Excerpts

I’d like to welcome my guest, romance author, Jill James. Take it away Jill …

I often get asked why I choose to write romance novels. Yes, we are the stepchild of the industry while being its biggest moneymaker. Yes, we are accused of being formuladic, while always guaranteeing our readers a happily-ever-after. Yes, we are misunderstood and miscategorized as Miss Mary Sunshines, while our stories can be deep, meaningful, and many-faceted. I choose to write and read romance for all of the above.

My mom gave me my first romance novel for my twefth birthday, a little green book titled Lily of the Valley to go with the Lily of the Valley perfume from Avon. I still have the book, the perfume is long gone. The story is rich and textured with misunderstandings, jealousy, and revenge. It is a story of a blinded perfume maker and the spinster he thinks he is rescueing and in the end she rescues him.

A few years later I read Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small and I knew I wanted to be a romance author. Her story of the many husbands and many adventures of Skye O’Malley made me want to put my own stories to paper. To actual paper, because when I started writing my own tales they were on a Royal typewriter. You know, the ones where one mistake meant you had to rewrite the whole page. No cut and paste. LOL

My first unfinished stories will never see the light of day. I did not know there were rules in writing, and I broke them all. My heroine was married, kidnapped, and fell in love with her kidnapper. To be truthful, he was being blackmailed by the heroine’s mother-in-law to kidnap her, so he wasn’t ALL bad.

For many years, I wrote in solitude until an amazing thing happened. I discovered RWA (Romance Writers of America) OMG! You mean there are thousands of women just like me? It was like dawn breaking.

With the enormous help of many fellow RWA members I was able to finally see my name on a book and say I was a published romance author.

I write romance because dreams really do come true.


Jill’s most recent release, Someone to Trust is the second book in her “Second Chances” series:

BLURB:
Evie Grimes doesn’t trust men. She’s been lied to and deceived too many times before. Happily single, the last thing she needs is a man.

Brady Jackson is a former Marine. Now a carpenter, he is as honest as the day is long. What you see is what you get.

When Brady falls for Evie he will have to prove he can be trusted with her heart. When danger arrives at her door he will have to prove he can be trusted to protect her. When everyone turns against him, he will have to prove he is someone to trust.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One
“Honey, it’s just a stupid business trip. You would be bored in Oregon.”

“Evie, sweetie. I love you, but you know you aren’t the smartest apple in the bunch.”

“Evie, where in the hell were you? You know you’re not allowed out after dark. Only
women out after dark are whores and sluts.”

Blinking her eyes in the dark bedroom, Evie Grimes shuddered and took deep, cleansing breaths. Her ex-husband wasn’t here. He hadn’t been in her life for five, long, peaceful years now. Her heartbeat slowed, calmed, returned to a normal pace.

She turned on her side, hitting her pillow to relieve the residual tension in her shoulders.
Cold sweat pooled between her breasts. Sighing, Evie glanced at the bedside clock. She refused to get up at four in the morning just because her sadistic ex-husband had invaded her dreams again.

A car’s headlights traveled along the ceiling and she missed the lake even more than usual. Life in the little town wasn’t hectic. But the lake was so peaceful it made the town seem like a metropolis. She needed peace and quiet more and more as the nightmares returned.

It was only a matter of time before the calls started up again and she’d be forced to change phone numbers yet again. A step closer to needing to find a new town again, praying it would be the last time.

Tears filled her eyes, rolling down the sides of her face and wetting her hair. He always
found her and she always had to move on. Her thoughts ran in circles like a merry-go-round.

She threw off the covers and swung her legs off the bed. Even at four in the morning, the mugginess the day would later carry already filled the air. She strode down the hallway in her T-shirt and panties, all she forced herself to wear in the dog days of August in the sweltering foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Her footsteps pitter-pattered down the oak flooring of the hallway. The beats of her still-racing heart pounded in her ears.

She flipped the switch on the wall and the kitchen flooded with light, banishing the not-yet dawn outside and the last dregs of her nightmare. Evie shuddered, wrapping her arms around herself.

Thoughts of Mark Trudeau still haunted her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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So we’re curious … how did you come to enjoy reading/writing romance?

Welcome everyone! Sundays I share 6 sentences from one of my books. (My apologies about last week, bad weather and circumstances made it impossible for me to post.) But since so many visitors enjoyed Cheat Her With Charm the last few times I posted, I thought I’d share six more from another perspective…

Crystal wanted desperately to know what motivated the handsome stranger from the internet and how much he truly knew about her. But whatever his reason—curiosity or a need for a relationship—she realized she wanted a more personal involvement in this man’s life.

Perhaps that was why she’d invited the guy to MIRL. Something about his conversations had made him sound sad, lonely—desperate. Something she definitely could relate to. At this point in her life, Crystal needed to be needed.

Click HERE to check out other authors from SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY. And thank you everyone for all your comments. They really mean a lot.

It’s here! FINALLY! It’s taken more months than I’d like to admit, to say that the third and final book in the Tilling Passions series is finally out in the world! Yay! Yes, this book was previously published and I LOVED it when it went out into the world, but ya know … I’ve learned a lot about writing and storytelling and so it’s gone through a major overhaul before I could re-release it. And here’s the gorgeous cover (designed by DAR ALBERT who is the absolute best!

