shadows of fire

Welcome to our NEW YEAR’S blog hop. There are lots of participating authors with all kinds of prizes available. Please be sure to click the link at the bottom of this post to travel to the next post. Even if you start here, all of the blogs for the NEW YEAR’S BLOG HOP have links to the next author. HAVE FUN!!

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As we’re ringing in another new year with lots of “firsts” ahead of us, I thought I’d share with you some of the first lines in my books. Every author knows that we have one line, one paragraph and if we’re lucky–one page to grab you, the reader and keep you turning pages. I can spend days tweaking and reworking the beginning of my stories. When you look at them individually what do you think? Does the line make you want to keep reading or not so much?

Yeeeeah, I so totally added a picture of the hero from each of the books … what fun is a blog hop without a little eye candy? *vbg* 😉

1. Jahara Khateri’s life was over. As she stared out the windows of the crowded helo-train, she knew nothing could change the course of her life. She felt the hollow reality as obvious as the barren expanse of the desert stretching between her and the horizon.

GARDEN OF SERENITY *

casper_van_dien_02
2. Nicholas Gradin III splashed three more finger of thirty-year-old scotch into the crystal tumbler sitting on the antique desk, not bothering to add ice. He didn’t need some watered-down version of liquid courage. At this moment, he needed straight up, balls-to-the-walls confidence that everything would work out in his favor.

*  GRAPES OF RAPTURE *

NicholasXSmall
3. Margaret Callaghan hid her heartache behind dark sunglasses and the Starbuck’s double-double mocha latte she carried like a shield. The steaming coffee hadn’t helped dislodge the hot coal of despair burning her throat or soothe the quiver of her bottom lip. Mercifully, the front receptionist’s desk of Summit Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic was empty at this hour of the morning, giving her hope that she just might be able to reach her office and pull herself together before anyone could question her misery.

IN HIS EYES

Touch
4. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
How could this have happened to someone so young? Julie Tilling dabbed at the tears ruining the makeup she’d meticulously applied to her rounded cheeks. She stared at the coffin suspended eerily over the marred earth of the cemetery, not sure what to make of this farce.

BLIND HER WITH BLISS *

sigh
5. Sara Lancaster had definitely made the wrong decision. Less than twenty-four hours ago she was sure this weekend was just what she needed. Eight hours ago, excitement had fluttered in her stomach as she’d left Boston, overjoyed to accept the invitation. Hell, just two hours ago she’d been giddy with anticipation as she’d collected her bags at the Key West airport and caught a taxi to the boat landing. But her tiny apartment and the bungalow where she currently stood weren’t merely thousands of miles apart—a whole world separated the comfortable life she’d finally made for herself and the fantasy she was standing in.

* RECLAIMED IN ECSTASTY (Coming February 2015) *

Young male underwear model photo
6. It wasn’t much of a noise, just an inconsequential thump in the night that was enough to rouse Professor Paul Morgan from his dreamless slumber. Still cradled in the gentle arms of sleep, his blood thick with sleeping medication, he wasn’t sure if he’d simply imagined the sound. But when another muffled bang was followed by a whoosh of air—he had no doubt the commotion coming from the first floor had nothing to do with his mischievous tabby, Zeus.

* SHADOWS OF FIRE *

Buff FiremanXSmall
7. Jayda Kynslan sauntered into the Whip and Bull Tavern, wanting only two things—a cold beer and a hot guy. The first, she hoped would ease the heavy ache in her chest. The second she hoped would replace the images of the jackass who’d broken her heart.

* BONDED SOULS *

Cole
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. How ironic that the annoyance of driving in a Maine snowstorm had kept her at Tilling Gardens and Plants, the business she co-owned with her two sisters. Finishing the shop’s holiday arrangements and festive decorations had seemed a better alternative to a white-knuckled drive home in the heart of a nor’easter. Except now, instead of being stranded in a ditch on the side of the road with a chance of being rescued, she was going to freeze to death alone in the walk-in cooler that was the lifeblood of her business.

