Category Archives: Jennifer Lynne’s guest author series

Book tour: ALMOST A BRIDE by Sarah Mayberry

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Hello folks! It’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted here – mainly due to the demands of family and life outside writing. But I’m delighted to be back, and today I’m featuring fellow Aussie author, Sarah Mayberry and her new release, ALMOST A BRIDE. Read on for the sexy excerpt…and the chance for a GIVEAWAY!

Blurb

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00003]Tara Buck has always been the good sister, level-headed by comparison to Scarlett, her flaky, impulsive twin. But when Tara learns her fiancé has been cheating on her with one of his school students, the orderly world she’s created for herself suddenly feels as if it’s falling apart. For years she chose the safe option, but from now on she’s going to live a little, stretch her wings…be a little daring. And if that means acting on the long-suppressed feelings she’s always had for Reid Dalton, then so be it!

Reid has wanted Tara from the moment he met her, but she’s always been out of bounds. Not only is she his patrol partner at the Bozeman PD, she’s also engaged. But then her relationship blows up, and Reid finds himself battling his own instinct to stake his claim with the finest, hottest woman he’s ever known.

Even if anything did happen between them, it would only ever be temporary – Reid’s a born wanderer, while Tara’s roots run deep in Marietta. So even if things are good between them, it seems their romance is destined to be short and sweet…

Tara’s twin sister, Scarlett, also has a Spring Brides story: look out for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey. Details from montanabornbooks.com

She pulled away, instinctively licking her lips to soothe them. Reid’s gaze followed the movement, and she was close enough to see his pupils dilate and his nostrils flare.

She went very still. And then she did something she’d been wanting to do for a very long time: she leaned close and kissed him, properly this time.

His mouth was warm, and she could taste the sweetness of the lemon meringue pie he’d had for dessert. She waited for him to respond, to do something, but he seemed to be waiting for something else. Something more.

Feeling bolder than bold, she ran her tongue along the closed seam of his lips, asking for entry. There was the smallest of pauses, then some of the tension went out of him as he opened to her, his tongue stroking hers, his mouth starting to move at last. His hands found her waist, his fingers gripping her warmly as his kiss became more demanding, more urgent.

Author Bio

sarah-mayberrySarah Mayberry is the award-winning, best selling author of more than 30 novels. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers and has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Literature. It took her ten years and multiple attempts before her first book was accepted. During that time, Sarah worked in magazine publishing and the television industry, contributing to the internationally known Australian serial drama “Neighbours” and co-creating teen drama series “Karaoke High”. Sarah currently splits her time between writing for television and writing novels.

She lives in Melbourne by the bay with her husband and a small, furry Cavoodle called Max. When she isn’t writing, she loves reading, cooking, going to the movies and buying shoes.

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Tule Publishing

Giveaway

Sarah will be awarding a digital copy of ALMOST A BRIDE to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So please comment here on this post, and then follow the tour HERE to increase your chances of winning!

Author Imogene Nix on changing it up

ABarInParis_LargeI’m delighted to welcome Imogene Nix to the blog to showcase her brand new contemporary romance, A Bar in Paris. But first, she talks to us about changing things up, in life, as a reader and as a writer!

Here’s Imogene:

In the last 12 months, I’ve been making a change. It’s taken some time, but I’ve decided that writing in one genre (SciFi) is great but not enough. It’s like I’m missing something out.

A bit like a fine wine, I’m not yet full bodied enough *winks broadly* because I haven’t investigated every type of grape and whether it’s got that right… oh sorry, wrong blog entry! I meant to say I haven’t tried every genre that interests me… yet!  But I’m getting there.

At the end of our children’s education, we tell kids to gather a range of skills, to try out new stuff and not settle for the one thing they know as they come to the end of schooling. We explain patiently about rounding out their skills to make them more employable. That it’s for their own good. That it will possibly be their entree in to the world of commerce/business or whatever field they wish to pursue.

It should be no different for a writer. For an author, it’s really easy to become pigeonholed. “Oh you write that hot Science Fiction.”  Does that make us a better author? Maybe, but it limits our capacity to look at new ideas. To try out things that will stretch our wings.

For the reader, the end result is, you may not go looking for any more books by this author, because, after all, you only write in one genre. Right? Let me be clear, I’m not saying that every author should do this. For some, their research/writing or other skills won’t allow them to attempt this. A word of warning, the writing should never be about the possible financial gain as a reason to swap genres either. It should be about trying out something new. Stretching your wings.

For me, it’s not that I went out looking for other genres to write in. Because I didn’t. But what I did do, is open myself to a range of genres. I read a lot of books (though not as often as before I began writing) so I allowed my mind to be open to a range of ideas. That’s something that made me feel I could try a new genre.

For example: What happens if I have a vampire in a contemporary city…?  What about a Celtic Brownie who moonlights as cupid? A murderer on the loose, trying to regain the one thing that will let people find his identity? See what I mean? My current work in progress is a sweeping historical tale set in 1878 India. I’m enjoying the challenge (and boy to ensure the historical accuracy, I’m spending a lot of time researching!)

