May 31, 2013

Recipe: Sweet Potatoes Croquettes @elisevancise #RLFblog #MFRWcamp

Sweet Potato Croquettes
Sweet Potatoes, Croquet, and Summer Fun for Authors!

Summer is fast approaching and our muses are itching to get out and enjoy the sunshine. It’s a great time to pack that picnic basket with crowd pleasing treats like Sweet Potato Croquettes.
Sweet Potato Croquettes are quick and easy to whip up. Toss these ingredients in your shopping cart:
1 box corn flake cereal
1 40oz can yams (you can use candied if you prefer)
1 bag mini marshmallows
Cinnamon or Allspice

When you get home put that watermelon in the fridge to chill then preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next you can get rid of all your pent up noveling anxiety by crushing the corn flakes, don’t make them too fine though you want some nice bits.

Now put the yams in a bowl and mix with cinnamon or allspice to taste. Once thoroughly mixed roll yams in ping pong or golf ball size balls with a marshmallow or two in the center.

Next just roll the yam balls in the crushed corn flakes until coated and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Once all rolled pop your croquettes into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.
While you’re waiting for your Sweet Potato Croquettes you can grab your mallet and try to get through the wickets or… You can hop online and make sure you’re signed up for Marketing for Romance’s A Taste of Summer Camp.

This three-day summer conference taking place July 12th thru 14th won’t disappoint. There will be great opportunities for learning, sharing and don’t forget the prizes! The best part it’s FREE. That’s right a free, online conference with goodies to boot.

Don’t miss out just because Romance is in the name. MFRW supports all genres and most classes can be applied to all areas of marketing and writing. The group’s motto says it all. Seek, Teach, Share, Learn, Succeed.

Registering for the conference is easy just join MFRW’s Yahoogroup and you’ll be in the loop for A Taste of Summer Camp.

Now mark your calendar, get those Sweet Potato Croquettes out of the oven, and get started on your summer fun! Be sure to keep a look out for more Taste of Summer blog posts from fellow MFRW members as we spread the news about this awesome event.

Author Elise VanCise Book: Don’t Touch
Dr Ryan Reign has unlocked a gift she calls a curse. Detective Jackson Prince and his partner need her help to stop a serial killer before he kills again. One problem Dr. Reign can't touch or be touched. Can the hard as nails cop Jackson find a way to touch her heart without touching her skin in order to stop the bloodshed?
Ryan nodded then went to the girl on the table. That's who deserved her attention at the moment. She was a pretty girl. Not tiny but not overweight, just built like a real woman, with curves.
The knife wounds looked as if they may match the weapon in the photos. They were fairly deep. It was odd though the seven wounds looked like they almost formed a circle. She wondered if this was done on purpose or just a random effect.
Everything else was run of the mill until she checked the eyes. The cornea of the left eye was missing. An exam of the right she found it was intact. "Make a notation to check her past medical records for a keratectomy."
It was odd to come across someone so young with such a procedure. The girl had fought back there were cuts and broken nails from trying to block the blade, defensive wounds, all over her hands and arms. "Lydia, help me get her undressed."
Don't Touch
The tech came over and they tugged the jeans off. Ryan always felt like she was playing dress up with an oversized doll. It would have been easier to just cut the clothing off but it might compromise possible evidence. So they undressed the bodies the old fashioned way.
Ryan caught her glove on the edge of the table tearing it from her right palm. "Damn." Seeing the tech cast a worried glance she added. "I'm alright, ripped my glove."
Lydia nodded and folded the jeans and a tube of lipstick fell from the pocket. Out of instinct, Ryan reached for it and caught it in her unlatexed palm. She swore angry that she had just contaminated possible evidence.
Suddenly images started to flash, the victim in a room, screaming. The girl crying as she applied the lipstick looking in a mirror. The feel of something being forced into her body. Ryan screamed in agony as she felt the knife being drawn out, knowing it would be plunged again. Falling to the floor, Ryan dropped the tube but continued to scream until shock made it all fade to black.

Buy link:
RLF Special 50% off use coupon code GM82W

About the Author

Elise VanCise, freelance photojournalist and award winning author, is published in both print and digital media. Elise is a Florida Cracker, with a love for adventure and historic places. She is the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for Lake County, Florida, and Founder of Lake Writers of Lake County, Florida. She's also a member of She Writes, Marketing for Romance Writers.Org, and the EPIC Public Relations Team, and is an advocate for Public Libraries, Young Writers, Autism, and COPD.

Find Me Here

Gladiator’s Pen Blog

May 30, 2013

Women's Fiction: Give Me Everything | Interview @AngelaKayAustin #RLFblog

Give Me Everything 
Angela Kay Austin, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book Give Me Everything.
Genre: Romantic Women's Fiction
Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Length: 180 pages
He'd sat on top of the world... the perfect woman, a daughter, and a job that made his father proud. Now, Kendis was divorced, and his daughter wasn't really his. At least, he has a good Brady and Associates, the firm that sends him to Maryland for their client, Eastover. Eastover, one of Maryland's largest commercial real estate developers, is on a mission to take over older, outdated malls.
She'd been through the wringer in her personal life, and now LaKia thinks the only thing she can control is her career as Marketing Director for a small commercial real estate company. She'd always wanted marriage and children like her best friend has... but she's given up on ever finding her own Mr. Right.
Until Kendis.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Lakia Jackson (almost thirty) and Kendis Washington (early thirties.)


Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place?
I set this story in Maryland, right outside of D.C. This is significant because it is an area where business and politics collide, everyday. This is important to the story because the story revolves around local politics and economic development.
What inspired you to write this book?
Conversation with friends over dinner and wine. I like writing stories about women who have followed the path of career. What happens when they take a look back, and think to themselves – what about marriage and children? And what happens if choosing one affects the other, and you feel you can't really trust what you're doing because of that simple fact.
Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?
It's hard for me to judge that one. I hope I've written the characters in such a way that readers connect to both. Kendis has been lied to, and deceived in such a way that I think it will connect with women. He has the chance to do something he thinks is important and, from his point of view, it will give back a lot to the local community. But, LaKia feels the same way about what she wants. She can protect a small company in a great community, and help preserve a little bit of history. And, just like Kendis, she's experienced her own loss, and has been deceived in her own way by someone she loved.
Why do you write?
Honestly, I think if I didn't my head would explode. I've always enjoyed playing out different scenarios in my head. I'll rewrite scenes to movies. Often, I visualize whole scenes to music. It's always been a part of me; it just took me a while to figure out what to do with it.
Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
One of my friends, another author, LaVerne Thompson. I met LaVerne through the Washington D.C. chapter of RWA, and through her I discovered Red Rose Publishing. That introduced me to digital first print publishers, and online conferences and workshops. That changed my life because until that time I only thought about one path to publishing – traditional mainstream publishers. I discovered a world of camaraderie, developed my craft, and gained confidence in myself as a writer.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
Depends on what I'm writing and when. Sometimes, I like to do what my characters are doing. Sometimes, I need to remove myself from the picture because I'm thinking too hard, and forcing the story verses letting it flow naturally. Sometimes, I need to push the story so that it's not too predictable. Chocolate, especially if it's chocolate covered something paired with a glass of wine, can help me slip into a more sensual frame of mind. Eating ice cream can make me think of more fun things: childhood, time with my young nephews or niece. Pictures, well, hey, pictures are pictures!
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
People watching. I love to sit and drink a cup of coffee in local shops or on an outdoor patio somewhere and watch people do what they do. I keep a notebook with me, and I scribble, relentlessly. Conversations. What they are wearing. How lovers interact. Whatever I can see or hear. Or, you might just find me doing something that one of my characters will be doing. I went white water rafting, and in this book – "Give Me Everything" – it opens with the characters doing just that.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I like to know what the story is about, but other than that, I let it flow. I like discovering the story in the same way the readers do. If I let the characters speak loudly enough I feel like the story will be better, more true.
Looking back at your first book, what do you wish you had done differently?
Dug deeper into my emotions. I set the story in Pennsylvania. I experienced a lot of what the character experiences with regards to isolation. There was also a lot of racial tension that I didn't delve into as deeply as I should've. I think it would have allowed readers to have a better connection with the story. If I have the chance to rewrite it, I will definitely peel back the layers.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
Career. I write about women who are career minded, and how that affects their lives. Regrets. Successes. Having it all. Can women have it all? According to so many, we can't. I guess I like to fantasize about the possibilities of it being obtainable. We can at least try.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
I write it down. I keep a notebook with me at all times, and I jot down everything for the idea. I don't want to forget it. It's the little nuances that I want to capture. I don't always see both my hero and my heroine. Sometimes, just one of them. So, I like to capture as much as I can when it comes to me. It helps me see the other characters more clearly.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
I don't know. Because my books cover issues important to women: abortion, miscarriage, date rape, homelessness, etc. There are parts of many of them that have been difficult. I tackle each piece of each story through deliberate research, and sometimes that means reading blogs or watching videos that can be heartbreaking. It can be hard to shake the memories.
Do you believe in luck?
Not sure. I believe in fate. There are things, I believe, that are just meant to be, and regardless of anything, they'll just be.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
It depends. My music, whether driving or writing, has to fit my mood (or the scene I'm writing.) If the sun is shining, and I'm driving with no purpose, I listen to one thing. If I'm on my way to meet with a client for work, I might listen to something upbeat. If I'm writing a love scene, of course, I want to listen to something appropriate.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Clarinet and saxophone. I even played in the band in high school and college.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, spinach and onion. And don't forget a glass of red wine.
I'm always ready for travel.
When I'm alone, I veg out on the SyFy channel.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was born and raised in TN.
If I had a halo it would be shiny sparkly. (fingers crossed)
If I could live in another country I'd move to Rome, Italy.
I can never stop writing because the voices in my head would find another way out.      

Previous Books

Love All Over Me
Sweet Victory
Christmas' Journey
Love's Chance
Scarlet's Tears
My Son

Books Coming Soon

I'm subbing away. When the ink has dried, I'll let you know.

Find Me Here

May 28, 2013

New Adult: Dangerous Temptation | Interview @KittyB78 #RLFblog

Dangerous Temptation 
Catrina Barton, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Dangerous Temptation.
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self
Cover artist: Shawn Barton
Length: 268 Pages
Heat rating: Sweet
Tagline: Seventeen year old Kaitlin Sinclair is about to have her life changed forever by an enticing stranger, and a prophecy she knows nothing about.
Seventeen year-old orphan Kaitlin Sinclair's world gets turned upside down when she's forced to move half way around the world to Indonesia with her uncle she never knew existed. Things get worse when the demons she left behind in America follow her to the land of intrigue. Her uncle forces her to attend a celebration where she meets Cadmon, a mysterious, captivating stranger, who reveals that he knew her parents. She uncovers secrets that in the wrong hands could destroy his endangered clan of were-tigers and the entire world. When Kaitlin dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Kaitlin Sincair, 17 Graduating high school. Cadmon Quinn 23 leader of his people.


The clearing fell silent as a man with shaggy, dirty blond hair which reached his shoulders, approached with a wide, purposeful stride. His shoulders were back, head held high and chest out. Piercing green eyes zeroed in on her.
Kaitlin inhaled a sharp breath and felt as if his eyes stared through to her soul. She shifted on the balls of her feet, and licked her bottom lip.
Ean's body went rigid. A look of caution crossed his face as the man approached them.
"Evening," the stranger greeted with a lazy drawl. His eyes never left her face. "Who is this exquisite young lady?"
His eyes settled on Ean's hands on her hips. To Kaitlin's chagrin her cheeks heated.
"Why are you here?" Ean moved Kaitlin closer to his body.
She braced her hands on his chest and gasped. "Who's this?" She pulled back.
"Cadmon Quinn, madam." He bowed. "It's a pleasure to meet you." He grabbed her hand and brushed a kiss on the back of it.
Her eyes widened. Butterflies brushed inside her stomach.
"Smooth." She slipped her hand free and rubbed it down the side of her dress to stop the tingles and shake off the electric jolt.
"She's charming." A corner of his mouth tilted. "Perhaps she will save me a dance?"
"She has a name." She removed Ean's hands from her hips and then turned to face Cadmon. "It's Kate. Use it." She raised her chin and planted her hands on her hips.
"Call me Cade." He flashed an amused smile.
"What do you want?" Ean stepped between them and squared his shoulders.
"Couldn't resis introducing myself to your lovely cousin."
Cadmon sidestepped Ean with a smile, and then twirled his forefinger through one of her banana curls. "Interesting choice." he gave it a loght tug. Her pulse quickened.
"I won't let you, or my father put her through anything else." Ean took Kaitlin by the elbow and stormed away.
She glanced back at Cadmon, who continued to watch her as he swaggered over to the elders, and picked up a tall glass of red wine. He saluted her with the drink, then sipped.
Kaitlin swallowed and turned around to break the eye contact. Was he a natural charmer, or was it an act? She hadn't seen him talk to anyone else, so maybe he was the silent type?
Ean pressed a cool glass against her hand.
"What did you mean?" Her gaze locked with his as she sipped the fruity drink.
His brow rose.
"Why would they want to hurt me?" She took another sip.
"He and Father are not on friendly terms." Ean scowled and sipped his glass.
"Why so defensive?" She placed her glass on the table and rested her hands on her hips.
Ean placed his glass down and grabbed her by the arms. "He's dangerous, and will only bring you trouble."
Cadmon appeared harmless, but the sheer magnetism of the man told her otherwise. What interest would he have in a girl like her? Was he one of those rich playboys? She frowned.
"Hungry?" Ean's fingers relaxed around her arms.
"I'm going to take a walk." The thought of food made her stomach queasy.
"Stay on the path, Katie." He frowned. "Want some company?"
"I need to clear my head." She walked along the small dirt path that led over to the river. Inhaling the damp air she sat, and tucked her dress beneath her.
She closed her eyes and allowed her fingers to glide through the cool liquid, wishing she could peel off her dress and swim.
Her eyes opened and she frowned at her reflection. Laneca would give her a serious earful if she saw how heavy the bags were under her eyes.
"You shouldn't be here alone." Cadmon held out a plate of food.
"I shouldn't be here at all." She stared at the food, then looked away.
"You need to eat." He passed her the plate and a glass of wine.
"Why are you so interested in me?" She sat the drink and plate on the grass.


Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most?
She's a teenager who lost both parents and tries to make the best of her horrible situations. She's also ready to start her first big adventure.
Why do you write?
Because it's as necessary as breathing. I'm not happy unless I'm writing.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
A nice steamy cup of green tea {preferably with mango and sweetened with honey} and some music to set the mood I'm trying to create.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
Amatuer belly dancing, teaching Kung Fu, or hiking with my family.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
Pull out my notebook and penand jot it down, or boot up my lap top and type it down.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
Waitressing as a teen, cashier, cook, house cleaning, care taking, teaching Kung Fu, yard work, editing, stocking, fast food.
What's the best gift you ever received?
True friendship and true love.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
Back to the days of the Native Americans. I'd love to live off the land and not worry about money. :P
What's your favorite movie?
Depends. Are we talking romance, action, comedy? Romance is Princess Bride or Ruyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Action is Gone in Sixty Seconds with Nicholas Cage. Comedy is Mrs Doubtfire with Robin Williams.
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
Eldest of four.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with tomatoes, extra cheese, and lots of meat.
I'm always ready to turn on the music, when my speakers cooperate.
When I'm alone, I do a lot of deep thinking. Not always a good thing, but it keeps me realistic.
If I had a halo it would be a blinding mix of white and yellow.
If I could change anything I'd leave it alone, because every trial we overcome makes us stronger and shapes us into who we were meant to be.
I can never change the past because any changes made would reflect on the future.
Catrina Barton 

Find Me Here                                                                     

May 25, 2013

Recipe: Dottie's Stuffed Mushrooms @JenniferFrance_ #MFRWauthor #RLFblog

Stuffed Mushrooms 
Romance Lives Forever welcomes back Marketing for Romance Writers member Jennifer France for a Taste of Summer Camp. MFRW is counting down the days to their FREE marketing summer camp with scrumptious recipes from members. Today's recipe is Dottie's Stuffed Mushrooms. Take it away, Jennifer!

I know, I know. I normally write of all things dealing with BDSM but today I'm going to write about something that, for all intense and purposes, can be much better!
If you are a writer (no matter what genre (yep: even BDSM) ~ aspiring, published (self or otherwise)) I have something amazing to share with you! It's called Marketing For Romance Writers (MFRW).
We all know that having a network of friends to help fill in the blanks is invaluable ... well MFRW has a wealth of resources- people full of information because they have either been there, done that, or researched it and are so very willing to pass their information on to you. It doesnt end there - they have classes to help you get your work from the laptop to the bookshelves. It's nothing short of amazing the things these folks do for writers like us!
Of course the best part is that you can join! What could be better than that?!? Oh, I know: It's free!
What perfect timing too since they are gearing up for Summer Camp the second weekend in July (12th to the 14th) and I'm here to help promote this fabulous opportunity with what we're calling A Taste of Summer Camp to get this information out there by sharing a recipe. Romance authors, join MFRW’s Yahoo Group today so you don’t miss out on this excellent learning opportunity.
Since I love to write about things that make my mouth water, I'm gonna share a favorite, mouth-watering, low carb recipe that I can never make enough of for my guests ~ even had a caterer ask for the recipe to this one;).


2 pounds fresh mushrooms
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 pound pork sausage (I like sage)
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste (I don't use any)
Remove the stems from the mushrooms by gently twisting them off. Drain the fat, if necessary. I found it helpful to chop the meat up until it was pretty fine, but not mushy. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the mushroom caps. Fill the caps with the sausage mixture. (I use my fingers worked best). Pile in as much sausage as you can per mushroom. Put in a greased or foil-lined baking pan(s) and bake, uncovered, at 350º for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
About 30 mushrooms
Do not freeze
Per mushroom: 112 Calories; 9g Fat; 6g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs
Per whole batch: 3364 Calories; 279g Fat; 191g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 32g Net Carbs 

Author Jennifer France
Book: The Highlander's Witch

The Highlander's Witch
For years, twenty-three-year-old Skye Bennett has been waiting for someone to sweep her off her feet and bring about her darkest fantasies. But there’s just one problem - she comes from a family of witches and her older sister, Sarah, uses her power of fire to interfere in every intimate relationship Skye has.
When their aunt mistakes Skye’s date as her soul mate only to discover he is really Sarah’s,
her family tries to make up for it by finding the man Skye truly belongs with. Unfortunately, their last attempt failed miserably when they set her up for a speed-dating event, so her aunt resorts to magic to accomplish their desires. Suddenly propelled back in time without warning, Skye is saved from a brutal cougar attack by a Scottish Laird who has just returned from another skirmish and only wants to sit in front of a warm fire with a mug of ale. Instead, Aiden finds Skye and believes the unknown ‘lad’ to be a spy. When he finds out the spy is a female his concern grows, as does his lust.
Aiden realizes this woman can be his downfall but she calls to him in a way he cannot deny. Has she been sent to destroy all he has fought for, or is she his salvation? Fighting his desires, he knows he must ensure the safety of his home and kin from those that wish to destroy what he has fought to hold onto.
In this tale set in fourteenth century Scotland, a witch must determine if she can trust the man who holds her life in his hands - even as he steals her heart.
Buy link:

Find Me Here

May 23, 2013

Character Interview: Kendra Weiss @MonaKarel #RLFblog

My Killer My Love 

Mona Karel, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Kendra Weiss from the book, My Killer My Love.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Cover artist: Pepper O'Neal and Mona did the cover together
Length: 324 pages
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: An immortal enforcer is sent to punish an innocent woman, and discovers the soul he'd forgotten he possessed.
Blurb: She came to the woods to heal and found evil lurking among the trees... Upon her grandmother's death, Kendra inherits a cottage deep within an ancient forest, along with the powers given only to certain women in her family—powers she doesn't know she has. Recovering from a vicious attack, Kendra returns home to the remote cabin determined to heal both her body and her spirit. But the forest is ailing, too. Evil stalks its dark places, turning its quiet glades into a battlefield. When a strangely beautiful man appears at her cabin intent on punishing her for a crime she didn't commit, Kendra needs all her strength to protect her forest, her life... and her heart. Can she learn to use her powers and to trust Mykhael in time to save the ancient forest?
He came to the woods to redeem himself and found an innocence that would be his undoing... Throughout his long life, Mykhael has struggled, often in vain, to please the Atrahasis, immortal overlords of the sacred places in the universe. Now they have given him one last chance to redeem himself. He must punish the person they think desecrated an ancient forest in Northern California. But when he meets Kendra, he realizes he's doomed to disappoint them once more. Not only is she innocent of the crime the Atrahasis have accused her of, Kendra is the missing part of the soul Mykhael didn't know he still possessed. Can he defy the Atrahasis yet again and live long enough to save the only thing in his life that matters?
Buy links:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Kendra Weiss is in her mid twenties. She's been a folk dancer but with her injury plus her grandmother's death, she's come back to the cottage to heal herself and, as it turns out, the forest.
Mykhael Alastor, oh, he's ageless. Seriously. He would have stopped aging when the Atrahasis offered him an opportunity to right all the wrongs he encountered, around mid to late twenties. Which three thousand or more years ago was quite an advanced age. He's an enforcer, a guardian of the sacred places on Earth.