* CHEAT HER WITH CHARM *

Arranging Love
9. Jesus. Even though Jonathon Brierton wasn’t particularly religious he prayed for Divine intervention. Not that he wanted any lightning strikes or halos of light illuminating the shadowed corner of the club where he’d hidden himself, but a little more help in the patience department would certainly go a long way at the moment. It went against his baser nature to sit back and wait rather than walking over and convincing the copper-haired beauty leaning over the railing across the way to put on his collar and join him in one of the private dungeons below.

* BOUND IN ECSTASY (Coming January 2015) *

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10. Lilly D’Angelo wasn’t expecting a trip down memory lane when she sauntered into the dingy tavern, but the acrid stench and gruff hum of the Friday night crowd carried her back to one of the seedier establishments on Chicago’s south side nonetheless. Except for the clientele, the owner had managed to replicate nearly every detail right down to the blue haze of cigarette smoke and the soft crooning of a jazz band on the corner stage. Pushing the sour thoughts of home from her mind and focusing on the job at hand, Lilly morphed her features into her sexiest vixen pout and moved gracefully toward the long bar on the other side of the room. Her voluptuous breasts, spilling temptingly from her silk blouse, led the way. The eyes watching her leather-clad ass sashay around the battered tables were clustered on various life forms—none of them human. Yeeeeeah, definitely not Chicago. Hell, this wasn’t even Earth for goodness’ sake.

* A TOUCH OF LILLY (An All Romance Ebook BESTSELLER!) *

Dallas
11. Deirdre Tilling slammed the spade into the soil. Her booted foot thumped down on its metal edge, driving it deeper and transferring her frustration to the wounded earth. She’d been working the flowerbeds around her farmhouse since noon. And though the sun stretched the shadows of the maples long across her lawn, painting their leaves a deeper crimson, the hours of heavy labor hadn’t helped ease the pain of loneliness.

* DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE *

a man's place is in the kitchen
12. She raced through the shadows, her claws digging deep in the damp forest floor. Lush ferns of summer slapped at her muzzle but didn’t slow her speed. The scent of rabbit rode on the night air laced with the honeyed aroma of silky lupine. Jayda Kynslan tamped down the urge to hunt. Time had become her enemy. Her attention needed to stay focused on more important quarry.

* BONDED BY NEED *

beautiful eyes of a wild wolf: dangerous mammal

****  THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED  ****

So, what do you think? Any of  those “firsts” catch your eye? Leave a comment on this thread telling me how much you loved one of the lines (*g*) or enjoyed the eye candy or a special “first” you’re anticipating in 2015.

One person who comments on this post between now and SUNDAY, JANUARY 4 at 6:00 pm, EST will be chosen at random to win a “NINA PIERCE GIFT PACK”, including a signed book and some other fun swag. (Shipping to US and Canadian residence only. An international winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card in lieu of gift pack.)

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Check out PAIGE TYLER’S blog to continue our New Year’s hop!

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Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday where I post six sentences from one of my books. My sexy vampire romantic suspense, SHADOWS OF FIRE, is now available! Here’s a little taste of what happens when human friends have no idea you’re a vampire …

“She’s human,” the man said, slurring his words around teeth hanging unnaturally long from the man’s mouth.

Human, what kind of hallucination was this guy having?

“Hope’s a friend of mine,” replied Alex as all three of them moved in some bizarre synchronized ballet that kept the woman positioned between Hope’s shovel and the crazed lunatic. “She thought you were going to hurt me and since you didn’t mean to attack me, she’s just going to get back in her car and meet me at the tavern.”

“Only if you come with,” said Hope. No way in hell was she going to leave Alex alone to become the bi-line of tomorrow’s obituary section.

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Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments. Please click HERE to check out other authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week.

So it’s time for another update on my self-publishing journey. Mostly because a lot of people have been asking me questions about the process and what I think of putting my books up by myself.

This post is about money … and how much it costs to self-publish.

A lovely writer was asking me about book covers for her new book that Createspace (the printed book arm of Amazon) said should be out in 2-3 months. Wai … What? *hear a needle scraping across an album* Before I could tell her about a wonderful cover artist, I needed her to explain to me about what Createspace had to do with when her book would be released.

