author interview

I’d like to welcome Alexa Grace author of the of Deadly trilogy. I’m pleased you could make it today to share your stories.

Nina: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Alexa: My journey started in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position I’d held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. I finally had the time to pursue my dream of writing books–a childhood dream. My focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels.

I earned two degrees from Indiana State University and currently live in Florida. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America National as well as the Florida Chapter.

The first two books in my Deadly series have consistently been listed on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Suspense Books. My newest book, Deadly Relations is now in the top 10 of Amazon’s Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Suspense Books.

I was recently named one of the top 100 Indie authors by Kindle Review. A chapter is devoted to me in the book Interviews with Indie Authors by C. Ridgway and T. Ridgway.

My writing support team includes five Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues. As a writer, I am fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and emails from readers. You can keep up with me on my website, facebook and twitter. You’re also welcome to check out and join my street team.

Nina: Please tell us about your newest book.
Alexa: Deadly Relations, the third book of the Deadly Trilogy, was published on September 21. Here is a brief description of the plot.

In Deadly Relations, a serial killer of young women hides in plain sight in a quiet county in the Midwest. Concealed behind a friendly and trustworthy face, no one knows he has a rage to kill he can’t control — until it’s too late.

Detective Jennifer Brennan, still haunted by her abduction five years before, devotes her life to serve and protect others. So when three young women go missing and are found murdered on her watch, she vows to find the killer — or die trying.

A personal relationship with her partner, Detective Blake Stone, would be career suicide. But the connection Jennifer has with him is nothing short of electric. Working with Blake daily and denying her attraction is hard. But when he moves in to protect her, resisting him becomes pure torture.

As they fight temptation, two detectives race against time to find the killer before he strikes again. It is the most important case of their careers. It could be their last.

Available from:
Amazon U.S.
Amazon U.K.

Nina: What can we expect from you in the future?
My next book Profile of Evil will be published in the spring of 2013. It is the first book of the Profile Trilogy. Here is a brief description of the plot.

Carly Stone is a brilliant FBI agent who’s seen more than her share of evil. Leaving the agency, she becomes a consultant for Indiana County Sheriff Brody Chase. He needs her help to catch a savage killer who is luring teenaged girls to their death in the handsome sheriff’s community.
The two are determined to stop a dangerous predator before he takes another life — at any cost.

Nina: How can we find out more about your books?
Alexa: Deadly Offerings, Deadly Deception and Deadly Relations are sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Sony, Diesel and more. Deadly Offerings is FREE on Amazon.

Please enjoy this EXCERPT from Deadly Relations:
Jennifer left the Sugar Creek Cafe, where she’d filled her thermos with hot coffee. She walked down Main Street toward the county sheriff’s building, where Catherine Thomas’s latest search efforts were being organized. March had been fickle thus far, alternating between unseasonably warm or frigid weather. Today, it was chilly, so she tightened the belt on her coat and lifted her collar as she walked against the wind that whipped her hair about, stinging her face and eyes. Though she’d never admit it, she was exhausted and had averaged around four hours of sleep per night since Catherine went missing. When she wasn’t in her car searching for Catherine, she was sitting in front of her computer using the methods Frankie had taught her to look for a missing person. Her cousin, Frankie, was a private investigator with an expertise in technology, and Jennifer had worked for Frankie prior to going to the Police Academy. But Frankie’s sure-fire methods hadn’t worked to find Catherine.

One look at the gray clouds overhead confirmed what the TV weather guy had said. There was a chance of rain today. At least, she hoped it was just rain. If the temperature dipped below thirty-two degrees, there was a good chance they’d get freezing rain, or what people called “black ice.” That made the roads treacherous to drive, let alone search for a missing person.

The majority of the businesses in the historic downtown area were located on Main Street for six blocks or more. Most of the buildings had been built a hundred or so years before. They’d been preserved by massive renovations and modernization as time went on.

The wind was playing havoc with Catherine Thomas’s missing posters, which peppered the trees and light posts. Lining the inside of nearly every shop or restaurant window was the poster for the world to see, with the silent prayer that someone would find her. Fred and Julie Thomas worked tirelessly to get the word out about Catherine’s disappearance.

Jennifer gritted her teeth as she thought about Catherine. She’d been abducted. Though there was no evidence, she was sure of it. Catherine had been taken against her will, just as Jennifer had been taken years before. The girl was looking forward to going to the police academy. She was not a runaway. There was no way Jennifer would believe Catherine left on her own volition. She had an ominous feeling that time had run out, and their chances of finding Catherine alive were nil. Catherine’s parents hadn’t lost hope of finding her alive, but Jennifer had. She knew the more time that elapsed, the less likely they would find Catherine alive. Like most detectives, Jennifer knew that time and again when they didn’t find the missing person within forty-eight hours, it was likely the person was dead.

It was Thursday and Catherine had been missing for five days — a time period painfully realized by every member of the county sheriff department. The staff took it personally. The sheriff, each of his officers, and all the admins wore a yellow arm band that matched the yellow ribbon tied around a huge oak tree in the Thomas’s front yard. People don’t go missing on their turf, on their watch.