Interview with Kendra Weiss

Tell us about yourself.
"I'm afraid I'm a bit of a disappointment to my family though they try to say otherwise. My father controls large corporations, my mother is the ultimate hostess and my siblings are at the top of their field. I was uncomfortable in that life as a child, so they let me stay at Gran's cottage deep in the Sequoias."
Tell us about Mykhael Alastor.
"Mykhael's had a rough life. He was rejected by his father, one of Atrahasis overlords, though he was known as the god Alastor, whose duty was to ensure the sins of the father were visited upon their sons. Kind of grim, don't you think? Since his mother was not of the Atrahasis, he grew up away from the family and alone after his mother died. In spite of this beginning he became a soldier, then a war lord, then was offered a position with the Atrahasis. Even though his life has been one of war and fighting, he loves sunlight and the natural order of things."
What do you think is your strongest point?
"Oh, I'm not much really. I learned to keep the garden growing and how to live here in the woods. For a while I performed with a folk dance group, which was great fun until I had a set piece dropped on my legs and couldn't dance any more. I guess my strongest point is being too stubborn to give up when other people might."
What would Mykhael say is your strongest point?
{smile} "Mykhael really likes my cooking. Seriously, I guess he'd agree I don't give up easily...oh, here he is."
"Yes, and just in time. It sounds like you're once again bending reality, my dear. Let's see, hmmm...a disappointment to your family? And they LET you stay at the cottage?" Sigh. "My darling you really don't need to hide yourself from these people, after all they want to read your story. Kendra's grandmother recognized the power in her as a baby, and asked that she be sent to be raised in the woods. They resisted until they realized Kendra didn't belong in their modern world. They could not be prouder of their 'fey' daughter even when they don't completely understand her. As far as her strongest point, stubborn does come to mind. But even more her inner self glows with the light of her power, which she has never used to her own benefit. Although she does bake a marvelous loaf of bread.
"Now let's see about these other questions, since you seem hesitant to be truthful about yourself. Hmmm, weakest point, you have none except you don't think enough of yourself. You grew up here in these sacred woods, a magical area for sure. I'm not going to let you wish for something different in your life since all of your life brought you here to be with me in these woods, and isn't that your fondest wish?"
"Am I not allowed to answer questions for myself? And here I thought you'd become a more modern man. Now let me answer my own questions...oh, a place of perfect refuge--"
"I do believe you're blushing my love. Do you really want to tell them about your refuge...our refuge?"
"Why not let them read what Mona had to say about it?"


            The peace she'd sought was here, and she wondered why she hadn't thought to come here before. In fact, until that morning, she hadn't remembered this place at all. As she settled herself on the mossy roots of the benevolent old sequoia, she wondered about that.
            Immediately, she felt the searching probe, and she redirected her thoughts. In spite of his restless dreams, Mykhael was awake and again trying to reach her. Now, instead of confusing his search with inane detail, she let her mind go blank and opened herself to the rising sun. As the first rays stroked her face, she breathed in the serenity of the clearing and breathed out her confusion, anger, and fear. The familiar ritual worked as it once had. Soon, she was immersed in tranquility, far away from any touch.
            The thought of Mykhael she rejected as soon as his image appeared in her mind. He was too close, too clever, too attuned. Thinking of him would bring him here, before she was ready to deal with him. Instead, she allowed herself to think of her cousin.
            Clarissa. Child of the light, with moonbeams threading through her hair and eyes the blue of the finest summer skies, though her inner person did not match her appearance. Clarissa, for whom beauty and success were a foregone conclusion. It was known in the family that Clarissa was beautiful and Kendra...well, Kendra was smart, which was quite good enough for her.
            Her cousin had come to visit in the hospital, overcoming an aversion to things imperfect. When Kendra expressed worry about the garden, Clarissa had been happy to come up, to help out. Why hadn't Kendra seen the danger? In her whole life, her cousin had never done anything for anyone else without expecting something in return. Still, Kendra had wanted to believe Clarissa's stated desire to help.
            Even knowing the truth, and knowing what kind of a person Clarissa had grown into, Kendra could not accept the duplicity. To even think of selling Gran's home was impossible. That Clarissa would intentionally pretend to be someone she'd always despised meant the purpose behind the act was darker than Kendra could conceive.
            It had been too long since she opened her mind to contemplation. Thinking was as hard on her body as it was on her mind. She shifted, trying to find a more comfortable spot on the ground, and her heel caught on a root.
            The pain came unannounced, ripping through her knee, rushing up and down her leg, piercing her heart. Kendra had not cried for her grandmother and could not cry for her cousin. Not yet. She could, and very nearly did, cry for the destruction of her knee, and of her life.
            It was the warmth, first, that let her know she was no longer alone. Not only physical warmth, but something far more than that. A gentle, nurturing warmth, reaching through the ice that had formed in her thoughts, around her heart. Reaching, searching for a way to help, to touch. To invade.
            Mykhael was in the glade with her.
            "No." Her eyes snapped open, but for a moment her mind refused their message.
            He sat close enough to touch, far enough away not to frighten. His green eyes regarded her with the unblinking stare of a predator. His legs were folded into the complicated knot she coucould no longer achieve, and his expression was one of benevolence. Kendra doubted that expression, and when he reached a long-fingered hand in her direction, she recoiled before she could stop herself.
            Mykhael paused, his hand in mid-air, reaching for her but not quite touching. Then he let his hand drop to rest on his thigh. From kindness, his expression froze into the remote aloofness she told herself was more in keeping with the person he really was. She would not allow his implied hurt to touch her. Not this time.
            "I could never hurt you, Kendra. Not in the way you think." In the hush of the glade, his voice filled an emptiness she'd never noticed here before, yet she knew it had always been there.
            "You already have."
            He tilted his head to one side, and the entirely-too-thick fall of dark auburn curls draped across his shoulder. "How have I hurt you?"
            "By making me think I was better than I am, that I have courage and value. I've been a crawling coward all my life. I was perfectly content to remain that way. Now that you've made me experience valor, I know what I'm missing in my make-up."
            He allowed himself a small smile, as though amused by her explanation. "Your courage was always there, Kendra. I did nothing to force it."
            "Oh, like Oz and the lion?"
            This time his puzzlement was absolute, but he didn't pursue what she said. Instead, he looked around the glade.
            "Is this a place you came when you were afraid or worried?"
            "I found this place when I started high school," she answered obliquely. "Gran never wanted to come here. She said it should be my place alone."
            "No one ever joined you?"
            "No one ever knew anything about it. I'd forgotten about it myself until this morning." She looked away from him, lifting her face to the sun's growing warmth. On the edges of her mind, she could feel his delicate touch.
            "Go away, Mykhael. Get out of my mind and my life."
            "What is it you fear?" he asked, his voice low.
            "You," she answered without hesitation. "I fear you."
            There was none of the condemnation or argument she expected, nor any derisive amusement. Instead, a void suddenly appeared where his thoughts had been. Puzzled, Kendra allowed herself to look, really look, at him, for the first time that day.
            Backlit by the sun, he sat very still, his rising and falling chest the only sign that he was more than a statue. The belt of his shirt had come loose, exposing the knit silk undershirt. Mykhael had gone into himself, shutting her out as completely as she had tried to shut him out. Now she saw her own efforts as amateurish. Had he wanted in, he could have invaded her mind whenever he wanted.
            "Touch me, Kendra," he said into the blank silence that had taken root between them.
There was no force in his voice, and he did not change his position. With his legs wrapped up within themselves, it would be difficult for him to leap toward her. Yet she felt trapped. She pulled away, readying herself to rise.
            "You have no need to fear me. I think you realize that. It is yourself you fear."
            "Why would I fear myself?"
            Whatever her fears, or lack thereof, she knew she could not respect herself if she backed away now. Finally, her eyes on his face, she braved a touch on his forearm. Just a light brush of her fingertips, trailing through the short dark hairs.
            She saw his pupils dilate, then his eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared, while his mouth
Teach Me to Forget 
opened slightly to grab a breath of air. She watched his chest rise as his breath caught.
His small nipples hardened and rose against the silk undershirt. Fascinated, she continued to stroke as she recorded his reactions. A bulge began to show in his loose linen trousers, and she jerked her gaze away, to focus on his hands, forming into fists on his legs.
            "It is not just you, touching me. It is us. It is something concerning you and myself." He swallowed, and she tracked the movement of his throat then was distracted by the pulse beating at the base of his neck, the abrupt rise of his chest. "I was sent here to investigate rumors of people violating your grandmother's garden. I did not expect you. I am as shocked about it as you are."
            He lifted his hands, opening them, looking at them then at her. "I have tried to only touch you to heal, to help. But I cannot control what happens when our skin connects. I find I do not want to control it. Kendra, may I touch you?"
            Helpless against the honest longing in his voice, the torment in his face, she nodded. Her eyes squeezed shut as she braced herself for the now familiar shock.
            A warm breeze skimmed across her cheek, brushed the edges of her hair, traced the outline of her jaw, then swept on. Intrigued, she leaned toward rather than away from the promise of his touch. A lightening came to the glade, as though the trees themselves breathed a sigh of happiness.
            Finally, she felt the slight roughness of his fingers against her skin. Through some oddity of the communication they shared, she also felt the softness of her cheek under his fingers. He traced her eyebrow, the edge of her nose, the folds of her ear. Everywhere his fingers touched, sparks kindled. Soon she felt as though her entire body was on fire. The fire chose no one place, but she felt heat pooling in her thoughts, melting the lump in her chest until it ran into the
center of the most feminine part of her being.