Well, she’d paid them $1400 to “self-publish” her book. I almost fell over backwards. After I recovered I asked what was included in that price. Well, they were giving her an ISBN for both print and ebook … umm, both are free from Amazon. Okay, what else? Well they’d format her book. This is definitely something many people pay for because they don’t want to worry it’s not done right. But the fee I’ve found tops out around $30 per format. So this brings it to about $120 (epub, mobi (kindle), nook, kobo). And it included some editing which you can purchase for upwards of $.01 per word, so about $750 for a 75,000 word novel. It did NOT include a cover.

So she paid $1400 for services that she could have gotten for $870 … tops. I was so sad for her. I wish she had done just a little more research before jumping in. (Keep in mind … in the publishing world money should flow TOWARDS the author. That one piece of advice should be in the back of your brain as you’re making all your decisions.)

Then on the other end of the spectrum I’ve had more than one person mention they can’t afford to self-publish. But with a few really good beta readers (one to read for story consistency and a couple to read for typo/grammar), services you can trade with another author … you may be able to skip the editing fee. With patience, uploading to Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords, even getting your book ready for print is easy enough. And if you’re not tech savvy, there are pre-made book covers for as little as $25.

There have been many bestsellers I’ve read in the self-publishing realm whose covers aren’t intricate. Yes, a cover is a reader’s first impression, but people will buy a book on a list even if the cover didn’t roll off the NY presses. When you make some money, switching out covers is a simple process. I’ve switched out several original covers for something that better fit the genre.

Let’s face it, this whole thing is a learning process. My feeling if you’re toying with the idea of self-publishing is that it’s better to have a book up and making some money than having it sit unpublished on your computer making nothing.

And to catch you up on what’s going on with me (because I think it’s important for people to share their numbers) … August Sales were amazing and I thought I’d finally found a formula that works for my books. Unfortunately my sales are pushed by the first book in my romantic suspense series being free. Amazon has decided they are no longer going to run the “free” book list next to the top sellers in a category. I have no doubt many of the readers who downloaded my free book saw it because they were perusing the paid books in the same categories.

Guess what happened in September … sales plummeted.

Amazon:
Blind Her with Bliss: Free 9079 downloads (16% drop)
Deceive Her With Desire: 360 sold = $711.30 (43% drop in sales)
Cheat Her With Charm: 282 sold = $563.75 (45% drop in sales)
Shadows of Fire: 14 sold = $34.38

Barnes & Noble:
Blind Her With Bliss: Free through Smashwords
Deceive Her With Desire: 18 sold = $34.92 (32% drop in sales)
Cheat Her With Charm: 14 sold = $27.16 (33% drop in sales)
Shadows of Fire: 4 sold = $9.71

Kobo:
Blind Her With Bliss: Free (no report)
Deceive Her With Desire: 10 sold = $20.90
Cheat Her With Charm: 2 sold = $4.18
Shadows of Fire: 1 sold = $1.23

Smashwords:
The report is difficult to sort through in its current format, it appears I’ve made apporximately $150 in September across all vendors.

I am sure Amazon’s changes had a huge effect on my sales. I can’t say exactly what happened with B&N. Perhaps that’s just the ups and downs of sales. But the fact is … I wouldn’t change my decision to jump on this crazy ride. Feel free to ask me any questions. I’m an open book!

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday where I post six sentences from one of my books. My sexy vampire romantic suspense, SHADOWS OF FIRE, is now available!

Reese stared at Ronan’s back as the vampire stormed out of the cabin and asked, “Think he’ll steer clear of Alex?”

“Yeah, he’s too green to bring her to the tribunal on his own,” Josh said.

“And this?” Reese asked, sweeping his hand over the map showing evidence of Alex’s guilt and wondering if he was blinded by his lust.

“Depends on how bad you have it for her.”

“Let’s just say after my trip to the wine cellar this morning, you can cross my fear of commitment off your list.” Reese’s whole world had been dropped in a blender and put on pulverize to shit.

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Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments. Please click HERE to check out other authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week.

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday where I post six sentences from one of my books. The summer is winding down, but not the heat from my snippets! How about something sizzling from my paranormal romantic suspense, coming end of this month (yay!) Here’s a first look at the cover!

“What is it?” Alex whispered.