So much time had elapsed that most of the sheriff’s team had lost hope that Catherine was alive, just as Jennifer had. The sense of loss made them more determined to find her body so they could focus on what happened to her. While there was a lot of information they’d gain by finding a dead body in terms of prosecuting a killer, there was a lot more satisfaction in finding the missing alive.

Fear ran rampant, as was evident by increased calls to the station. Paranoid citizens were reporting suspicious strangers, or strange noises outside their homes. High school girls, much to their distress, found themselves with early curfews and increased parental surveillance. Local restaurants were filled with anxious chatter about Catherine, and gossip ran rampant. People were angry, too, firing blame at the county sheriff’s office for not finding Catherine.

For the first time since Jennifer could remember, people were locking their doors at nights and leaving on their outside lights. The quiet street she lived on was usually dim at nightfall, with only a few street lamps to light the way. Since Catherine went missing, the street was flooded bright by house, porch, and garage lights.

Reader question:  In Deadly Relations, three young women are abducted by a serial killer.  What is the most frightening thing that’s ever happened to you?

Today I’d like to welcome dear friend and fellow author Pam Champagne. A Maine author, Pam writes romantic suspense novels with enough danger to keep you riveted to the edge of your seat and sweet love to keep you turning pages late into the night. Take it away Pam …

Thank you Nina for inviting me to your blog to promote my latest release, Missing In Action.

Many of you weren’t around in the sixties and early seventies when our country was at war with Vietnam. The memories of those years still haunt me. Too many good friends and classmates were lost. I was not one of the war protestors flooding the streets. Perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but like Nina, I tell it how I see it. I’m ashamed of U.S. citizens, like Jane Fonda, who supplied the enemy with propaganda. It was a scary time.

When I was in college I used to go every day after classes to Chelsea Naval Hospital where the badly wounded were brought in by the dozens. I’d read to them, talk with them and listen to stories of their wives and girlfriends back home. Sometimes they’d just want to hold a warm hand.

In later years, I became involved in groups who pressured the U.S. Government to account for those still listed missing in action. Time has a way of making memories fade and many families and relatives wanted closure to the extent they accepted government proof of their loved ones deaths. Most of the so-called “proof” wouldn’t stand up in a court of law. Bone fragments near the site of a crash or a battle that even forensics couldn’t identify the DNA.

Hence, came the idea for my book, Missing In Action which is available at Amazon. And the really good news? It can be downloaded FREE July 11, 12 and 13th.

Zoe Zanardi was born with a gift. She paints pictures of people she’s never met. One day an unseen force draws her into an antique shop where she finds an old POW-MIA bracelet. Through the bracelet, she discovers her biological father, a pilot, missing-in-action, during the Vietnam War. Zoe is convinced the bracelet is communicating with her and her father is still alive somewhere in Southeast Asia. She is determined to travel to Vietnam to find him, with or without the help of Chad Stone, a private investigator and former CIA agent, who turns up at her mother’s house one day with information about her father. Coincidence? Or is there more to her father’s disappearance? Are Zoe and Chad mere pawns in a deadly game?

Zoe burrowed further under the damp sheet in a futile attempt to recapture her dream. She’d been on the beach back in Maine with the waves lapping her toes in the sand. A safe, secure haven.

“Zoe! Wake up.” The harshly whispered command did its job. She wasn’t home on the beach. She was in a hotel in Vietnam with a man hot enough to burn the morning bacon and who seemed to have the morals of Sushi before he’d been castrated.

She bolted upright. “What do you want?” she rasped, pushing her heavy hair out of her eyes. “What time is it?”

Chad backed away from the bed and glanced at his watch. “Four o’clock,” he whispered.

“In the morning?” she croaked. “Why are you waking me so early?”

His low voice had a hint of huskiness. “We’re leaving.” He tossed some clothes on the bed before putting his mouth to her ear. “We’ve got to get out of here before they realize we found the hearing devices.” Chad walked around the bedroom, checking under chairs, under the beds. “I’ve tucked what we’re taking into one backpack. Leave the other one here.”

Wide-awake now, she sat up. “What about Sam and Kiko?”

Chad barely glanced at her as he continued checking under furniture and behind pictures. “Keep your voice to a whisper. We’re leaving without them.”

Zoe’s heart pounded. Didn’t Chad realize that Kiko and Sam wouldn’t just give up and go home? “Sam can have us arrested with one phone call. He’ll put out an APB or whatever they call it here.”

Chad’s gaze finally settled on her, the gray of his eyes dark, but calm and determined. “That’s why we won’t be traveling on main roads. I’ve got a destination. Once we arrive, we’ll have new identities.”

Not traveling on main roads? New identities? Zoe swallowed hard when she saw Chad push a handgun into the backpack. Where had that come from? Zoe continued sitting in bed as she scrutinized his changed appearance. He’d shaved his beard, making him look more like the man she’d met.

“Come on,” he said. “Get dressed. We’re walking out of here in five minutes.”

No matter what he looked like, this definitely wasn’t the man she’d first met. Zoe scrambled from beneath the covers and threw on her clothes. One quick trip to the bathroom, and she was ready to roll. On their way out the door, she leaned down and grabbed her sketchpad from the coffee table. She ripped off the drawing of the War Crimes Museum and tossed it on the table. It might buy them some time.

