February 28, 2013

Romantic Suspense: Hell or High Water @jerriealexander #RLFblog


Hell or High Water

Jerrie Alexander, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Last time you were here, you brought blueberry muffins. Tell us about those hats you brought this time.

Hats, Hats, and More Hats


Imagine me sitting in front of my computer. Got it? I have my Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) hat on, with one eye made-up to the nines, terrorizing innocent people who get in my way.
Or maybe, I've donned my Phantom of the Opera's mask, killing off characters who refuse to do what I want. People who don't understand that I have their best interest at heart. People who don't realize how damaged I am inside. People who die for not bending to my will.
Then I slip on my heroine's hat of mystery. How'd she get into this mess? Strong willed and brave, she'll do what it takes to solve the mystery and survive. Maybe, as she fights her way through her story, she'll fall in love on the way.
Ah, the hero. *sigh* Okay, so he doesn't have a hat. Getting into the mind of a hundred percent kick ass male, who doesn't think he needs love to survive, is great fun. Hat or no hat. If I struggle with his persona, I'll turn to my standby song Holding Out For A Hero. If you don't know this one, please, go to Itunes and look up Bonnie Tyler.
While writing, I wear all those hats. Now, I don't really have a wall of hats that I swap back and forth. It's all in my head and done metaphorically. For me it's a method. It's my way to dig deep into the character's persona and tell the story from his/her point of view without my ideas or morals interfering.
Not that'd I'd be opposed to putting on a black fedora or silver belly Stetson if I thought it would get me past a particularly hard scene to write.
Shoot, I'd write naked if it worked. But that's another post.
After all of my research is complete and I understand their motivations, immersing myself in a character, trying to feel and react as he or she would, is the best way for me to develop separate and distinguishable personalities for each person in the book.
What about you? Maybe you have a trick you can share. You don't have to be a writer to slip into a character's point of view. Maybe at the movies you lose yourself. Ever become Merle Streep? Or Alex O'Loughlin?
Come on, not even as a kid? Maybe John Wayne?

Here's info about my new book while you think about your answer. It's book one of the Lost and Found, Inc. series, Hell or High Water, from Etopia Press.
Blurb:
When ex-SEAL Nate Wolfe learns a woman from his past is in danger, nothing will stop him from protecting her. Not even her. Dallas Child Protection Services Investigator Kay Taylor doesn't want or need Nate in her life. But he doesn't seem to understand the word no. He seems to also have forgotten the brand he left on her heart. When Kay is taken and sold to a monster, the devil himself couldn't stop Nate from doing whatever it takes to find her...but will he be in time?
Hell or High Water


Excerpt


A chill slammed into her. Again, somebody’s eyes on her sent a shiver up her arms. She whirled.
A black Harley was parked down the block. She paused at the rear of the car and stared at the rider. Odd that he’d parked away from the funeral crowd and sat there watching. Damn, the black visor didn’t stop the burn as his gaze bore down on her. Her breath caught. Was this the man who’d saved her? Wearing a black leather jacket and matching helmet, the man sat motionless.
She started toward him, and the rider stepped off the bike. If this was her ninja, she’d demand answers after she thanked him. He turned his back to her and then removed the helmet. His fingers wound through shoulder-length black hair, tying the strands together with a piece of leather. There was something vaguely familiar about him. His movements. His shoulders. His hands.
He turned to face her, and her heart rate raced toward the ozone.
“Hello, Kaycie.”
Ten years of missing Nate Wolfe boiled over. He was here. Really here. She sprang into his arms, clutched his broad shoulders and leaned into his hard-as-a-rock chest. God, his scent, a mixture of leather, woodsy cologne and virile man washed over her. Damn. Her body betrayed her by melting into him.
“Nate,” she whispered into his neck. “You saved me.” Her flesh heated when his large hands flexed against the small of her back and drew her closer.
“Come hell or high water,” he whispered, his warm breath sending heat streaks across her skin.
A split-second passed before memories of his lying tongue using that same phrase so many years ago hit her. A volcano of heartbreak erupted and spewed forth. 
“Don’t touch me,” she spit the words at him while scrambling out of reach. “And don’t you dare say that to me. Ever.”
“You hugged me.” His eyes went wide and he held his hands up in surrender.
Damn him and his Cheshire cat grin. Kay plowed her right fist into his jaw. God, pain shot up her arm. His head barely moved. Still, she relished the snap of his teeth. Obviously, she didn’t hit him hard enough. He rubbed his scruffy jaw while that sexy little smile inched right back up his cheeks.
“Why are you following me?” Her knuckles hurt like hell, but he’d never know.
“What?” He held his hands in front of him, palms up. “No good to see you, Nate? No how you been? No nothing.”
“I’ll try this again, slower. Why. Are. You. Fol—”
“We need to talk.” The fun left his gaze. The sparkle dimmed to seriousness.
She stepped further away and sent him a glare designed to blister his flesh from head to toe. Unaffected, he picked up the cell phone earpiece she’d knocked off and reattached it to his ear while never taking his navy blue eyes off her.
“No, we don’t. Thank you for saving my life. Now do what you do best. Go away.” She spun on her heel. Rubbing her now swelling hand, Kay stalked straight to her waiting friend.
“You okay?” Holly asked over the top of the car before she slid behind the wheel.
“If I didn’t break my fist on his cement jaw, I will be.” Kay stabbed her seatbelt a second time before fastening it properly. She cursed the tears welling. Cursed the feel his warm body imprinted on her breasts. Cursed the memories that sent her heart spinning.
Holly dropped her .380 in her purse.
“Did you take that in church this morning?”
“Yep. God knows I carry. And the law gave me a permit. Glad I had it, because I didn’t know what the hell was going down when you hit him. Who was the hunk?”
“Nate Wolfe.”
“Holy shit. The guy from college?”
“The same. He’s been watching me. I’m sure of it.”
“I should’ve shot him.” Holly punched the gas pedal, ignoring the speed bumps.
“Thanks for having my back. And for getting the concealed carry license.”
“I’m never without protection. Or a gun.” Holly chuckled at her own joke. “Where to?”