About the Author

Mona Karel is the writing alter ego of Monica Stoner, who has lived her life in a manner guaranteed to give any parents gray hairs. She's been a dog groomer, horse trainer, stable manager, waitress...then at thirty five took a job as a buyer's assistant at a nuclear power plant. A few years later she married the man she'd loved for far too long, and settled down for a while. During this passage into normal life she rediscovered her love of writing. Of course she couldn't do that the easy way either, completing numerous manuscripts which will never see the light of day while learning her craft. Distractions abounded, including her long time involvement in pure bred dogs and her husband's amazing artistic talent. Eventually her characters called to her to be set free upon the world, and she braved another round of submissions.

Previous Books

My Killer My Love was the first, then Teach Me To Forget. The books aren't related to each other, except being romances about strong women and the men who enter their lives to drive them nuts.

Books Coming Soon

A sequel to My Killer My Love, set in the ancient mountains of New Mexico
Let's see, what would be a good prize...How about a $5.00 gift card to the buy link of your choice, to a randomly chosen commenter?

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Amazon Author:

May 21, 2013

Scifi Romance: Loyalty @EvaCaye #RLFblog #SciFi


Eva Caye, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Loyalty.
Genre: Science fiction romance
Publisher: self
Cover artist: self
Length: 169,200 words / estimated 478 pages
Heat rating: book – warm; Easter egg – fairly explicit
Tagline: The cost of being Imperial
Blurb: The dangers of being Imperial mean Princess Anne, Prince Brian, and Prince Christian must set aside their petty differences to support each other through thick and thin. As they struggle to find compatible mates, security issues come to the fore!
Lord Andrés Encino, for example. As honorable as a man can get, he nevertheless represents true danger to Anne simply because he has a photographic memory, and she is the principal heiress to Empress Felice Sinclair's ultra-secret stargate science. Anne sets aside her fears to pursue an intimate relationship with the immensely talented designer, which means her Sentinel Lieutenant brother Brian must also investigate all the Encino family secrets that could lead to security breaches.
As Service Lieutenant Prince Christian Sinclair battles his own insecurities, hoping to find a lady who could withstand the Imperial social scene, his ship is called upon to investigate the sudden disappearance of the Stargate Fleet, including Mother, Anne, and brother Josef. Their travails expand dramatically as the Imperial Family copes with the consequences of the Crandon Stargate Fleet Battle and the persistent attempts of the Atticans to either capture or destroy all stargate scientists!
What is the cost of being Imperial, in isolation and friendship and love? And how can they find partners willing to live with the security requirements needed to maintain not only their own safety, but that of the Empire?
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Sentinel Lieutenant Prince Brian Sinclair, 24; Service Lieutenant Prince Christian Sinclair, 23 ; Princess Anne Sinclair, 22
To Be Sinclair series


What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I constantly research and edit. At first I just wanted to get the major actions and dialogue down, but now I continuously edit for consistency, grammar, and fleshing out the scenes with pertinent information, such as burn therapies.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I never know where it will take me. Sometimes I feel like I am accessing a portal to a parallel future dimension in which my characters live. I spy upon them and let the visions gather until I have to write the scene. Then I 'watch' the scenes in my head and whisper to the characters, questions like, "What are you feeling? Why did you do that?" In some respects, it's a god-like power of omniscience, but in other respects I cannot change things; they will act out the scenes until I write what THEY do and think. I know the overall plot before I start, but otherwise I am simply their scribe
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Get it down, rewrite, explore every angle, put yourself in your character's position to understand him or her thoroughly, then research the hell out of everything. And then send it to the beta readers, rewrite if they make significant suggestions, send it to the editor, rewrite according to her suggestions, back to the editor for a final check, and one final edit.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Although I write all the time, it's my passion so I suffer very little stress, no matter how focused I get. Most of my stress comes from beating myself up when I find another inconsistency I missed the first hundred times I edited! I have wrist phones and shuttle ports, so when I find a wristphone or a shuttleport, I go nuts until it is uploaded to Amazon or Smashwords one more time.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Absolutely! I include a ton of personal experiences, mostly my own, but I do not hesitate to include others.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I wrote Dignity for many reasons, but overall I wanted it to be a book that would entice romance readers into reading science fiction. I wanted to see more great female scientists in literature, so naturally she had to fall in love and learn how to deal with emotions she's never experienced before!
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I usually read non-fiction, but I have so many interests it would be hard to narrow them down. I would say my personal library has about 20% spiritual or religious books, for I was a 'seeker' for many years.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
Traditional publishing will always exist until every e-reader can be charged with solar power and have books downloaded directly via satellite. Many of my family members live where internet access is impossible without satellite dishes.
Do you plan to branch out into other genres?
Absolutely. The To Be Sinclair series does not have 'aliens', though there are life-forms on many planets, so I have some 'alien contact' synopses in my Books to Write folder. I have about 25 items in my Working Files folder, at least a third of which are non-fiction, though some will end up as articles, blog posts, and short stories instead of books.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
My first five-star review, which I wrote about here: Turning away from the lowest point in my life to become an obsessive author, and then sending my first book to my first reviewer and getting a five-star review was like winning an Oscar for a debut performance.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I'm never bored. There's too much to do and learn! I suffer major depressive disorder, which is characterized by real physical symptoms, like lack of energy, inability to perceive your surroundings, I could go on and on. When I have energy, I garden or clean or do something fun; when I have no energy, which is the usual state of affairs, I write or do research online or crochet, just to feel like I'm being productive.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Eva Caye

