Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde's 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Party - Day 10!!!

I'm honored to be a part of such an amazing party and HUGE giveaway!! If you would like to party along with us, follow the link below to join the fun!!

DAY TEN of Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde’s 12 Day of Christmas Giveaway Party with extra giveaways from CARLY & ERIKA!!!!

JOIN THE FUN HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/12daysChristmasGiveaway/

AUTHORS AND PRIZES BEING GIVEN AWAY (please note whether prizes are available Internationally, or US Only!):

Bella Andre: 3 paperback copies (3 winners) of the first Sullivan book - The Look of Love. US Only.

Carly Phillips: 3 WINNERS, Each will Receive: $10 Amazon GC, Signed copy of Dare to Love, and Carly Phillips’ Totebag, US ONLY

Cherise Sinclair: Any eBook from my backlist, International OK

Erika Wilde: 3 WINNERS, Each will Receive: $10 Amazon GC, signed copy of THE MARRIAGE DIARIES and a "Keep Calm and Wait for Dean" mug, US ONLY

Kristen Ashley: Signed copy of Rock Chick, Rock Chick Bumper Sticker, and KA swag. International is OK.

Liliana Hart: Ebook set of new MacKenzie novella coming out in December, as well as the omnibus. International is fine.

Velvet Reed: $5.00 Amazon Gift Certificate, International OK

Larissa Ione: 2 ebook copies of SNOWBOUND! International OK

Kimberly Dean: A Ruby Blue Couture satchel (Tanya Python/Black) and a signed copy of Midnight Justice. US ONLY

Alannah Lynne: 5 print copies of the Heat Wave book of choice, along with a swag pack (includes Last Call postcards with drink recipes, book mark, book thong, notebook with Last Call cover on the front). US and Int'l is fine.

Julie Leto: Paperbacks of 25 backlist books, including sexy contemporary, sexy suspense and paranormal books. US ONLY

Samantha Young: Signed ARC of Before Jamaica Lane – (On Dublin Street #3). International OK

Vi Keeland: 1 Set of 4 ebooks: Worth the Fight, Belong to You, Made for You and First Thing I See. International OK

Lynda Aicher: WARNING: Male/Male romance Giveaway! Ebook copies of Bonds of Hope, Book 4 in the Wicked Play series and an eARC of Bonds of Denial, Bk 5 (it's a Male/Male romance so everyone knows) which will be out on February 17, 2014. I'll also do a $10 GC from the ebook retailer of their choice. International OK

Dee Davis: 1 copy of SET-UP IN SOHO, US only

Leslie Kelly: 5 winners who can have their choice of either FADE TO BLACK or DON'T LOOK AWAY in electronic/ebook format. International OK

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monica Burns Giveaway and Book Sale!!!

Stop by Monica Burns's FB Page each day this week for an amazing lineup of events to celebrate "Two Shades of Seduction" being on sale. Starting Monday there will be interviews with Monica, excerpts, and a chance to win one of four prizes each day of the week!! Just check out the daily posts and click on the giveaway tab to enter. 

Two Shades of Seduction is a Box Set of two steamy full-length stories featuring two men skilled in the ways of seduction and two older heroines strong enough to resist them.

Love's RevengeBook 1: Love’s Revenge

All her life, Sophie’s tried to earn her father’s love to no avail. Firmly on the shelf at forty-one. Sophie accepts her fate until she impulsively uses her father’s criminal activities to escape a life of servitude and right a wrong at the same time. But she never expected the Devil of Devlyn to accept her rash proposal, and she certainly hadn’t planned on falling in love with a younger man.
\When Sophie Hamilton, the eldest daughter of his worst enemy shows up on the Earl of Devlyn’s doorstep with an unexpected offer, Devlyn seizes the chance for vengeance. What he doesn’t bargain on is how revenge could cost him the one thing he wants the most. Sophie’s love.

Book 2: Love’s Portrait
Love's Portrait
When Julia Westgard commissions a nude portrait of herself, the painting is much more than a rebellious act. It’s an attempt to regain her self-worth after years of a loveless, repressive marriage to her late husband. But the private portrait puts her directly in thepath of Morgan St. Claire. A man who doesn’t take no for an answer.
From the first moment Morgan sees Julia’s portrait, he’s determined to have her. But the woman he meets is a far cry from the image on canvas. What starts out as a simple exercise in seduction quickly evolves into a quest to reveal the true Julia. With each sensual encounter, he employs every weapon at his disposal in hopes of making Julia see she really is the woman in Love’s Portrait.

On Sale at all your major ebook retailers!!!
Amazon |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  ARe

A bestselling author of spicy historical and paranormal romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.
Monica is a survivor, and it’s a topic she has become well versed in. A survivor of date rape at the age of 19, writing erotic romance has aided her in the life-long process of healing. Her writing has helped her reclaim some of her self-worth, and you can read her story here.

Monica has suffered from bipolar disorder since childhood, but was not diagnosed until much later in life. The condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health affects 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6% of the population (18 years and older).

Her most recent tale of survival is her diagnosis of the genetic disorder Long QT syndrome and subsequent heart defibrillator implant. Her determination to overcome these challenging life experiences is a reflection of her belief that there truly are happily ever afters. Writing romance is a therapeutic process as it allows Monica to explore the themes of hope, trust and love in her work. She believes romance books empower women to believe in themselves and that their only limitations are the ones they set for themselves.

Monica is a two-time RT Reviewers Choice Award nominee, the 2011 PRISM’s Best of the Best winner, two-time EPPIE nominee, a 2009 EPPIE for Best Erotic Historical Romance. She is a 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence finalist as well as a 2005 RWA Golden Heart finalist. She has consistently earned top reviews from RT BOOKreviews and other reviewers.

Monica holds a bachelors of science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Author Page  |  Goodreads  |  Blog

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday Bash Blog Hop!!!

It's my birthday week, and to celebrate, I'm doing a Heat Wave Series blog hop and giving away lots of Heat Wave books!!

There will be a Heat Wave book of choice given away each day, and then a grand prize drawing from all the comments for a "Savin' Me" audio book!

Monday (8/26) - Sweet N' Sassi
Tuesday (8/27) - Cafebiblioart (be sure and check out the amazing reviews listed below my guest post!
Wednesday (8/28) - My Cozie Corner (It looks like this actually went up on Monday, so if you don't see it listed as Wed., scroll down to Monday)
Thursday (8/29) - Reading Past My Bedtime
Friday (8/30) - We Love Kink
Saturday (8/31) - Hanging With Bells

Lots of chances to win, so please stop by and visit with me!!!

Peace and love,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lots of Giveaways and Great Deals!!!

Good Monday morning!!

Boy, do I have lots of cool stuff to share with you this morning!! Lots of giveaways and a special thank you from me. :-)

I've joined with several other authors in a cross-promotional giveaway for a $50 gift card to either Barnes & Noble or Amazon (winners choice). Just follow this link to see how to get entered!!!

Also, Reading by the Book has an amazing "INDIE"pendence Street Party going on right now with TONS of amazingly cool stuff!!! One of the goodies up for grabs is the Heat Wave Series Box Set! Hop on over and check it out!

And finally, from me, as a special thank you for all the amazing support I've received over the past few months - like getting me onto the New York Times Bestseller list! - I've dropped the price of "Crossing Lines" this week to $.99!!! It's available for that price at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, All Romance eBooks, and Kobo (hopefully they'll drop the price soon!).

Have a fantastic and safe 4th of July!!!

Peace and love,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lori Foster's Reader & Author Get Together (#RAGT13)

I've wanted to attend Lori Foster's annual event for years, but it always falls on my anniversary weekend. I felt bad leaving my husband on our special weekend, so I've never been able to attend. But now that my husband is "retired," I can go and drag him along with me!!!

I'll be arriving on Thursday evening and will be there until early Sunday morning. If you're attending the event, please find me!! The best way to reach me is to send me a message through my FB page and we can make plans to meet up. I'd love to meet as many friends as I possibly can!

Also, I want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who bought the Sinfully Sweet box set two weeks ago. We hit #16 on the New York Times ebook list!!!! As a thank you, I'm going to be offering either LAST CALL or CROSSSING LINES at a discounted rate at some point over the next few weeks (I'm in the process of working out the logistics now).

If you're not on my newsletter email list, you'll want to go to my website and register. I'll be announcing the sales dates through the newsletter, and I'll also be giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky subscriber. But you'll have to open the newsletter to see if you're the winner. :-)

I think that's all the news for now. Have a great week, and if you're at Lori's event, please look me up!!

Peace and love,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wet and Wild Blog Hop!!

Welcome to my stop on Skye Warren's Wet and Wild Blog Hop!!!

