Excerpts

Welcome to the JUST ROMANCE ME blog hop. If you got here without being on the “bus”, click HERE to join the fun and visit the other participating authors!

I’m so glad you could make it. At the time of this post the northeast United States is being hit with the trifecta of winter elements: a blizzard with 12-18 inches of snow and record high tides that may cause flooding (thanks to the new moon) are expected where I live, and record low temperatures. It seems like the perfect time to share one of the chilling scenes from my newest release IN HIS EYES, a romantic thriller that just may give you a few more chills! The scene below will give you an idea of how creepy the villain really is!

450 X 600It’s always wonderful to be noticed … or is it?

To those around her, Maggie Callaghan appears to have the perfect life…a handsome husband, three beautiful children, and her own business. But beneath her thin veneer lies a dark past and self-doubts. When evidence of her husband’s infidelity surfaces, Maggie leases a cottage on the Maine coast and prepares for her inevitable divorce. But a serial killer is on the hunt—and he’s marked Maggie as his next victim. Now her beachside retreat is the focus of an undercover FBI investigation targeting the murderer who’s left a trail of bodies across two states. As lies and secrets are revealed, Maggie realizes her life depends on knowing who’s protecting her—and who’s got her in his sights.

EXCERPT:
Like most nights, he sat in the alabaster sand, sifting grains slowly from hand to hand as if measuring time. Watching.

Always watching.

People rarely saw him, unless he chose for it to be so. And the woman meandering along the water’s edge was no exception. She had no idea he was admiring her. Appraising her. Measuring her.

With the tide so low, he’d been able to study the exotic creature whose hair rode the wind like black silk. She dragged her feet in the shallow surf, her eyes cast down as if the ebb and flow of the ocean could soothe away her troubles. The dip of her chin and the graceful arch of her neck spoke of a heavy burden.

She walked without a companion. Alone was good.

Lord, she was beautiful.

The sadness that curved her body in on itself made her that much more irresistible. He imagined he could hear the sweet strains of her loneliness carried on the evening breeze.

He didn’t know he was searching. Didn’t realize the moment had come again.

It had been a long time since he’d found someone who obviously hungered for the kind of solace only he could offer. He replayed the scene over and over again, long after she’d left the beach, long after the day had surrendered to the night. How serendipitous for her to be here on his beach.

He sat, quietly measuring time in handfuls of sand, thinking about the grace of her walk, the gentle swell of her hips and breasts, the lovely mane of hair—and he knew.

You are the one. I’ve been waiting for you.

In the solitude of the new moon, he sat for a long time committing to memory every detail of their encounter and formulating a plan to make the woman his own. Satisfied, he strolled back to his cottage—his heart and soul as dark as the murky shadows swallowing him.

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**** CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED *****

Okay, so with all the cold and snow and wind I’m thinking I’d like to get away this weekend with a good book to one of my favorite warm-weather destinations … The Virgin Islands. I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in the sand and surf doing research while I was in college. It was amazing and beautiful.

If money were no issue, where would go … and it’s okay if you enjoy winter (brrrrr) and you’d like to go somewhere cold … and what book would you take with you? Curious minds want to know.
Headline Anyone commenting on this post between now and SUNDAY, JANUARY 5 at 4:00pm EDT will be entered to win a prize pack including a $10 Amazon gift card, some IN HIS EYES goodies, a bookbag and a print book from my backlist. (Shipping to US or Canada only. An international winner will win a $25 Amazon gift card in lieu of prize pack.)

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy the rest of the hop!

A_July BBF button copy

I’m so pleased to be part of the BLOGGER’S BOOKFAIR this week! There are tons of new authors to meet, prizes to be won … and many many many books to be added to your reading list. As a blogger and an author, I’m both hosting some wonderful authors and visiting the blogs of authors and bloggers who are participating this week.

Click HERE to check out all the authors and bloggers participating this year!

And without further ado, I’d like to welcome my first guest, LV LEWIS! L. V. Lewis is a married, mother of four who lives in South Georgia and works in the Florida Panhandle. A new author who decided stories like Fifty Shades of Grey needed a little more diversity and comedy, she penned Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever as a parodied response to those wildly popular books from a woman of color. A voracious reader since Kindergarten, Lewis loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. She and her husband are political junkies, a hobby that is time consuming but free. Now that Lewis has teens who think they don’t need their parents anymore, she has taken up another time-draining career of writing. However, she is happy to report, for once, her extra-curricular activity costs far less than her husband’s. Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.

LV1

BLURB:
Fifty Shades of Grey meets Keisha from the block!
Keisha Beale is a quarter of a million dollars away from realizing her dream of opening her own recording studio. A botched attempt at securing the funding required from venture capitalist Tristan White leaves her without many options… until Tristan White makes an indecent proposal. As Keisha navigates the treacherous environment of the billionaire’s secret kinky lifestyle, she discovers surprising things about herself and unleashes demons from her past she thought were long resolved.

EXCERPT
Saturday morning after breakfast we have the first of many fencing lessons in Tristan’s gym. Once again, he is well prepared. He’s gone overboard in my opinion and bought me three sets of fencing whites. I dress in my knickers, plastron, chest protector, jacket, socks, trainers and glove, and then carry my mask and foil out of the dressing room. I meet Tristan out on the floor. He’s already dressed and practicing. He stops when I enter the room, and his eyes rake over me with the same appreciation mine are showing him.

Damn! He’s fine in that getup, especially the tight breeches! My Fairy Hoochie Mama says. Triple-G even lets loose a wolf whistle. I execute an extended mental eye roll.

“Seeing you dressed out gives me ideas, Ms. Beale,” Tristan says, his eyes bright.

“What if I don’t like fencing? Then these cute little outfits you bought will go to waste.”

“They’re not just cute little outfits and believe me, once you get into it you’ll love it.”

“Says the man who’s probably been doing this since he could walk.”

He looks thoughtful. “My mother did begin to teach Nate and me when we were five.”

Every so often, I learn something new about Tristan that underscores the differences in our upbringings. This is one of those moments. When I was that age my mama was teaching me nursery rhymes, reading, and singing. However, knowing that his mother fenced makes me feel like I can do this.

“Then, in homage to the late Mrs. White, I’ll give it a good old college try.”

“Oh, you’ll give it more than that.”

“How can you be so sure?”

LV3“Physical fitness is part of your contract, and it will go a long way in helping you endure the rigors of our role-play weekends. I can tell from your muscle tone you have not been sedentary, and your lines suggest you could be good at this. What sports did you enjoy in school?”

