Thursday, 30 August 2012

Romancing the Hop!

Hello friends, and welcome to my blog for Romancing the Hop!!



I am very pleased to be here among all these terrific authors and being able to discover some fantastic new reads. There is a wonderful grand prize up for grabs...but you must visit each blog on the hop and leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Here are some of the items up for grabs:


1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Large Swag Pack



I'll also be doing a small giveaway of my own, of my latest paranormal romance Sweet Hell. So please make sure to leave those comments, and you could be bringing home the sexy Greek god Dionysus!

What better way to celebrate this hop than to be discussing romance? Romancing the Hop. Hmmm...the name of this hop really got me thinking. We all love romance, that's why we're here. We all long to swept away in an epic saga that tugs at our heartstrings, takes us to new places and makes us fall hopelessly in love with swaggering Alpha heroes.

Can you all remember your first romance? Can you still picture the color of your first love's eyes, or the scent of him? I have to admit, this hop made me think of some of my first loves.



My first, in kindergarten (yes, I started young) was a little boy named Sammy. He had a bright smile and his eyes crinkled with it. There was a climber in our classroom. At nap time, Sammy and I would lie down on either side of the climber, and smile at each other, invariably exploding into giggles.

One of my next loves was a boy named Brian. I was 8. He was 12. It was doomed from the start. However, young Rosanna was smitten with him. He was a jock, had winged brown hair (this was the 70's), and pretty eyes. I used to follow him all over the schoolyard, just to be near him. His friends, also older boys, used to tease him and make fun of his "little girlfriend." Brian, to his credit, just laughed it off and was very kind to a love-struck kid.

Once in high school, I fell in love for the first time with my first real boyfriend, a nice young man named Shawn. With Shawn, I had my sexual awakening, and there nothing quite so sweet as "parking" with him and exploring!

Years later, I'm a happily married mom of two sons. My husband is the love of my life. He does sweet things for me like always filling my car with gas, and bringing me flowers on unexpected days. He tells me he loves me every day and every night, and I love it when he gets that look in his eye, even after 20 years together. I know I'll go to my grave adoring him.

Please read on and I'll give you a glimpse of my latest love story, Sweet Hell. It is a sexy paranormal about the randy god Dionysus and his very unexpected lover. And as you go through the hop, I hope you remember all your romances, and smile.

To find some more terrific authors in the hop, click on the rose pic up top!


Blurb:

Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanal lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless, sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. And to top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire. 

Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she'd ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he's obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he's also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water. 

But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie's bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them. 

Excerpt:

There were usually two men Josie Marino had contact with at the ungodly hour of five in the morning. Not good contact. Certainly not sweaty, chest-heaving, “take me, take me” contact. And definitely not contact with Petter, the Norwegian male model who lived next door.

Nah. That would have been too perfect, wouldn’t it?

Instead, most mornings, Josie had to settle for haggling with her two least favorite men on the planet. Nelson Tate, the deliveryman from her most important supplier. And Dionysus Iros. Worst. Customer. Ever.

Because of the business, she just had to put up with Nelson. He’d been delivering dry goods to her family bakery for years. Had known her parents, schmoozed with her brothers, and basically enjoyed making life hell for her. Not that he was a vicious sort. He was just far too handsy for her liking.

In the case of Dionysus, he was just an early bird and a womanizer. And couldn’t function without the coffee she brewed first thing in the morning. Invariably, he was already waiting for her when she got to the bakery each day.

Oh, joy of joys.

Not that he was a horrible person either. He just intimidated her with his unearthly good looks. Men like him, not that most men came close to looking like him, rattled her. They were best kept at a distance.

Dionysus was so bloody perfect; Josie wanted to shake him to see if she could muss his seemingly unmussable hair. Most days, though, she just contented herself with a lot of grumbling in his presence. He unnerved her, with his sexy brown eyes and long, dark waves of hair any woman would die for. To say nothing of his body… No, it was best not to say anything about that smoking body at all. She couldn’t help hating him, just a little. No man should look so divine at dawn, when she felt about as put together as a cavewoman.

To makes things worse, the man acted as if he were a Greek god. His parents, in a tragic case of bad judgment, had even named him after one. It was no wonder he was so obnoxious.

On this morning, too, he was waiting at the door when she got there. Looking as if he’d just tumbled off the cover of GQ, and the birds weren’t even up yet. At least today he didn’t have a sleepy bimbo on his arm, like he often did.