Memorial Day is just around the corner and you know what that means... time to start stocking up on beach reads for summer vacation!!! :-D

All of my Heat Wave Series books are set along the North and South Carolina coast, the perfect setting for getting you in a beach vacation kind of mood. Today, I'm sharing a snippet from LAST CALL (Book #2 of the Heat wave series).

Gavin took a step closer, then paused, gauging her reaction. When Sunny didn’t back away, he took another step. And another. Caught in the grips of his simmering stare, her skin tingled, her panties dampened, and her breasts grew heavy.

The warmth of his body and the spicy scent of his aftershave pulled her to him like a magnet. When she was close enough to see the individual whiskers of his five o’clock shadow, she realized how far forward she’d swayed. She tensed, forcing the forward momentum to halt, then stepped back until she bumped the counter with her butt.

His sapphire eyes turned to midnight as the pupils dilated. His throat worked, and his nostrils flared. He closed the distance between them and rested his palms against the counter at her sides, boxing her in. Even though he wasn’t touching her, his body heat mixed with hers, and the temperature in the room rose twenty degrees. Her palms grew sweaty and perspiration popped out on her neck and forehead.

Could anything be more unattractive? She reached under his arm and slid the top of the beer cooler open. As a rush of cool air swept over her, she sighed with relief.

She could tell from his grin and the glint in his eyes that she amused him, but that only lasted for a moment. The humor quickly slipped away, and the sultry heat returned. He dipped his head and drew in a deep breath. “You smell good. Like strawberries.” He nuzzled her neck, then nibbled her ear.

The awkward nervousness she’d been feeling gave way to hammering excitement. She’d always wanted a wild ride with a man like him, or what she suspected he might be like. Her body recognized this was her chance, and it responded with a resounding all systems go.

As adrenaline and excitement rippled through her body, she started to tremble. She tightened her muscles so the shaking wouldn’t be obvious, but he noticed anyway and pushed back to give her space.

He studied her face, then looked down at her breasts. As hard and painful as her nipples were, they had to be visible through the fabric of her halter-top, and she fought the urge to cross her arms to cover herself. He made a soft, appreciative sound before flipping his gaze to her face.

“For a minute I thought I’d frightened you.” His voice was low and husky. “But you’re not scared, are you?”

She pressed her hand against the side of his face and stroked the sharp ridge of his cheekbone with her thumb. “No. If anything, I’m afraid of my strong reaction to you.”

But she sure as hell wasn’t going to let a little fear stop her from getting on this ride. Slowly, suggestively, she tilted her head to the side, giving Gavin access to her neck.

He didn’t move any closer, or press himself against her, but his arms tightened and his body tensed. She heard him swallow; then warm breath and soft lips brushed her neck. His touch sent cold chills racing down her spine, and her internal temperature soared.

He nipped her ear, then kissed a trail down her neck and across her collar bone. His teeth scraped the nipple necklace, sending a vibration rippling along the chain to her nipples. “This thing is hot as hell.”

Another nip and a slight tug had her breath coming in short, shallow gasps and her body arching forward.

“Do you have to fight men off every night?” He pulled back and studied her face while waiting for her response. She didn’t understand why, but her answer seemed more important to him than if they were just making preforeplay small talk.

She was tempted to straight up lie because the truth was so embarrassing. But rather than making up a wild tale, she held his gaze and shook her head. “No. I haven’t been with anyone in over three years.”

He blinked once. Twice. A third time. “Why the hell not?”

He sounded outraged on her behalf, and she couldn’t help but laugh. “Between work and raising Robby, I haven’t had time.”

His eyebrows pulled tight and the muscle in his jaw twitched. Curiosity shimmered in his eyes, and he didn’t seem to be breathing. “Why make time for me?”

Snared in his gaze, she didn’t even think about lying this time. “I don’t know. Something about you is different.” She lifted a shoulder and smiled. “I decided I deserved a one-night fling.”

For a split second, his mouth pulled tight; then it relaxed and he smiled. “I’ll take that as a compliment.” He edged closer and, with his mouth hovering over hers, said, “And a huge responsibility. I’ll do everything in my power to make it worth your time. Especially since I only get one shot.”

To read more of Sunny and Gavin's story, tell me about your favorite vacation spot! Two lucky commenters will receive a copy LAST CALL, and you'll also be entered in the grand prize drawing of a $100 Victoria's Secret Gift Certificate or a Digital Gift Basket!! Please include your email address in your comment so we can notify the winners!!

If you're the impatient sort (like me! LOL), and you don't want to wait to see if you win a copy, you can grab your copy of LAST CALL today at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, All Romance eBooks. If you already own LAST CALL and win, you can pick one of the other Heat Wave Series books to add to your collection. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and visiting with me. Enjoy the hop!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Boy, do I have a sweet deal for you!! I've been so incredibly blessed with the opportunity to participate in a box set with 5 amazing authors, many of whom I've idolized for years!!! What a dream come true for me!

The SINFULLY SWEET BOX SETcontains 6 FULL LENGTH NOVELS by Janelle Denison, Leslie Kelly, Rhonda Nelson, Marquita Valentine, Carly Phillips, and me!! The regular retails price for this box set is $5.99 (less than $1 per book), but for this week, you can get all 6 for $.99!!! Less than a $1 for 6 books... less than 17 CENTS per book!! How sweet is that?!!

The set is available through Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo!!!

Share this deal with your friends, they'll love you for it, or give it as a belated Mother's Day Gift... they'll love you for it! :D

Have a wonderful week!!

Peace and love,


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Who's Your Wicked Lover Giveway Hop featuring Shayla Black

Who's my Wicked Lover???

I tend to be a sentimental person, and I have to say my Wicked Lover is my first: Scott Wilde (Janelle Denison's "The Wilde Side"). I was a late bloomer when it comes to romance, and "The Wilde Side" was the first I ever read. To this day, I can't look at white F150 and not think of Scott Wilde... and I'd really love to have him show me how he does that magical trick with the champagne bottle! LOL

I haven't read the Wicked series, but I'm a HUGE fan of the Masters of Ménage books and look forward to getting caught up on this series!! Enjoy the blog hop, and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me. :-)

Ours To Love
Book #7
(Xander, Javier, and London)

Between two brothers…
Xander Santiago spent years living it up as a billionaire playboy. Never given a chance to lead his family business in the boardroom, he became a Master in the bedroom instead. His older brother inherited the company and worked tirelessly to make it an empire. But while the cutthroat corporate espionage took its toll on Javier, nothing was as devastating as the seemingly senseless murder of his wife. It propelled him into a year of punishing rage and guilt…until Xander came to his rescue.

Comes an irresistible woman …

Eager to rejuvenate Javier’s life, Xander shanghais him to Louisiana where they meet the beautiful London McLane. After surviving a decade of tragedy and struggle, London is determined to make a fresh start—and these sexy billionaire brothers are more than willing to help. In every way. And London is stunned to find herself open to every heated suggestion…and desperately hoping that her love will heal them.

And inescapable danger …

But a killer with a hidden motive is watching, on a single-minded mission to destroy everything the Santiago brothers hold dear, especially London. And as fear and desire collide, every passionate beat of her heart could be her last.

Fill out the rafflecopter below to sign up to win a KINDLE FIRE HD 7". A winner will be chosen and emailed after the hop has ended.

Along with Shayla's gift, I'll give one commenter here a copy of the Heat Wave book of their choice.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Lovers Buffet!!!!

There's a great sale going on and I don't want you guys to miss out on it!!!

LAST CALL is one of over 150 books listed in the Book Lovers Buffet (bookloversbuffet.net). The sale runs May 1-3 (3 days only), and all books are only $.99 each.

Have a great time shopping!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Romantic Times Here I Come!!

I'm off on a great adventure!!!

I've really wanted the chance to connect with my readers, and this week I'm going to get it!! On Tuesday night, while passing through Tennessee, I get to attend the book club meeting of a group of my street team members! Then, I'm on to the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City, MO. Along with visiting with friends at the convention, I'll be taking part in a book signing on Saturday with 30 other authors (see the promo card below for details).

And the best part of all is that I get to take this great adventure with my husband!! I'll be posting pictures on Facebook, and if I have the chance, I'll post a few here. If you're in Kansas City, please get with me either here or on Facebook and let me know! And if you have a chance, swing by the book signing and say hello!

Have a great week!!

Peace and love,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Class reunions... do you go?

I spent the past weekend in Danville, Virginia attending my husband's class reunion. He went to school at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA, but as it turns out, there's not much in Chatham other than the school, so we did a lot of driving back and forth between the towns.

