Breed series, since hers are the most of any e-published author I’ve read.
NS: Who has influenced your writing the most—and again *sigh* refer to #6…sheesh…
LK: You’re killing me with all this answer limitation stuff. J This might be an unexpected answer, but my sister has been my biggest influence. She doesn’t write, but she’s as avid of a reader as I am, and when I first dipped my toe into the waters of Lake Writer, she was the only person I shared my new venture with. She was then, and still is now, my biggest encourager. (Okay, now I have to go find some Kleenex!)
NS: Okay, on to the nitty-gritty, give us all the dirty details on your current work in process…the dirtier the better…hee-hee!
LK: Dirty you say?? I could talk your ear off about my sexy, walking-wet-dream men, but I’ll try to stick to just one. Manick is the hero of my first book, The Onyx Seeler. He’s a Djinn prince who is released early from a 500 year sentence to find some half-djini, half-human beings and save them from the nasty, evil wiles of an enemy tribe of the Djinn. As luck would have it, he rescues a Demijin who he’s had wicked, carnal dreams of for the past, oh, 200 years or so—but has never met.
He’s big, he’s kick-ass, he’s royalty. Oh yeah. And he’s blue. As Alaiya, his heroine describes him:
The man, if that’s what she could even call him, was blue. Just all-over freaking blue with a bronze luster that wasn’t at all unappealing. And huge. Not just body-builder huge, but the kind of huge that made those muscle-bound, gym junkies look like ten year old boys. Slacks and a buttoned down shirt, clothes better suited for a grandfather, covered his body. The old man clothes did absolutely nothing to detract from his sex appeal.
She skimmed over his face again. A face surrounded by the thickest, most luxurious black hair that ever existed. His lips accomplished the amazing feat of looking hard and deliciously soft at the same time, and the set of his jaw promised determination in the ‘oh where it counted’ department.
NS: *sigh* I just saw Avatar and I have a thing for blue people now. Can we get an excerpt?
LK: I’d love to give you an excerpt! And since I didn’t get down and dirty with the previous question, I’ll dish it here if that’s okay with you. Which I’m sure it is. Heehee…
Quick setup—this scene takes place in a Las Vegas nightclub where Manick finds Alaiya after instructing her to stay home and wait for him to come back and explain things to her. Her thinking about being ordered to stay anywhere? “Yeah right.”
The list of why he shouldn’t be doing this was long. He’d just as soon burn the damned paper for all the good telling himself that did.
Because he was already erupting in flames. Might as well take the list with him.
She was a Demijin; his mission.
Yes, she was the woman of his fantasies, and yes, arousal bit him in the balls with the mere thought of her. But he still needed to maintain control. Or so he’d been beating into his mind all day. For distraction in the form of a blonde goddess would most assuredly keep him from completing his duty.
Walking into this club tonight had decimated all his good intentions.
Manick had immediately spotted her, even in the midst of this ridiculously large crowd. And fuck him, he’d always been a sucker for the idea of a woman in leather.
Alaiya wore it from head to delectable little toe.
Stock still, he’d devoured her with his eyes. He’d been overcome with a lust so concentrated and extreme it had nearly overshadowed his good sense. ‘Cause he’d almost frozen time for every person in this place to keep all the jackasses from looking at her.
Either that, or cause a flood to come crashing through, sweeping them all away, then snatch her out of here and show her in countless ways what he could do with all that slick leather.
She looked gorgeous, like sin waiting to happen. No way in hell would he let it happen on anyone but him.
He’d done neither of the things he’d itched to do. Instead, he’d settled for smoking across the room to materialize right behind her. To shield her from the eyes of every fuckhead there.
The up-close view had nearly been his undoing.
He’d had to clench his hands at his sides to keep from running them over her perfect ass. Showcased in that tight leather, nothing had ever looked sweeter. He’d salivated. Gotten harder than steel. Had really considered dropping to his knees to pay homage to its beauty.