“I don’t want you to get hurt.”

She licked at his canines, sending electric currents of lust jolting over his nerves. “I’ve always known your bite was worse than your bark, Colton.” Alex tipped her head, offering her throat to him. “Doesn’t this work as sharing a meal?”

Coming soon to all retailers!

Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments. Please click HERE to check out other authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week.

See you next week!

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. The object is simple. Post six sentences from one of my books or manuscripts. Just six. All summer long I’ve promised to find some of the hottest snippets in my stories. Since I’m working to re-write a previously published book and get it back out to my readers, I thought I’d share six sentences from my vampire firefighter suspense currently titled, Shadows of Fire:

She’d completely misunderstood, but Reese didn’t bother to explain. He spun her around, his lips coming down hard on hers, possessing Alex’s mouth. His tongue thrust between her parted lips, taking and taking until she melted against him and he knew he’d driven away all of her doubts. When he had her full attention he gently pulled away.

He waited for her eyes to flutter open and focus before he spoke. “This isn’t ‘no thank you’, it’s simply ‘oh shit, I wish there wasn’t somewhere else I needed to be’.”

Thanks so much for stopping by and a special thanks to everyone who takes time to comment. Please click HERE to check out other authors participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week.

I’ve joined in with 24 other authors to offer you the opportunity to win a kindle. All you have to do is visit the following sites to find the answers to the questions listed (and for my loyal readers I helped you with my questions by also posting two short excerpts):

Lynda Hilburn (http://www.lyndahilburnauthor.com)
Question #1) What are the names of the two men who came to Kismet’s office unexpectedly?
Question #2) What kept Luna from drinking Kismet dry?

Angelique Armae (http://www.angeliquearmae.com)
Question #1) Which archangel trained Isabel in Shadows of the Soul?
Question #2) What is the name of the book listing fallen angels who fell from grace during the fall of Eden?

Heidi Betts (http://www.heidibetts.com)
Question #1) Three of the character names in the blurb on the back of The Bite Before Christmas are incorrect (one last name, two first names). What are the correct character names in the story?
Question #2) What is the name of Heidi’s Halloween vampire giveaway, running until October 30, 2010?

Danielle Bourdon (http://www.daniellebourdon.com)
Question #1) What is the name of the bartender?
Question #2) What does Sebastian do to Laurel’s phone?

Marilee Brothers (http://www.marileebrothers.com)
Question #1) What is the name of Marilee’s newsletter?
Question #2) What is the name of Marilee’s friend who writes the wine column?

Ciar Cullen ( http://www.ciarcullen.com)
Question #1) Name the ancient culture that seems to interest me.
Question #2) Name my most recent release.

Lori Devoti ( http://www.loridevoti.com)
Question #1) Name two stories Lori has written that contain vampires.
Question #2) Name a creature other than zombies featured in Lori’s 2010 release, Zombie Moon.

Betsy Dornbusch (http://sexscenesatstarbucks.blogspot.com/)
Question #1) What magazine do I edit?
Question #2) Who is my latest fangrrl crush?

Sandra Edwards (http://www.sandrawrites.com)
Question #1) What does Jack (the ghost) want Izzy to do?
Question #2) What does Izzy do for a living after she travels back in time?

Krisi Keley (http://www.onthesoulofavampire.com)
Question #1) What year did Valéry speak with his cousin Jules about what happened to him following the Children’s Crusade?
Question #2) What’s the name of the “immortal child” Valéry considers his greatest sin because he made him a vampire for completely selfish reasons?

Monique Martin (http://moniquemartin.weebly.com/index.html)
Question #1) Where does Simon teach Occult Studies?
Question #2) What does Elizabeth compare her nightmare to?

Phoebe Matthews (http://phoebematthews.com)
Question #1) The sword Tarvik carries once belonged to what warlord?
Question #2) April remembers another life. Where, and what was her stage name?

Karen Michelle Nutt (http://www.kmnbooks.com)
Question #1) What is Ryden’s reaction to Eli’s kiss?
Question #2) Who speaks to Clarity while she’s sitting in the devil’s chair?