He hadn't been back since he graduated in '88. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing his old classmates - most of which he hadn't seen since '88 - but he was saddened by the state of disrepair the school had fallen into, as well as the lack of discipline in general. Several of the alumni tried to prepare him, but he was still shocked by what we found.

Apparently, back in the day, they kept the floors so clean you could eat off them. Literally. They scrubbed the corners to get all the dirt out of them, put down bowling alley wax, and buffed the floors. The buffing pads were old and worn out, so they would put the smallest guy on top of the buffer to add weight, so they could get it done faster. Based on the stories I heard, they only had a few minor injuries... and if anyone did fall off and spill blood, they had to clean it up themselves. :D

Let me tell ya... ain't no one eating off those floors now! However, they apparently eat a lot in the stairwells, because there were food wrappers all over the place, as well as crushed chips and pretzels on the floor. And it was more than just a day's worth of crud. I was completely baffled. Even if that's the way the floors normally are, wouldn't you think they would've cleaned them up for THIS weekend? It was Homecoming! It's when people like my husband go back, filled with pride and love for the school that set them on the straight and narrow road, rather than the back-alley of a life some of them (like my hubby) were headed toward.

No one was filled with pride. Every single person we talked to said they wouldn't send their kid there now. I spoke with a man who graduated in '78 (he's the one that reminded me of my uncle that I talked about on Facebook), and he gave a few of the TACs hell about the state of barracks. There was a looooong thread on the school's facebook page last night, hundreds of comments from alumni who were upset and saddened by the state of affairs.

Hubs said he'll go back in five years to visit with friends, but he won't go every year (something we could do, now that he's retired). He's glad we went, but it was also bittersweet in a lot of ways.

What about you? Do you go to your class reunions? Are they all you'd hoped/expected?

I'm headed to Myrtle Beach this afternoon for a 36 hour writing sprint. I'm so far behind on the new series that I have to do something to try and get caught back up and get on track. I don't know if I'll have internet access or not, but I'll reply to comments as soon as I get back on Wed. night (if not before).

Have a great week!!!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bianca Sommerland Is In The House!!!!

Hey everyone! Please give a big, warm welcome to Bianca Sommerland!! She has a brand new book - OFFSIDE - and based on the excerpt, and a special insider's interview that I got to do with Lorenzo Keane, I can't wait to read it!!!


Single mother and submissive Rebecca Bower abandoned her career as a sports reporter to become a media consultant with her brother’s hockey team. A failed marriage to a selfish man makes her wary of getting involved with another. Unfortunately, chemistry is hard to deny, and all her hormones are dancing when she gets close to the Cobra’s sniper, Scott Demyan.

Zachary Pearce ‘came out’ to the world last season to shift attention away from a teammate. And his one night with Scott Demyan had been unsettling. There could be more there, if only Scott was a different person. Instead, a night of sensual BDSM play with Becky leaves him wanting more, but she thinks he’s gay and questions his interest. It’s been a long time since a woman has attracted him both as a man and a Dom, and he’ll do everything in his power to prove she’s the only one he needs. Or wants. His one time with Scott was a mistake.

Scott might have forgotten what happened in his childhood, but the effects linger, and he specializes in drunken one-night stands…until he meets Zach and Becky and sees what he’s missing. But neither one believes Scott can be faithful. Although he’s trying hard to clean up his act to avoid getting kicked off the team, they want more from him. He’s willing to make changes, but the most important one—putting their happiness before his own—means he’ll probably end up alone.


Scott rapped his knuckled on the door to the owner’s office. This was it. Time to face the man who would decide where his life went from here.

"Come in."

Stepping into the office, Scott glanced around, taking note of the classy setup. The owner’s desk was huge. There were three leather chairs set in front of the large, gleaming mahogany structure. Black and white portraits of hockey greats covered the walls. The man knew the game. Had a passion for it if the pictures with him and Roy, and Lemieux, and Richard were anything to go on. But that wasn’t what filled Scott with dread. He looked over the tabloids spread across the man’s desk. Pictures of Scott, drunk, half-naked, none of the headlines flattering. Scott stared at them as the man stood and leaned across the desk, offering his hand.

"Lorenzo Piers Keane. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Demyan."

Yeah, Right.

"Scott." With the shit he was about to get into with the man, informal would be good. He swallowed, tearing his gaze away from the papers.

I’m fucked.

He shook the man’s hand, then dropped into the chair behind him. "Umm . . ."

"Yes. Umm." Keane sat, then rested his elbows on the desk and steepled his fingers. He wore a simple, black Italian suit, tailored to fit his tall, trim frame. A bit of grey streaked through the brown hair along his temples. His dark brown eyes assessed Scott for several excruciatingly long moments before he let out a heavy sigh. "Scott, your stats make you worth every penny we’re paying you, but this . . ." He motioned toward the papers. "The team cannot afford your reputation." His lips curled slightly with disgust. "I have to admit, the charges of statutory rape concerned me the most. I considered sending you to the farm team on waivers without—"

"There were no charges!" Scott shoved his chair back, rage sizzling through his veins as he grabbed the tabloid with a huge picture of him making out with a girl whose face was blurred out. A smaller one of her slipping underneath the table. The last of them heading for the men’s room. "She was seventeen. We met at a bar and she had ID. I was set up!"

"Set up?" Keane arched a brow, his expression showing mild interest. "How so?"

"A reporter paid her to come on to me, then made a big deal about it. Believe me, she didn’t look like a kid. You know so much?" Scott jerked his thumb at the papers. "You’ve gotta know Hayley Turner is gunning for the team because she thinks Silver fucked her husband. Everyone knows that."

"More than one media outlet covered the incident."

Yeah, Becky had picked it up from some "source" for a behind the scenes sports special. News was slow. He guessed she had to give them something. But it pissed him off that she had to make him look like a goddamn cradle robber to get ahead.

"What can I say, I’m fucking fascinating." Scott ran his tongue over his teeth, lowering back into his seat as he caught the way Keane’s eyes narrowed. He wasn’t making himself look any better to the man. He rolled his shoulders. "Look. Don’t think I don’t understand where you’re coming from. I need to smarten up. But some of this stuff isn’t as fucked up as it looks. They—"

"Ah, the infamous ‘they.’" Keane let out a tight laugh. "I have teenage daughters, twins—which you seem to enjoy." He picked up another newspaper which showed Scott in a limo with a pair of hot redheads. After crumpling the papers in his hand, he tossed it aside. "But I won’t let my personal bias affect my decision. Especially since you feel targeted by the press. Let me see . . ." He tapped a colored photo of Scott and cocked his head slightly. "Please explain to me how the media managed to get you drunk and onstage at a strip club. Did someone forcibly remove your clothing?"

Scott winced. He’d forgotten about that night. He’d been pretty wasted. "No. That was just me being an idiot."

"I see. And the brawl you were involved in at a . . . karaoke bar? Let me guess. You planned to sing professionally once you’d destroyed your career as a professional hockey player, and some asshole told you not to quit your day job."

"No. I just got drunk and—"

"Stupid. Yes, that seems to happen a lot with you. And the street racing—which there were charges for." Keane flipped open a folder. "According to your file, you spent several days in jail."

"I was sober." Scott’s jaw tensed. "I don’t drive drunk."

"Commendable, but that doesn’t change the fact that you seem to have an alcohol problem. I trust you weren’t sober when you went streaking in downtown Montreal?"

"Actually . . ." Okay, it was really hard not to laugh at that one. Middle of winter, he and a few of the guys had been hanging out with the Habs. The Cobras had a friendly rivalry with the Canadiens. Some French guy had dared Scott to a race down Saint Catherine. Naked.

He never turned down a dare.

Keane shook his head, flattening his hands on the desk. "Scott, I could tolerate these antics from a rookie, do my best to take him in hand. But you’ve been in the league for ten years. You’ve proved to be immature and, frankly, unstable. If it was limited to your actions in public, I would consider giving you a chance to improve your image. Unfortunately, your behavior on the ice is no better. You instigate fights with your own teammates. The amount of penalty minutes you racked up last year is unacceptable. And I’ve never heard of a professional athlete calling in ‘sick’ as often as you have. The only reason I haven’t already traded you is because Silver Delgado made the choice to sign you, and she’s done so much for the team, I can’t believe she would have done that without a good reason."

The situation looked pretty damn hopeless. There was no point in lying to the guy. Scott slumped in his chair. "She didn’t know much about the game when she signed me. She was told I was good on the ice and figured I’d help change the team’s image. Bring in the younger crowd."

"You have. But so have other men on the team, and they’ve done so without it reflecting negatively on the whole organization."

Right. Time to go home and pack. Scott rubbed his hands over his face. "What can I say? I’m willing to change, but the way you’re talking, it’s too late."