His dream vision stared up at him now with a dare in her eyes he couldn’t back down from. She’d just purred, for chrissakes. That tiny sound licked at his balls.
Manick clung to one pathetic little thread of restraint. Clung to it for dear life. It was unraveling fast and he didn’t know how to stop it. Alaiya bit the corner of her smiling bottom lip and kicked up one sexy eyebrow. She might as well have whipped out a knife and sliced the damn thread.
He wrapped one hand around the nape of her neck, the other landed on her ass; his mouth simply took. Her juicy lips parted on a gasp and he claimed. Took what she offered and then some. Her moan singed his tongue and he soothed it by twining it with hers.
Alaiya’s kiss was sex. Wet and scorching and the ignition to his flame. He burned hotter, brighter, raged to get even closer to her.
He splayed his fingers on her butt and squeezed, his middle finger fitting into the groove of her cheeks. He rumbled an approval. Then she lit up his world when she flexed those muscles and arched into him.
Manick thrust his tongue deeper into her mouth. He must have shot to heaven because stars clouded his vision. Her hands grabbed his hair and yanked. Not to push him away but to get him closer. Fu-uuck.
The taste of her fruity drink filled his mouth along with her own succulent flavor. She would taste that good everywhere. He knew it and suddenly had a single goal in life: To find out ASAP how right he was. To know first-hand how the wetness between her thighs would coat his tongue. Like melted sugar.
They’d somehow moved the foot needed to bring them to the wall behind her. His knuckles brushed the carpeted surface when he slid his hand down her back. Manick needed to get both his hands on the splendid flesh in leather.
Coming up for air, he locked gazes with the woman in his arms. She dropped back the couple of inches to lean against the wall, her chest rising and falling in a rapid staccato. With his hands on her rounded bottom, he pulled her forward into him. Hard against soft. They both made strangled noises.
This image of her, leaning back, nipples puckered against her red leather top with his cock nestled in the luscious juncture of her thighs would stay with him forever. He had no doubt.
Moisture glistened on her throat. One more flavor of her for him to experience. He slowly lowered his head and flicked his tongue over her dewy skin. Salty and sweet. Arousal and innocence. His fingers tightened on her ass and he licked clean up her neck, his tongue curling in as it popped off the curve of her chin.
“Good God,” Alaiya said. “You are so wicked.” Her dazed expression changed to one of delight. “Kiss me again.” She touched her mouth with her hand and added, “Here again.” Her finger traced that full bottom lip and Manick’s gaze snagged on the ring gracing one elegant finger.
He did a double take.
“Angel,” he croaked out. “Where did you get that?”
Confusion colored her face. “What?” She looked down at her chest. “My top? Um, don’t know why you care where I shop, Big Blue, but—”
“No.” He shook his head, and the movement made him dizzy. He blinked. The blood draining from his brain short-circuited his thought process. “Not that.” He picked up the hand she’d dropped to her side and held it up. “This. This ring. Where did you get this ring, Alaiya?”
She swallowed hard and her lips parted the slightest bit. “Why do you want to know? What’s so special about this ring?” Her eyes widened to mini saucers in her face. “I mean, it’s nothing.” She shrugged it away.
She had no way of knowing precisely what that little nothing of a ring meant.
Gulping down the sudden lump in his throat, Manick pulled in a shaky breath.
He was ninety-nine percent certain of the significance of that ring.
“I want to know,” he said, staring into her eyes, “because,” Manick opened the neck of his shirt and slapped her hand to his chest, palm against skin, right next to his stone, “this nothing of a ring means one thing, and one thing only, angel.”
Lae broke eye contact with him and looked at his chest. Her eyes darted back and forth between his onyx stone and her onyx ring. And again. The she raised her eyes to his. A single question blazed in their depths. He smiled.
“It means you’re mine.”
NS: I’s in love!! That’s hawt, Lanna! Hey when—notice I said when—you get “the call” or “email” as it may be, will you come back and do a really loud, piercing girly cyber scream with me?