“Track and field. I was a hurdler and long jumper in high school. And even though my music major didn’t allow me to continue in college, I used DePaul’s track and gym whenever I could.”

“I’m impressed and happy to be the beneficiary of your diligence.”

“You have a weird way of giving compliments.”

“You’ll undoubtedly find many things weird about me, but I prefer the term eccentric.”

“Eccentric is more pleasing to the ear.”

Tristan brings me a shiny silver jacket that matches my mask perfectly. “Here, put this on.”

“What’d you do, rob Michael Jackson’s wardrobe?”

He tries to resist smiling but fails. “Funny. The answer is no. It’s an electric lamé or over jacket. When our body cords are attached to it and plugged into the reel on either end of the fencing strip, it’ll register electronic scoring as targets on our bodies are hit.”

“So, this is kinda what you like to do with the whips, crops, and floggers in The Grotto?”

He pauses for a second. “Now that you mention it… Yes.” His eyes shine with an elation that wasn’t there before, and he finishes getting us both outfitted with equipment and in position.

“The first thing you do is salute your opponent as a sign of respect.” He closes his mask. “Mask down, Ms. Beale.” I feel like he’s ordering me around in a scene. He moves into a posture and stands still. “This is the en garde position. Front foot facing forward and then your back foot at a ninety degree angle with your front foot. Your feet are shoulder width apart and your knees are bent. Like so.”

I follow his instructions and manage to mirror his stance exactly after a few seconds.

“Good form.”

I grin. How ridiculous is it that I crave his approval so much?

He points at the line next to him on the strip. “Don’t cross that line until you’ve been signaled to engage after completing the en garde stance.”

“Okay.”

He approaches me in a sexy swagger made more pronounced by his fencing shoes, a literal rolling from his heels to the balls of his feet.

“This is a classic lunge.” He executes one. “It is how you attack your opponent.”

I mimic his movement until he deems I’ve done it right.

“You always want to block your target areas from your opponent during a lunge.” Tristan uses the foil to point to the areas he describes. “The arms, chest and head are targets, and there are three parries designed to block these targets.” He holds the foil horizontally at his shoulder. “This is the three parry to block your flank.” He moves the foil diagonally across his chest. “This is the four parry to block your chest.” Finally, the foil is horizontal at head level. “And this is the five parry to block your head. There’s also a two and a one, but those aren’t used quite as often as the ones I’ve just shown you. As we progress and you have need of the others, we’ll learn them.

“Now, for a bit of footwork. I’ll show you advancing and retreating today. I’ll save some of the fancier stuff for later.”

He moves into en garde position. “Okay, here’s the advance. Watch my feet.” He does something that looks like a hip-hop dance move and he executes it with such lightning speed. “To slow it down for you, the advance is done in three distinct steps, and your feet should remain shoulder width apart at all times. The front foot moves first, beginning by lifting the toes. Straighten the leg at the knee, pushing the heel out in front. Land on the heel and then bring the back foot up to the en garde stance again.”

Tristan shows me again several times until I get it. Then I execute several advances until the movement feels natural to me.

“Final movement I’m going to show you today is the retreat, which is sort of a reverse of the advance. It’s a three-step process also. Back foot first to the ball of the foot. Down with the heel and then on the ball of the foot. Like so.” He retreats, advances, then retreats until I’m able to follow him without a misstep.

We go through the parries, slowly again and again, all while advancing and retreating, until I’m well familiar with them. “Now, these will be executed very quickly, but we’ll go slow until you get the hang of it,” Tristan assures me.

I find myself enjoying figuring out how to block his attacks. They are slow in the beginning, so I’m able to think fast and position my foil so he doesn’t hit me every time. As he gathers speed, even though I parry to block, he hits my targets, particularly my chest. So much so, if I weren’t wearing the chest plate, my breasts would be stinging right about now.

I see him smile when he gets three successive points against me, and I feel powerless against his lunges they are executed so flawlessly. I retreat all the way off the strip.

“No fair! You have me at a complete disadvantage.”

Tristan stops, flips his hood back, folds his arm and crosses a long leg at the ankle. He holds his foil lightly in one hand and beckons me Mortal Kombat style with the other hand.

I push my hood back and shake my head. “You’ve got to be crazy if you think I’m lunging at you again right now.”

“You were doing well for a beginner if we discount the odd moments when you were whacking me like you were trying to chop vegetables on a cutting board.”

“I’m a girl. We always resort to flailing during fighting, didn’t you know this?”

“I’ve seen you hit someone, remember? You don’t flail when you fight, so don’t do it while fencing. In fact, if you treat fencing the same way you do boxing, you’ll do fine. Practice the moves enough, and they’ll become second nature to you. Use the gym when you’re here and in a few months, you’ll be fencing like an amateur.” He grins at his own attempt at a joke.

I don a fake smile then show him my serious face. “Funny, White.”

“Okay, I’m going to use my left hand during this final bout. This should give you some advantage.” He moves to his place on the strip, and I do the same.

En garde,” he says.

En garde,” I respond, and we fight a near equal match, but he still gets the better of me in the end. In fact, he presses toward me using some fancy sword play reminiscent of The Legend of Zorro. Then he makes a series of scores, all in the vicinity of my breasts and finally he relieves me of my foil and touches near the vee of my legs with his.

“I don’t recall that being a target area,” I say, my voice husky.

“It’s always a target for me,” he replies and drops his own foil, pulls me into his arms, and kisses me till my knees go weak. Our tongues lunge and parry like they’re fencing and hitting all our target areas. We rack up so many points the bout is tied when we come up for air. The next to attack will score the winning touch and it’s safe to say, neither of us is concerned about who will come out on top.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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You can keep up with LV’s newest books by following her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter or by visiting her blog.

Welcome to the annual Just Romance Me Holiday Blog Hop. Is there a better way to do a little early celebrating of 2013 than with some hawt excerpts, sexy men and fun little stories? I hope you’re enjoying the hop so far. If you’ve stumbled here without jumping on the bus and grabbing a flute of champagne, just head over HERE to make sure you don’t miss a chance for any of the wonderful prizes being offered along the way. And of course one lucky person completing the whole tour will be chosen at random to win the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD 7″!