Chad touched her arm. “Good thinking. Let’s move.”

In the hall, they moved passed the elevators and headed toward the exit stairs. Chad led, pausing to glance over his shoulder a few times. Making sure she stayed close? Zoe figured she wasn’t doing too badly for a woman who normally couldn’t function without at least two cups of strong black coffee. Must be the adrenaline.

Their footsteps sent an eerie echo spiraling down the stairwell. At last they reached the bottom, and he stopped her with his hand. He disappeared through the exit door. Zoe waited on the bottom step, the only sound she heard was blood pounding in her ears.

The door creaked open. Chad waved her outside. As soon as her feet hit the sidewalk, he grabbed her arm. “We’re going to a safe house. There’s a car waiting there.”

Zoe matched his long strides with little problem. Every now and then, he’d lean close ask if she was all right. To an onlooker, they’d look like two tourists.

She soon lost track of the turns they made. The street twisted and curved through one of the strangest neighborhoods she’d ever seen. Row after row of houses made from old tin cans. They must have been left over from the war. Most labels were in English. The cans had been flattened and nailed onto some sort of wood then fit together to make outside walls and preserved with lacquer. The sight was odd and colorful, adding new meaning to recycling.

At one of the entrances, Chad stopped and knocked. How did he know which door he wanted? They all looked alike. Perhaps he recognized it from the can of spinach above the doorknob. She almost giggled at the thought. A few doors away dogs started to bark.

A light went on. The door opened enough to allow them to slip inside. Zoe stayed behind Chad, not sure what to say, if anything at all. A Vietnamese man, whose age would be anyone’s guess, came forward. “I’m Tahn. Sgt. Jack say you come.”

Chad shook the man’s hand. “Have you got the Jeep? And maps?”

“Jeep not far away. First, you come with me.”

The two men left the room through a door on the far wall. Zoe whirled around when someone touched her arm and met the eyes of a young, doe-eyed woman. “Tea?”

Zoe smiled. “Yes, thank you.”

The woman waved her to the table. Zoe sat down and accepted the minute cup handed to her. Steam curled upwards, releasing the sweet scent of green tea. Zoe sipped the tea while she glanced around the shadows of the tiny room. Sparsely furnished, the single room served as a combination kitchen and living room and den.

Her mouth watered at the smell of food that preceded her host, who’d returned to place two more dishes on table. “Rice and pho. You eat. It good.”

Having had nothing to eat for longer than she could remember, Zoe grabbed the chop sticks and wolfed down the rice. She ate the noodles and bits of meat from the pho, a type of soup, before picking up the dish and drinking the broth. Probably wasn’t the proper way to eat it, but at this point, she wasn’t too concerned with manners.

“This is very good.” Zoe smiled at the woman seated opposite her.

“Thank you.”

Now that her stomach was full, she wondered exactly what type of meat she’d eaten. Bile rose in her throat, but she swallowed it and concentrated on the tea.

“We do anything for Sgt. Jack,” the woman offered, a smile lighting her face.

Sgt. Jack. That must be Chad’s friend. The one helping them to escape. The word escape brought a chill to her overheated skin. She and Chad were on the run in a foreign country. Not only a foreign country—a communist country.

A small hand extended across the table. “I’m Bi’hn.”


Bi’hn raised her hand and stroked Zoe’s hair. Her face seemed sad, almost as if someone had died. “So pretty.” Bi’hn picked up the scissors next to her plate.

“I don’t understand—” Zoe broke off when Chad returned to the room.

“Chad, I…” She trailed off and took a box he held out to her. A picture was worth a thousand words. Even though the instructions were in Vietnamese, she didn’t need a translator to know she held a box of black hair dye. Her gaze flew to his face.

“It’ll make for safer traveling.”

Zoe dropped her gaze and nodded. Bi’hn touched her arm. Sighing, Zoe followed her to do the deed.

Missing in Action is a story near and dear to my heart. Do you have memories of this turbulent time in history or stories of soldiers bravely defending out country today? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks so much for having me Nina.

Glad to have you Pam! To find out more information about Pam’s books, please visit her website or follow her updates on facebook. And don’t forget to download Missing in Action!

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.

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…

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’d like to welcome erotic romance author Afton Locke. By day, Afton Locke is technical, but by night she swims in the mystical world of dreams. Intrigued by all things unexplained, like ghosts and karma, she delights in spinning dark, sensual stories that pull readers below the surface of everyday (and sometimes boring) life to the depths of forbidden fantasy.

What else would you expect from someone with her moon in Pisces and Neptune in Scorpio? She lives in the mountains with her husband, dog, and spooky black cat.

Her newest release, Plucking the Pearl, is available at Ellora’s Cave

When Pearl’s sheltered life shatters in the 1930s when her mother dies, her only option is to move in with poor family relations and shuck oysters in the local plant on Oyster Island, Maryland.

Determined to live a morally proper life, the last thing she wants is an affair with a white man, but Caleb, the plant owner, knows a pearl when he sees one. The successful widower is the “oyster king” of the island, but his intense desire for his forbidden new employee, a woman of color, threatens everything he’s built.