Keane stood, pushed his chair back, and gathered all the newspapers into a neat pile. He reached down, picked up the trash can from under his desk, and set it in front of Scott with a sharp clink. Then he stuffed all the papers into the stainless steel bin.

"Give me one good reason to let you stay."

Lips parted, mouth dry, Scott gaped up at the man. Why even give him a shot? Why risk millions on someone who could potentially bring the whole team down?

Why question it, man? Give him a reason!

Scott swallowed and lunged to his feet, speaking in a rush. "I already told my image consultant I’d do anything he asked me to. Change my attitude, my clothes, my whole life if it means I can be a Cobra. I want to be with this team when they make the Cup. I want to retire with this team. I’ll take a pay cut if it means I can stay. Just tell me what I have to do and I’ll do it!"

"Why? Why does it matter so much? There are other teams that would have you."

"Because . . ." He frowned, searching for the truth. And then he found it. "Silver believed in me. She took a lot of flack for it, but she stood by her decision. I need to prove to her that it wasn’t a mistake. That everyone was wrong about me."

Slapping his hands on the desk, Keane smiled. "That is exactly what I needed to hear. I need to know you have solid motivations to make all these changes. Following your IC’s advice will go a long way in convincing me to offer you a contract. The season doesn’t start for months. I want to see your face in more papers, but I want every article to express what a positive addition you’ve become to the team. I don’t care if you’re kissing babies or setting fashion trends. You will be a man young boys can look up to. Let the other teams hate you. I don’t give a shit how much you chirp on the ice. But your fans, your teammates . . ." He took a deep breath. "They will love you. I won’t accept any less."

To find out more about Bianca, swing by her website, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. Pick up your copy of OFFSIDE at Amazon!!!

Here's a special Insider Interview with Lorenzo:
Stepping into the café, Alannah glanced around, smiling as she spotted Lorenzo Piers Keane sitting at a table by the window. He already had a large, steaming mug of coffee set at the empty spot in front of him, which meant she didn’t have to get in the long line to order one. As she approached, he stood and held out his hand.

A nice firm grip, warm as his dark brown eyes. In every picture of him that she’d seen, he wore nicely tailored suits that made him look very professional, but a little unapproachable. But he was wearing dark blue jeans and a black shirt with the first few buttons undone. Something about his presence was still a little intimidating, but his smile made it easy to sit across from him and prepare for the interview.

“I must say,” Keane leaned back in his chair, meeting her eyes, a twinkle of amusement in them as she fumbled with her recorder. “I’m pleased that they chose you for the interview.”

“You are?” Alannah’s brow furrowed. She was happy to have gotten the interview with him, but what made her so special? Maybe she should make a few things clear. Her stomach fluttered as her gaze shifted from his steady one. He was gorgeous, in a Piers Brosnan kind of way, smooth and incredibly sexy with no effort at all, aging in such a way that even young women would swoon at the curve of his lips.

But she was married. To a wonderful man.

She opened her mouth to tell him so, just in case he was interested. Which she’d really really want him to be if she was single.

Only, she wasn’t.

“No need to look so flustered.” Keane bent forward, steepling his hands on the table. “I agreed because you’re married, with two sons, nicely settled and not on the prowl. I prefer to keep business and pleasure separate.”

“So do I.” Alannah nibbled at her bottom lip. “You looked me up?”

“I like to know who I’m dealing with. I’m sure you have some information on me?” He nodded at the voice recorder. “And will have much more shortly.”

“True.” She wasn’t sure how to feel about being chosen because she was unavailable, but at least it kept things simple. “Shall we get started?”

“Yes. Let’s.” He cocked his head. “To avoid any discomfort, are all these questions yours, or are some from those who enjoy your blog posts?”

“All of them are—I mean, none of them are really mine. I just wanted to make sure the readers get to learn more about you.” She flushed, glancing at the notes on her phone. Some of the questions were very personal. “I wouldn’t ask most of these questions.”

“Indeed. I’ll keep that in mind.” He winked, then inclined his head. “Start with the easiest one. I don’t bite and I’m used to being grilled, so there’s no need to be embarrassed about what you will ask.”

She licked her bottom lip, a little imp shooting up inside her as she spoke. “You don’t bite? Ever?”

“Now that question is yours.” He laughed at her sheepish smile. “I do many things with my mouth, Alannah. Would you like details or would you prefer to move on to the next question?”
Details! Alannah shook her head, stuffing the imp into a little mental safe before dropping it into the deepest ravine in her subconscious. She glanced down at the first question. “What are your future plans for the team?”

“Right now, the priority is making sure the team remains competitive. I’m a businessman and I own several companies around the world that are thriving. Not all of them were before I got involved. I’m sure I can use my skills to clear the constant risk of this team folding. With how closely the Delgado family is tied to the team, I believe that risk affects the performance of the team. I’m here to change that.”

“That sounds good. I’d like to see the team around for years to come.” Alannah frowned at the next question. “I’m going to apologize for this one in advance. Was bringing Sahara to the Ice Girls strictly business or is there a personal motivation?”

“Strictly business.” Keane’s expression didn’t change. He looked exactly the same as when he’d discussed his companies and the team.

Alannah’s heart sank. Poor Sahara. “But you knew her boyfriend was abusing her?”

Keane’s eyes narrowed. His jaw ticked. “Yes. She’s a lovely young woman and I did know she was being treated badly. It was fortunate she fit so well in my plans for the Ice Girls. Much like the team, she was being mismanaged.”

“Ah . . .” Alannah wasn’t sure what to say to that. So she moved on to the next question. “Do you share the majority of the team's predilection for kink?”

“I do. I also love the game, so I can relate to the men on many levels. I think the love of the game is the most important thing though. I wouldn’t want talented men to avoid the team because they believe participating in the lifestyle is a prerequisite. It may have seemed so before, but I’ve made it clear that talent is the priority.”

“I can agree with that, but it seemed like Dean Richter—the team general manager—wants to give the men something beyond the game to bring them together. Considering that, how do you interact with Dean and Silver as co-owners of the team?”

“Mr. Richter and I get along quite well. We both work towards the best interest of the team.” He shook his head, giving her a wry smile. “How things will go once Miss Delgado becomes involved, I can’t say. Hopefully she’ll be able to curb her impulses. I do enjoy a challenge though, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she will bring to the table. I’ve never had business partners quite like either Mr. Richter or Miss Delgado, but they both made steps to bringing the team out of the black and I’m very happy to have a chance to see what I can add to their efforts.”

“Another personal one. How kinky are you?”

He chuckled, lifting his mug and taking a slow sip. “Kinky enough that if I had a sub, and had to come to a café to get my coffee, rather than have it served to me by her in all her naked glory, someone would have a very sore bottom by the end of the night.” He nodded, seeming to read Alannah’s frown. “I can see you disapprove. Let me put it this way. I enjoy being served by a submissive that craves doing acts that will please me. It has to be a balance between her needs and mine. If the balance isn’t there, if she does it because she thinks she has to, rather than because she wants to, then it feels like something is missing. I am very clear with my expectations, but I insist that they match the needs of my submissive.”

“Okay, that’s fair. I could see myself serving a man hand and foot and getting off on it, but if someone’s happy doing it, if it fulfills her.” Alannah cocked her head. Then laughed. “Yep, not sure I can relate, but each to their own.”


“Are you looking for a new submissive?”

“Yes and no. Right now, I’m so busy I’m not sure I’d have the time to devote to training a new sub. But I play with several at the club who have potential. I’m not in a rush, so spending time with those whose needs match mine suits me just fine. If it develops into something more, then good. If not, we found pleasure in the scene or scenes.”

“Do you like to Dominate men, women or do you like a bit of both?”

“Women. I trained with men when I started, but never felt any attraction.” He grinned. “I know some believe any person could find love in the same sex if they meet the right person, but I’m not one of those. I believe some have an untapped inclination which leaves them open to the possibility, and that’s fine, but I’m very aware of who I am and would know if the possibility was there. It’s not. And at my age, that’s not going to change.”

“In your next relationship you have is there anything you would do differently from before?”

“No, I don’t think so. My needs didn’t change, those of my slave did. She was a beautiful, loving woman, but our relationship wasn’t giving her the fulfilment it once had. She moved on and I wish her the best in her new vanilla life.” His brow furrowed slightly. He shook his head. “Wait. Perhaps there is one thing I would change. I would be more aware of whether my sub was just going through the motions. Falling into a routine. Doing whatever she could just to make me happy because she liked the lifestyle I could provide financially. Not that I’m saying that’s how my sub was, of course.” His broad smile seemed perfect for the flash of a camera. “She was young when we got together. I believe, in part, she was afraid to step out of the comfortable cocoon of the life we’d built together. I made things too easy for her. If you can get everything you want by behaving a certain way, why would you do anything else? ‘Yes, Sir’ may sound good to a Dom, but when that’s all you hear . . . I want a sub, but I also want a strong woman who can speak her mind. Back to their being balance. We’d lost ours.”