Jerrie Alexander
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Buy links:

Coming Soon!

Previous Books

Find Me Here



Cover Love: Sky Tinted Water @ketadiablo #RLFblog



Sky Tinted Water

Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes only a blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is: Sky Tinted Water by Keta Diablo.

Genre: Sweet Historical Romance
Familial bonds, malevolent schemes, and passion collide in this sweet historical novel. Set in Minnesota during the Civil War and the Sioux uprising, this is the story of Rory Hudson, the exquisite Irish lass with an unbreakable spirit and the enigmatic Dawson Finch, a man bound by honor, duty, and loyalty.
When Dawson enlists in the army to bring peace to nation divided, Rory’s world plummets into a tailspin. War, distance, and time separate them, but nothing can dispel the haunting memories of their love. Not even death can destroy their fierce passion or a love so strong it beats the odds of the impossible.

Buy links:

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/UjeU4W

Find Me Here

The Stuff of Myth and Men, http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com

February 27, 2013

Character Interview: Phoenix @SerenaZane #RLFblog


Insidious Whispers

Serena Zane, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character Phoenix from the book, Insidious Whispers.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Books To Go Now
Cover artist: Books To Go Now
Length: 46 pages
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: It’s her duty or her life!
Blurb:
Abducted from her quiet life as a New Age store owner, Beth Stark is thrown into a dangerous world of intrigue and magic. Beth’s legacy as Guardian of the Black Tome is to protect the book from those who would seek to use it for dark purposes.
Phoenix, enforcer of the Vampire world, is sent to destroy the Black Tome before the Queen of the Fae can use it to annihilate the vampire race. Phoenix comes face to face with the tome’s Guardian, but he doesn’t expect the feisty little spitfire to make his blood boil, and his passions rise.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Beth Stark, New Age Store Owner and half-Fae, Guardian of the Black Tome
Phoenix, Vampire Enforcer
Prince Arlen, Prince of the Fae
Queen Genevieve, Queen of the Fae
Jean-Luc, Vampire Elder and head of the High Council

Excerpt:

Beth sat straight up in the chair that she’d been lounging in. Something was terribly wrong. She could feel it deep in her soul. In a blink, her body was pulled through the Veil and she stood in her darkened shop. Right in front of her stood a man, and he was pulling the Dark Tome from its rightful place on her shelf.
“Stop!” Beth surged forward as though she wasn’t in control of her own body and placed herself in front of the tome making him break contact with the book. “What do you think you’re doing?” She struggled to regain her composure after being pulled through space twice in one day. He was so close; she could smell his cologne and the scent of the rain and wind on his body. Beth tried not to be intimidated, but the man was huge and his broad shoulders filled the space in front of her. He hadn’t said anything yet, and he hadn’t moved away. She placed a hand on his chest and zapped him. A small electrical current to shove him back, it didn’t work.
His large hand came up and encompassed hers. “Don’t.” He crowded her.
Beth felt her lips part, and desire made her damp between her thighs as she met his eyes in the dark. They glowed with an unholy fire, and she knew. Vampire.
Her voice barely above a whisper Beth asked, “What do you want with the tome?” She could never let a vampire have access to the evil in that particular book.

Interview with Phoenix

Tell us about yourself.
I am the strong arm of the vampire council. Head enforcer, and ancient vampire. Ensuring that vampires follow the law of the High Council and Other-kind do not reveal our existence.
Tell us about Beth Stark.
She is a feisty spitfire that I cannot eradicate from my heart. I burn for her. She is Guardian of the Dark Tome and a half-Fae who torments me with every waking thought.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Well…are we talking metaphorically? Or figuratively? I believe that honor comes before all things.
What would Beth say is your strongest point?
(Phoenix laughs) I can’t really discuss that on an open forum.
What would Beth say is your biggest weakness?
I find it suspicious that you would ask such a question. One does not reveal their weaknesses.
What was it like where you grew up?
Belief
I grew up in what is now the Basque Region of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. It was a hard existence, and my family struggled.
What do you wish was different about your life?
There are always things one regrets. But I cannot change the past.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
That is something I shall keep close to my heart.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Once many years ago I came upon a place, far away from society. Isolated, but beautiful. The waves of the ocean crashed against the cliffs as I watched the sun sink beneath the horizon. This would be my perfect place, if there, in the arms of my love.
As a child, who was your best friend?
I prefer not to dwell in the past of dim memory.
What do you wish I had asked you?
I would have had you ask me if I am satisfied with my existence. I would say that is a good question. Again, there are things I regret, and now that I have found my love, I am not sure if my position will remain the same with the High Council. But, yes, overall, I am satisfied with my existence as it stands.

About the Author

Serena Zane is an eclectic author of paranormal romance, sweet romance, and action-adventure romance. She lives with her husband and her son in the Northwest. Balancing her time between writing, time with her family, and crossing swords on the battlefield, Serena is never bored.

Previous Books

The Jewel series
Dark Diamonds, Crystal Clear, Ruby Red, Tiger Eye
The Hunter Diaries
The Christmas Present, Bite Me, Belief, Insidious Whispers
The Dark Warrior series
Snow Beast, A Cross to Bare, Bane
Follow the Heart, Moonlight in a Pickup Truck

Books Coming Soon

Serena Zane
The Hunter Diaries Anthology, Mortal Ice, The Change, and The Locket

Contest

Riddle me this: “Voiceless it cries, wingless flutters, toothless bites, mouthless mutters.” What is it?
If you are the first to answer this question you will win a free copy of The Christmas Present.