“Mr. Iros,” Josie drawled, yawning, as she unlatched the bakery door. “You’re losing your touch. I haven’t seen you with a woman in, what, forty-eight hours?” She pushed ahead of him into the bakery, catching the scent of wine on him.

God, how much did the man drink? She was sure he dabbed a little bit of the stuff behind his ears, and splashed it on his face instead of aftershave.

On any other man, the strange cologne would have been a red flag. An indication he drank more than coffee in the morning. But on this man, it just smelled delicious. As if the scent were his pheromone, oozing out of every pore, inviting her to mate with him. In very dirty ways.

He chuckled, low and deep, and sauntered in after her as if he owned the place. Within seconds, he was seated at his usual spot at Josie’s counter. “Just be a good girl and fetch my coffee.” He lowered his shades and peered at her through sensuous dark eyes that should have been bloodshot at that time of the morning, but weren’t. “And don’t forget. Make it a tall, half-skinny, half-one percent, extra hot, two shots decaf, two shots regular latte with whip. And exactly…”

“I know, I know,” she interrupted. “One hundred fifty degrees. Has it ever been anything less, Your Highness?” She pasted on her sweetest of smiles and turned to prepare the elixir of the gods. She heard him huff as he flipped open the day’s newspaper.

“No need to call me that, Josie. ‘My Lord’ or ‘He From Whom All Good Things Come’ will do just fine.”

She reached for the one percent milk, and contemplated tossing in some heavy, artery-clogging cream just to soften up some of his sculpted muscles. A man with that kind of body had to be on some sort of special diet. With that brawny physique he must spend hours a day at the gym and ingest copious amounts of protein powders.

She snuck a peek at the bulges rippling under his sleeves, turning her head sharply when he grinned.

It was one thing to look like God’s gift to women. It was another thing to act like it.






Rosanna Leo has her degree in history and literature, as well as in classical singing. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada. Her favorite things are her family, libraries, and her mother's gnocchi. Rosanna loves it when the geeky, awkward girl gets the hot guy, and has made it her mission to see this happen in her books as much as possible. Sweet Hell is her third book published with Liquid Silver Books. She is also the author of For the Love of a God and Up in Flames. Her newest, The Selkie, releases Sept. 3!




Monday, 27 August 2012

Jennifer Conner's Fantasies!

Hi folks!
I am extremely pleased to be able to bring you the dazzling Jennifer Conner today! She's one interesting lady, you know! She and I share an unhealthy obsession...Diana Gabaldon books! In fact, I think Jennifer and I should take that dishy Highlander Jamie Fraser to a quiet, little nook and...uh, sorry, got carried away!

Jennifer is here to tell us about her new anthology with Vee Michaels, and I couldn't be happier. Please welcome her and read on for our interview!



1) Did you always want to be an author?  If not, what else would you have done?

You mean besides being a kept woman with a giant pool with pool boys. J I worked as a wedding photographer and also managed a catering staff for years. We would work together for events. I even wrote a novella about all my CRAZY experiences called, Do You Hear What I Hear. A groom with a gun under his tux, a staff member slipping and breaking her wrist at a cater for 700 people, ugh… why I got out of it. Writing is difficult in a different way.

2) What is your favourite book of all time and why?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, love this series, I have laughed, cried and become one with all of the characters over the years.

3) Describe your ideal hero (details please! *wink wink*)

Tall, dark and handsome! Since I am 5ft 10, I fantasize about that guy who could pick me up. Dark, full hair to grab on to, 6ft 2+ and a fit but not over muscled body. Pretty much anyone from the cast of Magic Mike of course! J

4) If you could share a romantic evening with any character from romance literature (any genre), who would it be and what would you do to him (ahem! With him)?

Any man from my stories. I get to fall in love and do many things on paper that will not get me in trouble with my husband. Rendezvous in secluded gardens with a fireman (Make me Burn) a sports star in a dressing room (Winner Takes All) or making love on a kitchen counter while sharing chocolate (Do You Hear What I Hear?) In literature, probably the phantom  from Phantom of the Opera. I’m a huge geek fan. Take me to you lair, tie me up (if you want) and SING to me for the rest of my days!

5) What comes first for you: plot or character?

It depends. I like to write series. If it is a series story, like The Regimental Heroes, then I have the plot arch and need to develop the characters. Same with The Mobile Mistletoe Series. The mistletoe headband is passed from friend to friend. With Brewing up Some Love, it was the character. A guy who has a terrible phobia of giving blood accidently follows a cute girl into the blood bank where she works.