2012 was certainly the year that so many women (and men) discovered the naughty side of romance in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Dominance and submission worked their way into every day vocabulary (even if they were whispered at bridge club meetings, hair salons, and the quiet of our bedrooms *g*). In that vein, I thought I’d turn the temperature up with a hot excerpt from my BDSM Ecstasy Resorts series. Here’s a little dungeon scene with Sara and Derek from INVITATION TO ECSTASY. Please enjoy:

Inhaling deeply, Sara filled her lungs with the seductive aromas of leather and sexual musk, overlaid with the lemon scent of disinfectant. Her nipples tightened in anticipation, sending frissons of desire straight down her core. The door shut behind her with a quiet click, tightening the hungry knots of need pulsing at the apex of her thighs.

“Bend over that spanking bench in the corner,” Derek said as he removed his black T-shirt, carelessly throwing it over a bondage chair. “We’ll start your punishment there.”

Testing the limits of Derek’s patience, she met his steely gaze. “I prefer to be flogged.”

“I’m not amused by your impudence, Sara.” His voice filled with the danger she’d seen in the hall. She froze in place as he stalked toward her, the push and pull of bronzed skin over sinewy muscle barely containing the power he had every intention of using on her. Derek stopped in front of her, his chest pressed against her breasts, his breath the only thing separating his lips from hers. “I won’t be topped by a submissive. You won’t like it if you continue to push me.”

“Yes, but I—”

With the speed of a feral cat attacking his prey, Derek spun her around and pinned her to the wall. The solid planes of his chest pressed hard against her back, both her wrists trapped between their bodies in the steel grip of his hand. Power sluiced off him in waves that buffeted her and stole her breath. Adrenaline and desire heated her blood, kicking her heart rate up several notches.

This was what her body craved. What she needed more than her next meal. His insistence she give up everything for his pleasure. She hadn’t trusted anyone enough since Marc’s death to give in to the dark desires swirling around her. But as Derek pressed his thigh between her legs, she couldn’t stop her back from arching and rubbing her swollen sex against his jeans.

He swept the hair from her cheek, burying his face in the crook of her neck. “No, Sara. There are no decisions for you.” His tongue licked just below her ear and moisture dampened her sex as she canted her hips to ride his thigh. “I am your Master. This is about what I want. You are my toy. To use as I choose.” His teeth dug into the soft flesh where his tongue had just traveled, startling a cry from her lips.

The pain was exquisite, flaming the fires of hot desire jolting over her nerves. Sara stiffened against his weight, the first tremors of pleasure quivering over her muscles.

“But first, there is the matter of your punishment for your behavior in the hall.”

And just like that, as quickly as he’d held her down, he released her and stepped away. She groaned at the loss of security his body’s heat and weight had offered her.

“The bench.” He nodded his head toward the black padded piece of furniture on the other side of the room. “Now.” His voice was thick and rich as honeyed molasses, forcing her body to obey.

The slip of lacy thong between her nether lips teased her heated flesh as she crossed the room. A rush of cream seeped from her folds to dampen her thighs. From the corner of her eye, she saw him watching her. Derek’s heavy gaze followed Sara’s every move, hunger darkening his eyes to the deep green of the forest. Her nipples strained against the soft bodice of her dress as if seeking the attention her Master was giving her ass.

“Stop. Take off your dress for me.” He swallowed hard, the first sign of weakness since taking control from her. “Slowly.”

Yes, control me so I don’t have to think.

She turned back to face him, her eyes submissively aimed at the floor. With nervous fingers, she pulled the front zipper down her torso, the tight leather parting and exposing the creamy swell of her breasts. Emboldened by Derek’s sharp intake of air, she pulled it slowly over her belly, each rasp of the zipper exposing more alabaster flesh. Cool air kissed her skin as the butter-soft material parted and gooseflesh rose, tingling along her sensitive nerves.

With exquisite leisure, offering Derek time to enjoy the visual display, Sara slid the narrow strip of leather off her shoulder, completely exposing her left breast, the areola and nipple tightened to a sensitive bud. Her breath sawed from her lungs as she slid the other side down. Caught on the flare of her hips, the leather clung to her skin. She hooked her thumbs under the material and rolled her ass, pushing until the dress dropped and pooled at her feet. She reached to undo the garter around her waist, intent on stripping off the thigh-highs and boots, but Derek’s whiskey-rich voice stopped her.

“Just the dress, Sara.”

He said nothing more, and only years of training kept her eyes cast at his feet. She couldn’t see him, but every shuddering breath he took quivered over her skin as if his fingers traced hot trails along her flesh.

At this moment, she couldn’t remember why she hadn’t believed in Derek’s ability to command her. Power pulsed around them. Energy vibrated along her nerves and heated the thick air, making her skin flush. With only his presence, he’d immersed her in the hypnotic push and pull of his domination.

“Beautiful.”

And just like that, the simple word echoed off the walls, shattering the magic.

“So beautiful.”

The voice, no longer Derek’s, was a faded memory come to back to haunt her. A cold rush of fear slid down her spine, pulling her back from the tenuous edge of trust. Derek’s heavy biker boots moved toward her, and it took all her willpower not to cower from the memories his compliment had conjured.

Mentally, Sara shook herself, trying to reorient herself in the here and now. She could do this. She’d done it in Chicago and she could do it here with Derek. The fact was she wanted to submit to him, if only to prove she was stronger than the past. A past that was currently crashing down around her and eroding away the wall of confidence she’d erected. She was suffocating in doubt, unable to completely fill her lungs.

“So very beautiful and all mine.”

Cold bands of memory continued to snake around her chest, making it hard to catch her breath. Though a warm hand curled around her neck, it was the chill of history that gripped her, pulling her back into a nightmare she’d barely escaped.

Sara’s back went rigid, even as Derek molded himself around her body.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m hoping 2013 will introduce even more people to the sweet and sexy seduction of erotic romance. I’m hoping to get settled in a new home we’re currently building. I’m hoping my muse finds her way back from the tropics and whispers sweet little sexy nothings of stories in my ear. And of course I wish for world peace … or at the very least for congress to stop bickering and get some actual work accomplished. LOL!

What are your hopes for 2013?

**** THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED ****

Anyone commenting on this post between now and midnight (EDT) DECEMBER 31 will be eligible to win a $10 Amazon gift card
and their choice of one of my ebooks.

Oh, and I wish someone sexy like Mr. Nina would cook your
New Year’s breakfast.
😉

I’d like to welcome JD Favor to my blog. JD is the author of the The Edge of Texas romantic suspense series…

I’m so excited to be here today, Nina. Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m celebrating the release of BAD VIBES, the third novel in my romantic thriller series: THE EDGE OF TEXAS.

