Congratulations CAMBRIA DILLION for winning the special eBook ARC of SUNSWEPT (Since the print edition isn't available yet). You'll be the first to read it before it hits the shelves!

**To be eligible for an eBook ARC of SUNSWEPT, just post a comment and you'll be automatically submitted into the drawing! The winner will be picked randomly and results will be posted on Friday**

I feel like everyone knows me already but this is a chance for you to get to know me upclose and personal. :) Well, I'm here because SUNSWEPT is a print book that contains three novellas, with crossover characters, but are stand-alone stories. This was one of the first few stories I wrote with a co-author. Although we no longer write together, it was a great experience and helped me to focus on my own voice and what direction I wanted to go with my writing career. When I decided to write romance, it was the most difficult transition because I spent most of my life learning screenwriting techniques. Believe it or not, I've written over 13 screenplays, a few ghostwriting jobs, but all-in-all, I always believed my calling would be in the entertainment industry.

As a kid, I spent many years doing acting gigs and loved every moment of being on set. I had the fortune of meeting many talented actors, directors, and producers along the way. I even worked for a producer/director in LA and some of my closest friends are still heavily involved in the movie industry. Where do you think I get inside info? LOL ... I guess it's easy to fall in love with filmmaking and one day I will write and direct my own indie, but that's a long-term goal when I can take a break from writing. :)

The transition from screenwriter to romance writer was not an easy feat. As a screenwriter, your story is very character driven and you focus mainly on writing tight dialogue. In novel writing, you have to fill in all the blanks and use all the sensory elements to tell the story, and that's just the beginning ... I guess in late 2004 I wrote my first paranormal in two weeks. It was really a test to see if I could write a complete novel. Of course, it was total shite, but it proved to me I could finish a story. I was so proud of the effort I joined the RWA and then discovered the Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) chapter. It was such an eye-opening experience to meet a group of motivated and supportive writers. In screenwriting, it's all cut throat and no one wants to help take you under their wing because they fear you'll sell your script through their own connections. Romance authors aren't afraid to share and they will also be willing to promote you because they know there's enough room for everyone to sell. That's when I realized I loved this industry and I wanted to make a full effort to succeed. That's not the only reason, I also discovered that all those romantic comedies I wrote wasn't written in vain because they were practice runs for the books I write now. I love the idea of falling in love and all that comes with a strong relationship between the hero and heroine. If I'm going to write fiction, it might as well be about a couple that ends up happily-ever-after. Life is gritty enough and romance novels are meant to help women (or men)escape the reality, if only for a few hours.

I feel real lucky for being able to do what I love and I hope I can do this for years to come. It's not for everyone and there are so many obstacles along the way, but it's well worth every tear, every smile, every laugh. When you reach the very end of the story, you feel a sense of accomplishment and you feel like you can take on the world. When you sell your stories, I can't begin to tell you the elation you feel. It's a euphoric drug and it's something you can carry in your heart as a reminder that you made a difference. Fame and fortune may take a while but you have to love the writing or else you're in this for the wrong reasons...

Now on to the good stuff--I'm sure you are dying to know some of the answers to these juicy questions, so I'll tell you....

If you were a nail polish, what would it be called and why?

Fiery Tears. I believe that you have to be passionate about everything you do and if you aren't shedding tears during the process of reaching your passions, you're going to miss how meaningful the end result can be.

Are you really as kinky as the characters you write?

I don't like to kiss and tell.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done and what did it teach you about yourself?

I was at a crossroads in my life and someone happened to ask me to move to Paris, France on a whim. A few weeks later, I packed my life in two suitcases and moved there for three years. It was the most amazing experience and I learned so much about who I wanted to be. This was a huge cultural shock but the transition is so easy when you make an effort to want to learn, to blend, to appreciate everything at your fingertips. I'll never forget those years and someday, I'd love to be back in Europe, maybe even own a piece of property. Without taking chances I would have remained a person with dreams without actually working toward them.

What do you see yourself doing in five years from now?

I'm hoping that I make one of the Lists. I hope I will have funding to build a non-profit organization that I can really do some good for people. Also, I hope to be able to host a Romance Divas conference! What could be more fun than organizing an event with a few hundred friends that have Diva in their title.

What keeps you motivated to succeed?

Life motivates me. I've been battling a health problem for over a decade and it taught me a lot about myself. When I had to learn my motor skills again, when I had to do memory exercises because I would forget to eat or ask the same questions over an over again in a matter of minutes, when I had to learn everything that had been so easy for don't take much for granted any more. From where I was and who I am now, it's a miracle. I never let on to anyone, even on my worst days, that I was anything other than me.

SUNSWEPT by Cassidy Kent
Release Date: June 2009
Publisher: Phaze Publishing


Freesia Daniels, personnel specialist and consummate planner, wasn't prepared to get the boot from her company for possessing a heart. When she decides to return home from Boston to the sunny beaches of Key West to lick her wounds, she discovers her heartbroken past has finally caught up with her in the form of Zachary Gray, her childhood sweetheart. He lures her to his island getaway and lands them smack in the middle of a raging hurricane. Lightning doesn't often strike twice, but this storm might give them both a second chance at love.


Raleigh Campbell just learned that her five year marriage was a sham. To cheer her up, her friends take her to Rio during Carnivale to celebrate her 30th birthday and pending divorce. Little does she know, she’s not the only one her soon-to-be ex has cheated on.

Private investigator Cristo Santiago has been assigned to watch Raleigh's every move, in search of twelve million dollars of embezzled corporate money, and that's landed him in the hot waters of obsession. His love for Raleigh is sealed under the starry Rio sky, but can he find the missing money without losing her trust?


Diana Radford’s divorce settlement includes three million dollars and an island resort off the coast of Grenada. Although not classically educated in the culinary arts, she possesses a rare natural ability to create brilliant Italian/Caribbean fusion dishes. When she is selected by the reality cooking show, Fighting Chance, she can’t turn away the opportunity. Win or lose, this is much needed press for her restaurant, “Dolce”.

Culinary celebrity and reality show host, Chance Kohler possesses arrogance to rival his talent. After helming several 5-star restaurants in the States, he is disappointed to discover his opponent is an ex-waitress with no formal culinary training. From the moment they meet, this fashionista whets his appetite and leaves him craving for second helpings. If he loses, his career is on the line and he must survive the fierce but tasty competition…while the whole world watches.


The sound of her stilettos clicking always calmed her nerves during an intense moment. She didn’t have to look to know the cameras were rolling, scrutinizing her every move. She watched enough reality television to know the viewers never missed a beat.

Diana forced herself to ignore the dozen or so crewmembers moving silently around the room while she prepared the chicken. Once the meat was marinated, she popped the baking dish into the oven with satisfaction. All that was left was the dessert and in four hours she would be serving one of her finest creations to an audience of unknowns.

To kick off the first official day of filming, Diana wanted to be a little daring. Her secret weapon was the latest craze, known by the mainlanders as New World cuisine. She wanted to get everyone’s heart racing and opted for a menu of spicy shrimp and lobster soup, mixed greens with mango salsa dressing, poulet a la Creole and for the grand finale, grilled plantains with brown sugar rum glaze.

The kitchen seemed exceedingly quiet now without her staff. Diana had sent them off to prepare the dining area, also allowing them adequate time to dress for tonight’s live event. In truth, she needed a bit of silence after a full day of frenzied hustle and bustle in the kitchen.

Her nerves must have rubbed off on her crew and the usual cohesiveness of their work routine turned into little kitchen spats and unnecessary mistakes. Not a good start for her day, but she was certain this type of reality would serve well for the producers.

Diana let out a sigh of liberation and pulled off the lid to her main dish. The sweet, pungent aroma of curry and coconut arrested her senses and immediately warmed the kitchen, and her stomach, with its intense bouquet. The mix of star anise and saffron added to the unique blend, which demonstrated the powerful union of Caribbean and Asian.