Gloria Oliver ( http://www.gloriaoliver.com)
Question #1) What is the sound most dreaded everywhere?
Question #2) How is Clarence punishing Kel?

Nina Pierce
http://www.ninapierce.com/
Question #1) What creature of the night is Reese Colton?

Excerpt from Shadows of Fire:
“Not this time.” Alexandra fluttered kisses up his jaw and pulled his earlobe through her teeth. “I want you to take me. Vampire or no, I’m yours. You don’t frighten me, Reese. I trust you.”
Her words were like a soft aria serenading his heart. He’d kept that part of him sheltered for far too long. Reese wanted to be with Alex more than he needed his next breath and she’d just given him permission to give in to his beastly desires. What more could a man want?

Question #2) What kind of shifter is Jayda Kynslan?

Excerpt from “Bonded Souls”
In her rapture, her eyes squeezed tight in the pure freedom of her climax, Cole had watched Jayda’s facial contours soften and pulse with the features of a cougar then a wolf and then back to human. She was a polymorphic shifter. A living prophecy sent to bridge the feud that was tearing apart the local shifter community.

Renee Rearden (http://www.reneerearden.com)
Question #1) What is the name of Saari Mitchell’s adopted sibling?
Question #2) What tops Saari Mitchell’s Most Painful Ways To Die list?

Chris Redding (http://www.chrisreddingauthor.com/)
Question #1) What is the name of the woman renting the Grace the apartment?
Question #2) What question does Zach ask Grace at the end?

LK Rigel (http://www.lkrigel.com)
Question #1) What is Char afraid she’ll run into on Baseline Road?
Question #2) What color is Char’s card?

Lynda K. Scott (http://www.lyndakscott.com)
Question #1) In the excerpt for Heartstone, what does Eric call Keriam when he sees her as an infant?
Question #2) What are Lynda Scott’s 3 favorite charities?

Elizabeth Sinclair (http://www.elizabethsinclair.com/)
Question #1) In Garden of the Moon, what does her mother refer to Sara’s ability to see ghosts as?
Question #2) – In Angel Unaware, where was Dora’s soul put by accident?

Lia Slater (http://www.liaslater.com)
Question #1) Lia Slater thinks the world would be a better place if everyone did what?
Question #2) What is the hero’s name in Were Blood?

Danielle D. Smith (http://www.danielledsmith.com)
Question #1) What is Danielle’s job other than being an author?
Question #2) Who is the publisher of Psyche’s Gate in print?

Rick Taubold (http://www.vampiresinc.net)
Question #1) Who are the two co-hosts of the Vampires’ Blog (All Things Vampire)?
Question #2) Who are the three bad guys mentioned in the two novels?

T. Lynne Tolles (http://tlynnetolles.netfirms.com)
Question #1) Who is Blake Bloomington’s girlfriend?
Question #2) What is Devon and Blake’s uncle’s name?

Vianka Van Bokkem (http://viankavanbokkem.webs.com/)
Question #1)What are the names of the two author ladies who were my inspiration when I wrote my first novel?
Question #2) What do I like to do during winter?

Email all the answers to: LyndaHilburnAuthor@yahoo.com
Please include all your contact information with your entry. (One entry per person.)

Linda will collect those emails, put your names in my mini-coffin, and will select a winner of the Kindle on the night of October 31. The winner’s name will be posted on Linda’s blog and she will send an email.

BEST OF LUCK!

I haven’t posted an excerpt for awhile and thought this lazy Sunday while I have my coffee in hand and the sun is shining and a cool breeze is wafting in my windows that I’d search one up for you to enjoy. Hmmm, I think I’ll share something from my vampire firefighter novella Shadows of Fire available from Liquid Silver Books.

BLURB
ALEXANDRA FLANAGAN didn’t ask to be forced from her human existence as a chemistry student at the South Kenton University in the northern mountains of California into the ungodly world of vampires. But thirty years ago, after nearly dying from a vicious vampire attack, that’s exactly what happened. Saved by the blood of an ancient vampire, she unhappily walks among immortals–facing a hollow existence she never chose.