6) Who is, hands down, the sexiest male actor of all time? Henry Cavill from the Tudors, Immortals, and now the new Superman, my dream man. OMG he is soooo handsome! Next, for all time would be Paul Newman. If you haven’t seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with he and Elizabeth Taylor, go and watch it. It is a great character driven story and they were both SO beautiful when they made that.

7) Describe your writing style please.

I write linear. I have the beginning, middle and the end plotted. I start and write through, then run it through my critique group who are super tough but I couldn’t do it without them.

8) Who is your favourite author and why?

Diana Gabaldon. She breaks all the rules as a writer. She writes in 1st and 3rd person, in a mixed up genre and the books are 1000 pages long! Great!

9) What is on the horizon for you? Any interesting news or books we should know about?

I have a time-travel romance series coming out soon. The first short story is, Walk With Me Through Time. Bookstores stand as gateway time portals for people to move into a different time. They feel they were born into the wrong period. The guides are Time Keepers.

I am working on the 4th story in The Regimental Heroes Series. The hero has dyslexia, which of course in the 1850’s they would have no idea what that was and marked him as stupid.

And the next the 4th in the Mobile Mistletoe series, Love comes for Halloween. Then on to Christmas stories!

And now, more about Fantasies!
Who doesn't fantasize about well-hung firemen, the next-door neighbor, athletes, or having multiple men? From new relationships to marriages to interracial romance, from sex toys to chocolate to voyeurism, from lust to love and everything in between.
Fantasies explores sex and intimate relationships. Imaginative, best-selling authors Vee Michaels and Jennifer Conner present playful, short, erotic tales sure to satisfy your cravings for good sex.
Warning: Every story is served up with graphic sex, wicked wit, and a healthy dose of romance. Enjoy.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Parker Kincade's One Night Stand!


Yay!
Hey everyone, Parker Kincade is on the blog today, talking about her fantastically sexy book One Night Stand! Parker is one of my pub sisters at Liquid Silver Books and I'm so happy to have her here with me. She likes her men with a swagger and a lazy grin (don't we all?), and I can't wait to hear more about her and her book!
Read on for our interview!


1) Did you always want to be an author?  If not, what else would you have done?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. My childhood was filled with stories and poems I’d create. I’d write plays and skits and the perform them for my family – bless their hearts…and their butts for filling the folding chairs I’d set up. I even made up my own language that I used in my journals so no one would know what I was writing. LOL! As I got older, writing became something I did when no one was looking. It was my secret love. After receiving two BA degrees in 2011, I decided it was now or never. I’d just turned 40. I felt like I owed it to myself to try. And now here I am!

If I wasn’t writing for a living, I would dedicate my time to humanitarian work. I have been very fortunate in my life – it’s important to pass that on. Great question Rosanna!    

2) What is the strangest job you ever had and why?

I’d have to go with blueprint runner. When I was in high school, I ran blueprints for a local cable company. I’d go in after school – put on my walkman (I just totally dated myself with that one) and run maps through a blueprint machine. I can’t listen to Billy Idol without remembering the smell of blueprints. LOL! 

3) What is your favourite book of all time and why?

I get this question a lot. It’s The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss – and not just because it was the first romance novel I’d ever read. Kathleen was a master at her craft. She could spin a complex story and keep you guessing until the end. She wrote characters that I fell in love with and her villains made my skin crawl. I still read this book once a year.

…And Brandon Birmingham is just hot. 

4) Describe your ideal hero (details please! *wink wink*)

Oooooo! This’ll be fun! Ok, grab a glass of wine, sit back and imagine with me, if you will.

He walks toward us. No. Not walks. Swaggers. Confidence bordering on arrogance, he knows he owns the room. A lazy grin forms as his blue eyes, piercing and heavy-lidded, find his target (me, of course). His booted feet are silent against the carpet as he approaches. His hair, lightened from hours in the sun, almost glows against the rich honeyed hue of his skin, its subtle waves begging to be mussed by adoring fingers (mine). He’s tall, his shoulders broad - stretching his black T-shirt to its limits across his chest. The short sleeves strained against his muscled biceps, a hint of a tattoo peeks from its edges. His jean clad thighs are distracting in their strength, muscles moving in perfect rhythm to each step. His long, hard…wait. What? Um…what was the question again?


5) If you could share a romantic evening with any character from romance literature (any genre), who would it be and what would you do to him (ahem! With him)?