Her delectable combination would certainly be the highlight of any outdoor summer dining extravaganza. The complexity, yet simplicity of the meal made her think of a forbidden sensuality that would ignite the taste buds.

Sweet and spicy.

Just like her first encounter with Chance Kohler.

As if she had conjured up the phantom with her thoughts, Diana caught a glimpse of bronze skin peeking out of a short-sleeved, pale blue dress shirt. How long had he been watching her without her knowledge?

Diana frowned at the sudden invasion of her space, especially despising that smug look on his handsome face, the way he crossed his arms and leisurely leaned against the refrigerator door.

Diana wondered how many sit-ups he did each day to get that washboard stomach, accentuated by the arms he folded against his chest. The fabric practically molded to him, showing off his lean, muscled body. Definitely a man well kept. She had the sudden urge to rip those tiny little buttons off of him and lick each exquisite ridge as she made her way down to his…

Oh, my. She needed to squelch that thought before it went any further.

“I’ve never seen anyone work the kitchen in three-inch heels before.” Chance straightened up and eyed her Michael Kors stilettos with interest.

Diana struck a model pose. “My kitchen is where Haute Cuisine meets Haute Couture.”

A movement off camera caught her eye and Chance turned in the direction of the producer, Albert Lundgren. The overweight bald man with a white goatee stood behind the cameraman. Apparently pleased with her comment, he threw a thumbs-up sign at Chance and mouthed, “They’re gonna love her.”

Awareness jarred her at the sight of the cameraman. Of course, she had initially felt intimidated and conscious of his presence but as the day rolled on she had forgotten the man’s existence.

As if Al had spent enough time behind the scenes, he glanced at his watch and let out a silent curse. With a quick wave, he strode through the door with his lumbering gait.

Chance shrugged his shoulders and walked over to the stove to get a good peek at her sauce. He leaned in for a sniff and gave her a boyish grin. “Smells to me like you’re making curry with a vat of chili peppers. Very interesting choice for a first presentation. Risky, Red. Very risky.”

Her brows furrowed together at the nickname he had taken the liberty of creating for her. Nicknames denoted intimacy and they were far from friendly, let alone on cutesy abbreviated terms.

Diana shut the lid on the pot with a clang and moved toward the cooking island. She wasn’t about to let him get a rise out of her. She pulled the cutting board closer to her before responding. “I suppose you wouldn’t pull a move like that? And the name is Diana, by the way.”

“I’ll keep it in mind, Rrrred.”

He rolled the “r” in such a way it sounded sensual to her ears. Perhaps the heat from the kitchen was getting to her head after a twelve-hour shift on her feet. Or maybe her hearing had been temporarily impaired by the boisterous conversations of her kitchen staff before she dismissed them.

Diana snapped in irritation, “Shouldn’t you be moussing your hair or flexing in front of a mirror or something?”

“Is that a sexist statement? Isn’t there a disclaimer in our contract to play nice?”

She reached for a stainless steel Masahiro knife and started to dice away on a cucumber from her vegetable basket. “If you think snooping for a bit of an advantage is playing nice, you might want to step back because I’m wielding a sharp object here.”

Chance walked over to the opposite side of the island to face her. He gave her a lopsided smile. “Okay, okay. I’m actually more fascinated to learn where you picked up your sloppy technique.”

Diana grabbed a handful of the chopped cucumbers and threw it into an empty bowl with a vengeance. She glared at him and waved the knife in the air while she spoke. “Sloppy? Excuse me, but your less than adequate manners are sloppy. As long as I create dishes that satisfy the palate and score me some points, I’m sure no one will give a hoot in hell about my technique.”

He stepped back and raised his hands in mock surrender. “Whoa there. You’re as fiery as those pretty red locks of yours. If you aren’t careful you may just win my show by default.”

Her hand stopped in mid-air and she glanced sheepishly at the knife and back at Chance. Embarrassment stained her cheeks at her unconscious movements and she busied herself with her chopping task to cover her reaction.

Diana placed the knife on the cutting board and deposited all the cucumbers in the ceramic bowl before going to the sink to wash her hands. She wiped her hand on a dishtowel, her back facing him. As she mentally prayed for Chance to leave her kitchen, a realization dawned on her. “I know what you’re doing.”

“What exactly is that?” There was a hint of curiosity in his tone.
“You’re trying to throw me off my game.”

“I suppose you learned that line from MTV?”

She fisted the dishtowel tightly in her hand. “You’re such an a—”

Diana whirled around from the sink to confront him without noticing how close he stood to her, and she collided with his solid chest.

“Tsk. Tsk. Cameras rolling,” he leaned in and whispered, giving her a look that could heat the kitchen without an industrial stove.

She blinked several times in awe of his liquid silver eyes staring hotly back at her. They were too beautiful to be real and she couldn’t help being sucked into the vortex of Chance Kohler.

Wake up, Diana. Don’t fall for the pretty boy bullshit.

Her body tensed in agreement with her conscience. “Fine. If you plan on being a nuisance, you might as well be a useful one. Why don’t you clean up.” Diana tossed her dishtowel onto his head, biting back a smile before swiftly moving away from him. She wanted to start on the dessert while the curry simmered.

Chance let out a throaty laugh. “The host of the show is now reduced to cleanup crew.” He pulled the cloth off his head and tucked it into his back pocket before he started collecting the dirty bowls and utensils. He brought the items to the sink while Diana pulled out plantains and ingredients for the rum glaze from a nearby shelf.

The oven beeped and she knew the chicken was ready to go. Diana’s shoes clicked loudly across the tiles until she reached the oven.

She slipped on an oven mitt and pulled the door open, sliding the rack out a few inches. Before she could reach for the hot pan, Chance placed a hand on her wrist.
His fingers were gentle and his touch seared her skin with an erotic awareness.
“Allow me.” Chance slipped the oven mitt from her hand with a slow sensuality. The simple act made her body hum with a desire to throw him against the refrigerator and finish this game he had begun.

Diana tried to quiet her own sharp intake of breath, not understanding why this man made her feel a revitalized sexuality she hadn’t known with Will. Her mind raced to find answers that couldn’t be explained with Chance so near. She turned abruptly and marched off toward the curry simmering on the stove, while Chance transferred the chicken onto a plate.

She stirred the sauce with a wooden spoon, focusing on the task, but unable to brush away the thought of his eyes, those lips, and the hot looks he gave her. As much as she hated to admit it, she wanted him in an awful way.

God, how was she going to avoid temptation when the man was always literally within arms length? Diana closed her eyes to calm her jumbled nerves when she felt his fingers swipe a lock of hair over her ear. She held her breath, her heart pounding against her chest as his warm lips made contact with her skin.

His mouth burned a path up her neck and she knew her will was too weak to push away her body’s needs. Chance turned her gently toward him to access her lips. His mouth latched onto hers and the tender kiss soon deepened when he thrust his tongue between her parted lips. Diana fell into the fiery duel of exploration and the erotic touch of tongue-to-tongue made her panties dampen in response.

As Chance took her unawares, the once tender kiss turned brutal, almost angry? She should push him away, but the punishing kiss further excited her. His actions spurred her on and she returned some angry kisses of her own! The fire between them blazed on and his velvety tongue did things to her no man had before. Like knotting cherry stems with one’s tongue, his moves could be mastered by few.

He deepened the kiss and all senses flew out the window. Diana longed to touch him, to feel the solid mass of his chest she had devoured with her eyes earlier. With impatience, she tried to wrap her arms around his neck and froze in horror when she realized she had knocked the plate right out of his hand.

They both looked on and the shock on his face made her stomach tighten angrily. She didn’t know which angered her more: the thought of losing her main dish or the fact that yet another man had taken liberties with her.

Diana couldn’t tamp down the emotions boiling inside of her any longer. “I knew you were out to sabotage me. Get the hell out of my kitchen!”