REESE COLTON has been a vampire for centuries. A man of honor, he is part of an elite military operation known as RISEN that seeks out and eliminates rogue vampires who choose to break the unwritten codes of the immortals and not live complacently among the human population. Under cover as a firefighter at the South Kenton fire department, he and his team have been called in to investigate the unusual number of fires that have ended the lives of several humans–and vampires.

When chemistry ignites passion, Reese and Alex find themselves embroiled in an affair that catches them both unaware. With the number of fires escalating and Alex’s behavior increasingly suspect, Reese isn’t sure whether to follow his heart or the clues. Will Reese find the answers to Alex’s secrets in the Shadows of Fire?

EXCERPT:
That did it. He’d been grilling her for the last half hour about the events of last evening and now he was accusing her … of what? A switch clicked and pushed away her confusion. He was accusing her of killing Glenn? She may not be telling him everything, but to think she’d bring any harm to the man who’d loved and protected her dropped indignation over her wounded heart like a shield. Alex jumped to her feet, the metal legs of the chair scraping loudly. She barely noticed. “What the fuck, Reese?” Her hand pointed in the general direction of Glenn’s farm. “Do you think I shoved a stake through Glenn’s heart and started that fire?”

His eyes grew dark, the corner of his mouth curving in a malicious smirk. He straightened and held his palms out, inviting her to rebuke his theory. His silent recrimination filled the air and Alex could hardly draw breath.

She had come here thinking Reese was one of the few people who would understand the pain burning through her veins. She hadn’t expected him to accuse her of murder. “Fuck you, Reese.” The whisper was barely audible through the tension. “I loved him like a father.” Sorrow ripped open the raw wound, bringing a fresh sting of tears behind her eyes, but she refused to give in to them. Alex didn’t need this. Didn’t need him. And she sure as hell didn’t need his accusations–or pity. She’d come seeking solace in Reese’s arms–and his bed. She’d wanted one day of lust to take with her when she left. That had been something else Alex had decided on her way here. She needed to leave and take her secrets with her. “I thought you knew me. All these months … yesterday…” The last word choked out with a sob. Alex turned, intent on leaving the cabin, leaving South Kenton. She’d been mistaken thinking there was something left for her here.

Reese’s hand was on her shoulder before she took more than a few steps. He turned her and pulled her tight to the solid plane of his chest. His mouth came down hard on hers. No soft exploration. No gentle probing. Just raw male lust devouring her mouth. His hands fisted in her hair and she opened herself to him, wanting to fill the void Glenn’s death had left in her heart. She needed to feel alive in the midst of so much death. Her lips parted and welcomed the heat of his tongue. It tangled and danced with hers, teasing and tasting.

“Alex, I’m sorry.” Reese whispered in her ear. “Glenn … the fires … you … it’s all too much.” His lips wandered her face, kissing her lids and her nose, trailing fire down her neck.

She felt the scrape of his teeth as his fangs drew across the tender flesh of her throat. The sensation sent sparks of desire straight to her sex. Despite what he might believe of her, the anger couldn’t keep her heart from wanting this man. “Reese, I’m yours. Take me.”

Her world spun and shifted as he lifted her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. She was dizzy with need and had no idea where he was taking her until his body shifted and his foot kicked closed a door. Without preamble, Reese laid her on the soft mattress of a bed and came down heavy on top of her. Reveling in the sensation of his hands on her body, she didn’t open her eyes. The essence of him permeated the air. The pillows around her head were filled with the thick male scent of him. She wanted to drown in its heady aroma.

Their hands were everywhere at once, tugging at clothes, ripping away buttons. The desperate need to have flesh searing flesh was all that drove them until they lay naked and gasping in each other’s arms. Their lips, teeth, and hands moved in frantic hunger to taste and touch. She couldn’t get enough of him.

Alex’s palms slid down the hard muscles along his spine, pressing into the well of his low back before curving up the rounded arch of his taut ass and digging her nails in deep. Air hissed through Reese’s teeth, a low moan vibrating through the heat of his mouth at her neck. His teeth dragged down her throat and his lips replaced his hand at her breast. His mouth suckled and bit first one aching nipple then the other. The sharp thrill of pain shot straight to her core, clenching her muscles. The thick heat of lust leaked onto her thighs. No man had ever made her so wet.