What begins as a private sexual liaison flowers into strong feelings that don’t fit the social mores of the island. When their secret is discovered, they risk losing everything. They dared to pluck the pearl, but will their love be strong enough to keep it forever?


Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

“You’re standing awfully close,” she whispered.

“I am, aren’t I?” he whispered back. “Do you want me to move?”

Yes! No! Oh Lord, help me. I’ve never felt so weak.

“Show me the next step—with the oyster, that is,” she said quickly.

“Certainly.” He gripped her hand around the knife again and made deft movements to cut the meat from the shell. “Cut here and there. That’s all there is to it.”

“You make it look so simple,” she said, realizing he could pull her out of her shell just as easily.

When he stepped away from her, her legs nearly gave out. It was as if the hardness that had been nestled against her was the only thing that had been keeping her standing upright in front of the table.

He stepped beside her and she watched, fascinated, as he tipped the oyster half with the meat on it to his mouth. Watching the wet creature slide past the dark hairs of his moustache intrigued her in a way she couldn’t explain.

When he bent forward to kiss her, she was too aroused to refuse. His pale blue eyes came closer than they ever had and all she could do was stare helplessly into them. It was as if she floated higher and higher into the sky, never to set foot on firm earth again.

She felt his moustache first, hot and coarse, and then his lips, cooler and wetter. As his mouth worked over hers, something pushed between her lips. His tongue? She met it with hers, stroking with an abandon she refused to acknowledge as her own.

He tasted of the sea. No, not just one tongue. Two? She was too distracted by the heat boiling through her belly to care. When he removed his mouth, she realized he’d put the oyster inside her mouth.

Without thinking, she spit it out and it landed on the floor.

Caleb tipped his head back and laughed. It was a beautiful man’s laugh, musical and deep. Unfortunately she didn’t feel very amused.

“Now Ernie would have a fit if he saw you messed up his clean floor,” he said. “I take it you don’t care for oysters.”

She crossed her arms. “No, I don’t. I thought you had swallowed it. And you shouldn’t have kissed me.”

He wiped his hand on one of the clean rags nearby and she did the same. Then he leaned an elbow against the table and looked at her.

“Why not, honey? We’re not married.”

“In case you haven’t noticed,” she said, “we’re not the same color—or social class, for that matter. You’re the owner of this establishment and I’m just a poor—”

He put two fingers to her lips to quiet her. The lingering scent of oysters drifted from them, making her breathe faster. She was beginning to like oysters…

BUY the book.

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:

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.

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?

Authors love to write. It’s what we do. There’s an internal drive to turn the voices in our head into a book. Regardless of that fact, it is very scary to send our babies out into the world and risk rejection.

Of course we think our manuscripts are awesome. Beautifully crafted and entertaining. Our families and critique partners have gushed and given a thumbs up. But there is still the chance the editor at our dream publisher won’t feel the same. And when they do, there is still the readers and reviewers who may not fall in love with our characters the way we did.

There are some authors who don’t read their reviews. Don’t worry what the critics say. I’m not one of them.

I read every review, celebrating each 4 and 5 star review and kicking sand when someone only gives my book 3 stars or *gasp* lower. I totally understand that my stories aren’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, but it still stings. But the interesting thing about these lower reviews, after the initial disappointment, I usually learn something from them. Those well written ones from readers are especially beneficial.

But so few readers even write reviews. Even author-readers. I always try to write reviews for my friends’ books I enjoy. They don’t have to be long or written in flowery prose. They don’t even have to be a synopsis of the book. Just a few honest words about how you enjoyed the book. Anne Allen has a wonderful blog post talking about reviews, the ease of writing them and the impact they have on book sales. You should take time to read it.

Seriously. take a moment … I’ll wait.

Good right? I especially like how she compares review stars to rating a pair of jeans. She makes it so easy to understand.

So what about you? Do you write reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble? If you don’t why not? I’m always curious about these sorts of things.

And today you can check out a review (and give away) of “Deceive Her With Desire” at TBR Pile. I also have an short interview at Lisa’s World of Books. And I’ve got an excerpt from “Blind Her With Bliss” at 99 Cent Books. Whew. Busy day.

I’d like to welcome my guest Marie Rose Dufour, whose debut novel was released just this month. Welcome Marie!
“So what type of romances do you write?”

A writer asked me while we were getting together for dinner. This question always has me shaking in my shoes. You never know how people are going to react to the answer.

“I write erotica.”

A nervous laugh went around the table.

“Hmm…It’s always the sweetest looking ones who write erotica.”

So here is a question. Do writers of certain genres look a particular way? I think it’s like saying all phone sex operators look the girls in the commercials. What should an erotic romance author look like? Should I prance around the house in a black leather dominatrix outfit, cracking my whip, making my husband call me, Mistress? Although it might be a fantasy of my husband’s (don’t get any ideas Mr. Marie), it’s not going to happen. I’m sure I’m not bursting anyone’s bubble here but I’m usually writing in my yoga pants and a t-shirt.

Writers are regular people who just gravitate towards a particular genre. Barring Stephen King (who is probably a very nice person but definitely looks like he should be writing horror), you really can’t tell who writes what by looking at them.