“I didn’t mean—”

She lunged at him, pushing against his chest with all her might. “Get out of here. Get out!” She yelled as a fat tear rolled down her cheek.

“Please get out,” she squeaked softly, so soft she didn’t think he had heard her.

He gave her a pained expression and left the kitchen without apologies, without excuses, without another word.

Want to learn more about me? Visit:
I'm back from my weekend in Miami with family and I'm happy to report that I had a blast! It was great spending time with loved ones, some of whom I haven't seen in years. We attended my cousin's law school graduation and then spent the rest of the trip just hanging out by the pool with everyone and reminiscing. I almost didn't want to come home.

Last night I received my final edits on my first novel from my publisher. I guess this means that I'm almost there :) I'll be spending the the next two weeks going through the book line by line and logging any corrections that need to be made. Sounds like a tedious job, but I'm happy to do it, because it is getting me closer to my dream of being published.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!


Okay, I'm busy, but it isn't THAT bad! LOL

The day job boss had to unexpectedly go out of town this week, so you'd think things would calm down, but they really don't. I'm preparing for our quarterly meeting that is next week, which is always a hectic time.

I'm working on a synopsis for my next Samhain book. It's tentatively titled Scent of Persuasion and is book two of my Sensory Ops series. I'm looking forward to diving into this one.

Also this week, I'm co-teaching a marketing and promotion workshop with Misa Ramirez. It's free and not too late for you to join. We're at Candace Havens' Write Workshop Groups. Check out her website, or I have the links you need on my website.

And have I lamented yet that this is Destruction's last week of school and that next week they set Chaos free for the summer? Wonder what they're going to do all summer? I only have two of the weeks planned out for them. Well, one week is in CIS' hands as I'll be in DC for RWA Nationals. The other week, we're hitting Florida to visit great grandma. While we're there, we're planning to take in Disney World, which should be fun as CIS is the only one that's ever been, and a beach. Chaos wants to go ride the glass bottom boats so we may have to do that. I'm wondering what kind of crimes/stories I can plot while I'm there. After all, my Sensory Ops team is based in Florida. :)

UPDATED: Congratulations Lilly Cain for winning Sasha's book. Please email me details on where you'd like it shipped!**

**To be eligible for Sasha White's autographed book PRIMAL MALE, just post a comment and you'll be automatically submitted into the drawing! The winner will be picked randomly and results will be posted with the update on Tuesday**

You’re most known for your steamy erotic romances and now you’re writing steamy paranormal romances. Is it a difficult transition from writing contemporaries to paranormals? What other paranormal idea(s) would you like to tackle besides shape shifters?

It’s not really a difficult shift, not for the ones I’ve done anyway. Mostly because my paranormals are still, at the core, contemporary character driven stories. They’re set in todays world, with characters who just happen to have a little something extra; a psychic ability, or a magical power. As for will there be more? Well, I’m not ready to share what my next project will be yet. But you never know. wink

What have you learned most about the publishing industry since you began? How much has the economy impacted your career?

I’ve learned that it’s like any other industry, if you want to succeed you need to work hard.

The economy hasn’t really effected me much, mostly because I decided a while ago to take some time off from writing. I went back to my regular night job for a while, and have been very relaxed about my writing career. However, with a new release in June, that might change. I think with the economy the way it is, it’s really up to readers to buy the books from authors they want to see keep writing. Publishing is a business, and if our books aren’t selling, the publishers won’t keep buying from us. While that’s always been true, it’s even more so right now because publishers, like any business, want to limit risk in this uncertain economy, so they’ll be even more strict about who they buy. I’m sure I’ll see the crunch when I start sending out proposals again.

How tumultuous was your writing journey and where do you hope to see your career going?

I’m pretty lucky. It was actually very smooth up until a year and a half ago. That’s when I decided I wanted to try and take it to another level, but was unsure of how to do so. It’s taken me some time to figure out what I want to do, and how I want to do it, but I’m hoping now that I’ve chosen a path it’ll smooth out again. I think like anything else, it will go in cycles.

Authors are always looking for ways to promote themselves, especially those who are new to the game, what promotions have been the most effective for you? Have showed the most results?

Honestly, I have no idea. LOL I’m mostly an internet promoter by necessity. I live in Northern Canada, and doing book signings isn’t really an option for me, buying big ad and such is twice as expensive for me because of exchange rates, and it’s extremely hard to see what is making an impact and what isn’t. Basically, I just do what I feel like doing, and hope that it helps expose readers to my books.

Do you have a posse you write with? Do you suggest critique partners or beta readers?

Nope. I write alone. I started out writing alone, and I’ve had a couple of critique partners, but they’ve all sort of fallen by the wayside. I have writing friends I talk to and brainstorm with when I, or they, need to sort something out. There’s also one or two writing friends I send stuff every now and then, just to see if I’m making sense on the page. And I have one or two beta readers who I’ll send things to see if I’m making sense. LOL but basically I write alone.

Do I recommend them? It all depends on the writer. Some people thrive in critique groups, others feel overwhelmed and insecure. I think trying them is a good idea, simply because I think it’s hard to know what works for you if you haven’t tried everything. But by no means do I think they’re a must-do.

Tell us about your latest release MOST WANTED? Would you like to share an excerpt?

MOST WANTED is a single author anthology, and the idea for it came when readers kept asking for more of specific characters. By that I mean, each novella in MOST WANTED is either connected to, or a sequel to, a previous story of mine from Aphrodisia.

Lexy and Devon from THE CRIB in the Pure Sex anthology are together again in HIDDEN CRAVINGS.

Detective Jackson Barrows watched his partner fall for a thief in SEX AS A WEAPON in The Cop anthology, and in UNRESTRICTED ACCESS, he does some falling of his own.

NO ANGEL continues my paranormal Hunter series with Gabriel Mann, the work hard-play harder younger brother of Caleb Mann from SEXY DEVIL, and demon hunter Anna Blair.

**This excerpt contains adult content and is intended for those who are at least 18 years of age.**


Devon’s gaze practically burned a hole in her back as they left the club. And it felt good. Lexy was sorry that his cousin was missing, and she was going to do everything she could to find out what happened to Theresa, but she wasn’t sorry Devon was back in her life, and would soon be back in her bed.

Anticipation of a long sleepless night wrestling between the sheets with Devon had her insides trembling in eagerness as she drove back to her apartment. Once inside, she closed the door to the apartment and leaned back against it, just taking in the sight of him in her front room.

Cell phone in hand he stood in the middle of the room, staring at the floor as he dialed. Tension built in the lines of his body as he dialed the phone and waited. He closed his phone and raised his head, his turbulant gaze meeting hers.
“Still no messages?” she asked.

His lips pressed together and he shook his head once. He took a deep breath and deflated in front of her eyes, dropping onto the sofa with a big sigh. “I have to call my family.”

Lexy’s chest tightened and her heart went out to him. He was beating himself up over Theresa’s disappearance. She could almost see the blows land. I was too late. Why didn’t I ask what what wrong? What am I missing?

Pushing off from the door she walked over to the sofa and climbed onto his lap. Straddling him with her knees next to his hips, she rested her hands on his shoulders. Their eyes met and she smiled.

“It’s nice to see you again,” she said softly.

He didn’t answer, just looked at her, hunger slowly taking over his expression. God, it was good to feel him beneath her again. Devon had always been like magic to her. Sexually inexperienced she wasn’t, but the man touched her in a way no one else ever had, and she wanted that again. She wanted his touch, his taste. She wanted to feel him buried deep inside her body, she needed that connection again. But more than that he was hurting, and she wanted to take that pain away. She might not be able to do that completely, but she was sure as hell going to take his mind of it for a while.

She shifted closer, so close that a deep breath would make her breasts brush against his body, and cupped the back of his neck. Pulling him down for a kiss she whispered, “It’s more than nice to be touching you again.”