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with fresh veggies.
I'm always ready for a chat on Facebook.
When I'm alone, I am either reading, writing, or sleeping.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm a pretty good tarot reader.
If I had a halo it would be shaped like the headdress of Nefertiti.
If I could travel in time, I'd save the Library of Alexandria and see what the future will be like in 1000 years.
I can never stop reading spiritual books because I believe miracles are simply a science we don't understand yet, though a few people have passed along some good 'clues' along the way.

Previous Books

The To Be Sinclair series: Dignity; Majesty; Fealty; Royalty; Dynasty.

Books Coming Soon

Evan's Ladies (an add-on novel to the series, consisting of four novellas, expected May 20, 2013); Nobility (summer 2013); a finale the title of which I will not divulge until its publication, and two series prequels tentatively titled Enter the Goddess and Undying Dawn.

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May 20, 2013

Contemporary: Time Changes Everything @melindadozier #RLFblog

Melinda Dozier, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Time Changes Everything.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entranced Publishing
Cover artist: Ashley Christman
Length: 40,000 words
Heat rating: Spicy
Amanda Larson is dedicated to her job and doesn't want to make time for anything else. Until she runs into Jake Edwards. He used to be the cute boy next door; now he's a sexy, big shot lawyer.
Jake Edwards isn't interested in commitment. He's successful, sexy, and single--and that's how he likes it. When he reconnects with Amanda, Jake realizes he might have to rethink his philosophy on the carefree, bachelor lifestyle.
But, is it too late for them? Or can he convince her that he's ready to give her his heart?
Buy links: To be provided on release date
Author website for info:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Amanda Larson, 26, Fashion Buyer at Macy's
Jake Edwards, 27, Sports Contracts Lawyer


What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
There are a few things I do as a newbie author that are important. First, take a deep breath and relax. The author world can be overwhelming, but it is also so much fun, if you stop and smell the roses. Second, I have a critique group. Since I live in a Spanish speaking country, I find it difficult to connect with other writers. So, I joined an online group and found other established authors as critique partners. This is vital for an author. Other people see your work through different eyes. Third, an author should establish an online presence through a website, blog, social media like Twitter or Facebook. Readers will search you out using these outlets. You can also meet other fabulous writers and learn a tremendous amount of information.
What websites do you visit daily?
I'm addicted to Twitter. I don't know why. I don't know how. It just happened. No matter what time of day, I get on and something cheers me up, interests me, teaches me or amazes me. The best fun I've had all year!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
My characters take me to places and experience life in ways that I never have. This is what I love the most – living through them. I'm a hopeless romantic, so sharing a kiss, visiting a distant city, working a job I never imagined I could do, bungee jumping can all take place in my mind. It's almost as if I was there!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
My favorite contemporary romance author is Jill Shalvis, so to have her guidance would be a dream. She has the perfect mix of romance, spiciness, humor and sarcasm. Everything I love!
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Lots and lots of coffee. Good thing I live in Guatemala, a coffee-producing country.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Yes! I never use real names, but there are times when something happens that is too good to pass up. I think "I've got to use that in my book." I also use names of people I know. For example, Jake's law firm is uses the last names of my sister - Snell, Marlow and Grimes.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I've been teaching for 17 years and I love it. I don't think I could give it up. Other jobs in my past include PR work, a paralegal and waitressing in college.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
This question makes me laugh. I never take a break from writing – or reading for that matter. I am always writing in some way, be it writing a chapter, a scene, plotting, thinking about scenes, editing, blogging, guest blogging. It never ends. But, I always read – every day – usually at night in bed. Most of what I read is contemporary romance and occasionally young adult (since I teach middle school). My automatic buy authors include: Jill Shalvis, Shannon Stacey, Ruthie Knox and Susan Mallery.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My dream vacation would be a romantic trip to New York City with my hubby. I've never been, which is ironic because Time Changes Everything mainly takes place there. I would pack my sexy underwear, flirty dresses, highest heels and of course my kindle to read on the plane. Will it happen this year? Wait and see.
What good book have you read recently?
I just finished reading On the Island by Tracy Garvis-Graves and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I plan on rereading it again soon. The characters got to me – you know their kind, the ones you can't stop thinking about once you finish the book.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
My name is Melinda Dozier and I'm a Farmville addict. It's no secret that I love computer games and apps. However, it's been a year since hubs intervened between my Farmville habit. I'm a proud survivor. Nowadays, I play Words with Friends, Draw Something, and Song Pop.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with the works.
I'm always ready for a new episode of The Bachelor.
When I'm alone, I savor the silence.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm actually quite shy.
If I had a halo it would be put on backwards, because that's just the way I am.
If I could rewind my life I'd spend more time listening to my Dad's stories.
I can never read Nicholas Sparks because I end up a blubbering mess for days.

Melinda Dozier
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May 18, 2013

Cover Love: Hypnotize Me @authortbrooks #RLFblog #LGBT

Hypnotize Me 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Hypnotize Me [Sultry SoCal 2] by Taylor Brooks.

Genre: Gay Romance, Erotic Romance, MM
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Jack "Tag" Taglieri is stuck in a rut. His everyday life of fighting fires and no social life is beginning to wear on his nerves. The building tension isn't just getting to him, but his brothers in the firehouse are starting to notice as well. Being a fireman, his head always has to be in the game, with no distractions from his personal life.

Walt Newcome is a nurse still trying to put his personal life back together again after yet another failed relationship. At his wit's end with all men in general, he isn't sure if he should give up entirely or just stop trying.

When Tag is injured in a warehouse fire and Walt is the nurse charged with his care, the question isn't whether or not Walt will help him on his road to recovery. The question is who will end up healing who as the two become much closer than mere patient and nurse.

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May 17, 2013

Who is an Everyday Hero? @vickibatman #RLFblog

Please welcome Vicki Batman to Romance Lives Forever with a post on getting away and finding your heroes.

