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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Friday Fun!

My guest author is running a little behind, so for your viewing pleasure while we wait..... *sigh*

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Release Wednesday! + Give*Away!


Help me welcome, Sapphire Phelan!
***

With my erotic urban fantasy e-novellas, Being Familiar With a Witch and its sequel, A Familiar Tangle With Hell being released in print as The Witch and The Familiar, I admit that I enjoyed world building in my characters, Tina Epson’s and her demon Familiar, Charun Adramelch’s world. Though most of the demons, angels and places’ names are from demonic, angelic and mythological pantheons, how Tina becomes a witch is all my idea. There are in real life history and legends, good and bad witches. I decided to share a couple of things used by those against evil witches: witch bottles and witch balls.

A common counterspell against illness caused by witchcraft was to put the sick person's urine in a bottle with iron nails, brass pins, and piece of lead, cork it tightly, and either set it to heat by the hearth or bury it in the ground. Joseph Blagrave wrote in 1671 that a witch’s bottle, “will endanger the witches’ life, for … they will be grievously tormented, making their water with great difficulty, if any at all.” The theory is that the witch created a magical link with her victim and this could be reversed, using the victim's body-products. The witch had to break the link to save herself. The victim would then recover.
The recipe was still known in a Norfolk village in 1939: Take a stone bottle, make water in it, and fill it with your own toe-nails and finger-nails, iron nails, and anything which belongs to you. Hang the bottle over the fire and keep stirring it. It must be dark in the room and you can’t speak or make any noise. Then the witch is supposed to come to your door and beg you to open the door and let her in. If you keep silent and ignore her, the witch will burst. In the folklore it is said that the strain on the mind of the person when the witch begs to be let in is usually so great that the person breaks down and speaks. Then the witch is set free.
In London, England, seventeenth-century pottery jugs of the kind called ‘greybeards’ or ‘bellarmines’ were found buried in ditches or streams. They contained bent nails and felt hearts stuck with pins. In Essex and Suffolk, others had been discovered, underneath the hearths or thresholds of houses. Later, cheap glass bottles would be used in the same way. One was unearthed under the hearth of a Sussex cottage in the 1860s, as was common in the country. It contained two hundred bent pins. An example that dated from the early years of the twentieth century turned up in a shop at Padstow, Cornwall. Urine was put in a cod-liver-oil bottle which had its cork pierced with eight pins and one needle, and then bricked up in a chimney. In Cambridgeshire, a three-sided iron bottle held hen's blood and feathers mingled with the usual human urine, salt, hair, and nail-clippings; also (for protection rather than cure) small bottles of greenish or bluish glass filled with colored silk threads. These had been displayed beside doors or windows, to divert the witch's power by confusing her gaze. According to the East London Advertiser on August 1, 1903, a barber in Essex was asked to save some hair-clippings from a customer's neck. This was so someone who wanted revenge on the man could place them in a bottle and then heat it until at midnight it burst, making the man ill. Not a defensive counter spell, instead this was an active magic attack, using the intended victim's hair; sometimes, witch bottles were similarly used.
In Scotland, people used to wear witch balls around their necks to ward off witches. It was also believed in Scotland and Canada that if a witch touched one, her/his soul would be caught within the ball forever.
A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in eighteenth-century England to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells, or ill fortune, though the witch's ball actually originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing. Witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters) for a decorative effect. Witch balls appeared in America in the nineteenth century and were often found in gardens under the name "gazing ball,” something that has come back, as I bought one last summer to place in my own garden. However, "gazing balls" contain no strands within their interior. According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colors; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping.
Witch balls sometimes measure as large as seven inches (eighteen cm) in diameter. By tradition, but not always, the witch ball is green or blue in color and made from glass. There have been others made of wood, grass, or twigs, instead of glass. Some are decorated in enameled swirls and brilliant stripes of various colors. The gazing balls found in many of today's gardens are derived from silvered witch balls that acted as convex mirrors, warding off evil by reflecting it away.
Because they look similar to the glass balls used on fishing nets, witch balls are often associated with sea superstitions and legends. The modern Christmas ornament ball is descended from the witch ball. According to an ancient tale, the ornament was originally placed on the tree to dispel a visitor’s envy at the presents left beneath the tree.
Besides the ball, mistletoe was also considered a powerful charm to be used against witches, along with lightening.

Of course, even though her Familiar and lover is a demon, Tina is a good witch. Heaven has set her destiny to stop the apocalypse (or as she finds out, more than one needs to be halted). But as Tina learns, she gets to be more than a hero, she gets the guy too!

I am doing a giveaway for the whole blog tour April 23rd through April 28th. Leave a comment here or at any of the blogs I make at. You can leave a comment (plus your email, so I can contact you) at each blog, to get more chances, but no more than one per blog, please. The giveaway is a signed copy of The Witch And The Familiar. This is only for USA commenters though (due to price of mailing outside of US). For those outside of US, I will give instead a gift cert for price of the book at Phaze Books, so that I can email you.