LK: Without a doubt!! In the meantime, if anyone is interested in checking out my blog and the excerpts I will regularly post, click here. I also have a character bio page in progress so check back regularly for updates on the Marid djinis who are turning their women’s worlds inside out and every which way. I’d love to see hear from you!
NS: Thanks for spending time with me, Lanna! Can’t wait to see your name on the front of that cover!
LK: Thanks for having me! I had so much fun talking with you, Naima. Next time we’ll have to talk about Rome. I can’t get enough of him and I know he pushes all your twangy buttons. Zing!!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Okay, if that didn't get you here, I don't know what will!! LOL!
My new release with Ellora's Cave, Desire in the Dark, releases today, April 12th! And guess what! Everybody receives a free copy! Why? Not because I'm so giving and benevolent...I mean I am but you know, other than that...Desire in the Dark is my new Free Read! FREE! A FREE download! Advertising might have been a bit false but it's still FREE and everyone can still download a copy for...wait, wait what was that word *finger snap and lip tap* Right, right! FREE!! LOL! Check out the blurb and excerpt below!
Alise Layton has been in love with McKenzie “Mac” Dunn since she moved to New Eden, WA. Unfortunately, the sexy attorney considers her a friend…and not one “with benefits”. Just as Alise decides unrequited love is for fools and poets, a freak thunderstorm plummets the town into darkness and traps her with the man who has starred in her every erotic fantasy for the past year. A blackout. Wine. A gorgeous man. Anything could happen...
Then blinked again.
“Two years?” he croaked. After clearing his throat, he bent forward, pinning her with an incredulous stare. “You haven’t had sex in two years?”
Alise groaned, squeezing her eyes shut. Damn she hadn’t meant to let that slip. She lifted her lashes, peeking out from under them and wanted to cringe. He stared at her as if she were some kind of fugitive from the freak show—horrified disbelief and fascination. She squashed the urge to pat her chest and check for a third breast.
“Could you please not gawk?” she snapped. “We all don’t have stacked Amazons fighting to get into our beds.” An image of the tall, built women Mac dated—the opposite of her—flashed through her mind and she scowled.
“You want to get a stacked Amazon into your bed? Sorry,” he apologized at the sound of her dark growl. He shook his head. A heartbeat of silence. “Two years?” She rose from the edge of her seat and he held his hands out, palms up, as if warding off her imminent attack. “Look, you can’t blame me for being surprised. I mean, look at you, Alise. A beautiful redhead and successful business woman. Surely there hasn’t been a shortage of opportunities. Why haven’t you—”
“Gotten my groove back?” Alise supplied. Again he laughed, and once more her heart dived south of nowhere. Maybe she should confess the truth. Just lay her cards out on the table and allow the proverbial chips to fall where they may.
Well, Mac, funny thing. Since I’ve moved to New
Oh yeah. By the way.
That man is you.
Yeah, that's all you get. I mean it is FREE! Okay, I'll stop now...free...
Yeah, that's all you get. I mean it is FREE! Okay, I'll stop now...free...
(That's finish in Chinese, y'all!) It's available now! Go get it! Why are you still reading? I'm finished. Done. Terminar. 完.
It's available now! Go get it! Why are you still reading? I'm finished. Done. Terminar.
Go enjoy it!!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Today I have the absolute pleasure of having Loose-ID author, Jessica Lee, visit with me! *Applause* Okay I have to admit I’m a bit biased about Jessica. Not only is she an awesome author but she’s my critique partner as well. But since her debut novel, Desire to Die For, was released with Loose-ID in August 2009, it has been receiving rave reviews, including The Romance Studio’s CAPA nomination for Best Paranormal Erotic Romance of 2009! On the eve—okay a week before the eve—of the second book in the Warriors of the Enclave series, Dark Desires at Midnight, Jessica agreed to visit with me to talk about her books and career as erotic author extraordinaire (Psst! Jessica, did I get that right? Erotic author extraordinaire? That’s how you wanted me to say it, right?)