Rosanna! How am I supposed to pick just one? Oh, the pressure! I’d have to go with Brandon Birmingham. He was my first love, after all. I think the better question is what wouldn’t I do to, I mean WITH! With him. LOL! He’s from the 1800’s. I’d have to enlighten him on all the new…um…yeah…I just sort of went there in my head. NEXT QUESTION! (Is it hot in here? *fans self* It feels hot in here.)  

6) What comes first for you: plot or character?

It’s a toss up. For the Martin Family series, the Martins came first. The minute I decided it would be fun to write Amanda’s story, her story immediately came to me. On the flip side, my current project began with the plot. Once I had the plot, the characters were there – names and all. That’s how it works for me. It’s as if the characters already exist in my head and are just waiting to be called out – fully formed and ready to go. 

7) Who is, hands down, the sexiest male actor of all time?

Matthew McConaughey. He took my breath away in A Time to Kill. He’s talented, lives by his own set of rules and is hot as sin. And that voice. Sweet mercy, it gets me every time.   

8) Describe your writing style please.

My stories are character-driven. I want the reader to be sucked in to the chemistry between the hero and heroine and hang on for the ride. It’s alpha males; strong women; sarcastic humor; hot, steamy sex and a healthy dose of the “f” word. LOL!   

9) Who is your favourite author and why?

JR Ward is the most incredible author. Her Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels series are pure magic. No other author has her grit; her down and dirty, no holds barred, nothing is taboo way of storytelling. She takes risks that surprise (and kill) me. She is one of the only authors who’s novels leave me stunned and speechless – and begging for more. She’s an amazing talent.  

10) What is on the horizon for you? Any interesting news or books we should know about?

I am currently working on a new project that I hope to share with you all next year (fingers crossed!). It’s a 4-book series that spans the course of the year. I’m really excited about it. Then, of course, I am working on book 2 in the Martin Family series. It’s a sizzler!

Thank you so much for having me, Rosanna! I’ve had a great time and appreciate the opportunity to hang with you today! We should do this again sometime.

Remember folks - One Night Stand is available now!



Amanda Martin has the worst taste in men. After being cheated on not once, but twice, she’s lost all faith in men…and in herself. Determined to regain her confidence, Amanda decides to have a one-night stand. No relationship, no promises, no threat of being hurt again…just sex. What she doesn’t anticipate is meeting a handsome-as-sin stranger who will give her pleasure unlike any she’s ever known.   



Joe Sterling has spent his life avoiding relationships, his former job as a military sniper not allowing for such commitments. Now he’s come home to Texas, to let go of the past and to prove he is more than the killer he’s been trained to be. When Amanda’s life is threatened, Joe’s killer instinct is tested while Amanda struggles to protect her heart. Will they succumb to their overwhelming desire for each other, or lose it all by letting the past dictate their future?



Excerpt from ONE NIGHT STAND

Parker Kincade

Publication Date: August 20, 2012 – Liquid Silver Books

ISBN: 978-1-59578-964-8





Joe couldn’t believe his ears. Did Amanda just ask him if he wanted to leave with her? Before he could recover his shock, she was hightailing it out the door. From the moment he’d walked into the bar tonight, he’d been captivated. First by the way she defended herself, next by the vulnerability he felt as he’d held her hand, and then by the way she looked at him as if he were a treat she’d like to eat.

Now he was just plain curious. He’d had women come on to him before. What surprised him was his desire to follow through with this one.

“Hold up, sweetheart.” He snatched her money off the bar. “Jake’s gonna cover your tab tonight, aren’t ya, Jake?” Joe looked at his brother expectantly.

Jake shrugged. “Sure, no problem.”

“Give me one minute.” Joe walked behind the bar and grabbed a full bottle of whiskey. “Don’t leave,” he added as he caught her looking between him and the door.

Jake wagged his eyebrows. “Someone’s finally gonna get laid,” he taunted.

Joe smacked him on the back of the head as he walked by. “Just for that, dickhead, you can pay for this bottle too.” He tried to sound irritated, but he just couldn’t keep the smile from his voice.

It had been a long time since a woman had caught his interest and it felt nice. He’d spent his life avoiding commitments. His former job with the military wasn’t really conducive to the white picket fence kind of lifestyle. He’d been alone most of his life, refusing to get attached to anyone or anything. But this woman…

Damn, she looked good. She dug her hands deep into the pockets of her low-riding jeans as she tapped the sexiest pair of cowgirl boots he’d ever seen against the concrete floor. Her blonde curls tumbled downward, teasing the lower part of her back where her T-shirt had ridden up. Imagining the feel of all that temptingly tanned skin under his tongue made his mouth water. He swore he could already taste her. He grunted as his cock swelled at the thought of licking every inch of her.