Sapphire Phelan

Dark heroes and heroines with bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today.


2010 Prism Winner


Blurb:
Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn’t do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won’t stand a chance in Hell.
A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?

Excerpt (must be 18 and older to read):

The time had come.
About time too.
Not looking back, Charun rose from the bowels of Hell to the Mortal Realm, ending up just down the street from Cup of Tea and a Book bookstore. He shifted into the form of a handsome, naked man. His staff waved before him like a proud, hissing snake, spitting even as precum beaded at the slit. He shook his head. No, it was too soon for him to assume the man form.  He frowned, thinking.
A cat!
He would become a cat. That would do—for now. Just not a horny tom cat, as the pain of his arousal washed over him. He dodged into a nearby alley and worked his organ, biting his lips when he came.
Withdrawing his hand from his flaccid penis and using the other to prop himself against the building, he spoke in demon, “Denoch er nomonaty.”
A strange feeling slammed into him and he cried out as he dropped to his knees on the pavement. Thrusting out a hand against the ground so he wouldn’t topple over, he began to metamorphose, growing smaller and smaller as he did. Black fur sprouted all over his body and head. His ears sharpened into points and shot up over his head, while his hands and feet became paws edged with sharp claws. Whiskers pinged out of his cheeks and from his buttocks snaked a long tail. He hunched over and then fell over onto his ass. Within seconds, his metamorphose completed, he was a black cat. Resisting the peculiar urge to wash his face, Charun stretched and then rose onto all four paws. He padded over to a puddle of rain water to inspect the change.
He sat down and viewed his reflection. Not bad looking as far as cats went. Lifting a paw, he splashed his image. Then back on all four paws, he trotted to the street and paused to sniff the air. He sneezed as the full force of odors hit him. A multitude of different things, from the smell of blasted sunshine to the grime of city life. The sunshine revealed to him that it would not rain for days. He had arrived a day too late. The air revealed that it had thunder stormed yesterday.
He needed heavy rain to make his first appearance to his witch. Needed it as a reason for her to feel sorry for him and take him in. From what he remembered she would not leave any animal drowning in a torrential downpour. But from all the viewing he did of her growing up he knew she wasn’t an impulsive person either. He knew that she loved animals, but felt that she couldn’t afford one right now in her life. He might end up in an animal shelter or a place like that. This kind of operation needed the right things in place. Timing, too. Timing always mattered. He had learned that long ago as an Incubus. The wrong time could always mean the lover would wake up too soon. Find that their fantasy lover was real, and that the husband, wife, lover, concubine, whoever, wasn’t what really was taking them beyond the heights of lust. One Succubus found that out the hard way when her nobleman lover woke up not to find his wife mounted on his staff but a green-skinned fiend. He knocked her out before she could call her magic up and had a priest exorcised her. Exorcism was death for a demon. Instead of sending them back to Hell, it ended their existence.
So timing was important, even now. His witch’s survival was the true equation here. If she died before he made her a witch, he knew the fate for Earth if the demons took over. There was the matter of his lust for her too. Relieving it wouldn’t be bad, either.
He cocked his head and twitched his ears. He was a demon, with strong magic. Closing his eyes, he let his magic surround him with a shimmering golden light.
Lano’ste. Na la por lestano.
His fur stood on end, the ends crackling, and he widened his eyes as the magic burned within and outside with a violent heat close to atomic. He fell onto his side, dazed, and barely noted when it shot away from him, heading toward the blue skies. It dusted the few white clouds drifting along the blue sky and they became black ones, pregnant with rain.
Still unsteady, he rolled over onto his stomach and waited until the power quieted. Charun breathed in the rain odor and gave a Cheshire cat grin. He rose to his paws and padded off, as the sound of thunder vibrated in the air.
Fuck the weather forecasters and their predictions. With magic, he’d just turned their Doppler radar upside down.


About Sapphire Phelan:

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books.
She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. 
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!
For more information, check out her website: http://www.SapphirePhelan.com .



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday Fun: Meet Author MAUREEN FISHER + Give*Away!

Please help me welcome the wonderful MAUREEN FISHER! She's brought 2 (Two!) great book excerpts, FUR BALL FEVER and JAGUAR LEGACY. You can learn more about Maureen at http://booksbymaureen.com
But come on back because Maureen is offering 1 copy of either FUR BALL FEVER OR JAGUAR LEGACY....winner's choice!

Thanks for being her today, Maureen!




Many thanks for the chance to be a guest on your blog, Jennifer. It’s great to be here, and I’m happy to answer some interview questions. Please feel free to comment or ask me any question you want. One commenter will win the book of her choice (either Fur Ball Fever or The Jaguar Legacy).

As a romance author, do you have any advice to women for injecting more romance into their relationships?

I do. At the risk of sounding immodest, the advice I’m about to impart on cranking up your romance quotient is so simple yet so brilliant, I expect to be awarded a significant humanitarian award. Like the Nobel Peace Prize. Or the Order of Canada. Or the coveted Above-and-Below-the-Sheets Romance Upgrade Award.