You know what, though? Not only has it allowed me to try out new storylines, but I’m loving it. It’s letting me play with all the various different ideas… to test my own skills out and to expand the way my mind works. To expand my own interests.

So the next time you are stuck for a story… why not check out a book in a different genre? One you wouldn’t ordinarily read. Oh! Make sure you check out all the titles by your fave authors too! They might surprise you with some books written in other genres as well. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for new to you authors! There are so many places to try.  Check out the Dark Siders Down Under, Science Fiction Romance Brigade and hunt out blogs that deal with book reviews! You never know just what you’ll find.

A Bar in Paris Blurb

Turning 30? All alone? A commitment-free weekend in Paris should help…shouldn’t it?

What does a single woman do when she’s turning thirty? She takes a weekend trip to Paris looking for commitment-free sex. Or that’s what Davina Chandler does, anyway.

Enter Johnathon, a tall, charming Englishman. How can she possibly resist his magnetism and that sexy dimple?

What starts out as a lark quickly becomes so much more, but can one weekend turn into a lifetime? And will a lie of omission bring everything into jeopardy?

Excerpt

The waiter smiled and I sighed. “Time to go.” As I prepared to rise, gripping my bag in my hand, the bell above the door rang and I watched with interest as the sexiest man I’d ever seen entered. The cool blonde on his arm was scowling and he pried her fingers from his arm then walked away. For a moment, she wobbled on her stilettos before she sneered in her super chic French way only they can pull off and stalked out the door. It slammed so hard the panes of glass shuddered.

The man scowled, but to be honest, it didn’t hurt at all. He was tall and well built. Blond hair with gray eyes.

My mind screamed that this man could probably satisfy my needs. He didn’t appear even slightly inebriated and he was obviously single now, if that little carry-on was to go by. Perhaps this was my chance? I smoothed down my black dress, making sure my cleavage was just peeking out, then I sucked in a deep, deep breath and stood, hoping to catch his eye.

I watched the man stalk to the bar and order in perfect English-accented French. “Une bière, s’il vous plait.

My toes curled at his voice and the waiter hurried to do his bidding. Mr. Sexy’s voice was cultured and deep. I like voices, particularly men’s voices. They can make me go gooey at the knees, and this one warmed my insides to the consistency of thick, warm honey. And I knew he was the one I wanted to be with all night long.

The server handed over a bottle of beer and a glass, but Mr. Sexy looked at the bottle, grimaced, and then took a long pull.

The other men at the bar started talking in low voices, putting aside newspapers. They paid their money and left. I didn’t want to think it was because of the dangerous aura surrounding the man. It was, after all, three in the morning. No, there had to be something else. But I was sure it wasn’t the time to ask these questions.

The small bar was quiet now as I was waiting alone with the mystery man. The waiter disappeared to the back. Obviously, with only two patrons left, he could do other things.

I sucked in my confidence, folded it around me like a coat, and approached the man. “Hi. Mind if I join you?”

He grinned and gestured to the seat beside him. I slipped onto the small stool, perched uncertainly. Then I wiggled my bum a little, thrust out my chest, and gave him my very best come-on smile.

“Looking for a hook up, are you?” His voice caused a curl of heat to gather deep inside me.

I nodded slowly. Better to be honest from the start, I thought. I didn’t have time to say a word. The next thing I knew, he had me thrust against the bar, his lips on mine and his tongue halfway down my throat. But man, what a tongue it was.

He played me like a violin until he lifted his head, casting a wicked smile in my direction. “Your hotel or mine?”

“Umm, yours.” Right now, I felt the rosy glow of arousal roaring through me. Sexy and quick to catch on. Yep, I was sure this guy was a winner.

YouTube trailer

Where to buy A Bar in Paris

Beachwalk Press

Biography

Wife, mother and nutty bookstore owner all describe Imogene Nix, but the real secret is Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance with a hefty dose of Romantic Suspense is what she adores. She is dedicated to high quality romance, with a dollop of erotic interactions, and has dipped her toes into Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance featuring feisty headstrong female leads and the odd Romantic Suspense.

She lives in rural Queensland where she happily raises two daughters, lots of chickens, a couple of cats and her super-pup Teddy. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her husband, acting like a techno-geek or cooking and making wine.

Where to find Imogene Nix

Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads     Blog     Hotter Than Hades     Website

An interview with Ellora’s Cave author – Gail Bridges

Gail Bridges Author Photo smallToday I’m interviewing the lovely Gail Bridges. Not only is she a talented author who writes for the Ellora’s Cave Exotika® line, she is also an award-winning jewellery maker and successful musician. Below is an excerpt from AMERICA’S DARLINGS, but first, here’s the interview:

Welcome Gail! Can you share a little about your journey to publication?

There is a rather humorous story about how I came to be published in erotica. I’d never written anything sexy in my life – in fact, even though I’d written numerous novels and short stories, I found myself shooing amorous couples behind closed doors and making them do their thing in private. I would sweat over a simple kiss or caress. I knew I had to address my blind spot as a writer, so I challenged myself to write a sexy story: I would go all out, to be as explicit and hot and outrageous as possible, no holds barred.