BLURB:
He has a secret past. She has dreams for their future. Together they have a problem that may just kill them both…

Floral designer, MEGHAN TILLING, has been in love with her fiancé since college. With her business, his promotion and a family illness, she’s finding the demands on her time are keeping them apart. PETER MADDOCK loves his fiancée with a fierceness that claws at his soul, but finding answers to his past becomes an obsession he can’t ignore. When bizarre accidents threaten Meghan’s life, he wonders if his secrets have finally caught up with him. Can they both discover the truth without paying the ultimate price …their lives?

EXCERPT:
Peter wasn’t sure what to do for Meghan after the horrendous weekend she’d just endured.

First the episode with the cooler, which still knotted his stomach with guilt, then the death of her beloved cat and today she’d had some argument with Deirdre that had brought tears, but no explanation. Now her father lay in the ICU, fighting for his life yet again. Yeah, sucky didn’t quite cover his fiancée’s life at the moment.

Meghan dragged herself out of the car in the garage and through the door Peter held open. Stepping up into the breezeway and into the kitchen seemed an almost insurmountable task for her. At least he’d gotten the garage door to work, and she wasn’t schlepping through the freshly fallen snow.

Another winter storm had rolled in somewhere around midnight, accumulating several inches an hour, making the forty-minute drive from Bangor a treacherous one. Thank goodness her mother had agreed to ride back to Delmont with them. Alice was tucked in safely at home down the street. Deirdre and Ayden had gone home an hour ahead of them, leaving Julie and Damon, because their apartment was so close to the hospital, to take the first vigil at John’s bedside.

Absently, Meghan slipped out of her winter gear and threw it over the back of a dinette chair. Slumping into the seat, she looked like every cell of her body had been drained of energy.

“Babe, can I get you something to eat?” Peter walked across the kitchen and stuck his head in the refrigerator. “We’ve got eggs, bagels, leftover soup.”

“It’s three o’clock in the morning, Peter. How can you think about food?” A weak laugh escaped her lips. “I’m too tired to eat, but help yourself. I’m just going to take a shower and wash off the hospital before falling into bed.” Instead of standing, she laid her forehead on the table. “I should be able to get several hours of sleep before heading over to open the shop.”

Peter abandoned his quest and came up behind her, rubbing at the knots in her shoulders. “I think the good citizens of Delmont would understand if you didn’t open the shop today. There’s no doubt word has already made it around town that your father’s in the hospital.”

Turning her head to look at him, Meghan’s eyes filled with tears. “What if…”

“Don’t, Meggie.” Peter knelt beside her and cupped Meghan’s face in his hands, his thumb brushing a tear from her cheek. “Your dad’s a stubborn man. He’s pulled through before, he’ll do it again.”

“I just don’t know what I’ll do if he doesn’t.” Her voice trailed off.

Peter pulled her tight to his chest, protecting his own shattering heart. John had been the only father figure he’d known. His only memory of his mother centered on his fourth birthday, party balloons, and a bike. Shortly after that he’d been placed in state custody. His mother had never shaken her drug addiction long enough to regain permanent custody. Though he’d always believed she would come for him, her death when he was ten sealed his fate. He’d come back to Maine in search of the happy memories of his childhood and found love in Meghan.

“Hey, where are you?” Meghan’s finger trailed along his brow.

“Nowhere.” He stood and pulled her with him. No sense hashing over a past he couldn’t change. “Let’s get you to bed.”

“How about you climb in the shower with me?”

“Meghan.” The word came out on a husky breath. As exhausted as they both were, desire sparked in her eyes, and the heat shot straight to his groin. How had he ever doubted that she was enough? His lips came down softly on hers, the contact gentle but filled with unspoken hunger.

He swept her into his arms, cradling her against him, her cheek pressed over his heart. He carried her past the bed they shared, where she satisfied every part of him. He set her down, kissing her tenderly, her mouth hungry and eager for him. There would be no bondage tonight. No spanking or sex toys. Just sighs of pleasure and sweet caresses. As he pulled the T-shirt over her head and bent to kiss the luscious curve of her breast, he marveled at the many sexual personas of his fiancée; insatiable tigress, wanton sex-slave, and alluring angel. All his—whenever he wanted.

“I love you, Meghan.” He sighed the declaration into her ear. He didn’t need to say it out loud. His hands roaming her body communicated it so much better, but the emotions bursting from his heart required a voice.

“I love you too.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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I’d like to welcome guest romance blogger, Phyllis Campbell.

Heart thumping, palms moist, she settles her shaky fingers on the keyboard. Millions of thoughts run through her mind, those that aren’t very good…at least that’s what her momma had told her as a young girl. Squeezing her eyes closed, pictures of half-naked men float through her mind and her mouth turns dry. SEX! No, it couldn’t be time to write the sex scene, could it? Her religious leader would certainly kick her out of church for fear of a bolt of lighting spearing down from heaven. What about her parents? Would her own husband disown her? Her poor children would have to walk down the streets with their head ducked from now on.

But she’s a romance writer. It needs to be written!

She swallows the lump of fear lodged in her throat and takes a deep breath. Once her eyes are open, she focuses on her story. Reminding herself it’s a natural thing, she proceeds, her fingers fly across the keyboard as if they had a mind of their own. His masculine scent of leather and spice fills the air, consuming every breath she takes. In her head, the scene unfolds, the hero sweeps the heroine off into another world where seduction and passion rule. Seeking fingers, curious kisses…

The more she writes, the wider her grin spreads. Her heart now beats a different rhythm. Her palms are moist for entirely different reasons this time. And in her chest…love grows. This excitement is the thrill she needs –the energy that gives her the courage to continue and not be afraid.