Seriously!

To put my money where my mouth is, I will share with you the secret for injecting more romance into a relationship, both in and out of the bedroom:

Every man must learn what makes a woman tick.

Yes, folks, it really is that simple.

Since the beginning of time, we women have struggled, sadly with limited success, to instill more romance into our relationships. The good news is, the failure is not our fault. Seriously. The key to living the romantic dream nestles in the capable, not to mention long-fingered, sensitive, well-manicured, sinewy, and delightfully work-roughened hands of our romantically-challenged main squeeze. Think, for example, how wonderful it would be if our man grasped that overt ogling of the waitresses at Hooters was an unconditional no-no; how delightful if our man embraced our hormone-whipped mood swings with a hug, reassuring words, and an offer to clean the toilets; how glorious if our man listened with unfeigned interest to our frustrations, hurts, and complaints—without offering advice on how we should handle the situation; how totally sublime if our man memorized all our most sensitive spots and lavished attention on each and every of them. Frequently. Gently but firmly. The way we love most.

Okay, so I sense skepticism. How, you ask, can we impart this knowledge to our menfolk without indulging in mind-melding or nasty threats involving sharp implements? In the interest of female solidarity, I’m willing to share my mind-blowing ‘how-to’ secret:

Introduce the love of your life to romance fiction.

Okay, so I’m taking the high road and ignoring the eye-rolls. Bear with me. To achieve this goal, I have devised an Action Plan containing Tasks, Sub-Tasks, and Milestones.

The first task is sneaky. It exploits men’s love of logic. This is where you explain to him that romance novels provide unlimited opportunities for a man to plumb the depths (so to speak) of the mysterious world of Venus. In the process, he might even reach new insight into Martians. How, I ask you, can any man in his right mind resist unveiling the feminine mystique--what we love, what we hate, what turns us on, what turns us off, in short, what makes us tick?

Once you reach the first milestone (his buy-in that romance novels offer men untold benefits), it’s time to implement task two. Take a deep breath and drop a hint that, going forward (that’s man-speak, required to indicate you’re on his wave-length), his enlightenment will cause those Gates of Paradise to open more often. And bingo! He’s riveted by the bait of abundant sex. You’ve achieved the second milestone.

At this point, you must advance quickly to task three. Tap into his competitive streak by recounting your recurring fantasy of a man sprawled in an airport chair, legs crossed, waiting for his flight, briefcase and laptop at his feet—a manly man, a hunk who is truly comfortable in his own skin, a studmuffin who is dabbing the tears in his eyes, a hottie who has discarded his business report on financial trends in favor of the latest Nora Roberts bestseller. Assure him that at the end of the day (more man-speak), only real men read romance.

If you’ve done your job properly, you’ll soon hear him beg for Jennifer Jakes’ newest historical romance, or Maureen Fisher’s paranormal, or even romances by lesser-known authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lori Foster. Simply hand your dude the mushiest romance novel you can find, place a box of tissues within easy reach, and give him space to do the rest.

Mission accomplished! I offer you a transformed man who understands women inside and out. A man who knows what to do to and how to do it to crank up the romance quotient.

Seriously!

Which of your story protagonists do you love best and why?

It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite. Similar to how I feel about my children, I love each and every one of my protagonists equally—for their strengths, flaws, quirks, and all.

For example, while feeling compassion for the failings and foibles of Charley Underhill, heroine of The Jaguar Legacy, I also love her complexity, spunk, and wit. Never boring, Charley is full of contradictions and more than a few hang-ups. And no wonder. An independent woman at heart, she has lived under the thumb of her manipulative and alcoholic mother her entire life. Honest and ethical at heart, she sees no alternative but to tell a lie that nearly destroys her in order to save her mother’s life. Charley’s passion for life bubbles over, while her tendency towards bossiness, rash actions, inquisitiveness, and obstinacy trip her up at every turn. When feeling nervous, which happens a lot around the hunky Alistair Kincaid, she falls back on smart-assed comments, witticisms, and a quirky sense of humor to mask her discomfort. Courageous and resolute, if she believes in a cause, nothing will stop her from doing what she feels is right. In the end, Charley finds within herself the strength of character to overcome emotional trauma, supernatural forces of evil, and mind-numbing fear to save the man she loves.

How did you decide on the topics for your books?

With me, each book is different.

My first book, The Jaguar Legacy, is a paranormal romantic suspense that gives voice to my belief in reincarnation. Triggered by the energy of the archaeological dig, my heroine makes the unnerving discovery that in her past life, she had been an Olmec High Priestess, trained to kill at an early age, and thirsting for power. At the risk of sounding slightly Looney-Tunes, I’m convinced that the past life I wrote about was one of my own. Certainly, it was the part of the book that flowed most easily, the only part that required little or no editing.