Guess what? I loved it. No – I adored it. Who knew that writing sizzling, burning, passionate sex would be so easy, so fun! The words flew from my hands so quickly I could barely keep up. To my amazement the first erotic story I ever wrote, PAINT JOB, was shockingly good, so I submitted it to the best publisher of erotica and erotic romance around, Ellora’s Cave. And they accepted it.

How long did it take to get published?

There are two answers to this question. First answer: It took about…oh…eight years to be published, give or take. Second answer: It took about a week! Writing PAINT JOB, revising it, polishing it, and sending it off to the Ellora’s Cave submissions editor was quick and exciting, a whirlwind. After that, it was several months before I received the official “yes” and the contract, and after that, about six months more until it came out in eBook form.

Do you have a favorite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?

Surprisingly, I do not read much erotica or erotic romance. My tastes in reading are more mainstream – I loved GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, for instance. I also have a soft spot for Science Fiction. Octavia Butler – oh, she’s wonderful. And I thought WOOL by Hugh Howey was amazing.

Tell us about your latest release.

AMERICA’S DARLINGS is the story of…wait for it!…SEX in the Olympic Games! As in, a sport, complete with teams and coaches and judges and scoring markdowns. I had more fun writing this admittedly outrageous concept into a daring novel of Olympic Athletes whose sport is a bit…shall we say…unusual.

Can you tell us a little about your current WIP?

INN ON THE EDGE is going through final editing with my lovely editor at Ellora’s Cave. It will soon hit virtual bookshelves everywhere!

I’m so excited about this novel that I can barely contain myself. INN ON THE EDGE is erotic horror – a challenging combination to say the least. In the book, my newlywed characters have just checked in to a lovely bed-and-breakfast Inn on the Washington Coast, only to find they’ve been taken captive by a sex demon.

Sounds like one I’ll have to add to my TBR list! So, what is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

I was so excited about this review! It was for PAINT JOB, my first book, the one I spoke of earlier. Book reviewer The Jeep Diva wrote: “Short, yet incredibly erotic, the ménage scenes are detailed and unbelievably hot. I’ll definitely read more by this author after picking this one up!”

What made you want to be an author? At what age did you start telling stories and then writing them down?

I have a detailed memory of myself, age twelve, making up novels with huge casts of characters and convoluted plot lines and clever titles. Every morning, on my way to school (I walked about half a mile, but seemed much longer), I let myself get lost in dreams of my future adult self – the world-famous author!

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?

It’s supposed to be fun. Write because you love it, because you love creating something where nothing existed before.

Erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?

Good question. Someone at a recent Romance Conference (the Emerald City Writers Conference) just asked me this – and luckily, I had a good answer for her. Erotic Romance is hot and explicit and may have as much sexual action as straight-up erotica, but the story lines of all Erotic Romances follow the arc of the romance. If there was no romance, there would be no story.

Erotica, on the other hand, follows a character’s sexual journey. There may be romance and many of the same elements found in erotic romance, such as great storytelling – but the romance itself does not take center stage, the sexual journey does. In my mind, this opens up a story for more interesting plot lines.

I write erotica, in case you’re wondering.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Thank you so much for this interview! I’ve enjoyed thinking about these insightful questions and writing about my work. My books can be found here:

AMERICA’S DARLINGS

PAINT JOB

My website: www.GailBridges.com

My Blog: http://gailbridges.blogspot.com/

My Twitter: @GailWBridges

americasdarlings_msrAMERICA’S DARLINGS

Leah Collins is a sexual gymnast, a brilliant athlete poised to compete in the Mexico City Olympics Games of 2112. She takes pride in her advanced skills in the sexual arts, but performing Courtesan’s Treat and Raging Volcano in front of thousands of cheering fans is no easy task, especially when sexual malfunctions threaten.

At her side, a pillar of strength and compassion is her best friend, Benson White. He is the one who scrapes her from the ground when her self-destructive tendencies surface. Benson is a talented sexual gymnast in his own right, the other half of America’s Darlings.

They hope for a gold medal. What neither of them expects is to fall in love.

EXCERPT

“Whore! Whore of Babylon!”

I turned.

A red-faced woman stood behind the barrier rope, screaming.

I recognized her. She had been lurking at the airport late the night before when I had arrived in Mexico City with the sexual gymnastics team. Despite furious coaches and horrified airport personnel, she had flung her sign reading “Save our Olympics!” back and forth, pointing and jeering and calling us dreadful names as we passed by her on our way to catch the subway to the Olympic Village. Her worst insults were directed at me. I am, you see, the female half of America’s Darlings.

Surely you’ve heard of America’s Darlings?

Benson and I earned the moniker last year when we won the Internationals in Moscow. The media went crazy for us, couldn’t get enough of us, wouldn’t leave us alone. The sportscaster covering the event, a guy named Ryan Markham, had coined the name America’s Darlings—and it had stuck. No-one had asked Benson and me whether we liked it or even wanted it. Luckily, we do like it. At least I do. The extra attention earned us the adoration of a nation enchanted with our brand-new sport, millions of fans intent on following our every move.

I’m still not used to it.