I don’t know about most writers, but I’ve certainly experienced this a time or two (or three or four) since I first started writing. Those who don’t read romance stories label us as ‘smut’ writers. All we think about is sex – twenty-four hours a day. My husband tells me this numerous times…and it isn’t for flattery. (grin) But there’s a bigger picture. The overall picture that nobody sees but romance writers. We aren’t writing about sex – we’re writing about love.

I write Sensual…don’t you just love that word? It rolls across your tongue like a lover’s passionate kiss. Makes you want to deepen your voice in a sexy tone, lower your lids half-mast and part your mouth. Maybe even swipe your tongue across your dry lips…

Okay, I’m getting carried away again. I need to get back to the point of this article. As a writer, when will you know it’s time to write the sex scene? I can’t believe how many times I’ve been asked this question. Do you know what I say? My answer is this… Listen to your characters. Between them and the theme of the story, that will tell you when. For my stories, my characters must have some kind of attraction between them, and as the story progresses, this attraction becomes the theme of my story. I LOVE to tease the reader—and yes, my poor characters get affected as well. They want it. Badly. They almost get it, but then something happens to make it not happen. Pretty soon they’re playing that sensual, teasing dance again and even take it a little farther…but just before they get what they want, it’s snatched right from under them. Finally I’ve created the build-up. I’ve made my reader WANT it to happen as much as my characters do. So now it’s time… Or is it? Like I said earlier, the characters are really the ones who’ll let you know when they’re ready. And when they are… WATCH OUT! It’s a fun ride for all!

Now let me tell you about an awesome Christmas anthology titled – “A Summons from His Grace.” This has three short stories, but it gets better. It’s part of a four-part collection. There is also “A Summons from Yorkshire”, and “A Summons from The Castle”, and “A Summons from The Duke.” The cool thing about this is our characters are all related. The Duke of Danby has summoned his children and grandchildren to Danby Castle for Christmas. Each story tells about those who made the trek—and why—and how they fell in love.

Please enjoy this EXCERPT:
As much as Calvin knew she really shouldn’t be in his room, he was reluctant to tell her to leave. Being close to her like this reminded him of how he enjoyed touching her—how he had cherished their first kiss and couldn’t wait for another one.

And here she stood in her nightrail. It was as if the stars aligned perfectly in the heavens and fate was on his side, because even the companion wouldn’t be disturbing their privacy tonight.

“Calvin, you shouldn’t say such a thing.” The tone of her voice wasn’t as sharp as it had been moments ago.

“I can’t help it. With you so near, it makes me want to touch you.” He bent his head closer to hers while his hands continued to hold her face.

She clutched his hands, and for a second he thought she meant to remove them. But she didn’t. Desire coated her blue eyes as they rested on his mouth. His heart jerked. She wanted this as badly as he did, despite her words earlier. Perhaps she was as confused as he was. But unlike Dorothy, when Calvin became confused, he didn’t cover it with anger.

He brushed his lips across hers. Hesitating…prolonging the excitement building inside his body.

“Calvin,” she whispered. “Why are you doing this to me?”

Smiling, he slid his hands down her neck as he rubbed his cheek against hers. “Pray, tell me what exactly I’m doing?”

She closed her eyes. “You’re making me want things that aren’t possible. You’re bringing my body alive, something that’s never happened to me.”

He kissed her eyelids. “Dorothy, my lovely, this is a new experience for me as well.” He slid his lips across her cheek again. “Because my body has never burned so much for a woman.”

A small moan came from her as she searched for his mouth with hers. When their lips met, he crushed her in his arms, kissing her soundly. Her arms hooked over his shoulders as she held him tight.

He caressed his tongue with hers, and she responded so passionately it nearly had him dropping to his knees. Moving a hand between their bodies, he cupped her breast, which elicited another moan from her. Under his palm, her nipple beaded, and he became aware of just how naked she was under this gown. Eager for more, he broke the kiss to move his lips over her chin and down her throat.

“This should be wrong, but it feels too good,” she muttered.

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Phyllis Campbell is an award-winning, multi-published and best-selling author of romance; from the dark and mysterious hero who sends shivers up your spine to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to keep them in line. She’s been published with several small presses since 2006. Most of her reviewers have given her the title of “Queen Of Sexual Tension”. Married with kids (and three grandchildren), Phyllis has lived in Utah all of her life and enjoys family activities when she’s not writing her next sensual story.

I’d like to welcome Francesca Hawley. Her newest release ALPHA VS ALPHA is available from our publisher, Ellora’s Cave. Take it away Francesca …

Thank you Nina. One of my favorite tropes for paranormal romance is that of “fated mates.” I have heard from other readers that they absolutely hate it because it removes all the conflict from the story because readers then know the two characters have to end up together.

Well, heck…I write romance. In romance it’s a given that your hero and heroine (or protagonists of whatever gender and number) will end up together. So that’s a non-starter. Now, I will grant that an author can skip over some of the relationship conflict because the two main characters have to end up together. But that’s a conflict in, and of, itself because what if one—or both—don’t want to be in the relationship. Such is the case with Serena Goldwolf , the heroine of Alpha vs. Alpha.

In her whole life, Serena has never heard her parents argue. It looks to her as though her mother always kowtows to her father’s edicts. He’s an alpha shapeshifter male. The head of a pack. Therefore, his word is law. Serena has no intention of living her life that way. She loves her mother, but doesn’t want to be her.