Their lips met and opened. It was as if the last year had never happened, as if they’d never been apart. There was no adjustment period. Devon’s tongue speared between her lips and took control, dueling with her, stroking her to a fever pitch within seconds. She clutched at him, her fingers gripping his silky hair as she tried to get closer still.

Large male hands covered hers, stilling them as he pulled back with a groan and buried his face in her neck. He nuzzled her neck for a minute, and a shiver ripped down her spine as she fought for some semblance of control over her body. Devon kissed her behind the ear, and then stood up and set her on her feet, letting her go completely.

“I’ll take the sofa.”

She gaped at him. “Excuse me?”

“I’ll sleep on the sofa, tonight.”

Chaos reigned within as her brain tried to make sense of what she was hearing. “What? Why?”

“You don’t ‘do’ relationships, and I want more than sex from you, Alexis.”
She noted his flushed cheeks, his rising and falling chest as he struggled to breathe, and there was no denying the hard-on pressed aggressively against the button fly of his jeans. What the hell? “Are you telling me you haven’t slept with anyone since me?”

“That’s not what I said.”

Of course not, she thought. Confusion turned to anger and she snapped,“So it’s just me you won’t fuck?”

He started toward her, hands out, then stopped short. “It’s just you that I want more from. Don’t you get it? You’re special. Do I want to fuck you six ways from Sunday? You bet your sassy ass I do. But even more important than that is the fact that I like you, Alexis. And I think we can have something really good together.”
She planted her hands on her hips. “Sure, we can have a damn good time.”

Devon's mouth turned down at the corners and he shook his head. Something tightened in Lexy’s chest and she stared at him blankly. He was serious, he was going to sleep on the couch, and leave her alone in her bed!

She left him there, in the middle of her living room with a sheet, a pillow, and no more words. It was all she could do not stomp her feet and throw a temper tantrum that would do her Italian heritage proud.

Damn the man, it always had been all or nothing with him.

She stripped off her clothes and threw herself on her bed. She tossed and turned, until finally, she lay there staring at the ceiling.

Kane’s comment on her outfit had reminded her that she’d actually been on a date earlier that night. A boring date, but what did she expect? Dating was new to her, and it showed. She wasn’t used to sitting across from a guy and playing twenty questions unless she was trying to get specific information out of him for a case. That’s not to say she was inexperienced with men, just with dating.

She’d never dated Devon. She’d met him and within hours they were rolling around naked and sweaty. Sure they’d talked some. Not as much in person as they had after she’d come back to Vancouver and they’d only had the phone as a way to connect. But they’d talked a bit. She certainly felt like she knew him, and he knew her. Which is why his saying no was so fucked up. He knew what she was like. He knew she wasn’t exactly your typical girl who wanted dinner dates with flowers and goodnight kisses.

Dating had never been a priority for her before, she’d had other things to deal with. First it had been hunting down her parents killers, by the time that was done, she was focused on her solitary life of helping those who needed it. When she wanted sex, she went out and found a man who could give her what she wanted, and that was that.

Only recently she’d started to wonder about what she’d been missing out on with her single minded lifestyle. What would it be like to have friends, fun, and a man around for more than just sex?

It was all Devon’s fault. She’d been just fine living her life her way until she’d met him. Even that brief stint with him in Edmonton had been okay, but he hadn’t left it at that. Oh, no. He’d called, and they’d talked. He’d given her hints at what it would be like to share more than her body with someone. He’d created this freaking yearning to have more in her life.

But he’d been so far away, and yet in other ways, too close. So she’d started dating. God, what a mess that was. It was so not worth the effort. Which was maybe a good thing because if her date earlier that night had been going well, it wouldn’t have been very nice of her to dump a guy the minute she saw Devon on her doorstep.

And there was no doubt in her mind she would’ve done exactly that. Not just because the man only had to look at her to get her to get her heart pounding, but also because he’d been there for her when she’d needed back-up. There was knowledge of each other between them, a trust that went beyond that of a lover.

She flipped over again and punched her pillow before burying her face in it. But they were lovers. And he still wanted her, it had been clear in his eyes. She wanted to connect with him again because she knew he was hurting. She wanted to comfort him in the only way she knew how and he’d thrown it back in her face!

“Screw this,” she muttered and jumped up from the bed. She was already talking as she strode into the living room and flipped the lights on. “I don’t do relationships because I’ve never had one. I don’t know how have a relationship!”
Devon sat up on the couch, completely awake. “Tony? Jimmy D? Those are relationships. And what about Michaels tonight? You have some sort of relationship with him.”

She tried not to notice the fact that he had no shirt on. Devon was by no means a boy, he was man’s man all the way through and it showed in his body. Lean hard muscles, a light pelt of hair that enhanced those muscles and made her fingertips burn to touch. Giving herself a mental head-slap she focused on what he’d said.
“They’re my uncles! And Kane is married, it’s not what you think.”

He stared, his eyes burning in a way that suddenly reminded her that she was completely naked. She slept in the nude, and she hadn’t even thought about it before storming into the living room.

Finally, Devon stood to face her, his voice rising to match hers. “They’re still relationships, Alexis. You share yourself, your life with them. Sleeping with a person doesn’t make it a relationship, sharing does!” He scrubbed and hand through his hair. “Hell, we were well on our way until you decided to clam up and shut down.”

“Family is different and you know it.” Anger fueled her arousal as she moved forward until she stood directly in front of him, chest–to-chest. Her heart was pounding and hot blood was racing through her veins. “Relationships aren’t my thing, Devon. Especially a long distance one.”

“You saying you don’t “do” relationships is just an excuse. You cut me out of your life because I was getting too close. You were starting to care, and that scared the shit out of you.”

He waved an angry hand around her apartment. “Just look at this place.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Her apartment was hardly a penthouse, but she kept it neat and clean. What the hell was he talking about?

“You’re place is full of photos of family and people you’ve loved. I see Tony and Jimmy, you and your parents when you were a kid. I’m guessing that’s you and your first boyfriend.” He pointed to one of her and Mike. “You know how to have a relationship, Alexis. You’ve proven you understand what family is, and loyalty is a core part of you. You’re just too damn stubborn.”

Desperate to make him understand, but too angry and aroused to try and form coherent words she just grabbed him by the head and pulled him down for a kiss.

Like putting a lit flame to gasoline, they were ablaze within seconds. Strong male hands roamed over Lexy’s body, pulling her closer, stroking down her back, cupping her ass and squeezing, lifting. She wrapped her arms and legs around him and whimpered.

So good, he tasted so damn good. Felt so damn good, so right. They fit together perfectly, hearts pounding in time as Devon moved, turning and setting her on the sofa, sliding to his knees on the floor. He dragged his lips away from hers, nibbling, sucking and biting his way across her jaw to the sensitive spot behind her ear.

“Ahh,” she cried, arching her back and tilting her head to give him better access.

“God, Devon. I’ve missed you.”


What is the most extreme sport you’ve ever done, or adventure you’ve ever taken, and what did you learn about yourself?

Oh lord. I’m not sure, what do you think is more extreme, Skydiving, white water rafting the Kali Gandaki river in Nepal, or cliff jumping in South Africa? I’ve done all of those and more, and I’d have to say the one thing they’ve all taught me is that I like adrenaline. *grin*

Like me, you have a love of photography. What subject matters do you like to shoot and do you feel that being able to work in other creative outlets help your writing?

Working creatively in a any area helps all the others to blossom I think. Creativity isn’t bound to one medium, and as creative people neither should we be. I got into photography with my travels, and have a ton of scenery/landscape shots. They’re probably what I feel most comfortable with, but I wouldn’t say they’re my favorite. I really enjoy taking pictures of people. Not necessarily portraits, but sort of catching people unaware, or getting them in their natural environment. I would love to buy a Macro lens so I could explore that aspect of things some more.

If you were a nail polish, what would it be called and why?

Goddess. Because I believe there’s a goddess inside us all. :)

Any advice for our writers or parting words for our readers?