It throws me when people recognize me. Complete strangers call me by name, act as if they know me, comment on my performances, give advice or offer to help me to practice, and it gets me every time.

But I like it. I do.

As America’s Darlings, the nation’s highest-ranking sexual gymnast duo, Benson and I were the team’s best hope, probably the only hope, for a gold medal in the Olympics—and the public never let us forget it. My face—and Benson’s—had been plastered everywhere for months.

Of course the woman knew who I was. How could she not?

Now here she was again.

“Jezebel! Porn-Monger! Sex fiend!”

Sex fiend? Really?

Buy AMERICA’S DARLINGS at Ellora’s Cave.

Book Release Blitz: OUTCAST by Kiru Taye

Paranormal / Fantasy / Romance

Available now from Amazon US & Amazon UK
FREE Kindle Download from November 2 to 6
Available for $0.99 / £0.77 afterwards until 30 November 2013.

Blurb

Ugo’ji is an outcast, an untouchable. She lives on the fringe of society as the lowest
of the low, a living sacrifice to the gods. The only person she interacts with is her aged grandmother Nne who nurtures her powerful gift of healing. Until the day she meets Ebube a strange warrior to their lands. He  ignites a yearning within her she’s unable to ignore.

Ebube is drawn to the young maiden with the emerald green eyes who possesses the body
of a goddess and the healing touch of an angel. But he is forbidden from mating
with a human and the consequence is the wrath of the gods. Moreover he is on a mission. If he fails, the gates of hell will be opened and the earth plunged into darkness. He cannot stay and she cannot go with him.

Excerpt

Help me…Do whatever it takes…Keep the gates of Alammuo sealed.
Darkness tugged at him and threatened to pull him into its murky depths. With a jerk, Ebube sat up on his pallet. The creaking wood and thumping of his heart echoed in his acutely responsive ears. Danger seeped from the nightmare he couldn’t remember into the air, leaden and oppressive. His breath heaved as he choked, his throat clogged with the fetid stench of death. On reflex, he extended his right arm, grabbing the scabbard he always kept within reach, the pitch shadow no hindrance for his sharp eyesight. As a leopard-shifter, his vision was excellent, night and day. He didn’t need to look at his hands to see the extended claws. Sharp tips dug into his palm. He ignored the sting and his awkward grip on the carved wooden hilt of the single edge sword.
His beast came to the fore, clawing to take over, an instinctive response to potential threats. Muscles tensed, Ebube fought the shift. Sweat streaked down his body in rivulets. He swiped his face with his left palm, stopping the liquid from dripping into his eyes.
Sweeping his gaze across the large, airy chamber of his sparsely-decorated home, he sought the source of danger setting off his internal alarm.
Apart from the raised bamboo sleeping platform covered in padded deer hide and the wooden trunk that stored his personal belongings, the only other items were his tools of warfare – his spears, shields, machetes and scabbards. They hung on the single-rung mantel against the burnt-umber rock wall, gleaming with polish and sharpness, ready for use.  Undisturbed.
A tingle ran up his spinal column, the way it always did when he sensed something out of place. Something terribly wrong. He swung his legs around. Cool unglazed stone flooring met his bare feet. The muscles on his back tensed, primed for action. Slowly, he stood to his full height and walked through the room.
His home consisted of two chambers, one for sleeping and the other for entertaining guests. Though as a guardian, a special warrior of the gods, he could live as luxuriously as the gods did, they had agreed communally to live as simply as humans of the era so as not to draw attention to themselves as supernatural beings.
Nothing was out of place in his rooms, no stray, malevolent being in the vicinity. Yet the tingling in his bones didn’t dissipate. When he found nothing inside, he grabbed the wooden knob, opened the door and walked onto the corridor linking his residence to the rest of his family’s. Their homes were hewn out of Amauwa rocks, a hill range in the middle of the rain forest.
He stopped in front of the last house, the tension on his shoulders increasing. Nothing lurked inside it, living or inanimate. Yet the memory of the previous occupant flooded his mind, hitting him low in the abdomen, spreading pain through his body. Gritting his teeth, he shook his head and turned his back to the building and its unwelcome memories.

About Kiru

A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket during lights-outs in boarding school. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book.
During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com

Contest

Kiru is giving away 2 x $5 Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash and 5 x ebooks of the follow-up story Sacrifice. Complete the rafflecopter to enter the prize draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kate Belle on Eros: writing authentic love

I’m delighted to hand over the blog today to talented Aussie author, Kate Belle (THE YEARNING). She is talking about a subject close to my own heart (and featured in my GODS OF LOVE series) – Eros and his sexy brothers, the erotes. Here’s Kate:

KateBelle-glam LShiresEros. The ancient god of love and the main man when it comes to writing any kind of romantic fiction. With him around the sheets are likely to be set on fire and everything gets a bit sticky. Eros is usually depicted as Cupid, that cute cuddly son of Aphrodite and Mars carrying his cheeky golden bow and arrow, looking for any pair of unsuitable mortals to throw together in a tumult of love. He is also known as one of the earliest creationist gods born out of Chaos, an essential part in the building of the human psyche.