Damien Blackwolf has never indicated to Serena that he wants her to turn into a “yes-bitch” who does exactly what he says without a murmur to the contrary. He just wants her to acknowledge their True Mate status. A full out battle of wills ensues over the issue. Serena is afraid acknowledging their connection means that she has to give up herself—and her very soul—in order to be with Damien. Damien wants her just the way she is—a spit and vinegar alpha female.

I initially wrote this story for another publisher back in 2005 and I had a lot of fun reworking this story for Ellora’s Cave. I was able to tighten the story and strengthen the growing connection between Serena and Damien. Damien remains one of my favorite alpha male heroes and Serena gives just as good as she gets.

So what do you think of the “fated mates” storyline that’s often used in paranormal romance? Love it? Hate it? Any recommended reading?

BLURB:
Alpha female Serena Goldwolf has spent a lifetime vowing never to be a submissive mate to any Alpha male. But all it takes is one surprisingly sexual meeting with Damien Blackwolf, a dissatisfied client of her shapeshifter dating site Predator-Match.com, and she is down on all fours, wanting to be mounted by the hottest male on two legs—or four—whom she’s ever met.

Damien Blackwolf doesn’t understand why the voluptuous Serena won’t admit they’re True Mates. To convince her, he decides to bring out her baser desires by dragging her off to someplace private to get to know her…intimately. But how can he convince her of their destiny when she refuses to acknowledge their True Mate connection and runs away from him? Guess he’ll just have to hunt her down and persuade her.

In a passionate battle of wills, there most definitely can be two winners.

Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere but has been revised and expanded for Ellora’s Cave.

EXCERPT:
Chapter One

“What the hell kind of outfit is this?”

Serena Goldwolf’s head shot up at the irate shout coming from the outer office of her shapeshifter matchmaking business, Predator-Match.com. She brushed her bangs off her forehead with a sigh. Damn it, couldn’t anyone in this office take care of stuff without her intervention?

The male voice continued to roar out there, and she knew her secretary wouldn’t be able to handle him because Kara was such an omega even omega males dominated her. Serena sighed again, saved her database update and headed out to confront the wolf male jerk. Serena took in the male outrage with a shake of her head. Asshole. He shook his head as if he’d heard her. Yeah right. She wished.

“I’m sorry, sir. Really.” Kara huddled in her chair, her head dipped and her eyes on her desktop. Submission in her posture and her voice.

“You people set me up with some stalker bitch! I want to talk to one of the owners, now.” A tall black-haired man with dark-brown eyes leaned on the desk, his large hands flat on the wood.

Serena took him in, her body responding immediately. Damn it. She didn’t need this shit, but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He wore a very expensive, black Italian suit, Italian black leather loafers, a crisp white shirt and red tie. The ultimate in power wear for the busy executive. And he was so good-looking he resembled an escapee from Fashion Week. She shook her head to remind herself that he wasn’t all that…he was just a wolf like any other.

Heads hung out of office doors, watching the confrontation with enjoyment, yet no one came to Kara’s rescue. Probably glad to be out of firing range themselves…that’s what she got for hiring betas. The females all wanted him and the males would jump to follow his orders.

Female musk clogged the air. Especially from Lea Redcat, one of her business partners. Predator-Match.com was damn successful. To the outside world, their site looked like a zoo animal match service. To the shapeshifter community, it was a way to find a lover or a life partner. Since Lea was allowing this thing to escalate, it looked like Serena to the rescue. Again.

“I’m really sorry, sir. We do our best to match our clients up with the best fit for them.” Kara cringed lower behind her desk and wouldn’t meet the man’s eyes. Typical omega posture. The male frowned.

“Are you saying you think I deserve a psycho bitch as my Mate?” His quiet voice seemed to scare Kara more than his shouting had because she backed up. It wouldn’t be long before she crawled under her desk.

“No s-s-sir,” Kara stammered.

Damn that bastard. He was done scaring Kara. Unable to suppress her temper, Serena growled. His gaze flashed to her and she felt it all the way to her womb. Damn but he was hot. Life was just not fair.

She challenged him—head up, shoulders back—inspecting him from top to bottom and allowing her gaze to linger, as if she were checking for fleas. His shoulders were broad and filled his Italian suit to perfection. His broad chest narrowed to athletic hips, and she would bet money that his belly sported a six-pack, and not of the beer variety. He had the kind of face that artists wanted to sculpt and women wanted to sit on. His eyes were the piece de resistance—large, dark brown and thick-lashed beneath perfectly arched brows.

In short, he was a god—or a male model. This was the kind of male who never looked twice at Serena because she wasn’t tall and thin, or tiny and doll-like. She had yet to meet a male wolf who wanted a woman with curves, but this kind of wolf was the worst. These wolves wanted trophy bitches.

“Who are you?” His voice cut the air like a knife.

She lifted her chin when the bastard stared her down. How dare he try to intimidate her? She was an alpha female, damn it!

Serena Goldwolf’s head shot up at the irate shout coming from the outer office of her shapeshifter matchmaking business, Predator-Match.com. She brushed her bangs off her forehead with a sigh. Damn it, couldn’t anyone in this office take care of stuff without her intervention?

The male voice continued to roar out there, and she knew her secretary wouldn’t be able to handle him because Kara was such an omega even omega males dominated her. Serena sighed again, saved her database update and headed out to confront the wolf male jerk. Serena took in the male outrage with a shake of her head. Asshole. He shook his head as if he’d heard her. Yeah right. She wished.