Writers: Follow your heart.

Readers: Thank you.

I would like to draw your attention to the poll in the right sidebar. We'll have an agent with us next month and she's letting us choose how to utilize her expertise. So place your votes by May 30th. When the results are in, I'll be back to let you know the details of how it will work.

Stay hooked!

Welcome to Hooked On Romance, Shiela!

Thank you Nikki for having me on your blog today and allowing me to talk about my Darkness series.

What started out as a single book, Seducing the Darkness, has now spiraled out into an eight book series with the possibility of more. I never say I’m finished with a book when I write the final words because there is always the possibility of it coming back in some other form such as side-line characters demanding their own story. As is the case with the Darkness series.

Originally I had written the return of the sun at the end of Seducing, but when the idea for a second book came to mind, I decided to leave my characters in the dark…so to speak. So for the rest of the series, with the exception of the last two, the sun is absent due to a ritual used to release the big bad king of vampires, Avadur from his jail in the Realm of Dark Mystics. Throughout the series, my heroes and heroines fight to protect the city from the vampires now attempting to take over the city of Jacob’s Cove as well as take out the last man standing who was involved in the ritual.

The Darkness in my titles and the books have a few meanings. One is the most obvious. The sun has been blotted out and therefore the city is cast in darkness. The other is the epitome of what everyone thinks vampires stand for. Dark, dangerous blood thirsty night dwellers. The third is the darker side that is inside every human being, every creature. We all have dark thoughts sometimes, though we may not admit to them or even act on them, they are there. The characters in my books deal with some of that as they fight to save their lives and their city.

Each book looks into the lives of the hero and heroine and takes you into their world as they try to bring the sun back. Amongst the love that blossoms there is always an undercurrent of danger. In every book there is suspense that will have you gasping and wondering, “What will happen next?” It would be best to read the books in the order they were written to really grasp what the whole story is about.

I love vampires…actually, I like anything spooky. If given the choice to see a chick flick or a blood and gore edge of your seat suspense, I will always choose the latter. I’m a diehard paranormal nut and it shows in my writing. I love being scared and scaring others. Just ask my children, I’m sure they’ll gladly tell you how annoying I can be at times. What can I say, I love scaring them. Not to worry, they are all grown up.

The darkness scares us all but also, it intrigues us. What lies in the shadows? It’s the unseen factor that keeps us on our toes, and of course, has our imagination running wild. The creaking on the floor may just be the house shifting, or…an axe murderer inching his way to your bed. The cold chill in the air might very well be a draft from a window, or…a ghostly figure attempting to make its presence known. Who hasn’t walked in the dark on a cloudy night, all alone, and wonder, “Is someone following me?” You’re body tenses and you quicken your pace. What is that odd feeling you have in the pit of your belly? Fear? Excitement? It has your adrenaline pumping and makes you feel high.

This is why I love to write paranormal. The ordinary person might see a cloudy dark night as just that. Whereas I see it as, “In the darkness the shadows come out to play.” Hmmm…now there is a story waiting to be written. These are the very things I use when writing.

So take my hand now as I lead you into a world of darkness and evil, where good and bad mingle and love is the only light that shines.

I give you now, Penetrating the Darkness, book six in the Darkness series.

Summary: Felicity Hawthorne is finally waking up—literally. Everything about her sheltered life in the Land of Mystics has been a lie, including the whopper that her natural mother is evil. Determined to find the truth, she breaks free…and touches down in the middle of stark, cold Jacob’s Cove, surrounded by a pack of bloodthirsty demons.

Dusty Ryder didn’t ask to be turned into a vampire. Even now, on the brink of his unwilling initiation, he is looking for a way out. A reprieve comes in the form of a dark-haired goddess whose beauty drives him to rescue her from his new “family”. Except she’s not quite as helpless as she looks.

As they embark on a journey of self-discovery, they uncover more secrets that bring Felicity face to face with her forgotten past—and make Dusty wonder if he’s gotten in over his head. But it’s too late. Now that he’s had her in his arms, he can’t bring himself to let her go.

Until Chaos rains down on them, threatening to end it all.

Warning: Reading this book will have you reliving how you lost your virginity and damn glad you don’t have to do it again.


Dusty dove behind a turned over car, covering his head. He heard shouts from the men behind him, more crackling before everything went silent. He waited a bit before taking his hands off his ears. Carefully, he inched over to peek around the car. Seeing Slasher along with the other creatures get to their feet, Dusty kept behind the car, still not sure what was happening.

“What we got here?”

“She looks real pretty.”

“Maybe she’s an angel, dropping from the heavens like she did.”

“Looks ripe to me. Smells fresh too.”

Curiosity getting the best of him, Dusty shifted from behind the car, keeping low to the ground in hopes he wasn’t noticed. He ducked behind another vehicle, peering around the edge to see who they were talking about.

He heard whimpers that sounded distinctly female.

“Aw, look, she’s scared. We should hold her and make her feel better.”

Dusty watched as Slasher moved forward and lifted someone up. He caught a glimpse of something white with feet kicking out. He moved closer, wanting to get a better look.

“Ooh, she feels real soft.”

He saw her now, a frail-looking woman dressed in some sort of white dress with hair as dark as the night that came just past her waist.

And the beasts were having fun with her.

“Leave her alone,” he bellowed, bravely standing up from behind his hiding spot. Her eyes met his, a blue so beautiful he was lost in them. What happened next left him stunned.

She began to glow—there was no other explanation for it. A white light began to shimmer off her and as if it burnt him, Slasher dropped her quickly and backed away. When she began to glow brighter, burning his eyes, Dusty ducked down behind the car. He heard the screams, all male, ricocheting off of the vacant buildings around him, bouncing off of the pavement and filling the air.

Then it all went silent.

Dusty inched his way to the edge of the car. Slowly he lifted himself into a crouched position and looked out over the hood. All he saw was a bundle of white curled in a ball on the sidewalk. No signs of any of the animals that had surrounded her.

What the hell?

She moaned.

Looking around, he didn’t see anyone else. He moved out from behind the car, slowly making his way towards her. As he got closer, he smelled burnt flesh. It stung his nose, so he pulled his arm over his mouth and nose as he inched forward.

He sidestepped around a pile of ashes on the ground. A sparkle of silver caught his attention and he recognized it as the ring Slasher had worn.

The girl whimpered, drawing his attention. “Um…are you okay?” She jumped when he spoke, startling him. “It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.” He held his hands up as she spun around to face him. Her eyes were almost hypnotic.

“You called out to stop them,” she spoke softly.

He blinked away his daze. “Yeah. Um…are you okay?”

“They wanted to harm me.”

“Yeah. Do you know what happened to them?”

“They were going to hurt me. I didn’t mean to do it, but they frightened me and when I get frightened sometimes I have difficulty controlling myself. I didn’t mean to hurt them.”

Her voice was like a dove’s song. Soft and soothing. He felt drawn to it. He looked down at the piles of ash, then back up at her. “Did you…kill them?”

“I was frightened and then they started to scream and it frightened me even more. They all just crumbled.”

He looked down at the piles, his brow lifting “You turned them to dust.” He whipped his head up to her. “Please don’t do that to me.”

“I would never—I never meant to—they frightened me—” Her head jerked to the side at the sound of a crashing trashcan in the distance.

She ran to him, into his arms, and he was compelled to hold her as she stared with fright. “It’s okay. Probably just cats or a dog.”

“You’ll protect me? Please, don’t let me harm someone else.”

“Okay, just stay calm.” He had to get her someplace safe. Looking around, he saw one of the few buildings that wasn’t charred or broken down and decided it would do. “Come with me.” She clung to him so he started walking across the street to the building.

“What’s your name?”

“Felicity.” She quivered in his arms.

Check out the entire Darkness series at: or

Blogs: Dark Cravings:

Join my Newsletter and find out when my latest releases are due.