Find Me Here

Blog: Tales of the Night  http://serenazaneauthor.blogspot.com/

February 26, 2013

Western Romance: Heap of Trouble #RLFblog


A Heap of Trouble

Lorrie Unites-Struiff, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Heap of Trouble
Genre: Western Romance, Action, Humor
Publisher: MuseItUP Publishing.
Cover artist: Suzannah Safi
Length: 150 pages
Heat rating: PG
Tagline: Sheriff Cole chases Mattie, who steals his heart, Beggar, a monkey who steals the townspeople's jewelry and a gang that steals cattle.
Blurb:
Sheriff Cole Walker is fearless-- except when it comes to critters. When a thieving, runaway, ringtail monkey decides to move in with Cole and won’t leave, he has more woes than he can handle.
Cole has a powerful yen for the newly arrived Mattie Wells, the pretty woman who can jingle his spurs with just a smile. Mattie takes a shine to men who have pets, and she adores the monkey—as does all the townsfolk. So, Cole must put up with the troublesome critter.
Mattie is holding a dark secret and refuses to get married. Cole pushes to pry out her secret and change her mind while harboring a secret of his own.
A gang of rustlers is roaming the hills and stealing the Double J’s cattle. JJ blames the farmers and an all out war is in the making. Cole and his deputies, Wade and Sully, are given a month to find the thieves before Mayor Farley calls for outside gunslingers.
Yep. Cole has a heap of trouble on his hands.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Cole Walker 28 Sheriff of Cold Creek
Mattie Wells 22 Shopkeeper’s daughter.
Beggar, the runaway monkey. Who knows how old the imp is? Occupation- Petty thief.

Excerpt:

Cole’s heart rate picked up a notch. Her honey-colored hair had been the first thing he noticed when she stepped off the covered wagon a month ago, how it gleamed like silk corn tassels in the sunshine. Her tiny waist and proper curves had sure jingled his spurs. “Afternoon, Miss Mattie,” he jumped to his feet. “Whoa, don’t come in. There’s a mighty dangerous critter under the desk.”
“A what?” Mattie hurried to look under the desk. “Oh, my, it’s a little monkey.” She crawled on all fours to reach for the varmint, offering Cole a tantalizing view of her frilly petticoat and pretty ankles. “Come here, you poor baby.”
“Miss Mattie, stop.” Cole rushed over, a palm on his pistol. “He might bite you.”
Mattie got to her feet, the monkey curled in her arms. “Oh, don’t be silly. He’s what they call a ringtail and he’s half-starved to boot. I had a school friend once whose dad was an Organ Grinder. He had bought one like this shipped in from South America.” Her eyebrows lifted, her eyes on his hand hovering over his pistol. “You weren’t really planning on shooting this little fella, were you?”
“Me?” He let out a chuckle and quickly hooked his thumb over his gun belt. “I’d never think of doing something like that.” He made a show of glancing around the room. “I was just sharin’ my lunch, but he sure made a darn mess of the place.”
She petted the monkey, cooing softly while it lay snuggled in her arms. She bit her lip her eyes twinkling. “Oh, I see. And now you’re sweeping up the scraps. How sweet.”
Cole shuddered at how she could handle the critter so easily. He tried to smile. “Yes, ma’am. Sure was. Cleaning the office and feeding him, that is.”
Her eyes narrowed as she inspected the creature closely. “This fella’s too thin, must not have eaten for a while.” She fingered the metal band around its neck. “We need something to wedge the clip lock off his collar.” A frown pulled at her mouth while her eyes scanned the office. “Oh, hand me that ring of keys hanging on the peg. You hold the monkey and I’ll work the ring under the clip.”
“Uh, you keep a hold of him. I’ll pry the clip loose. I mean since he’s so comfortable with you and all.” He snatched up the key ring and edged closer. His hands trembled. “Why we doin’ this for anyhow? Must be someone’s pet with this fancy collar.”
“Probably, but this collar has sharp edges. It scratches his neck.” She perched on the edge of the desk, holding the monkey firmly, exposing the lock.
Cole moved his hands slowly. “Ah, hold on to his head nice and tight now. We don’t want him wiggling.”
She giggled. “Don’t worry.”
Sweat beaded on his forehead, the heat rushing to his face nearly searing his eyebrows. He reached for the collar, his heart racing. The ring slid under the clip and he forced it up. It snapped open with a ping.
“Now pull the collar apart.”
He did. The collar pushed open wide enough for him to twist it off.
“Yeow!” Pain shot from his hand to his elbow. He dropped the collar as if he had grabbed the hot end of a branding iron. The metal band clunked and spun across the floor. He stared at the bloody strip streaking his palm.
“I told you it was sharp.” Mattie set the ringtail on the desk and led Cole to the basin of water sitting on the ledge in the corner. She soaped a cloth and bathed his palm while he glared at the monkey. Her soft, warm hands gave him a little tingle in his belly, until she poured the whiskey over the cut.
“Yeow!” Cole blew on his hand. He didn’t know which was worse, the cut or the unexpected whiskey wash.
The ringtail rubbed and stretched its neck, then clapped. Cole gave him a scathing look.
Mattie nudged Cole’s arm. “Oh, don’t be such a baby. Look, it’s hardly bleeding at all.” She wrinkled her nose and waved her hands to dispel the liquor fumes floating in the office.
Dang. She probably thinks I’m a jackass. He cleared his throat. “So, how’d you know ‘bout the hurtful collar?”
“When we lived in New York, I visited at my friend’s home. I saw how her father used the collar to train the ringtail by pulling on it with a chain to hurt the little thing.”
Cole glanced at the red streak on his palm. “That seems a downright mean way to treat a critter.”
“I agree.” Mattie huffed. “He said he did that to teach the monkey tricks. Why, he even tied the ringtail’s forearms behind his back to train him to walk upright. I thought it horribly cruel and near cried every time I went to her house.” Her white shirtwaist rose and fell with every angry breath.
“Where do you suppose this one came from then?”
“Must have escaped from that medicine show traveling south of us, that’s all I can figure. We heard about the show while you and your deputies were away tracking those rustlers.” She patted his palm with a dry towel. “You have any luck?”
“Sorry to say we never saw hide nor hair of the thieves. Wade and Sully are still camping out on the range. They’re gonna keep searching the hills beyond the river.”
Mattie folded the towel and set it back on the shelf. “Hope you find them soon so all this trouble will be over.”
“Me, too.” He cast another weary glance at the monkey and sighed. “That critter ate most of my lunch, but I guess even a mangy mutt deserves to eat once in a while.”
The monkey nodded and let out a burp.
Mattie laughed and tickled the varmint under his chin. “I did learn this little thing will eat both meat and fruit. At least my friend’s dad fed theirs well and kept it healthy.” She grabbed the broom and began sweeping up the scattered scraps.
Cole bent to pick up a half-eaten biscuit by the desk. The monkey climbed onto his shoulder and wrapped his furry arms around his neck. Cole choked back a yelp. Hot breath blasted his ear. He nearly jumped out of his skin and reached to throw the critter off, but Mattie was gazing at him with those adoring eyes.
“Oooh, how cute. He’s taken with you. They do love to be cuddled.”
He didn’t dare pitch him off. Cole gritted his teeth and stoically bore the beast, expecting to lose an ear to sharp little teeth. Tiny fingers plucked at Cole’s hair. His ear feeling a little safer, Cole paced the office and forced his shoulders to loosen up with each step.
The floor cleaned, the dirt and bits of food wrapped in brown paper, Mattie wedged the bundle of scraps under her arm.
When Cole passed the hat rack, a small arm plucked the Stetson from the peg and set it on his head. Mattie put her hand over her mouth, but he heard her muffled chuckle.
He stepped onto the boardwalk, the thick planks echoing with each step and sinking a little under his six-foot frame. Now that he finally got the critter outside, he hoped like heck it would scamper off to parts unknown. Instead, it stayed perched on his shoulder as he walked Mattie back to the mercantile her pa had bought from the last owners. The couple had upped and moved farther west to live with their son and his family.
            Cole ran a quick scan over the two blocks of businesses down to the Sundance Saloon angled at the far end of town. Buckboards and horses lined the rails and teams tromped the street raising puffs of dust. People chatted in groups or went about their chores. Some of the buildings, like his office, provided living quarters on the upper floor. Behind the businesses, and across a small lane, stood weathered cabins and painted frame houses with shutters.
No drifters, pie-eyed cowhands, or fights in the making were in sight. All remained peaceful-like, which suited him just fine. He sure didn’t need any more problems today.
Old Baldy limped toward them, his stained apron hanging past his knees. He jerked to a stop, and his toothless mouth spread into a wide grin. He smacked his thigh. “I see you gots a new deputy there, Sheriff.” Baldy guffawed until his face turned pink, then he bent over to catch his breath.
Cole thought about shooting him, but instead gave the geezer a stone cold glare.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
By writing short stories for ezines.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
Promote my books. With short stories I didn’t really have to, but now I’m trying to get my name and my books out there to readers.
What websites do you visit daily?
Facebook, Pintrest, LinkedIn
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
Make it longer. I enjoyed writing it so much, I wish I had added more twists.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
It’s fun, at least for me. I can let my imagination have free rein.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Start writing now, stupid, while you’re young.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Not well. Lol. There is always so much to do and not enough time in the day. Besides, I poop out fast.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Heaven’s no. They would lynch me.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I was a gold medalist dancer/teacher/manager of a big name ballroom studio. Ah the good slim and trim days.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
A Heap of Trouble. It’s fun, has PG romance, action with cattle rustling, and a lot of humor with Beggar the monkey who is a petty thief. You can’t help but like the combination.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I wish I knew, but I do think e-books are the wave of the future.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
My grandson is a classical pianist and in his first year of college. He is gifted. He started older than most kids and is already number one musician in his school. To hear him play brings tears of pride to my eyes.
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?
A little cabin in the woods. I’d take my computer, sloppy clothes, and be totally alone to write. Hmm. Better take some food with me, too.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
New Year’s Eve. I like to watch the ball go down. I sigh, lean back in the chair and think, ‘whew, I made it another year.’ I know. I’m strange.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Watch the TV programs I have taped. I like many of them and thank goodness for DVR’s.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Hmm. Tough one. Can I choose a young Kim Novak? Lol. Maybe I best go with the older one.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Red.
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 mushrooms.
I'm always ready for a dinner out with friends.
When I'm alone, I love to do anything I feel like.
You'd never be able to tell, but I always laugh at myself when I do stupid things.
If I had a halo it would be tarnished.
If I could go a vacation I'd take a 90 day cruise and see the world.
I can never say no to a friend because I value them too much.

Books Coming Soon

My C.O.D. series. (Call on the Dead) 1&2 combined is out now. Three more to go, so far, in the series.