The setting for this series is about 25 miles north of the Mexican border on the lower Texas coast. South Padre Island is a beautiful semi-tropical resort separated from the mainland and the small coastal village of Port Isabel by the two-and-a-half mile Queen Isabella Causeway spanning the Intracoastal Waterway.
BAD MEDICINE was the first of THE EDGE OF TEXAS romantic thrillers and it’s FREE today. I hope everyone has a chance to download it.

BAD MEDICINE is followed by BAD KARMA, and BAD VIBES picks right up where BAD KARMA leaves off. BAD VIBES is the story of Deputy Darla Calhoun. She’s both depressed and angry over her husband’s suicide some six months previously, but she has to carry on for the sake of her twin 4-year-old sons. She is a member of the tight-knit law-enforcement team under the leadership of Sheriff Rafael Solis (the hero of BAD MEDICINE).

Darla arrests a vagrant, hanging around the marina, but after he’s cleaned up, she discovers a hunky, hard-body with a smoldering gaze hidden beneath the filthy rags. He turns out to be a federal agent working undercover. He’s after a gang of human traffickers using the Intracoastal Waterway to bring sex slaves into the United States from Mexico. Rafael assigns Darla as liaison officer to work with the feds, bringing her face-to-face with the “Iceman”, Mike Burke, the undercover agent she arrested. Darla, Mike and his partner tear up and down the Intracoastal Waterway in pursuit of the human traffickers, but when two local women disappear, the search becomes personal.

After a failed mission Darla and Mike are left alone on the boat, which leads them to an unplanned night of passion. The following excerpt takes place the next morning.

EXCERPT:
The sound of weaponry being discharged caused Darla to awaken with a jolt. She was lying naked in Mike’s arms.

It was the starter’s pistol for the regatta that had awakened her. She knew what it was immediately and sank back down into the warm embrace of the man who had made love to her in the wee small hours of the morning.

She gazed into his eyes. It was like staring into a reflection pool, deep and fathomless. She couldn’t read him at all, but he smiled and pulled her closer. She had been starved for tenderness and as unlikely a source as Mike Burke had seemed, he was proving to be a wellspring of affection. He stroked her hair with one of his large, yet surprisingly gentle, hands. She rested her cheek against his chest and closed her eyes.

She judged that she had only been able to grab a couple of hours of sleep, and considering the probability that this day would unfold to be as demanding as the last, she should run to her bunk and burrow her head under the covers. But Mike was stroking her bare skin with his fingertips.

His touch stirred her passion, a passion that had raged out of control earlier and, once awakened, lurked just under the surface, ready to rage again. The raging thing was new for Darla.

He kissed her forehead next to her eyebrow. A sweet gesture in any other setting, but considering that the full extent of her nude form was pressed against his, it was definitely a sexual act. She soaked it up like a sponge, lifting her lips to his.

Resistance is futile.

Mike’s kiss deepened. He seemed to have some kind of radar when it came to reading her. He knew how to make her senses sit up and beg, and he knew how to deliver.

His gaze alone could arouse a deep longing within her. A need for something she didn’t have or perhaps never had…that sense of belongingness that comes when two halves come together to make a whole. It seemed that when Mike was touching her and kissing her; when his body was speaking to hers, she felt that oneness she had read about in romance novels, but never truly experienced. And he seemed to take his job so seriously, the job of pleasuring her.

She wanted to tell him how much he thrilled her, but the words couldn’t seem to come. She felt tongue-tied, unwilling to admit that she had been starving and that he was giving sustenance not only to her body but to her soul. His ardent attentions restored her sense of self as a woman.

He kissed her, and then kissed her some more, as if he couldn’t get enough of her. His lips and tongue caressed every part of her body. She thought if she were to be swabbed for DNA, Mike Burke would be found guilty. But he wasn’t acting guilty. He was performing the act of making love the same way he did everything else; competently, thoroughly and in great detail.

His hands were on her thighs, gently caressing them with his fingertips. Her heart pulsed in her ears. She wanted him to touch her and to kiss her…and yes, she wanted him to make love to her with such single-minded intensity.

He grazed the inside of her thigh lightly with his tongue. She tried to play it cool, knowing where this was leading, but she couldn’t contain her grin. He pressed his tongue into her wetness, found his objective and proceeded to torment his target until she was gasping for relief. When waves of desire roiled low in her belly, he kneaded her with his finger and then when she couldn’t stand it anymore she pulled him toward her and embraced him by wrapping her legs around his hips. Not very subtle.

“Are you ready for me?” he whispered.

She wanted to scream, ‘Oh, hell yes!’ but managed to nod her head, not trusting herself to speak. When he guided himself into her, she felt all the sensual impact of their joining. The image of oneness returned, but she brushed it determinedly away. This can’t last. This is going to break my heart again.

But Mike couldn’t hear the lecture she was giving herself, so he was taking care of business in his own unique way. With each thrust he was bringing her to a higher and higher crest. Her body was filled to capacity by the man she was trying unsuccessfully to resist. He was hitting all the right parts. She lifted her hips to meet his thrusts and then when the first wave of orgasm hit her she latched on and rode it with him through the last swell.

He relaxed against her, but held her close, one hand under her hip. At least he was breathing hard. “Darla… Honey, I…”

Her breathing and heart rate were out of control, but she loved being held. She loved that he didn’t give her a peck and roll over. She loved…Mike…Oh, my God! I love him.

He found her lips again. It was a good kiss. It wasn’t a “Thanks for the sex” kiss or an “I’m done with you now” kiss. It was an “I’m just getting started” kiss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pick up the books in order:
BAD MEDICINE
BAD KARMA
BAD VIBES
BAD DREAMS (currently under construction)

I hope everyone has a chance to visit South Padre Island and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In the meantime, you can visit through my series and keep up with the happenings. My goal is to entertain…and keep you up nights. 😉

J.D. Faver lives near Houston, Texas. She writes contemporary romance and mystery/suspense. She writes daily, but finds time to enjoy her family and friends. Her many hobbies include cooking, sailing, gardening, and painting. She’s active in writer’s organizations in the area. She belongs to National RWA and is a member of all three Houston area chapters. She is owned by two cats and a small, yappy rescue dog. Her idea of a great day would take place on a beach somewhere. Find out more about her books by visiting her website or following her on facebook or twitter.

Welcome author Tina Donahue. I’m so thrilled about your coming release and I’m so pleased you came by to tell us about it.