Last December, my girlfriends and I went on our annual Christmas getaway. We ate great food and checked out historical homes decorated for the holidays.
After we returned to our rooms and put on our comfy jammies, we exchanged gifts and then chatted about stuff. All kinds of stuff. This time, the topic turned to handsome hunky heroes.
Yeah, we went through all the normal attributes heroes are perceived to be, like firefighters and policemen, military, etc. Out of nowhere, I added, "My heroes are handymen--plumbers, carpenters, and fixer-uppers like the guys on HGTV."
Needless to say, hysterics took over us.
But it's the truth. We'd rather have someone who could clean the pipes, patch a hole in the wall, fix a light fixture, and nowadays, keep our computer running. Those are real men.
The giggles continued on when we began discussing the HGTV hosts that rock our world. And we did wonder if they were as helpful at home as they appear to be on television.
I tend to write about everyday heroes in my sweet meet stories. Chances are we encounter them in real life over a Navy Seal or Army Ranger. The lawyer who volunteers to run a Christmas tree stand. The accountant who helps someone figure out how to fund a business. The restaurateur who provides jobs and helps the local animal shelter. The store owner who wants to help his sick dad have a wonderful, last Christmas. The architect taking over his mom's business when she retires. The pilot donating a kidney. The schoolteacher who coaches a team.
They don't--usually--risk life and limb; they are the unsung guys who keep us going every day. Just normal average Joes.
Those small things are truly heroic.
BTW, did I mention the electrician is a fireman?
What kind of hero do you like to read about? Who are your heroes?

By Vicki Batman -- San Diego or Bust

After what was supposed to have been a romantic getaway to San Diego, Jill Grant decided her boyfriend, Davis Griffith Swansea III, was a dirtwad. Absolutely, none of her planning had pleased him and to top it off, he hadn't proposed. So when deplaning, Steven Cartwright comes to her aid, and she begins to question whether her Mr. Right is the right Mr. Right.
Buy links:

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May 9, 2013

Character Interview: Trip from Intrepid Trip to Love @charliecochet #RLFblog

An Intrepid Trip to Love 
Charlie Cochet, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Trip Hagan from the book, An Intrepid Trip to Love.
Genre: Contemporary/Fantasy shifter
Publisher: Self (Part of the Goodreads M/M Romance group's Love Has No Boundaries writing event)
Cover artist: Charlie Cochet
Length: 34k
Heat rating: Rated-R
Blurb: Tristan 'Trip' Hagan is a Husky shifter who was born to be the Hagan Clan's next Alpha, a position of honor and nobility, a position he never wanted and was all too happy to pass onto his younger brother. But when they discovered his brother couldn't have pups, the responsibility of continuing the Hagan Alpha line fell back to Trip. At the tender age of eighteen, Trip gave in under the weight of the Hagan Council's demand for him to fulfill his duty, but after years of struggling to uphold his family's traditions, Trip found the courage to do what no other Hagan Alpha had done in the history of the clan: he came out.
With his Enforcers--the Devil Dogs, at his side, Trip won the battle against the Council, who attempted to banish him and take his young son away. His victory allowed him to remain within the clan and raise Robbie. Now five years later, the dust has settled, and Trip is living a happy life with his cheeky pup and their own little makeshift family. Brook--Robbie's mother, her true mate Deacon, and the Devil Dogs are the only ones who support Trip and know of his heartache.
True mates within canine shifter clans are very rare, but Trip has had one since he can remember. Despite losing his heart to Boone twenty years ago, Trip holds little hope of ever getting to bond with the sexy Enforcer, as it's against clan laws for pure-bloods to bond with half-breeds. How much longer can Trip and Boone resist the longing in their hearts? With the call from their feral halves to seal the bond growing stronger by the day, can Trip and Boone find a way to be together without losing everything?
Buy links: Coming Soon
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Tristan "Trip" Hagan, 35 years old, Full-time dad
Robbie Hagan, 7 years old, mischief-maker
Boone Devin, 38 years old, Enforcer
Hunter Devin, 36 years old, Enforcer


"You know what, Hunter, bite me."
Hunter wriggled his eyebrows. "Is that an invitation?"
"I don't have to take this from you. I'm going to address the sensible one."
"Sensible?" Hunter let out a bark of laughter. "Do you know what Mr. Sensible did this morning?"
Boone cast his brother a warning glare. "Shut up, Hunt."
"What did you do?" Trip turned to face Boone and held back a smile. Boone might look like the sort of guy you didn't want to meet in a dark alley, but Trip had never been afraid of him. He was like a big ole cuddly Teddy Bear. Well, unless someone did something stupid, like get on his bad side. Then he wasn't so cuddly.
"Nothing." Boone frowned, his gaze going embarrassingly to his boots, and his hands shoved in his back jean pockets.
"He chased a squirrel into Vucari Woods and got his head stuck in a tree." Hunter broke into laughter and soon he was doubled over, laughing so hard he was in tears.
"Don't laugh at your poor brother."
"Are you kidding? It was the funniest sh--"
Trip cleared his throat loudly, motioning to Robbie who was listening intently, and Hunter caught himself. "Uh, I mean, that was the funniest thing I'd ever seen."
"Don't listen to him, Boone. Those little suckers are nasty." Trip instinctively reached up and gave Boone's ear a gentle tug, making him smile. In return, Boone gave him a playful bump with his hip.
"Aw, aren't you two adorable," Hunter teased, receiving a scowl from both of them. He quickly put his hands up in surrender. "Hey, I just call' em like I see' em."
Self-conscious, Trip withdrew his hand. "Uh, you guys want a beer or something? Deacon's going to be along soon."
"Sure, I'd--"
"No thanks." Boone grabbed Hunter by the arm, giving him a tug. "We gotta go. Sorry to have bothered you."
Trip wondered why the sudden rush to leave. "We were the ones who called."
"What about the Aliens?"
All three men stopped to gaze down at the wide-eyed pup and his quivering bottom lip. Hunter took a step behind his brother, whispering hoarsely.
"He's doing that lip thing, Bo."
Even Boone didn't stand a chance. It was over and they all knew it. "All right. Point us to the Aliens."
"You sure you don't want to wait for Deacon?" Trip asked, following them through the living room and down the hall toward Robbie's bedroom.
"He's bringing a shovel," Robbie pitched in excitedly.
"A shovel? You sure that it's a spider and not like, a Jersey cockroach, because I don't do cockroaches," Hunter stated adamantly. "Those things are indestructible. I hit one with a brick once, and I swear it put itself back together and just sat there facing me, like it was waiting for me to apologize or something."
"You are so full of it," Trip muttered.
Hunter smacked his brother in the arm. "Tell him."
"It actually happened. Don't think it was waiting for him to apologize though, more like sizing him up. Must have found him wanting because it scurried away after that."
"Gee, thanks, big bro."
Boone gave his brother a charming smile. "Anytime."
"Ouch." Trip laughed at Hunter's pout and grabbed the two brothers by their collars before they could open the bedroom door. "Shoes off and watch out for the LEGOs."
"Are you serious?" Hunter groaned, toeing off his biker boots.
"Hey, if you want to get impaled by tiny little bricks of plastic hurt, that's your choice, but I don't want you tracking dirt onto my carpet." Trip followed Boone's amused gaze down to his feet. "Crap." This night just got better and better.
"What happened to your sock?" Boone asked, toeing off his own boots.
"It became a casualty of war."
"He lost it when he was running away from the spider," Robbie said, hiding behind Boone. He looked up at the mountainesque man with a bright smile, bringing out the dimple in his cheek. "Can you carry me, Uncle Boone?"
Oh, the kid was good. Trip wondered if he showed his dimple, Boone would carry him, too.
With a deep rumble of a chuckle, Boone lifted Robbie up with ease, depositing him on muscular shoulders. "Hold on then." He opened the door and stared. "How'd you even see it in all this?"
"Thank you." Trip cast his son a smug smile. "See, I'm not the only one."
"That's because he's a grown-up. Hunter, you understand, right?"
Hunter frowned at him. "Hey, I'm a grown-up."
Robbie studied him before coming to his conclusion. "I don't think so."
Trip burst into laughter, and donned his best gangster voice. "Oh, you just got owned by a seven year old, son."
"Well excuse me, Snoop Dog. I don't think I asked for your opinion."
"Just go kill my spiders." Trip shoved Hunter into the bedroom, smiling contently when he heard Hunter growl and curse under his breath. "I told you to watch out for the LEGOs."
This was going to be fun.