In order to be a better writer, you have to write what you’re passionate about. Speaking for myself, I’ve always loved romances. Maybe, my love of romance comes from my mother who is never without a Harlequin Romance novel in her purse; or blame it on Disney fairy tales like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.

Whatever or whoever is “to blame”, it has made me a better writer because “Happily Ever After” is a passion of mine. It may not always happen in real life but it will always happen a t the end of my books.

Finally, why erotica? You’ll just have to read between the lines on that one and read the books. 😉
Marie’s book, Fated Mates is available through Secret Cravings Publishing

We know that we are no longer alone in the universe. Descendants of Earthly ancestors have returned to find the other halves of themselves, their destined mates.

Dragon, a scarred Serralian warrior drawn to the planet of his ancestors, never believed the Goddess had a mate for him but no matter what he believes, he’s unable to resist the pull of the planet deep within in soul.

Liz, a curvy teacher who escaped an abusive marriage three years earlier is afraid to take another chance on love. Tired of being a
bystander in her own love life, she participates in an ancient ritual to identify Serralian mates. Taking that chance changes her life forever. Can these two people overcome their pasts to become each other’s true Fated Mates?

Liz woke up with the sounds of waves crashing in her ears. Confident of the lack of beachfront property within her condo, she wondered what destiny had in mind for her now. She sat up looking around at her surroundings. Lying under a beautiful canopy tent draped with yards and yards of gauzy royal blue material swaying gently in the breeze, and keeping the rays of the sun from beating down on her body. Liz ran her hands over the bedding beneath her. It felt softer and smoother than the highest count Egyptian cotton sheets bought in Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

The beautiful beach reminded her of pictures of exquisite Caribbean beaches with turquoise waves and miles and miles of powdery white sand. The gentle breezes lightly ruffled her hair as she walked down the beach to the edge of the water which rose up to meet her feet, tickling her toes.

“Well, Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore,” she said looking up at a foreign sky with two moons in the distance.

“I must be dreaming. I read so much information about Serralia I’m dreaming about it in Technicolor. Damn! This is one realistic mother of a dream.”

Suddenly, her senses went on high alert. She didn’t know if the air around her had changed or if her body sensed another person behind her, but she knew she was no longer alone and somehow her mate stood behind her.

Two strong bronze hands slowly encircled her waist, pulling her gently back to into a lean, hard body. Liz sighed. This felt right. She snuggled deeper into the embrace. Nothing ever felt this right before. She could stand here in the safety of his arms forever.

“I’ve been waiting for you. I thought you would never get here,” she whispered.

“I’m sorry it took so long. I never let myself believe you existed.”

“I read your file.” The hands moving on her stomach stilled. “I’m sorry for what you had to go through alone. I would have been there for you if I had known.”

“I wouldn’t have been there if I had faith I would find you someday.” Dragon’s chest expanded letting her love and comfort wash over him. “So you know?”

“About everything that happened to you when you were taken prisoner? Yes, I know. I know you lost an eye and still wear an eye patch. I bet it makes you look rakishly handsome.”

She felt the chuckle in his chest before she heard it. The heat of his body warmed her back and aroused her body.

“I have never been told such a thing.”

“Well, I’m sure it does.”

She stroked the muscular forearms at her waist with light caresses. His body trembled behind her.

“We’ve never met in person, but I already feel connected to you. Is it normal?”

“The bonding happens when we are connected as mates. Normal. I don’t know. Right, yes.”

“Do you know about me?” she whispered.

“I know you are perfect.” He leaned down and sweetly kissed the top of her head.

Liz stilled, she might as well tell him about her marriage. She didn’t want any secrets between them.

“I was married before,” she blurted out nervously. “He was not a nice man. He hurt me, not only physically, but verbally too. It took a long time, but I left him.”

Dragon fully stilled behind her. All the wonderful stroking stopped. Her stomach dropped down to her feet. Shit! I’ve ruined this already. She knew her mistake of a marriage would follow her around for the rest of her life. She knew it.

“You don’t know how much pain it causes me to know how much pain you had to endure. I would gladly be tortured again if it meant taking it away from you.
You never have to be afraid with me. I would sooner cut off my own arm than hurt a hair on this beautiful head.”

Liz nodded, the lump in her throat making any physical speech impossible.

“I realize it might be a while before you believe this, but it is true.”

“I do believe you. I don’t know why, but I do.”

“Good. Now, we can continue what we started here.”

Callused thumbs again stroked her stomach making it quiver and her pulse quicken. If this was what he could do to her body with only his thumbs, she might actually die from pleasure. She smiled thinking about what her obituary would say. Woman dies from having the most intense sexual experience of her life, then her brain stopped working; her body took over and went into overload.
Marie Rose Dufour grew up reading romances. She secretly attributes, or blames, her mother who would have romance novels delivered to the house monthly while she was growing up. When she is not reading or writing romances, you can find her working tirelessly in urban education. Marie Rose Dufour lives in Rhode Island with her high school sweetheart and two very curious cats. You can keep up with all her newest releases on her website or follow her on Facebook.

I’d like to welcome author SAPPHIRE PHELAN to The Block today.