But True Love requires more than love and beauty. Eros can’t operate alone. Did you know he has three brothers? Together they are known as the erotes, a group of ever-young, winged gods responsible for the different aspects of love. They are often depicted as the cherubs circling Aphrodite in old paintings.

Without the full complement of love gods active in a tale any romance is likely to fall short on sizzle. When a writer understands each of them and brings them to life in their characters a romance story will literally steal the reader’s heart and here’s why.

Love is a complicated thing. There’s a push and pull in the forming of a new relationship that makes the whole experience tantalising and excruciating. The pleasure and pain of first love is divine torture because the primitive parts of our brains are programmed to respond to certain basic human urges, each represented by the erotes.

Firstly there’s beloved Eros, god of love and beauty. He is the spark of attraction at the heart of every love story. His love poison blinds us so that we only see the very best, the most beautiful, in our lover. Even if the reader can see the love interest’s faults, the lover can’t. But this alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. We also need…

Pothos, god of longing and yearning. It’s one thing to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, but quite another for Pothos to settle in our heart. Pothos drives us nuts. We obsess – should I call? Is it too soon? I want to talk to him/her, but we only spoke an hour ago. What should I do? Without the intense longing of Pothos we may never find the courage to leap that first frightening hurdle to go in hot pursuit of our love interest.

And why do we feel compelled to pursue?

Because of Himeros, god of lust and uncontrollable desire, stirs the coals of our loins. Himeros is the drive to overcome whatever obstacles we encounter so we can express our love for our beloved in the flesh. Himeros is a call to action. We want to possess, own, penetrate, take our lover for our own.

But what if our lover denies us?

Then we turn to Anteros, god of returned and unrequited love. He loves a lover who loves back, but scorns and avenges those who do not return love (where was he when I needed him?). He reminds us that love can fade. A quick tap on his shoulder and your haughty love interest will be sorely punished for not acknowledging your passion for them.

All four of these delicious deities must be present in the tooing and froing of a romantic relationship if it is to feel authentic. My personal favourite is Himeros, but he’d get awfully depraved and lonely without the other three.

Who is your favourite love god and why?

Yearning lo resTHE YEARNING by Kate Belle

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.

Read an extract here.

Buy THE YEARNING

Ebook: Amazon or iTunes or Kobo

Print book: Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop and other independent bookshops (http://www.truelocal.com.au/find/book-shop/) and major airports. If not in stock just ask.

Reading group questions here.

About Kate

Bloom by Kate Belle - loresKate is a multi-published author who writes dark, sensual contemporary women’s fiction. She lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter and a menagerie of neurotic pets.

Kate holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for three days.

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Weak at the Knees by Jo Kessel: G!veaway & Excerpt

VBT Weak at the Knees Banner copyWelcome to the Goddess Fish book tour and giveaway for Jo Kessel’s WEAK AT THE KNEES. Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre is about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps. To celebrate it’s release, Jo is giving away a $50 Amazon or BN gift card. Scroll down for details on how to enter the prize draw.

MEDIA KIT weak at the knees thumbnail good“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees received a 4 out of 5 rating from the UK national paper, The Sun!

EXCERPT

I leaned over, intending to air brush his cheeks with mine, but it didn’t quite happen that way. A stronger, more powerful force than my conscience, a force more powerful than morality, changed my path of navigation at the last second, making my lips meet his, melt deliciously into his, over and over and over again, sending shivers of pleasure through every limb in my body. My skin tingled, my head spun, I felt light-headed even though I was sitting down. That’s all we did for over an hour. Kiss and kiss and kiss, tasting each other, pressing our bodies close and steaming up the car. I didn’t want it to ever stop. I never realized that kissing could be so sensual and powerful and overwhelming. If Olivier and I were to never progress beyond kissing, then it would be enough, as long as I could keep on doing it forever. Finally, when he had to go, he hugged me tight and told me he’d wanted to kiss me since the first time we met, when I lay crashed in a snowy heap at his feet.

Buy at Amazon US

Buy at Amazon UK

MEDIA KIT Jo black and white publicity piano photos 003AUTHOR BIO

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

P.S. Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.

Jo loves to hear from her readers and they can connect with her on:

Her website

Twitter: @jo_kessel

Facebook

Goodreads

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Author Elizabeth Ellen Carter: Moonstone Obsession

I am delighted to welcome to the blog Elizabeth Ellen Carter, whose first published novel, MOONSTONE OBSESSION, was released last week by Etopia Press. This historical romance set in the world of the Ton in 1790′s England is already garnering great reviews. I am certain we will be seeing a lot more of this talented author in the future!

Moonstone-Obsession400wBlurb

Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.

For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life?

Here is an excerpt:

Abigail’s parted lips were daubed carmine red, a vivid slash of colour on a white painted face. Her grey-green eyes made larger with the expertly applied smoky eye shadow and eyebrow pencil.

James decided now was the time to make his escape.

“Perhaps the next dance mother, I’ve just spotted someone I need to speak to.”

It was a lie and they both knew it, but as James moved out of Lady Abigail’s orbit to seek an object for his excuse, his excuse found him.