“I’m sorry, sir. Really.” Kara huddled in her chair, her head dipped and her eyes on her desktop. Submission in her posture and her voice.

“You people set me up with some stalker bitch! I want to talk to one of the owners, now.” A tall black-haired man with dark-brown eyes leaned on the desk, his large hands flat on the wood.

Serena took him in, her body responding immediately. Damn it. She didn’t need this shit, but she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He wore a very expensive, black Italian suit, Italian black leather loafers, a crisp white shirt and red tie. The ultimate in power wear for the busy executive. And he was so good-looking he resembled an escapee from Fashion Week. She shook her head to remind herself that he wasn’t all that…he was just a wolf like any other.

Heads hung out of office doors, watching the confrontation with enjoyment, yet no one came to Kara’s rescue. Probably glad to be out of firing range themselves…that’s what she got for hiring betas. The females all wanted him and the males would jump to follow his orders.

Female musk clogged the air. Especially from Lea Redcat, one of her business partners. Predator-Match.com was damn successful. To the outside world, their site looked like a zoo animal match service. To the shapeshifter community, it was a way to find a lover or a life partner. Since Lea was allowing this thing to escalate, it looked like Serena to the rescue. Again.

“I’m really sorry, sir. We do our best to match our clients up with the best fit for them.” Kara cringed lower behind her desk and wouldn’t meet the man’s eyes. Typical omega posture. The male frowned.

“Are you saying you think I deserve a psycho bitch as my Mate?” His quiet voice seemed to scare Kara more than his shouting had because she backed up. It wouldn’t be long before she crawled under her desk.

“No s-s-sir,” Kara stammered.

Damn that bastard. He was done scaring Kara. Unable to suppress her temper, Serena growled. His gaze flashed to her and she felt it all the way to her womb. Damn but he was hot. Life was just not fair.

She challenged him—head up, shoulders back—inspecting him from top to bottom and allowing her gaze to linger, as if she were checking for fleas. His shoulders were broad and filled his Italian suit to perfection. His broad chest narrowed to athletic hips, and she would bet money that his belly sported a six-pack, and not of the beer variety. He had the kind of face that artists wanted to sculpt and women wanted to sit on. His eyes were the piece de resistance—large, dark brown and thick-lashed beneath perfectly arched brows.

In short, he was a god—or a male model. This was the kind of male who never looked twice at Serena because she wasn’t tall and thin, or tiny and doll-like. She had yet to meet a male wolf who wanted a woman with curves, but this kind of wolf was the worst. These wolves wanted trophy bitches.

“Who are you?” His voice cut the air like a knife.

She lifted her chin when the bastard stared her down. How dare he try to intimidate her? She was an alpha female, damn it!

I’d like to welcome guest blogger Kerri Nelson.

Thanks for hosting me today, Nina.

Recently I was thinking about dressing and undressing my characters. I mean, how much attention and detail should you really go into? How much do readers really want to know?

In my book, Courting Demons, I have a tendency to dress my main character in clothes that I own and wear myself. She has her favorite plush robe and slippers. In fact, I was probably wearing those items when I wrote the scene. Plus, comfy jeans, cute sundress, and sensible tank tops for the hot and humid southern weather finish out her modest income motherly style. This works for her because of who she is and what she does on a daily basis.

It really does vary from story to story but in this one, the majority of my characters are casual dressers including jeans, boots, and rolled up sleeves and I think I do I pretty good job of describing what they are wearing without overdoing it. But how much is too much? Do you need to know every detail down to the color of their nail polish and the design of their necklace charm?

I’m never sure when I’ve included too little or too much.

Then, on the flip side, what about removing those items of clothing from my characters? In the first couple of chapters, I have a scene where the heroine undresses herself. That wasn’t too difficult to write as I’ve done that many times for myself. But later on in the book, she gets some assistance from another eager character.

Sometimes removing clothes during a sexy scene can present a challenge for me. I mean, you want the scene to be seductive and to flow smoothly. But what about the real life obstacles like, “ouch, you’re pinching my skin in the bra clasp” or “I need some help with these button fly jeans”?

I guess those type of scenes could make a love scene comical but over-all I try to make my men utterly knowledgeable about the craft of swiftly removing those troublesome brassieres. And I rarely have a scene where the woman causes a tragic zipper incident for the man in question.

But it does take a certain play-by-play train of thought to make the scene sexy, practical and smooth. Have you ever read a scene where a couple is suddenly naked but you don’t know how they actually got that way?

I have and it makes me all the more aware of what I’m writing when I get to those pivotal scenes. As a reader, I’d love to know how much clothing detail to you like to see in a character description or in love scene?

Kerri’s recent release includes some pretty sexy characters both dressed and nekkid.

Blurb:
Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.

First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.

After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.

But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.

When a wronged wife turns her cheating husband into a rat, you know you have to keep reading! Kerri Nelson offers up a lot of fun and wild magic in Courting Demons!” —Bestselling author, Linda Wisdom, Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend

Check out an EXCERPT from Courting a Demon.

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Leave a question or comment to be entered to win today’s prize: A choice of e-books from my back list! (Comments open until WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 5 pm EST)

Then, enter to win Kerri’s book tour Grand Prize Kindle by following her on tour and e-mailing me the answers to each question of the day at the end of tour. The more questions you answer, the more entries you gain.

Question of the Day:
What is Paisley Barton’s maiden name?