I am so excited! This Friday I'll be joining my family as we celebrate the law school graduation of one of my favorite cousins. I haven't seen most of these folks in a while, and I'm so giddy I can hardly sit still.

At the crack of dawn on Friday morning, my husband, son and I will be leaving the Orlando area where we live and heading down to sunny Miami! We will be staying at one of our favorite resorts and basking in the glow of family and friends.

DH is already warning me about over packing, but I'm a 'girly girl' and I believe that it is way better to pack too much than to realize you didn't bring something you really need.

I'll be spending a lot of time here at the pool where I hope to carve out some writing time. It is called the blue lagoon and is just as amazing as it looks.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.

Until next time....

Okay, so I have to get a kid ready for a school performance, I have to get me ready, and I have to get snacks for the thing after. Did I mention I have just over an hour to do it all? LOL I'm going to leave you with some helpful tidbits I saw on a yahoo loop the other day.

• Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
• Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
• For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
• Reheat Pizza: Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keep s the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
• Reheating refrigerated bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
• No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
• Reducing Static Cling: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

And on that note, I'm off to get ready! I hope you guys had a great day!!

**UPDATED: The winner of Judi McCoy's autographed book is CAFFEY! Congratulations and email me at jaxcassidy @ and provide details about how we can get the book to you!**

a Dogwalker Mysteries Series

Meet Ellie Engleman, psychic dog-walker ...

The newest dog-walker on Manhattan's Upper East Side has a talent—she can hear what her canine clientele is thinking. So when a dog's owner turns up dead, Ellie must bone up on her sleuthing—and perk up her ears to find a killer.


I've known Judi since the early days of my writing career. She was a great inspiration when I first started and was always helpful in providing information about the writing industry. Her Romantic Times workshop is amazing and she is quick to take a newbie under her wing and show them the ropes. I admit, I've read almost all her books and they're very entertaining and heartfelt. Can't wait to read her new Dogwalker series! Now let's get started ...

How tumultuous was your writing journey? What is a typical day like for you?

My journey wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I broke in when there was still a lot of room for romance writers. These days, I’m not so sure I’d have the same kind of start to my career.

My typical day begins early. My dogs have me up by 6:00 so they can go out to the dog run. After that I’m up for the rest of the day. I start writing by 8:30, take a lunch break at 1:00, and continue writing until about 5:30. When I log off, I rarely go back on for more work.

You wrote really entertaining and emotional characters in your earlier paranormal Wanted series and Goddess series for Avon. Now you’re writing the Dogwalker series which are contemporary novels. Was it a difficult transition or were you happy for the change in genres?

My agent gave me the idea of doing something different, and I was happy for the chance to expand my writing abilities. Of course, I’m very happy I decided to take her advice. Without her thoughts, I never would have found Ellie and Rudy.

Can you tell us a little bit about your first Dogwalker book HOUNDING THE PAVEMENT? How about an excerpt for it?

Hounding the Pavement is a work of love for the canines of the world. Dogs have brought so much joy into my life; it was my way of giving something back to them.

**Excerpt is for readers 18 and up**

Standing in front of the professor’s apartment, Ellie inspected the door, taped top and bottom with some kind of plastic coating. Then she put her ear to the panel.

“Exactly what are we listening for?” asked Rudy.

Jumping back, she gasped. “I’m trying to find out if that detective is still inside, so be quiet.”

“Then step aside and allow me,” the yorkiepoo ordered, a smirk gracing his canine lips.

She opened and closed her mouth.

“Superior hearing, remember?” Cocking his head, he perked his ears. A full thirty seconds passed before he said, “The place is empty. Want me to scratch off the tape so we can go inside?”

“Are you crazy?” She dragged trembling fingers through her hair. “If anyone caught us, I’d be arrested for sure. Then where would we be?”

“Don’t know about you, but I’d be home sitting on a nice cozy sofa, sound asleep.”

“That’s what you think. They’d probably put you back in the big house. Want to do time there again?”

Rudy shuddered.

“Okay, okay. But if we’re not going inside, why are we here?”
She raised a shoulder in an I-don’t-know gesture. “I just thought that maybe the police had overlooked something in their investigation. Or maybe someone with a key, say Eugene, had found Buddy, and brought him back.”

“Not in this lifetime,” Rudy said. “The jerk doesn’t have enough heart.”

Leaning a shoulder against the wall, Ellie gave the matter serious consideration. Then she decided to check the tape more thoroughly. Maybe a corner had come loose and needed to be smoothed back in place. Getting an adhesive coating to stick could be tricky, especially if someone scraped it with a foot —she ran the tip of her sneaker across the tape – or there was an inordinate amount of humidity in the air. Taking a bottle of water from her bag, she drizzled a little on the bottom of the door. Who knew what might cause the tape to come off?

Rudy growled low in his throat, and she ignored him. After a third rub with the tip of her shoe, she poured more water on the tape.

A deeper growl made her tsk. “For God’s sake be quiet. Can’t you see I’m busy here.”
“Um, Ellie—”

“Hush up and keep your comments to yourself.” She bent at the waist and ran her fingers across the covering, noting it hadn’t budged. Maybe a penknife would be sharp enough to break the seal. Before she came to a conclusion, the hairs on the nape of her neck stood on end. Peering between her ankles, she spied a pair of men’s dress shoes, large but not overly so, and worn but nicely shined.
The man cleared his throat and visions of her sitting in a dank, musty cell somewhere in the Big Apple danced in her brain. Swallowing, she rose slowly and rested her forehead on the door.

This series is actually being optioned for television, can you tell us a little bit about when this happened and if the studio has decided to film a pilot? Will you or do you have any say in the series if it gets picked up?

So many people think getting their book optioned for television, or a movie, is a dream come true. Actually it’s a trade off. Once you sell the book, the buyer has total control over the script, the characters, the plots. All you can do is hope that a little bit of your original story stays in the mix. I’ve also met dozens of authors whose works have been sold and nothing has come of it.

Who would you cast for the roles if you were given an option to choose?

If it were my choice, I’d want Drew Barrymore to play Ellie. Sam is harder to cast because there aren’t many blonde lead actors out there. But I’d pick Mark Valley. He was Brad on Boston Legal and I think he fits my description of Sam very well.

You spend a lot of your time traveling for conferences to do workshops and you are also a judge at gymnastic competition. Do you think you’ll ever give up being a judge?

I judged my final gymnastic meet this past weekend. I simply couldn’t combine the sport with my writing obligations and had to make a choice. Since I’m dedicated to Rudy and Ellie and helping the canines of the world, I had to go with them.

Do you have a posse you write with? Or, do you suggest critique partners and/or beta readers instead?

I have a wonderful sister and some dear friends I use to discuss plotting ideas, and a good friend from Texas who will critique my work if I need her, but this series is all me. I’ve learned how to self-edit over the years and I do the job as best I can.

What types of promotions have you used that you would suggest that was most effective in getting your name out there?

The internet is great for promotion, but using RWA chapters is also a good way to promote. I attend the Romantic Times convention each year and teach their 2 day aspiring author course. I also go to several conferences, both mystery and romance, every year as well. I find that personal contact works the best.

What’s the best part of being an author? What’s the worst part?

I think the best part is making friends with other authors, meeting people who love to read, and mentoring people with dreams of publication. Imagination is a wonderful thing and those with a great imagination are a joy to be around.

The worst part is a part of the profession. Writing is a lonely job. An author must sit at their computer all day, every day. It’s a necessary step if you want to be a success. I tell my students “Writers writer. They don’t talk about writing or complain. They just sit in a chair each day and pound out the words.”

Do you ever run out of ideas and are you ever afraid that you will?

So far, I’ve been extremely lucky with the ideas and words. I’ve never really been ‘blocked’ or lost my muse. I don’t even want to think about it, because I believe the world can toss negative thoughts back at you, so I always assume my genius ideas will be there when I need them.

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done and what did you learn about yourself?