Thanks for the welcome Nina. To say I’m excited about my first series for Ellora’s Cave, Appointment with Pleasure, is putting it mildly. Book One, Claiming Magique (coming August 31), is so hot, not to mention romantic. Hunt (my hero) is to die for. And Magique certainly gives him a run for his money. 😀

I’m also offering a contest – the tour winner will have her choice of THREE of my backlist ebooks. So, read on!! And leave comments at each of my stops (check my BLOG daily for details and your chance to win)! The more comments, the better your chances.

BLURB:

A man at the center of power…a woman who won’t be ruled…
They call her Magique.

Sought out by the District’s elite, she’s no ordinary call girl, deciding who will pleasure her for the evening. Her preference is for several men at once. Games of bondage and submission heighten her arousal and desire to have a strong male take her…to be adored.

Lobbyist Hunter Prescott was only looking for a good time, not a woman who unleashes a hunger so deep it changes his world. He won’t stop until Magique is his alone, a prisoner of his lust, powerless against his growing need for her body and heart.

With this man, resistance isn’t allowed. For this woman, he’ll create a world of sensual delight and yearning like none she’s known. Proving that only with trust and true surrender will she find unparalleled rapture.

EXCERPT:
On the other end of the room was a wet bar. And Magique.

Hunt stepped closer, unable to help himself.

Her back was to them. She made no move to turn around despite David’s nervous throat clearing.

Her hair was glossy and black with blue highlights, worn so long the ends dangled over her ass. From his vantage point, Hunt could see her right leg. She wore strappy gold heels, three inches high. He estimated her to be about five-seven or eight without them. Her dress, a simple sheath, was of an amazing gold material, slightly shiny and so snug she might as well have sprayed the damn thing on.

It wasn’t gauzy lingerie, but it did reveal her every curve.

Adrenaline pumped through Hunt, making it difficult for him to stand still. His mouth went dry.

Her figure leaned more toward a Victoria’s Secret model than the waiflike look of high couture. The dress’s left strap had fallen down, making her seem more accessible, oddly vulnerable. Light glanced off her bare shoulder and arm as she moved, lifting a glass, tipping a bottle. Her skin was an ivory shade, looking delicate and seductive as hell.

He pulled at his tie’s knot, needing to loosen it so he could breathe more easily. The air, so fresh a moment before, seemed suffocating now. His fingers ached. He’d been making fists. To control himself? Damn right.

He longed to cross the room and turn her around so she’d notice him, her expression saying she not only approved, she wanted him more than the others, her actions affirming her reckless desire. Burying her face in the hollow of his throat, she’d take her time smelling his skin, gauging his excitement. He’d fight a sigh at her tongue licking his Adam’s apple, her thumb running over his bottom lip. What other choice would he have except to draw her finger into his mouth, gently biting the digit? The small intimacy would have her sagging into him, her weight and exquisite warmth making Hunt feel invincible, prepared to protect her from any harm.

David made a strangled noise, no doubt appreciative of the temptation she generated and his own shameless thoughts. Tim whistled softly.

At that, she turned.

Hunt stared, not even trying to hide his surprise. She was…amazing…striking…dazzling. He couldn’t settle on one description. Although she wasn’t classically beautiful, she would easily stop men cold, making them sneak another peek just to see if she was real. She had the kind of looks that grabbed a guy by his balls, keeping his attention.

Surely no more than mid-twenties, she wore her long hair parted on the side, framing her oval face. Her features were a mixture of European and Asian—Vietnamese, Japanese—Hunt couldn’t be certain. She didn’t appear to be wearing much makeup, just mascara and lip gloss that somehow made her even sexier. Her lips were full, a dark-rose color, the bottom one jutting out slightly in a gentle pout. Her almond-shaped eyes were a velvety brown, her manner dignified, damn near regal as she regarded Tim, then David and him finally.

Hunt’s pulse jumped at the flicker of heat in her gaze.

BUY from ELLORA’S CAVE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** CONTEST is CLOSED***

To celebrate the release of Claiming Magique on August 31, I’m offering a contest. One lucky commenter during this blog tour will have her choice of THREE of my following ebooks**:

Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR

** Winner chosen at random on SEPTEMBER 13 from all
comments from all blog tour posts **

****   WINNER CHOSEN FOR TINA’S BLOG TOUR   ****
Congratulations to DARCY
whose name was chosed as the Grand Prize Winner

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday. The heat wave continues in southern New England and it seemed wrong not to find something equally hawt to go with the temps. This week’s six comes from my erotic suspense wolf shifter novel
BONDED SOULS.

Jayda didn’t want to worry about emotions, only about the sex and feeling passion searing hot through her veins and washing away the doubt.

Cole broke from their kiss, his hungry gaze raking her face. “This is wrong to want you so badly, but I can’t help myself. Tell me to stop now and I will.” His needy pants feathered heat across her lips. “I’ll die a slow, agonizing death but I will stop.”

Also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thanks so much for stopping by and as always … a special thanks to those who leave a little comment love. I really appreciate it! And please check out other authors participating this week in Six Sentence Sunday!

Welcome guest author Natalie Owens! I’m so pleased to have you hanging out here at the Block! I can’t wait to hear about your latest release…

Thank you, Nina, for giving me the opportunity to showcase my work!

My latest release is a short story, called SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR -– the first book in my Moonlight Dating Series. It’s a story about two people who find common ground in the most unlikely of situations and discover the healing power of physical intimacy to temper the trauma of guilt and regret. The main characters have both suffered terribly in their past – and their meeting can be seen as happenstance … a chance in life to turn things over and start living anew. Something to Live for is short, emotional, sweet and hot, and ultimately, I think, it’s a ‘feel good’ type of story :).

Considering the premise, one has to ask the question: Can sex heal? I mean, truly be a healing force in life? When we think of sex, we generally picture entwined bodies slick with sweat, feverish caresses and wild arousal—but touch can do more than arouse. Touch is therapeutic. Touch can temper old wounds.

Think of a baby, for instance. When a baby is sick or distressed, a gentle, comforting touch can calm it down until the discomfort ebbs.  The more enduring the touch, the better the child feels.

Once I read something to the effect that we are all connected to the land and our surroundings through the way we express and experience both physical and spiritual relationships. By reaching out to others in physical and emotional ways, we share with them our substance, our very being. This happens also when encounters are consummated on a purely physical level—even when our emotions are not deeply engaged, we are still giving something of ourselves to that other person.

So, in this sense, I believe that sex CAN heal wounds and past hurts because of the self-expression it entails. It is an act that shifts our energies and fulfills basic needs.