“So you want a service sub, but one who’s not in that role all the time?”

“To simplify? Yes.” He shrugged. “It’s difficult to see how a relationship will work until you’re in it. I’m willing to adapt if I find someone worth doing so for. Perhaps I’m a romantic at heart. I believe in true love. And there’s not much I won’t do for a woman if that love is real. But I also believe for love to work, people need to . . . click. Not just physically, but into one another’s lives. I don’t play at the lifestyle. I live it. Whomever I fall in love with will likely live it as well.”

“Complete change of subject.” Alannah laughed, happy to be past the personal stuff. “Do you feel that Scott has redeemed his image with all his hard work?”

“Absolutely.” Keane eased back into his chair, grinning. “I wasn’t expecting much, but he’s impressed me. Only his stats made me inclined to give him a chance, but now I’m eager to see how far he’ll go. He’s a remarkable young man, and quite frankly, if I had a son, I could see him being much like Scott. That drive on and off the ice is remarkable. He’s overcome so much and I must admit, I’m proud of him.”

“If you could work with a pro hockey player past or present as either a coach or player who would it be.”

“Oh, definitely Ken Dryden. He’s such an intelligent man I could see myself relating to him well on and off the ice in any position. He’s always known what he’s wanted and fought hard to get there. I want that—no, I expect that—from all of our players. One day they will all have to hang up their jerseys and realize life goes on. I want to see them all do well. On the ice. And in the future.”
* * * *

There is one giveaway each day of her blog tour, as well as a Kindle as a grand prize at the end. All you have to do is leave a comment (with an email addy so we can find you if you win), and log your comment on the Rafflecopter! Come back tomorrow for the interview I did with Lorenzo Keane (YUM!!) :-)

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ack... Is it Monday yet?! :D

Well, I blew it this week!!! Not only did I not get the blog posted on Monday, but I also didn't draw the winners from the March contest. I'm taking care of all of that right now!

Rather than try to find something witty to talk about, I'm going to give you an update on all of the wild and crazy things that are happening right now (which is part of the reason I forgot to post on Monday).

Over the weekend, I decided to head to Kansas City, MO for the Annual RT Convention... sort of. I hope to attend 1 day of RT (it's my understanding there are day passes available), but my real reason for going is to participate in a group author signing at a downtown location on Saturday. There will be a shuttle that runs from the RT hotel to the signing hotel, we'll have lots of gifts and raffles, and 30-40 authors signing!! I'll get you more specific details as I have them.

On my way to MO, I'm stopping in Tennessee and attending a book club meeting with several of the ladies on my street team - I'm soooo excited to meet them and attend their meeting. They always seem to have such a great time, and I'm thrilled I get to attend!

I'll also be attending Lori Foster's Reader/Author Get Together the first weekend of June!! It's my first time going, and I'm so excited to meet so many of my online friends there!

I'll also be at the RWA conference in Atlanta in July, and I'm trying to work it out to attend Authors After Dark in August.

On the book front:

*All three Heat Wave books are in print now, and are available at Amazon, B&N, and The Book Depository (for my overseas friends).

*The box set of the first three Heat Wave books is available almost everywhere - iTunes is still in the approval stage.

*The audio production for Savin' Me is under way and should be finished by the end of May.

*The first chapter of the new spin off series is almost complete - it will be finished by the time I go to bed tonight.

I'll be touching base with the list of March winners this evening and tomorrow!!

Have a great rest of the week! I'll try to be better next Monday, and on April 15th, we'll have a special guest blogger!!!

Peace and love,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Play Musical Cars...

Things at my house are rarely easy. Events of this weekend, which are being finalized this morning, are a perfect example. Let me explain....

Nearly two years ago, my oldest son wrecked his car. He’d been at the hospital all night with a friend who was in an accident, and while driving home, he went to sleep and ran into a tree. The insurance company wasn’t happy (this was the 2nd car in less than a year), so he started driving my old, close-to-the-grave Explorer. Last fall, the Explorer went to the great Ford graveyard in the sky, so he’s been carless since.

This wasn’t a problem for his brother, because Son #2 loves to drive his dad’s F250. Most of the time, Dusty would borrow G’s car, which meant G was left driving his dad’s truck (which wasn’t a problem, because my husband couldn’t drive anyway, because of his seizures). When my husband was cleared to drive again back in December, everything changed.

Dusty (Son #1) had to drive my car (not nearly as cool as his brother’s Mustang), or hitch a ride with a friend. G got booted from the truck, and everything has kind of been in limbo since.

This past Friday, G drove to Greensboro to pick Dusty up, and on the way home, they hatched a master plan. G and his dad have been talking about trading cars for a few months. G really, REALLY wants a truck. We live in a rural area and all of his friends have trucks. Plus, he hunts a lot, so he ends up borrowing his dad’s truck a lot during hunting season, anyway.

Hubs would then take G’s car and trade it in on a smaller truck. We originally got the F250 to pull campers and boats, etc., but we so rarely use it for that, that if we need to, we could just borrow it back from G. We’ll let G worry about paying the gas and insurance on the monster – I’m thinking his love affair with Big Green is going to be short lived. :-D

Anyway... new plan.... Dusty will take G’s car, G will get his dad’s truck, and we’ll get Hubs something else. For me, it all comes out the same. We were going to have to help Dusty get a car anyway. We were going to trade the car in for something for Hubs anyway, so it all sort of makes sense. But this morning, we need to get inspections done on both vehicles, so we can transfer titles and tags. We need to get the insurance all straightened out. And THEY need to go to DMV and get all the titles switched around.

Notice I said THEY... no way am I spending half the day at DMV. I have work to do. Master Matthew (Master Lucas’s friend) is getting a little impatient with me to get him to his Happily Ever After, and I really don’t want to upset Master Matthew (or any Master for that matter! :D ).

So what about you? Do things get this complicated at your house? Can the simplest of things end up being a major ordeal? Or is this just a special talent that my family has?

This is the last week to enter this month’s drawing, so Tweet, share on FB, and leave a comment below to get your name in the hat!! Have a great week!!!

Much peace and love,

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Let’s talk Ph-Ph-Phobia... Eek!

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you probably heard about my dental ordeal last week. I’ve known since November I needed to have a root canal, but I kept putting it off. Even though I suspected the “bad” tooth was causing the excessive headaches and the occasional ear ache, I still refused to call and schedule the appointment. In my defense, I did have it scheduled for January 10th, but that was the only day my son could have his wisdom teeth removed, and being the loving, giving parent that I am, I sacrificed my appointment for the sake of his. :-D

What surprised me was how many of my friends also have a fear of going to the dentist.

According to Dictionary.com, a phobia is “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”

I’m not sure I have an actual phobia of the dentist. I don’t have an irrational fear, I have a very specific reason that I’m afraid to go. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the dentist’s chair. He always gave me the “goofy gas” (nitrous), so it wasn’t usually too bad. But one time, he had a rubber dam in my mouth and refused to take it out or believe me when I told him I was going to get sick.

I clearly remember him saying, “Oh, no you’re not.”

I also clearly remember starting to throw up, but with a rubber dam in my mouth it had no where to go except stuck in my throat... which was nasty, but also resulted in me choking.

Since then, I’ve been terrified to go. The lady at the endodontist put it into words that finally made sense for me. She said, “You trusted them to take care of you. When they didn’t, you know no longer have a trust for him, or anyone in that profession.”

That’s very true and the reason I didn’t go for years... which is how this tooth ended up getting into the condition it did. I knew I needed a filling, but I didn’t go. I let it go for so long, that when they did try to fill it, the tooth cracked. Then I needed a crown. The crown loosened and started coming off (which we didn’t know), which allowed bacteria to get down into the tooth, which caused the infection in the gum, which made it need a root canal.

Now, let me say, my current dentist is wonderful. He also had a phobia of the dentist, which is why he went into the profession. He wanted to help people like us. He’s a sweet, gentle man, who always goes out of his way to be as kind and gentle as he can. So that fear and distrust has eased over the years, but I also have a very strong aversion to pain. :-D

My teeth are sensitive, so even cleanings are uncomfortable for me. But again, I have an amazing hygienist that is cautious and goes slow, especially around the sensitive gum areas, and I’m usually able to get through a cleaning without squealing even once. LOL

The reason for this long dissertation was to defend my position and show that I’ve ruled my fear of the dentist out as a phobia. I’m afraid, but I have good reason. However, I do have several other phobias, which are true irrational fears that can leave me nearly paralyzed when confronted with them.