A newspaper article about a charity extravaganza called The Fur Ball provided the kernel of the idea for my second book, Fur Ball Fever. What could be more fun than a romantic crime mystery set against a wacky backdrop of animal politics—One for the Money meets Best in Show (with hot sex)? I wanted something funny, something outrageous, something zany. I zeroed in on a pet-napping gone terribly wrong. Throw in two former flames as reluctant allies, an aging flower child auntie, murder, a phony televangelist, a missing trophy wife, several drag queens, a dominatrix or two, the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City, and the result is a zany roller-coaster ride of murder and mayhem, culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.

My Work-in-Progress, Cold Feet Fever, is a sequel to Fur Ball Fever. The hero is the Southern hunk of a playboy brother of my hero in Fur Ball Fever. Work? In Sam Jackson’s opinion, the only place God intended a man should exert himself was in the bedroom. Sam is lazy but charming, a commitment-challenged gambler and womanizer, an underachiever with a photographic memory he prefers to hide. He’s irresistible to the ladies. Can you tell I’m in love with him already?

Read more about Maureen Fisher and her books at http://booksbymaureen.com

Maureen Fisher’s Books

The Jaguar Legacy http://amzn.com/B005L40LX6  is an award-winning romance written in the tradition of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (with steamy romance).

Despite the baffling panic attacks that devastated her career, enterprising journalist Charley Underhill barges in on a Mexican archaeological dig, bent sifting rumors from truth about the Curse of the Olmecs. A juicy exposé would restore her reputation and earn money for her mother’s life-saving treatment. If it means lying to a no-good womanizing archaeologist with a sexy Scottish accent, brilliant scientific mind, and penchant for gaudy Hawaiian shirts, so be it.

Uncovering the past is archaeologist Dr. Alistair Kincaid’s purpose in life. Still smarting from his ex-wife’s ruthless betrayal, he fears a premature press leak about his latest discovery, an ancient Olmec city buried in the jungle, will doom his floundering career. He can’t let a snoopy reporter, even one with a quirky sense of humor, smarts, and a dazzling grin, destroy his last chance at success. Or steal his heart.

Together, the couple uncovers long-buried secrets best left alone, including the long-lost art of shapeshifting. Strands from past lives intertwine with the present, drawing Charley and Kincaid deeper into a legacy of danger, romance, and evil. Torn between saving her mother’s life and betraying the man she loves, Charley must make the impossible choice as atonement for sins committed in her past life.

Excerpt (The Jaguar Legacy)

Kincaid took care to hide his elation. She'd practically admitted to having feelings for him. He lowered his voice to what he hoped was an enticing rumble. “We can take it slowly, one day at a time.”

“That won’t make the least bit of difference.”

This wasn’t going the way he’d planned, but it was too late to back off now. “I know you don’t trust men, but I promise I will never lie to you.”

Charley’s voice quivered. “I’m not ready for this. Everything’s moving too fast.” She turned her back on him.

“I’ll make you a deal.” He swung her around to face him and clasped her hand in both of his. “I’ve never forced myself on a woman and I don’t intend to start now. I promise I’ll try to keep my hands to myself. The next move will be up to you. I won’t touch you, well, unless I forget, until you tell me you’re ready. Willing and eager would be good too.”

Her eyes flickered, then widened in surprise. "Clever. You’re putting me in the driver’s seat.”

He didn’t feel so clever right now. “Aye. Another of my many virtues,” he said, wishing he could retract his promise.

“Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to change my mind,” she warned with a steely smile.

He hid the queasy feeling behind a forced grin. What had he been thinking? He should have moved in for the kill when he’d sensed that, with a wee bit more convincing on his part, she'd have conceded defeat.

“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up without a fight.” He furrowed his brow to emphasize his next words. “I intend to use my killer wit and fatal charm in every devious manner known to man and beast to convince you to change your mind.”

“Suit yourself.” She clamped her mouth shut in a stubborn line and set off down the dark path toward camp …..