For my hero and heroine, Alex and Melita, intimacy comes at a price because intimacy requires trusting, and trusting is not easy. Extreme guilt and trauma can live with a person for years, and sometimes only the strong emotions that a sensual connection can bring could let the light in.

A lingering kiss, a molten caress, a devastating climax—all these mean much more when so much is at stake.

BLURB:
Fifteen years ago, one fateful day bound the lives of two perfect strangers…

Melita Saari-Quinn is living the consequences of a traumatizing psychic event that turned her adolescence upside down. Now, disillusioned with her job as a psychotherapist and desiring a change from her lackluster existence, she hopes that something out of her ordinary sphere of existence – something totally uninhibited and spontaneous – will renew her zest for life.

Alex Moncado seems to have it all – good looks, a successful business, and a fun life in “party central” of the Mediterranean: the island of Malta. Except for one day in the year when he can’t help but remember a tragedy that never should have been. One day he’d rather forget, because if he doesn’t, the guilt will consume him.

Can one passionate night together banish the ghosts of the past and give two lost souls a second chance?

Only Fate can tell…

EXCERPT:
The bedroom was rather small, too. It was decorated in neutral, shabby chic white furniture, which made the large brass bed with the fancy burgundy and white counterpane stick out like the fabled Gulliver in Lilliput.

Melita placed her tray on a nightstand and was suddenly reluctant to look across the bed, where Alex switched on the lamp. A spate of shyness caught her in a firm grip and she found herself defensively crossing her arms and shuttering her gaze.

But Alex stood close to her now. He uncrossed her arms and clasped her chin between his thumb and forefinger. Gently, he made her look straight up at him. He held her, strong and secure. Left her no quarter, no chance to look away.

“Don’t be ashamed to look at me. I want to be able to see your face, to see how my touch makes you feel inside,” he said, a statement that would have had her on the floor, at his feet, were he not holding her up with a powerful arm and his amazing dark gaze.

She squinted a little. “Are your eyes a dark brown?” He was a good half head taller than her. She wasn’t short herself, but she had to stand on tip-toes to get a closer glimpse.

“Hazel,” he responded, “but there are moments when they turn several shades darker, even black. Depends on my mood.”

She smiled and placed a palm against his cheek and jaw. How she loved the masculine feel of day-old stubble that prickled her skin…

“And what mood are you in now?” she teased. Her voice sounded distant to her, almost as though someone else was saying the words, or she was hearing them through a speaker with the volume down low.

“I’m in the mood to love you,” he murmured.

His words, on the other hand, rang in her head like the resounding peal of a giant church bell.

In the mood to love you.

“Yes,” she managed, only that. Her eyes burned and filled with moisture. It was difficult to swallow past the emotion that gathered in her throat.

Yes, even if it’s only for tonight.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So tell us what you think … touch can definitely soothe and calm, but can sex heal?

Natalie loves to hear from her readers. You can keep up with her latest news by visiting her website or follow her facebook, twitter and goodreads.

I am so pleased to welcome my dear friend, Evie MacKenzie whose debut novel HIGHLAND PAWN was released last week at Ellora’s Cave. Take it away Evie …

First, I want to thank Nina for inviting me to her blog. She’s a wonderful person and a fantastic writer, and I’m honored to be her guest. (It’s all true, but I won’t turn down any brownie points I may earn from it!)

With the recent release of my erotic romance novel “Highland Pawn” from Ellora’s Cave Publishing, I figured I would share some background on how the story came to be.

I have always been fascinated by Scotland and its rich history, most notably the decade leading up to the Battle of Culloden in 1745. It was an era when kilts were permitted, bagpipers played freely, and many of the men wore their hair long. (*sigh*) In my opinion, it was one of the most romantic periods in Scotland’s history. It was also one of the most turbulent as the Scots distrusted the English and vice-versa, often resulting in bloodshed on one or both sides. Talk about fodder for conflict! There was no doubt in my mind this was the time period I wanted to write about.

Alexander MacKay, the hero in “Highland Pawn”, marched onto the page and demanded to be noticed. With the imposing frame of a Highland warrior, his long, dark locks and ruggedly handsome features he quickly had my attention. Alex was fiercely protective of the people who mattered to him and he made a formidable enemy. Though he refused to acknowledge he had a softer side, his actions hinted at those emotions. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the man.

Maggie Fraser was no less insistent when she introduced herself. Her determination to help her family came before her own concerns and desires, and it stirred something inside of me. She wasn’t fearless but she was brave. Not to mention hot-tempered, much to Alex’s chagrin. The two of them together made for fascinating writing. I was anxious to see where their relationship was going from one page to the next.

Happy reading!

BLURB:
Maggie Fraser is willing to do whatever it takes to save her family’s estate, even gaining the cooperation of the ruthless Duke of Westingham. She possesses what he desires most—a maidenhead ripe for the plucking.

Her journey takes her to a dangerous part of the Highlands, a voyeur’s paradise known as Bare Brook. When she finds herself in a bind, the devilishly sexy Alexander MacKay comes to her rescue. The kilted warrior is not only the duke’s biggest adversary, but also her greatest weakness.

Alex is on a mission to destroy the Duke of Westingham when he’s forced to play Maggie’s protector. To say the alluring Miss Fraser is a distraction is the understatement of the century. She wants him to teach her how to seduce and please a man, and the fire between them burns out of control. When he learns she’s saving herself for the duke, he’s more determined than ever to kill the man. But his actions could destroy her family and drive a permanent wedge between them.

EXCERPT:
It had been a day since Alex had taken her from the cave and, on the whole, she seemed to be doing much better. He wrung out the cloth he’d dipped in the brook and placed it over her forehead, more as a comfort than as an aid for healing.

“Thank you,” Margaret uttered, bringing her hand to rest on the cool, damp fabric. “Not just for the cloth, but…for everything.”

He hadn’t said as much as a word to her about the incident since she regained consciousness, but he could no longer hold his tongue. “Ye willna leave my side again.”

“But I—”

He effectively silenced her with a glare. Rarely did he have need to give orders to someone of the fairer sex, but when he did, his decree brooked no argument.

“Until I return ye safely to your da, ye will stay by my side, Margaret Fraser. I’ll turn my back while ye tend to your womanly necessities, but—God as my witness—I’ll not let ye be taken again.”

Alex had to look away from those haunting green eyes of hers, lest he give his thoughts away.

Never had he been so worried for someone in all his life. Just the thought of what might have happened to her made his hands shake with rage. The Highlands were no place for a lady to wander by herself, and this incident proved it.

“I see,” Margaret stated quietly. “I suppose we should get it over with, then.”