I’d have to say it was the day I made up my mind to go to my first writer’s conference. I had no idea if I could even finish a book, but I wanted to try so I decided to do all I could to make it happen. I went to that first conference (Romantic Times back in 1994) alone and terrified. I knew no one, didn’t even know what questions to ask, but it all worked out. God points you in the right direction. It’s up to you to step on the road and move your feet.

If you weren’t writing, what career path would you have taken?

I’d probably have done something more in the gymnastic field or maybe become a teacher, but I’m not sure what course I would have excelled in.

If you were a lipstick color, what would it be called and why?

Hmm. How about Blush? Nothing too showy, a soft, pale pink with just enough color to show the world that I’m there.

Any words of wisdom for our authors and/or readers?

Read and write what you love. Don’t be a follower, be a leader. Do what you think is correct, not what the crowd is doing. And always stand up and be proud of what you believe in.

For more information on Judi, visit her online at

**For a chance to win either a copy of Private Property or Personal Protection, all you need to do is comment on this blog post and we'll enter you into our random drawing. The winner will be announced at the end of the day on Friday.**

How tumultuous has your writing journey been, or have you been one of those “lucky” writers?

I think I've been one of those "lucky" writers that are few and far between. But maybe that's because I waited so long to jump into the deep end of the pool. I have written fiction for years and years, I just didn't show it to anyone. I taught school - including grammar and business English, and wrote technical journals so I know "technically" my sentence structure is sound (Twittering and emailing has definitely changed my writing patterns.) I didn't show anyone my writing until 2004, and didn't try to submit anything to an editor until 2007. I pitched in a face-to-face pitch session to an editor at Dallas, and received a request. (She and the publisher later parted ways and my submission was lost.) I then submitted Private Property for a special project call at the same place and received my first rejection. But I really liked the story and the characters and thought they deserved another chance so I took another look at it, made a couple of changes - mainly strengthening the hero Mark's scenes. I submitted it to Samhain in April 2008 and a couple months later, Angela James offered me a contract, saying she hoped Sam had his own story. When Private Property was released in January, it hit #1 on My Bookstore and More's Best Seller's list for close to a week. I'd say that's pretty "lucky" wouldn't you say?

What’s the best part of being an author?

That I get to stumble out of bed, make a cup of tea and head to my office without having to worry about make up or dress shoes or pantyhose. I love that I get to indulge in making the worlds that I envision in my head come alive on paper for others to enjoy.

What is the most extreme sport you’ve ever done, or adventure you’ve ever taken, and what did you learn about yourself?

I've never been a particularly "adventuresome" person -I lived in a ski-country and saw too many of my friends come to school with broken bones to want to try downhill skiing. (they actually had the front section of the school bus reserved for people in casts as soon as there was snow on the hills.) I guess the most extreme sport I've ever done is karate. I was quite into it in my younger days - my husband had taken it for years and encouraged me to take it up too. I used to be able to do 200 sit ups without breaking a sweat, could stand with my back against the wall and lift my leg above my head until my foot touched the wall behind me. I liked knowing I was fit; I especially liked the idea that I could protect myself. I think it helped my focus and made me more confident.

I saw somewhere that you created your own book video for PERSONAL PROTECTION, your latest release from Samhain. Was that your first? Tell us about that experience. :)

Both my sons are trained in Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, so when I first suggested they do a video trailer for me, they said, "You can do it yourself." They gave me about 15 minutes of instruction before they wandered off and left me to it. I've tried various software programs - starting with Windows Moviemaker, moving to Roxio, then to a flash program that I used to create the trailer for Private Property.

Last Christmas, my husband bought me a used Mac from a graphic artist and she gave me all the software as part of the deal, so the trailer for Personal Protection was done with Final Cut Pro which is what the pros use to edit movies. THAT program has a huge learning curve. But honestly, I think you can turn out a pretty decent product with Windows Moviemaker. If you want to see the differences in the programs, I blogged about it HERE.

I always try to storyboard a video out and as part of trying to create the storyboard, I search out music and images that I can use that won't infringe on any copyrights. Once I heard that tango, I knew immediately what I wanted - the two sides playing off against each other and with Natalie Winters' cover of Sam in front of Rosie, it all fell in place. That's what I found with the video for Private Property as well - the music makes all the difference, it sets the mood and the pace for the whole piece.

Of course before I put them up on YouTube, my sons look at them and critique them with as tough an eye as any writers' critique partner. They see things I wouldn't notice or worry about, but when I make the change I have to admit, they're usually right. For instance, originally I'd had Sam swirling in doing a 360 turn so for a little while he was turned upside down, "on his head." But my youngest son said that drew attention to the fact that he really doesn't "have" a head. So I switched that movement out to the slide that is there now. And I have to admit, I think it does work better.

I don't know if there's any definitive proof that book trailers have actually resulted in the sale ofa book, but I figure anything that can get someone's attention is a good thing. As part of teaching, I learned that some people are more visually oriented so there are those who would be attracted to a video more than they might be to a blurb. Of course, finding just the right music or image can take a tremendous amount of time out of your day.You also have to be aware that that you don't infringe on any other artist's copyrights when choosing music and photos.I used to write as my way to de-stress after coming home from teaching all day and then looking after the boys. When writing became my "day job", I needed something else to do as a hobby. So I don't work on them until my wordcount is accomplished for the day and I need that break from writing and then I have a lot of fun with them.

Tell us about your books. Can you give us an excerpt for our readers?

Private Property started because I'd been reading a few menages and I wasn't happy with the way everyone was thrilled all the way through them, especially with alpha males being happy "sharing" their girlfriend.It seemed so out of character. I wanted to write something different, something darker. So I wrote that the hero, Mark, who has been in a no-strings-attached affair with the heroine, Jodi, proposes a menage with his college buddy Sam. But once they get into the game, once he sees Sam with Jodi, he realizes that he doesn't like it as much as he used to when they shared their girlfriends in college. Playing with those emotions--jealousy, anger, even shame--both at Sam and Jodi, and at himself, was a lot of fun. But it was also a fine line to walk because if I wrote it wrong it could make Jodi come out looking like a tramp. That's where Mark's alpha personality really came in handy because there was no way in heck he would want to admit in front of either of them that he was regretting his decision after he'd been the one to make the arrangements. And there's another emotion--pride--which can be a VERY powerful motivator to make us do things we know in the back of our heads we shouldn't be doing. So although she senses there's something a little off in his reactions, he keeps telling her everything's okay rather than admit the truth and she feels confident in her decision to continue.

When I first started writing Sam as Mark's foil, I had thought of him as being dark and dangerous - a Morpheus-like character from the Matrix. Especially the way I bring him in so Jodi can only see him in silhouette. But when I started writing his reactions, his dialogue, he came alive. He developed a sense of humor and suddenly had this southern drawl. In the early drafts, Sam had a much bigger role, there were a lot of scenes from his POV that had to get cut if I was to keep Mark and Jodi as the main characters. So after I'd submitted Private Property, I knew Sam had to have his own story, and luckily Angela agreed. When she sent me "The Email" accepting Private Property, she added a line saying she hoped Sam had his own story. I was about halfway through his story at the time, and two months later I submitted it to her. By December of 2008 I had my second contract for Personal Protection.

Where Private Property is a novella that takes place over one single night, and involves only three people, Sam's story takes place over several months and has more than a half dozen characters and is a full-length novel. Personal Protection takes place a couple months after Private Property, but you don't have to have read Private Property to follow his story. In both stories, Sam's a former FBI agent who now owns a very successful protection and security company and has been buying up smaller security companies along the eastern seaboard. In his story, Sam is back in DC at his company headquarters. Again, I didn't want to fall into the cliche of him protecting the little woman, so I turned things on their head and had "the little woman" protecting all 6'6" of big strong, reluctant-to-be-protected-by-anyone alpha male.