Writing is hard. Waiting for the first reviews to come out after your book is published is excruciating. I don’t write books to have them sit at my publisher … I write books to send them out in the world and hope people fall in love with them! Well, that’s the hope anyway. LOL!

So CeCe at Bitten by Books gave Shadows of Fire 4 tombstones and
said this …

“Shadows of Fire” is a page-turner. It is definitely full of action. Ree[s]e and Alex are likable and relatable characters.

Lisa at Night Owl Romance gave Healer’s Garden 4.5 and a TOP PICK and said this …

“Evil forces play into this story, with unexpected twists, turns, and a very pleasing resolution…This wonderful fantasy culture where women are dominant and men disrespected is a very interesting twist and carries a strong plot well. Strong characters, their struggles with ethics, justice, and morality, coupled with excellent dialogue and attention to detail, make this book a fantastic fantasy read!

The sex scenes were very well written – so hot, Hot, HOT!!!! Get the air coolers running!”

So squeeee! It makes me so happy when people like my stories. It makes me warm and smiley. And to top it off Ellora’s Cave offered me a contract this week. Yeeeeah, it’s been a good week so far and it’s only Tuesday!!

Recently Ambrosia from Whipped Cream Reviews gave “Hearts Afire-May” a 5 cherry review. This anthology includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire”. This is part of what she had to say …

“It was a pleasure to read such an alarming, hot tale of the flames of desire, sparked by such an awesome set of characters. The other characters in the story lent a gamut of emotions from joy, to pain, to love, and hatred as the story licked the edges of Alex’s world.

A definite must for those who love a good suspense and hot read of fabulous frisky firemen and a feisty female. This story deserves its own 4.5 rating for the exceptional writing. One can only fall into the heat of well written prose with glee.”

Click HERE for the full review.

Yep, I’m smiling all over with that review! And to celebrate I’d like to share with you a new from my novella, Shadows of Fire. Please enjoy …

Clouds shrouded the moon as the vampire moved through the abandoned field. Some caring neighbor had probably come in today and no doubt sheltered the wayward animals. Just as well. After tonight, pig’s blood would no longer be needed for that heinous concoction that passed as vampire sustenance. Glenn’s death had solidified that.

Vampires were nocturnal creatures, born of blood, they lived by blood. To hell with modern views to the contrary. Ridding South Kenton of the contemptuous vampires who had weakened themselves had been necessary. Though the professor’s death should have been the end, the realization that one more fire would complete the purification spurred the beast forward.

Under the cloak of darkness the vampire searched Glenn’s house, but found nothing. Obviously, Glenn had hidden whatever he’d found in the professor’s office well. Had there been more time last evening, it would have been a pleasure to coax the information from his bloody lips. But misdirection required precision. The setup left in the barn fire could not have been more perfect. Killing the kid after Glenn resurrected the poor bastard had been an added pleasure. Staking the body to the pentagram was nothing short of pure genius. Already gossip of Glenn’s occult practices had begun to spread. Small towns survived on grist from the rumor mill. The lies had been whispered in the man’s own tavern tonight, for chrissake.

Now, the murderer needed to finish destroying the professor’s work. But the evidence Glenn had stolen from the man’s office-information that would no doubt spur others to follow in his footsteps-needed to be found and destroyed. Time was running out.

Standing on the back steps of the farm house, the monster listened to an owl cry a victory song in the darkness and its prey scream a death wail. It was a haunting sound that called to the vampire heart. “Life taken to give life.” The creed rode  in the gentle breeze.

The rain had slowed around midnight and now, nearly an hour later, had finally stopped. It would make the long walk back to the bridge where the car was parked a pleasant stroll. The heavy boots clomped down the stairs and across the driveway. Clouds skittered across the sky and opened. The full moon beamed in all its glory upon the blackened barn, the rays of light stretching to illuminate Glenn’s vehicle. An obvious sign that couldn’t be ignored

With a gentle push of air, the vampire stood at the cab of the truck. The moon glittered off a metal ring hanging on the shifter. Opening the door, the vampire leaned in to retrieve the key, and found the leather satchel hidden beneath the seat.

Fate had smiled down once again.

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