Alex turned back to her. “Meaning?”

“Meaning,” she began with a grimace, “if I don’t find a cluster of bushes or trees in the next moment or two…”

With a slight blush, Alex helped her to her feet. “Well, I guess ye’d best see to it, aye?”

Maggie straightened her skirts, never once taking her eyes off Alex’s broad back. To her surprise, he’d been a gentleman of honor and allowed her privacy. Well, as much privacy as five strides of distance granted, anyway.

“Are ye decent yet?” Alex asked, hands braced on his hips as he shifted back and forth.

“Yes. You may look, MacKay.”

His shoulders relaxed before he turned to face her. “I wish I could have afforded ye more privacy, but given the gravity of the situation…”

Maggie waved her hand. “Think nothing of it. Besides, I’ll be saying the same to you afore the day’s out.” It was nearly impossible for Maggie to keep a straight face when he arched an eyebrow. Apparently he hadn’t thought that far ahead. “If I can’t leave your side, MacKay, then I’ll be right there when you’re…um…relieving yourself too.” She blinked innocently. “I’m correct, aren’t I?”

Realization donned in his eyes, and he quickly drew back. “I, uh, I…suppose ye’re right.”
It was difficult to tamp the impish grin that wanted to take over. “And when you wash in the brook, I’ll be there as well.”

Maggie swore she saw the corners of his mouth start to turn upward before one of his big, bronzed hands reached up to stroke his stubbled chin. “Really, now? I hadn’t thought of that.”

Maggie gently raked her bottom lip with her teeth, a move that provoked a heated look from her opponent. “That could prove interesting, could it not?”

Alex stepped closer. “Have ye ever bathed with a man, Margaret?”

Her pulse raced as their gazes met. There was a hungry look in his eyes, and he appeared ready to pounce. To keep her hands steady, she clasped them in front of her. “Does my brother count? When we were bairns, they used to bathe us together.”

His blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. “Nay. It doesna count.” He waited for her answer only a moment longer. “Well?”

Maggie lowered her lids coyly. “I don’t believe I shall answer that question, MacKay. If I say I have, I’d be painting myself the strum. If I say I haven’t, well… Would I appear too innocent, I wonder.”

Alex laughed, and she wondered how he’d gotten so close without her noticing. His earthy, masculine scent enveloped her like a favorite blanket. “Oh Maggie, I imagine ye fall somewhere in between.”

His chest was partially exposed, and he was near enough to touch. Her fingers itched to reach out to him, but she held back. “Perhaps I do.”

It was Alex who breached the invisible barrier, twirling a lock of her hair around his fingers. She sucked in a breath as he wove his way through the thick mass of tresses. “Ye are dangerous to a man’s self-control, Margaret.”

The flutters in her stomach intensified as he leaned closer. Breathless, she responded, “Why would I wish for you to restrain yourself?”

She felt rather than heard the feral growl that reverberated in his chest as he took possession of her mouth. The sweet shock of his tongue fully engaged with hers made her knees weaken in response, and she gripped his shoulders to keep herself upright. His arms tightened around her waist as he deepened the kiss, and an errant hand found its way to the curve of her buttocks.

Wetness pooled between her thighs as he dragged her firmly to him. With authoritative hands, he guided her so that her pelvis was grinding against him in a slow, tantalizing rhythm. Before she knew it, her body assumed the natural cadence, allowing his hands to explore elsewhere. His fingers lightly traced the path of her spine, invoking a tingling sensation that made her want to press against him even harder.

Cupping one of her breasts, he teased the nipple to the point of delirium.

“Maggie,” he whispered after dragging his lips away from hers. “Ye’ve no idea how long I’ve wanted to touch ye this way.”

BUY FROM ELLORA’S CAVE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*fans face* Whew, nice excerpt, thanks for sharing Evie. So I’m curious people, have you had characters from a story haunt you and not let you go? Talk amongst yourselves for a bit while I go take a cold shower …

You know, it occurred to me I’ve never shouted out about my print book Dangerous Affairs. It’s a print anthology of BLIND HER WITH BLISS, DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE and CHEAT HER WITH CHARM.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite lines from these stories:

BLIND HER WITH BLISS:
1. The loss of her best friend had ripped away a piece of her heart and Julie doubted the ache it left in its wake would ever subside.

2. Wind whistled past the tinted visor of Damon Corey’s helmet, but it couldn’t muffle the roar of the chrome dual exhaust. Noise equaled power, and at the moment, he had both.

3. If you’re looking for the person I was last night, well, you’re in for a big surprise. He’s as fake as Santa Claus.”
The tip of her tongue darted out to wet her full lips. “I still believe in Santa Claus.”
She would.

4. Until she understood how Damon, Jason and Elvis were connected—-and Julie did believe they all knew each other—-she would troll the waters of Damon’s sexual past with caution. No sense baiting a shark without the right equipment to catch him.

DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE:
5. “I did a nice job? Me? You were the one sneaking up like some pirate looking for lost treasure.”
The woman had no idea how close to the truth she was.

6. “We’ll get the drug arrest straightened out, Dee. Don’t worry,” said Julie.
And just like that the family unit solidified as the Tilling clan circled the wagons.

7. “Too much vending machine coffee and not enough sleep.” He popped a couple of tablets. Yeah, not even close to the truth. The fact was, when the Jameson deal went down, there was no way Ayden was going to be able to walk away from the sexy redhead who’d crawled into his bed and wrapped herself around his heart.

CHEAT HER WITH CHARM:
8. Meghan Tilling’s body quaked with fear and the bone-chilling thirty-eight degrees of the cooler where she was trapped. She pressed her forehead against the icy metal of the door, her palm caressing its pebbled surface, trying to fight the panic lurking like a sinister shadow and threatening to overwhelm her in despair.

9. Peter had lied to Meghan about staying put in a hotel today. He’d lied to the guy at the rental counter at the airport about a family emergency just to get one of the last four wheel drive vehicles left in the lot. More importantly, he’d lied to himself that this whole damn catastrophe-waiting-to-happen wasn’t going to derail his relationship with his fiancée.

10. She wasn’t sure how it sounded, but Peter’s own embarrassment and hurt added to the confusion clouding their discussion. “I didn’t say that. I—”
“No, you didn’t say anything. Your expression says it all.”
“Peter, if it’s something you want to try, I’m willing to—”
“Forget it.” Peter held up his hands as if to shield himself from her judgment. “I just thought it might be fun to try something different.” He backed away from her. “You’re right. It’s not something normal couples do. Seriously, just forget I mentioned it.”