NS: Hi Jessica! Welcome to my humble abode! Of course I’m privy to your “Cinderella” story but for those who don’t know, how you got started in writing? ‘Cause I’m just saying, if I didn’t love you I could really resent you for your story…I love you though…
JL: You are too funny, Naima. LOL Well, let’s see… It all started when I decided to leave nursing and become a stay-at-home mom. I loved, and still love, reading paranormal romances, and one day my husband suggested that I should try and write one. I thought he was crazy. I’d always been a science nut, didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body. But then something happened when I sat down at the computer. I felt like I’d truly discovered a passion. I was hooked, and the rest is history. J
NS: Unhuh. First manuscript plus first sale equals dagger sharp glare. Oh right! I love you! Right...On to my next vital question…Acheron from the Dark Hunters or Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Which one does it for you like All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet-on-my-neck does it for you?
JL: I'd have to say Acheron. I admit, I even have a Sherrilyn Kenyon autographed Acheron coffee mug in my kitchen cabinet. LOL
NS: I didn’t know that! They sell that? I want one! We’ll talk later. I can see why Sherrilyn Kenyon is a favorite though. Like her, your books have hot, sex-on-a-stick Alpha warriors. Your heroes are vampires. So why the bloodsuckers and not, oh, werewolves? What about paranormal erotic romance called to you instead of another genre, like romantic suspense?
JL: Oh, man, it's the whole fang and biting the neck thing.
NS: Well, yeah, when you put it that way…
JL: I've always loved vampire movies and have forever rooted for Dracula to escape with his queen. LOL I'm a sucker for the dark, sexy, tortured soul of the alpha male. And vampires possess all of the above. Why paranormal romance? The freedom to world build excites my muse more than any other genre. I can just let my mind go and create sexy alpha males with superhuman strength and power. *sigh* It's too much fun!
NS: I for one thank your muse because your vamps are sexy and so Alpha I don’t know whether to punch ‘em or lick ‘em…who am I kidding? Definitely lick ‘em! Hee-hee-hee! That was a totally lascivious cackle, by the way. Jessica, I know that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of your favorite authors. But if you could go on a writer’s retreat to suck up all the knowledge and advice with any author, who would it be and why?
JL: Omg! What a good question. There are so many fantastic authors out there. Ugh. It’s a tie: Karen Marie Moning and JR Ward. I just can’t choose between them. LOL
NS: True that. Highlander or Black Dagger…both are awesome writers and two of my favorites too. I guess that’s why your series is one of my new favorites. You have a warrior brotherhood even though it’s different from J. R. Ward’s. Your first book, Desire to Die For, introduced Kenric St. James and the Warriors of the Enclave. Tell us about them and their leader.
JL: Kenric is an over 300 year old vampire who has been stalked by an ancient female vampire for 200 years. He's put together a team of vampires he calls the Enclave to defend humanity against the blood thirsty murderers of their kind known as DEADs. Kenric is a master vampire, and only a few male vampires possess the mental abilities to become a master. He's more powerful, faster, and can take own multiple alternate forms, which is the exact reason our villainess from book one wants him all to herself.
NS: In case someone hasn’t read Desire to Die For I won’t spoil the exact nature of Marguerite, the villainess, but what a psycho piece of work she is! Whew! And the lengths she goes to bind Kenric to her…nuts! With her, the world building, characters and love story, it’s no wonder Desire to Die For is wildly popular and was nominated for a CAPA award. Are you surprised at how well it’s been received?
JL: Most definitely. Your biggest wish is for the readers to love your characters, but it’s very surreal when your dream actually comes to fruition.
NS: Ahem...I always knew it would be a hit. But I’m not one for I-told-you-so’s. Alright, yeah I am! Jessica, I told you people would love Desire to Die For! Hee-hee! Okay, detouring totally off the subject for a minute. Name one thing you splurged on with your first royalty check. I’m being nosey and don’t care!