**This excerpt contains adult content and is intended for those who are at least 18 years of age.**


He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe, his forehead furrowing. “Then why are you packing like there’s a four alarm fire on the floor below?”

“I’ve decided to switch off with Kris or Andy. We’ll all be happier that way.” Well, she wouldn’t be. Goddamn, when would men realize that just because she was only 5’1 and didn’t have a penis didn’t mean she couldn’t provide proper protection or run an effective op?

“Happier? You wanna tell me why you think I’d be happier with them? What bee crawled up your— What’d I do to send you running like someone tied a bottle rocket to your tail?”

She whirled, her arms held rigidly at her side. “Oh, let’s see, you wanted someone else protecting you, not a little bitty woman who wasn’t a former Navy MP or D.C. City cop or CIA spook. And then when I asked you earlier if you had a problem with me being on your detail, you lied to me. Outright lied! I’ve put up with a lot of crap, Mr. Watson, but I don’t tolerate lies. You don’t want me guarding you, fine. But you should have said that when I asked.”

“I didn’t lie. I never said I didn’t want you protecting me because you were a woman.”

“But you told Chad you didn’t want me assigned to you, didn’t you?”

“Yes, that part’s true. But—”

“Ay bendito. I knew it.” She advanced on him. “Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t take you down—just ask Kris or Andy. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m not a damned good shot. I’ve been trained in counter-surveillance, and bomb disposal.”

“I know that, I—”

“Just because I’ve never worn a uniform or carried a badge doesn’t mean I can’t guard you. I’ve been on details guarding an Oscar winning actor while he was making that movie down in Savannah and got him to safety when the barricades failed to hold back hundreds of screaming fans.” Then the asshole had expected her to put out in the limo. “I’ve protected those three country music singers—did I mention how much I hate country music—and let’s not forget the gentleman from Saudi Arabia with his three wives and sixteen kids, or the dozens of women from the Safe and Sound program.”

“I know you’re good at your job. That wasn’t why I wanted someone else.”

“Ha! So you did want someone else. You admit it.”

“Yeah, I already admitted it. But—”

“But you don’t trust me to protect you.” She closed the cover on the suitcase and zipped it.

“I trust you. But—damn it! I wasn’t objecting to you because you’re a woman, Rosie. Well, yeah, it’s sort of because you’re a woman. Aw, hell, you’re reading this all wrong.”

“For all your bullshit about equal opportunities, it’s still just bullshit. You want to be a big macho he-man who guards the ‘little woman’ but God help you now it’s the other way around.”

“Rosie—Ms. Ramos—”

“I’ll stay until Chad can get someone else over here to replace me, but then I’m out of here. And not just this assignment but D.C. I refuse to work for someone who doesn’t respect my abilities. I’ll expect you to approve my transfer first thing in the morning. Because if you don’t, then I’ll file a lawsuit for sexual discrimination.” She stopped talking, the words clogging her throat. Oh Lord. Fifteen minutes ago, she was feeling so proud and now she was about to walk away from the job she loved.

“Goddamn it, I don’t want you to leave Hauberk, Rosie. I didn’t want you guardin’ me because I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to keep my hands off you!”

Any parting words for our readers?

I hope you enjoy reading my stories, and I'd love to hear about your favorite scenes, what characters you like. Feel free to email me at . You can read more about Sam and Rosie, or Mark and Jodi on my WEBSITE where you can also sign up for my newsletter, or you can keep track of what's going on by reading my blog ( There's usually a list of places I can be found on the side bar as well as a couple of free stories you can download.

Today's post comes to you from Panera Bread. I'm only about five miles away from my house, but I've managed to get more work done in an hour and a half than I've gotten done in the last two days.

Seeing that I was more than a little bummed out from my recent low output, my husband suggested this morning that perhaps all I needed to jar my creativity was a change of scenery. I was surprised that he would suggest that because he has gone through so much to provide a comfortable space for me to write in and I didn't want him to think for one minute that I didn't appreciate everything he has done to support me. So...after I drove my son to school this morning, I headed straight here.

I had a long talk with my agent last week and she'll have the proposal for Forbidden Masala in her hands by this Friday. I'm still very much in love with this story and happy to be back on track.

Immediately after I've sent the proposal to her, I'll pick up where I left off on my YA series. She loves the premise of the story and thinks it will do well.

On a personal note, I'm in the middle of planning for the summer. My son will be graduating fifth grade in exactly three weeks and it looks as though his schedule will be even more hectic than it is normally. I'm going to have to get used to working on the road.

Enjoy the rest of your week and don't forget to stop by tomorrow... Leah Braemel will be visiting us!


I can hardly believe it's Tuesday already. Or that it's only Tuesday. I feel like I put in a week's worth of work yesterday and I still have tons to do. On the plus side, CIS (hubby) took Destruction (the youngest) with him on a job he is doing today. Translation - a quiet house more conducive to work.

I know you want all the details of what I've been up to. Don't pretend you don't. You know you do. :)

I've been working with Misa Ramirez to put together a Marketing and Promotion Workshop. We're going to team teach it this month at Candace Havens' online workshop. It's free and I hope you'll check it out. Specifically, we'll be talking about the differences between Marketing and Promotion as well as how they work together in relation to e-publishing and print publishing. It's been a huge undertaking putting it all together, but I've learned a great deal doing it. Oh, and we'll have a bonus "lesson" from Erin Galloway, the Manager of Marketing with Dorchester.

I'm working on a short pitch workshop that will be part of a Conference workshop that's going to be available to RWA PROs in the PRO Class loop the week of June 15th. I may also get to meet our very own Abigail that week as I'll be VERY close to her.

I've been hitting the gym again.

I've submitted some new queries to agents and received a partial request from one. I also received a pass on a manuscript, but had an epiphany on how to make it better. Now I just need the time to write it. LOL.

I learned how to do a super cool scrolling marquee for images with links. Not sure what I'm talking about? Check it out here.

I've had some great guest bloggers on my personal blog chatting about their new releases. One of the bloggers was Leah Braemel, who will be here Thursday. Be sure to come back by.

I'm forgetting things, but it's really been a huge flurry of activity around here. Have a great week, and I'll see you all here Thursday to chat with Leah!

Back to productivity. lol
It's another work week and there's plenty of cool things going on ...

1. Two members of Romance Divas, Bria Quinlan and Mel Berthier, created EXCERPT MONDAYS ... and I'm participating! One Monday a month, aspiring and published authors will post an excerpt of their projects, either published or work in progress (WIP) for readers to view and comment. It's a great way to showcase authors you've never read or authors you might want to keep an eye on for when they do publish. There's different genres and heat level ratings to choose from. This is my first time participating so I'm hoping that I'll have enough excerpts to provide in the coming months!

2. I had a contest at the Parker Publishing blog in which I challenged authors to do a collage. Cate Hart took me up on that challenge and created an awesome collage of her current WIP. Thanks for sharing and for being a good sport!

3. If you've got teen and teenage girls, my friend Eva Gale directed me to a very cool site to keep her children busy. Polyvore helps teens to express their style by allowing them to virtually mix & match products from favorite stores. You'll find samples of those who participated and some of the stuff is brilliant and soooo creative!

4. I started watching television this year and I've gotten hooked on Castle and Dollhouse ... and I've heard both shows were on the the chopping block, but there are plenty of folks willing to campaign to save the shows. Just click on the links and you'll find details on the campaigns. Twitter has had a big impact and it seems the voices of viewers are making a difference. :) -- You got me! I'm on twitter so if you have an account and care to join me, you can go to: Maybe I'll get around to designing my twitter page, right now it's a generic template...must add to list.

5. Finally: What are your goals this week? I've got to finish a short story that I should have done last week but was in a funk. This week I'm ready to be productive and kicking butt! Grrrrrr. Now who's with me?! Let's make you accountable. Tell me what your goal is and by Friday, I'll be bugging you all about meeting that goal. Yes, I'm throwing out the challenge!