Find Me Here

February 25, 2013

Contemporary: Coming Home @PalomaBeck #RLFblog


Coming Home
Paloma Beck, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Coming Home.
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Cover artist: Dawne Dominique
Length: 142 pages
Heat rating: 4 flames
Tagline: Tragedy brings him home. Love keeps him there.
Blurb:
Rachel Porter, a romance writer, has told her three sons tales of finding their true love since they were just boys. She believes there is just one match for every person. Now as men, they have yet to discover their soul mates. That is, until they come home…
Ryan Porter, Rachel’s oldest son, needs a change from his busy city lifestyle. After five years of living in New York and establishing his own real estate firm, something is still missing. When a family tragedy brings Ryan back to his family’s rural home, he meets Tyra. She just might be the catalyst for the change he needs, redirecting the course of his life; but first he has to accept his relationship with his parents and embrace Tyra’s secrets.
Buy links:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ryan, 28, Realtor
Tyra, 26, Personal Assistant to Ryan’s mother, author Rachel Porter

Excerpt:

Tyra couldn’t believe Ryan was going to do this. She would’ve guessed he’d skip out on the bet once he’d lost but he was following through. Better yet, she couldn’t believe how sexy he was up there dancing for her. He was more tempting in person—yep, hot enough to make her throw her hands up and surrender to whatever he had to give her. She saw him looking in her direction and had no problems letting him know that she was looking right back. But, what next? Did she have what it took to take him on? She swallowed and caught him watching out of the corner of his eye again, laughing at whatever his brother had just said.
This would be a huge step if she pursued this any further. Pulled between the safety and comfort of the quiet home she’d made for herself and the desire to know this man more, Tyra felt nearly paralyzed. Raising a daughter so young had forced her to grow up quick. She wasn’t accustomed to picking up men. Heck, she hadn’t done this in all the time since she’d been back here. Her entire life revolved around Layne. Her daughter was everything to her. So why now? Why now was there this incredible pull towards Ryan?
Her eyes found him again. He was on the dance floor with his brother. She knew Davis was in the Marines, that explained his amazing body but she also knew Ryan lived in New York City. His body had to be gym formed. Not that it mattered. She should look away but she couldn’t. She was finally seeing him—not in a photograph but in the flesh. And fine flesh it was. His hard stomach was defined in the thin tight black shirt he wore so well. She bit her lip and stared at the muscle that rippled underneath, tensing and relaxing through his T-shirt as he moved in rhythm with the beat of the music. His shirt was tucked in to a great fitting pair of Levis and if the bulge she could see behind his zipper was any indication, he liked what he saw when he looked at her. It was a bulge that could give her more pleasure than she was certain she’d ever had before. She could nearly taste the salty masculine flavor of his skin—her mouth watered with it—and her hands itched to touch him, to run her hands, her nails, up his delicious stomach.
Tyra raised her eyebrows at Jillian and smiled. Did she have the guts to see this through? Could she actually go after what she wanted? Should she even try was the better question.
“They can dance,” Tyra said to Henry who was watching with a big grin across his face and his cute boy dimples she wanted to squeeze.
“Mom made them take dance lessons in high school,” Henry said as he moved behind her and rubbed her shoulders. He stood just slightly taller than Tyra who could place her head back onto his shoulder perfectly. Henry was her comfort, her friend and she always felt safe with Henry. But Ryan made her blood boil and her skin itch with need.
“Of course she did. Your mother would’ve done nothing less, would she?” Tyra said, knowing their mother almost better than they did. She grabbed Jillian’s arm and headed for the dance floor where she planned to join in. They’d paid their debt—now it was time for some fun.
“Tyra, you know what you’re doing?” Jillian asked.
“I like him, Jill. And now that I’ve met him in the flesh, I am even more fascinated by him than I imagined,” Tyra told her friend. Listening to the stories Rachel had shared with her about believing her boys would find their one true mate; there was something about how she described Ryan—Ryan, out of all three sons. And now Tyra wanted this chance to find out if she was his one; but she wasn’t crazy enough to tell anyone she believed in Rachel’s stories.
Jillian rolled her eyes at her and sighed, considering what Tyra had just said, “Ok. I get it. I’ll keep an eye on Layne for you. Be good. And remember, even I know, that he’s likely only here for a little while because of his dad. He’s not a keeper.”
Tyra pulled Jillian in for a hug. “Love you.” Friends since kindergarten, there wasn’t anything they wouldn’t do for each other. Tyra smiled at Jillian as she pulled away and tugged her onto the dance floor.
Tyra moved to the beat of the music, rolling her hips and going toe to toe with Ryan. He stepped towards her—she stepped back. She stepped forward—he stepped back. Tyra was certain Ryan could match her and she was betting he would play just as fair as she would.
“Mighty fine dancing,” Tyra shook her head at Ryan and grinned, “If I’m not mistaken, I believe the hustler might’ve just been hustled.”
“It’s all about your game, baby.” Ryan replied. But it wasn’t what he said—it was how he said it, with that suggestive grin she’d seen before on his father. During those times, when Robert wouldn’t see Tyra in the room and she’d catch him watching his wife with an admiration she was sure Rachel never saw. Ryan resembled his father’s strong features and his gentle mannerisms. His softer skin tone was more like Rachel though and his eyes were identical to his mother though more intense. They made her shiver as they roamed over her body in appreciation.
“Well, big guy,” Tyra responded with sarcasm dripping from every word, “You haven’t seen anything yet. I’ve got a game. I just don’t know if you can play it.”
Ryan grabbed onto Tyra’s hand and twirled her out, moving into her in one sure step that had them dancing across the floor. It was fun. Tyra laughed more than she had in a long time. She caught Henry staring from the bar and when their eyes locked, he winked at her. Hopefully Henry wouldn’t tell Ryan just how well he knew her; she wasn’t ready for Ryan to know more about her just yet. She trusted Henry. He was a good friend. She should’ve known the other brothers would be just as sweet.
After a few more dances and a celebratory round of shots, she found herself on Ryan’s lap at the bar. Most of their group had scattered and a slow song began playing just as Ryan led her back to the dance floor.
“Come home with me. My brothers and I have a place on the lake,” Ryan spoke into her ear and Tyra shivered from the sensation of his breath. She knew it was his parents’ house but was aware that the large room above the detached garage was most likely what he was referring to. She’d never been up there—there’d never been a need—but knew it was where Rachel’s sons stayed when they visited.
It took only a minute to weigh her decision—with Ryan; she just wanted to throw caution to the wind. She smiled at him and said just one word. It was the word that could mess with her security but she couldn’t hold it back. It could also change her world. “Yes.”
“You know what happens if we leave here together?” Ryan leaned down with his forehead against hers. His voice deep and warm like chocolate, warmth spread through her settling into that place she was trying hard not to notice as he pressed himself against her body.
She licked her lips as she considered for just one second that she could say no and stop this right here. But she couldn’t say no; she didn’t want to say no. And when Tyra looked up at him through her lashes, not fully lifting her head, and smiled, Ryan’s arm circled her hips and he turned on his heel. With a nod to Henry, Ryan led her out of the bar. Tonight was going to be good, she thought. She just prayed they both still thought this was a good idea in the morning.
Coming Home