“Lord Penventen…”

With an overly bright smile, James turned and exclaimed, “There you are my good chap! I’ve been trying to catch you all evening. Where have you been keeping yourself?”

William Rosewall frowned, his confusion apparent. James had said no more than a few words to the man since arriving, and now he treated him like a long-lost friend.

James ignored Rosewall’s bemusement as his eyes lit on the young woman next to him.

“And pray tell where have you been keeping this gorgeous creature?”

Selina’s eyebrow rose at the hyperbolic greeting and she nudged her brother.

“Forgive me Sir James, I wish to introduce my sister, Miss Selina Rosewall.”

With eyes twinkling, James bowed low, sweeping Selina’s hand up with his and presenting the back of her wrist with a theatrical kiss.

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”

Expecting the confused giggles he had received from the other women on whom he’d used this greeting, he was surprised by a light and genuine musical laugh.

“That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man, if with his tongue he cannot win a woman,” she responded.

James blinked in surprise at her Shakespearean touché.

He drew himself to his full height of six feet and looked at her properly for the first time.

Selina Rosewall’s sparkling blue eyes gave him pause. She was a pretty little thing. Unlike the garishly painted creatures at the ball tonight, she was fresh faced apart from a little colour on her lips and heightened colour of her cheeks, which he suspected was natural.

And, rather than looking back at him in that obvious way most husband-hungry young women did, she met his gaze directly and with a great deal of amusement.

“Teach not thy lips such scorn, for it was made for kissing, lady, not for such contempt,” he batted back.

Where to buy MOONSTONE OBSESSION

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks
Kobo

Author Bio

Elizabeth Ellen Carter was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth – but it may have been a pen. Ever since then she has been writing… and writing… and writing.

From writing news and feature stories for newspapers to advertising copy (it’s less glamorous than Mad Men) and website content, she has most recently turned her hand to writing novels in her favourite genre – romance.

Elizabeth lives in Queensland, Australia with her writer husband and two cats.

Author Phoenix Johnson: Traditional vs Change in Paranormal Romance

Phoenix Johnson picI’m delighted to welcome to the blog Phoenix Johnson, Naughty Nights Press author. Today she’s talking traditional versus modern when it comes to the paranormal in romance. What’s your preference? Enjoy the discussion, everyone. I think it’s bound to be lively!

Phoenix says:

WARNING: Twilight fans will most likely get offended. If you are a Twilight fan and don’t think you could read this without taking offence, please stop now. I’m not writing this to cause a Twilight debate, but rather a discussion on traditionalism or modernism regarding paranormal creature fundamentals.

So, we all know that there are Twilight fans and those who absolutely despise the series and consider it twaddle. The arguments for and against it could almost start World War III. I’ll freely admit I’m one of the latter. I am a traditionalist paranormal fan. I like my vampires flamey, not sparkly, I like them to be strong characters, not wimps who get rid of their bike just because the girl enjoyed it with someone else. I like my werewolves to be men responsible for their actions, not hormonal teenagers fighting over a girl.

Phoenix Johnson wolf coverBut that’s just me. I’m a traditionalist. And not meaning to sound full of my own characters, but I believe that the werewolves in my Wolf Smitten series could whoop the arses of those in Twilight. A humorous comment made by a friend of a friend was that Eddie Munster could kick Jacob’s arse.

So my question to paranormal fans, do you like it when an author changes things up as Stephenie Meyer has, or do you prefer traditional characters? Vampires that burst into flames at the touch of sunlight; werewolves that aren’t hormonal, but aggressive.

I’d also like to ask at what point do you see a character as being totally different? Do you accept small changes, or do you see any change as changing the fundamental characteristics of the being, and therefore creating something altogether new? I see Stephenie Meyer’s vampires as completely different, but I see Anne Bishop’s witches, unicorns and dragons as traditional with just a touch of change. (‘Kindred’, as the particular animals are called, can communicate telepathically with humans they choose to). An acceptable change for a traditionalist like myself.

How about creatures that are supposed to be like nothing previously seen or read? How do you react and accept them? Do you picture the new creature with ease as you read (of course this also depends on the quality of the writing), or is it often difficult to accept a new type of creature?

I like to think that I’m accepting of creatures that are completely new, or traditional creatures with small changes that are more personal, but I always have been and always will be a traditionalist. Fundamental core characteristics CANNOT be messed with, in my opinion. To me, saying that a vampire sparkles is like saying people have three legs and a tail. In that case, we’re not really people any more, are we? We’re some kind of mutant.

Mull these questions, and my opinions, over. I would love to hear what others think about traditionalism vs modernism, and completely new paranormal creatures.

This was originally posted on my own blog, The Naughty Pages. You can find the original post here.

About The Wolf in the Neighborhood

What do you do when your past comes back to haunt you?

Could a dark secret revealed by a new lover be something you could overlook just to have him?

What kind of secrets could you learn to live with for true love?

Krissy has a hunky new neighbor with a dark secret; Derek is a vet with an interesting past. They hit it off quickly but when Krissy’s abusive ex, James comes back into her life, Derek shows a side Krissy never could have guessed. However, James refuses to give up. Can Derek’s secret save them, or will James have his revenge?