Welcome Sapphire. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing
I’ve been writing since I was eight, maybe even younger. I wanted to make up stories (mainly animal and scifi ones) like I read. I wrote poetry when I was in high school besides short stories and one day discovered this poetry magazine when I was 17. I submitted three poems to them, “The Horse,” “The Leopard,” and “Sands of Time.” All three were accepted and I got a contract and was paid. That was my first paid publication.

But it took until 2005 when I wrote my first erotic fantasy romance. It was about a knight cursed to become a dragon at night and the young woman who broke the curse and become his love. It was a twist on the virgin offered to a dragon.

Oh, I love dragons. Your newest release involves shifters as well. Could you tell us a little bit about it? 
DARK LEOPARD MAGIC is the second book in the Beast Magic universe. It is erotic male/male interracial novella with wereleopards as the two heroes.

Dev Tollen is a tortured soul who also happens to be gay and a wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming until one day it happens and he sees his destined mate. Montsho first appeared in the first novella as a secondary character, BEAST MAGIC, as friend to Ramses, the werelion leader. He never thought a male wereleopard would be his mate, as he never thought himself as gay.

And there’s a mystery involved in the storyline besides being a paranormal romance.

Blurb for the book:
Dev Tollen is a man with a dark past and an even darker soul. More than that, he’s a gay wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming and never met his true mate. But one night the Dreaming does come and reveals his lover, an African man named Montsho, also an alpha black wereleopard. Montsho will fight their love and their destiny. Dev will do all he can to win his beloved’s heart and keep him by his side always.

Then the ghost of a human begs Dev to solve his wereleopard lover’s murder. Both men will find that their new-found love tested and their lives in danger. Their idyllic time in paradise is about to be torn asunder when they discover who the murderer is.

Oh, two alpha males, they sound great. How did you come up with them? 
Out of my head, like all of my characters. I knew about Montsho and knew from the first book that he had to be the central figure in the second one. But I couldn’t figure out who should be his mate. Not until it hit me why he never found his destined mate. And when I started writing DARK LEOPARD MAGIC, Dev Tollen came to life and in first person. That Dark leopard didn’t mean because of Montsho’s black wereleopard form, but because of Dev having a dark past and even darker soul. I realized as I went into the book that I also had to have some chapters from Montsho’s viewpoint.

Sometimes those dark characters should come with a warning. If you came with a warning label what would it read? 
Beware: Author creating universes of hot sex and supernatural beings and aliens. She’s always trying to save the day, so take care of explosions, evil creatures, and hell breaking loose!

LOL! With a warning like that it should probably be posted over your desk. Could you describe your writing space for us? 
I write in a room that the office shares with my sewing room. LOL I do costuming so this was the costuming room first. I have piles of reference books and collectibles fighting for space. Everything helps me write. I always have something to look at to give me ideas. I like this mainly for my writing area, though I have taken my laptop and written while sitting on the couch in the living room when my husband needs to get to his PC (his and my laptop sit side-by-side), when I go to conventions I write up in my room and even during a writer’s workshop at my table! But I prefer my office the best.

I’m a little envious that you can write most anywhere. So tell us a little about your writing process are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I am more a pantser—the stories just came to me. When I do a novel or large novella, I do write down the characters, descriptions and more so I can always reference back when one returns. I never could do outlines, even in school. I write the article, then do the outline. The teachers gibe me As, never knowing I never did it the way they asked us to.

I either have a cup of coffee with cream or bottle of diet Lipton green tea within reach. No music. I admit listening to a song on the radio one day while driving the car that inspired my paranormal romance, ‘His Girl” that’s included in Just Another Paranormal Halloween anthology, but I don‘t listen to any while writing.

So what happened to the first novel you wrote? 
I wrote this novel, Howling in the Night when I was in seventh grade. It was by long hand and since I was a kid, I doubted it was even 40,000 words, never mind what they want today. LOL it was a gothic romance with horror mixed in—paranormal romance before it was thought of.

I know this is completely off topic, but do these pants make my butt look big? 
No, I don’t think so. And after all, black is slimming as they say.

Mwah, just the answer I was hoping for. There is just something about sitting down to edit in leather pants … oh, sorry, I digress. How do you get through the editing process?
I try to write my book completely before starting to edit it. I try to do it twice to three times when I edit a book or story. I also take chapters or a story to my writer’s groups I am with and my critique buddies. They help me immensely. Once I feel it’s ready to submit, that’s when I do it.

Thank goodness for crit partners. Who or what do you attribute your success to? 
All those writers I’ve read short stories and novels and nonfiction books of. Like Shirley Jackson (her The Haunting of Hill House is still a big fave ghost story), Ray Bradbury (this man knows how to write and keep you reading), Anne McCaffrey, etc… I also attribute my success to my friends and family who have backed me, to my editors who made sure my stories are the best they could be, and most of all, to my readers, who buy and read my crazy worlds. Thank you all.