Heights is one of them. I know a lot of other people share this same fear. In fact, my step-dad is also afraid of heights, something I find extremely amusing... I guess as a fighter pilot, he just never looked down?! :D

I’m also afraid of tight spaces. When I was little, my mom used to make me crawl under my bed to vacuum. I remember being terrified that the bed was going to fall on me and I would be crushed; I couldn’t breathe and my arms and fingers would get numb and tingly. I would vacuum like crazy to get it done so I could get out from under there and grab a good, deep breath.

That phobia isn’t quite as bad now, but I still don’t like tight spaces – like small bathroom stalls, and even elevators. If they’re rickety and I’m riding for a long time, I find myself sweating and having to force myself to breathe normally.

So what about you? Do you have any phobias... or any fears that aren’t phobias, because you have a reasonable explanation for avoiding them like your life depended on it? The rafflecopter is extended through next week, but you can still keep adding chances to win by commenting here and Tweeting/Facebooking to encourage others to come over and check out my blog. I love making new friends!

Have a beautiful week everyone!
Peace and Love,

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Bonding Over Racquetball

My youngest son and I have never been incredibly close. We just don’t seem to have that much in common, and therefore it’s always been difficult for us to find something to bond over. He’s an avid hunter… I don’t particularly like hunting, and I definitely can’t run out to the truck and ooooh and ahhhhhh over the massive buck he has proudly displayed in the back. I like NASCAR… he could take it or leave it. He’s ridden skateboards and BMX bikes over the years, and while I always went to his competitions to support him, there wasn’t much interaction between the two of us.

Last year, he joined the volunteer fire department. I’m incredibly proud of him, and always sit and listen to him share his exciting stories with me – sometimes I’m the middle-of-the-night therapist who listens to him when he needs to talk out and process a particularly difficult call he’s just come home from – but it’s not something that we’re doing together, and certainly not something fun that we can enjoy each other’s company while doing.

But over the weekend, I think we finally hit on something! Last week, one of the local gyms came to the fire department and signed anyone who wanted to up for a special group rate. My son has wanted to join the gym for a while now, and this was the local club that has indoor racquetball courts, so G (my son), my husband, and I all joined.

I used to play 2-3 hours of racquetball a day when I was in college, but since that was a lifetime ago, G sort of blew me off and didn’t take me seriously. He went every night last week and played with his friends, so when he and I played on Friday morning, he was confident that he would be beat me without much effort.
The poor child is still reeling from the shock of having his mom beat him 3 games to 0. :-D Not only that, as soon as we got in the car, I called his best friend to share the good news - he’s like my adopted 3rd son… he’s also on the fire department, so I knew this good news would spread like wild fire… pardon the pun, I couldn’t pass that up! LOL
On Saturday, while working the annual fire department BBQ plate fundraiser, I got lots of praise from the guys on the department, a few of them want to play me, and G was a tremendously good sport about the whole thing! We’ve had a lot of fun laughing and joking about it, and we’re scheduled for a rematch on Monday morning (provided I’m not at the dentist/endodontist dealing with a tooth issue).

Who would’ve thought a good old fashioned ass whipping on the racquetball court would’ve been the thing to bring us together?! LOL

While at the gym on Sunday, my husband and I met a couple who met on the racquetball court! They were playing against each other in a competition, and he beat her. She said to him, “I can’t believe you actually beat me!” :-D I’m not sure what happened after that, but she said they celebrated their 10 year anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

So what about you? What oddball thing has been the magnet that drew you together with someone?

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Monday, March 4, 2013

God Blessed Our Twisted, Pot-hole Filled Road

The start of my relationship with my husband wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, my first sight of him was a quick glimpse of his back as he walked away from me across a crowded room.

We were at my office open house (anyone read “Savin’ Me”… is this sounding familiar?)… I was a new employee and they’d just moved into a new space. Turns out, our office was known for throwing massive parties (we didn’t need much of an excuse and the Christmas parties were legendary. Another time, I’ll tell you about one that almost ended up with me divorced, before we even got married!) Anyway, the grand opening of the new office space was the perfect reason to have a party. I’d just started work the week before, he’d just moved back to town the week before, so there we were… but we didn’t meet that day.

I was the ad agency’s receptionist, and I worked with his sister. He’s a huge practical jokester, so for the next two months, whenever he called to speak with her, I got hit with a joke, we’d talk for a few minutes, and then I’d pass him off to her.

One Friday afternoon, I answered the phone, we spoke for a few minutes, and then I said, “Hang on just a sec.”

He said, “Why you puttin’ me on hold?”

“Because that’s the only way I can transfer the phone to your sister.”

I’ll never forget the next words, said in his smooth, eastern North Carolina drawl, “I didn’t call to talk to her. I called to talk to you.”

I’d been standing because I’d grabbed the phone on the run, so I lowered myself into my chair and held my breath.

He said, “I have two tickets for the football game tomorrow, you wanna go?”

At this point, I was all kinds of conflicted. I said, “My co-worker just invited me to go with him and his girlfriend, and it sounds like so much fun, but I don’t have a babysitter.” (Dusty was five) There were a few other reasons I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but I won’t go into those now.

He said, “I can do better than him. If I find a sitter, will you go?”

Fifteen minutes later, he called back to see if I wanted the babysitter at his house or mine! :D I should probably let you know that later, he told me I wasn’t his first choice. His first choice had to work, so I was his second (and only) option. He didn’t want to go to the game without a date, so he was highly motivated! LOL

Since I’d just moved to town and didn’t have any furniture, we settled on his house. Correctly assuming that a fridge full of beer and leftover pizza wouldn’t be suitable for a five-year-old, Charles had us come over early so we could take Dusty to the grocery and let him pick out snacks for the day.

We left Dusty and the babysitter with enough junk food to put them into a diabetic coma, and headed off for the game. The game was great… in the beginning. But as Charles continued to work his way through airplane bottle after airplane bottle after airplane bottle, the afternoon took a turn for the worse. At least as far as I was concerned.

By the time the game was over, he was sloshed. I was annoyed.

I drove us back to his house with every intention of grabbing my kid and running for the hills. But the next thing I knew, Charles and his roommates had Dusty in the backyard, innings deep into an epic whiffle ball game. He was so sweet and amazing with my kid, I couldn’t help but melt.

At least enough for him to talk me into staying for dinner.

Hey, he offered to grill steaks!

As he sobered, the evening improved, but there were still times I found myself shaking my head and thinking, “This guy is so full of shit, no wonder his eyes are brown.”

When it came time for me to leave, he invited me to go downtown the following day to the United Way Fundraiser Kick-off. His friend was playing a concert in the park and he thought it would be something fun we could do with Dusty.

Not anxious to repeat this crazy up and down date, I fumbled for a good excuse. Finally, I remembered... “Oh, gosh. I wish I could, but I have laundry to do!”

“No problem,” he said, “I have a washer and a dryer.”

Okay, anyone who’s ever gone to a public laundry mat knows doing laundry in the luxury of a home is sooooo much better. I debated whether or not I was willing to tolerate another lousy date, and decided it was worth the risk.

Amazingly enough, it was one of the best dates, EVER! He continued to be incredibly sweet and attentive to my son, he carried him around on his shoulders so he could see everything going on, and he stopped and got a family-friendly movie we could all watch while the laundry was finishing up.

The next evening, he showed up at my house with a package of Dusty’s favorite cookies (chocolate chip with M&M’s on top) and a rose for me. He also asked if he could take us to the go-cart track that Friday.

We didn’t talk anymore that week, but true to his word, he arrived promptly at six-thirty on Friday and Date #3 cinched the deal. Dusty and I were hooked! Since that night, we’ve been pretty much inseparable, and I’m so grateful one of the first purchases Hubs made when he bought his new house was that washer and dryer!!

Two little side notes: I don’t have a picture of them playing whiffle ball the night of our first date, but I do have a picture of them playing ball the day we got married. We had a church wedding, then everyone went home and changed into casual clothes for the pig-pickin’ reception. Dusty was anxious to play, after having been in a little suit and uncomfortable shoes for a few hours, so Charles stood out in the drive with him and played ball before he changed.

Also, since his surgery and especially since the radiation, his memory is horrible!! He can’t remember conversations he had twenty-minutes ago or whether or not he’s had lunch. BUT… he still remembers Dusty’s favorite kind of cookies, and it’s not at all uncommon for him to grab a bag for Dusty if he’s at the grocery store.