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
I put writing aside for a safe career choice and it took me far too long to consider writing again. When I got involved with a book club, we went to some reader conferences. I met some great authors, followed their advice and began writing. Within two years, I got my first contract on a seven-book series.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I live all these lives through my characters. It’s a great thing! I still pinch myself to think I found something I love to do that people would pay me to do.
What inspires you to write?
The world around me serves as inspiration. I get my ideas from life and many of the characters are parts of real-life people with whom I interact. However, the best characters come to me by themselves. It’s as if they tell me their story and I simply write.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Do what you love. Write. Don’t wait.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
After receiving my Masters in Education, I worked as a College Administrator. Then when I had my boys, I decided to stay home. It wasn’t until they all went off to school that I began writing. Now I’m fortunate enough to write full-time.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read all genres within Romance. My favorites are romantic suspense, historical romance, paranormal romance, and contemporary erotic romance.
What good book have you read recently?
I’ve just read Release Me by J.Kenner. I shamelessly adore this newest trend in books with the uber-alpha male and elements of BDSM lite. I know it’s politically correct for me to say how I love a strong heroine but, honestly, every once in a while, I like a submissive female character.
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?
I’d grab my Nexus, the Kuerig, and some Starbucks k-cups. Then I’d throw comfy clothes in a bag and head for the lake – by myself, for a week away.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Wow. I can’t remember the last time I was bored. I’m raising three sons –ages nine to fifteen- and have a traveling husband so my every waking hour is full. If I do ever get some time though, I read.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Meg Ryan could definitely do me justice. Plus, she has really great hair.
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 mushrooms.
I'm always ready for a bath.
When I'm alone, I read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I listen to alternative rock.
If I had a halo it would match my wings.

Previous Books

Lustful Cravings, Seven Sin Sisters, book one
Eternal Envy, Seven Sin Sisters, book two
Holiday Gem, Seven Sin Sisters, book three
Vanished Pride, Seven Sin Sisters, book four
Paloma Beck

Books Coming Soon

Frozen Fury, Seven Sin Sisters, book five
Hold My Hand (stand-alone)
Finding Home, Porter Brothers, book two

Contest

**I am happy to give away a copy of Coming Home to a commenter.**

Find Me Here

February 24, 2013

Paranormal: Blood Promise @qlane #RLFblog



The Progeny
Ashlynne Laynne, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Blood Promise.
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing
Cover artist: Faleasha Myers
Length: 320 pages
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: Their love is fated by an ancient prophecy. Now the promise is fulfilled.
Blurb:
Ascher Rousseau is a half-human, half vampire whose life has been a series of prophecies and predictions. After finding incredible love and passion with Shauna--a Wiccan with powers beyond anything he’s ever known--he seals to her and hopes for happiness. But his enemies seek to destroy all that he loves, and he finds that happiness never lasts for long.
Darkness is descending and a vampiric revolution is nearing. A new brood of hatchlings is born to join their darkling brothers, in preparation for war. A preordained chain of events is set into motion that could lead to the rise of the demonic “cloaked one” and his half-human fallen children, while ending humanity--as we know it.
Can a supernatural love and the loyal bond of a family save the Rousseaus and the world from certain extinction?
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ascher Rousseau- 87 year old half-blooded vampire, one third owner of Rousseau Incorporated and medical student
Shauna McCutchin-Rousseau- 21 year old bartender and second year college student

Excerpt:

Cuff me...is she for real? Of course she means it, you idiot. What did you think the handcuffs were for? Now anxious with anticipation, he obeyed her command, allowing her to restrain his wrists in the cool metal. Stepping backward and keeping his gaze riveted on his brutally hot wife, Ascher fell back into the sofa, naked and with bound hands that rested at the small of his back.
Straddling his lap, her hips circled against his hardness, pushing his restraint to the bitter edge. Her kiss was different, her tongue deeply probing and her lips crushing against his, brash to the point that they bruised the flesh, causing a dull ache that radiated to every cell in his body.
“The venom, baby, please be careful.” Overcome with lust and approaching the brink of his sanity, he was still lucid enough to remind her about the poison in his blood. He was grateful that the venom only bonded with vampire black cells; otherwise, he’d never allow her to go down on him. The pleasure wasn’t worth the risk of turning her.
She nodded as though she understood, kneeling in front of him. “I was going to blindfold you but decided against it. I want you to see what I’m going to do. You’ve been a very bad boy.” Tilting forward, her ruby lips formed an “o” as she blew a teasing stream of breath against his rod, initiating contact and taunting him until his fevered body pained with the need for any form of her. With a stiff tongue, she lapped a slick circuit along the veins coursing his pulsing length and around the delicate skin of his cockhead.
A wave of desire swept him, submerging his human nature, awakening the primitive beast within. A throaty growl emerged from the depths of his belly as her mouth slipped up and down his thickened shaft. Her full lips drew in his swollen crown, gently pulling on the tender tissue. His eyes rolled as her tongue tunneled into the sensitive slit, leaving behind her crimson lipstick kiss as she extracted a thick bead of pre-cum.
The telltale tingles in his hands preceded the claws springing from his fingertips, as the lengthened points of his fangs bit at his bottom lip. A combination of wet warmth, hard suction and expertly timed motion lashed at him, bringing his release painfully close to the cusp.
She seemed just as turned on as he was. Her moans reverberated through his dick, while her eyes fixed on his unmoving gaze. Steadily fisting him with her right hand, Shauna’s left hand masturbated her clit as her head bobbed up and down--working him hard, milking him with a gentle strength that echoed her familiarity with his cock and what made it explode.
Blood pounded in his head and swirled in his vision until he was lightheaded and panting for more, begging for mercy. His hips pushed upward, meeting each thrust of her mouth with one of his own. Pleasure ebbed and crested as everything inside him coiled and tightened with tension, his vision blurring blind with fang pulsing, blood boiling insanity. “Yes--yes--fuck me with your mouth, baby...make me come.”
Ascher’s throat rumbled with animalistic growling that mimicked the most primitive of mating sounds. A hot mix of heat, bloodlust, and unbridled strength welled inside him. The flexing of his hands slackened the bite of the silver manacles, until the sound of twisting metal pierced through Shauna’s mouth-filled moans.
He was free, but remained glued to the couch as climax weighted his yearning body. Heated waves travelled through him, bringing the pleasure and prompting the pain of a release brought on so violently...so quickly. “Oh, God.” A moan resonated from within. “Suck me harder, faster...Oh, Shauna--baby, I’m going to...”