JL: LOL Hmmm…? Well, I’d have to say my HP mini. Love that little computer. It makes writing so portable and easy.
NS: Oooh yeah! They are the best! So…Book 2 in the Warriors of the Enclave: Dark Desires at Midnight, is set for release from Loose-ID on March 30th. Which warrior is the hero in this book and the woman ready to rock his world?
JL: Dark Desires brings you Arran and Gabrielle's story. Here is their blurb:
Arran MacLain is a vampire on a suicide mission, driven to kill his former partner who betrayed him and the Enclave they served. But two things stand in his way: Gabrielle, the human female who holds his heart, and the past that won’t let him go. If only death was enough to cleanse his soul.
Gabrielle Steven’s sister is missing. Her hunt for clues brings her face to face with the one vampire she can’t forget. Their missions combine and thrust them into the heart of evil. Will their passion be enough to overcome the pain from their past, or will their dark desires destroy them both?
NS: Now…ahem…I heard a rumor—nasty things those are—that you did a little, uh, special research for this book. Something about black leather, BDSM club…Tell me, Jessica, are the rumors true? And if so, do we have pictures?
JL: Well, you know what they say about rumors… You've almost got it right. LOL I did make a trip to a fetish event for a little research around New Year's Eve, but it wasn't for Dark Desires. That research project was for book three. But that's all I can say right now. Anymore would be a bit of a spoiler for book two. As JR Ward would say…keep reading. J
NS: Whoo-hoo!! Book three! We have a Book three, ladies and gentlemen! Did you find this book easier or harder to write?
JL: Difficult to say, because book one was more of a growing process as I developed the characters, the story, and my craft all at the same time. Book two was difficult, because it was the first time I'd written a story knowing someone was waiting on the completed product. Quite a different mental process.
NS: You shouldn’t be so damn popular! LOL! Which is your favorite? Desire to Die For or Dark Desires at Midnight?
JL: Oh, man! How am I supposed to choose between them? I love them both in different ways. DTDF was my first, and I love Kenric, but Dark Desires takes you deeper and darker. How about this, you tell me. Hee-hee!
NS: No way! I definitely can’t choose! That’s like asking me to pick between Red Velvet cake and Prestige Strawberry ice cream! I want both! LOL! What is one of your favorite quotes in the book? Ooh! And use the bad words! *another lascivious cackle combined with greedy palm rubbing*
JL: LOL “She was ready to fight. He was ready to fuck.” *G*
NS: You’re so bad! I luvs it!! Okay, I’m excited! Can we get an excerpt??
Arran rolled his Ninja into the parking lot beside Gabrielle’s car and killed the engine. She’d taken the newsflash about Markus and Marguerite pretty much like he’d expected. She’d mumbled an oath of determination right before she’d kicked him out of the car. Gabrielle wasn’t a member of the Enclave in name only. It didn’t matter that she didn’t work patrol. Gabrielle was as much a warrior as any of the males. Life hadn’t dealt her any favors. And she wasn’t one to lie down and let it bulldoze over her. She stood and fought for every inch of ground gained.
He waited for her to get out of the car, then removed his helmet.
“You didn’t need to follow me home,” she said over her shoulder, heading for the front door of her sister’s townhouse. He was surprised when she’d led him here instead of a hotel. The place must have belonged to her sister. He palmed his keys, slid off his bike, and shoved the keys in his pocket.
“I wasn’t going to let you leave alone after the info I just dumped on you,” he said as he came up behind her while she unlocked the door. “I wanted to make sure you got home safe. And I wanted to be sure you actually went home.”
“Oh my God, you can be such an ass sometimes.” Her back was to him, but Arran could almost hear her eyes roll with that statement. She was right. He was an ass. But while he was here, he would be taking care of hers.