He was suddenly very glad he’d stopped in tonight.

Joe held the bottle up as he approached her. “Whiskey okay?”

Her vibrant green eyes latched on to his. “Sure.”

Smiling, he just barely resisted the urge to lean in and kiss her. Instead he trailed his fingers across the exposed skin on her back, resting his palm in the sexy little bend above her belt. The feel of her warm skin had his already engorged erection pressing painfully against his zipper. “Ready?”

“Sure,” she said again.

“Things are gonna go very well for us tonight, Mandy, if you stay so agreeable,” he teased with a wink. He chuckled at her sharp intake of breath as he guided her out the door.

The cool air hit them as they walked outside. Amanda was quiet beside him as he led her across the gravel to the only car left in the parking lot that didn’t belong to Jake. Joe had ridden in on his Harley and there was no way he was putting her on the back of his bike without the proper gear.

He glanced at her apologetically. “While I’d love to take you for a ride on my bike, tonight isn’t that night. Only one helmet,” he said at her puzzled frown. “I can follow you or…” He waited to see if she’d jump in, hoped she’d jump in. Anything to get her talking. “Mandy?”

She shook her head slightly. “No, no. It’s chilly out. Why don’t you ride with me?”

“You okay to drive?” He looked at her with mock sternness and gently raised her abused knuckles to his lips. That earned him a sweet smile.

“I’m sure I can manage.”

Joe sighed and let her hand drop. Maybe she was having second thoughts. He wasn’t sure what had caused her to close off all of a sudden, but one thing was for sure—he was going to play this out. He suddenly wanted to break down her walls and see what was there. He wanted to hear her laugh. He wanted her to cry out his name in pleasure.

He wanted her naked.

Oh yeah, he was going to play this out. “Lead the way, Mandy. I’m all yours.”





Bio:

Parker Kincade has been writing since she was a little girl. Her love affair with romance novels began as a teen and she dreamed of writing her own. She is thrilled to be living her dream.

Parker lives in the South with her husband, children and beloved boxer sidekick. She loves reading, playing golf, spending time with her family and friends, ice cream from the ice cream truck, taking her dog to the park and watching old musicals. 






Sunday, 19 August 2012

Dahlia DeWinters is The Wisest Maiden


Greetings, friends!
I am thrilled today to be bringing you news from another fabulous Liquid Silver Books author. Yes, my publisher knows how to pick 'em! Lovely Dahlia DeWinters is here today to tell us about her new book The Wisest Maiden. Check out that cover...seriously, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
Join Dahlia and I in our interview and read on for a tantalizing excerpt!
Thanks for being with me, Dahlia. :)

1) Did you always want to be an author?  If not, what else would you have done?

Believe it or not, I have a degree in Economics.  In some bizarre distant past, I wanted to work in finance.  Luckily, I became a teacher instead and realized through working with the students, that I enjoyed writing.  Fast forward more than a few years later, I left my teaching position to stay at home with my children and re-discovered my love for writing.  Strange how things work out.

2) What is the strangest job you ever had and why?

Hmmm.  I was a cocktail waitress in a New Orleans nightclub for all of two nights.  I couldn’t take the noise of the music.

3) What is your favourite book of all time and why?

My favorite book of all time?  That’s like trying to pull a camel through the eye of a needle.  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. 

4) Describe your ideal hero or heroine (details please! *wink wink*)

My ideal hero?  A man who will stand up for you, support you and love you as well as have the courage to tell you that you’re wrong. (and face the consequences)

5) If you could share a romantic evening with any character from romance literature (any genre), who would it be and what would you do to him/her (ahem! With him/her)?

Rhett Butler. In New Orleans.  He knows how to handle a woman.  There’s something about a man who knows about the finer things about a woman’s character—down to selecting her clothes—and is a war hero too. And underneath all that roughness and toughness, a tender, gentle center.

6) What comes first for you: plot or character?

Character.  A character will pop into my mind, then I’ll say “What if this character....” .  After that, off to the races.

7) Who is, hands down, the sexiest actor of all time?

Gosh, I have a collection in my head, but I’ll be honest.  The actor who jumped into my head when I read the question was Sean Connery. (shrugs)  What can I say? Too much James Bond.  Early James Bond.