A Sneaky Peek

Once downstairs, Krissy invited Derek into her apartment while she quickly threw her satin robe onto the queen sized bed and grabbed a pair of jeans, a bra and a gold colored tank bought specifically to compliment her tan. As she slipped the clothes on, she congratulated herself on not stumbling and making a complete fool of herself. No one had interrupted her naked sunbathing before and she expected that, should it ever happen, she would just turn beet-red and dash back to her apartment to hide for a week in utter shame.

Krissy quickly ran a brush through her long ebony hair, pulled on her favorite pair of teal pumps and walked out to the lounge where she’d left Derek. He was looking at her book collection and didn’t hear her approach, the carpet muffling her steps. She leaned against the doorframe watching him flip through her favorite erotica novel, well-worn from countless readings.

Since her apartment was very quiet she heard him mumble, “What a fascinating woman you are,” which made her heart miss a beat and her lips twitch to a smirk.

Buy at:

Naughty Nights Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

About Phoenix

Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing. Phoenix has multiple works in progress, and her favourite writing genres are the same as her reading genres: erotica, romance, paranormal, thriller and a combination of these. The Wolf in the Neighborhood, book one in her debut trilogy Wolf Smitten, was released January 15 2013. She currently lives in a small rural town west of Ipswich, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter, their cat Flash and a Siamese Fighting Fish aptly named Cranky.

Find Phoenix on the web:

Facebook

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Pinterest

Website

Tumblr

Youtube

Interview with Evernight author Tamsin Baker #sexy #menage

healed-heartsI’m delighted today to bring you a glimpse into the life and writing of my friend and fellow Melbourne Romance Writer’s Guild member, Tamsin Baker. She is one of the most prolific new authors I know, and I am sure we will all be seeing much more of her work in the months and years ahead. There is an excerpt below from her latest Evernight Publishing release, ménage vampire romance, HEALED HEARTS.

Tamsin, what authors do you like to read?

Hmm, this has changed a lot for me. At the moment I am obsessed with m/m. I haven’t stopped reading anything by Shannon West for the past two weeks.

Do you have a favourite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?

I love to read and write m/m or ménage with m/m in it. Usually with a paranormal element. I’m very into reading werewolves at the moment. :) I go through phases though which is fun. I get obsessed with one sort of erotic romance, write that for a bit, then move onto another sub genre – keeps it interesting and fresh.

Is there a genre you’d like to try writing and haven’t yet?

I haven’t written an actual f/f romance yet. One of my ménage fantasy books has f/f and m/f/f scenes in it, but it isn’t a ménage romance.

Tell us about your latest release from Evernight.

HEALED HEARTS is the third in a trilogy, called ‘Third Bite.’ I based the series around the idea that vampires must have all of their soul mates together, or they go insane and die. The first two books needed three mates, yet in this book, the trio of vampire men need a fourth. And Maryanne is the lady for them!

Can you tell us a little about your current WIP?

I’m working on a few at the moment, which is what I tend to do so I don’t get stuck/have writers block. I’m actively editing KNOWING DESTINY, which is the sequel to my ménage shifter book which comes out on July 31st . It’s pretty much done and almost ready for submitting. I’m half way through a contemporary Dom story which I wrote 3K on today and I have two sequels on the back burner, which I will pick up when I need something different. They are m/m contemporary and m/f Domme Historical. :) I do like to mix things up.

You certainly do! So, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Total pantser. I have no idea what’s going to happen in my books. I have a starting scene, a couple of characters and off I go.

Erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?

I personally prefer to read and write erotic romance, though I do both. When I went to ARRA – which is a writing conference, a writer there put it nicely. Erotic romance is the journey of two or more people who fall in love and have a HEA or at least a HFN. The sex is used to move the story along and to develop the relationship. Erotica is a sexual journey of one person and the outcome doesn’t matter.

[JL: ARRA for my non-Aussie friends is the Australian Romance Reader's Association, who hold a reader's convention each year].

Tamsin, where can readers find out more about you and your books?

At my BLOG and WEBSITE. I update them very regularly. Come on over anytime!

 

Excerpt from HEALED HEARTS

“We need you, Lady Maryanne. You don’t understand how much we need you.”

She gasped and pulled her hand out of his grasp. Piers moaned liked a wounded animal, so Lucas grabbed him and pulled Piers into his embrace.

Maryanne was panting slightly, her chest heaving as she struggled to contain the emotions they had obviously evoked in her. She moved back towards her bed.

“I understand that the only thing I am now good for is to be married off to some stranger. My horrible parents certainly do not want me. I have been humiliated enough by society, gentlemen. I don’t need anyone to remind me of my current tainted state!”

Lucas froze, his arms still wrapped around Piers. What was she saying?

When they didn’t move as Maryanne had demanded, she screamed.

“Get out!”

Lucas nodded at Thomas, and together they pulled Piers out into the hallway, locked her door and retreated to their room.

Heart thumping, grief assailing him, Lucas slid down onto the floor next to the slumped Piers.

“She … I …”

Piers shook again, and Lucas pulled his young mate into his arms. How could it have gone so badly?