Gabrielle flipped on the lights, and he followed her inside. The heels of her boots clicked on the hardwood floor of the foyer, echoing in the open stairwell of the two-story apartment. She couldn’t have been in town long, but the air in the place already carried her scent. He pulled in another slow, deep breath through his nostrils. His heart rate quickened. Honeysuckle. Arran wanted to smile but repressed the grin. Ironic that such a delicate and sweet fragrance emanated from the hellcat with whom he’d just been reacquainted.
Her keys clinked as she dropped them in a bowl on a table near the staircase. Arran’s gaze devoured her provocative profile. He’d never seen her dressed like she was tonight. Living with five male vampires within the Enclave walls, she usually dressed a bit more conservatively. Not matronly, but definitely not this revealing. A short black leather skirt barely covered the lush curves of her ass, and a shirt that couldn’t have been more than a decked-out bra did its best to contain her full breasts. Shiny black leather boots wrapped her legs, highlighting the toned sweep of her calves. This couldn’t happen again. Arran slowly shook his head. He would end up killing someone if she dressed like this again.
She turned her head to the side, facing him. “I don’t need a babysitter. I’m more than capable of taking care of myself.” She shifted and faced him head-on. “You’ve been gone a long time, Arran. Things have changed. I’ve changed.”
“Maybe so. But you’re not taking on that colony alone. I can’t believe Logan let you come here without him.” Gabrielle turned her back, rearranging her purse on the table. Shit. He recognized the body language. “You didn’t tell him, did you?” Arran closed the distance between them.
“No. I didn’t need him here.” Gabrielle looked up, fierce determination written on her face. “I can handle this. Alex needed me. And I’m going to be there for her.” She shifted to face him again, leaning her hip against the table. “I’m smart enough to know if -- and when -- I need help.”
Arran closed in, crowding her personal space, wanting a reaction. Aching for it, actually. Gabrielle straightened and took one step back but stopped and lifted her chin, refusing to cower and give him the reaction he itched for. She caught on quick.
“You think you have it all handled, lass?”
“Yeah, I do.”
"You got it all under control?”
The amber color of her irises had grown near molten. He allowed a small smile to pull at the corner of his mouth, loving the way she got all hot and bothered when he pushed her.
“Yes. I do.” The words had barely left her lips when she attacked, one leg coming out to catch the back of his ankle. Caught off guard, he stumbled.
Before he could regain his balance, she had his wrist locked in her grip. Swinging his arm up, she spun underneath, twisted, and wrenched his arm up the middle of his back, then shoved him face-first into the dank-smelling wall.
Well, damn. Not bad. “You’ve been training,” he mumbled against the Sheetrock.
“A little.” She sounded quite proud of herself. She was good. He’d give her that. But her heavy breathing told him it was all she could do to contain him, and he hadn’t even come close to tapping into his full abilities. She’d caught him by surprise, but she was human, a woman, and no match for a mature vampire. Especially in a multiple attack.
With a burst of speed, Arran pushed back, forcing Gabrielle to release him instead of falling on her rear. He whirled, catching her before she hit the floor. In less than a second, their positions reversed. Except this time, he’d pinned her back against the wall, her hands imprisoned by his, over her head.
The position pushed her full breasts up, almost spilling them from her top. Nice. He lifted his gaze, prepared for a hard glare. If her eyes were molten earlier, they were near boiling now. He couldn’t have stopped the next words that spilled from his lips if he’d tried.
“You ass!” She squirmed and bucked against him like a feral cat. Instead of gaining her freedom, though, each maneuver jammed her tighter into his hold. Her every inhale shoved her breasts into his chest. Heat radiated off her body, threatening to scramble his brain. Before he knew he’d even moved, his lips hovered over hers. What made him stop, God only knew. Maybe it was the way she’d suddenly grown still? Or maybe it was the moment she’d parted her lips, releasing warm, peppermint-scented bursts of air that seduced his mind. So damn enticing. All he had to do was lean in one more inch, and he’d --
Fire shot up his arm. “Son of a…” Releasing her, he jumped back and flung his gaze to the offending limb. Blood.