*** CONTEST CLOSED ***
Winner of ebook from Kerri’s backlist:
Kathryn Merkel!
CONGRATULATIONS!

Click HERE to read details on how to win the GRAND PRIZE Kindle at the end of Kerri’s “Dark Days of Demons Tour”

Thanks for hosting today, Nina. Happy dressing and undressing to all.

Kerri Nelson discovered her love of writing at an early age and soon became a columnist for her local newspaper winning the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.

After a fifteen year career in the legal field, Kerri fulfilled her lifelong dream of publication and is now an award winning multi-published author of nearly every genre under the sun (and moon) and also writes young adult fiction under the penname K.G. Summers.

A true southern belle, she comes complete with a dashing southern gentleman and three adorable children for whom she often bakes many homemade treats.

Kerri is an active member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America as well as numerous chapters including Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal Writers and her Presidency of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.You can keep up with her newest releases on her website and blog or follow her on Twitter.

Today, I’d like to welcome guest author, SARA TRIMBLE. Her newest novel, “Heart Over Mind” is now available in most digital formats from Smashwords. Take it away Sara …

I am often asked, why did you choose to be a writer? Is it because it’s so easy? Ha. If only those people could live the life of a writer for one day, they’d no longer believe it’s a profession for slackers. Writing is a full time job, which requires long hours and serious dedication. If you’re interested in being a writer because you think you can type a few words then sit back and let the money roll in, then good luck. Writing a full length book is only a small portion of being an author. Once the book is finished with the first stages, you still have to edit.

I know authors, such as myself, who go through at least three revisions of the same book before it’s anywhere near ready to see a publisher’s desk. Once it’s finished with the revision stages, often times you’ll have to write a synopsis and query letter then wait for that to come back before sending the book in for acceptance or rejection. Just because that company asked to see your whole book doesn’t mean they’ll publish it. If they do decide to publish, your job still isn’t over. Now, you have to help market it so you can earn sales. It may take a while before you see any money from this book.

I’ve also heard a lot of people say that once you get one book published, it’s a guarantee that all of your future books will be accepted too. Wrong! Being published may help the next round be easier, but it does not guarantee that you’ll be able to slack off. Being an author is hard work. In the end, you’ll end up having to stay up late, get up early and abandon all thoughts of free time, fun and a clean house to meet those deadlines. Never expect to get rich just because you published. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be a best seller.

As for me, I was aware of all of this before I decided to try my hand at writing. I’ve always been a stay at home mom and needed something to help fend off the boredom of watching Nick Jr., and Barney all day long. I chose to write because it’s something I love to do. I began when I was in the hospital with my son. Five months pregnant and I’d already went into labor due to stress. My doctor ordered me to do something that would relax me.

I tried puzzles, a crossword book, and listening to music. Bored out of my mine, I grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and began writing down a list of things I’d rather be doing at that moment. Soon, that list evolved into what I’d like to achieve in my lifetime. Number one was to be a good mom. Number two was to be a writer. My mom saw this and asked why I didn’t start then.

I will be the first person to say that when I first started writing books, it was horrible. I knew ntohing about avoiding passive voice, how to correctly change point of view without confusing the reader, or avoiding those pesky adverbs. I was still in the phase that when I wanted to get my point across about something, I tacked on three or four different descriptive words. It was a nightmare! It took me five eyars to learn to avoid these pitfalls as well as a writer’s enemy, telling.

The more I learned about how to correctly write a story, the more aggrivated I grew with my work in progress. I would abandon it and start a new one. It wasn’t until my recently published book, “Heart Over Mind” that I decided there would be no more starting a new book. I spent four years in the revision stage with this book, trying to get it up to publsihing standards.

During that time, I became Dr. Frankenstein. I ripped out scenes, whole pages, and moved them, discarded them, or rewrote every word. By the end of the book, my poor story looked like a lyposuction junkie, covered with red lines and scribbles in the margins. I almost became disheartened at working on this anymore and quit for a new novel. But soon, that was finished and I couldn’t come up with another story idea.

I decided what was the point in writing multiple stories if I would never do anything with them. That wasn’t going to make my dream of becoming a published author come true. So, back to revisions I went. Two months later, my work was finished. I submitted, got a rejection, and decided to self publish. Now, I’m just waiting on readers to find my work and enjoy.

BLURB:
A Life, Changed Forever…

NALA ARPAIA gets life-altering news. She has a family, and more than one secret power. Even worse is that she also has a mad man seeking to kill her. Gabriel arrives and promises to protect her. With him around, she may be safe from Broncestan, but her heart is in danger of breaking.

A Man, Determined To Stay Unattached…
Gabriel makes it clear from day one that he’s not interested in a relationship. Despite the fact that sparks fly whenever he and Nala touch, he wants to focus on the one thing that matters to him. His job. It’s too bad that Nala’s determined not to let that happen. And when multiple signs point to their being together as Fate deems right, Gabriel wonders if he’s fighting a losing battle.

The Fate of the World Belongs To Them…
As Broncestan’s attacks get stronger, and more dangerous, Nala finds it more important than ever to experience the kind of relationship she’d always wanted, but never had. Seeing Nala suffer at the hands of a power-hungry Damned soul, Gabriel realizes keeping his distance isn’t working. Soon, they give in to the passion and proclaim their love. Just when things are supposed to work out, things hit rock bottom again.

Will they ever be able to defeat Broncestan and enjoy a relationship together or are they doomed to live their lives alone and miserable?

EXCERPT:
Nala did not feel well all of a sudden. Her stomach tightened and her neck began to tingle. Frightened, she looked at Gabriel. His knuckles were white from clenching the steering wheel.