Rapid Fire Questions …
Vampire or shifter? Shifter, natch’!
* Coffee or Tea? I like both
* Cats or Dogs? I like both, though all we own right now are two cats. It’s hard to be a cat herder
* Shopping or Massage? Mmmm. . .massage
* Happy Ever After or Happy for Now? It’s depends on the story. Both work for me
* Boxers or Briefs? How about commando?
* Sugar or Salt? Sugar
* Wine or Beer? Wine
*Quiet night with your honey or a party with friends?  I like both, but a quiet night with my hubby beats it all
* Flowers or Candy? Flowers if in a pot and I can plant outside. Candy—yeah, I like this. Me though, I prefers books and eBooks

Well it looks like the cabana boys are heading this way. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers before we dive into that pitcher of margaritas? 
Keep reading. And do contact me, letting me know how you liked my heroes, heroines, and worlds they play in. I always love to hear from my readers. I try to write the stories of my heart and I am glad you have embraced them well.

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it! Most days you can find Sapphire at her website or her blog. And follow her on twitter and facebook.

**CONTEST ALERT** Sapphire will be giving away a download of DARK LEOPARD MAGIC. So leave a comment with your name and email so she can check back and draw a winner from ALL the blogs on her tour on NOV 29.

I’d like to welcome guest blogger ADELE DUBOIS who’s latest release Rev Me Twice is available from Ellora’s Cave!

Welcome Adele …

Hi Nina. Thanks for having me. Readers often ask where authors get their story ideas. My new release REV ME TWICE is the stand-alone sequel to my novel REV ME UP, which was sparked by a real-life incident. I witnessed a hunk on a Harley lose control of his bike and nearly crash while he watched a beautiful woman walk along a sidewalk. I wondered what would have happened if the woman flashed him while he watched her, and a book was born.

REV ME TWICE is the natural extension of the first book due to reader demand for secondary characters Tomas and Crystal’s story. These lovers were the gritty pair in REV ME UP who lived life on the wild side. REV ME TWICE has given them license to go as far as they like. I’m happy with the way the book turned out and hope you are too.

Crystal is a bad, bad girl in the most delicious ways. She tries to be good and is tempted to commit to her Navy MP boyfriend, Tomas, but has no experience with an exclusive relationship or healthy family structure. She likes her life as a cable TV stripping weather girl and sex party host, and resists conforming to the traditional lifestyle Tomas craves. Without her weekly ménages and wild orgies, can she become the partner Tomas wants?

When Crystal receives death threats, a media frenzy erupts. During a break-in, the threatening letters are stolen, erasing evidence that thwarts an arrest. Tomas sports Crystal away on his Harley to protect her, but a deadly crash changes everything. Faced with the choice between self-interest and self-sacrifice, Crystal must decide if she will embrace a new life with Tomas or walk away.

EXCERPT from Chapter One:
When the light turned green, Tomas Alvarez revved his black and chrome Harley-Davidson CVO with red flame graphics, engaged the clutch and hit the shifter with the sole of his right leather boot. The front end of the bike lifted off the asphalt and leaped forward like a bull from a rodeo gate.

His engine roared, rubber smoked beneath his feet and his laughter rumbled with the exhaust system as he left the pussy in the pimped up GTO in his dust. The driver in the restored classic car had been hot-dogging him for miles and it was time to shake him loose. He chuckled and savored his tiny victory.

Tomas revved again and then held the grips tight, flexing his arm and shoulder muscles with the movements. Glare from the late afternoon sun glinted off his black-as-night shades. As he picked up speed, he relished the hot wind gusts slicing over his skin. Warm grit flecked his face. The smells of clean air and fresh tar wrapped around him like his favorite cologne.

Crystal Miller swatted his stomach with one hand while she tightened her hold around his waist with the other. She screamed over the engine noise, “Did you have to do that? Don’t forget I’m back here, you moron!” Both hands wrapped tighter around his abs and then fisted his t-shirt like a woman wringing laundry.

Tomas only laughed and sped up. “He deserved it and I know you liked it.” Crystal was as hooked on speed and danger as he was. More so, despite his officer training. The brush of Crystal’s breasts against his back when her nipples hardened during acceleration proved his point. When she rested her cheek on his shoulder, he knew she’d closed her eyes to intensify the thrill. Her breathing quickened and she flattened her palms on his stomach as the Harley roared down the highway toward the Washington Monument.

She could yell at him all she wanted, this chick loved to fly.

If you’d like to learn more about Adele please visit her website, friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. She’ll be hanging out today responding to comments and enjoying a margarita and perhaps a massage from the cabana boys. Feel free to ask her anything. Like her characters, Adele is an open book. LOL! Okay, not quite that open, but you get the idea. 😉

I would like to welcome NANCY LENNEA today.

Hi Nancy, why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I grew up with problem eyes so reading and writing were a chore. I remember taking a remedial reading class as a senior in high school. It helped. I wrote poetry. I concentrated on art and graduated with a teaching degree. It wasn’t until I worked as a 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatcher that I found the urge to write a book like the hundreds I loved to read. That urge occurred four years ago. I have sold two novellas and three full-length books since.

Wow, what an inspiring story. Could you tell us about your most recent book?
DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is a romantic suspense set in the mountains of northern New Hampshire—about midway between Boston and Canada. I have filled it with stalkers, a murder, secrets, assumptions, mountain rescues, ghostly voices and a romantic happy ending.