8) Describe your writing style please.

My writing style is a mix of plotting and anything goes.  I usually begin with an outline that I agonize over (ask my husband) and squeeze out of myself like the last bit of toothpaste in the tube.  Once I have the outline down, I rebel and start typing whatever comes to my head.  Sometimes I stick to the outline, most times, I let the words fly.   Let’s not talk about what happens when I read through what I’ve written.  It’s not pretty.

9) Who is your favourite author and why?

Ach, this is like picking my favorite book.  John Steinbeck.  Though his writing is straightforward, he manages to convey a mood that stays with you after you’ve finished reading the book.  His East of Eden, though panned by the critics, to me, was brilliant.

10) What is on the horizon for you? Any interesting news or books we should know about?

I’m always busy writing.  I have a Christmas short coming out from Amira Press in December and if my poor fingers will allow me, I hope to have another releasing either about the same time or at the beginning of 2013.


Where’s Dahlia?  Find me online:




Buy Links:






Blurb:

Blurb: Betrayed by his first wife, King Toridesh gives his new brides no
chance to deceive him.  After he marries a virgin of his choosing and
consummates the marriage, he has them killed.

As an only child, Issalia has been sheltered by her parents in an
attempt to shield her from their king’s murderous intent.  When her
mother falls ill, Issalia refuses to allow their market-stall be
closed for the day, knowing this one day of income stands between them
and poverty.

 While in disguise, the king spies the lovely Issalia in the
marketplace and takes her as his next bride. Will Issalia
succumb to the fate of the virgin brides before her, or will she be
able to break the king’s curse?

Excerpt:

She was beautiful, modest, and unassuming, virtues he sought in his brides. By the way she conducted herself he sensed she was a maiden, a pure freshling who was more than ready for his touch. The brief flash in her coffee eyes told him everything. Her lips were full and lush as the most succulent plum from the palace garden. The loose linen blouson and skirt, while modest, did little to hide her generous bosom and rounded hips. He imagined stroking her velvet nutmeg skin in the deepest hours of the night as she pressed her softness against him. He wanted this sloe-eyed female, to gorge himself on the pleasures of her unspoiled, ripe body.

He snapped his fingers when the father approached the counter, dropping the fabric mask from his face.

“Do you know who I am?”

“Yes, royal majesty.” The older man ducked his head in obeisance.

“The maiden who was here, she is your daughter?”

“Yes, royal majesty,” the man stuttered.

“She is a maiden then? There is no question of her purity?” He paused, judging the man’s ability for untruthfulness. “Do not lie to me.”

A look of resignation passed across the man’s face, the wrinkles becoming deeper somehow. “Yes, royal majesty, she is a maiden. Her mother and I have raised her to be close to us.”

“Then why have I not seen her in the marketplace before?”

The man met his gaze and spoke with a slight edge to his voice. “We were hiding her from you.

He was taken aback at the impertinence of the old man but only for a moment. Hiding such a lovely specimen for so long? The old man should be put to death just for that. “It seems as if your efforts to deceive did you no good.” A smile spread across his face, pleased at his success in acquiring a new bride so quickly. And what a fine bride she would make.

“Not an effort to deceive. An effort to protect our only daughter. She is our only child.”

He waved the subtle plea away and made a motion with his upraised hand. He had no time to listen to the pleas of an old man for his daughter. It would make no difference: he had already decided to have her. Two large guards appeared at his side. “And your efforts were wasted. I am claiming her for my bride.”


Friday, 17 August 2012

Love is a beach...or is it?

Welcome everyone to the Love is a Beach Blog Hop!


I am so pleased to be part of this hop and look forward to learning about all the great authors here today. Don't forget to comment on everyone's pages so you can enter for some terrific prizes. I can't wait to hear from each of you!

Our theme did get me thinking, I must admit. Love is a beach. That's what we've all heard before. After all, who can argue with golden sand, hot sun and palm trees? Laying on soft towels with a lover, feeling his strong hand reach out to graze your bikini-clad body. Smiling as he loosens your bikini strings....


It sounds magical, doesn't it?

What if the same setting were sinister instead?

It put me in mind of a scene from my current release, Sweet Hell. Sweet Hell is a paranormal romance about the Greek god Dionysus and a workaholic baker named Josie. Despite the face that they drive each other crazy, they are attracted to each other with a force that is new and compelling. Because of a threat to Josie, they must travel to hell on a deranged quest that threatens to tear them apart.

And hell is not what it would seem.