“Gabriel, what’s going on?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know. Just sit there and try to stay calm. Keep an eye out for anything that seems strange.”

Nala nodded and began to chew on her lip as she scanned the median on both sides. Everything seemed still and quiet, like the world was holding it’s breath in anticipation. Tall oak and maple trees bracketed both sides of the road, joining in the middle to form a canopy that blocked out most of the sunlight. The bright green leaves swayed, causing eerie shadows to dance along the pavement. Gabriel steered through the hills and curves, handling the large vehicle with expert ease. At the top of a rather steep hill, Nala noticed something amiss a few hundred feet ahead of them.

“Gabriel, look in the middle of the road.”

He did not need her outstretched finger to direct him. It would be near impossible not to see the nine, abnormally large deer standing directly in their path. Four of the animals had large antlers with spreads of at least six feet. As they drew closer, Gabriel tapped the brakes to keep from skidding. Nothing happened.

Gabriel applied more pressure and then cursed when the Tahoe did not respond. He could not swerve off the side of the road. Hitting one of the wide tree trunks would be more dangerous than crashing into the animals.

“Nala, brace yourself. We’re going to wreck.”

Sobbing a little, Nala reached out with her right hand and held onto the door handle. Her left hand curled around the armrest attached to her chair. Planting her feet firmly against the floorboard, she pushed her body as far back into the seat as she could get. Then, she clamped her eyes shut and waited.

Gabriel gripped the wheel praying that the animals would move. He tried to think of a magickal spell to get them out of this but nothing came to mind. He heard Nala’s sob and expected to see her panicking. Instead, she sat in her seat, quiet and braced for impact. He might not like how irresistible she was, but he did admire her courage.

Damn it. We’re ten feet away. They have to move. Just as they were about to careen into the horde, the foul smell of evil magick permeated the closed windows. Gabriel did not have time to analyze why the odor was present.

By the Spirits, please let us make it out of this. As the SUV plowed into the animals, they dematerialized into a puff of mist. Gabriel tested the brakes. As his foot pressed the pedal, they began to slow down. Relieved, he held it down until they were at a stop. Then he looked over at Nala, still clenching her chair and door. Reaching out, he gently stroked her hand and pried it from the armrest.

“Nala, it’s okay. We’re fine.”

Scared to believe him, she cracked one eye open. Sighing, she looked around in confusion.

“Where did they go?”

Gabriel shrugged. He was a bit confused too. “I don’t know. They just turned into smoke. I think it was an illusion. Something to frighten us.”

A nervous laugh escaped Nala’s mouth. “Funny. Well, it worked dang well. Can we get going now before any other surprises come our way?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Coming soon: Heart Over Mind, paperback edition available on Amazon.

Sara Trimble is new to the world of publishing, though not to writing. She has one published novel, one in the final revisions and a stack of stories ready to work on. When she isn’t writing, Sara spends her time with her three children, wonderful fiance Justyn, spending time with friends, and just enjoying life. You can find her at her website, follow her blog, Tweet her, or Facebook. She loves to hear from her readers so send her an email at saratrimble@saratrimble.com.

Welcome to my new weekly meme Six Sentence Sunday. This week I’ve chosen six sentences to my newest release Deceive Her With Desire. A sexy romantic suspense with a feisty landscaper. A DEA agent seeking redemption. And a drug czar looking to kill them both.

She pushed herself up, ducking her head away from the oarlock. She wiped at the sand on her bottom. “You scared the living shit out of me.”

Biting back a smile, Ayden watched her glistening tears turn to fury. That he could handle. An angry woman was one hundred times easier to placate than a despondent one.

BUY the Book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I’d like to welcome Adele Dubois, friend and fellow author who is here to share her newest release and offer a contest for anyone who comments on this post between now and noon EST, Friday, September 23.

We don’t often get the chance in life to do things over. So when I had the opportunity to revise and expand a previously published novella for which I’d regained the rights, I jumped right in. Even though the book won a contest and got outstanding reviews during its first printing, five additional years of author experience provided a fresh perspective to the story. I gave the book a hot new title and cover and set to work. I hope readers enjoy my shiny new paranormal erotic romance TEMPTED.

Summary:
Is sexual fantasy cheating? If so, Emily’s got a problem. Though she’s never been unfaithful to her husband in reality, she’s found a new hobby with 3D Mental Image Projection. In the privacy of her home, she indulges her secret desires on interactive TV. What else is a lonely woman of a certain age to do?

When Emily wins a weekend getaway to mystical Isle de Paradises, she swears she won’t stray. But temptation lures her at every turn. Desirable men want her and beautiful women pursue her. When Paradises’ youth-restoring powers crumble her resistance, Emily is faced with an irrevocable choice. Her decision will forever alter her life and the fate of her marriage.

Excerpt:
“The champagne is invigorating, no?”

“It’s wonderful. Smooth as satin.” The champagne tasted ice cold on her tongue. Her nostrils flared as she swallowed. Goosebumps formed along the length of her arms. Her breasts began to ache.

“Specialty of the House. From your hosts at The Traveler Channel. It’s called Olympus Elixir.”

“Nectar of the gods. I get it.” Emily smiled. She raised her glass. “Is this liquid science or magic?” She was only half-kidding. The elixir clearly had restorative properties. She hadn’t felt this good in years.

The host smiled down at her. “Science and magic are often seen as the same, no?”