Interview with Tristan 'Trip' Hagan

Tell us about yourself.
"Sure, why not." Trip sits down, bounces a little, testing the plushness of the couch and getting momentarily distracted. "Oh, right. Me. My name is Tristan Hagan, but everyone calls me Trip. I'm thirty-five years old, divorced, and I have a seven year old son who's obsessed with zombies and owns a LEGO collection I'm convinced has been created for the sole purpose of bringing me pain. They're like little landmines of sharp evil pointiness."
"I'm the oldest of four, meant to be the next Alpha of our clan but..." he wrinkles his nose and shrugs. "Let's just say there was some unpleasantness, drama drama drama, I'm no longer next in line. My hobbies are watching movies, eating food, and driving Boone crazy."
Tell us about Boone.
With a wide grin, Trip reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. He removes a small photograph and holds it out. "This here is Boone. You want to ogle him. I can see it in your eyes. It's okay, you can ogle him. He's very ogley." Trip cringes. "That didn't come out right. Ogle-worthy? Ogle-ish? Hot. We'll go with hot. I'm going to put this away now or we'll never get anywhere with this interview." Trip turns the picture for one last look, let's out a small sigh then puts it away before patting his back pocket. "I like keeping him close. To my heart, not my ass. Though…" He trails off and wriggles his eyebrows. "Sorry, you were saying something or asking a question. Your lips definitely moved. I get distracted easily. Right! Boone. Boone is amazing. If you didn't know him, you'd probably be doing everything you could not to piss him off. He's big and can get real scary, but that's why he's an Enforcer. It's his job to be tough and protect the clan, specifically me and Robbie. They didn't nickname him and his brother Devil Dogs for nothing." He discreetly looks around the room before leaning forward and whispering," He's also a big softie." With a chuckle he settles back again. "But don't tell him I said so, 'cause then, well, he won't seem so cuddly. There's no one I trust more than him." He pauses. "What's with the face? Oh, you wanted something juicy." His cheeks get a little pink. "I did mention he's hot, right? Not that we've uh, done a lot, but he's an amazing kisser, and well, I mentioned big, and his arms, Gods, and his ass!" Clears his throat and murmurs an apology. "Next question?"
What do you think is your strongest point?
"I'm a pretty cheerful guy, even when it seems like I'm grumpy. I like to keep things light because there's no point in dwelling on things out of my control. I have a pup to look out for and he needs me to be strong for him."
What would Boone say is your strongest point?
"That would depend on what mood he's in and if I've done anything to influence that mood." He laughs softly. "He would probably say my attitude. He's always telling me how much he loves that I can make him laugh. I love making him smile or teasing him. It keeps us from getting lost in our own thoughts too often."
What would Boone say is your biggest weakness?
Trip rolls his eyes. "My sweet tooth, but he's a dirty liar. I don't have a sweet tooth. So I indulge in Macadamia nut cookies every once and a while, or homemade pancakes with lots of maple syrup for breakfast. Nothing wrong with that. Doesn't mean I have a sweet tooth." He peers warily. "Do I have a secret stash? Well if I did and I told you, then it would no longer be a secret, would it? Get your own cookies."
What do you wish was different about your life?
"I wish my father would remove the stick he's got shoved up his--I mean, I wish my father would at least make an attempt to understand me rather than blindly following our clan's council, but his priority has always been his position first, our family second. I probably fell somewhere between bringing home a gallon of milk, and approving aboveground sprinklers.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
"To be left alone to live a happy life with my son and Boone. That's not a lot to ask, is it?" He sighs before pursing his lips thoughtfully. "And a magic remote with a 'mute' button I can use on Hunter. That would be awesome."
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Trip smiles fondly. "One summer, the Devil Dogs and I took Robbie camping out in the woods near the river. It was supposed to be clear skies, but ended up pouring rain. We made the mistake of letting Hunter set up the tents, and he put Boone's too close to the river, so when it rose from the rainfall, it got swept away with all his clothes and equipment inside." He laughs. "Boone was ready to strangle Hunter. Later that night, the skies cleared up and we all sat around the fire to keep warm. Robbie fell asleep in my arms and I told Boone he could share a tent with me and Robbie. Boone took my hand in his and kissed me. It was the first time he'd ever done that. It was perfect. I'll never forget it. When I feel crappy, I just think about that night and it makes me smile."      
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
"Boone and Hunter have been my best friends since we were pups. I wasn't really supposed to become friends with my Enforcers, but those two were just too much fun not too. Plus, I was never really in the habit of following the rules. They're great guys." Trip smiles widely, his eyes filled with affection. "You can always count on them to be there for you. They're fearless and lucky for me, the toughest Enforcers out there." His smile fades and his eyes get a little glassy. "If it weren't for them, I would have lost everything. I owe them so much."
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
"Would you like a cookie?" He grins broadly. "The answer would be yes, yes I would like a cookie. Macadamia. If you've got it."

About the Author

Charlie Cochet 
M/M author by day, artist by night, Charlie Cochet is quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, and no star is out of reach when following her passion. From hardboiled detectives and society gentleman, to angels and elves, there's bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie dreams of the day where the temperature might be something other than hot, hot, and boy, it's hot! When Charlie isn't writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Previous Books

The Auspicious Troubles of Chance (The Auspicious Troubles of Love #1)
Roses in the Devil's Garden (Fallen Rose series #1) (Free Read)
The Amethyst Cat Caper (A Tea House Tale #1)
The Only Star (A Tea House Tale #1.5) (Free Read)
Mending Noel
When Love Walked In
In His Corner
Lost in My Waking Dream
Believe Me, Beloved (Masks Off! Anthology)


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