Fur Ball Fever http://amzn.com/B005LIALVE is a romantic crime mystery spiked with attitude (most of it warped), tons of humor, and enough steamy sex to drive those who dare read it racing for a cold shower. One reader described it as One for the Money meets Best in Show.
After a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, pet spa owner Grace Donnelly outdoes herself when she loses her elderly client’s prize pooch—a shoo-in to win the annual Jersey Shore Fur Ball. Money, careers, and lives are in jeopardy. Too bad her helpers consist of an aging hippie aunt, a renegade schnauzer, and a drag queen. Worst of all, the only man truly qualified to help is her former flame, the hunkiest bodyguard north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Security specialist Nick Jackson faces his worst nightmare when Grace’s amateur investigation nearly blows his undercover operation. Unless he nails the con-artist who scammed local seniors and whacked a witness, his homicidal granddaddy will take justice into his own liver-spotted hands. To salvage his case, his sanity, and his ex-lover’s velvety skin, Nick joins forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way—and so many right ways too.
Action bounces between a beach harboring washed-up corpses, a fancy yacht no honest preacher could possibly afford, and the bawdiest nightclub in Atlantic City. Hazards multiply like bunnies until exploding into romance, murder, and mayhem culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.
Excerpt (Fur Ball Fever)
When Nick freed Grace's lips, her breath was coming hard and fast. More turned on than she could ever remember, she took another risk. Still gasping for air, she explained, “Most bondage scenarios revolve around a fantasy.” She paused for a beat, gathering her courage. “You said I’d be in charge,” she reminded him. “I want to act out a fantasy.”
He gave an audible gulp. “Anything specific?”
“Mmmm-hmmm,” she said around a deep, shuddering breath. One fantasy had tantalized her thoughts and tormented her dreams ever since she’d laid eyes on Nick. Breathing hard, she raised her head. “You’re the white knight. I’m a fair maiden you’re rescuing from the clutches of an evil ogre who has tied her up.”
His eyes blazed. “I can live with that, darlin’,” he said. “Is this fair maiden conscious or unconscious?”
A wave of hot desire thickened her speech. “Sleeping. The white knight is trying to awaken her.” Suffused with the heady liberation of surrender, Grace closed her eyes and held her breath. She didn’t have to see Nick to feel the heat of his gaze scalding her skin. The tension became unbearable.
Then the mattress sank under his weight. Although he didn’t touch her, his body radiated heat. The aroma of sandalwood and hungry male enveloped her. She compressed her lips on the moan that struggled to escape. If the white knight didn’t do something, and fast, she would jump clear out of her skin—if she wasn’t cuffed to the bed.
His mouth skimmed her cheek, trailed heat down her jaw line, feathered tiny kisses down her neck. He stopped above her right breast. She pictured him staring. Her nipples throbbed with anticipation, longing for the tug of his mouth. She held her breath, squeezed her eyes shut, forced her body to remain motionless. This was too good, too delicious, to break the spell. Her body was on fire simply from imagining his next move.
The mattress shifted. She opened one eye a slit to find him kneeling between her legs. Closing the eye quickly—before he noticed the fair maiden was wide awake and more than ready for action—she waited, clenched and quivering …….

Both books are available at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/7zvucl3 and Smashwords http://tinyurl.com/86uoetb

Remember, one commenter will win the book of her choice (either Fur Ball Fever or The Jaguar Legacy).

Good luck, and thank you!

Maureen Fisher


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Release Wednesday + Give*Away!

Help me welcome the talented MARIE TUHART! She's brought her hot new book, HIS FOR THE WEEKEND. You can find Marie on the web at www.marietuhart.com
Please leave a comment to be entered in a $5 Wild Rose Press Gift Card.
Thanks for being here today, Marie:)


Thank you for having me today Jennifer.

His for the Weekend is a book I wrote several years ago and pushed under the bed.  After having three books under my belt with The Wild Rose Press, I dusted the book off and re-read it.  The story was sound, just needed some work.  I edited and edited, had my critique group read it, and edited some more before I sent it to my editor.  Now, I'm always nervous when I send something to my editor, what if she doesn't like it?  Needless to say, she loved it and my readers now have the end result.  Marcus and Cassie have special place in my heart.



HIS FOR THE WEEKEND

Cassandra Adams has a problem and its name is Marcus DeLuca. The man is quite determined to have her--on his terms. Cassie has had enough of domineering men in her life, yet she's drawn to strong, virile Marcus. Tempted to get that man out of her system once and for all, she agrees that she will be his for a weekend only--but then he must leave her alone forever.

Marcus will do anything to get sexy, non-committal Cassie into his arms, into his bed--failure is not an option. He wants nothing more than to keep Cassie in his life, but he senses a secret that keeps her from being able from committing--from submitting--to any man. Will Marcus's special brand of domination free her to be his for more than a weekend?


Excerpt:

“I can’t take this anymore.” Her voice was whisper soft, but he heard the words as clear as if she had shouted them.

His heart leaped—now he could prove to her there was more to him than a co-worker and give their relationship a chance. “What are you willing to give me?”

Her head snapped up and she gnawed on her lip. “Twenty-four hours.”

“Not enough. A hundred and twenty.”

Her mouth opened then closed. Her gaze darted left, then right, before settling back on his face. He could almost see the wheels turning in her head. A good sign—she was willing to be his.

“Too long. Forty-eight.”

He stood and crossed over to her. He needed to be close to her as they negotiated. “Still not enough. Ninety-six uninterrupted hours with you.”

Her nose scrunched up and her lashes swept down, cutting off the view of her expressive eyes. “Sixty—six tonight until six Monday morning.”

He noted the stubborn set to her chin. It wasn’t ideal, but he could do it. He would not fail in winning her over. Leaning close, he whispered, “I’ll take it.”

She exhaled, lashes rising until she stared at him. “What are the ground rules?”

“There are none.”

Her eyes widened. Oh, yes, he had her now and he wasn’t letting go.

“No barriers. No rules.”