Read on for a short excerpt from Sweet Hell, and see what I mean when I suggest that perhaps love is not a beach at all.


Excerpt from Sweet Hell:

“I’ve seen this place before,” she uttered, staring at the waves, feeling suddenly hypnotized. She suddenly felt the need to abandon Dionysus, wanting, for some strange reason, to throw herself into the surf. Although she didn’t know why, she felt the compulsion to swim out to the open sea and venture deeper and deeper.

As if her new home ought to be in the blue darkness.

Dionysus turned her to look at him. His gorgeous face was etched in lines of worry as he gripped her arms. “Josie. Josie! Snap out of it.”

“I don’t understand…”

“We’re in the first level of hell. They call this place ‘The Ordeal,’” he explained. “It’s different here for everyone, but one thing is the same. This is a place where you are forced to face your worst fear. You need to tell me, Josie. What is your worst fear? Something to do with beaches? Are you afraid of the water?”

She couldn’t answer. Her mind felt so foggy. All she knew was that she wanted to swim in those tempting waves. They looked warm and clear, and she couldn’t help feeling they would just envelop her and rock her.

They would make her sleep the most peaceful of sleeps.

She tried to pull away from Dionysus.

“Josie! You have to stay with me!”

“But it looks so nice in the water…”

“It’s an illusion! Remember?”

He was reaching for her, grasping, but she was already sliding out of his grip. She never thought to question how she could do so. He was a big, muscled god with powers she’d likely never fully understand. And yet, one, little pull on her part, and she was free of his strong hold on her.

Good.

She wanted to swim, even though she could feel a distant memory tugging on her brain. Warning her to stay with Dionysus on the beach. Warning her to take note of the panic in his brown eyes, of the desperate way he was reaching for her.

But why? Nothing made sense. She just wanted to be in the coursing waves, wanted to feel their invigorating lick on her skin.

Spurred on by a sense of dreadful inevitability, she raced toward the surf. Even still, she could hear Dionysus shouting at her. Yelling something about facing her fear. About not being afraid.

Promising he would find her.

It didn’t matter. She was there. The water was already drenching her shoes, lapping at her ankles. And it felt so good! Without wasting another second, she ran until she was waist-deep and then dove in.

And realized immediately she’d made a horrible mistake.


Blurb for Sweet Hell:

Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanalian lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. To top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire. 

Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she'd ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he's obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he's also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water.

But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie’s bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them.



Thanks for visiting, friends! Does everyone have their pail and shovel?

Rosanna Leo
www.rosannaleo.blogspot.com


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I'm serving Lorraine Nelson On the Rocks!

Hello friends!
It is my absolute pleasure to be hosting the fabulous Lorraine Nelson as part of her blog tour! Lorraine is a wonderful author and such a support to those of us in the community. She has a new book with a Canadian setting, and is here to tell us more about this great new read, as well as answer some of my hard-hitting questions.
Read on for our interview and more info on Love on the Rocks!


1) Did you always want to be an author?  If not, what else would you have done?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when I was younger, I wanted to teach elementary school. Why? To encourage a love of reading and writing of course!

2) What is the strangest job you ever had and why?

I sold dog tags one year, house-to-house. I’d ring the bell, could hear dogs barking, and the people would come to the door and say, “No, I don’t have a dog.” Really now! They expected me to believe them and go away, but I got paid by the tag, so I persevered.

3) What is your favourite book of all time and why?

The Proud Breed by Celeste De Blasis. It’s a three generational saga of the lives and loves of one woman and her family.


4) Describe your ideal hero or heroine (details please! *wink wink*)

My ideal hero is tall, dark, and gorgeous. He’s not afraid to commit, communicate, or care. He would be honest, dependable, and hard working. He’d make me feel as if I am his world and I’d gladly do the same for him. A companion for life, I’d look forward to hours and hours of pleasure in his arms. J

5) If you could share a romantic evening with any character from romance literature (any genre), who would it be and what would you do to him/her (ahem! With him/her)?

Oh, wow! That would have to be Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. What would I do with him? Anything and everything imaginable! Why let a great opportunity go to waste? J

6) What comes first for you: plot or character?

Either/or. I’m a pantser so I take it as it comes and run with it.

7) Who is, hands down, the sexiest actor of all time?

Clark Gable

8) Describe your writing style please.

Style? I’m supposed to have a style? All I do is sit at the computer and start writing, er, typing. lol

9) Who is your favourite author and why?