11. And though Peter loved his fiancée with a fierceness that clawed at his soul, lately even Meghan’s love couldn’t fill the growing chasm in his heart. He wanted it to. God, how he’d tried to ignore the gnawing in his gut–the cold emptiness that was sated only when Meghan was in his arms.

BUY from Amazon
BUY from Barnes & Noble

Today I’d like to welcome romance author, Diane Amos.

The thought of writing a book never entered Diane’s mind until a friend mentioned she was writing a romance and belonged to the Maine Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. She accompanied her to a meeting, and was hooked. Undaunted, to her, writing a book was simply stringing together sentences to form paragraphs, arranging the paragraphs into scenes, then placing the scenes into chapters. If she wrote enough chapters-viola, she had a book. Little did she know!

Take it away Diane …

Most authors have a book or two that are their favorites. GETTING PERSONAL is one of mine. It was my first sale to Five Star, and my first step into the world of publishing. Some authors live gilded lives. They wake up one morning and decide to write a novel. They type at the speed of light and a few weeks later their book sells for a gazillion dollars. They become an overnight success and Oprah interviews them on a television special. My overnight success took seven years and nine manuscripts before I sold. My advance was slightly less than a gazillion bucks!

What is it about GETTING PERSONAL that tugs at my heart? I LOVE these characters! The sexual tension practically crackles on the pages when Monique and Jake are together. This couple is memorable and fun to be around. The reviewers also loved the book, and I earned the title of Contest HO from my RWA chapter when GETTING PERSONAL won numerous contests along with the Maggie Award of Excellence. The book is funny, sexy, and since many of the fans on this website write or read erotica and really hot love scenes, I should mention there’s a scene when the heroine handcuffs the hero to her bed. I was pleased to get the rights back and be able to re-release this through Amazon. I hope it finds new readers who will fall in love with Monique and Jake the way I did while I was writing this story.

BLURB:
Sometimes good intentions aren’t enough. No one knows that better than Monique St. Cyr, parochial school dropout, dieter extraordinaire, and want-to-be investigative reporter with pit bull tenacity and a habit of leaping headlong before she looks. Monique, obituary writer for a tabloid-style newspaper in Portland, Maine, lives next door to her mother, Anne Marie, an erotic fiction author. Anne Marie enlists Monique’s help to do research for her next book about couples who meet online…by filling out several personals for her daughter. Monique is swamped with emails, and her life gets even more complicated when she meets Jake Dube, a policeman with a wicked grin and a heated gaze.

EXCERPT:

My mother wrote erotic fiction under the penname, Busty Galore, a misnomer because unlike me her shoulder blades protruded more than her breasts. I loved her dearly, but she had a way of butting into my life. Plus, her 20/20 eyesight and keen ears were capable of seeing and hearing only what she wanted.

As she clicked onto the personals, apprehension sliced through me.

“Look at it this way, by helping me, you’ll help yourself too.” She checked the box in front of men looking for women, then continued down the column, ages 28-40, built athletic, average, or slightly overweight.

I swallowed past the lump in my throat. “The last time I got involved in one of your schemes I ended up knee deep in mudflats with bullets whizzing over my head.”

“That clam digger sure got edgy when he thought you were staking claim to his territory.” My mother laughed. “Anyway, everything turned out fine once I explained I was gathering information for a book I was writing. Besides, that was so long ago, I’m surprised you still remember.”

“How can I forget! My boots were suctioned in muck. I ran barefoot, pursued by a wild-eyed man toting a sharp clam fork and shouting obscenities. I’m lucky I wasn’t killed.”

“You exaggerate,” she said sweetly. “Besides, I thought he was kind of cute. And thanks to you, I got enough material to write my book, which I’ve already sold for a considerable sum, I might add. If you hadn’t been so crabby, I bet he’d have asked you out.”

“The man was a lunatic!”

“Once he calmed down, he seemed nice enough.”

“I refuse to discuss this again.” I smacked my lips shut.

My mother turned back to the computer.

I was twelve years old when my father died. My mother worked two jobs, often doing without so my brother, Thomas, and I could wear the right clothes and fit in with the other children at Saint Joseph’s Parochial School. We owed her big time. Unlike me, my brother made himself scarce, which didn’t matter because it was a Catholic daughter’s duty to assist her “poor decrepit mother”—her words, not mine.

Ten years ago my mother sold her first book, and much to the family’s surprise became an overnight success. Unfortunately, each time she coaxed me into helping her, something backfired.

I rolled my eyes. “I absolutely refuse to root around in dirt, scale buildings, or anything else that might do bodily harm.”

“There’ll be no bullets this time. No mud either. This is very safe, and you’ll enjoy yourself.” She eyed me warily. “You really need to go out more.”

“Humph,” I muttered, knowing I’d already lost this battle.

“Look, mom, I know you mean well, but I’m happy, really.”

“Keep your phony baloney for someone else. I know you’re lonely, and I’ve found the perfect solution.”

I groaned. If she heard, she didn’t let on.

My mother clicked several categories. Checkmarks filled small boxes. A list of screen names appeared. “Here we are, dear, males for the picking, just like ripe fruit off a tree.”

A wormy apple sprang to mind. I shook my head in disbelief.

“The internet is a viable way to meet the opposite sex.”

It finally sunk in. “You expect me to talk to men online?”

“Yes, and once you get to know them, you’ll tell me all about your conversations. Of course, you’ll go on dates with a few of our favorites and then report your results.”

She beamed an innocent smile. “Who knows, you might even find the man of your dreams.”

I glanced at the screen names on the monitor: Studman, MusclesManiac, I’veGotIt, Babemagnet, and Willin&Able. I turned to my mother. “You can’t be serious?”

“I’d like to submit an ad with your profile and a recent picture. That’ll allow me to learn what type of man prowls the Internet for love.”

“There’s no way in hell…”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GETTING PERSONAL is FREE on Amazon until Sunday so be sure to run over and download your copy. If you like what you read, keep in mind there’s a sequel, MIXED BLESSINGS, with many of the same characters.

Thanks for dropping by, and thank you Nina for inviting me to visit.

Thank you for stopping over Diane. I’ve always loved Diane’s quirky sense of humor and how she manages to carry that over into her stories. There are very few authors who make me laugh out loud when I’m reading like Diane is able to do. What about you, ever find yourself laughing at a good story? How do you like your romance? Straight up serious, or with a little snarky humor thrown in? You know me, I’m always curious about stuff like that.

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