Her shoulders dipped, then straightened. She acted like she was preparing for a battle, but it would be a battle of sex. “All right, but when the sixty hours are done, we’re finished. I mean it. No flowers, no gifts, no mention of this weekend. Ever.”

Without another word, she spun on her heels to walk out of his office.

He was quick to cross the room. He captured her by the shoulders, bringing her to a halt. His lips brushed her ear and a shiver shook her. “Remember what I said at the party?”

She didn’t answer him, but her swift intake of breath was the only answer he needed. 

“You belong to me.” 

“I belong to no man.”

He slid his hands down her arms, past her clenched fists and encircled her waist, bringing her  back flush against his chest, her breathing shallow.

She didn’t struggle, not even when he tilted his hips, letting her know how much she aroused him.

“You will belong to me. I promise.”

Buy Links:




You can also by at any of your favorite e-tailers

Marie's website: www.marietuhart.com
Twitter: @marietuhart

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Friday Fun: Meet author H.D. Thomson



Help me welcome the talented H.D. Thomson. She's brought her great Suspense novel, SHROUDED IN DARKNESS. 
You can find all of H.D.'s novel on the website . But come on back and learn about H.D. ;)
Thanks for being here today, H.D.



If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?
Wow. That is such an interesting question. I don’t think I would want to trade places with any of them. Or at least I’d like to trade places by the end of each character’s story. I sure wouldn’t want to go through what they’ve gone through. I really put them all in some form of hell or another.
Tell us a little about your WIP.
Right now I’m working on a short story called Shades of Gray. The heroine finds herself with a pair of sunglasses that exposes a person’s aura. Unlike most of the people she comes into contact with the glasses, she lacks color. During the course of the story, she discovers why she is differing shades of gray. I’m really enjoying writing it. I’ve gotten even darker in this story then I have in any other.
Favorite romance movie?
Favorite romance movie… Hmmm. I love a happy ending. If I know the ending is sad, then I won’t watch it. I have yet to watch the Notebook. My favorite at this point would have to be While You Were Sleeping. I liked Sandra Bullock, but I loved Bill Pullman in it. Actually I love anything Bill Pullman is in, especially the suspense movie, Malice, with Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin. That movie had a wonderful twist!
What is your favorite time of year?
Fall hands down. I live in Phoenix where much of the year is summer. When the day get below 80, it’s perfect to me. I love the changing of the leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving. The air just smells better! There’s a crispness to it that is hard to describe.
What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
To me this is a very easy question and it covers just three words: Never give up. It’s that simple. You never know what is around the corner. Life can truly change on a dime.
BLURB:
Margot doesn’t particularly care if she ends up dead.  She’s lost everything she’s ever cared for.  A divorce and the loss of her job as a corporate lawyer has left her with little faith in herself or in anyone else.  Most importantly, she’s lost the one person on this earth she’s looked up to and cherished–her brother, Johnny.  His death in a car accident has devastated her, and she can’t find the willpower to pull herself from the chasm she’s fallen into.  Her only solace is at the bottom of a wineglass.  Having moved back to the small town in northern Arizona where she was raised, she’s made a point of isolating herself both mentally and physically from everyone other than a few chosen friends.  Little does she know that her life is going to explode into chaos and the person behind Johnny’s accident is coming after her.

EXCERPT:
“Damn it!”
In the hall, she tripped over her calico cat, Marmaduke, who streaked past her and up the stairs. She swore again. The banging continued. The crazy fool outside had given up on the doorbell long ago. 
“John!  Come on.  Open up!  It’s me, Jake!”
At the mention of Johnny’s name, Margot’s stomach twisted and rolled with sudden nausea. “Okay! Okay! Give me a second.”
She groped for the light switch to the hall. Nothing happened.
“Damn, stupid thing!” That’s what she got for not replacing the house’s ancient wiring.
“John, I’m freezing my ass off!”
“What do you expect,” Margot muttered, wondering if this guy was playing some sick joke at her expense.
Margot hit the outside light switch and peered through the glass panel beside the door. A man stood on the front porch. She didn’t recognize him, but then again, the sheet of snow and the light’s glare against the night backdrop didn’t help matters.
A gun or pepper spray for protection sounded pretty nice right now, but Margot hated guns and had never expected the need, living on the outskirts of Greyson, Arizona. It wasn’t like this town up in the White Mountains was loaded with crime. The worst incident had been a case of disorderly conduct last winter, and that had been from a drunken tourist.
“Who is it?”
A pause on the other side followed—almost as if she’d surprised him.
“Margot? Is that you? It’s Jake Preston.”
Though muffled, his words were clear enough to make out. The name sounded familiar, but she couldn’t recall what Johnny had said about him.
Margot frowned and winced as pain cut across her temple, brow and the base of her skull. She should have stopped at one glass of wine. “How do you know Johnny?”
“I worked with him at Miltronics for several years on the outskirts of Boston.” 
Margot debated about turning this Jake away as she watched him stamp his feet against the porch. He must be freezing—what with the wind and snow.
“I know it’s late, but I need to talk to John. Please. If you could just get him, you’ll see I’m harmless.”
The urgency in his voice made her decide. He obviously didn’t know about her brother. She sighed heavily. What she had to tell him wasn’t going to be easy.
Margot unlatched the lock and opened the door.
An angry gust of wind burst into the house, tearing the knob from her grasp. The door flew wide and crashed against the wall. Gasping, she reeled back as snow flew in, stabbing her face with icy spikes.
“Here, let me.” He stepped inside and shoved the door closed with his shoulder. He turned his back against the light from the kitchen, casting his face in shadow. His baseball cap further shielded his features—along with sunglasses of all things.
How very odd. Sudden apprehension curled up her spine as Margot stepped away from Jake and the doorway. Topping a good six-feet, he appeared far larger than when he’d stood behind a locked door.
“What are the sunglasses for?” she asked.
“The light.”
“What?”
“My eyes. They’re sensitive to light. I injured both corneas as a child.”
“Oh.” She must have been staring at him like an idiot, but something about him made her uneasy. And it wasn’t just the glasses and pale complexion.
He must have sensed her disquiet, because he explained further, “It’s called traumatic iritis. It’s something I’ve had to live with for as long as I can remember.” He shrugged a large canvas backpack from his shoulder and placed it on the floor. “Can you get John for me?”
“He’s dead.”
Margot never intended the words to come out so abrupt and final, but...it hurt. Balling her hands into fists, she fought against the sudden tears that burned the back of her eyes. Please no. Not now. She couldn’t fall apart in front of this stranger.
“He can’t be. That’s impossible.”
BUY LINK:






Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Release Wednesday + Give*away!


Please help me welcome my friend, the talented JOCELYN BELL! She's got a great surprise for you all!


Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for having me on your blog. Its a pleasure to get the chance to meet your fans and share a little about my writing with them.
I thought it would be fun to talk about Female Main Characters. In my novella, DARE ME, Gina is one of my favorite characters I’ve dreamed up. Even though it was a short story, the character development was no different, for me, than a full-length novel.
Gina is in a huge transitional period when we meet her in DARE ME. Newly divorced, in search of a new career and a little out of sorts, she is stuck in a rather large rut. As gutsy women often do, she takes bold moves. Taking charge of her life, she makes strides to find that new career. With the help of her very sexy neighbor, she discovers a sassy minx inside that she never even knew existed. The development of a shy, self-conscious woman into one with confidence and gumption is my favorite kind of character.
I have never been a damsel in distress sort of person. So, I tend to like women who find their own way. Heroines who slay their own dragons, who feel powerful in their skin, and eventually out of their clothes. Now, this does not mean that we don’t all need a hero to walk beside us, sometimes we even need that hero to encourage and push us to be the best version of ourselves. This is how I would describe Travis, the hot neighbor who helps Gina tap into the sexy and confident women she has been hiding in a demure shell.
To me, the best heroes are the ones that encourage the heroine to be more rather than less of herself. The best heroines are strong, brave, and willing to take a few risks to see what life has to offer.
I would love to hear what you like in your heroines and heroes. As luck would have it for the next two days (4/11-4/12), DARE ME is free on Amazon. So please check it out and enjoy a little sensual romance and fun with Gina and Travis!

Dare Me (Novella 1 – Voyeur Series) by Jocelyn Bell

Excerpt:
She lay in the warm water and watched him swing the pickaxe up and down, up and down his muscles flexing tight with each dig. Setting down the ax, he wiped his brow and took a long slow sip of his drink, as she became more and more aroused. He made her pulse race, her mouth was dry, and she was so very thirsty. For just a moment, she even let herself wish him next to her in the tub. She gazed upon him and daydreamed until the water got too cool. Standing up in the tub, she brushed the last of the bubbles from her breasts and was stunned to feel a throbbing between her legs, a pleasure induced ache to be touched and explored. Touching her own body had never felt exciting before.
Gina caressed each nipple tentatively to test the waters of this discovery. As she watched Travis put his tools in his shed, she ran her hands along her body noticing which areas were the most satisfying and despite the chill of the air around her, her body warmed on the inside. Until Travis turned around and she froze.
“Oh my hell.”

Thank you so much for stopping by today, I look forward to reading your comments about Female Main Characters in today’s books. Have an amazing day!
xo
Jocelyn Bell

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Release Wednesday + Give*Away!

Please help me welcome the talented BABETTE JAMES! She's offering an e-copy of her wonderful release, CLEAR AS DAY!(( All you Contemporary fans take notice ;)
Leave a comment for your chance to win. And don't forget to leave your email addy!

Thanks for being here, Babette!

- - - - -
Hello, everyone. Thanks, Jennifer, for letting me guest blog today and I’m delighted to be visiting with you all as I celebrate the release day of Clear As Day, my spicy contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press.