Interview

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The thing I enjoy most about writing is connecting with readers and chatting with them about my books and characters.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Stephen King
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
All of the time. This drives my husband crazy, because he’ll read a part of one of the books and say, “Hey, I remember saying that to you once.”
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I currently work full time for a major power company.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I’m a romance junkie, and I will read any sub-genre of this genre.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
Honestly, I believe that e-books will become the majority of book sales in the future, leaving a small portion of sales as paperbacks.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, because I enjoy cooking a huge family meal.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
My guilty pleasure is watching Lifetime in my pajamas.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
I’ll say pink, because it happens to be my favorite color.
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 pepperoni, black olive and mushroom.
I'm always ready for sex.
When I'm alone, I write.
You'd never be able to tell, but I write erotica.
If I had a halo it would be in flames.
If I could disappear, I'd prank my friends.
I can never skydive because I’m a big chicken.

Previous Books

The Progeny (Book One)
Blood Bonds (Book Two)

Books Coming Soon

Blood Promise (Book Three)

Contest

For one commenter, I am offering free PDF copies of all three Progeny series books and two autographed Progeny series trading cards (Ascher and Shauna).Open to US addresses only.

Find Me Here


February 23, 2013

Contemporary: I Do...or Die @BookEmDonna #RLFblog


I Do...or Die
Donna Cummings, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, I Do...or Die.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 272 pages
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: Getting shot at during a wedding was the best thing to happen to her love life.
Blurb:
“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is Shelby Atwood's personal credo. She’s managed to avoid commitment all her life – no pets, no plants, not even a long-term lease. Heck, she’s had colds last longer than her romantic relationships. How could she be any other way when she has a gigolo for a father?
But then gunfire erupts at the latest wedding she’s agreed to be in, and it ends up being the best thing to happen to Shelby’s love life. Detective Ryan Nichols is assigned to the case, and when the shootings don’t stop, he becomes her 24-hour bodyguard. Shelby wouldn’t mind except Ryan is too appealing, too sexy, and too happy to remind her of the raucous bachelorette party when she mistook him for a stripper.
Shelby’s plan is simple: find the shooter, have a fling with Ryan, and return to her non-committal life. Unfortunately, the shooter is very elusive. Shelby’s feelings for Ryan are way more than adrenaline-fueled lust. And returning to her normal life is now impossible since, despite her lifelong resistance, she’s managed to put her heart smack dab in the line of fire.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Shelby Atwood, early 30's, TV food personality
Ryan Nichols, mid-30's, detective
Excerpt:
You just don’t expect to see gunfire at a wedding.
I know, because I’ve been in a lot of weddings, despite my well-known aversion to them. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” is not just a cautionary adage, it’s my personal credo. Having a gigolo for a father might have contributed something to that philosophy. Who really knows for sure?
Today Alexa, my best friend since grade school, glided down the aisle of the chapel to the accompaniment of a string quartet playing an elegant Handel air. For this wedding, she wore a white strapless dress, complete with tulle and beaded embroidery that made all the women sigh as she passed. The low v-back and body-hugging mermaid shape, along with her icy blonde beauty, provoked quite a different response from the males in the congregation.
I clutched my single calla lily, watching her entrance with a mixture of awe and disbelief. How had Alexa persuaded me to be her maid of honor, again?
And again.
And yet again.
“Shelby, you’re my good luck charm,” she had cooed while I suffered through the circle of hell known as “trying on bridesmaid dresses.”
“How do you figure that?” I had asked, peeling off a poufy satin monstrosity the color of Mountain Dew. “Every time I’ve been your maid of honor, you’ve gotten divorced!”
“Oh, that has nothing to do with anything. Everything goes off without a hitch when you’re there.”
“Maybe that’s the problem. If I weren’t around, there would be some sort of hitch, and then you wouldn’t be hitched.”
I admired Alexa’s wildly unwavering enthusiasm for weddings, and commitment, and all that “’til death do us part” stuff. Especially since none of her marriages seemed to last very long. Two years was the record so far, and that was because her husband was working overseas for one of those years.
Which was supposedly the reason for the end of that union.
That, and the next husband was already in her sights.
When the evil wedding consultant gleefully rolled in another torture rack crammed with dresses for me to endure, I shuddered. “Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, marriage isn’t right for you?”
“That one.” Alexa pointed to a strapless hot pink mini-dress that could have worked—if Hooters ever decided to cater weddings. “And why all these concerns? Don’t you like Jordan?”
“Of course I like him, silly. He seems perfect.”
He was handsome, loving, and completely ga-ga for his bride. Alexa told me during our numerous wedding planning get-togethers, which thankfully required a great deal of wine, about Jordan’s great sense of humor, and even greater job. Who wouldn’t want him for a husband? If I were the marrying kind, even I would want him for a husband.
Although, as I recall, Husbands One through Three were pretty darn perfect too.
Alexa smiled, spinning her index finger to indicate I should twirl in front of her. “Maybe, Shelby, you’re afraid all of these weddings will change your mind about marriage.”
“Ha!” I, the eternal bachelorette, scoffed, and quite eloquently. Alexa raised her eyebrow as if debating whether to get out of her chair and start the Heimlich maneuver on me.
In the end, I gave up trying to make Alexa see the multiple incredible benefits to staying single. I’ll probably be her bridesmaid when we’re bunkmates in the nursing home, although by then I’ll be adjusting the tapes of her adult diaper, rather than the tiers of her lace-edged wedding veil.
I agreed to be her maid of honor this one last time.
Of course, I didn’t realize when I made the promise this would be Alexa’s final chance to stand at the altar.
At the minister’s signal, Alexa handed me her bouquet of cascading white lilies and then she faced Jordan, ready to promise to love, cherish, and obey the (fourth) man of her dreams. She beamed at him, eliciting a few more wistful sighs behind us at the evidence of true love. Or maybe it was for the handsome groom in his single-breasted designer tuxedo, beaming right back at her.
Reverend Deering asked Alexa to repeat the vows she most likely had memorized several ceremonies ago. I had heard them often enough that I could have stepped in to recite the words if either of them were prevented from completing their duties.
“I, Alexa, take thee Jordan—”
A ray of June sunshine chose that moment to burst through the chapel windows, highlighting the promise contained in the newlyweds’ expressions. Even I felt swept up in the optimism that accompanied each and every one of Alexa’s weddings. My heart beat with hopefulness, and I wondered if someday I would—
Out of nowhere, gunfire erupted, a quick succession of pop, pop, pop.
Screams quickly followed, along with the frantic sounds of the congregation scrambling for shelter under the wooden pews.
“Sonofabitch!” I tossed the bouquet over my shoulder, as I’d seen Alexa do millions of times, and darted toward my suddenly bleeding best friend, knocking her to the floor to prevent any further harm.
Back on Track
I looked up and saw the minister cowering under a pew, tugging at the tulle swag that moments ago had been decoration, not flimsy protection against wayward bullets. My heart pounded while my brain struggled with two wildly different thoughts.
One, the blood spurting from Alexa’s shoulder ensured I would never have to wear this peach-yogurt-colored dress again.
And two, who could possibly hate weddings more than I did?