Oh, all the elements I enjoy. But I’m especially interested in the romance element. How did you come up with your characters?
I am a plotter. I get the spark of an idea, a setting, a conflict, and how it all works out before I even see my characters in my head. Destiny is single, industrious, lives alone, and loves to hike on her mountain. Unlike me who has lived at home, with college roommates, then with my boyfriend-turned-husband. I guess I am industrious since I have always worked, even when the boys came along. I do love the out of doors, though hiking is not on the top of my list any longer. A brisk walk along the ocean—or in the grocery store—is thrilling, these days.

Sounds like you’re a busy woman! If you were granted super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
I would have the ability to fly, and to fly fast. I would not share my secret name. I have two identities as it is and that is enough to juggle, what with two websites, two blogs, and two publishers.

LOL! We won’t force it out of you then. Why don’t you tell us about your writing process?
I work whenever my husband is at work. Sounds silly, but the guy demands attention. When we moved to North Carolina, we agreed I would write full-time and he would pay the bills. It works, so far. I have used various methods to get my books started. As I said earlier, I am a plotter. For my current work in progress, I have sticky notes stuck to a piece of poster board. I find using Alex Sokoloff’s Three Act Play method works for me. At a glance, I can see the action—from love scenes to black moments. I can see where there are holes and where a character needs more mentioning. I drink iced tea and coffee (unsweetened) and try not to snack while eating. I take a break for lunch and in mid-afternoon to check e-mail, snail mail, Facebook, or read my latest paperback or e-book. My radio is stuck on my local country music station. Sometimes I’ll slip Taylor Swift’s Fearless CD into the computer. Her Love Story is my favorite song.

A plotter with scheduled writing time, you put me to shame Nancy! But inquiring minds want to know what happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
I sent it out to agents and a few editors. When rejections came, I placed it in the closet while I sent out my second book. Three and a half years later, I took it out of the closet. I discarded the first 77 pages, used what I learned at workshops and in on-line writing courses, and listened to my critique group. Then I rewrote my synopsis, polished my query letter, and sent it out. This first manuscript became my latest release, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN!

You’re killing me here! I’m so impressed that you went back to that first book, many writers don’t. That brings me to the editing process. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
After I complete the manuscript, I read it several times (make that eight or nine times) while submitting chapters to my critique group. My mom is a great editor and catches errors such as when I use threw instead of through. When I think it is perfect, I print out the entire manuscript and read it aloud. Then I fix it (again). When sold, I go through three or four edits with my publisher. It is amazing what those editors will catch or change.

Thank goodness for editors. With all the books and stories you have out there, I’m curious who/what you attribute your success to?
I dedicated DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN to the men and women of New Hampshire 9-1-1. My co-workers encouraged me when I decided to write a book. They helped critique the story and offered plot points. I even named my heroine after one’s daughter! I am proud to belong to my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. The monthly meetings are instructional and the camaraderie is wonderful. They offer guidance and hope.

Support groups are invaluable. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I would like to leave them with this short blurb and excerpt. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is filled with fear, tension, and danger but I make Destiny and Jacob’s romance the most important aspect. I love happy endings! I also write paranormal romance as Nancy Lee Badger and you can find out more about my alter-ego at You are welcome to friend me under that name on Facebook, too.

In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire new art history professor, Jacob Oliver, hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and reinjures his knee.

Destiny Blake hears a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon, assumptions pull them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.

When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, and urge Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten before the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny’s mountain…alive?

The strange man groaned, then turned away from her. Destiny assumed his injury caused him pain.

She crossed her arms over her chest, stood in front of him, and stared at his chiseled profile. Lines on his forehead and at the corner of his mouth proved he suffered.

Beautiful…what a strange term to use concerning a man, especially when some might say his chin is too square and his hair is too long.

She wanted to kiss his pale lips to return some color to them. A sudden yearning to rub his arms and warm him back to life made her heart thump. An image of him lying in her bed with his brown locks feathered across her plump pillow snapped her back to the present. Waving off such lusty thoughts, she leaned over and ran fingers across his scalp, checking for other injuries.

His hair glided over her fingers like a curtain of moist silk. She swept bits of twig and grass from the strands, and then ran her hands down both arms as she searched for wounds. Under the shirt he’d ripped on the blueberry bush, his arm shook, but except for superficial scratches, she found nothing. She stood and found her voice once more.

“You must be chilled from sitting in the mud, so we best get moving. Your hiking boots will support your ankles as we head down the trail,” she said as her gaze again swept over his muddy jeans. She gasped at the bulge between his legs.

Josie had once told her that trauma victims sometimes suffered an unwarranted erection. This man may be hurt worse than she realized. She had to get him down her mountain, fast.

Her gaze roamed back up to his face in order to get things rolling, but his eyes locked on hers. Silence surrounded them both. He must have seen her slow perusal of his body.

“Jesus,” he groaned.

She bit her lip, internally seconding his words. She arched her eyebrows when he adjusted his position on the log. I wonder if he’s in pain from parts of his body other than his knee…or groin.

Oh Nancy, this book sounds so wonderful. Thanks so much for coming over to share. While Nancy and I settle back to enjoy some pampering from the cabana boys I’m sure she’d be happy to answer any questions you may have for her. On any regular day you can find information about Nancy’s books from her website and her blog.