As part of today’s celebration, several of my friends and co-workers are taking me out after work for a release party. Their excitement for me over the past months, leading up to this exciting day, prompted me to think about all how invaluable and encouraging all my friends’ support has been on my journey to publication, as well as the roles that friendships play in my stories themselves. Friendships have been an integral part of Clear As Day reaching publication, both the good friends around me here at home and on-line and the friendships of the characters in the story itself.

Writing is often considered a commonly solitary adventure, but it’s so much richer when the journey is shared with friends. I frequently write while in an online chat with my critique and goals group and other writing friends. My friends hail from different states and countries, different romance genres, and different stages of our writing careers. They are a critical editing eye, encouraging sounding board for ideas, mentors, cheering squad, shoulder to whine and cry on, and very great friends, and I can’t thank my lovely Ratters enough for helping me make Clear As Day the story it is today.

I also belong to New Jersey Romance Writers, and without the support and friendship (and not a little nagging and genial pushing) of my friends at NJRW, I might not have made those first terrifying efforts to pitch and submit.

As for my romance stories, whether contemporary or fantasy, it seems no matter the couple, the conflict, or the world, my stories revolve strongly upon all kinds of friendships and the support that you get from them, or just the learning experiences: from friends turning to lovers, and old friends that are closer than family, uncovering unknown facets of once-familiar friends and understanding them in new lights, and the pleasures, and sometimes complications, of new friends.

In Clear As Day, and the stories that I’m currently writing as sequels, each couple develops out of a core group of friends that vacation together each summer. My heroine and hero, Kay and Nate, two good friends “with benefits”, painfully discover, despite those years of close friendship, just how much they didn’t know about each other and had left to assumption. Nate is faced with just how hard loving can be and Kay finds denying love doesn’t keep it from happening to her. They now needed to learn to really talk and listen to one another, take risks, and truly trust one another, if their friendship was to survive and love they’d always really shared have a future. I also enjoyed writing their close-knit circle of friends, who grew to be far more than simple secondary characters walking through Kay and Nate’s story, and their lives intersecting and affecting one another in their relationships with Kay and Nate brought layers and depth to this story world that I had not expected when I first began the original first draft.

I hope you enjoy Nate and Kay’s journey as much as I have.

Blurb:
What’s a girl to do when her summer lover wants forever?

Haunted by dark memories of her parents’ volatile marriage, artist Kay Browning keeps her heart locked behind a free-spirit facade and contents herself with the comfortable affair she has every summer with easygoing photographer Nate Quinn.

The only trouble with her plan? This summer Nate’s come to Lake Mohave to claim the lover he can’t let go. He’s done with the endless traveling and settling for temporary homes and temporary loves. Kay’s always been more than just a vacation fling, and now he must convince this woman, who sees love as a course to certain heartbreak, to take that leap of faith and learn how safe love with the right man can be.

Excerpt:
“Kay!” That male voice was not her imagination.

“Oh, shit!” She twisted and dropped into the water, sinking neck-deep.

Mother always said, among other things, that a lady never goes skinny-dipping and must always wear a proper hat. Kay was only half skinny-dipping, but she fervently wished she’d worn something a bit more substantial than a baseball cap and the bottom half of the quintessential teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

Shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. She so hated when Mother was right.

Okay, time to find out who’d just gotten an eyeful. The guy had called her name, so she should know him. Oh boy, if she’d flashed old George…

She wiped water from her face, sucked in a breath against her pounding heart, and peeked around.

Nate.

She must be sun-dazed. Nate? With a beard? Hair curling over his ears? No way.

Just because a familiar slouchy fishing hat topped those unruly, sun-bleached blond curls and just because this guy possessed the same deep-water tan and footloose taste in clothes as Nate with his electric blue Hawaiian shirt, bright orange swim trunks, and beat-up deck shoes didn’t mean—

“Hey, babe. Now that I’ve finally caught your attention, how about a hug from my girl?” He opened his arms. “Am I coming in after you or are you coming out?” Only Nate’s voice held that mellow timbre like chocolate for her ears.

“Nate! What…” Giddy delight flushed over Kay, clearing her shock. She dashed from the water and into strong arms, a wonderful hug, and a better kiss that launched her mind into a blissed-out whirl of oh, yes and why?

The oh, yes won out until the need to breathe forced them apart.

Nate gave her a long look, his usually easy gray eyes holding a new, simmering heat.

Wow. Whoa.


Bio: Babette James writes contemporary and fantasy romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. A teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! She lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and three extremely spoiled cats.

Links:
Babette loves hearing from readers and you can find her at:





Youtube Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/E1ur-avq5YI

You can find Clear As Day at: <a href="http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&amp;manufacturers_id=952" title="The Wild Rose Press" target="_blank">The Wild Rose Press</a>
<a href="http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-clearasday-677696-149.html" title="All Romance EBooks" target="_blank">All Romance EBooks</a>
<a href="http://babettejames.com/books/clear-as-day/" title="For More Links" target="_blank">For More Links</a>
Come fall in love at the river.