Interview

What inspired you to write this book?
This book started out with a little riff from a bridesmaid chatting about all the outrageous bridesmaid dresses she'd had to wear. And then all of a sudden this chatty character became the heroine, Shelby, who had been a bridesmaid for her best friend four different times, only Shelby hates weddings. And then there was gunfire at the latest ceremony. . .Things just kind of went crazy from there!
Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?
Shelby seems to endear herself to readers, probably because of her kooky adventures, and her commitment-phobe qualities, as well as her hilarious commentary on all of it. There's definitely a fan base for the hero, Ryan, though.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
Probably "getting ready to write" or feeling guilty for not writing! I hang out a lot on Twitter, and I love to get inspired by looking at things on Pinterest, and I count them as invaluable research tools. *cough* Because they are!
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I am a confirmed pantser. I'm not even sure I make stuff up--it just shows up in my brain, and I write it down. It feels like I'm the official stenographer for these characters. They say and do what they want to, and I type away. Sometimes I'll pretend like I'm the movie director and suggest they move over here, or say such-and-such. When I'm done, they go back to what they were doing in the first place, and I just start typing again.
What's your writing schedule like?
It's pretty much a variation of this: "Okay, I've got my coffee, so I'll open up the WIP and get my word count done for the day. Oh, wait. I better check Twitter one more time. And Facebook--I think somebody left a comment, and I don't want them feeling ignored. Wow, it's lunchtime already. Well, I'll just go ahead and check the sales stats on Amazon and then really hit it at 1:30. No, 1:45. Heck, I might as well just round it up to--how did it get to be 6 p.m. already?!"
Any advice for new authors?
Write the story that won't leave you alone. It may be slightly outside your current skill set, but work at it anyway. You'll discover what you like, what your strengths are, and most importantly, you'll find your voice. THAT is your most valuable tool as a writer. It's what will keep readers wanting to read everything you write.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
I didn't even have to think about this one! I would go to Regency London, and have a grand time with all those rogues and rakes.
Do you believe in luck?
I'm not sure if I'd call it luck, but I definitely believe there's something that happens outside of the normal everyday plane. It feels like coincidence sometimes, the way things happen, being in the right place at just the right moment. Or having someone show up just as you need them to.
What's your favorite movie?
I love romance and humor, so I have a few movies I can watch a zillion times and never get tired of them. Strictly Ballroom is one, and Notting Hill is another.
Donna Cummings

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with forty-eleven kinds of cheese on it.
I'm always ready for coffee, and more coffee.
When I'm alone, I crack myself up all the time.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm thinking up a new tweet right now.
If I had a halo, it would be marking my place in whatever book I'm reading.
If I could learn how to drive a race car, I'd use that research for an upcoming book.
I can never eat Brussels sprouts because they are incredibly gross!

Previous Books

Lord Midnight, Regency historical
Summer Lovin', contemporary romance novella

Books Coming Soon

Back on Track, contemporary romance novella, part of the Strangers on a Train series from Samhain, releasing April 2nd

Find Me Here


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