Okay, your turn. Tell me about a whacky date that turned around... or one that didn’t! LOL Did you have lots of starts and stops on your road to Happily Ever After? Are you still in the process of missing massive potholes and a few landmines, looking for the "Right One?"

There will be a new blog post every Monday, but I'm going to allow the Rafflecopter to run for the month. However, since it's running that long, I'm increasing the prize packs. I'll give away 4 digital copies of the Heat Wave Novel of your choice, as well as 2 signed print books. Remember, you can tweet and share on FB every day to enter, and there will be new postings every Monday!

Thank you for dropping by and visiting with me!! I'm back here every day to reply to comments, so check back often, especially if you have a question you're waiting to be answered. Winner from last week's contest will be announced tomorrow!!!

Wishing you much peace and love!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome to my New (Old) Blog!!!

I've been blogging off and on since 2009, but I always struggled with a comfortable direction (hence, the off and on). I tried posting recipes, pictures of hunks (which always netted the most views!), inspirational quotes, and the list goes on. I finally decided to abandon my blog and focus on FB... I never seem to have a problem finding something to say on FB!

Over the past several months, I'd been thinking about knocking the dust off and firing the old blog up again when I came across Kristen Lamb's blog. After reading her blog and book, I decided it was time to expend a few extra brain cells, figure out a platform, and get my butt in gear. As is so often the case, the universe supplied me with an answer.

An Italian friend was reading an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of CROSSING LINES, double-checking my Italian spelling and usage. Part-way through the book, she sent me the following message:

I don't normally read contemporary romance but I think you may have converted me. Your storytelling is REAL-meaning that you don't hold anything back. Like is messy, life is complicated, people make bad choices, life goes on, hope springs eternal, and that's exactly what I see in this story. And then there is an occasional misunderstanding that makes life hilarious-lol! Good on ya girl!

Her words really touched me and reminded me of similar comments I’ve had from other friends and readers. It also made me think about a song I used to hate, but have recently adopted as the theme song for my life.

In the fall of 2007, I heard Gary Allen's "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" for the first time. I knew the song had been recorded after his wife’s death, and the pain coming through was too close to home for me. It struck a nerve and I instantly hated the song. See, in 2007, my life sort of fell apart.

In June, my youngest had to have 6 baby teeth surgically removed because they weren't coming out on their own. Two weeks later, my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor (a deeply embedded mass in the brain that could only be partially removed). Two weeks later, he had surgery at Duke to remove what they could. While he was in surgery (literally, the same time), my oldest was back in our hometown, having an ultrasound of his kidneys, trying to figure out why they weren't functioning properly. Turns out, he had an undiagnosed strep infection (it went undetected for six months and to this day, he has lingering effects from that infection.) Seven weeks after my husband's surgery, my oldest had a tonsillectomy, and two weeks after that, my youngest had an emergency appendectomy.

Two weeks later, I was at my breaking point, so I rode with my husband to Beaufort, SC for a mini-vacation. He was on a family fishing trip, I was holed up in a hotel trying to piece together my sanity. That’s the first time I heard these lyrics: “Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”

At that point in my life, I was having a really hard time finding the beauty. I could find things to be thankful for; all of my guys were alive and recovering, but I still couldn’t find the beauty. All I saw was darkness and fear about the future.

Five and a half years later, aside from a recent wisdom tooth surgery, my youngest is a healthy high school senior. My oldest is still dealing with the fallout of being prescribed pain meds for six months, but he’s currently winning the battle and doing well. And my husband is doing GREAT! Over the years, he’s endured chemotherapy, radiation, and on-going Avastin infusions. The good news is they’re all doing their job, and each MRI (every two months), shows the tumor is continuing to shrink.

I’m also in a different place emotionally than I was back then. I can appreciate that song now, and while life isn’t always beautiful, it IS a beautiful ride!

Our highway is filled with potholes, speed bumps, landslides, and the occasional detour. But we make the most of it, deal with the challenges as best we can, and keep on rolling. I hope you’ll join me each week (I’ll post new updates every Monday), and ride life’s highway with me!! Don’t worry, there won’t be tears, at least not many, but there will be lots of laughter and good times!

There will also be on-going giveaways each month with lots of chances to enter to win digital and signed print books! You can only get points for commenting, following on Twitter, and "Liking" my author page once. But you can come back to Tweet and share on Facebook each day for extra entries! :-)

Please share a little bit about your beautiful life with me, and have a wonderful week!!

Oh!! I also wanted to let you know I'm hanging out at Plotmonkeys today, and on Wednesday evening (9:00 PM EST), I'll be at Mo's Book Buzz for a live chat!! Please drop by and visit with me at both of those places if you can!

Peace and love,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour Recap

I hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!!!

The drawings for the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour are going to remain open through Sunday!! I'm listing the links below, so if you missed any of the stops along the way, you can comment now and be entered into the drawings: An ebook of your choice; A complete signed set of the Heat Wave Series!!

Stop #1 - Harlie's Books
Stop #2 - Romance Book Craze
Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Review
Stop #4 - My Reading Obsession
Stop #5 - Salacious Reads

And don't forget to stop back by here on Monday for the re-launch of my blog, see the direction the blog will be going, and get in on the on-going giveaways!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!
Peace and Love,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stop #5 - Salacious Reads

Hey everyone!!

There were some technical difficulties this morning and the excerpt didn't get posted. But it's up and ready to go now!! Stop by Salacious Reads for Stop #5 in the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour. I'm going to talk with the "Power That Be" and see if we can keep the drawings open until Sunday to give everyone a chance to read and comment.

In case you're just getting here, I'll list the first 4 stops below. Be sure and comment at each for a chance to win a ditigal copy of the Heat Wave Novel of your choice, and to increase your chances at winning the entire signed print set!!

Stop #1 - Harlie's Books
Stop #2 - Romance Book Craze
Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Review
Stop #4 - My Reading Obsession

I also have an author interview posted at UP Authors - it's in conjunction with LAST CALL winning the Best Erotic Romance Cover!!

On Monday, I'll be visiting with the Plotmonkeys in the jungle!! I always love to visit there and meet so many fun new people.

Also on Monday, I'll be relaunching this blog!! It'll be a completely new direction for me, ongoing giveaways, new blog posts every Monday.

On Wednesday, 2/27, I'll be doing a live chat with Mo at Mo's Book Buzz. I'll post the link for the chat room starting on Monday.

Have a great weekend!!
Peace and Love,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Reading Obsession - Stop #4

Good morning!!

It's day #4 of the CROSSING LINES Excerpt Tour, and today, I'm at My Reading Obsession!

Stop by and find out how Kevin reacts after learning that Sam's best friend is a.....


You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself. I'm cruel like that!!

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stop #3 - Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews!!

Yesterday, Sam found herself in an awkward situation. Can she recover today, or do things just get worse?

Find out at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews - stop #3 on the "Crossing Lines" Book Tour!!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Romance Book Craze Today - Day 2 Excerpt Tour

I'm at Romance Book Craze today with the 2nd excerpt of the Crossing Lines Excerpt Tour!!

Drop by and comment for a chance to win either a digital copy of "Crossing Lines" or "Last Call" (winner's choice), and to be entered into the grand prize drawing - a set of signed Heat Wave books!!

I hope to see you there!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Harlie's Books Link!

The Excerpt is up on Harlie's Books now. Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of "Crossing Lines." All entries from the week will go into the grand prize drawing - a set of signed "Heat Wave" books!!

I'm at Harlie's Books Today!!

Happy Monday morning!!

Today kicks of a week-long excerpt tour for "Crossing Lines." Each day, the excerpt will be a continuation of the previous day's scene. There will be a giveaway at each stop, as well as a grand prize drawing at the end of the week (everyone who comments will be entered for the grand prize drawing - a complete set of signed Heat Wave books - so be sure to comment at each stop for multiple chances to win)!!

Today's stop is Harlie's Books!!

I'll be by later this afternoon to respond to comments. This morning, I'm off in search of a dress - I have a formal on Saturday night and when I say I have nothing to wear, I mean I have NOTHING! to wear! :-D Wish me luck, shopping isn't my thang!

Have a great start to a fabulous week!!

Peace and love,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best of 2012

Hi everyone!!

I have some great news to share!! I'm hanging my head in shame that I haven't been here shouting about this before now.

Since Guilty Pleasures Book Reviewers read 1000+ books in 2012, they're having a hard time picking the best (I can only imagine)! They've compiled a list of their favorites for their readers to vote on, and I'm thrilled and honored to say that "Last Call" has been included in the Erotic Romance category!!

Voting ends today - 2/17/13 - so jump on over there and vote for you favorite in each category! Even if it's not me, show your favorite author some love by giving her your vote.