Emily nodded. “So true.”

Two glasses of anything was usually her limit, but she could make an exception for this. A surge of energy roared through her bloodstream. The pulse on her neck quickened. The host glanced down at her again through half-open lids. The tip of his tongue touched the center of his delectable bottom lip and disappeared.

Emily swallowed more elixir and tried to keep her own tongue from hanging out like a hound dog. What was she doing flirting with this… baby? She was a married woman with a fine man at home.

I’m only looking, a voice whispered inside her head. No harm done.

Her conscience apparently needed a swift kick in the ass.

She took another taste of champagne. Her nipples positively throbbed. The vee between her legs pulsed in steady rhythms. Her hormones must be running rampant again. Emily sighed. Why fight it? Why not have teensy bits of fun? She’d worked all her life, raised her children and been a loyal wife for a quarter century. What was the harm of just… looking? Men did that and more every day without a second thought.

She turned to the window where the view was safe and drained the last of her drink. The clouds were bone white against the powder blue sky. There was nothing for her to do except relax and enjoy the scenery. No laundry. No food shopping. No errands to run. Just this delightful, indulgent flight and whatever awaited on Isle de Paradises.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Is fantasizing about sex with partners other than your spouse cheating? Does fantasy make us unfaithful? Why or Why NotA? All opinions welcome. The reader who offers the reply I like best will win a free copy of my e-book DESERT FEVER.

*** CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED ***

It’s release day! It’s release day! Invitation is a sequel to MAID FOR MASTER and brings you right back to the balmy XTC (Ecstasy) Resorts in Key West!

MEDIUM

A woman unwilling to trust …
Sara Lancaster isn’t sure accepting her invitation to a BDSM weekend at XTC Resort is a good idea—though she does have something to prove. Months of abuse at the hand of her former Master have taken their toll. Now, two years later, Sara believes she’s ready to embrace her submissive side once again and enjoy the carnal pleasures of a younger Dom.

A man testing his limits …
Derek Thomas has lost belief in his abilities as a Master. Accepting an invitation for Dom training could be exactly what he needs to regain his self-confidence. Challenged with an experienced older woman, he soon realizes wielding a flogger isn’t always enough to break down the emotional walls and heal a damaged submissive.

Two people with something to prove …
Sara and Derek sizzle with sexual heat the moment they step into the dungeon. The mind blowing sex and physical pain may satisfy their bodies, but wounded hearts and broken spirits just may require something even more intimate—their hearts.

How about an EXCERPT:
Ethan had said the Doms this weekend would be green, but the stiff way Derek moved through the club and down the stairs made Sara wonder if he had any idea what he’d just agreed to. The man had mentioned a dungeon, but the nervous energy buffeting her, led Sara to believe that perhaps the man beside her had never been left on his own to pleasure a slave.

Testing her theory, she boldly looked directly at his silhouette. “Master Ethan said we should use his private room down there on the left.” She pointed and moved a half step ahead of him. She hadn’t baited a Dom in a long while and she was feeling just foolhardy enough to test this kid’s mettle. The boyish face and youthful curls brushing his collar marked him as some college kid probably experimenting.

The man’s heavy boots pounded along the tile floor of the lower hall, the steady cadence never changing. “You’re well trained, Sara. You know better than to talk or look at me that way.”

“What way?”

He stopped abruptly, and Sara forced herself to take three more steps before casually turning and offering him a lackadaisical arch of her brow. Despite how hard she pushed, the man held tight to his control. His eyes narrowed, raking over her face with disapproval. Biceps bulged as he crossed his arms over his chest, waiting for her to acquiesce. They were in a pissing match, still she felt compelled to push him. To make him prove his worth. Squaring her shoulders, Sara’s eyes met the annoyance sparking in his, mutely challenging the obedience he demanded.

“I’m not sure what you thought you understood from my conversation with Master Ethan.” The power of his deep, even tone shivered down her spine as he closed the distance between them. “But understand this now—for the next hour or two, I am your Master. You will obey me. You will treat me with the respect I deserve or you will be punished.” His luscious mouth twisted in a sardonic smile. “Which means you’ll turn those beautiful blue eyes to the floor. And unless I ask you a direct question or you’re screaming your safe word, you will keep those pouty lips of yours sealed shut.” He leaned in close, her strangled pants mingling with his heated breath. “Have I made myself clear, Sara?”

The rational part of her brain screamed to obey, but it was the sarcastic hellion begging for attention who currently had control. Ignoring both logic and the heavy pounding of her heart, Sara lifted her chin in defiance. “Perfectly.”

“You want to play it that way? Fine. Game on.” Grabbing Sara by the elbow, Derek marched her down the hall, ignoring the two Doms, glistening with sweat, guiding a dazed sub out of one of the rooms. He pulled her to a stop in front of Ethan’s private dungeon and looked up into the camera monitoring the hall. His determined expression shot hot jets of anticipation through her blood.

“Do you enter this room of your own free will as my submissive?”

“Yes.”

“Do you understand this room is monitored by cameras to protect both of us? And that the use of a safe word will halt all play immediately without repercussions or questions?”

“Yes.”

“And what is your safe word, Sara?”

“Attila the Hun.”

The smile he flashed held no mirth. “That’s a mindset, not a safe word.”

“Yours or mine?”

He leaned close, overwhelming her senses with the spicy scent of him. “Keep it up, Sara,” he whispered, his breath feathering heat across her cheek. “Punishing you for your defiance will be entirely my pleasure.”

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