“We will convince her. We will. We have time, Piers. I love you.”

Piers buried his head into Lucas’s neck and reached out a hand to Thomas. Thomas came readily, and together they spent the rest of the night on the floor, locked in each other’s arms.

****

Just before sunrise Lucas woke Maryanne yet again, and she rolled her eyes at him.

“We must hide for the daylight hours, but we will visit you tonight.”

Maryanne closed her eyes but not before Lucas saw the tears shimmering there. What had happened to her to make her react this way? They would find out, and they would fix it!

He knelt down next to the bed and put his lips close to her ear. His fangs elongated with hunger as he inhaled her scent, but he focused his mind on wooing her.

“You feel it, too, don’t you? The connection and the need when we are close by. I am the oldest, so I will be strong for you. Thomas is our peacemaker, and he will make sure you are always happy. Piers is our youngest and most passionate. You will never want for love when he is around.”

Maryanne brought her blankets over her head and whispered through them to him.

“Please, just leave me alone.”

Lucas smiled sadly, and they left her, despite his desire to stay and comfort her. He knew she felt as they did; she just had to realize it herself.

Buy Links

Evernight Publishing

Amazon

Vampires and romance: Irina Argo is giving away a $50 GC!

VBT-Vampire-Elite-BannerThis book tour hosted by Goddess Fish offers the chance for a fantastic $50 Amazon/BN Gift Card from author Irina Argo! A great prize and an interesting new series – please scroll down for details on how to enter the giveaway.

As a tour host I had a choice of several excerpts – I hope you enjoy the one I chose – it really hooked me!

VAMPIRE ELITE by Irina Argo

BLURB

Can the ultimate choice be made if saving your race means destroying the one you love?

At the beginning of the twenty-first century of our era a millennia long war between two immortal races was coming to an end. The Vampire Elite, the strongest among vampires, forced the race of immortal beings, the Amiti to become their blood suppliers, called bloodstock, locking them in their underground cells and treating them like livestock. The surviving free Amiti make a final attempt to strike back. The Queen of Amiti is proclaimed a traitor and is executed. Her death signifies the rise of a new Queen, her young daughter Arianna who becomes the last hope of her dying race. Arianna totally embraces her mission and is ready to fight for her people to the last drop of her blood but encounters an unexpected challenge—the vampire King Tor. They both are captured into a trap of love where they had to make an ultimate choice; to kill the loved one or to let their races die.

Vampire Elite is the epic story of a bitter conflict between two peoples, and the effect of that conflict on everyone living in its grip. The characters are driven to love and betrayal, vengeance and sacrifice in a world without easy black-and-white answers.

Based on an ancient Egyptian legend, packed with action and intrigue, Vampire Elite will pull you into the entrancing world of immortals and open new portals into their hidden universe.

EXCERPT

“I can’t do that, Anock.”

“Oh, but you can. You don’t want this female to die, do you?”

“No, I don’t, and I appeal to your mercy, Anock. You can spare her life; it’s your choice as much as it is mine. More than mine. I will not give the Keepers up. There’s nothing that you can do that will change my mind.”

“Yes, Oberon, you will. At the count of three. One.”

“I am so very sorry.” Oberon glanced at the woman. She held her head down, but her shaking shoulders betrayed that she was crying. “There is nothing I can do for you. The Keepers are the only Amiti’s hope, I cannot give them up.”

Please Goddess, kill me. Spare me from having to make this choice.

* * *

Two!” Anock was bluffing. He had no intention of letting the woman die. It was a test of wills.

“Please, Anock. You’re a warrior, not a butcher. How can you reduce yourself to this level? Torture me, kill me, do whatever you want, but please, don’t waste her life.”

Anock looked one last time at the Amiti.

This is so wrong.

Three!

Blade’s sword hissed through the air, slicing through the female’s neck. Her head hit the floor and rolled toward the cage, lifeless jade-green eyes staring into Anock’s soul. It took a few seconds for the body to collapse to the floor.

The hysterical screams of the other Amiti filled the room.

Anock stared, transfixed, at the lifeless eyes.

Cara’s eyes. Oh Goddess.

“Take the bloodstock to her cell and clean the place up,” he ordered, his voice and brain totally disconnected, and left.

AUTHOR BIO

Irina Argo is a combined pen name for two authors, Irina Kardos and Jo-An Torres.

MEDIA KIT Author IrinaArgoIrina

Irina’s world is dark. She works as a clinical psychologist in a Juvenile Correctional Facility dealing with the extremes of human behavior on a regular basis and takes care of her paralyzed husband who suffered a stroke several years ago. To bring light into her life she writes. Writing has always been her passion. She is originally from Russia where she was employed as a TV journalist.

MEDIA KIT Author Jo-AnJo-An
Jo-An is a Leo, a lioness who has emerged to follow her dream, to someday write a book of her own. She owned a costume shop for 15 years and was able to satisfy and excel in her creative nature. She is an over-achiever and believes that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and ignore the nay-sayers.  Her philosophy is based on Shakespeare “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” She currently resides in California with her 5 cats and 1 husband.

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