Also, I'll be doing a "Crossing Lines" excerpt tour this week (2/18-2/22). Each day will be a continuation of the previous day's excerpt, so by the time you get to Friday, you will have read an entire scene. There will be a giveaway each day, and all commenters from each day will be entered into the grand prize drawing at the end of the week - a set of signed books!!

I'll post the link here each day so you'll know where to find me, Kevin, and Sam that day.

I hope to see you guys at each stop along the way!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, January 28, 2013

CROSSING LINES is here!!!!

It's only been a few months since I released "Savin' Me" and so many of you were introduced to Kevin Mazze. But for me, this story has been years in the making! I'm so glad to finally have Kevin and Sam together!! I'm going to post an excerpt below, as well as links to most e-outlets. It isn't live on iTunes yet (technical difficulties), but it's up and running everywhere else!

Also, I'm guest-blogging at Ariesgrlreviews today. Writers are asked all the time where our ideas come from, what inspires us. Well, I can't speak for other authors, but on Ariesgrlreviews, I'll tell you where I get the vast majority of my ideas. Please drop by and visit with me, and comment for a chance to win the Heat Wave Novel of your choice!!!

And, without further ado, here's Kevin!!!

Chapter One

Can this day get any worse?

Flipping fate the bird with a taunting question was foolish, but Kevin Mazze couldn’t help himself as he glared down at the pixie standing between him and the grand opening of his exclusive subdivision.

Dieci, nove, otto, sette…

Why bother counting backward from ten to try and diffuse his anger? Rather than calming him, he always felt he counted down to an explosion.

Take now, for example. The pulse pounding in his temples suggested if he kept going, his head would explode, splattering fragments all over the pavement.

The upside was it would also make a mess of the petite, blond building inspector threatening to not only ruin his day, but his whole fucking year.

Stopping the countdown before he reached detonation, he scrubbed a hand across his forehead, then slowly and plainly said, “I need the Certificate of Occupancy. Without it, I’m dead in the water.” Okay, talking to her as if she were deaf and dumb probably wouldn’t gain him any favors—

Annnddd, there it went. The squashing of hope, along with a quick tightening in his stomach as he prepared for another swift kick in the nuts. She slammed her hands to her hips and squared her shoulders, pulling herself up to a truly impressive height of five foot one. If the situation weren’t so dire, and she didn’t hold his entire career in the palm of her hand, he would laugh. He might even get a little turned on, because her feisty back-at-ya attitude was sexy as hell.

“Is your hearing defective, Mr. Mazze? Or are you just a little slow on the uptake? I know you need a CO. But you don’t have enough water pressure to operate the sprinklers.” Mirroring his speech pattern, she slowed her cadence so even a first grader would understand. “You’re not occupying the building until the problem is solved.”

Several things kept his hands fisted at his sides rather than wrapped around her pretty little neck. One, she was a woman. Two, she was right.

She wasn’t responsible for the county’s negligence in following through with the promised water tower that would provide the pressure necessary for powering the sprinklers. Ultimately, the responsibility for this massive failure lay squarely on his shoulders.

His father insisted on taking the gamble and jumping the gun with this project. Kevin recognized the risk from the beginning, but he’d acquiesced to his father’s wishes. Now, while Papà visited family in Italy, reliving his childhood, Kevin was left with a mop and dry bucket, figuring out how to clean up the mess.

“I’ve been on the phone with Public Works every day for ten days,” he said, hoping to appeal to her sense of reasoning since his attempts at charming aggression had gotten him nowhere. “They said the tower would be up and running in another few weeks.”

Of course, the bastards promised that six months ago, too, and he still hadn’t seen any evidence of progress. But Samantha Wallace was new in town, so maybe she didn’t know how badly the county dragged their feet. Relaxing his posture, he gave her a stretched, confident smile and prayed she bought the massive pile of bullshit.

She cocked her head to the side and smiled, indicating a shortage of spending cash. Despite the ominous black clouds rolling in, she still wore her sunglasses, which prevented him from seeing her eyes. Pity, because based on her smile’s amperage, he’d bet her eyelashes were fluttering like crazy behind those mirrored lenses. “I may be blond, Mr. Mazze, but I’m not an idiot.”

After snapping the words like a whip, emphasizing her unwillingness to back down, she crossed her arms over her chest and glanced away. Her sharp exhale and creased forehead projected her sympathy, the show of regret doing more to diffuse his anger than counting backward from a thousand.

Despite her reputation for being a hardnosed bitch, she wasn’t busting his balls to be difficult. Code dictated what she could and couldn’t do, and in this case, her hands were tied.

An image of her naked, hands bound, kneeling on his bed, flashed through his mind. He had no explanation for the inappropriate thought, but this obviously wasn’t the time or place for his junkyard dog to wake up and fight against his chain.

He shook his head to clear the thought and leaned against the landscaper’s bumper. He worked his neck in a circle, finally looking to the heavens for guidance. An answering flash of lightning wasn’t reassuring.

“You have any suggestions?” he asked Wade Neumann, the job foreman, who’d been standing off to the side, silently watching the drama unfold.

“No, sir. I’ve never dealt with anything like this.” Wade sighed and his shoulders drooped. “I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault, bro. Papà and I took the gamble.” A huge, pricey gamble that might set Kevin back years.

In a perfectly coordinated display of I’ll-show-you, lightning flashed and thunder shook the ground at the exact moment his cell phone erupted with the theme from Psycho.

“Yes,” Fate cackled. “I can fuck your day up a little more.”

Wade’s mouth twitched, but as a smart young man concerned with job security, he bit down on his lip and squelched his grin.

Far superior and unconcerned with job security, Samantha Wallace flashed a grin brighter than the lightning. “Nice,” she said with a husky little laugh. “I should use that for my ex.”

Kevin didn’t correct her assumption Lizbeth was an ex. He also didn’t answer the call.

“Unless you wait for the water tower,”—she cast him a pointed look—“which won’t be up in the next two weeks, the only thing you can do is put in a booster pump.” At his muttered curse, she lifted a shoulder and gave a regretful shake of her head. “I know you don’t want to take the additional cost on the chin, but I don’t see any other option.” She threw her hands up animatedly. “Hell, even if I gave you the CO, the fire marshal would swoop in here and shut your ass down before you cut on the first light.”

Frustration chomped at the back of his throat, begging to break free with a growl and a massive curse. What the hell was he supposed to do at—he glanced at his watch—four o’clock on a Friday?

Shit! It’s four o’clock.”

Wade and the building inspector exchanged glances at his outburst. One of her blond eyebrows lifted, and Wade answered with a shrug.

To Wade, he said, “I’m supposed to be in Riverside in two hours.” To Samantha, who didn’t appear to understand his predicament, he said, “I have a three-and-a-half-hour drive, besides a stop in Anticue to check on the progress of a restaurant. Needless to say, I’m real fucking late.” He winced. “Sorry, excuse the coarse language.”

He hadn’t intended to be funny, but she found something about his apology hilarious. Her braid swung side to side when she tossed her head back and laughed from deep in her chest, making him wonder if her hair was as soft as it looked.

He also found himself oddly curious about the color of her eyes and wanted to demand she take those damned shades off so he could see. Based on her fair skin and nearly white hair, he figured blue.

A sweet baby blue.

While he stared like a dumbstruck moron, she said, “I’m the last person you need to apologize to for cursing. You know how when someone quits smoking, they’ll gravitate to other smokers so they can inhale the secondhand toxic waste? Well, that’s me with cussing.” She waved off her copious explanation. “Never mind. Have a safe trip.”

Caught in the moment of seeing her as a beautiful woman, not the building inspector shitting on his parade, it took a while for him to realize his phone was ringing. Again.

He unclipped it from his belt and wrestled with the urge to toss the thing in the retention pond. Instead, he hit the silence button, then stuck his hand out as a peace offering. “I’m sorry for being an ass. Can we…?” When she placed her palm in his, heat from the contact washed over him, causing him to slip and nearly ask her to dinner. Fortunately, his brain reengaged and overrode the impulse. “Can we meet first thing Monday morning? I have to work this out.”

Her soft, sympathetic smile conveyed her thoughts. You poor, dumb son of a bitch. You just don’t get it, do you? But her mouth said, “Sure. Here or my office?”
“Here. I’ll bring breakfast.”

As he turned to leave, Wade asked, “Will you be back tomorrow?”

“Yep,” he yelled over his shoulder. “I told Marianne I’d keep Spencer so she can have the day to herself.”

“Enjoy your night, boss.”

Yeah, right. Kevin waved to acknowledge Wade’s comment, but didn’t turn around. Instead, he pounded the pavement to his truck and recited his new mantra.

Two more weeks. Just two more weeks…

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