A thin line of crimson blossomed along the outside of his bicep. She’d played him. Purposefully distracted him, so she could pull her hand free and reach for a blade that must have been hidden under her skirt and against her thigh. The little minx.
He swiveled his head back in Gabrielle’s direction. Air punched from his lungs. Christ. Blood surged to his cock. The overwhelming urge to stroke the rock-hard length at the sight of her was short-circuiting his brain. Gabrielle stood, one boot in front of the other, palming a short dagger. She was ready to fight.
He was ready to fuck.
Arran rocked from one foot to the other, searching within for the strength not to take what was his. Mentally, he shook his head. No. She’s not yours, asshole. But damn if his cock had the sense to listen.
“I know you weren’t about to kiss me, warrior. Were you?” She raised a delicate brow and tilted her head. “Because last I heard, my kiss was ‘forgettable.’”
Ouch. He’d had a feeling if he ever saw her again, that asinine comment would come back to bite him in the ass.
“Give me the blade, Gabrielle.”
“This?” She twirled the dagger, then palmed the hilt and held it up for display. “You want it?” A devious smile lit her face. With her other hand, she beckoned him with her fingers. “Come and take it.”
Bad, bad challenge, kitten. A tremor started in his gut and worked its way up, until it was a buzz inside his brain. Every cell in his body wanted to take.
A gasp of air in his ear was the only indicator that he’d grabbed her. He didn’t remember the trip. Arran lifted her feet from the floor, whirled, and gently laid her on the stairs, pressing his hips, his chest into hers. He had to get his body next to hers. Everywhere. The dagger fell from her hand, rolling and thumping its way down the steps, each tumble a hollow thud.
The loud percussions bypassed the noise inside his head and brought him to a dead halt. He lay with his hips between her legs, his groin pressed to hers. His mouth suspended above her lips. He dropped his gaze to her mouth. God, how he loved the delicate line of her lips, a perfect bow. So full and pink. Her tongue darted out and moistened the lower one. He couldn’t stifle the groan that rolled from the back of his throat.
He dragged his gaze back to her eyes. Passion mixed with doubt and fear stared back at him. “I’m sorry.” The whispered words tumbled from his heart.
She blinked, then swallowed. “Why?”
“For hurting you.”
Her eyelids shuttered, and her breath hitched. Did she believe him? Was an apology enough for what he’d done? He’d walked away, leaving her to think he’d never wanted her, when the truth was, he wanted her more than his next breath. Sorry sounded so insignificant, compared to how much damage he’d done to her heart.
“Gabrielle.” Long, dark eyelashes lifted. Beautiful, near gold eyes shimmered with unshed tears. Please don’t cry. If only he had the power to bring her tears of joy. Instead of the pain he was so damn good at. He wanted to kiss the hurt away. “Remind me.”
Her lips parted first in silence before she asked, “Of what?”
Arran released her arms and cupped her face with his palms. He caressed her lips with his gaze before lifting it back to hers. “What I walked away from.”
NS: And we have to wait a whole week!! #$*$#&@Y^#^!!!!! *Sigh* Alright. I know you’re hard at word on the third book (Hint! Hint! Nudge! Shove!). But before I let you go, you have a surprise for one lucky person?
JL: I do have a surprise. One lucky commenter will be randomly selected to receive, not only a copy of Dark Desires at Midnight, but book one, Desire to Die For as well.
NS: Now that’s a prize!! We’ll send the winner Desire to Die For tomorrow and Dark Desires at Midnight on the 30th. That’ll give the winner a week to read, or re-read, book one before tearing up book two. Thanks so much, Jessica, for stopping by my blog! I’ve had a ball! And congratulations on the new release!
JL: Thank you, girlfriend! Love you. You're the best CP a girl could ever have. J