I have so many…Danielle Steel, Mary Higgins-Clark, Nora Roberts, John Grisham. I could go on and on. There are so many fabulous authors out there. If they can draw me in and keep me reading, I consider them terrific at their craft.

10) What is on the horizon for you? Any interesting news or books we should know about?

Love on the Rocks was just released through Breathless Press.

Finding Baby J releases through BP on September 7th.

I have a short story, Hexed or Vexed?, that is releasing in October as part of an anthology with some author friends of mine.

I just signed a new contract with Evernight for Bad Boy Blake, a romantic suspense.

Currently working on Cameron’s Quest, Book 5 of my Thunder Creek Ranch series with Evernight.

I also have two requested partials with Harlequin…Intrigue and American.

That's awesome, Lorraine. We wish you the best! And now, for more on Love on the Rocks:

Here's Lorraine herself:


Let me tell you…I love this book!!! It's the one that set me on the path I'm now traveling.

Thanks to an infection in the bone of my thumb, it had to be amputated. In order to regain the flexibility in that hand and return to the full-time job, I began typing, but soon tired of typing tests and the like. An idea formed and I began to write, seriously write, an adult novel of the type I enjoy reading. Seven weeks later, Love on the Rocks was finished, although it's seen several revisions since that early, rough draft.

This story begins and ends at The Rocks at Hopewell Cape, NB. The stunning beauty of the rock formations is a sight to behold. Please join me as I share a little piece of my province.

I so love hearing from my readers! It’s important to know what works and doesn’t work for them as I continue to craft stories of love and mystery. You can find me at:

http://www.lorrainenelson.weebly.com

http://www.lorrainenelson.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/LorraineNelson.Author

http://twitter.com/#!/lornelca

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5254629.Lorraine_Nelson

http://www.amazon.com/Lorraine-Nelson/e/B005XMAYFQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1


Purchase Links:
30% off for a limited time. 

http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=7&products_id=301&zenid=crki96t1shb272ct99v7jm3467

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-loveontherocks-907155-149.html

Thank you for helping me celebrate my new release. Leave a comment below to be entered in the draw for a free download of Love on the Rocks. Winner to be drawn August 31st.



Blurb:
When Sara attempts to save her daughter, she may also be escaping a fate worse than an abusive boyfriend…she may be running away from true love. The big question is: Which man will find her first?
Sara Compton, normally strong, independent, and fun-loving, is deeply distressed at having to abandon her baby, but she has neither money nor home and is hiding from an abusive and obsessive ex-boyfriend. The only way to keep her child safe is to give her up.
Anthony Jacobs has sworn off women due to a previous relationship gone sour. He finds the child, takes her home, and arranges care for her. When he places a public call for a nanny and a lovely woman arrives who seems to have a rapport with the abandoned baby, he hires her on the spot.
Sara is fraught with guilt and tension at the possibility of being found out. What will Anthony think of her if—or when—he finds out the truth? To add to her worries, trouble arises in the form of Sara’s ex-boyfriend, who appears on the scene with custody papers in hand. She makes a hasty escape, her daughter in tow, but in the process of avoiding the evil Elliot Saunders, is she leaving behind her one true love?

Love on the Rocks - Excerpt

"Since you slaved away to prepare such a feast, I insist on doing the washing up."

"What? No beeper?" Caroline chided.


"Not tonight. Guess I was too tired to arrange a get-a-way. I'll have to do better tomorrow," Anthony said with a wink and a chuckle.

Picking up Charity, she shot back, saying, "That figures. Oh, well, I'll enjoy tonight's respite and take our little princess upstairs to get her cleaned up. What do you think of that, sweetheart?"


"Fine with me," Anthony answered unexpectedly, then must have caught himself because he turned back to look at them as Caroline erupted into laughter. "Uh, you weren't talking to me just then, were you?" he asked sheepishly.


"No, but you sure do look good in red," she quipped, giggling at his embarrassment as she went on her way.


Anthony could hear her giggles as she went up the back stairs. To his astonishment, he had truly enjoyed thinking she'd called him 'Sweetheart,' and it had seemed so natural, too.


Oh, boy! Am I ever in big trouble, he told himself as he realized he'd fallen head over heels for the woman. What am I going to do now? How do I find out if she feels the same without bringing on a sexual harassment suit? Why did she have to be Charity's nanny...an employee...and a darn good one at that! He didn't want to scare her into running away. Think, Anthony! Think! He knew he'd figure out something. He'd just have to play it by ear and take a chance when the opportunity arose.